Best Book I’ve Read This Year!!!

FORD

FORD (Montana Marshalls) by Susan May Warren

“I think hope is also about who you hope in.  Maybe you don’t trust the circumstances, but the source.”

Goodness!!  The third book in Susan May Warren’s Montana Marshalls series, FORD, is absolutely fantastic!!  In fact, it’s so good that I am having a really hard time putting into words just how much I love it.  I am not generally one to choose a single favorite book, because there are so many wonderful ones available.  But FORD, oh FORD!  This book shot straight to the top of my favorites list before I was even done reading it.

Susan May Warren is a fabulous author.  I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever read of hers.  I knew the Montana Marshalls series was going to special when I read and fell in love with the first book, KNOX.  TATE came next and the story was just amazing.  And then FORD…FORD is riveting.

This series centers around the six Marshall siblings.  Reuben’s story was told in a previous series.  Knox and Tate’s stories were shared in the first two Montana Marshalls books.  And now, in book three, we learn the story of Ford Marshall…and some of his twin sister RJ’s story.  Wyatt’s story is yet to come.  Reminiscent of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series and Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series, these books revolve around a very intertwined family.  This is my favorite kind of series because all of the family members show up in some fashion in every book.  As readers, we are drawn into the family and are actually made to feel a part of the family.

I loved everything about FORD.  As you can surmise from the title, this book is Ford’s story.  We met Ford and Scarlett and began to get to know them in TATE.  Ford is a Navy Seal and Scarlett is a communications expert turned Rescue Swimmer candidate.  This book takes us to Russia as Ford and Scarlett go on a crazy dangerous mission to try and save Ford’s twin sister, RJ…a CIA analyst who went into the field to try and save someone’s life but became a target herself.  Enter York, an ex-special ops soldier who is working independently and becomes RJ’s self-appointed protector.

The way Susan May Warren interwove the character development with the suspense, the spiritual elements and the romance is unparalleled.  She creates characters that are so exceptionally real that I had to remind myself, more than once, that they are fictional and that my “friends” would be okay…even when it seemed that they wouldn’t.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through.  Between Ford and York, the intensity and suspense was gripping.  Although I enjoy suspense, I am a bit jumpy and since hiding in the hall or behind the couch isn’t effective while reading a book, I had to put down the phone when it got really suspenseful.  Haha…up and down, and up and down, and up down my phone went.  I couldn’t leave it down for long though because I had to see what was going to happen next!

The spiritual elements sprinkled throughout Christian fiction books are one of the main reasons that I read Christian fiction.  In FORD, there is a stark difference between Ford’s belief in God, the way he leans on Him and calls out to Him for help, and Scarlett’s bitterness and unbelief.  This allows for some beautiful spiritual conversations to take place that we get to witness and be challenged by ourselves.

And, as we can always expect from Susan May Warren, the romance is woven throughout the story with just enough tension to be believable and to cause you to root for them to find a way past the hurdles and into a God-honoring relationship.

And as if all of that weren’t enough, the author’s use of humor throughout the story brings a breath of fresh air amidst the mad dash across Russia to keep RJ alive.

Wow…just wow!  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  Read it…you’ll be glad you did!  The books in this series are set up to overlap each other.  So if you have not read KNOX or TATE yet, start there because you really don’t want to miss any of this series!!

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

The-Killing-Tide-by-Dani-Pettrey

 

“Jesus walking on water, calming the storm… Knowing He tamed something so wild and free settled her soul in a way nothing else did.”

 

Wow…just wow!  The Killing Tide is the first book in Dani Pettrey’s new Coastal Guardians series…and what a way to get things started!!  It’s fantastic!  In true Dani Pettrey fashion, this book captured me from the get-go and didn’t let go all the way through.

I very much enjoyed getting to know the new cast of characters.  The author sets up this new series well, introducing us to many new characters in a way that doesn’t overwhelm, but leaves us looking forward to learning their stories as the series continues.

Both Finn and Gabby are strong characters that evoke great emotion in the reader.  From the beginning the reader is pulled into the life of Finn and can’t help but root for him both in his career and his personal life.  Gabby is very headstrong and determined, not willing to take no for an answer.  Her tenacity has the potential of putting her in very dangerous positions and causes the reader to worry for her safety.

The suspense definitely kept me on the edge of my seat!  When watching a suspenseful movie, I am known to be quite jumpy.  And the further from the screen I am, the safer I feel.  So, as my family and friends can attest, hiding in the hall or behind a couch is a normal occurrence. Haha!   With a book I’ll never learn what happens from the hall or behind the couch…so, when it gets a bit too suspenseful and I need to feel safe, the book gets decidedly shut.  That happened more than once in this story.  But, of course, it couldn’t remain shut for long because I just had to find out what was going to happen next!!  It was written perfectly, keeping me guessing the identity of the “bad guy” to the very end!

Readers of The Killing Tide are privy to the thoughts and perspectives of some of the other characters as well.  Rissi is one of those characters and the ending sets up the next book beautifully.  I’m already anticipating its release!

Dani Pettrey is a fantastic author and her stories never disappoint.  If you love romantic suspense, you don’t want to miss this book.

Montana Marshalls #2 – TATE

Tate cover

“We love, simply because we’re loved.  God’s love comes first and ours is just a response.  We didn’t trigger it – He did.”

I have always loved Susan May Warren’s writing.  Her contemporary, her historical, her suspense…it’s all fabulous!  She crafts characters that you connect with from the moment you meet them…and from then on you consider them friends.  She draws you into each story and you are not only entertained, but ministered to.

As soon as I heard about the Montana Marshalls series, I knew I wanted to read them.  I purchased the first book, KNOX, and it was sitting on my to-be-read pile when I heard that TATE was soon to hit shelves.  These books were coming out fast!  I devoured them both and oh my goodness!!! Ah-maz-ing!!!  So, so good.  I couldn’t put them down…KNOX or TATE and I really, really can’t wait for FORD to become available!

Until I started reading KNOX, I thought that the Montana Marshalls were marshals…as in law enforcement marshals.  Haha – nope!  This series is a family with the last name of Marshall.  This is my favorite kind of series because the siblings all play a part in each book.  We know them all, on some level, from the beginning of the series which makes the rest of the series that much better.  I am a stickler for reading my books in order.  With this series, I would recommend that even readers who aren’t sticklers read them in order, as the author has set this series up to overlap one another.

We have a good feeling for who the main characters, Tate and Glo, are when we start TATE because they were such an integral part of KNOX.  We are already invested in their relationship even though there are some huge obstacles to conquer to make it work.   I loved seeing them grow and learn to overcome these obstacles.  I also loved seeing them learn to truly rely on God and His leading.  I can’t say enough good about this book – or this series.  If you don’t already have them in your to-be-read pile…order them now!!