3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christian fiction · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance

One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac | ARC #BookReview

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One Thing I Know by Kara Isaac

Published: February 12, 2019

Publisher: Howard Books

Pages: 384

Genres: contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, Christian fiction 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: sweet but realistic romances, Christian fiction that isn’t religion heavy books about the bookish wolrd

Foodie Vibes: a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant – business networking 

 

Synopsis: 

A fresh, heartfelt romance involving a case of mistaken identity when a ghostwriter masquerades as a relationship expert and the man who is determined to expose her holds not only the key to her success, but also her heart…

Rachel Somers is America’s #1 relationship coach—America just doesn’t know it. Rachel writes the books, but her Aunt Donna plays the face of the operation. Afraid of their secret being exposed, Rachel has no choice but to keep up the charade or lose the big money required to care for her father.

Lucas Grant is a star of late night radio and set on achieving his dream of syndication. When a big-time producer calls, it looks like his hard work is about to pay off. But the offer comes with a catch—the producer is convinced Dr. Donna is not what she seems and he wants Lucas to discover her secret. To do that, he needs to win over her tight-lipped assistant who holds the key to his success and—he begins to suspect—his heart. Can love find a way through the lies that force them apart?

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Howard Books and Kara Isaac for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

Like: 

  • The sweet and realistic romance 
  • Romance in a casual work setting 
  • The main characters: relatable with good intentions 
  • Dr. Donna: I wasn’t a fan at the beginning, but came around to understand and like her. 
  • Easy fun read
  • The romance parts aren’t too overly descriptive that it would be inappropriate/uncomfortable to listen out loud, as an audiobook 

Love: 

  • Set in the book and publishing world – always a fun bonus!
  • Reminds me of an episode of Law and Order SVU (but without the sexual assault part) 

Dislike: 

  • The spicy food scene in the restaurant: Didn’t achieve the goal of bringing them together and just seemed weird/unnecessary 
  • I didn’t mind, but others might, that it didn’t mention religion until 80% of the way through. Not an intense Christian fiction book

Wish that: 

  • Some of the reasons for the deception didn’t fall together quite as easily 
  • Felt less disjointed: the first 2/3 and the last 1/3 of the story seemed different in tone and writing 

Overall, a fun sweet romance that I enjoyed. Nothing too intense, but perfect if you’re looking for a realistic happily ever after. Bonus points for being set in the bookish world!

 

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Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

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4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christian · Christian fiction · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · romance · suspense

ARC Review | Delayed Justice by Cara C. Putnam

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Delayed Justice by Cara C. Putnam

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Pages: 368

Genres: suspense, contemporary, Christian fiction, romantic suspense

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: justice, the MeToo Movement, good men and supportive friends/family, rediscovering your religion during difficult times

Foodie Vibes: peppermint tea to soothe your jangled nerves

 

Synopsis:

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.

Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

 

Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. As always, an honest review from me.

First of all, trigger warning: child sexual abuse

Most of the book references child sexual abuse, the healing process, disclosing to friends and family, and testifying. Nothing is described in detail, graphic or otherwise. 

  • If you’re concerned about being triggered by certain content, feel free to ask me for clarification about any potentially triggering content, in the comments. Or send me a direct message on Twitter if you prefer.

Now onto the book review …

Jaime was abused by her uncle at the age of 8. She didn’t tell anyone then. Now as an adult and after much counseling she feels strong enough to report his crime and press charges. Will her words and an old journal be enough to convict this esteemed military man? Or will he do anything to stop her form “ruining his life”?

It was nice to see the day to day realities of a survivor. The struggles and the triumphs, all the hard work, and the support from loved ones. Too often the media glosses over the day to day moments after a certain point in the survivor’s story. Not so in this book.

However, I had mixed feelings about the romance storyline. I don’t like when the, you need a man to make it all better, myth is perpetuated. But it’s also unrealistic to think that no survivor will experience romance and also look for comfort in their partner. The ending also wrapped things up a little too conveniently for me.

All in all, another good novel supporting the Me Too Movement of our generation. 

 

Question: How can we continue to support survivors in our lives?

3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christian · Christian fiction · mystery · romance · suspense · Uncategorized

ARC Review | A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

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A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Revell

Pages: 336

Genres: suspense, mystery, Christian fiction, romance

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: conspiracy theories, books that cut close to reality and freak you out too

Foodie Vibes: coffee, coffee, coffee to keep yourself awake & reading so you can’ quickly find out what happens

 

Synopsis:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Revell and Lisa Harris for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Another good novel from Lisa Harris. Not my all time favorite from her, but still a good solid suspenseful mystery. It was nice to get back into the world of police detectives solving mysteries in Christian fiction.

I enjoyed the world of conspiracy theories with good reason. The book was so psychologically terrifying. The fact that these things could happen in real life is so scary. Hackers attacking the power grid and leaving our country without power for months. The impact it could have on our country and so many people is terrifying. Such an interesting premise! There was a lot of action, physical and mental, that kept me reading, reading, reading to find out what happens.

Despite all the action that I loved, I didn’t really like that the murder mystery involved a psychiatric patient in any way. In this case, the patient wasn’t a suspect (not a spoiler), but there is so much stigma and stereotypes that I’m wary of books that even associate therapy, mental health, etc. with anything negative. Also a key to solving a major part of the mystery was overlooked until much later. If I were there, I would have found the object right away by doing a simple but thorough search. If the characters stopped to think for 2 seconds the detective and psychology would have found it. So frustrating!

Overall, a compelling mystery that unfortunately had a few nuances that bothered me. Loved the conspiracy theory ascent though.

 

Are you more of a murder mystery, psychological thriller or horror novel reading? Tell me why in the comments