Monday, August 26, 2013

Full Disclosure

Full Disclosure
Dee Henderson
Bethany House Publishers
Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Cop Thriller

As the Midwest Homicide Investigator Ann Silver is a cop's cop. She's called into scenes around the midwest where cops are in over their heads and need a different set of eyes. She finds clues where others may not notice and she's an expert at her job. Her job is also extremely elite and trusted. When she's not investigating grisly murder scenes she can be found at home with her dog and a good book. Anonymity and solitude has been her friend for years and she'd like to keep it that way.

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the midwest. If the victim was in anyway connected on a federal level or had security clearances Paul and his team will most likely work the case. From a loving family Paul is content in his job while also wanting possibly more.

Ann and Paul's lives intersect when Ann passes off a case to Paul's team. A suspicious death in a car wreck leaves Ann asking questions and needing to have someone else take the case. She suspects that her case might be connected to The Lady Shooter. The FBI has been hunting The Lady Shooter for years and have continued to hit dead end after dead end. Paul has made it his personal mission to capture the killer.

Ann walks into Paul's work intending to simply pass the case off. However, life has a funny way of not going the way we would expect or want. A "chance" meeting turns into an instant connection between the two characters. To the surprise of both of them they find themselves attracted and drawn to each other. What follows is a slow and steady joining of two very different people into a couple.

Henderson's first book in 6 years this book has a sweetness and a gradualness to it that her other books have not had. She takes her time in developing the two characters and their story. At times you'll find yourself wondering if watching paint dry might go faster than the two of them finally getting together. Other times, you'll be delighted with the cuteness of the love the two share. Henderson writes with depth and experience. Perhaps one of the more real and raw relationship developments I've ever read. You won't find yourself swept up in a sweeping romance but you will find yourself falling in love with both Paul and Ann. The way they develop as people and as characters is so very real. I loved that. It was true to real life.

While the romance section might be true to real life the cop case side of the story left with something to be desired. I find myself having a hard time following the story. The book is quite lengthy and it included so much I felt it could have been a two or three novel series instead of trying to cram everything into one. It was a lot to digest. This is not a one night read kind of book. It seemed a bit dramatized and over the top in so may ways...which is something Henderson does well. I did feel like I was reading some sort of penny dreadful novel at some points and that, partnered with a sweet romance relationship made the book feel a bit choppy.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I welcome back this deeper and more developed Henderson and look forward to reading more from her in the future. Prepare yourself as you dive into this book, it will take you awhile and you may want to bring along a notepad to takes notes. You'll love so many aspects you most likely won't even notice the few choppy parts. Be prepared to be enthralled and truly transported.

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Noble Groom

A Noble Groom 
Jody Hedlund
Bethany House Publishers
Fiction, Historical, Romance

It's 1881 and Carl von Reichart is fleeing Germany with his life. With the help of his manservant Matthias Carl is leaving everything familiar and fleeing to Matthias' brother Peter's homestead in Michigan. Having been convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit Carl is left with no choice but to go to America. Shrugging of his noble birth Carl is desperate to fit in in the small German community of Forestville. 

Recently widowed Annalisa is doing her best to provide for her young daughter on their farm in Michigan. She's awaiting the arrival of a groom from Germany who will marry her and take over the farm. Although Carl is not her intended his arrival is a welcomed sight. Annalisa has only 6 months to pay back the land grant her husband purchased. A widowed woman and a young girl can not toil the land themselves. Carl takes a job working for Annalisa but struggles with adapting to hard manual labor. 

Mystery abounds in this book. Annalisa has a feeling her husband was murdered but she has no evidence to prove it. She also senses that something about Carl isn't quite right but she has no choice but to trust him and allow him to help her on the farm. Against her better judgement  finds herself drawn to him. He's handsome and kind and unlike any other man she has ever met. He treats her like a rare jewel and seems to cherish her. 

Carl has only planned to stay in Michigan and hide out until his name is cleared. An aspiring chemist he's anxious to get back to his experiments and research. What he didn't count on was Annalisa. Despite the obvious class difference he can't help but be drawn to her and her little girl. Before he knows it he's fallen in love with both of them. 

Annalisa's intended groom is on his way and mysteries can not remain unsolved. As the groom gets closer to Michigan the book escalates. Lies are revealed, feelings are hurt, and the damage seems to be irreparable. Will Annalisa be with her intended groom or her noble groom? What will the future hold? And just who did murder her husband and why? 

Rest assured dear readers, the story does not end there. Everything is tied up into a neat little bow that will leave you with a very contented sigh of relief. We read fiction for the resolution that our own lives rarely have. Rarely will you find an author who so beautifully writes resolution. I found myself stressed out trying to figure out how Hedlund was going to fix this story. No need to fear, she did so perfectly and you'll love it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hedlund has quickly become one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint with this book. The characters are SO very well developed. I loved Annalisa and her little girl, I adored Carl, and I despised Annalisa's family. I believe it was all intended for me to feel that way. Carl will warm your heart and have you randomly wishing for your own German chemist. Which brings me to my next point, I loved the uniqueness of the characters. I don't believe I've ever read about a chemist turned farmer before. It was very intriguing and so fun to read. Annalisa is a sweetheart that you so desperately want to find true love and someone to cherish her. As for her family! Good grief, what an interesting cultural experience. Slovenly chauvinistic men that will have you applauding the leaps and bounds we've made in women's rights in the last 150 years. Thank you Susan B. Anthony! 

My props to Hedlund for writing a truly delightful read. I couldn't put this book down and I enjoyed every bit of it. You won't be expecting the twists and turns it takes and you'll be up long into the night. So brew some coffee now and get ready for an adventure in Michigan in the mid 1800's. Enjoy! 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and real review. 

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