Archive for the ‘Bethany House Books’ Category

Can he believe them? Kieran Mullaney isn’t sure he can. Night guard Poppy is sure he can’t. His version of events the night of the explosion aren’t the same as the “official” report, and his partner on duty that night has gone missing.

When you’re dealing with a nuclear site, you can’t afford to not know what you’ve been exposed to.

Kieran is worried. Poppy has his own questions, too. And neither is backing down. Can they survive long enough to get answers?  criticalreaction


Initially, the concept of funny business taking place on a nuclear site seemed a little too far fetched for me. Then I learned that the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was a real place, that had a real accident with lingering consequences.  Add that to the very real possibility of my family moving within spitting distance of this place, and, well, it got me thinking.

This novel is fast paced, and has multi-layered complexities. There’s the legal battle going on, as Kieran tries to get answers, all the while being stone walled by the company and then ultimately blamed for causing the recent accident.

There are mob-like threats happening to both Kieran and eventually Poppy, as both struggle to find out what they were actually exposed to that night. In addition, there is a missing guard who was another eye witness and who no doubt has key information.

Characters are well written, and there’s another layer of relationship issues between Kieran’s college friend and lawyer, Emily, and her father, who take the case while in the midst of a strained relationship.  There’s also the undercover scientist working on the site that sneakily befriends Ryan Hart, Emily’s father, while he’s out running, mulling over the case.

While this is a stand alone novel as far as I can tell, it absolutely could have a sequel. Normally, I’m not a fan of tons of characters, but they each had purpose in this novel, and weren’t confusing.

I give this one 5 out of 5 stars. Don’t miss it.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review. To read an excerpt, click here.

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Charlotte Graham is at the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago history.

The task force of FBI and local cops found her two abductors, killed them, rescued her, but it took four very long years. The fact she was found less than three miles from her home, had been there the entire time, haunts them. She’s changed her identity, found a profession she loves, and rebuilt her life.  unspoken

She’s never said a word–to the cops, to her doctors, to family–about those four years.

A family legacy has brought her back to Chicago where a reporter is writing a book about the kidnapping. The cops who worked the case are cooperating with him. Her options are limited: Hope the reporter doesn’t find the full truth, or break her silence about what happened. And her silence is what has protected her family for years.

Bryce Bishop doesn’t know her past, he only knows she has coins to sell from her grandfather’s estate–and that the FBI director for the Chicago office made the introduction. The more he gets to know Charlotte, the more interested he becomes, an interest encouraged by those closest to her. But nothing else is working in his favor–she’s decided she is single for life, she struggles with her faith, and she’s willing to forego a huge inheritance to keep her privacy. She’s not giving him much of an opening to work with.

Charlotte wants to trust him. She needs to tell him what happened. Because a crime cops thought was solved, has only opened another chapter…


The description had me thinking this sounded a Jaycee Dugard story, and I thought I would review it just because it piqued my curiosity.

Well. Thankfully, it was not like that story.

It was, however, very good.

Events a decade ago led Charlotte to change her name. She didn’t want anyone to know. She hadn’t talked then and she wasn’t about to start now.

Her life moved on in relative anonymity, and she wanted to keep it that way. As the sole heir to her grandfather’s fortune, she has the responsibility of liquidating his multi-million dollar inventory of stuff- including 60 million in rare coins.

As part of her grandfather’s estate, another piece of the pie are the investment dollars from the sale of his early companies, now worth even more than what he had in his compound’s vaults. Charlotte doesn’t need the money, of course, and it’s a burden to even think about. She won’t get that money, though, unless she marries.

And after what happened those many years ago, Charlotte has vowed never to marry. Ever.

As Bryce comes on board to help her sell the coins, can he help her find a place of healing, too?


While there was a lot about coins in there, I wasn’t completely bored. The premise of this was interesting, while not being completely realistic. I suppose it could happen, though, and it’s fun to think about what you would do if this landed in your lap. I am not a coin collector, so I don’t know if all the information was completely accurate or not, but it sounded good.

This had all the right stuff- another mystery going on at the same time in the form of a cold case the super sleuths were trying to unravel. I was hoping it would all get tied up with a neat little bow at the end, and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you don’t mind coin talk, you will love this book. If coin talk makes you fall asleep, you’ll have to start and stop to get through this.

I loved it, though, and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

You might really enjoy the trailer for the book. 🙂



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Darcy swore she was done with undercover journalism. Done. Done. Done.

And then Abby got in touch with her, and Darcy knew her former needed her. Abby was scared. Abby never got scared. Stranded

Darcy joined the cruise ship and is anxious to meet up with Abby. That meeting never happens. Abby is gone.

The cruise line says she quit and they sent her things to shore. Darcy is not convinced.

When Gage McKenna shows up to lead the adventure excursions, Darcy is worried she’ll lose more than just the ability to solve the mystery of Abby’s disappearance. She might just lose her heart, too.

This is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series. You can read my review of the first book, Submerged, here.

As with the previous title, one really kind of needs to suspend belief. If you can do that, you’ll probably really enjoy this book. I’m giving it 4.5 stars because of that, and because there were some formatting issues in the Kindle edition and they were distracting. If you’re looking for a booked packed with adventure, this one’s up your alley.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.


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Glynna is ready to leave. She’s ready for a change. After two rotten marriages, the last as a mail-order-bride to an abusive criminal, Glynna is looking forward to a new life.

She’s also looking forward to a lack of injuries. While her children’s injuries are mostly mental, she knows they are ready to leave the past behind, too.  FiredUp

Dr. Dare Riker accompanies her as she makes the trip to gather her belongings. The ranch her deceased husband stole from Luke Stone (Swept Away, Trouble in Texas #1) has been set to rights and given back to its rightful owner.

Now if only Glynna can make it out of the canyon alive…….

The last few trips out to the ranch, Dare figured out Glynna was being beaten. Those two marriages have left Paul, Glynna’s growing son with a vengeful attitude against any man who he thinks has an eye on his ma. He’s determined to be her protector now; consequences be damned.

It doesn’t take long for Dare and the Regulators to realize Dare is being targeted for murder. Can Dare and Glynna resolve their growing feelings for each other, and can they catch the person behind the murder attempts before it’s too late?

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know I’m a HUGE fan of Mary Connealy’s. This book measures up to snuff and gets a hearty 5 out of 5 stars from me. I can’t wait to read the next title in this series!

Mary Connealy’s  website has all of her titles- be sure to check it out!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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Things were going well for watch maker Mollie Knox. Carrying on her father’s tradition of hiring wounded soldiers make Mollie proud, knowing she’s employing men who otherwise would be lost to the world. Many of the employed men come from her father’s regiment, and Mollie deeply feels the responsibility for the 40 family her company supports.  IntotheWhirlwind

Zack Kasmarek is the hard-nosed lawyer employed by one of Chicago’s largest- and most influential- department stores. His reputation leaves Mollie on pins and needles every single time they meet, since he’s the one she deals with as part of her company’s exclusive contract with the department store giant.

Mollie has no idea of the feeling he’s harboring for her- at least not until the Great Chicago Fire that leaves her company in ruins and she and Zach spend the night escaping the fire together and struggling to get her company supplies- and themselves- to safety.

Once Zach confesses the feelings he’s hidden from her for the last three years, Mollie is swept up into the whirlwind.

As the she and the city struggle to rebuild, can she survive and come out ahead, and with her heart intact? Can Zach reconcile the shady dealings of his employer with Mollie’s company and still keep her heart, even after the famed Colonel Lowe comes to her rescue to rebuild her shop and courts her in earnest?


I really liked this book. It is classically written- danger, murder, love won, love lost, two good men vying for the attention of a determined woman. There was not a single part of this book that I didn’t like.

I don’t know that I’ve read anything else by this author, but she’s on my ‘favorite author’ list. This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet the future King of the North Country and a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves. Dragonwitch

But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the entire nation.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the hero who can wield it.


Lady Leta is not happy, but knows it’s her duty to, well, do her duty. That means being shipped off to live in her betrothed’s home, in an effort to get to know him. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that she and Lord Alistair are not a love match. He is completely preoccupied and more or less ignores her.

What she doesn’t know is that he’s preoccupied with nightmares. Nightmares won’t let him rest. Nightmares show his impending death.

Add to this the illness of his uncle, whose estates he will inherit, making him King. Alistair, like Leta, will do his duty. Until he dies, that is.

Leta is bored. There is no love lost between her and Lord Alistair’s vain mother. To occupy her time, Leta seeks out the library, and soon begins to learn to read, under the tutelage of the midget Chronicler. As they form a bond, the rest of the world begins to unravel…………………

This is the fifth book in the series, but it is a stand alone title. I actually liked it, despite it being thoroughly confusing. Not having read the other previous books in the series, I have no idea if having read them would have helped.

There is a story within a story; the underlying thread being the legend that was woven into children’s stories {aka faerie tales} and known by everyone. As the gates between the worlds begin to open, all hell breaks loose.

This book is a thick one. And the font is small. Reading would have gone much faster for me with a larger font. Even with my glasses, it was a strain to read, so I couldn’t read consistently like I am used to. Things did become clearer at the end, although the ending did leave a bit hanging. If there is another book that continues the series or finishes this storyline, I really would like to read it.

Despite the confusion and complexities, I’m giving this one 4 stars. If I ever run out of new reading material, I actually would go back and read this one again, just to see if it made more sense.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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1880. That was the year everything changed.

Annalisa wasn’t really sorry when her husband, Hans, was found dead, burning in a brush pile, his face partially melted off. There was no love between the two of them; especially since he’d taken to stealing her hidden egg and butter money to feed his gambling habit. She’d spent so much time trying to save what she could for her and her daughter.ANobleGroom

And now the saved money and her husband were gone.

Yet, Annalisa knew it could be worse. She could have a husband like her 17-year-old sister’s husband, who beat her.

The lingering question of accident or murder didn’t need to be addressed. Saving the farm was all that mattered.

Without a husband- well, probably WITH her deadbeat husband, too- she’d never be able to pay back the loan for their land, and she’d lose her home. There was no place for a husband-less woman with a two-year old to go, and she wouldn’t be a burden to her parents.

As was typical in the immigrant, tight-knit community, her Vater would find a solution. As was also typical, that solution came in the form of a cousin from the Old Country.

But the man who came in the interim was not her cousin, and his identity would be far more dangerous not just to himself, but to Annalisa’s heart. The German immigrant community of displaced miners forced to leave and move across the ocean to Michigan had a long memory, along with long grudges.

Carl wasn’t expecting the lifeline he was thrown. It was his only chance to save his head- literally. The one covertly freeing him was the same that sentenced him to death for a crime he didn’t commit- his father.

Carl also wasn’t expecting to stay long in the immigrant community of miners-turned-farmers. He was expecting to be relieved by his manservant’s son, Dirk, who was to marry the pregnant Annalisa and take on Han’s responsibility of farm and family.

Can Carl help save the farm- and his heart- before it’s too late?


This was a complex story that had me cheering “Go, Carl, go!” and giving other direction to the characters, like, “Just tell him already!” and other words of wisdom. 😆

Seriously, though, the intricacies of this story where not overwhelming, and certain details were based on historical fact. Character development was fantastic, and the climax was one of the best I’ve read in a while.

You have probably figured out that this title was a slam dunk for me, and gets 5 out of 5 stars, no questions asked. 😀

I don’t know that I’ve read any of Jody Hedlund’s other books, but I’m going to do some digging and see if I have, because I thoroughly enjoyed this title.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Ruthy MacNeil would do near anything to get away from her adopted family; particularly her learing “brother,” Virgil, who Ma and Pa have planned to marry her off to. Ruthy had gotten pretty good at hiding and trying to protect herself from his advances. She’d be happy if she could survive the wagon train intact. Escaping was her plan, but she had to wait for the right time.  SweptAway

Turns out, she didn’t need to worry about sneaking off. Nope, Pa’s stupidity took care of her ‘escape’ for her. Now, if she could manage to survive the swollen river that took the wagons and the family………….

Luke Stone had some reckoning to do. Pa Stone had been killed and his ranch had been stolen from him. Luke’s sister, Callie, had gone off to Colorado to track down her wayward husband. Last he knew, she was doin’ fine.

Someone had to set the ranch to rights, and that someone was him. If Flint Greer had his way, though, Luke would be well out of the way before he got close enough to be a threat.

But Luke had plans for Greer. And, he had friends. They were Regulators, bound together by surviving Andersonville.

Those plans didn’t include a woman. What was he to do? He couldn’t leave her sopped up on the wagon planks in the turbulent river! As driven as he was, he couldn’t leave a woman to die, especially when she was right on his path home.

Can Luke save his ranch? Can they save Flint’s wife and kids from his barbaric beatings? And what’s he going to do with Ruthy?


Author Mary Connealy picks right up where she left off, more or less, after the Kincaid brothers got their lives settled. In the final book of the Kincaid Brides series, we met up with Callie, Luke’s sister, as she went after her forgetful husband.

We jump back to Texas as Luke makes his plan to get his ranch back. This is the first book in the series, and I can’t wait to read the subsequent titles.

This book is classic Mary Connealy, through and through. She is one of my favorite authors, so it’s no surprise I’m giving this one 5 out of 5 stars. It has everything in it- a damsel in distress, wrongs to right, gun fights, and classic good vs. evil battles. If you’ve enjoyed her other titles, you’ll love this one!

You might also enjoy Mary Connealy’s website, that has all of her titles.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.


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“Then the man turned.
It was Seth Kincaid.
Alive and well. He’d be better off dead.
She could arrange that.
She still had her gun.”

Callie had no choice but to leave her Texas home and go chase her wayward husband. He’d survived the Civil War, but she’s not sure his demons will allow his to remember her. overtheedge

Out of options, she headed to Colorado with their baby in tow, in search of the Kincaid family ranch. Why had he discarded her? Why hadn’t he come for her already?

Hoping the parson had gotten enough time to go for help, she waited for rescue, blood pouring from her wound. She started to relax, as her rescuer came into sight.

And then he turned.

While dodging the bullets she was shooting at him, fingers of recognition wafted through Seth’s mind. “The memory conjured up a pleasant feeling in his chest. Which sure didn’t match with the threat and the gunfire.”

The stagecoach hold-up was not the first obstacle to deal with, but even after having gotten shot, it might well be the easiest, for all the good finding her husband had done.

Not knowing who she was was- but that he’d held her before, Seth scooped her up onto his horse and raced her to town; praying she wouldn’t die. Seth didn’t have time to be shocked at the revelation that she had sparked a prayer, after all those years ago when “he’d paid for survival with his soul.” That afternoon was the last time he’d prayed- until now.

Will she survive her injuries and if she does, will he let her come to the ranch? Will he ever remember her?

If you’ve read any of the other titles in The Kincaid Brides series, you’ll no doubt remember Seth’s struggles. Being burned in a cave as a child combined with the war have left him in a cycle of constantly fighting the demons in his mind.

It seemed to me I had reviewed the first book in the series, Out of Control, but I don’t see that I had. Our move has totally thrown my sense of timing off, because when I “found” this title unpacking, I immediately remembered the characters like I had just read the other book a very short time ago.

That is the sign of a good author- one that writes characters that stick with you despite the passage of significant time. 🙂 Normally, I read titles in a series in sequence if I can, and if I miss one, I generally won’t go back to read the missing book. This series, however, has been so enjoyable that I probably will go back for the second book, even though I know the end result.

There are few authors that go onto my “must read” list, but Mary Connealy is one that goes onto that list without a second thought. I give this title 5 out of 5 stars.

Because this book was so much fun to read, I’m going to throw you the trailer. 😀


You might also enjoy Mary Connealy’s website, that has all of her titles.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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“No one steps on Archer land.” This had been drilled into everyone in Anderson County, Texas- including the school children. When bully Hiram Ellis pitches 10 year-old Meridith Hayes’ lunch bucket onto Archer land, Meri has no choice but to disobey the edict and retrieve it. She’s not going to let Hiram get the best of her, even if it means taking her life into her own hands!

While Meri isn’t shot to pieces, she does end up with a leg caught in a metal trap. Hearing the hunting hound closing in on her followed by an Archer, Meri is resolved is to be brave in her final minutes. What happens next shapes the rest of her life.

After releasing the trap and seeing her home- leaving the Archer land for the first time since swearing an oath to his dying father- Travis knows he’ll never forget those startling blue eyes. Meredith knows that the tall tales about Travis aren’t true, and she holds on to a fantasy of being in love with him as she grows up.

Years later, Meredith has been passed on to live with her aunt and uncle after her own father’s death. As business owners, they see her as a pawn to gain power; her father’s land her only dowry. After all, her leg defect leaves her undesirable.

The match leaves her cold; her dreams of true love shattered. Meri struggles to comply. Right before her engagement is announced, Meri hears of a chilling plan to burn Archer property, forcing them to sell to her unscrupulous intended.

Meri has no choice but to warn the Archers. Her participation in attempting to put out the planned fire results in a head injury which keeps her on the ranch with the four single Archer guys- including Travis. He acknowledges remembering her; understanding that the trap that broke her leg resulted in a permanent limp, one leg being slightly shorter than the other. The responsibility of it all comes crashing down on him, and weighs him down.

Eventually, Meri’s uncle comes to the ranch, looking for her. Once he realizes she’s there, he demands one of the boys marry her, now that she’s been ‘compromised.’ And so, the Archers take to drawing straws………..

I absolutely loved this book. This was another title that had me reading it all in a single setting. It also left my copy dog-eared and giggling. Some of my favorite lines include, “Not even frilly-smelling laundry could tear them apart,” (stemming from the belief that all women smell flowery, and thus, they would too, since she was doing their laundry) and “Except for the handful of weeds he’d presented her that morning, he’d given her nothing but a scarred leg and a dented head.”

See what I mean? I absolutely LOVE books that make me laugh. This one had enough tension in to make you wonder what was going to happen next. There’s also the inevitable kidnapping (but not her) and the leering goon who makes sure she knows he’s going to have his way with her.

I don’t know that I’ve read anything else by Karen Witemeyer, but she goes on my list of authors to get more titles from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Click below to see the trailer!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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