New Book Reviews Blog Pages

The Man of Lawlessness by Alex Lindsey

alex lindsey, man of lawlessness
Alex Lindsey's "The Man of Lawlessness" is an apocalyptic thriller that ties together current events, religious ideologies, and apocalyptic scenarios. The story follows two federal agents as they try to get to the bottom of a dystopian scenario that eventually leads them to a revelation of the Man of Lawlessness. Lindsey expertly weaves together fact and fiction to create a powerful story that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Each chapter begins with a fictional news story that are eerily realistic and very well may be the headlines of tomorrow. One of my favorite things about the book is how Lindsey's writing pulls the reader into the story, with interesting characters and a fast-paced plot that make the story come alive. A recommended read for anyone who loves thrillers!

The Taste of Trees (I Don't See It) (Volume 2) by Mary E. Sims

the taste of tree,s illusions of death, mary e sims
"The Taste of Trees," by Mary E. Sims, book 2 in the "I Don't See It" series, is a thought-provoking spiritual book that'll leave you feeling inspired after you finish reading it.

Based on the Biblical creation story, the book makes a departure from the original story, taking the reader through the universe and into the Underworld. The warrior Monk Craetaegus embarks on a journey to defeat Death, hoping the Goddess Sophia will help him. But Death turns out to not be as he seems...

Sims does an excellent job capturing powerful ideas and relaying them to the reader in a way that makes you ask questions while at the same time being completely engaged in the story. If you're looking for a book that will inspire you and make you think at the same time, look no further than "The Taste of Trees."

Rise by Mary Cox

rise, rise novel, mary cox, adult vampire novel
"Rise" by Mary Cox is a suspenseful and steamy (there are adult scenes) vampire novel about 100-year-old vampire, Matt Brenner, and his forbidden passion for the beautiful and human co-ed, Catherine Temple.

In the opening scene, Matt swoops in and saves Catherine from a demeaning teacher's assistant, Brad, but shortly thereafter, a fight ensues between the two men, one that ends badly. Catherine finds out that Matt is a vampire, and she enters a state of shock.

But Matt offers comfort to innocent Catherine who is naive about the submissiveness Brad desired from her, as a part of his dom/sub fantasy. The story takes off from there with romance, sex, different locales, and vignettes into the past. An early and favorite vignette is the sex-for-blood experience Matt has that turns him into a vampire.

The main strengths of the novel are the author's enticing plot line, provocative writing style, and her attention-to-detail in setting up scenes and character development. The book is highly mysterious, and the author's writing style really encourages you to keep turning the page! Mary Cox's "Rise" is a wonderful vampire novel with plenty of sex and mystery to engage the reader's attention.

Starlight Wedding by Frank Thomas

starlight wedding, startlight wedding a novel, frank thomas, frank thomas author
Frank Thomas' "Starlight Wedding" is the story of one woman's dramatic search for love. The protagonist, Amanda Jones, a wedding shop owner, has been obsessed with her wedding since she was a child. Everything seems perfect leading up to her wedding, even down to the date, which coincides with the Starlight Comet ... until her groom walks out on her. 

Encouraged by her friend, Margot, Amanda embarks on a journey to find the perfect husband to marry her on her planned wedding day, the day the Starlight Comet arrives. Frank Thomas writes in a way that captures the emotion and drama of Amanda's search while still keeping the book light-spirited. There is plenty of witty humor to keep you laughing as the plot kicks into gear. If you're looking for a fun romantic read that'll make you laugh and root for the main character, "Starlight Wedding" is a book worth checking out.

Confessions: Words from the Heart by Mary E. Sims

confessions, addiction book, mary e sims
"Confessions: Words from the Heart," by Mary E. Sims, contains the stories of two friends sharing about difficult, dark times in their life. The trials they faced seemed nearly impossible to overcome, including addiction, yet they were determined to move forward. If you've experienced addiction, many of the things these friends share is relatable.

If you've never experienced addiction, reading about the blunt reality of addiction and what led to it will be an eye-opening experience. Reading Ruby Jewel and Linda's stories is a powerful experience that is very emotional at times, yet these are stories that will grant the reader important insight into the struggles of addiction. If you want to read a powerful book that will impact your life, "Confessions" is a must-read.

It Takes a Village: We Were Once Children by Mary E. Sims and Claude A. Chiles

it takes a village, we were once children, claude a chiles, mary e sims
“It Takes A Village: We Were Once Children” is a thought-provoking look at the different styles and approaches to raising children and the consequences of how you raise children.

The book opens with a frustrated parent at the end of her patience with her misbehaving child. She goes to Mr. Wilson, a strict teacher for help. The reader then gets to read various situations about children/youths and how they are raised by the adults in their life. After each chapter, there is an explanation of what happened as well as a questionnaire for the reader to fill out and reflect on the situation.

One of the things I love about this book is that it doesn’t tell you what to do. It tells you the facts and lets you draw your own conclusion. I’d recommend this book to anyone wanting to read about different approaches to raising children and the consequences of each.

Sunrise Ridge by Shirleen Davies

shirleen davies, sunrise ridge, historical western romance, western romance
"Sunrise Ridge," book 3 in the Redemption Mountain series, is a historical western romance by Shirleen Davies about a relationship between two very unique people. Set in 19th century Montana, the novel follows blacksmith Noah Brandt, former Union Army sharpshooter, and Abigail Tolbert, a determined young woman who wants to find her own way in life. The two have a complicated history together, and they must navigate all the complexities if they'll ever find true love.

Author Shirleen Davies writes a story that balances each character's past and present situations, setting up a need for the characters to reconcile the two before they move forward. I am very impressed with how Davies is able to transport the reader to the historical western frontier and see how place plays a role in the characters' lives. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes historical romance novels!

A Diamond in the Rough by Elisa Marie Hopkins

a diamond in the rough, diamond in the rough book, elisa marie hopkins, diamond romance novel
"A Diamond in the Rough," by Elisa Marie Hopkins, is a fresh romance novel with suspense and mystery elements that'll grab your interest in the beginning and build it to the very end.

The main character is Sophia Cavall, a twenty-something model embedded in the world of fashion. However, her life is turned upside down when she receives death threats and is the victim of a kidnapping attempt. She finds herself with the handsome, enigmatic Oliver Black to thank. Hopkins does an excellent job pacing the story well with just the right balance of build-up and twists and turns. Sophia is a dynamic, interesting character, and it is fascinating reading how she deals with the tricky situations she faces. If you're looking for a fun new romance with mystery and suspense, I'd highly recommend "A Diamond in the Rough" to you.

Delightful Oasis by Denzel Weidner

delightful oasis, denzel weidner, parents disaprove of relationship, parents disaprove of boyfriend, romance book
"Delightful Oasis," by Denzel Weidner, is a funny, romantic read that catches your interest and keeps it. The fast-paced story follows Virginia, a young woman who is deeply in love with Brad, much to the chagrin of her parents. Brad doesn't have the prestige that Virginia's father has. In fact, Virginia's father threatens to disown his daughter if the relationship continues. The conflict between the relationship and the disapproval of the parents is fascinating to see develop.

Weidner does a good job of pacing the story, developing the characters and building the tension. There's also a fair amount of humor in the book that had me laughing out loud a few times. This is a recommended read for anyone who likes humorous, romantic stories.

Satin Shorts by George Snyder

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George Snyder's "Satin Shorts" is a novel about a man named Eddie who can’t seem to get away from complicated relationships. For one, his wife Phillis shot him. Secondly, while he was in jail serving time for being a thief, she hooked up with his business partner, Nick.

Now that he’s back out, Nick has another plan in mind to two-time him, while trying to distract him with a prostitute. Eddie enjoys more than just the prostitute’s body however, and the two become romantically involved. Meanwhile, Eddie and Nick are involved in a bank robbery involving lots of money and multiple accomplices. Things get heated when there is a hitch in the robbery and Eddie is stuck in charge and calling the shots.

The money from the robbery causes more issues than Eddie had ever imagined, and the reader gets to find out with Eddie what’s in store for him. Betrayal, love, and lust are all themes that are found in this novel. The novel is an easy read, with believable dialogue and a fast-moving plot.

If you're an adult who is looking to read a novel about crime from a crook's perspective, then "Satin Shorts" is an excellent read.

Summary & Analysis of Paper Towns by Book*Sense

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"Summary & Analysis of 'Paper Towns'" by Book*Sense is an excellent read for anyone looking for a thorough yet concise look at the book. I read the book for a book club and used the guide to brush up on the details of the story the night before club's meeting.

I feel this summary and analysis book worked excellently for this. The summary & analysis is broken into easy-to-digest sections, such as Setting for the Story, Story Plot Analysis, Character List, and more. The writing is succinct, with no fluff, yet covers the important stuff. Definitely a good buy for anyone looking for a solid summary and analysis of "Paper Towns."

The Devil's Fox by George Pollino

the devil's fox, george pollino, asian mythology book, asian protagonist
George Pollino's "The Devil's Fox" is a novel that beautifully blends romance, mythology, and suspense into a riveting story. I was intrigued from the start, with Akane, a fox demon, waking up in a public restroom. I could see Pollino's knack for descriptive, affective writing, particularly narration.

Additionally, I was impressed with the imaginative nature of the story. This is not your run-of-the-mill suspense/thriller. For instance, the main characters are a fox demon, a scientist, and a blind priest. When Thomas, the priest, summons Akane, the fox demon, she finds herself embedded in a life or death battle that seems impossible to win. Pollino does an excellent job weaving a story with many threads that is unpredictable and gripping. Although I think all the characters are well-written, the soulless Akane is my favorite, with her complex desires and unique relation to the other characters. The novel's chapters switch between different time periods and settings (Japan, Italy, etc) giving the reader insight into the story from multiple angles. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mythology (particularly Asian mythology) and suspense. 

Starstruck by Simone Heart

starstruck, simone heart, fast-paced romance
"Starstruck," by Simone Heart, is a fast-paced romance that follows the incredible trajectory of a young, humble Montana woman's love life. The main character is Adeline Conner, a pretty yet unassuming woman who has always been the Good Girl. She ends up married to Andrew, an abusive drunk.

As bleak as things seem, she escapes and finds herself in an electric romance with a Hollywood movie star. Heart does an excellent job of pacing the plot in a way that really keeps you guessing. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a fast-paced romances with lots of twists and turns.

Don't Cry, Pappa by Gunnar E. Skollingsberg, PhD

don't cry pappa, skollingsberg author
"Don't Cry, Pappa: Surviving Persistent Depression and Heartbreaking Tragedies to Find a New Mission in Life" by Gunnar E. Skollingsberg, PhD, is a touching memoir about the author's life, particularly the family-based challenges and tragedies he experienced, and a portrait of survival and hope through pain and grief.

Skollingsberg walks the reader through the main events and inflection points of his life, from his early childhood memories of "feeling demeaned, worthless, and unwanted" as an isolated and abused immigrant son from Norway, to experiencing the death of two of his children, and the pains of divorce. Though these events caused the author to feel self-loathing, grief, and depression, the author shows that it is possible to press forward amidst the most heart-wrenching life experiences. Skollingsberg loves his remaining children and makes it his professional and personal mission to help other children who feel lonely and worthless as he once did. 

"Don't Cry, Pappa" is an incredibly well-written memoir with thoughtful reflections and overall positive messages of survival through very tough times, and specifically, the persistence of hope after the loss of a child. The author is inspiring in that he is able to repurpose his life to do good for other children after the personal losses he suffered.

"Dont' Cry, Pappa" is a must-read memoir for individuals looking for a role model who can lead by example after experiencing personal tragedies and difficulty life circumstances.

The Opal Dragon by James A. Calderwood

james a calderwood, the opal dragon, thriller book

"The Opal Dragon," by James A Calderwood,  is a thriller about a young man with a rough upbringing who turns to crime and finds himself in a cat-and-mouse chase with the police.

The protagonist is Ali, the son of a local prostitute. After robbing an old merchant, Ali flees to the mountains to his Aunt Sasha. What ensues is a chain of events filled with suspense, intrigue, and action. There is a subplot involving seekers of the black opal, which adds another layer to the story. Although this is a thriller filled with action and adventure, characterization is a strong element of the story. You really start to understand Ali the further you get into the plot, which makes the story all that more engaging. If you're a fan of thrillers with strong characters, I'd recommend this book to you.