Category Archives: Book Reviews

Audiobook Review: The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Title: The Masterpiece
Author: Francine Rivers
Print Publisher: Tyndale House
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Published: February 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction.
Length: 15 hours, 54 minutes. Unabridged

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

My Thoughts on the Book:

There’s something special about this book. The story has some thematic and structural similarities to the author’s classic bestseller, Redeeming Love, but dare I say it? I like The Masterpiece even better. Maybe it’s my partiality for contemporary stories? Maybe it reflects the author’s growth over her career? Whatever the reason, this story and these characters have found a place among my all-time favorites.

Roman and Grace each have heartbreaking backstories, which are smoothly integrated into the flow of the present-day story in such a way as to maximize their impact. I cried in the car on my way to work, while listening to this audiobook. (Thankfully, I was able to pull myself together in time for work, but that’s another story!)

Their character arcs introduce gritty bits of reality into the story and require a lot of healing and growth over the course of the book, but their journeys along the way present a beautiful image of God’s love and redemption. The gospel message is discussed in the story, but its introduction felt natural to the plot, and I’m glad the author didn’t shy away from addressing the subject.

The romantic storyline is complicated by the hero and heroine’s backgrounds and by Roman’s initially brooding attitude. I enjoyed seeing the gradual development of the hero and heroine’s relationships with each other and with other characters in the story, and how all those relationships interacted in bringing about a satisfying conclusion to the story. Overall, a sweet romance interwoven with meaningful character development throughout. I highly recommend this title for fans of the genre.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Susan Bennett gives a professional performance throughout this audiobook. The pacing, inflections, and enunciation in her reading make it easy and pleasant to follow her through the story. Character voices and emotions are subtly distinguished, making it easy to follow who’s speaking, without any of the voices sounding awkward or unnatural. I highly recommend the audio edition.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed listening to the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | About the Narrator

Audiobook Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

Title: If I Live
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Published: March 2018
Series: If I Run, Book 3
Genre: Suspense, Christian Fiction
Length: 7 hours, 20 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

THE HUNT IS ALMOST OVER. Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.

Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is the third and final book in a series I’ve been eagerly following since the first title, If I Run was published. The hero and heroine continue to be complex, loveable, and believably portrayed. And the villain reveals himself to be even more the kind of dangerous psychopath readers will love to hate. Suspenseful, thought-provoking, and romantic in turns, this installment thoroughly lives up to the storyline’s potential, and brings Casey’s nightmarish circumstances to a satisfying conclusion. After finishing all three titles in the series, I would say I highly recommend them all. Just be sure to read them in order, as they build upon each other to create a larger unifying story arc, beyond the smaller arcs of the individual stories.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Kate Rudd, the narrator from the second book in this series returns to read this third installment, and does a great job of it. The reading sounds friendly and personable, while incorporating appropriate levels of urgency throughout. And the dialogue is spoken in voices well tailored to the characters speaking. I highly recommend the audio edition to those readers who appreciate a good audiobook.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Audiobook Review: Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

PhotoWithTessaAfsharLast week was a busy week for me, including a road trip with coworkers to Philadelphia in the midst of unseasonably snowy weather to attend this year’s Public Library Association conference. It was a fabulous experience, including interesting continuing education sessions, excellent speakers, and the chance to browse a wonderland of booths set up by publishers and library related vendors. I picked up a half dozen advance reader copies of titles from some of my favorite authors and publishers, but the most pleasant surprise of the trip was discovering that author Tessa Afshar would be signing books at the Tyndale House booth! Of course, I had to meet her and tell her how much I love her books. Including this one, that I’d previously read, but had not yet posted my review. :)

Title: Bread of Angels
Author: Tessa Afshar
Print Publisher: Tyndale House
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Rendah Heywood
Published: June/July 2017
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

My Thoughts on the Book:

One of the things I love about reading well written Biblical fiction is the cultural perspective and context it can give on its time period and surroundings. This novel does that for the early church in Philippi. I loved witnessing the purple dyeing process in vivid detail, and learning relevant bits and pieces about taxes, citizenship, law, and doing business in the Roman Empire. Some fascinating stuff in the context of a compelling story. The book features Lydia as a strong and principled female character, fighting for success in a male dominated world. Great start already, right?

I will forewarn you, there is some preaching in this book. But I think that’s to be expected in a story based around Acts 16, which features a visit by the Apostle Paul. And, quite frankly, I found it refreshing to find a clear presentation of the gospel in a work of Christian fiction. So often, I think authors are afraid of being deemed “preachy” and shy away too much from addressing important topics. Not so here, and I think the story is all the better for it.

This story’s not a romance, per se, but I did appreciate the romantic bits thrown in. Sort of the icing on the cake. I also enjoyed a cameo appearance by characters from the author’s earlier book, Land of Silence, another lovely read worth checking out if you haven’t already. Overall, Bread of Angels is a fascinating historical tale, built around a Biblical framework, that I feel is well worth reading.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The narrator of this audiobook, Rendah Heywood, employs a very pleasant reading voice, with a mild accent that works quite well with this story. Given that the story is primarily told from Lydia’s viewpoint, there’s not a whole lot of distinction required between character voices, and yet, the narrator does distinguish clearly enough that there’s never any confusion regarding who’s who. I am quite happy to have selected the audio edition, and would recommend it to others.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book. And I have since received a signed copy of the print edition from the publisher and author, much to my delight.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Title: A Matter of Trust
Author: Susan May Warren
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Published: July 2017
Series: Montana Rescue, Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 10 hours, 22 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

It’s those we love who have the power to hurt us most . . .

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the public eye as one of the youngest senators in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother–a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is Book 3 in the Montana Rescue series, a series which I’m enjoying a great deal. I particularly love how each book gives backstory and layered dimension, not just to the hero and heroine of that story, but also to secondary characters who will be making more prominent appearances in future stories. For this reason, this is definitely a series you’ll want to read in order, even if you could probably read any individual title as a standalone without confusion. Check out my review of Wild Montana Skies and its prequel novella If Ever I Would Leave You for a starting point.

In A Matter of Trust, Ella and Gage have a past history that makes them seem unlikely candidates for romance. And yet, the development and progression of their relationship as they work together in a dangerous and difficult situation, feels quite natural. And the lessons about trust they learn and apply to their lives in the process give their story deeper meaning than just a fun romance. Speaking of fun… the snowboarding theme is fun too. I haven’t been skiing in years, and have never been snowboarding, but I enjoyed the vivid and scenic descriptions throughout Ella and Gage’s adventure. Meanwhile, Ty meets Brette, Pete and Jess have some misunderstandings cleared up and secrets revealed, and Ian and Sierra share some important story moments. Precursors of things to come? Let’s just say I can’t wait for the next amazing read in this series.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I enjoyed Cynthia Farrell’s narration in Rescue Me (Book 2 of this series), so I was happy to hear more from this narrator in this title. The character voices and accents are excellent, and the story is told with feeling. The pacing and enunciation is also well done. I’m looking forward to another excellent performance in Troubled Waters the next audiobook in this series.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Book Review: A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

Title: A Trail of Crumbs
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: March 2017
Series: Pearl Spence, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

“I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we’d got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God’s way of letting us know He wasn’t mad at us anymore. Just maybe He’d seen fit to forgive us.”

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel, sure to please her many fans.

My Thoughts:

Pearl Spence is an adorable young heroine with a distinctive voice, and a fascinating story to tell. Her tale began in A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl, and continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression. She’s a little older and wiser in this book, but with the same healthy dose of spunk and unexpected insights.

Pearl’s situation improves in some ways over the course of this novel, but at the same time, she’s put through the emotional wringer on several fronts. I feel for her and want more for this character. That’s why I can’t wait to continue reading her tale in A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era.

Once again, author Susie Finkbeiner has incorporated vivid historical details, and both primary and secondary characters with character to spare. Highly recommended to fans of historical fiction and coming of age stories with a literary flair.

I purchased the electronic edition of this book, and was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Title: Gathering the Threads
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Print Publisher: WaterBrook
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Stina Nielsen
Published: August 2017
Series: The Amish of Summer Grove, Book 3
Genre: Amish Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 31 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves, will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family? 

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Amish fiction is not my typical go-to reading choice. But this series is one that I’ve listened to with fascination. It’s one that I’d recommend both to fans of Amish fiction and to those readers of Christian fiction who aren’t normally into this subgenre. I’ve eagerly awaited Gathering the Threads ever since I listened to Ties that Bind and Fraying at the Edge, and I think this last book is also the best book in the series. But be aware, they really do need to be read in order, so no skipping ahead! 😉

As Ariana returns to her Amish roots, she sees her family and community with new eyes and new thoughts. She struggles to find a way to reconcile the new with the old, and figure out what she truly believes about her faith, family, and very identity. Her dilemmas feel all too real, and I feel for her, as her decisions bring her into conflict with the people she loves.

What I found most fascinating about this last book was the clear eyed look at some of the areas where Amish teachings can diverge from those of related faiths, and some of the problems that can arise. Overall, this is a very thought provoking series, and one that I think would make for fabulous discussion within a book group.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I’ve listened to this whole series in audio format, and I’m so happy I did. Stina Nielsen does a wonderful job throughout the series of giving voice to the varied characters and their emotions. I particularly love the consistency from book to book. It has felt very much like revisiting old friends from one book to the next.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Audiobook Review: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

Title: The Austen Escape
Author: Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Narrator: Emily Sutton-Smith
Published: November 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: 8 hours, 38 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

My Thoughts on the Book:

The idea of an Austen escape, as described in this book, sounds absolutely fabulous. Dress up in period dresses, do period activities, and make believe you’re in Jane Austen’s novels? Does this place or one like it actually exist? I have no idea. But I love the idea of it, and would love to participate, if given the chance.

The characters in this book feel real, and relatable, and vulnerable. And I’m about as much smitten with them as I was by the characters in Reay’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley. In fact this book, reminds me a great deal of the things I loved about that first book. Bravo!

The introduction to various relevant Austen characters at the beginning of the book had me a bit nervous that perhaps I would need to brush up on my Austen trivia to keep up with all the names. Or at least take notes on the introductions, since in audio format I wouldn’t be able to easily refer to that cheat sheet later. But no, as I continued reading, I discovered that I needn’t have worried. Everything you really need to remember about specific Austen characters to follow this story is made clear at relevant points within the context of this book itself. Whew!

I consider this book a must read for any fan of Jane Austen’s novels. And really anyone who occasionally enjoys dressing up and playing make believe. Also, for anyone who enjoys a good romance in general.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The lovely British (and American) accents employed by the narrator of the audio edition are icing on the cake to an already beautifully written text. The narrator’s reading is pleasant, comfortable, and emotionally engaging. I highly recommend the book, and most especially the audiobook.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Audiobook Review: Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

Title: Rescue Me
Author: Susan May Warren
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Published: January 2017
Series: Montana Rescue, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 37 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

When Deputy Sam Brooks commits to something, nothing can sway him–not just on the job but in his private life. He’s the one who stuck around to take care of his mother after his father’s accidental death. And he’s the one–perhaps the only one–who believes Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. Safe, practical, and organized, she’s nothing like her hippie, impulsive, bleeding-heart sister, Willow.

Willow, however, has been in love with Sam Brooks for as long as she can remember. But she wants her sister to have a happy ending. Besides, Willow has other things to focus on–namely, nabbing the job of her dreams. Best thing for her to do is to purge Sam from her heart.

Neither can predict the events that will bring them together in a fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded, injured, and with the winter weather closing in, Sam and Willow will have to work together to save a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.

My Thoughts on the Book:

After falling as hard as I did for Ben, Kacey, Ian, and Sierra in Wild Montana Skies, I was a little skeptical whether I would feel quite the same way about Sam and Willow in this next book in the series. I needn’t have worried. Sam and Willow did a fabulous job of stepping into the roles of hero and heroine, and sweeping me away into their story. They’re both complex and likeable characters with a lot to lose, and a lot to learn over the course of an unexpectedly intense wilderness adventure.

Meanwhile, the author wove in bits and pieces of other characters’ stories, building on the intricate tapestry already begun in the first book of this series. We get to know Ian, Sierra, Pete, Jess, and other characters better, even as we follow Sam and Willow to a well-deserved happily ever after. I highly recommend this series, and I can’t wait to read the next book, and the next.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The performance by Cynthia Farrell is excellent. Her reading is emotionally expressive, with varied voices for the different characters. Most impressive was that she sang several of the country western songs that appeared in the story, and sang them well. Bonus points for going above and beyond the call of duty on that front! I recommend this audiobook to the audio listeners out there. I hope to continue listening to the audio editions of future titles in this series, particularly if they’ll be read by the same narrator. Next up: A Matter of Trust. And yes, I’ve already tracked down the audio edition. :)

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library, and was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Book Review: The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Title: The Lacemaker
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Published: January 2018
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

It is the eve of a new age of freedom in the colonies. But can a proper English lady dare hope for her own independence?

Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson has nearly everything a lady of her position could want. Daughter of the British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a darling of fine society in a rugged land, she is anticipating an advantageous marriage. That her betrothed is a rake and love is lacking is of little consequence–or so she tells herself.

Though her own life seems in order, colonial Williamsburg is a powder keg on the verge of exploding, and her fiancé’s cousin Noble Rynallt carries the flame of revolution in his heart. Those with connections to the British nobility are suspected as spies, and Liberty soon finds herself left with a terrible choice. Will she stay true to her English roots? Or side with Noble and the radical revolutionaries?

My Thoughts:

Karen in front of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg. The Lacemaker is displaying on her cell phone.

Karen in front of the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg. The Lacemaker is displaying on her cell phone.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance reader copy of this book shortly before my family and I left for vacation at colonial Williamsburg (Yay!), so I brought the book and its characters along with us. There was something irresistibly cool about visiting and learning the history surrounding many of the places mentioned in this book in the same week that I was reading the story.

Having these characters in mind that I felt a connection with, made me appreciate the history I was learning all the more. And learning the history of the time and place from tour guides and reenactors confirmed a number of details from the story and brought home just how much research must have gone into the writing of this book.

I’ll admit, the pictures would’ve been a bit cooler if I’d had a paperback copy to hold up instead of the digital copy on my phone, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture with the book in Williamsburg anyway. You’ll just have to take my word for it that the book is displaying on the screen, even if you can’t really see it.

Karen displays The Lacemaker inside the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg.

Karen displays The Lacemaker inside the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg.

Both Liberty and Noble are loveable and inspiring characters. Liberty is a strong and independent woman who, nevertheless can accept help when needed. And Noble is a selfless and generous gentleman, devoted to his cause and to helping those in need, regardless of political affiliation. Their romance is sweet, and the accompanying political and spy stories are exciting, and a certain self-sacrificial gesture at a pivotal moment is heartbreakingly beautiful.

Overall, a must read for anyone interested in this time and place in history who enjoys a good romance. And if you have the opportunity to visit Colonial Williamsburg in person, I would highly recommend that too. :)

Thank you to Revell for providing a complimentary electronic advance reader copy of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

Title: Chasing Secrets
Author: Lynette Eason
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Published: August 2017
Series: Elite Guardians, Book 4
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Christian fiction
Length: 8 hours, 23 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her—and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories—and the depths of the heart—Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My Thoughts on the Book:

This fourth book makes for a strong conclusion to a fabulous series. If you haven’t read any of the books in the Elite Guardians series yet, you’re missing out. This is one of the best suspense series I’ve read recently. Haley and her fellow bodyguards make fascinating lead characters, the suspense is well-paced and intense, and the romance is icing on the cake.

It was particularly interesting to learn more about Haley’s background in this book, given that readers learned of the secrets buried in her past, right alongside Haley herself. Her empathy and help for the struggling kids in the story makes for a lovely touch, and it’s especially poignant given her own history.

Romance, character development, and suspense are all strong elements here. And I must say, I’m pleased to have gotten to know these characters. In fact, I’d love to hang out with them again sometime.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Rachel Dulude’s narration brings these characters to life. Their joys, fears, hurts, and dilemmas. But especially their accents. Wow. I’ve been impressed by the narrator’s performance of Haley’s Irish accent throughout this series of audiobooks, but in this book, featuring multiple characters with Irish accents, I was blown away by the way the narrator could distinguish among the characters’ voices. It was truly lovely listening to her reading – the emotion, the pacing, the voices, and especially the accents. I highly recommend the audio edition.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site