Book Review: Hostile Intent by Lynette Eason (Danger Never Sleeps, #4)

About the Book-

Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother’s illness has forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there’s no way she’s going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker.

Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can’t discover what it is, Ava may be next on the hit list.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason concludes her latest suspense-filled series with a bang as secrets are revealed and the guilty are brought to justice.

My Review-

Similar Reviews-

This story blew me away! This has been my favorite book in the series so far: while it was still wasn’t a book that I would consider ~literature~, it was definitely one that I might actually reread in the future and recommend to other people.

If nothing else, this book was so fast paced and exciting! Once I started, I could not put it down until I had finished the book. Some things that I think really contributed to my enjoyment of the book were: a POV from the antagonist–I always think that books are so much creepier and more exciting when there is a POV from the antagonist!–, the fact that it wasn’t a military based story–previous books in this series were focused on the military, and while Ava was in the navy, it was a very minor point in this book–, and that there was so much history based action/backstory. With that being said, there was quite a bit of brutally described murder, so if you’re particularly sensitive to things like that, this would not be the book for you.

The chemistry between the protagonist and the love interest was good, better than in many books that I’ve read. While childhood friend romances are sometimes hit or miss for me, this one felt really natural and sweet, and I really liked Caden and Ava’s dynamic. They were both realistic characters with depth to their personality, and I liked seeing the various aspects of their life as they also worked to solve this case, such as Ava’s relationship with her parents and sibling (the special connection she had with her father was so special and I loved reading it!).

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the Russian KGB being tied into this: I don’t really know enough about it to be well informed about the history and the likelihood of what occurred, but from what I knew, it was interesting I guess? It very much assumed a particular political stance blanketly, which I don’t fully agree with or understand, but like I said, I don’t really know enough to criticize it one way or another. While the background of the antagonist is very Russian KGB driven, the story overall doesn’t involve Russia a ton, which makes it much better than I would have otherwise rated it.

Like any Christian suspense book, there is a certain suspension of disbelief required to really enjoy this story: for instance, one of the office manager type people, Daria, seems to be able to procure and transmit information instantaneously, getting search warrants and BOLOs and cell phone tracking at an instant, which is . . . definitely not how it works. A lot of Ava’s ~knowledge~ really just isn’t feasible for any one person to be able to do, but chalking it up to her ~military background~ works for kind of disregarding the whole thing. Overlooking small things and not nitpicking unlikely scenarios like that really make the book a lot more enjoyable.

Overall, this is my favorite book out of the series (though I haven’t read the first one). It is very, very gory with descriptions of point-blank murder, so if you don’t like reading graphic violence like that, I would definitely not recommend it to you. However, if you enjoy fast paced suspense that isn’t laden with technological terms, characters, and legalism, this is the book for you.

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #2)

About the Book-

Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she’s determined to solve.

Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.

As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne’s way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

tw // attempted assault, pedophilia, anxiety attacks, PTSD

I was really looking forwards to this book! Since reading To Steal a Heart, book 1 in this series, I had been looking forwards to seeing Daphne’s perspective & love story on the page. She was such an interesting character and I was really looking forwards to seeing her point of view!

Unfortunately, those expectations fell a little flat. While Daphne was a really interesting character, she wasn’t as well rounded as I had expected, from the glimpses that was seen of her from the first book. Her romance with Herman was really lacking in chemistry (similar to the relationship in the first book). I didn’t get as much as a look into her head as I would have liked, and Herman was honestly a really flat character.

There wasn’t really an established backstory about Herman, nor was there any motivation behind any of the characters, both protagonist and antagonist. Herman in particular was the most nondescript man I have read in a while. His only character trait seemed to be that he was a big man. While he was a writer, he didn’t seem to have any inclinations towards writing: he never mentioned writing, he never had to spend time writing, or thinking about stories, or anything of the sort. While the story was partially told from his perspective, he didn’t contribute any interesting thoughts at all.

The story was interesting, though it was REALLY slow and felt pretty pointless. The premise was really interesting: a group of famous novel writers at a big house in the city, with someone who was trying to kill the host. However, the story was executed really poorly. The story revolved very little around the writers and the stories and the publishing content but way more about what their daily life was, but with very sparse details. It was really boring and I had to push to get through the middle third/40% of the book.

There was way less talk about the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency than I would have liked as well: in the previous book I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the agency and having it come together. In addition, the dialogue was really stilted and unrealistic, and while Jen Turano’s books always require a certain level of suspension of disbelief, the dialogue in this book was unrealistic to an awkward degree.

The only part of this book that really held my attention was the discussion of the heavier topics: both Daphne and Herman’s grandmother suffer from anxiety, the grandmother to a greater degree. Daphne was sexually harassed when she was younger, and the man returns further on the book to harass her some more. In addition, (spoilers ahead in white, highlight to read, aforementioned trigger warnings)

One of the antagonists corners Daphne in the hallway and says that she has been enticing him by “flipping her hair” and “curling her hair around her finger” starting from when she was 12 or 13, and attempts to assaults her. Nothing too graphic, but he does grab her and corner her in a room. It later then comes out that he also tried to sexually assault her when she was 13 (he didn’t do it, and only ended up kissing her non consensually), causing Daphne to have lasting PTSD.

While nothing really was described very closely, it did span several pages and occupy a pretty good chunk of conversation, so if you’re sensitive to topics like that, this might not be a good book for you. With that said, these topics were handled well, and with a pretty feminist bent, and I liked how they were discussed.

Overall, I was disappointed by this book: from what was teased of it from the previous book I was expecting this book to be much more interesting than it was, but it ended up being a lot of mundane discussion instead of drama. Most of the main characters were not very well developed and the dialogue and plot were not well-thought-through. There were some pretty heavy topics discussed, and I liked how they were done, but otherwise I unfortunately didn’t really enjoy this book very much.

My Rating-

2/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: Shadow by Kara Swanson (Heirs of Neverland #2) || Book Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway || Celebrate Lit Blog Tour

About the Book-

Book: Shadow
Author: Kara Swanson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers. Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems. Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever. To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.  

GoodReads || Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Book Depository || Christian Book

My Review-

Similar Review: Dust by Kara Swanson (Heirs of Neverland #1)

I have been looking forwards to reading this book since I finished Dust a year ago, and this book met my expectations! It is a direct continuation of the Peter Pan storyline that was started in Dust, and it was really fun. It was a lot darker than Dust, and I think that I like Dust more out of the duology, but overall I think it was a really coherent and well done set of books.

Shadow was set immediately after the end of Dust (60-70 years after the end of the Peter Pan story) and followed the same Peter Pan storyline, where Neverland is slowly dying and it is up to Peter to restore it. Unlike Dust, which happens in Peter Pan London, this book happens entirely in Neverland, and it was thoroughly entrenched in the fantasy world. It took me a while to get back into the story, and remember the significance of the characters, and so I would recommend reading both books pretty closely to each other.

The imagery of this book was immaculate: I LOVED all the description of the scenery and the setting: it was so vividly described & it was all so magical! Like in Dust, I wasn’t a huge fan of any of the main characters and really struggled to relate to them, though that generally happens to some degree with me for fantasy books. Peter and Claire’s character development was really incredible, and I really loved both of their growths over the course of the book.

The pacing of the story felt slow, although the story itself occurred over the course of only a couple days (a few months, but only a few specific days were closely described). The timing of this story was well done: although there was a section where there was a several month gap, it didn’t feel out of place or hard to follow at all, which happens frequently in books where there are gaps like that.

I really liked the overall message of the book: that no matter how hard you want it, reality is such that this world is a broken place and the only thing you can do is to do your part to make it better, not trying to hang on to the past. The hope, the promise, the future–this story arc was incredible!

Overall, I really liked this book for the storytelling, the setting, and the character growth. I loved how the same magic and wonder from Dust and Peter Pan was captured, but with a dose of reality and the darkness that is also in the world. The hope in this book was really touching to read, despite how heavy and dark this book was, which really encapsulates what this book is like.

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.  

Giveaway-

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Enter Here

For more information about this blog tour, and exclusive content from the author about Shadow, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here.

Meeting My Internet Friends for the First Time!! || Hailey Hudson, Totally Graced

Hello friends! Today I’m just popping on here to let you all know that I have a new video up! In case you haven’t been following my Instagram (@hanneasinhannah), last month I flew down to Atlanta, Georgia to meet up with two of my longest internet friends, Hailey and Grace Anne!

Both of them have been on my blog a couple of times previously, and they also both have blogs, as well as Instagram and Twitter. I’ve known them for at least 4, if not 5 years, and they have been such a huge part of my life over the past few years, so it was super fun to get to meet them!

Appearances on my blog:

Hailey’s socials: blog || instagram || twitter

Grace Anne’s socials: blog || instagram || twitter

While we were together, we filmed a Q+A about being internet friends, and it was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy it! Be sure to go check out both Hailey and Grace Anne, if you aren’t following them already 🙂



How long have you been on the internet for? Do you know Hailey or Grace Anne? If you could meet one of your internet friends, who would it be? Leave a comment and let me know!

Book Review: At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth (Alice and Ivy #3)

About the Book-

Title: At Her Fingertips
Series: The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book #3
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Era: Late Victorian (1880)
Release Date: July 17th, 2021
Amazon || GoodReads

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

This is book 3 in Kellyn Roth’s Alice and Ivy series, and I was looking forwards to reading it! While books 1 and 2 were set fairly close together, this book was set quite a ways after, when Alice and Ivy are 18. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did the earlier ones, but I still enjoyed being immersed in their world and following along their stories!

This book was once again told from Alice’s point of view, as in The Dressmaker’s Secret (book 1). In this book Alice felt really immature and shallow, and while she goes through a lot of character development, overall, I still felt like the character from book 1 that I so related to and enjoyed following was gone. Instead in her place was a little brat who didn’t really seem to consult God in her life, unlike the Alice from book 1. She was going through her first Season in London, and the entire time she was obsessed with getting married and starting a family, and all but disregarded wise input from trusted people in her life.

The pacing of this story was much slower than the other two books: it was too long in my opinion, and I had to force myself to push through it. While there were interesting segments, much of the book was spent in introspection and conversation, and it really wasn’t interesting to me. The love story also didn’t really make sense to me–while I understand the point of who Alice ended up marrying, I don’t think that it was the best fit, and there wasn’t any chemistry between her and her partner. I also really didn’t like the dehumanizing way that she treated Ivy: while Ivy might have been “slower,” there was no reason to baby her and insult her.

There were a lot of minor characters from previous books that didn’t make a reappearance, which I was really sad about! Mrs. Chattoway never showed back up, and Alice and Ivy’s parents weren’t in the book as much as I expected. Alice and Ivy have since added several younger siblings to their family, and Nettie’s growing family was also there, so it was lively, though the children weren’t really in the book much either. Since the previous book, a lot of the perspective of children seems to have been lifted, which was one of my favorite parts about the previous books, so I was a little sad to not have that, although I understand that the main characters are older now and that childhood innocence is no longer there.

This book is presented as women’s fiction, and is not for younger readers: there are some very heavy topics discussed that are not suitable for younger readers. There were a lot of hard topics discussed, which has been the part that has most impressed me about this series. In this book, miscarriage is the one mostly discussed, but also domestic abuse, rape, and the role of a family/marriage in a Christian perspective. However, in this book, some topics felt really preachy, particularly the one regarding marrying a Christian. While yes, it is important to pursue godly relationships and honor Christ in a relationship, having the “uneven yoke” discussion FOUR TIMES in a book is really too much.

There was a lot of talk about not marrying a Christian, so much so that some sections seemed repetitive. In addition, there was a segment at a masquerade ball where one of the characters spoke a lot about masks being “dehumanizing” and “a removal of personhood” and “taking away individuality,” clearly a reflection on the use of masks in the pandemic. While I am all for the inclusion of the author’s perspectives in a book, this inclusion was unnecessary in my opinion.

The Gospel message was not quite as clearly presented in this book as the others, which was a little disappointing, though I expect that readers of this book are almost guaranteed to be Christian, considering how heavy the “you have to marry a Christian” talk is.

Overall, I did enjoy being in the setting again, though this book wasn’t my favorite out of the series. I’ll continue to read the rest of the books Kellyn Roth puts out, because I am invested in these characters now, but I think that books 1 and 2 are looking to be my favorite out of the series.

My Rating-

5/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about Keira Knightley and her own books way too much.

Website || Blog || Newsletter || Instagram || Facebook || Twitter || GoodReads

Book Review: The Chase by Lisa Harris (US Marshals #2)

About the Book-

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing–it’s time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that’s gone wrong–and things are about to get worse.

For these bank robbers, it’s never been just about the money. It’s about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else–someone close to them–gets hurt . . . or worse.

From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn’t an option.

My Review-

Similar Review-

This was the second book in the US Marshals series by Lisa Harris, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was a continuation of the previous book in the series, rather than being told from an alternate perspective, like many suspense trilogies are apt to do. I was really invested in the storyline from the previous book, and I was really glad that it came back and is being told in this book.

It did take me a couple chapters to get back into the book: I’d forgotten some of the details surrounding the last book, but all the details were well presented and I started remembering what each of the plot points were as I continued on in the book.

Like in other Lisa Harris books I’ve read, I am a little skeptical of some of the details regarding how this case was solved and the legality of some of the players within this book. For instance, the events of most of this book happen on Madison’s first day back at work after being shot, and I have a really hard time thinking that she would be allowed to go investigate a bank robbery on the first day back, you know? I was a little skeptical about the fact that the intern (presumably a college student?) was allowed to touch a lot of the evidence and sift through data and stuff: the legality of things like that seems suspect at best. The fact that Jonas’ ex just , , , happened to be at one of the crime scenes so that they could wrap up loose ends?? was SO strange and out of place?? Some suspension of disbelief has to happen to enjoy this book for sure.

I really did enjoy reading the secondary (overarching) narrative that has threaded through both books from this series: the mystery of who killed Madison’s husband Luke is honestly more intriguing than the main suspense story line, and I was excited to see it pick up again in this book.

The ending felt really rushed: the action was fast paced up until around the 85% mark of the book, and then it . . . just all got resolved neatly? Which didn’t really seem like it would fit with how the rest of the book had gone. The pacing was a little off: there were some scenes that took several pages but was only a few minutes, but then a few scenes that were time-wise really long but described in a few sentences. There’s probably a more technical term for it, but all I know is that the timing was a little difficult to follow in places.

The romance thread was stronger in this one, which was honestly to be expected. I wasn’t a huge fan of how it progressed, but I did expect it to be stronger, due to the overlying story arc of the series.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, although I found it unmemorable and pretty standard to any other Christian suspense fiction book. The story kept me reading, and with a bit of suspension of disbelief, it is a good read for a quiet afternoon.

My Rating-

6/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Power Play by Rachel Dylan (Capital Intrigue #3)

About this Book-

When State Department attorney Vivian Steele witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event’s security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, even ahead of the rules and regulations. 

As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, Viv turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob’s reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks?

My Review-

Similar Reviews-

I’ve officially finished reading through my first Rachel Dylan series: the Capital Intrigue series! It wasn’t personally my favorite, but I did enjoy it! I really enjoyed the aspects of law that Rachel was able to include through her own experience as an attorney, and I feel like I learned a lot through reading this series!

As for this book itself, I think I liked it secondmost out of the other books in this series: my ranking for this series is 1) Backlash, 2) Power Play, and 3) End Game. Overall I did enjoy this story, but there were several aspects that could have been done better, in my opinion.

As is the case with the rest of Dylan’s books, there were a TON of characters that were not given enough screen time to really be distinguishable, at least for me. I tend to do poorly in stories where there are many characters, and I have always struggled to read her books in this regard. I was also a little confused because the characters from this story didn’t really connect with the ones from the previous two books (I don’t remember if I felt the same way between books 1 & 2?) so it felt like I had to learn an entire new cast of characters.

I didn’t really connect with either of the protagonists: both of them seemed pretty invincible, and while it was known that Jacob had some secrets from his past, it was well over 2/3 of the way of the book had elapsed before they were divulged. Viv appeared perfect in every regard, and no flaws of hers were ever really demonstrated. On top of that, it was kind of an insta-hate to insta-love kind of situation? Basically, they saw each other and decided they hated each other, and then when Viv gets attacked, it immediately turns into insta-love?? Which I . . . did not get whatsoever: I didn’t understand the motive behind why the protagonists acted the way they did, so in that regard, the story was hard to follow. (Thy were also basically making out frequently while simultaneously saying that they shouldn’t date, so that was Weird).

Like the last book in the series, I enjoyed the B-plot of this book much more than I did the main plot, although the B-plot seemed to not have as much happen as in the other books (at least according to my recollection).

In terms of the actual story, I thought it was pretty well executed. I don’t really know enough about politics to talk about the realism of this book: as far as I can tell, the people who worked together seemed feasible enough, but it very well could have been super unrealistic and I just don’t know. It wasn’t /super/ exciting, but there was plenty of action and the resolution was satisfactory. It wasn’t the most interesting, but it was fine. The ending felt a bit rushed, but everything tied up satisfactorily, so I didn’t hate it.

Overall, I don’t have any strong feelings about this book: it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the worst either. The book kept my interest throughout, and while it wasn’t a page turner either, I did enjoy the process of reading it.

My Rating-

3/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: No Journey Too Far by Carrie Turansky (McAlister Family #2)

About the Book-

A family long divided, a mysterious trunk, and a desperate journey across the ocean—all in the name of love. The epic saga of the McAlisters continues in this riveting sequel to No Ocean Too Wide.

In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Though she is fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for ten years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth?

After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon—his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart.

My Review-

Similar Reviews-

This book was the sequel to No Ocean Too Wide, set 10 years after the first one. In that book, four siblings and their mother were separated; three of them were sent to Canada, having been mistaken as orphans. In that book, 2 of the children were reunited with their family, and in this one, the last child is finally reunited. I did not expect the large time gap between the two books, especially with the cliffhanger book 1 ended on, but I do think it was really well done.

The space between the stories allowed for there to have been a lot of changes in the book, and was realistic in that stories do not often intersect as easily in real life as in stories. There is a slight romance in this book: it is the love story between one of the children, Garth, and a girl he met while working in Canada, Emma. In addition, the book covers the story of Grace, the youngest child, being reunited with her family, as aforementioned. These three storylines intertwine over the course of this book, as well as all the adventures and mishaps that happen along the way.

The storytelling in this book wasn’t my favorite: it felt like the author really “told not showed,” which is generally bad writing form. It felt really passive, and I never really felt connected to any of the characters because all of their actions were described, and their thoughts were never really described. In addition, some of the writing was really stilted and it did not feel like there was enough proofreading done to make the story flow better.

I also felt like the backstory could have been established better: there were some aspects of Grace’s personality that did not really make sense, and some of her actions did not really align with what her character portrayed. (Spoiler: highlight to read-

she runs away from home because her parents didn’t believe Garth was her brother, but then the next time she talked to them they understood??? so WHY didn’t she just,,,talk to her parents earlier?)

Without knowing the motivation behind the characters, understanding them and the reasoning behind their actions was a little difficult and threw me off a lot. The characters also . . . never really worried about money? Laura’s husband (whose story was told in the first book) was really rich, and seemed to just pay for everything but . . . it kind of feels like traveling between England and Canada shouldn’t have been easy as it appeared in the book. That also affected how I felt about the realism of the book.

There was a lot of spiritual content in this book, which was really nice! The story is kicked off by Grace finding her Bible and rediscovering her faith. The characters all had strong faith and prayed and talked about their faith a lot. There was a lot of adult content as well though: there was one mention of a man trying to force himself on Emma while he was drunk, as well as other implications of men wanting to take advantage of women.

My last critique of this book is that it tied things together too well. I called each of the plot points before they happened, even the one that was supposed to be the plot twist: and the story wasn’t really engaging to read because the entire plot is predictable. The story seems to wrap up neatly with a bow, and the chances of each of those things individually happening was quite low, much less them all together. Because of that, it was difficult to believe the realism of this book.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. It was very inspirational, and highlighted some of the atrocities of history and discrimination. I recommend this book if you are looking for a lighthearted read with a historical background; in addition, I definitely recommend reading the two books in the duology in order (though maybe with a bit of time in between because of the time gap between the books).

My Rating-

3/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.