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True to You Becky Wade

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Fiction Picks of 2013

Best of Books

I had not realized how many good novels I had read this year until I had to narrow it down to only my top ten novels. Here are my top ten, not in any particular order, along with my review and a description of each.

Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker

 My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen and I’m about to die. I’m buried in a coffin under tons of concrete. No one knows where I am. My heart sounds like a monster with clobber feet, running straight toward me. I’m lying on my back, soaked with sweat from the hair on my head to the soles of my feet. My hands and feet won’t stop shaking.

Some will say that I’m not really here. Some will say I’m delusional. Some will say that I don’t even exist. But who are they? I’m the one buried in a grave.


My name is Christy Snow. I’m seventeen. I’m about to die.

 Read my review here.

Talent For Trouble Ladies of Distinction #3 by Jen Turano

Miss Felicia Murdock firmly believed her destiny was to become a minister's wife. When the minister on whom she had set her sights marries another lady, Felicia is forced to take a close look at her life and comes to a few uncomfortable conclusions. Determined that something needs to change--and soon--Felicia discovers she is finally ready to spread her wings and embrace life the way she's always wanted.

Grayson Sumner--or Lord Sefton, as he's officially known--has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a normal, respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some well-meaning friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter a young lady who seems to have become quite adventurous and quite determined to get herself into all sorts of troublesome situations.

Intent on remaining independent, Felicia is reluctant to accept Grayson's help, especially as she finds herself developing feelings for him. However, just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in her life has endangered Felicia. Will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?

Read my review here.

My Hope is Found, Cadence of Grace #3 by Joanne Bischof

After finally finding love with his sweet bride Lonnie, Gideon’s heart was torn when a woman from his past claimed to be his true and rightful wife, forcing him away from his family. God’s merciful hand saw Gideon through the heartache, and with Cassie’s blessing, he is able to return home. But his journey back through the Blue Ridge Mountains will hold a trial he never anticipated.

Meanwhile, Lonnie determines to seal off her heart from Gideon, convinced he is lost to her forever. Strengthening her resolve to move on is her growing fondness for the handsome Scotsman, Toby McKee—the young reverend she has come to care for deeply. His proposal of marriage offers a bright future for her and her young son.

Yearning to allow joy back into her life, Lonnie must put aside the broken pieces of her heart that still love Gideon. When he returns to find her betrothed to another, he has to place his hope in God, trusting that the One who redeemed their love once can do it again.

Read my review here.

City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by Tracy L. Higley

A Jewish slave girl fights for her life in first-century Pompeii on the eve of the city’s destruction.
Wealthy Roman patrician Cato came to the seaside town of Pompeii to build a new business, but hostility and outright corruption threaten his carefully laid plans and ignite his desire for social justice. Meanwhile, Ariella, an escaped Jewish slave girl, comes to town with a gladiator troupe. Disguised as a young boy, Ariella’s only ambition is survival.
Ariella and Cato face political intrigue, religious persecution, and family peril even as the ominous mountain in the distance begins to spew its fire. They must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love before fiery ash buries Pompeii, turning the city into a lost world.


Read my review here.

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.

When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame... and which brother to trust with her heart?


Read my review here.

Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge

Filled with grief, Jules Bellano rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.
One day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules is bumped into by a fellow customer who apologizes profusely. She recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.
And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.


Read my review here.

A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl

One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor's office. The next minute she hears a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia's a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days it's all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less--and working Colleen's case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So Mia reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold--even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after "her."

Read my review here.

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer

Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. "Be careful what you ask for."

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay--and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry's ethics and methods, it's clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered.

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can't help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay's past, or to the murder trial he's neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?
Read my review here.

Afloat by Erin Healy

There’s sabotage lurking in the waters of Eagle’s Talon, an elite floating community designed by gifted architect Vance Nolan. There’s also something else in the water—a mysterious presence friendly to some and hostile to others. And when disaster strikes, not even the saboteur expects it to be the first in a series of crushing blows.
Stranded by a flood and surrounded by unnatural darkness, a limping band of residents, builders, and investors set their sights on escape. Single mom Danielle Clement will do whatever it takes to save her young son Simeon, but she doesn’t know who to follow: her charismatic lover and aspiring politician Tony Dean, who dotes on her and her boy, or the selfless Vance, who promises protection for everyone who stays with him—based on a vision and a faith she doesn’t share.
In this watery world where everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light, survival might have more to do with uncovering the truth than with getting out alive.

Read my review here.

Damascus Countdown by Joel Rosenberg

 Israel successfully launches a first strike on Iran, taking out all of their nuclear sites and six of their nuclear warheads. American president William Jackson threatens to support a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the Jewish State for unprovoked and unwarranted acts of aggression, and the Twelfth Imam prepares to order a genocidal retaliation.
Meanwhile, CIA operative David Shirazi has infiltrated the Iranian regime and intercepted top secret intelligence indicating that two Iranian nuclear warheads survived the attack and have been moved to a secure and undisclosed location. In danger not only from the ongoing war between Israel and Iran but also from the increasingly hostile governments in multiple countries, Shirazi and his team are in a race against time to find the remaining nuclear warheads before the most cataclysmic event in the history of the Middle East comes to pass.

Read my review here.

So those are my Top Ten Fiction Picks for 2013! I hope you found the reviews insightful, and I hope you will check out the other blog posts for the Best Of Blog Hop.

3 comments:

  1. I see a few of my favorite authors here too. Love your list and thanks so much for joining the bloghop!

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  2. I LOVED that Ted Dekker book too! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. Thanks, Diane; I have really enjoyed writing these blog posts for the bloghop.

    No problem, Ashley! Yeah it really was great; have you read Outlaw yet? It is really good as well. Gives you some background information on the Outlaw mentioned in Eyes Wide Open.

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