Monday, February 23, 2015

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey Book Review

22504482// Sabotaged //

Alaskan Courage Series // Book #5

By Dani Pettrey

{Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015
Number of Pages: 336
  Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 
 
// Book Synopsis //
 
 Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now paired together on Yancey's search-and-rescue canine unit, they begin to put aside old arguments as they come to see each other in a different light. Then a call comes in from the Iditarod that will push them to their limits.

Kirra's uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing. Frank's daughter has been kidnapped. In order to save her, the man must use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to do the kidnapper's bidding or she will die. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl's life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.
 
// Bethany's Book Review //
 
Prior to reading Sabotaged, I'd read the first book in the Alaskan Courage series, Submerged, but not the three books between Submerged and Sabotaged, the fifth book in this stand-alone series. Since  the main characters in this series are all related, this series can be read either in order or alone, which is something I liked. If you'd read the previous books then some of the characters you'll already be familiar with, but if not you can still enjoy and understand the story, enjoying it alone.
 
Sabotaged was a very action packed book, which is what fans of Dani Pettrey have come to expect and enjoy in her novels. The whole story takes place in a short period of time, making the story read very true to actual time. It made the book overall very easy to read, and one that would be considered a quicker read because of how the story was constantly moving. I was able to read the whole book in two sittings just because of how the story flowed and was easy to read. Some books are just quicker reads by nature, and this one is definitely one that I'd put in that category, making it a good weekend read.
 
This novel was one I knew would be a fun, quick read due to the suspenseful theme. The story was very fast and was constantly moving, however I felt there was an element of the story that I just wasn't connecting with. While the suspense was there and kept me reading, I felt like for some reason the story didn't grip me in the way I would have liked considering the mystery aspect of the novel. While I did enjoy the suspense, I didn't feel like it really had that suspenseful factor that keeps me on the edge of my seat. There were several scenes that were so short, or had no transition and changed so quick that I didn't really understand what was going on, and at times these scenes were confusing. I knew that these scenes were important to the plot and contained pieces of the mystery puzzle, but they happened so fast with so little details that I felt rather lost and confused. I especially felt this way about the ending, which in my opinion happened too fast.

While there were scenes where I felt like the story didn't really grip me, I did enjoy the character development in this story. It was interested seeing the characters and their pasts, and how that effected the story and how they acted in certain situations. The thread of redemption and fresh starts was a nice addition to the plot, and it was nice to have this dimension added to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as a quick one time read. It was an exciting adventure, but I just didn't feel like the suspense level was there for me. However I'm still grateful for the opportunity to read this book and would recommend it!

D I S C L A I M E R ::: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to promote this book, and all thoughts expressed are my own, completely honest and unbiased. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden Book Review

22504481// Beyond All Dreams //

By Elizabeth Camden

{Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: December 15th, 2014
Number of Pages: 368
  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
 
Taken from Good Reads
 
Sweeping and Romantic Historical Drama from an Award-Winning Author 

Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help. 

Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. 

Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for themselves?
 
// Bethany's Book Review //
 
I've been a big fan of Elizabeth Camden's novels for a while now, and was very excited to hear that she had a new novel coming out, titled Beyond All Dreams! I was even more excited to find out that the heroine of the story, Anna worked at the Library of Congress! As a fan of books and libraries, I knew right off the bat that I'd have something in common with this character, and would probably enjoy the book even more because of it. While my favorite Camden novels still remain The Rose of Winslow Street and With Every Breath, I still enjoyed the story and loved the setting!

One of the things that really sets apart Elizabeth Camden's novels from others, is her ability to create such realistic, likable characters and bring them to life on the paper. I love the way she takes a hero or heroine and really develops that character throughout the story. I feel like not all novels do such a good job at character development, but Camden has this aspect of writing down! Some novels seem to focus more on the setting of the story versus on the actual characters, and you can tell that Camden puts a lot of development into her stories by really expanding on the characters. It's always fun first learning about the characters, and then seeing how they mature and grow throughout the book, and Camden's novels don't disappoint in this area!

As I mentioned earlier, I just loved how this novel's heroine works at the Library of Congress! It was so interesting seeing that side of her story, as well as the plot that Camden so masterfully wove into the other characters. The story she tells in the pages of this book are so well thought-out and written, and it makes for a really pleasurable read that I'm sure all fans of libraries, or Camden's work, will be trilled with! 
 
I loved how this story had a mild amount of mystery mixed into the love story between Anna and Luke.  I feel like it definitely helped keep the story rolling, and on top of the wonderful writing ability that Camden obviously has, it makes you keep turning pages long into the night! 

Overall I was very pleased with this novel and really enjoyed the opportunity to read it! I will be adding this book to my shelf, right alongside my other Camden novels; and look forward to her future releases!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of Beyond All Dreams from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. All thoughts expressed are completely honest and my own unbiased views. I was not paid to write this review or promote this book in any way.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Unplanned By Abby Johnson Book Review

9640038// Unplanned //

The dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader's eye-opening journey across the life line 

By Abby Johnson

{Review Written By Bethany} 

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Number of Pages: 267
  Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
 
Taken from Good Reads
 Retailers Choice Award winner, 2012 Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in her first actual abortion procedure, walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life. "Unplanned" is a heart stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby's story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the life versus rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies.

// Bethany's Book Review //

I was able to watch the Unplanned documentary a while back, and was inspired and encouraged by Abby Johnson's story. When I realized she had written a book about her experience working at Planned Parenthood and then quitting after the Lord revealed to her that abortion is wrong; I was very eager to read it! 

Abby Johnson's story, told in this book, is such an encouraging and inspiring one. One that proved that truth will always prevail. Even though I have been pro-life and stand firm in this decision, I was blessed by hearing both "sides" of the story. Reading about Abby Johnson's story really helped me to think about this issue, and look at it in a way that I'd never looked at it before. Since Abby Johnson has been on both sides of the debate, I think that she is such an excellent tool that the Lord has been using to teach both sides.

I really enjoyed reading about Abby's story, and reading about how the Lord opened her eyes to the atrocities that went on in the building that she managed. It was so encouraging and moving just to see Abby's raw honesty in this book. I really appreciate how she put all the briers down and told her story as honestly as possible. This is one of those books that makes you think, and makes you stronger as a person. I'm so glad for the opportunity to have read it. No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, I think that everyone should read this book.

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of Unplanned for the sole purpose of this review. All thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased. I was not paid in any way to promote this book.