Blind Spot – Chesapeake Valor #3

Oh my goodness!!  Dani Pettrey has done it again.  The third book in her Chesapeake Valor series, Blind Spot, is fantastic!  I don’t know how she does it, but each new book is better than the last – and since … Continue reading

Still Life

still-life-book-cover

Maybe I should preface this with the fact that I LOVE everything Dani Pettrey writes!  So, I can’t help but gush about her newest novel…Still Life, the second book in her new Chesapeake Valor series.

And, I must admit, I loved her Alaskan Courage series and characters so much, I was sad to see her moving on.  But, if there was ever any question (not by me, of course) as to whether or not her writing would be just as wonderful in her next series, it has been laid to rest.  The Chesapeake Valor series is full of captivating romance and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  If you haven’t read Cold Shot yet, go get it and pick up Still Life while you’re there!!

This series is set near Chesapeake Bay; Still Life, specifically in Baltimore, Maryland.  I’m really enjoying learning more of this area since I’ve never been there and don’t remember reading much else set nearby.

Parker is a crime-scene analyst.  He previously hired Avery as his crime-scene photographer and her life has never been the same.  At the start of this book, they haven’t seen each other in six months.  Out of necessity she calls on Parker…and that’s where this fabulous story begins.  The relationship between Parker and Avery exhibits the true love of putting the best interest of someone else ahead of your own interests…even if it does prove to be a bit misguided.  I loved the depth of Parker and Avery’s characters.  I loved the spiritual threads of forgiveness and continual communication with God in this book.

The twists and turns in the story line of Still Life keeps you on your toes.  Suspenseful movies often have me hiding in the hallway or at least standing at the back of the room.  This book had me a little jumpy and I even had to put the book down at one point to prepare myself for what I thought was going to happen.

If you enjoy romantic suspense, this series is for you!  These books can be read as stand-alones, but why would you want to?  Haha…I’m a stickler for reading my books in order because I love the added layer of familiarity with the other characters and past experiences when you do.  Either way…in order or not, be sure to pick up Cold Shot and Still Life!  You won’t be disappointed!

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey (And…My 1st Giveaway)

It has been too long since I’ve reviewed a book on my blog, but with the final book in Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage Series out, I had to come out of hibernation to tell you all about it.  (Well, not … Continue reading

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Unspoken by Dee Henderson

Maybe I ought to preface this review with the confession that I may be a tad biased.  You see, Dee Henderson is my all-time favorite author.  I have never read a book by her that I didn’t LOVE.  And since this is my first blog post for one of her books, I can’t help but tell you why I LOVE her so much! 

**  I love the way she writes. 

**I love the way she develops her characters. 

**I love the way her characters instantly matter to you – they become “real” to you and you care for them and their family as much as you care for your own. 

**I love the unique way that her characters continue to re-appear in other books, often more than just in passing. 

**I love that she doesn’t shy away from difficult topics and circumstances. 

**I love the reality of her stories. 

**I love the “real” problems that people face and the “real” way she brings it around to conclusion. 

**I love most of all her love of God and the way she brings a relationship with Him to life in each book. 

**I love the way she tackles difficult and real reasons that people choose not to, or can’t bring themselves to believe in God, and yet she takes the time to share with and bring each around to an understanding of who God is and who He wants to be in their lives. 

Dee Henderson captures my heart in every book.  I have never read a book by Dee that didn’t have an impact on my life and leave me wanting to read more, know the characters better and draw closer to Jesus.  I know I could go on and on and on, but this is supposed to be a review about a specific book.  Guess I’ll get to it. 

Due to some changes in publishing matters, Dee Henderson took a break from writing.  Much to her faithful fans delight, Full Disclosure which released October, 2012, was the break of her six years of quiet.  Full Disclosure and Unspoken are not “officially” considered a series, but may I strongly suggest that you read Full Disclosure prior to opening Unspoken?  If you’ve read my other reviews, you will remember that I am a stickler for reading books in order.  You get to know people in Full Disclosure who are also prominent characters in Unspoken.  Although you can read Unspoken as a standalone, knowing the stories of these characters will create a much richer reading experience.

I joined and have enjoyed being a part of a couple of Facebook reading groups.  A comment that I read on one of these group boards about Unspoken shortly after it released indicated that this book was slower than other Dee Henderson books.  Reading that comment, prior to reading the book myself, gave me pause.  I took it as possibly negative.  Having now read the book, I must say that I agree.  It was a little slower – although when I think about it, I feel the same way about Full Disclosure.  I have discovered however that the pace is one of my favorite parts of these two books.  I feel that the slower pace, without changing the suspenseful story line, allows for deeper connections with the characters.  It also lends to a deeper spiritual emphasis – deeper in that it tackles some real tough reasons to disbelieve or be questioning one’s faith.  Dee doesn’t gloss over someone’s real struggles in believing in or trusting God.   God has blessed her with the ability to meet even the toughest reasons of disbelief, ones that when explained, even a strong believer can’t find a good way to refute, with humble love and grace.  This leads to a real understanding of who God is.  I grew up in church and accepted Christ as my personal Savior at a young age, so I have no personal concept of how one could not believe that.  Dee Henderson has been one of the biggest influences in helping me see from other’s perspectives, in helping me understand why it’s not as easy for everyone.  She demonstrates how to love others to Jesus.  It’s an amazing gift that she has and I can’t describe it adequately.

Another favorite aspect of Dee’s books, which Unspoken illustrates very well, is the way her characters re-appear.  I absolutely love the unique way that she has of interlacing her characters.  Characters from her first books appear in Full Disclosure!  I loved hearing from some of them after so many years!  It’s just as exciting to see that characters from Full Disclosure have prominent roles in Unspoken.  I love that Dee’s characters aren’t locked up in their own books, but they travel from book to book and we get to see their relationships grow as well.  We get to know them and we get to revisit them.  It’s very unique.  I don’t know of another author that does this as well as Dee does.  (I love that she’s been mentoring Dani Pettrey in how to do this though!!)

I adored the gentle romance of this book.  I feel that the patience and constancy of Bryce’s character exemplifies Christ’s romancing of us – He is endlessly patient with us and is constantly there waiting for us to turn to Him.

I have other favorite things to share, but since I don’t want any spoilers in this review, I’m going to end.  I will however end with the wonderfully exciting news that we don’t have to wait another whole year for the next one…only half a year.  Undetected will hit the shelves in May, 2014.  And from the little that I was able to gather so far on her website, it appears that one of the characters for Undetected is related to one of the characters in Unspoken!!  LOVE it!!!  I’m so excited.

May 2014 is going to be an amazing month…a new Dee Henderson book AND a new Dani Pettrey book!!

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

 

Book #1 Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey

Book #1 Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Do you love romantic suspense novels?  Have you read Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage Series??  If you haven’t, you are missing out!!

Although the first book, Submerged caught my eye when I first saw it on the bookstore shelf over a year ago, I kept putting off purchasing it because she was a new author and there were so many books by my favorites I hadn’t read yet.  After finding Dani on Facebook and following the excitement for the release of the second book, Shattered, I couldn’t put it off any longer.  Armed with my coupon I headed to my local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.  A pleasant surprise was in store for me at the bookstore, her first book was on sale for only $5!!  YES!!

What I didn’t realize at the time was that an even better surprise was in store for me when I opened her book.  I already knew I was going to enjoy it because it was set in Alaska.  Ever since my spontaneous, whirlwind trip to Alaska with my mom and best friend to surprise my dad, anything having to do with Alaska seems to peak my interest.

Dani Pettrey was also recommended by Dee Henderson, who is arguably my favorite author (yes, arguably is the correct term to use here because I argue with myself over who is my favorite!  I cannot choose only one!  Dee and Dani are joined by Francine Rivers, Susan May Warren, and Robin Jones Gunn in my top five favorites).  If Dee Henderson recommended her, I was sure to like her!

What I found in her book was an amazing set of characters that I instantly fell in love with, a town with a history that I wanted to learn more about and enough suspense to keep me guessing at how it would all turn out.  I couldn’t wait for the next book in the series.  Thankfully, Shattered was already available.  The second book was just as wonderful as the first.  I asked Dani, “When can we go to Alaska and meet them?”  Now we must be patient, book three, Stranded is not yet available.  The countdown is on, 55 more days according to her website.  As much as I want this book like yesterday, if you haven’t read her books yet, it will give you time to catch up (although I’m sure that won’t take long at all!)

Exciting news for all of you though…Shattered, the second book of the series is currently available at LIfeway Christian Stores for only $5!  It’s your turn to be blessed!!  Although you can read these books as stand-alones, I highly recommend reading them in order and really getting to know these fabulous characters.

I would love to hear what you think and what God’s taught you through these books!