Fast Five Review Roundup

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Welcome, reader friends! It has to have been at least a month since my last Fast Five Review Roundup, but I’ve been able to put one together for you at last. It’s a bit of a mixed bag today—some more enjoyable than others—but I hope you’ll find something to tickle your fancy.

Review #1 ~ A Heart’s Revolution (Roseanna M. White)

I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a hero as much as I disliked Emerson Fielding at the beginning of this story. I love Roseanna M. White’s books and have great faith in her as a writer, but I have to admit, I wondered if salvaging Emerson realistically was beyond even her writing talent. And then I met Edwinn Calvert and wondered whether I even wanted her to salvage him! But my faith in Roseanna White was proven yet again as my emotional journey through the story mirrored Lark’s exactly. What more can you ask from an author?

Well, history-lovers like me might ask for a story grounded in the historical events taking place at the time—in this case, the resignation of General Washington and the political tensions that remained immediately following the Revolutionary War. And Roseanna White delivers on that count as well. Edwinn Clavert (who is also a point-of-view character in this novel) was prevented from fighting in the Revolutionary War due to a childhood injury, however he has been ostracised for his belief that rebelling against England was the wrong way to go about achieving their independence. I loved the discussions and tensions this gave rise to and the way the characters matured as they confronted prejudices and reconsidered all that freedom truly means.

Once again, a fabulous historical romance from this author!

I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Amazon  //  Goodreads

She had loved him. For the first time that struck him squarely, and only because he knew she did no longer. He had seen the death of her affection in her eyes seconds before anger had obliterated it. With its loss he had to wonder that it had ever been his. He had done nothing to deserve her affection, her devotion.
But he deserved the wrath and consequences. Still, he prayed God would grant him mercy and one more chance. Just one. He would do it honor this time. He would make things right, do what he ought to have done ages ago. Salvage the reputations of their families… He just prayed the Lord would preserve her person and soften her heart in the meantime.

Review #2 ~ Beneath the Surface (Lynn H. Blackburn)

Fans of romantic suspense authors such as Lynette Eason, Dani Pettrey, and Irene Hannon are likely to add another author to their list once they read this offering from Lynn Blackburn. I was a little surprised that diving featured so little in a book that kicks off a series titled Dive Team Investigations, but the story moved along at a good pace, and there was plenty of suspense, with Leigh escaping several attempts on her life as the story progressed.

I loved the ensemble cast the author has put together for this series, particularly the rapport between Ryan and fellow investigator Gabe Chavez, and as someone who enjoys watching investigators nut out a case, there were several aspects of the story I enjoyed. However, I felt it might have been a bit of a stretch to draw the connection between the recovered body and Leigh’s stalker as soon as they did, and I wasn’t wholly convinced of the reason behind Leigh being targeted. There were also some unanswered questions as to why the murders took place in the manner they did.

Those who enjoy an uncomplicated romance with their suspense will enjoy Leigh and Ryan’s relationship. I thought it overcapitalized a little on the protective hero motif, and even more so on the overprotective brother at the end, but I’m sure it will have plenty of readers swooning nonetheless.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Amazon  //  Goodreads

“Serial killers rarely present as evil,” Sabrina said. “They are often charming and compassionate. Something in them is broken, but they understand enough of social constructs to know they have to put on a show of civility. In fact, in most cases, they are genuinely kind to those who aren’t in their target population.”
“That’s what’s scary about this,” Leigh said. “How could I possibly know who it is?”
“You couldn’t,” Sabrina said. “The problem is, they think you do.”

Review #3 ~ Table for One (Georgiana Daniels)

I picked this novel up after having read the recently released Shadows of Hope by the same author because I was looking for a lighter read and curious to read more of the author’s writing. I loved the premise: Lucy Brocklehurst is a successful stockbroker who has her eye on the new youth pastor, but through a series of misadventures, she finds herself taking notice of the quiet, kind-of-nerdy Edgar Flowers. The problem? His mother is definitely NOT quiet and is determined to keep them apart.

This is written in a chick-lit voice (solely from Lucy’s point of view and in first person, present tense), and I loved the writing style, but the characters bordered on being caricatures at times, and I found several of Lucy’s misadventures more embarrassing than humorous. Lucy is also somewhat immature at the beginning of the novel, and I had hoped to see evidence of her maturation as the story progressed, but it seems to come rather suddenly at the end, leaving me less than convinced.

I highly recommend Shadows of Hope, but Table for One didn’t quite make it for me.

Amazon  //  Goodreads

Is it possible for a man to be so kind that he didn’t notice how awful everything was?
A sense of God’s love for Edgar flows over me. He is kindhearted, and he’s not going to bad mouth my family or badger me with rude questions. Edgar is a gentleman, in fact, he’s the only one I know. No wonder I didn’t recognize him for what he is—he’s one of a kind.
“I could tell you weren’t having a good time,” he says as we turn the corner.
“That’s an understatement.”
“But we don’t have to talk about it.”
“Really?” He’s letting me off the hook. For just a few minutes, I can overlook the most catastrophic night of my adult life.

Review #4 ~ The Golden Vial (Thomas Locke)

I have to confess to being rather disappointed with this final instalment in Thomas Locke’s Legends of the Realm series. We’ve been waiting for this final book for a little over two years, and we left Hyam at a rather crushing moment in his life. The glimpses we got of Shona in Merchant of Alyss had made me keen for The Golden Vial, since it seemed as though it would pick up her story. Seemed being the operative word there.

Shona was really only a peripheral character, as was Hyam. This was all about a completely new character known as Dally, a young orphan girl who ends up being the key to everything. I love Thomas Locke’s writing, and that remained true for this book, but I couldn’t help thinking “Where’s the real story?” I felt like these characters were going through the expected motions; I never got that ‘How are they going to get out of this?’ feeling. And when I got to the last page, I couldn’t believe that was it. It felt so . . . unfinished. I mean, it resolved as far as Dally was concerned, but it was like it finished in the middle of a conversation. Underwhelmed is the word.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Amazon  //  Goodreads

She recalled the moment she had sensed the enemy.
Dally knew with utter certainty that she had barely escaped with her life. Just recalling the instant when the enemy had turned her way filled Dally with a sense of inevitability. Sooner or later, she feared, the enemy would find her. Then he would consume her mind and heart and . . .
Turn her into a slave. Only half alive. Never to be free again.
She didn’t think this. She knew. That brief glimpse of the enemy’s fury and lust for destruction still blistered her.

Review #5 ~ A Search for Refuge (Kristi Ann Hunter)

I love the premise behind this new series: Haven Manor—a place for young women who find themselves in ‘a delicate situation’, as they might say, where they can escape the scorn of society and receive the support they need. This novella is set about ten years before the first full-length novel in the series takes place (due to release 5 June 2018) and tells the story of how Haven Manor comes to be. There’s a little bit of intrigue, and I enjoyed the development of Margaretta and Nash’s friendship. I thought Nash’s ‘problem’ was perhaps a little simplistic, and there were a few instances of Americanisms/anachronistic language that threw me out momentarily (I can’t remember them precisely since Kindle saw fit to somehow discard ALL my highlights 😠) but overall, it was a quick and enjoyable read.

And I loved the secondary character, Mrs. Lancaster—a woman with a big heart and a little bit of spunk. I’m not sure whether she’ll appear in future books of the series, but I’d love it if she did!

PS – It’s currently FREE!

Amazon  //  Goodreads

“How nice to meet you, Mrs. Lancaster. I am Mi—” She coughed to cover her hesitation. Who could she possibly say she was? Samuel was sure to be looking for a Mrs. Albany so she couldn’t possibly give them her real name.
Being a Miss would be the easiest way to throw Samuel off should he come looking, but that would cause a host of other problems for Margaretta if she was still in town in a month or two. She coughed again to buy herself a bit of time and held up the chunk of bread with an apologetic smile.
“I’m Mrs.—” Name! Name! She needed a name! “Fortescue.”
She nearly groaned. Using her maiden name was nearly as bad as admitting her married name was Albany. If Samuel came to Marlborough, he’d find her for sure.

Have you read any of these books?

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Fast Five, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Fast Five Review Roundup

  1. Amy M says:

    I’ve only read “Beneath the Surface” and was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more underwater investigation as the cover eluded to. I did however really like the team dynamic and look forward to reading more about them in future books.

    I really like your “Fast Five Review Roundup”. You give just enough information and insight to peak my interest and discover more books and new-to-me authors. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the Fast Five and your honest reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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