The Price of Valor (Global Search and Rescue #3) by Susan May Warren | Contemporary Romance Review

The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren


The Price of Valor
Global Search and Rescue #3
Susan May Warren
Contemporary Romance

A high-octane mix of love and adventure

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as a humanitarian aid worker in Chechnya, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones for safekeeping. Signe is ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

Hamilton Jones has never forgotten the only woman he loved--and he can't believe after all these years she's shown up alive. But can he forgive her for her secrets? And, when Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for her and love for the nation he has vowed to protect.

Will he save the many? Or the few? And what is the price of valor?

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My Thoughts

Of the three novels in this series this is the one that I probably looked forward to the most. We were briefly introduced to Hamilton Jones and Signe Kincaid in book one. Then we got a little more to go on in book two. It was pure torture to wait and see what their complete story was. But truthfully it was worth it.

The hints that we received about these two in the previous books didn't hold a candle to the excitement of finally reading their story. We knew almost nothing of Signe but we had gotten some indication of who Hamilton was. But he just became bigger than life in his own volume of the series.

I would never have guessed at the depth of Signe's full story. It's heartbreaking and brave in a mixed-up set of circumstances. I didn't like her at first and was ready to write her off, but by the end I loved her character. Hamilton captured my attention from the beginning. But again I didn't even guess at the complexity of his overall story. 

This is one of Susan May Warren's best series. Each book and character will draw you in, even if you think that you aren't particularly interested in that person. I look forward to getting glimpses of them in future stories. I'm always asked by my friends if they can read a particular book in a series as a stand alone. As for this series . . . don't do it! The stories build to a great crescendo and really need to be read in order to get the full effect. It's so worth reading each book. I hope you'll take the time to treat yourself with this series. 

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Susan May Warren




Disclosure Statement: I received a copy of this book from Revell to facilitate my review.

 








 

Softly Blows the Bugle (Amish of Weaver's Creek #3) by Jan Drexler | Amish Fiction Review

Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler

The Amish of Weaver's Creek #3
Amish Fiction

When Elizabeth Kaufman received the news of her husband's death at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863, she felt only relief. She determined that she would never be at the mercy of any man again, even if it meant she would never have a family of her own. Then Aaron Zook comes home with her brother when the war ends two years later.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Aaron resolves to move West and leave the pain of the past behind him. He never imagined that the Amish way of life his grandfather had rejected long ago would be so enticing. That, and a certain widow he can't get out of his mind.

Yet, even in a simple community, life has a way of getting complicated. Aaron soon finds that while he may have left the battlefield behind, there is another fight he must win--the one for the heart of the woman he loves.
Welcome back to the Amish community at Weaver's Creek, where the bonds of family and faith bind up the brokenhearted.


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My Thoughts

I enjoy Amish fiction and Jan Drexler is one of my favorite authors in this genre. Her stories aren't cookie cutter but instead come from a unique angle that brings interest that can sometimes be lacking in this category.

Softly Blows the Bugle is the third and final book in the Amish of Weaver's Creek series. The story picks up from the previous books just after the Civil War has ended. We've already met the main character Elizabeth Kaufman so we know some of the grief that she has experienced. We are introduced to Aaron Zook. He comes home from the war with Elizabeth's brother Jonas but plans to move on and explore the West.

The story is full of grace and redemption for two emotionally and physically broken people. That brokenness is what makes the story relatable. We've all made bad decisions. And we've all had circumstances that have left us scarred. 

I am of the opinion that you would enjoy this book the most by reading the previous two first. Having said that I do think the author gives enough information that you could probably read this book only and still understand the plot. But you'd be cheating yourself! I'm looking forward to Jan's next series and hoping that some of these characters will pop up again. 

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Jan Drexler
Photo Credit: Photo by:
Roaming Reflections Photography




Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell to facilitate my review. 




 

Christmas Book Recommendations for 2020

Every year our family looks forward to adding some new reads to our Christmas book collection. The following are our recommendations for this year.

Little Lamb's Christmas

A Finger Puppet Book

Introduce babies and toddlers to the Christmas story told through the eyes of little Lamb. Children will love listening to the story of Jesus’s birthday and play with the adorable, plush lamb finger puppet included.

The Beginner’s Bible Little Lamb’s Christmas brings the story of Jesus's birth to life from a new and fun but faithful retelling. Readers will follow little Lamb from the hillside to the manger where he celebrates the arrival of God's only son.

Merry Christmas Nighty Night by Michael W Smith

Michael W Smith

It’s so hard to fall asleep on Christmas Eve! In this addition to the Nighty Night series from Grammy Award-winner Michael W. Smith and VeggieTales’ Mike Nawrocki, the familiar rhythm of the classic poem “The Night Before Christmas” helps tell an original musical story that captures the wonder of Christmas Eve while helping little ones settle in for a cozy “Silent Night” even when they have trouble going to bed.

Merry Christmas, Nighty Night is a gentle, heartwarming tale that combines an original song with a fun bedtime story to relax little ones and get them ready to sleep. This cute (and sleepy) adventure leads two children to discover that when you’re having trouble falling asleep, a Christmas lullaby might just do the trick.

A Very Fiona Christmas

Richard Cowdrey

In A Very Fiona Christmas, it's Fiona the hippo's very first Christmas, and the zoo is sparkling with holiday spirit. When the adorable little hippo asks her friends, "What's Christmas?" they set out to show her all the wonders and excitement of the season. With each new experience, Fiona lets out a snort, wiggles her ears, and asks, "Is THIS Christmas?" Amidst the snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe, and stockings, Fiona ends up meeting a new friend at the zoo who helps her discover the true meaning of the holiday---love.

A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit

A Night of Great Joy
Mary Engelbreit

A Night of Great Joy recalls that fateful night with wonder and awe--from the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem on a donkey, to the three wise men presenting their gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus lying in a manger. This holiday treasure leads children through the birth of Jesus, guiding them with the star of Bethlehem, the magi riding from Jerusalem on camels, and a chorus of angels.

The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling by Mike Berenstain

Mike Berenstain

In The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling, the whole Bear family is invited by the Bear Country Carolers for a round of Christmas Eve celebrations ... and your whole family is invited!

This fun book in the popular Zonderkidz Living Lights series--beloved by parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren alike--will earn a quick spot on your child's bookshelf. It also includes 4 punch-out postcards and a festive holiday door hanger!

A Christmas Gift for Santa by J Theron Elkins

J Theron Elkins

A Christmas Gift for Santa: A Bedtime Book for Little Ones presents a new side to Santa Claus. After delivering all the Christmas presents to boys and girls around the world, Santa wonders if there might be a gift at home waiting for him. But Mrs. Claus hasn't forgotten Santa. Next to a beautiful handwritten note, a homemade gift waits for him.

The Beginner's Bible Jesus Is Born

The Beginner's Bible Jesus Is Born

In Jesus is Born, a young girl named Mary is going to have a special baby. When he is born, God's angels tell everyone the good news. But the king is not happy at all. What will become of Baby Jesus? This My First beginning reader features art from The Beginner's Bible and uses My First beginning reader language for emergent readers.

Over in a Stable by Suzanne Nelson

Suzanne Nelson

Over in a Stable, written by award-winning author Suzanne Nelson, is a beautiful and engaging Christmas read-aloud for you and your little ones that tells the story of the nativity, featuring the memorable counting and cadence of the beloved classic poem "Over in the Meadow."

Over in a stable, though the hour was growing late,
grazed one mother sheep and her fleecy lambs eight.
"Give," said the mother.
"We give," said the eight.
And they gave their hay to make a bed to rest a King so great.

With vibrant illustrations from artist Aleksander Zolotic and gorgeous verse by award-winning author Suzanne Nelson, Over in a Stable counts up from one little drummer boy to ten little children, showing the animals and people who gathered to celebrate the arrival of baby Jesus on that miraculous night in Bethlehem.

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Love's Pure Light

Deborah Rainey, Suzanne Dietze, Shannon McNear, Janine Rosche

In this collection of four stories in Love's Pure Light, be transported to unique time periods as you follow a treasured family nativity set through four generations of the Shepherd family.

While Shepherds Watch Are Keeping by Susanne Dietze
Massachusetts, 1899
This Christmas, Pastor Seth Shepherd has little to offer his flock of congregants in their time of need until Jessalyn Grant, a mysterious newcomer, comes to his aid.

The Wise Guy and the Star by Shannon McNear
Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, 1919
While journeying by train, Stella Shepherd befriends war veteran Nat Wise. She helps him find renewed faith in God, but could he also be the answer to the wanderings of her own heart?

On Angel Wings by Janine Rosche
Kansas City, Missouri, 1945
Elodie Wise plans a fundraising ball with the help of her friend Benjamin Gabriel. But can she look past the swanky Hollywood headliner to see the man who truly loves her?

Making Room at the Inn by Deborah Raney
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Present Day
Benjie Gabriel thinks the chef's position she's just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary--just a stepping stone. The B&B's owner, Trevor Keye, thinks the same. Will five months be long enough for them to figure out that what they've each been longing for, praying for, is right beneath their noses?

A Joyful Christmas

Cynthia Hickey, Liz Johnson, Vickie McDonough, Liz Tolsma, Carrie Turansky, Erica Vetsch

A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart
Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations.

A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.

A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.

An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom?

Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.

Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?

Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?

An Amish Christmas Wedding

Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Kathleen Fuller, Vanetta Chapman

Evergreen Love by Amy Clipston

Ryan Lapp had promised to marry Lorene Bontrager as soon as he was able to build them a house, but the day never came. Ryan moved away. Five years later, Lorene has settled in to her old maid role, and she’s shocked when her younger sister announces her quick engagement to Ryan’s younger brother. As they rush to plan the wedding, Lorene is constantly around the family she almost joined. Worse, she’s forced to face Ryan himself, who has returned to town. As both Ryan and Lorene examine their own feelings, they must decide if they can find grace with each other—and the young people they once were—this Christmas season. There just might still be love in their future.

Holiday of Hope by Kelly Irvin

Henry Lufkin is one of four bachelors who lived in the West Kootenai, Montana, cabins that were destroyed by wildfires. He’s the only one of them who hasn’t since married, but he likes his solitude. Then an old friend asks him to care for his son, and Henry has to share his small cabin and his life with bewildered and rebellious ten-year-old Tommy. When the child encounters trouble at school, Henry reaches out to Tommy's teacher. Leesa Yoder never expected to find herself single and teaching sixteen young scholars, and she certainly didn’t anticipate an inexperienced bachelor telling her how to do her job. Amid the flying sparks, can Henry and Leesa see that there might be hope and love in this unexpected situation?

Wreathed in Joy by Kathleen Fuller

Mary Wengerd and Jakob Mullet have been best friends since childhood. Pressured by friends and family, they decided to date—with disastrous results. When they break up, their friendship is ruined. A year later, Mary is baking her Englisch friend’s wedding and groom cakes for a Christmas Eve wedding. Mary loves the Christmas season, and had always dreamed of marrying during that time. Now she wonders if she’ll ever marry. After she and Jakob form a tenuous new friendship, Mary breaks her arm. As he steps in to help her with the cakes, Mary is inexplicably and suddenly falling for him. But they've already dated, and that ended so horribly. Could it be better this time?


A Christmas Prayer by Vannetta Chapman

Widower Micah Miller runs the Amish Tour Company, offering Englischers a glimpse of a simpler life as well as tea at Rachel King’s. Rachel has never married and has recently lost her parents. When Micah comes across an abandoned and injured dog, he gives it to Rachel for company. As Rachel is charmed by the dog and shocked by news of the existence of family she never expected, her heart and mind bend toward the possibilities of change in her life—even toward the possibility of love.


Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn | Fiction Book Review

Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn

Davis Bunn
Fiction/Time Travel

The one thing he needs is a second chance. But it's the one thing he can never get--or so he thinks.

A few months before his twenty-first birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother's life. Adrian was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind rehashing the scene of his failure again and again.

When Adrian's widow appears, asking for his help in uncovering what was really behind his brother's death, Ethan is stunned. The legal case they were pursuing was more far-reaching than he could have imagined--it could even threaten the global power structure.

Ethan joins the search for answers at the ultimate cost. As he enters into his own past, will he discover a means to redeem the future?


My Thoughts

I usually don't enjoy books that have an element of science fiction in them. I find that I spend my time being skeptical and not able to just lose myself in the story. Burden of Proof isn't overly science fictiony but it does have an element of time travel in it. Once again Davis Bunn has made me rethink my snubbing of this genre.

We all have regrets in life that given the chance we would change. In Burden of Proof  Ethan Barrett is living with overwhelming regrets. But out of the blue he is given the chance for a do-over. He's transported back to a time just before his biggest regret. The story of how he changes things is heartbreaking and beautiful. 

I enjoyed this story so much that I really didn't even think about it being a time travel story. It was clever at times, incredibly sad at times, and joyous throughout. Without giving anything away let me tell you a secret I learned just in case I ever time travel . . .buy stock in Apple and Nintendo! (That's the clever part.)

Davis Bunn is a talented author and I've enjoyed every book of his that I've read. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is now my favorite. Not everyone has the opportunity for a do over with some of their deepest regrets but we can probably all relate to the family dynamics that this story explores. If you enjoy a story that will tug at your heartstrings, pick this one up!


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Davis Bunn




Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell to facilitate my review.







 

Point of Danger (Triple Threat #1) by Irene Hannon | Romantic Suspense Review

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

Triple Threat #1
Romantic Suspense

Hate mail was one thing. 

This was quite another.

Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews. But now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently.

But unless he can track down her elusive foe, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.


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My Thoughts

It's an exciting day when a book by Irene Hannon arrives in my mailbox! I enjoy reading romantic suspense and she has become a reliable source of entertainment in this field. Point of Danger is the beginning of a new series so I was looking forward to meeting the new characters and seeing where the series would take me.

The main characters are radio talk show host Eve Reilly and police detective Brent Lange. The story opens up with a ticking package on Eve's front porch. Is it a bomb? Who would leave a bomb on her front porch? 

As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that many people have nefarious motives towards Eve. She's an outspoken, right leaning, political talk show host and there are many that would love to see her silenced.

I loved trying to guess who the ultimate culprit was. I think I changed my mind two or three times before the plot was revealed. And when it was revealed I was pleasantly surprised! 

If you like suspense with a bit of romance mixed in, I recommend that you give Point of Danger a try. 

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Irene Hannon
Photo Credit: © DeWeesePhotography.com




I received a copy of this book from Revell to facilitate my review.




 

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