Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LOVE BY THE LETTER Novella by Melissa Jagears

Dex Stanton has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child. Using humor to get by and then leaving school early to help his ailing Dad with the farm. Now that his Dad has past and his younger brother has married and needs the farm for a home, he plans to move westward and startover.
But the dyslexia presents a big problem when Dex attempts to acquire a mail order bride to partner him on the journey. His letter is returned making fun of his poor vocabulary and spelling. He finds he needs the assistance of a tutor and that tutor is Rachel Oliver perhaps the smartest person in town. Dex doesn't even consider Rachel for wife material because he feels once she knows his secret she would realize how inferior he would be for her husband.
Rachel, however, has waited years for Dex to notice her. She plans to go off to college but has delayed as long as she can in case Dex looks her way. She can't believe it when he asks for her help for the purpose of securing a mail order bride.
Her mother gets in the way at a critical juncture by not giving her a message from Dex. The story tugs at your heart and is told through the eyes of both hero and heroine. Dex finds a unique way to communicate to Rachel in the end about his true feelings.
This is a must have for your keeper shelf and a great foreshadowing of her full length novel A Bride for Keeps due out soon featuring one of the characters from this story. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Shattered Silence: Men of the Texas Rangers by Margaret Daley

Awesome series, Men of the Texas Rangers by Margaret Daley. Ms. Daley is not afraid to deal with Controversial and difficult topics. In Shattered Silence she deals not only with a serial killer but prejudice, bullying single parenting, spousal and child abuse.

Cody Jackson moves to Durango Texas following the death of his exwife to get his son away from the influence of a stepdad parleying prejudice and hate. Kyle, Cody's son, finds himself and a new friend the target of bullys. In the meantime, Cody steps immediately in the middle of a complicated and time consuming case of multiple murders. His new partner, latino Detective Liliana Rodriquez is dealing with problems of her own--her sister's being abused. She and her sister grew up children of an abuser.

Cody and Liliana, both dedicated and good at what they do find themselves mutually attracted to each other. I enjoyed the author's detailed descriptions of the day to day leg work of the police to solve crimes. You find yourself holding your breath in another well written scene where Kyle walks in to find his Dad, Cody, fighting for his life against a knife wielding assailant. An interesting twist are scenes where the story is being tolded through the eyes of the serial killer. The killer could be several of any suspects so the mystery keeps you reading.

A thrilling read with just enough romance to keep you satisfied, I highly recommend Shattered Silence! 



The Rancher's Second Chance by Davalynn Spencer

I love a sweet romance with some edginess and I especially love one that brings childhood sweethearts back together for their happily ever after. From the beginning you are hooked by the mysterious cowboy with a limp and an eye patch coming to the rescue of a young lady in high heels struggling to pull up a for sale sign out of a pasture.

Laura Beth, our heroine, has returned home following the death of her mother and the betrayal of her fiancee. She finds that her childhood friend, Eli Hawthorne has already returned with war injuries that have left him battle scarred inside and out. They meet again under an Old Oak that has special significance from their childhood and will represent something even more important in the story.

While, Eli battles, cattle rustlers, Laura deals with a peeping Tom. She reaches out to Eli and Garcia, his long time friend and Ranch partner ministering with food and caring; while Eli, secretly harboring deeper feelings, can't help but appoint himself her protector.

Ms. Spencer took every day things and spun her story around them. For example, Laura Bell adopts kittens and then a dog. Many of us pet owners can identify. Eli takes Laura to the local feed store and then out to a local burger place to eat. The author's descriptions and dialog are simple but real making you feel a part of the characters and their story. Another example, when Eli can't think for obsessing over Laura Beth, he turns in his bed looking out the window in time to catch a glimpse of someone sneaking around outside Laura's residence--believable because most of us obsess over the one we think is the one and find ourselves striving for just a glimpse of them.

Because the hero and heroine had a history, you can believe that in a few months they could come to love each other. My most favorite part is the anticipation as Laura Beth watches for a letter in her mailbox. I kept wanting to see her find a letter in the mailbox...something we all can relate, the letter that never comes or the letter that surprises us. Well done, Ms. Spencer, you can be sure I will look forward to more by this author.