DecemberStories that Chill

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. Net Galley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog.

Imperfect Justice—December 5

By Cara Putman

In the second in the Hidden Justice series (you don’t have to read the first one to enjoy this one), author Cara Putman keeps the reader writhing in suspense. Emilie Wesley, advocate and lawyer for Haven, a women’s resource center, has a stalker. At first, she discounts the gifts and notes, but as her search for the truth in a client’s untimely death intensifies, so does her stalker’s tactics. To make matters worse, the local police discount her fears.

Emilie teams with Reid Billings, the brother of her deceased client, Kaylene, to find the truth about the death. Readers will keep turning pages to discover who really killed Kaylene, and the identity of Emilie’s stalker.

Both Emilie and Reid learn to trust in God as they seek justice for Kaylene’s young daughter and a resolution to Emilie’s stalker problem. Without preaching, Putman helps the reader understand some of the psychology that keeps women in abusive relationships. The fully developed characters and fast-paced plot will keep readers up late at night.

The House on Foster Hill

By Jamie Jo Wright

In this masterful suspense novel, debut novelist Jamie Jo Wright knocks the genre out of the park. Two years after Kaine Prescott’s husband dies in a mysterious accident, Kaine has had enough of police indifference. She knows she has a stalker and she believes a person or persons lie behind the mystery of her husband’s death. She buys a house in a new state sight unseen, and travels across country to escape her past and heal from all that haunts her.

When she arrives, it seems as if her stalker knew her next step before she took it. Determined to stick it out, Kaine makes friends in the small Wisconsin community and starts working on the house—along with the mystery of her great-grandmother, Ivy, who grew up in the same area. Will she discover the truth about her stalker, her great-grandmother, the house on Foster Hill, and herself before it’s too late?

Ivy Thorpe, a doctor’s daughter, spinster, grieving sister, and keeper of the stories of the dead, becomes obsessed with finding the truth about a young woman found dead in a hollow tree trunk. The author skillfully weaves Ivy’s story with Kaine’s story—leaving the reader breathless with suspense both past and present.

Fans of Colleen Coble, Cara Putnam, and Dani Pettrey will love this book.

Crown of Souls

The second in Kendig’s Tox Files Series, Crown of Souls combines suspense with mystery and romance. Tox Russell, sniper extraordinaire, and his team take a break, but end up on another case. This time, because Tox himself becomes the target of a sniper.

The team races around the Middle East, searching for a mysterious crown that Tox’s assailant, Alec King, appears to use in his hits against those responsible for the deaths of his special forces unit. Alec wants Tox to join him in bringing justice to the world, and claims that Tox is just as lost as he is. Tox struggles to overcome the darkness of his past and solve another antiquities mystery before people he loves suffer.

This book is probably best read after reading the first book in the series. I found myself a little lost at times with the characters and back story. If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, you’ll love this book.

Don't miss these chilling new suspense releases from @cara_putman, @RonieKendig, and @jaimejowright #amreading Click To Tweet

Heart-Warming Romances

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage—December 5, 2017

By Julie Klassen
The second installment of Klassen’s Tales From Ivy Hill series focuses on Rachel Ashton and her friend Mercy Grove. Rachel, impoverished and recently orphaned, has moved in with her friend Mercy at Ivy Cottage. She tries to help Mercy with the school for young ladies that Mercy and her Aunt Matilda run out of Ivy Cottage, but she doesn’t feel that she has the gift of teaching.

Mercy encourages Rachel to attend the local women’s business meeting—also known as the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society—where the ladies suggest that she start a circulating library. Everyone pitches in to help her set up her business, and she soon has a means to support herself—which leads to a mystery. Unraveling the mystery may could mean the end of Rachel’s hopes for her future.

Mercy Grove has accepted that fact that she will remain a spinster. Her mother has made clear through the years that Mercy’s plain looks and lack of fine figure will limit her choices. Mercy finds contentment in running the girls’ school with her aunt and participating in village life. But her brother’s engagement threatens to take away everything she holds dear.

Fans of Jan Karon’s Mitford series will enjoy the Ivy Hill series. Klassen uses her extensive knowledge of 1820s England to create a village full of characters with depth. Reading the first book will prove helpful, as the stories in this book pick up where they left off in the last book.

Out of the Ordinary

By Jen Turano

If you read and enjoyed Turano’s first book in the Apart From the Crowd series, you’ll love this book, too. You don’t have to read them in order, because Turano does a great job of tying up the loose ends in each book before moving on to the next one.

Gertrude Cadwalader, has few choices in life as an impoverished female with a good education. Her job as the faithful companion to the sticky-fingered Mrs. Davenport provides her security—along with a fair amount of embarrassment and adventure. Not every companion gets died orange or stuck to a fainting couch by a birdcage repurposed as a bustle.

Harrison Sinclair, shipping magnate and handsome friend of Gertrude’s best friend’s fiancé, wonders how he can avoid greedy girls looking for a rich husband. The more time he spends in Gertrude’s company, the more he wants to know about her. Despite having three sisters, he feels a bit bewildered by the fairer sex. He blunders in his friendship with Gertrude and sets out to woo her—with unexpected results.

The dialogue sparkles and the circumstances the characters experience had me giggling out loud. If you love historical fiction, quirky characters, and action, you’ll love Jen Turano’s latest book.

Inspirational romance to warm your heart (and keep you laughing) from @Julie_Klassen, @ReginaJennings and @JenTurano #amreading Click To Tweet
Holding the Fort—December 5

By Regina Jennings

Louisa Bell longs for a different life, but from a young age, society has spurned her because of her mother’s not-so-savory profession. She possesses the voice of an angel, a rudimentary education, and a firm resolve to never make her living as a soiled dove. Even though everyone assumes that she augments her income from singing at the Cat-Eye Saloon in Wichita, Kansas in ways that don’t involve singing or chess.

When Louisa loses her job because of her morals, she takes a desperate gamble and hopes everything will turn out just fine.

Major Daniel Adams commands his fort with an iron hand—albeita fair and kind one. But to his dismay, his two daughters defy authority and run riot over Fort Reno. Without a mother to guide their deportment and education, he sees little hope of them turning into proper young ladies. Desperate to find a solution, he orders a matronly governess through the local Mennonite society. Due to unfortunate circumstances, he gets something entirely different—Miss Louisa Bell. But he doesn’t know her background.

Jennings develops her characters nicely. In addition, she handles the time period in a sensitive manner—not an easy feat when setting a story in the 1880s in Indian Territory. She sticks to the facts without making her characters overly antagonistic towards the Natives while at the same time not imbuing them with modern-day attitudes.

I enjoyed the characters, their conversations, situations, and predicaments. I look forward to the next book in the series!

Q4U: What books have you enjoyed lately?

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