Step by Step ~ by Candace Calvert

Step by Step

Step by Step is the second book in Candace Calvert’s Crisis Team series.

ER nurse Taylor Cabot is anxious to move on in her life, following the tragic death of her husband three years ago. She has created a “Survival List” and is working through the various items step by step. Her final point is “Fall in love again”, and the story begins as she is about to do just that: fall for a handsome but controlling plastic surgeon.

Then crisis chaplain Seth Donovan, who supported her through the grief process following her husband’s death, comes back into her life. She sees him as her best friend and is grateful for a chance to reconnect with him.

As a result of a horrific car accident, hidden facts and strong emotions flare up, threatening to destroy all Taylor has gone through while following her Survival List. She leans on her beloved dog, Hooper, for support and when he too seems to be leaving her, Taylor falls apart.

Not only does there seem little hope for her ever achieving the final item on her list, “Fall in love again”, many other successfully completed points seem to fall away as well.

As an RN myself, I love Candace’s books. I enjoy reading about the medical stress of ER and how it impacts the personal lives of the main characters. In Step by Step, the characters are so believable I nearly wept for Taylor, became furious with the plastic surgeon, and wanted to shake Seth Donovan! The plot was believable and gripping, and I read it within two days.

I did feel there was too much said about the points of crisis counseling, and at times I found myself speed-reading over the teaching which I felt slowed the story down. I wanted to get back to my main characters and what was happening outside the classroom. Regardless of this, I am still awarding this book a 5-star, and I look forward to the next in the series. At time of writing, this book is currently available for pre-order here.

I received a free advanced digital copy of this novel from Tyndale publishers in exchange for my unbiased opinion. Thank you to them and to Net-Galley for making it available.

star_3Do you enjoy novels with a medical flavor? Have you read any of Candace Calvert’s other novels? Please leave a comment below.


Thin Ice ~ by Irene Hannon

Thin IceI was delighted to receive notification of another Irene Hannon novel, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon is the second book in the Men of Valor Series.

World-class skater Christy Reed lost her parents in a car accident, then some time later, her beloved sister, Ginny, perished in a house fire. Christy has battled to get her emotions and life back under control. Then suddenly, two months later, an envelope arrives in her postbox, addressed in her sister’s handwriting. It contains a short note that claims Ginny is still alive, but warns her not to share the news with anyone, especially the police, or she will face the death of her sister—again.

When she realizes her sister has in fact been kidnapped, she decides to report it to the FBI with the request the investigation is kept undercover.

Lance McGregor, ex-Delta Force operator, is a newbie to the FBI squad when he is told to re-open the case of the house fire. If it wasn’t Ginny who died in the fire, who did? And where is Ginny? Why would anyone kidnap her?

A few chapters into the book, readers receive glimpses of what the perpetrator is up to, and it is clear Christy is in extreme danger. However, there is no indication as to why the fire and kidnapping happened, or what he has planned for Christy.

Christy and Lance team up and despite the suspense it is clear they are falling in love. Unlike many romance novels there is no obstacle to their relationship, apart from the threat to Christy’s life. Christy has a strong faith which rubs off on Lance, and there is no sex or swearing in the book although there is plenty suspense. Readers who have read other Irene Hannon novels will recognise the McGregor brothers. The story is complicated by a crisis with one of the brothers, and Lance is torn in trying to balance his time between the two situations.

Out of all Irene’s books, I think this is the best I have read so far. Her characters are well developed, the plot line gripping, and the end has a twist I didn’t see coming.

I strongly recommend this book and I have no hesitation in awarding it five stars. It can be purchased here.

I received a free advanced digital copy of this novel from the publisher through the “Revell Reads” program in exchange for my unbiased opinion. Thank you to them and to Net-Galley for making it available.

star_3Also of interest: Buried Secrets, (Men of Valor Book #1)




The Sea Keeper’s Daughters ~ by Lisa Wingate

/ bThe Sea Keeper’s Daughters is an unusual story. It is actually two in one. In the main story, Whitney Monroe is trying to save her restaurant from the grips of a ruthless business man. She comes to stay for a period in property which belongs to her but is occupied by her ailing stepfather who despises her. She plans to sell what she can in an attempt to rescue her restaurant.

In the process of going through the relics and documents left in the house by her deceased mother, she stumbles across a treasure trove of letters written from the previous generation. These cause many questions to form in Whitney’s mind as she struggles to understand the relationships between her ancestors.

The plot is cleverly put together and must have entailed a good amount of research. The story contains romance and intrigue, and encourages me, as a South African, to investigate the history of the Appalachian people and the Federal Writer’s Project, neither of which I had ever heard of before reading this book.

My one warning would be the reader needs to read diligently. There were times I was tempted to skim over the long letters, and then I had to go back and read them properly.

I have read and enjoyed previous books by Lisa Wingate, and I hope to do so in the future as well.
You can buy this book here.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Deadlock ~ by DiAnn Mills

DeadlockWhen two murders rock the city of Houston, the big question is, “Is there a serial killer at large, or are these copy-cat murders?” Special Agent Bethany Sanchez partners with Special Agent Thatcher Graves in their first case as a fascinating team. Bethany, the junior partner, works by the book, while Thatcher likes to run with his instinct—a clear recipe for friction.

I enjoyed how both the heroine and the hero are far from perfect. Bethany not only comes from a dysfunctional family and suspects her brother’s involvement in the crimes, she also has to deal with diabetes. Thatcher has a reputation for being a ladies’ man who had a strained relationship with his now-deceased father. They are both Christians, but we find Bethany struggling with why God allows so much hardship in the world, while Thatcher is trying to find his way with his new-found faith.

This exciting Christian suspense novel has just enough romance to keep the story interesting without turning into a love story. It is the third and final book in the FBI: Houston series, but although I have not yet read either of the other two, this did not present a problem for me. Deadlock stands alone, although I would love to read the other two novels.

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for giving me a complimentary copy of Deadlock in exchange for my honest review. You can buy this book now in Kindle or print by following this link.


No Place to Hide ~ by Lynette Eason

No Place to HideIf you are one of those readers who doesn’t read prologues, better think again. No place to Hide explodes into action with the very first sentence of the prologue and never stops.

Heroine Jackie Sellers spots her childhood boyfriend, Ian Lockwood, on national television. He is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot. She cannot believe the Ian she knew so well would have betrayed his country, and sets out to help him clear his name.

The problem is, he is wanted by the FBI as well as those whom he claims have framed him. By getting involved with Ian, Jackie is now also on the wanted list by both groups.

The suspense in this book never ends. As they arrive in a safe place to hide, within a matter of minutes the viewpoint switches to the FBI team or one of the many bad guys, and you know they’re in trouble. Sure enough, within the next few pages, they’re on the run again.

I only realized this book was one of a series after I’d finished reading it, so readers who haven’t read the others in the series need not hesitate to read this. It is a totally stand-alone novel, although I definitely plan to look for the first two in the series. The Christian standpoint is there throughout, although it is not pushed, and I would not hesitate to recommend this book to all those who enjoy a good clean suspense novel with a romance element.

You can buy the book here.

Thank you to Revell and Netgalley who provided me with a copy of this book for an honest review, and thank you Lynette Eason for some nail-biting moments!


Vendetta ~ by Lisa Harris


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Christian Suspense

Lisa Harris owes me two almost-sleepless nights as I raced through the story, Vendetta.

This Christian suspense novel has a touch of romance but the story is packed full of action. The story exploded on the first page and just kept going until the end. Each time I read “just to the end of the chapter,” I found myself going on for “just one more page”.

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Hope Harbor ~ by Irene Hannon

Hope HarborHope Harbor is the first installment of Irene Hannon’s new series, and it is different to her normal suspense story. For all that, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Michael Hunter has come to Hope Harbor hoping for a rest and some answers to some major life questions, including resentment against God. He finds his answers through some surprising people, including the lovely Tracy Campbell who has her own issues.

Both main characters have to move past secret pain in their past lives and allow themselves to love once more. In addition to being an enjoyable romance story, Hope Harbor also reminds us, the readers, that God is ultimately in control of every situation.

Irene has woven into the story-mix several unusual characters who play leading roles and make for a fun but thought-provoking read. Five stars for a great read.

I received this book from Revell Reads in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. You can purchase the book here.

Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury

I love Karen Kingsbury’s books, and requested this one from NetGalley. It is well-written as always, but I admit to being a little disappointed in a few things—hence the four stars. I would have liked to give it five.

The story opens with a meeting of angels taking place in Heaven. There is a definite similarity to Frank Peretti’s first two books, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, although the supernatural doesn’t play as pronounced a role. read more