Sunday, March 25, 2018

Perfectly Imperfect

Following her stellar Out of Egypt series,
author Connilyn Cossette brings her fans an exciting new Biblical saga.
Seven years after her captivity in Jericho, Moriyah is still searching for peace
and hiding her facial scar behind a veil.
This mark is a constant and disgraceful reminder
that she's been branded by the Canaanite gods.
Readers are first introduced to Moriyah as a secondary character
in Wings of the Wind (Out of Egypt Book 3) and I was thrilled her story continues
in A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge Book 1).
She's been content to live in her widowed father's house 
cooking delectable meals for him and their few close friends.
Upon her father's announcement he's arranged a marriage for her to a widower with twin sons;
she's uncertain how this man will accept her,
but she's determined to honor her father and wed. 
When the meeting goes dreadfully wrong,
Moriyah flees for her life to a city of refuge accompanied by her father's faithful servant,
and Derek (the younger brother of her decided husband), intent on seeking justice. 
Over the course of their journey, Derek and Moriyah develop feelings for one another...
and so goes the story. 
Ms. Cossette does a brilliant job of creating tension between the duo.
Both Derek and Moriyah have feelings of guilt about their attraction to one another. 
Derek sees past Moriyah's blemish.
"So much is concealed behind this marred skin. Such life.
Such beauty, hidden in plain sight. (Cossette, 159).
He also helps Moriyah realize she's been living in a prison of her own making.
From page one, Moriah's story captivated me.
The author does an exceptional job of maintaining a balance of sympathizing with her,
but also causing her to grow and come to terms with her imperfections. 

~~ A Light on the Hill was provided to me by Bethany House and author Connilyn Cossette in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. ~~  

Friday, March 9, 2018

Too Far Down Wraps Up The Cimarron Legacy

 The third and final book in  Cimarron Legacy (Too Far Down) marks a couple of milestones for me. 

 Specifically, I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing 5 of Ms. Connealy books making her the author that I've critiqued the most.

Also, this is the first time I've reviewed an entire series. (No Way Up October 2016 & Long Time Gone April 2017).

Too Far Down starts off with an explosion...a mining explosion! Recently recovered from a gunshot wound, Cole Boden sustains minor injuries and loses five of his miners. The eruption was made to look like an accident, but as Cole investigates he's discovering it was all set up intended to spark a series of actions targeting the Boden clan and the Cimarron Ranch (CR). Younger half-siblings, Justin and Sadie along with their spouses are there to help him in unraveling the mystery surrounding the attacks on their family.

Neighbor Melanie "Mel" Blake is a cowgirl through and through and also "... a savvy woman who could hold her own." (Connealy, 139).  She is surprised when she finds herself falling for Cole, the polished Harvard graduate.  Returning from his decade in Boston, Cole is astounded to find himself noticing Mel in a new light."He'd never thought about her looks before...But they'd grown up together so, you'd've thought he'd've noticed how beautiful she was." (Connealy, 19).

In terms of Ms. Connealy's typical heroes, Cole is somewhat of a departure. He's a college graduate who pairs tailored 3 piece suits with his Stetson and gun.  Initially, Cole is resentful of his father's will stipulating that he and his siblings all move back home and live at the CR. However, over time, Cole realizes the wisdom of his father's plan

Author Mary Connealy skillfully crafts Too Far Down tying up all the loose ends and bringing the conspiracy full circle.

A Song Unheard is a Beautiful Melody Blending Mystery, Suspense, and Intrigue

A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Book 2)

Willa Forsythe, the younger 'sister' of Rosemary, is a professional thief and a violin prodigy from a young age. Now 23, she's been commissioned by "Mr. V" for a mission that utilizes her skills as a pickpocket, but also "...her skill [on] the violin [ which is] unsurpassed." (White, 67).
Her assignment: to obtain a cypher key from world-renowned violinist Lukas De Wilde.

  Lukas De Wilde's reputation proceeds him, and not in a positive way.
He's seen as a bit of a play-boy. However, fame, fortune, and war have changed him.
At one time, he relished the prestige that his prominent violin playing brought him,
but now "with the world having gone mad. Not just with the war, with everything." (White, 77)
he's changing his tune.  His sole focus is spent on trying to rescue his mother and sister,
both trapped in enemy occupied Belgium.

Willa's initial meeting with Lukas prompts him to offer her violin lessons.
He sees natural musical ability as surpassing his own and he wants to help perfect her form
and teach her how to read music.

She is a complex heroine who is a series of contradictions. Stubborn and sensitive at times,
she loves her 'family' and is fiercely loyal and protective of them. As a violin wonder she doesn't realize how good she is and has trouble accepting praise from others. More importantly, Willa has a hard time believing that God is interested in or cares for her.

Ms. White's over-arching theme is that God speaks to us in different ways.
In Willa's case He uses music.

The author skillfully weaves her tale of suspense, mystery, and intrigue all the while slowly unraveling it to draw the reader in.
A Song Unheard was difficult to put down.

The cover art for Ms. White's Shadows Over England series is beautiful,
capturing the WWI time period.
A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England Book 1)

An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England Book 3)

I'm ecstatic to announce the 3rd and final book An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England)  comes out September of this year. Isn't the cover gorgeous?! I love how the darker jewel tones of the books look together. Can't wait to add this to my shelf! 

~~ A Song Unheard was provided to me by Bethany House and author Roseanna M. White in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. ~~