MAY 1, 2011
Shannon Dysart has set out from St. Louis to the West to restore her late father's reputation. He was an academic, proclaiming he had found at least one of the legendary 7 Cities of Gold. Unable to provide proof, he died a laughing stock of the academic circles. But when Shannon's first stop proves to be a pile of rubble, the crew she hired steal what they believe to be all of her maps and leave her for dead.
Gabriel Lasley is riding through the area, enroute to visit his brother, when he hears gunfire and a woman's screams. What he doesn't expect to find is a woman trapped on an unreachable ledge in a cave with no way to get her down. Once he manages to rescue her, he is determined to get her to the nearest city and on the next train back to St. Louis, she is equally determined to continue West and redeem her father. Somehow, he finds himself drawn in and together they set out on a treasure hunt.
While you, as a reader, will need to suspend belief in certain parts, DEEP TROUBLE is an exciting book which will have you on the edge of your seat and laughing out loud. Shannon and Gabe are an unlikely pair, but they are absolutely perfect together. The evil of the villains is bone-chilling and you will be holding your breath in spots. But you can never go wrong with a Mary Connealy book.
APRIL 26, 2011
When Acadia Gray agrees to take a trip to Venezuela for her one big adventure before starting school at 20 years old, she has no idea just how big of an adventure it will be. Going against who she is, deep down inside, she picks up a man at a bar for a one night stand. It would have worked out fine had they not been awakened the next morning by armed guerillas in her room.
A man who loves living on the edge, Zakary Stark knows he is no hero. To his disgust, he finds himself in just that role as he tries to protect Acadia when they are kidnapped, along with his brother, Gideon, in to the jungle of Venezuela.
Thanks to the many objects in the hidden pockets of Acadia's vest (and the improbable fact that the guerilla's didn't search her), they manage to escape and avoid many pitfalls of being lost in the jungle. The brothers decided to split up to lead the guerillas down two different paths, Zakary is injured and it becomes a race against time.
Hush is non-stop action from page one, although at times it feels as if there is a few too many obstacles and dangers thrown at them. You will need to suspend belief for some plot points. GPS as a psychic ability? Seriously? There are lots of twists and turns in the plot as you try to figure out who is behind the kidnapping.
The love scenes are hot (but again, a bit improbable. If my brother was lost in the jungle, chased by guerillas, I'm not sure sex would be on my mind, but hey, that's just me). All in all, hush is a satisfying summer read if you like action with some huh? moments.
PIP BALLANTINE & TEE MORRIS
APRIL 26, 2011
MASS MARKET PAPERBACK, EBOOK
MINISTRY OF PECULIAR OCCURRENCES BOOK 1
In Victorian England, the Queen has developed a secret society, The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, to deal with the unexplained and the eerie. But the Ministry doesn't reside in the Victorian England you will remember from history. Steam powered devices give this Victorian England a futuristic edge.
Archivist for the Ministry, Wellington Books has been kidnapped and hidden away by those who want to discover the secrets of the Ministry. Enter Agent Eliza Braun as his rescuer. Eliza is not the typical lady of the Victorian Era, not even for spies. She has a penchant for guns and more importantly, bombs. Her orders were to kill Wellington Books in fears he had been compromised, but Eliza doesn't always follow orders either. When she blows up the compound where Books had been held and did not follow through on her assignment to kill him, she is sent to the Archives to work with him.
What she expected to be a dull assignment turned most exciting indeed when she discovers the cold case her former partner had been working on prior to going mad. In his attempts to keep Eliza out of trouble, Books ends up investigating with her and they nearly end up in over their heads.
PHOENIX RISING was a delight from the first page. Well described explosive action, three dimensional characters and crackling dialogue will keep you turning the page. If you like non-stop excitement, witty repartee and alternative history, you will love this book. I anxiously await book number two from Ms. Ballantine & Mr. Morris.
FINALLY A BRIDE
APRIL 1, 2011
BOARDINGHOUSE BRIDES BOOK 3
Set ten years after SECOND CHANCE BRIDES, we once again visit Lookout Texas and old friends. Jacqueline "Jack" Davis is still a tomboy at heart, taking chances to get the story of a lifetime as a reporter for the local paper. Her dream is to write the big story and earn herself a place on the Dallas newspaper, so she can leave Lookout. After what she went through with her first father, she does not trust many men and fully believes she will never marry. Her biggest problem is Billy Morgan, who she does not care for even as a friend, proclaims she will marry him.
Pastor Noah Jeffers has been offered the chance to fill in for the Pastor of Lookout Texas. He is not certain he wants to do so for several reasons, including the fact that he had no desire to return to Lookout Texas. He grew up there until his violent father moved them away after Noah had caused one too many problems. Of course, back then everyone knew him as Butch Laird. He took his mentor's last name since he had been more of a father to Noah than his own father had. When he arrives, he is stunned that the feelings he had had for Jack ten years prior have not lessened at all.
Meanwhile, Carly Payton, who had gone to jail in book one THE ANONYMOUS BRIDE has been working for a preacher elsewhere, but after the death of his wife, he was forced to let her go. At Rachel Davis' behest, Carly reluctantly returns to Lookout.
Ms. McDonough's books have been a treat, as we get to revisit with old friends and make new ones as the series progresses. It is a rare author who lets us peek into the ongoing lives of previous characters. This history that builds between the characters shines through and makes for enjoyable reads.
Laughter, tears and love abounds and I look forward to reading her next endeavour.