Tag Archives: Deceit

Review & Giveaway: Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering

DEATH AT THORBURN HALL

A Drew Farthering Mystery, #6

by
JULIANNA DEERING
  Genre: Historical British Mystery / Suspense
Date of Publication: November 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 336

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Investigating a suspicious accident leads Drew on a path that points to international intrigue and ever-growing danger

Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield, hoping for a relaxing holiday with his wife, Madeline, and friend Nick. But death meets him once again when Lord Rainsby, their host at Thorburn Hall, is killed in a suspicious riding accident–only days after confiding in Drew his fears that his business partner was embezzling funds.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each appears to have dark motives for wanting Rainsby out of the way. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.



PRAISE FOR DEATH AT THORBURN HALL:

“Amateur sleuthing at its finest!”–Fresh Fiction Review

“Another great mystery headed by the charming Drew Farthering and his intelligent wife, Madeline. There is murder, mystery, intrigue and a little romance, which makes Death at Thorburn Hall a most enjoyable read . . . The plot has twists, turns and a few surprises throughout the story. Deering is at her best when penning Drew Farthering mysteries.”–RT Book Reviews
“This sixth series entry will delight Agatha Christie fans.”
Library Journal

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I don’t know what it is about this book that brings to mind authors like Evelyn Waugh and Bernard Malamud, but it reads instantly like a classic. I think I’m not the only one who thinks so since the cover art chosen is also very classic. The premise – bougie people spending the week in Scotland watching a golf tournament – super classic.
But don’t make the mistake in reading classic as boring or predictable. Deering does a masterful job of building this world of interesting characters. I especially like the relationship between Drew and Madeline. While we aren’t filled in too much about what has happened in the previous books, we can gather that the couple has been through the wringer together. I love that Madeline bravely stands by her husband and refuses to cower in fear. Nick and Carrie seem to have a hard time reconnecting because Carrie is still traumatized by past events. It is truly agonizing trying to will those two together.
There are a few more couples in the book but more than a few complicated storylines that tie everyone together. The first murder and each mishap that follows threatens to sever those lines, making the motive and the murderer more elusive than ever. My first hunch was off but my second hunch was validated when one character met their demise. I’m curious to see if any of you readers get it right from the first. Deering does an amazing job of spreading breadcrumbs all around in a uniform fashion. No bait and switch here. And I’m so glad because that is such a cheap trick in mystery novels.
I’m tempted to blather on but I would hate to ruin anything. Let me just end this review by saying that there’s a pleasant reveal at the end. I definitely didn’t see it coming and it was handled beautifully. Read this if you want to immerse yourself into a perfect mystery novel.
JULIANNA DEERING (also writing as DeAnna Julie Dodson) has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness, and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching, and watching NHL hockey. Her series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014). Dressed for Death (2016), and Murder on the Moor and Death at Thorburn Hall (2017). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books and Such Literary Agency.


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Review & Giveaway: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

HEART ON THE LINE
Ladies of Harper’s Station #2
by
Karen Witemeyer
  Genre: Christian / Historical / Frontier Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
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Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship—dare he believe, courtship?—over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

PRAISE FOR HEART ON THE LINE:
“Witemeyer blends history, suspense, and romance with touches of humor. Women will enjoy this story that proves heroes come in unexpected shapes and sizes and not always on a white charger.”Christian Market

“Online dating meets 1890s Texas in this charming, spiritually deep, laugh-out-loud funny romance!”—reader review on Goodreads
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300b2-review
My heart did a happy dance TWICE immediately upon beginning this book. I love telegrams. I have no idea why. I think I have romantic connotations with the communication medium because of the Sound of Music. The second thing that made my heart so happy was that the main character was a strong, independent woman with a quick wit. I love female characters with gumption, but more on that later.
Harper’s Station struck me as sort of a Neverland, being a women’s colony and with a definite “no boys allowed” vibe hanging in the air. The few men who live or have access to the town must be trustworthy because the women of Harper’s Station are tough. Aunt Henry might be getting on in years but she can still pull a terrifying pistol on uninvited guests. I haven’t read the prequel to this book, but Witemeyer does a great job of filling in some details so you don’t feel lost. I got attached to each character quickly, so you know I will be going back to read Book One.
But back to the romance of telegrams, this book delivers that warm and fluttery feeling. The idea of falling in love with someone and recognizing them by the style of their tapping was so cute. It sort of reminds me of how my heart would race when my AOL instant messenger would sound when I got a late night chat request from my latest crush. Not the same, I know. That’s why telegrams are so wonderful.
If you didn’t catch on to Grace’s smarts from the espionage-worthy plans she works out with her father, you definitely see them when she tests the two strangers who come to town. I don’t want to ruin any of it, so I will just say that Witemeyer’s writing style paints the scene with Amos beautifully. And when you start to worry that our heroine might be duped by dashing good looks, Witemeyer drops tiny descriptive sprinkles that will dissipate those qualms.
The storyline is a little predictable if you’re an avid romance reader, but the details are what captivate you and urge you to read on. I still felt the suspense and would wonder what sequence of events would lead us to the happy ending.
I’m adding this book to my cozy reading collection: books that I read when I need some uplifting or simply want to feel comfy wrapped up in a blanket with hot cocoa. I highly recommend that you add it to yours as well.
 

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. 

 





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Review & Giveaway: The Heart of a Texas Cowboy by Linda Broday

THE HEART OF A
TEXAS COWBOY
Men of Legend, Book 2
by
LINDA BRODAY
  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance
Date of Publication: May 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 384
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Three Brothers. One Oath.

No Compromises.
The MEN of LEGEND
One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.
All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. The best she can hope for is kindness and acceptance. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured.
In an effort to save the Lone Star Ranch, Houston decides to drive two thousand longhorns up the Great Western Trail to Dodge City. The day before he leaves, the cook quits. When he can’t find another on such short notice, Lara offers to go along and fill in. Over his best judgement, he lets her. Three days out, he notices riders trailing them. Things go from bad to worse and it’s an all-out fight to try to save themselves and the herd.
And when Lara’s troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.
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Praise for The Heart of a Texas Cowboy:
“Broday brilliantly captures Lara and Houston’s hesitations and growing love. The exciting plot, rich setting, and superb writing will delight fans of historical romances.” ~~Publisher’s Weekly *Starred Review

“This compassionate, poignant marriage-of-convenience love story demonstrates Broday’s ability to bring a wide range of emotions to her characters in a fast-paced plotline without losing a bit of the powerful love story. Add this to your Western romance collection!” ~~Romantic Times
“Ms. Broday’s conclusion of this phenomenal book is heart gripping, blood pounding drama at its finest. This one will keep readers revisiting again and again in years to come.~~ Tonya Lucas- Goodreads Review

“One of the best historical Western authors.” ~~ Fresh Fiction
“Broday will appeal to fans of such authors as Georgina Gentry, Leigh Greenwood, and Jodi Thomas.” ~~Booklist
300b2-review
A bullet pierces the beautiful moment of a blushing bride about to wed a tall and handsome cowboy. My breath caught in my throat at the violence that came from out of nowhere. Main character Houston’s brothers have their own brand of justice for the shooter, but the truth behind the crime causes even more pain to the cowboy groom.
Time doesn’t heal or open Houston’s heart to love again, but when his father confesses he’s made a huge mistake, an arranged marriage between Houston and single mother Lara Boone is the only way to fix the situation. But there is much more to Lara’s story, and once she and Houston are thrown together to live — and survive — the dangers of the Great Western Trail, their perspectives change.
The two newlyweds begin an awkward life together, finding common ground on their affection for baby Gracie. Houston is overwhelmed with the feelings he has for a child that is not his own. Author Linda Broday genuinely painted each and every moment between the cowboy and the baby, and the way the author progresses the relationship between Houston and Lara is beautifully done.
I imagine that some people might think that a month is not long enough for people to truly fall in love. But Broday’s whirlwind of danger sweeps everyone up in its path and forces the characters to focus on what is important. In the old west, tomorrow is never certain. Broday drives home the message that if you love someone, don’t wait to tell them. A secondary message is be honest and always communicate; some harrowing events turn around for the better because of that second nugget of truth.
I highly recommend this book to those who love a slow, simmering and sensual romance. I plan to read book one and every other installment Broday pens about the Legend men.
Linda Broday, Historical Western Romance Author
I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 8 full length historical western romance novels, with another set to release 2017, and 10 short stories. Watching TV westerns during my youth fed my love of cowboys and the old West and they still do. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. At times, I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I confess to being a rock hound. I’ve been accused (and quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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Review and Giveaway: Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

 SANDPIPER COVE

A Hope Harbor Novel, Book 3
by
By IRENE HANNON
  Genre: Contemporary / Christian / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
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Irene Hannon welcomes readers back to the enchanting seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon, in her novel Sandpiper Cove, releasing April 2017. Praised by Library Journal as a “master at character development,” Irene Hannon steps away from suspense writing once again to deliver another powerful, multifaceted romance that is sure to have readers coming back for more.

 

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities—including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either—but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief?

 

 

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different—and better—future planned for them than either could imagine.
Review
I was immediately pleased to find that the dog on the cover of the book is a prominent character. I was not pleased, however, how Adam Stone referred to Clyde the dog as a stupid mutt and other unsavory names. But further down the page, you realize that he doesn’t mean those nasty words and actually loves Clyde more than anyone in the world. His attempt to belittle the dog is just his tough guy way of trying not to care about someone else so deeply.
Lexie Graham also has a tough exterior, but she is able to have normal friendships and loving relationships with her family. But you start to wonder if you will ever know what really eats away at her. What is it about the death of her husband that keeps her from going to church on Sundays (after an upbringing as an avid churchgoer)? And you know it’s a conflict she holds on her own since she doesn’t prevent her mother from taking her son, Matt, to church with her.
You find out that Adam and Lexie have seen each other around, but have never had a conversation before. So it’s a little surprising that there’s electricity between them when Lexie goes to his cabin to investigate the damage from some recent vandalism. Although Adam has been on the right side of the law for the last 18 months, he feels foolish for thinking he could have a chance with a good woman, let alone the police chief of their town. Lexie feels similarly but for different reasons. Adam is the complete opposite of her beloved, departed husband. She also feels like she doesn’t deserve a second chance at love.
As Lexie puts together the pieces of the mystery behind the vandalism, she and Adam begin a timid relationship that is encouraged (and also predicted!) by the people that care about them most. Adam sees what a loving family should be like and Lexie trusts him enough to bear her soul.
Much like Adam rescued Clyde the dog, he patiently earns the trust of a young, troubled boy and encourages him to take the right path. When terrible rumors start flying around, the small town rallies together with a surprising conclusion.
An enjoyable read all around. I hope to get around to reading the two books preceding this one, and look forward to reading the next installment.
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PRAISE FOR THE HOPE HARBOR NOVELS:
“Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites reader to come home to Hope Harbor.”

 

Christian Retailing on Hope Harbor

 

“A place of emotional restoration that readers will yearn to visit.”

 

Publishers Weekly on Hope Harbor

 

 

 “Summer romance doesn’t get much better than this.”

 

Examiner.com on Sea Rose Lane


Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and Sea Rose Lane, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, two Carol Awards, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, two Booksellers’ Best Awards, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. In 2014 she was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s elite Hall of Fame, and in 2016 she received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.
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