Close to Home (Tracy Crosswhite #5) by: Robert Dugoni

Close to Home (Tracy Crosswhite, #5)Close to Home by Robert Dugoni
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A desire for justice – will it lead to revenge.

Homicide Detective Tracy Crosswhite is called to a scene of an apparent hit and run. A young black man is left dead and a promising future is gone. His single mother is without justice. With the black lives matter, the situation becomes sensitive. Crosswhite knows first hand the grim news of a family that has lost loved one tragically and to be left without justice. She takes this case to heart, wanting closure for a mom that has lost a beloved son. With great detective work, she is lead to the navy and to Lieutenant Leah Battles. A defense attorney for the navy and a strong character that fits well with Crosswhite’s character. The relationship between the two is interesting and promising. With a navy suspect for the hit and run, a conspiracy transpires and Crosswhite must unravel what is really behind the hit and run before careers are lost.

Another story is transpiring that weaves thru Crosswhite’s case. Tracy’s partner Del has suffered a personal loss. A niece dead from an apparent overdose. Feeling powerless to have stopped his niece from taking drugs, he struggles with how do families stop the epidemic of drug overdose. What laws can be enforced? How do laws help and not help? This part of the story really gave food for thought in these important issues.

I think what I enjoy most in these series is the heart of Tracy and her partners. They are not perfect but they are real.

A Special Thank You to Thomas & Mercer & Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews


Choosing A Life That Matters: 7 Decisions You’ll Never Regret by: Dennis Rainey

Choosing a Life That Matters: 7 Decisions You'll Never RegretChoosing a Life That Matters: 7 Decisions You’ll Never Regret by Dennis Rainey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To seek God is the greatest quest.
To fear God is the greatest respect
To Love God is the greatest affection
To obey God is the greatest act.
To believe God is the greatest adventure
To Worship God is the greatest experience
To Serve God is the greatest privilege.
All this so that God may be glorified and exalted.

It all comes down to do we really know God and the implications of who God is? We were created to reason and this devotion/study gives a seeker of their creator hope and encouragement. Each chapter is a mantra of the above. Seek God, not Sin, ..Fear God, Not Men…Love God, Not the World…Believe God, Not the Deceiver…Obey God, Not your feelings…Worship God, Not comfort…Serve God, Not Self.

As you can see we do one or the other. There is no in between. This being black and white can put the fear in a believer or a seeker however, it is meant to direct us to the Gospel. The bad news – we can’t do it on our own…the Good news – we have Jesus. Each one of these if we are honest, we struggle with. Our hearts are unrest until we find rest in Him. Love is all about choosing and being intentional with our choices. When our choice is God, we have true freedom but we are deceived and seek freedom else where. Rainey is a seasoned communicator of living in that freedom with the choices we make . He brings his own choices to the table and how his heart was affected.

The choices we make reflect the God we worship.

Some of the quotes I found inspiring.

When we do not fear God, we lose our respect and awe for who He is, and as a result we do not live our lives as if in the presence of almighty God. As we forget who God and lose our sense of accountability to Him, we make a play to become our own authority. Then, with God nudged aside, we redefine our purpose and commitments to suit ourselves.

The fear of the Lord delivers us from the fear of man.

Invariably we allow feelings to control our lives. When we feel slighted, we sulk. When we feel wronged, we take revenge. When we feel lonely, we binge. If we fail to check our feelings against the truth of God’s word, they can take up permanent residency. When this happens, our outlook on life becomes distorted and toxic, and we may end up doing things we would never have imagined.

A great study on God’s word and the character of God that keeps the focus on his Glory of salvation.

A Special Thank You to Bethany House Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2) by: Kathleen Fuller

The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2)The Promise of a Letter by Kathleen Fuller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Always remember this, God loves you, and I love you. No matter your path in life, those things will always be true. Even as a young boy you were your own person. Smart, stubborn, always trying to find ways to make things better. Easier. But God never promised us an easy life. Struggle and pain is what makes us grow, and it also shows how we need the Lord in our lives. Escaping isn’t the answer. Facing things is. You can be the person God created you to be and still be part of the community and family that loves. It breaks my heart that you have isolated yourself from us.

A grandmother’s letter to her grandson is full of promise and love. A sweet continuation of the first book that brought Jalon Chupp and Phoebe now brings an unlikely pair together Jalon’s sister Leanna and Roman. Leanna is not your typical young Amish woman waiting to be married. She lives on her brother’s farm in the grandparents home and works for an Amish machine shop owned by Daniel, the eldest brother of Roman. Leanna loves her job and the family she works for, however, when Amish gossip makes the round, Leanna must learn what it means to turn the other cheek.

The brother’s are estranged but with their grandmother’s letter of promise, they are brought together when they need each other the most. Both brothers are fighting the need however, with circumstances and the support of strong Amish women, they fulfill the promise of a grandmother’s love for her grandsons.

With the walls that Roman has built around his heart, Leanna heals her own heart with the loss of her job as she finds purpose and with patience and love.

I truly love the characters that Fuller brings to life in this Amish Community. She deals with alcoholism and other issues that each family encounters. The prideful heart and the heart that yearns for acceptance. There is real connection with these characters that had me in tears and whooping for joy when the heart was open to love. Loved it!

A Special Thank You to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Snap Judgment (Samantha Brinkman #3) by: Marcia Clark

Snap Judgment (Samantha Brinkman, #3)Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A case of inconsistencies and coincidences…a good lawyer knows that there is no such thing as coincidences.

This is my third run with Samantha Brinkman and her tribe of characters. Samantha a defense lawyer; with her private investigator, Alex and her office manager and long time friend Michy. The relationship between them is the driving force to the plot and the character development. You read as you are part of the 3 amigo’s. You become the silent amigo.

The introduction of the plot lays it heavy as a young woman is desperate to leave her possessive boyfriend. Alicia a college student that as achieved much back home and with high expectations for the future. Her future comes to abrupt end as she is found murdered in her bath tub and her boyfriend Roan is the prime suspect. Several days later Roan is found dead in a apparent suicide. Brinkman becomes involved when Alicia’s father Graham was seen at Roan’s apartment the day of the suicide. Graham and Samantha are in the same circles and Samantha naturally comes to Graham’s defense to lay the ground work of a possible arrest.

What makes this read so enjoyable to me is the plot is driven by the evidence. Each twist and turn. Layer after layer, you connect to Brinkman’s team and to Brinkman herself as she takes each case personally. She has wit and grit. There are two cases going on in this one as well. A continuation from the two previous books that still has not been resolved but continues to be a thorn in her side and a fear that she must always be looking over her shoulder. She shares this with her father. A detective that she in the first book learned his identity. Brinkman is a complex character. She is black and white but operates in the gray.

A Special Thank You to Thomas Mercer and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

The Other Girl by: Erica Spindler

The Other GirlThe Other Girl by Erica Spindler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

She could have stopped him, protected all those women-if she had been a different girl. One who didn’t lie. One who was cautious instead of reckless. The kind of person people believed. Back then no one believed her. Knowing the truth but nobody believing you. Like a scream echoing in your head and not ever knowing what happened next. The other girl would believe her. she had been real-despite the fact that nothing ever appeared in the local media, not news of a missing girl, not a reported rape or homicide. No Jane Doe.

Miranda has lived in Harmony, LA all her life. Her life took a turn when she was abducted by a man and woman. She willing went in the car with them thinking it would be ok. When it was far from ok. The next thing she knew, she was bound and other girl was next to her bound as well. The man gone and their time limited. They both had to get away. Miranda did leaving the other girl behind. This has haunted her for 14 years.

Miranda now works as a detective for Harmony under her mentor and with her partner Jake. They are called to a brutal murder scene where Miranda finds a clipping of what happened 14 years ago. Does she know the victim Richard Stark? The victim’s father is Ian Stark a well known citizen of Harmony with influence is pushing for the case to be solved without the authorities digging into his son’s past. It is the son’s past that will solve the crime and it is the past that trains wrecks Miranda’s good standing with the force.

Miranda has fought long and hard to redeem the life she had to the life she desires. Will finding the real killer change what she carefully built.

The narration was done presently and in the past. Taking the simple act of drinking coffee would bring memories to Miranda to her past and the struggle she faced. No one would believe her because of her own family that tended to get in all kinds of trouble.

The plot was twisted and turning but it also was predictable as well. The character development did not go deep enough. I think what kept me from connecting to the character was with everything that she went through with the police force and her family, that she would stay in Harmony and work for the same force that did not help her. There was redemption for her willingness to stay but you think she would have more questions or challenged what had happened to her. The development of her character was proving herself which for me left me somewhat at a disconnect.

Other than the few things that kept from really loving this read, I still had to know the bow would be tied in the end.

A Special thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against your Giants by: Louie Giglio

Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your GiantsGoliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 stars

God wants us to live free from the demoralizing voice of that giant, and because God wants to get glory in our lives by showing the world that he is greater than everything we face in our lives, then that giant’s got to go down.

What are the giants in your life that keep your from living life freely? Can you identify them? In the passion that is known of Louie Giglio, he is passionate about Christians living life freely to give God glory. Another words, without this freedom from our giants, we are unable to give glory to God in our lives. The table of contents will give you an ideal of the adventure that awaits you.

Bigger than Your Giant
Dead but Still Deadly
Fear Must Fall
Rejection Must Fall
Comfort Must Fall
Anger Must Fall
Addiction Must Fall
A Table in the Presence
Fuel for the Fight

Giglio has taken the story of David – well known for his fight for Goliath in how the giants in our life must go down. David is not just another story but an example of Christ. Giglio has also stresses that this is not just another self-help book but one that identifies the giants we may be blinded too. It is here that I am wary because if it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. The trouble of any self-help book is that we focus on what we need to do and be instead of who God is and what he has created us for. His glory. The self-help can lead us to tread mill of doing instead of the glory of salvation.

Is this helpful? I believe it can help in identifying our giants. We may not think we have a problem with anger but anger comes in many forms and the roots run deep. It is our motivation that is telling. I think Giglio identifies this well.

Our giants can be the cause of stress, anxiety, and depression which in these cases, we need others to walk us thru it. This book is a great start for that journey not only being free but in that freedom living for God.

A Special Thank You to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews

Exposed (Rosato & DiZunzio by: Lisa Scottoline

Exposed (Rosato & DiNunzio, #5)Exposed by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Getting a legal complaint can be frightening, it is like terrorism by litigation.

This is by far my favorite of the Rosato & DiNunzio series. It brought both partners Bennie and Mary to a crisis of their loyalty to each other and what they believed is right.

Mary has taken a case from a friend of the family and one that she cares deeply for. Simon has been fired from his job and with recently being widowed and fighting for his daughter’s life, he has no recourse to sue. Mary believes he has a case. Unfortunately, the Simon’s employer does business with Bennie and taking Simon’s case would cause a conflict of interest. This is where it becomes interesting.

With this conflict of interest, it brought into the plot a deep character development and made the plot much more sweet. It is girl power with deep loyalty that the truth comes to light.

I love the Italian Family of Marys’ and the love of life these characters give. It is fun without vulgarity.

My favorite quote “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

A Special Thank You to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

View all my reviews