Monday, December 29, 2014

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

United in a quest to cure tuberculosis, can Trevor and Kate overcome past secrets and current threats to find hope for a future together?

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden was an interesting and insightful novel that delved into the history of medical research and the jobs available to young women in the early 1900's. I was inspired by the dedication, hard work, and willingness to accept disease that drove the young researchers in this novel, and I was also slightly shocked by the methods and 'cures' that were experimented with in an attempt to cure tuberculosis. In addition, I also appreciated the perseverance of Kate and other young women who strove to break new ground and to work in the scientific and medical world that only accepted men at the time. 

While the back story and research were well done and interesting, the plot line was also compelling and enjoyable. There was a good mixture of a struggling romance, a past and crippling pain, crushing secrets, and an unknown danger. I was completely drawn in by the story, and I enjoyed the suspense of how the novel would actually play out. The characters were also well developed and interesting. I loved both Kate and Trevor, especially their sometimes humorous reactions to one another and their family members.They both had their own personal struggles to work through, and it was very inspiring to see them learn from their mistakes and to begin to trust and to follow God's leading for their lives. Overall, I enjoyed With Every Breath immensely, and I would highly recommend it to those who love a good historical mystery/romance.

I received this novel from Netgalley and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter

Living side-by-side, a fledgling chef and a big-hearted contractor find a delicious attraction.
Trouble is, their chemistry could spoil their dreams.

Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.

Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.

But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.

The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter is the third novel in the Chapel Springs Romance series, and it was a sweet and enjoyable read. While the novels are connected within the series, it is possible to read them out of order and understand what happens as I accidentally skipped the second one when I read this novel. The plot of The Wishing Season is well written and includes moments of romance, sadness, humor, and enduring even when life is difficult. The main characters, Cole and PJ, were developed well and easy to connect with. I enjoyed learning more about each of them and how they related to each other and with other people. They each had their own struggles and difficulties to work through, but I found their growth as characters to be inspiring as they began to trust and to rely on God and family more instead of trying to do or to fix everything themselves. Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and I look forward to reading the fourth novel when it comes out next year!

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sister Eve, Private Eye by Lynne Hinton

Two decades into her calling at a New Mexico monastery, Sister Evangeline Divine (pronounced Diveen) breaks her daily routine when a police officer appears, carrying a message from her father. Sister Eve is no stranger to the law, having grown up with a police captain turned private detective. She's seen her fair share of crime—and knows a thing or two about solving mysteries.

But when Captain Jackson Divine needs her to return home and help him recover from surgery, Sister Eve finds herself taking on his latest case.

A Hollywood director has disappeared, and the sultry starlet he's been running around with isn't talking. When the missing man turns up dead, Captain Divine's case escalates into a full-blown murder case, and Sister Eve's crime-solving instincts kick in with an almost God-given grace. Soon Sister Eve finds herself soul-searching every step of the way:

How can she choose between the vocation in her heart and the job in her blood?

Sister Eve, Private Eye by Lynne Hinton was an interesting novel but did not really hold my attention that well. I had trouble identifying with the characters, particularly the main character, Eve. I thought that the mystery was scattered, unimpressive, and weirdly complicated at times. While I did enjoy the interaction between Ivy and her father, I had trouble connecting to the storyline and the other aspects of the story. Overall, I was not a huge fan of this novel, which is unfortunate because I do like the other Lynne Hinton novels I have read.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.