Friday, April 29, 2016

Traces of Guilt - Dee Henderson

Lieutenant Evie Blackwell is taking a "vacation."  A vacation that involves trying to solve several missing person cold cases centered in Carin County, Illinois, as a test case for a special task force that the Governor Elect is trying to form.  Gabriel Thane is the current Sheriff, son of the former Sheriff, and as such, becomes Evie's partner in sifting through the old evidence and searching for new links that may help them to solve these cases that have not been forgotten within the local community.  These cases may be linked by more than just the memories and relationships of the Thane family.

When Ann Falcon first appeared in this book, and mentioned "three brothers," I was excited to think maybe we'd finally gotten the story of the third Bishop brother.   Alas, it was not to be, but instead centered around three new brothers - the Thane brothers: Gabriel, Josh, and Will - who are equally interesting and engaging.  I enjoyed getting to know this new family, but I feel like they were such rich characters that they would have been better served if they'd gotten their own books.  Even still, the author manages to tuck quirky little personality traits into such a full story, like a habit of leaving SweeTarts behind.  This family would have made for a rich trilogy, and instead, their story felt under-served by condensing it into a single book.

The loose tie-in of Ann is an interesting thread to hold these stand-alone novels together.  This particular installment was made more interesting by the introduction of Evie Blackwell, who, it appears, is going to get her own series.  The concept of a task force to solve cold cases is intriguing, and I hope that the series does each case justice, as well as giving its lead characters room to grow.  This one hooked me, but I wanted tighter focus on a few characters and one or two cases, rather than trying to tie so many people, romances, and mysteries together into one novel.  I hope that Evie stays in touch with the Thane family, so that we can as well.

I give this book 3.5 stars.  I look forward to reading more about Evie (and I still want to read about Jim Bishop!).

You can find Traces of Guilt HERE.
You can find Dee Henderson's site HERE.
You can find more from the publisher, including an excerpt and author Q&A HERE.

I received an e-book copy of this book from Bethany House, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Her One and Only - Becky Wade

Dru Porter is the youngest of the Porter siblings, and as the only girl, has spent her whole life trying to keep up and prove herself.  She has served in the Marines, she rides a motorcycle, and now she is a bodyguard.  Er..."Executive Protection Agent."  Her newest client is Gray Fowler, a tight end for the Dallas Mustangs, and she is tasked with keeping him safe from a stalker who seems to be escalating his threats.  Dru has vowed to not get personally attached to her clients, but Gray might have other plans.

I have really enjoyed the Porter Family Series; Ty, Jake, and Bo were characters bigger than life, with family bonds and romantic storylines that made for light-hearted, fun reading.  Dru's story didn't feel quite as fleshed out, leaving me feeling like I didn't really know her.  I enjoyed her interactions with Gray, and I thought that his story of needing to learn about forgiveness and about his relationship with God was well done.  I just wanted to know Dru as well as I felt I knew the Porter brothers. The scenes with her family, as well as the intertwined story of Meg and Bo, were some of the most engaging in the book.  Seeing her among her family helped define her, and gave warmth to the coldness of her persona as a bodyguard.  I wish that there was a way for the author to tie these characters into future books so that we didn't have to let go of them yet!

I was excited to receive this book, and I did enjoy it; I just wanted to know Dru more!  
I give this book 3.5 stars.  Within the series, I felt the least invested in this installment, but I was still glad to catch up with the Porter family.

You can find Her One and Only HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.
You can connect with her on Facebook HERE.  (She and Katie Ganshert have an ongoing Pinterest war on Facebook, and it is SO much fun!)

I received a copy of this e-book from Bethany House, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.