Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bethany House Book Reviews: Submerged by Dani Pettrey, Wild West Wind series by Lauraine Snelling, and The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

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"A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart...but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces."

Submerged was an interesting read. The McKenna family were a hoot! The way they interacted and joked around was nice to see. Bailey was a solid character, as well. Her hurts and fears were portrayed in a real way. And, as I hinted to before, the secondary characters added a nice dimension to the story. I'm especially glad that Piper and Landon will be making a reappearance with Dani's next novel.

The mystery, which was the center of the plot, was unique. The Russian history and facts intrigued me, all the more since I have a basic knowledge of Russian history. However, for someone who does not have a basic knowledge of Russian history, I'm not sure how interesting the facts would be. In fact, it might seem a little confusing, but, all in all, Dani did a good job at presenting the historical facts.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for an engaging mystery– Russian style– with a fun cast of quirky characters, I'd recommend you pick up a copy of Submerged. It can be bought at Amazon.

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"After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land.

Cassie's arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she's kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But Lucas Engstrom decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her.

Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father's dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?"

I must say that I am very disappointed in the Wild West Wind series. These are the first books I've read by Lauraine Snelling and based on the synopsis, I was expecting an intriguing mystery, a handsome cowboy (since it is the wild west), a compelling heroine– anything other than what I got... which was basically nothing, at least in the first book Valley of Dreams. It contained no plot, meaning there was no action, no romance, not even the promised mystery. Simply, I read the book out of obligation only– and to see if eventually something would happen.

The second book was somewhat better. I had actually gotten the book for a cousin who'd enjoyed the first book, but she had already ordered it. Given my experience with the first book, I did not faithfully read this one, but I read enough to see that this book was an improvement to the last one. There was some romance in this book, a few interesting scenes where Cassie is trick-riding, and even a shocking secret revealed about Mavis Engstrom. As of right now, I will not bother with concluding this series even though Whispers In the Wind was an improvement, But don't let my review stop you from trying them out. I've seen many people who have loved these books– my cousin included (who, by the way, has a very similar reading taste to mine). I'm only reviewing with honesty. If you're interested in trying these books out you can buy them here: Valley of Dreams and Whispers In the Wind.

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"In the small town of Colden, Massachusetts, Libby Sawyer leads a quiet, predictable life. Yet beneath the surface, she is haunted by a secret.

Newly arrived on American shores, Michael Dobrescu is far from predictable, and his arrival in Colden is anything but quiet. Michael's shocking claim to be the rightful owner of Libby's father's house immediately alienates him from the appalled citizens of Colden.

Despite her own outrage, Libby is unwittingly fascinated by this enigmatic man who seems equally intrigued by her. As the court's decision about the house looms and the layers of mystery surrounding Michael's past are unveiled, Libby's loyalties are tested in ways she never imagined.

The Rose of Winslow Street was lovely– inside and out. What drew me in immediately was Elizabeth Camden's exceptional writing style: smooth and engaging with wonderful descriptions.

The characters were three-dimensional and relatable. Libby was sweet and the way she loved her father and worked for him without complaints, even when he insulted her love of art, was admirable. And Michael was the most unique hero I've read about to date. His love of flowers and his ability to dissect smells was... different. Seriously, imagine a bear of man who acts barbaric but has a love for flowers? Definitely unique. And his loyalty to his family was so heart-tugging. Also, his "barbaric-ness" allowed some humorous moments. For example, his marriage proposal was one of the funniest ever (this scene was definitely not done with the usual romantic seriousness). The secondary characters added to the story's richness, as well.

The plot itself was interesting and engaging. And well-researched. It definitely kept me turning the pages and I'm fairly confident that if you were to pick up this book, it would arrest your attention, as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon.

** Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing the above titles free in exchange for my honest review, which I have given**

1 comment:

  1. Submerged sounds absolutely great. I read Whispers in the Wind. It was an awesome read. I love your blog. God bless you all.

    Glenda Parker