Unwilling Warrior

Written by Andrea Boeshaar
Reviewed by Lena Nelson Dooley

Back Cover Copy:

Will the war force her to abandon her newfound love?

The War Between the States has Valerie Fontaine frightened about her future. And when her wealthy father is charged with supplying Federal gunboats in order to save his shipping business, Valerie is suspected of conspiracy. Suddenly she’s forced to flee her upscale New Orleans home or be taken into custody by Confederate troops.

Benjamin McCabe has a noble dream to make his mark on the world and has decided that photographing the Civil War is the way to accomplish it. But since the Battle of Bull Run, his brother Luke has been missing, and Ben is determined to find him. His stop in New Orleans is supposed to be a temporary one–until he meets and falls in love with Miss Valerie Fontaine.

When Valerie’s father is arrested, Ben secures a way for her to leave the city and travel to his family’s home where she’ll be safe. He promises that as soon as he finds Luke, he’ll be home and they can begin their life together. But once Valerie steps off the train, she finds herself caught up in a web of lies that threaten to imprison her more than Yankee steel bars ever could.
My Review:

I’ve read Andrea’s books for years, and enjoyed them. This one is even better than those that went before. The way she crafted this store was so beautiful and seamlessly pulls emotions and events together with words that paint more of a picture than most books do. I loved reading it. I found it hard to put down and kept going back to the story as quickly as I possibly could.

Strang Publishing has done a wonderful job of choosing the authors to launch their new Realms historical fiction line. I look forward to more of the same quality of books, especially the next one in this series. I give this book 5 stars.

To read more of Mrs. Dooley’s reviews, visit http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Book Review: The Hand of Fate

Written by Liz Wiehl and April Henry
Reviewed by Nike Chillemi –

The Hand of Fate is the second in the Triple Threat series. While I enjoyed the first book, Face of Betrayal, to my mind, the second book is better. Perhaps the authors simply hit their stride. The three main female characters are stronger and more developed in this book.

I love talk radio and this book catches the immediacy of the medium. Abrasive, opinionated, and self-centered, popular Portland talk-show host Jim Fate receives an envelope at the station and when he opens it, a powdery substance sprays in his face (possibly sarin), shortly thereafter killing him.

The members of the Triple Threat Club put their heads together to solve the broadcaster’s murder. Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor, happily married and at the beginning of her first pregnancy, who is  also a practicing Christian. Nicole Hedges, the FBI special agent who is the lead on this case is a single mother, was brought up Christian, but is now an agnostic. Cassidy Shaw, a popular crime beat TV reporter feels she’s aging, is abusing prescribed sleep meds, has a tendency to hop from bed to bed, and had a relationship with the victim she’s trying to hide.

At first this appears to be a terrorist attack on the entire city, as sarin is that deadly. The downtown area is evacuated and there are injuries, heart attacks, and several deaths as result of the general evacuation. The pregnant Allison finds a tiny Hispanic girl who’s been separated from her mother and carries the child several miles to safety. After several hours of panic, medical personnel determine the substance is not sarin and the city is safe. Now the Triple Threat Club swing into action to find out who killed Jim Fate.

Fate, a combative, right wing, shock-jock, who we learn about posthumously, is a fascinating character. As the three women investigators look at the suspect list, they realize a shorter list would be one with people who liked the man.

Christian characters in this novel pray and seek solace in God, but the book is not preachy nor is there any heavy theology. A question that pops up in the last book is answered here. Why Nicole turned her back on God. While the novel is not too graphic, this is one of the scariest and most brutal parts of the book, which I can’t go into as it would be a huge spoiler. Cassidy continues to do stupid stuff, like combining a sleep aid with alcohol and falling asleep in a bathtub full of water — and her friends, like in the first novel, find they must rescue her…literally.

The identity of the murderer comes as a total surprise, as does the motive for the murder. One of the seemingly normal, career driven characters has an agenda, and well hidden underlying emotional issues.

I recommend Hand of Fate to murder mystery readers who enjoy novels that utilize contemporary, topical themes as sub-plots and back-story.

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