Still Life

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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!

That Certain Summer By Irene Hannon

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Irene Hannon is a fabulous author!  I have absolutely loved every book I’ve read by her and I am continually looking for the next one.  With that said, That Certain Summer was not at the top of my to-be-read stack.  I had no doubt that it would be a good book, but I was hesitant since the other books I’ve read of  hers have all been suspense AND I had other books on my list that I really wanted to read.  I ended up with That Certain Summer almost by chance.  I had a coupon expiring that day and the book I went to the bookstore looking for was not in stock.

When I picked up the book to begin reading it (after having it home for a week or so), I noticed that this story would be told from four different perspectives.  Sometimes that can be confusing, but Irene did an amazing job of building her characters and interweaving the story line in a way that leaves you feeling as if you’re right there with them and I had no trouble at all following each of them.

Irene tackled multiple important and difficult issues in this book from divorce to abortion, and becoming disabled to death.  She seamlessly interweaves the issues each character is experiencing with the love, hope, forgiveness and grace we can find through Christ.  And she gives us amazing examples of how we ought to respond and react as Christians in the midst of these types of scenarios.

I highly recommend this book and I know I won’t hesitate in the least to pick up her next contemporary novel.  For now, I’m waiting in anticipation for Trapped, the second book in her Private Justice series that expected out next month!