Saturday, February 18, 2012

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

Sara and Beth have put together a multi million dollar business as a team, but their once close as sisters friendship is now being strained. Beth does not like or trust Sara's husband, and when he is kidnapped, the police are suspicious of Beth's involvement.

When their small town of Seagrove Village is shaken by a cruel act of terrorism, Beth does not know who to trust. Someone she knows well in the village is linked to the attack, but Beth has no idea who. In the midst of all the trauma, Beth finds herself attracted to a man whom she has always considered a close friend. As a result of an event in her past, Beth is leery of falling in love with him, but she still cannot explain their connection and bond. Will Beth learn to trust and figure out the killer in her village before it is too late?

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze is the third book in the Crossroad Crisis Center Series. When I first picked up this novel, I did not realize it was the third installation in the series. However, I quickly figured it out. The book flows directly from the previous two novels, so it took me several chapters to understand what was going on. I would highly recommend reading the Crossroad Crisis Center series in order. This is not a series that you can pick up at any point.

Despite having not read the first two novels, Not This Time was still an excellent read. The plot line was excellent, full of plot twists and mystery. I was able to figure out who the perpetrators were before the book ended and the other characters figured it out, but it was still interesting to watch the main characters learn who the bad guys were and to wonder if they would realize in time. The characters were also fairly complex and realistic.

One of the things I did not like about Not This Time was that many of the sentences were long and poorly constructed. This caused me to have to read some sentences over and over again to understand what it was trying to convey and this severely detracted from the plot.

However, overall I really enjoyed Not This Time, and I look forward to reading other novels by Vicki Hinze.

I received this book from free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie Daly has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to trade beauty for ashes.

Beauty for Ashes was a enjoyable novel, describing the importance of family, forgiveness, and love even when people are different or seem unlovable.

The character development and description in this novel were well written and really helped me identify with the characters. The plotline was also well structured and allowed me to experience what the characters were going through as well as provide suspense as the story progressed. There were several parts where I was drawn to tears as well as happiness. However, there were also portions of the novel that seemed very predictable and slowed down the story, making it harder to stay interested.

Overall, the novel was an easy but entertaining read that I found very relaxing after a stressful week. I enjoyed this second installment in Hickory Ridge Romance Series, and I look forward to reading other novels by Dorothy Love.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.