Recommended Books!

Here are a few of the books I’ve read and recommend.

91iHg57NmDL I was pretty leery of this book strictly because of the cover (yes, yes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I know, but it’s not like you haven’t done it too!) I don’t typically read anything Amish related. It isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but this one surprised me. The main character is formerly Amish, and she lives in the city. I loved the fact that she was deaf, because that’s an unusual characteristic for a main character (at least in the books I’ve read), and it made things more interesting and suspenseful. I commend the author for her research. The plot moved along quickly with a lot of action. There was unfortunately some romantic feelings between characters, but it didn’t smother the story. If you like action, suspense, and crime fiction, check it out! This is book 2 in the series. Unlike me, you may want to start with book 1!

Cons: romance.

Christian fiction  – suspense – no swearing or explicit scenes.

Plain Retribution (Amish Country Justice) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N22ZFVG/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_pzz0zbAHAKBK2

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51AG6YySJaL I loved this book. Malorie is a survivor of sex trafficking, and she uses her past to help other women. But then someone threatens her safety. Is it someone playing an awful prank, or is the man who took her in the first place not as dead as everyone believed?

I loved that, while there is a blossoming romance, it doesn’t occupy the characters’ every thought (which drives me bonkers). It’s subtle and believable.

Cons: none that I can think of.

Christian fiction – suspense – no swearing or explicit scenes. Audio book recommended!

Distorted https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5IA5T5/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Qve0zb0SGKAM9

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I very much enjoyed this series. The main character is Annie, and most of the books are from her perspective. There are some scenes from other perspectives, which are a little odd, but it doesn’t detract.

Annie is a divorced mother of two – a sweet girl named Kelly, and an attitude-driven-drug-using teenage son named Stephen. He’s quite a pill.

Annie gets a degree in forensic art and aids the police and family members in drawing suspect sketches and, in Dead of Night, victim portraits.

Brink of Death revolves around the murder of a woman Annie knows.

Stain of Guilt is about a “murderer,” who Annie is drawing an aged sketch off. But things don’t quite go as planned.

Dead of Night is about a serial killer targeting women, and Annie draws composites of the victims to help identify them. But somehow she ends up in the killer’s line of fire.

Web of lies reveals a killer in the town of Redding, who has been living among them for years. In this book, Chelsea Adams (Eyes of Elisha) is brought to Redding by a vision, and Annie sketches the face she saw in her mind. It’s interesting seeing these characters collide.

Cons: I’m not a huge fan of the main character. Annie seems very woe-is-me, and I find it very difficult to understand why two men fall in love with her. Granted, I listened to the audio books first, and while the narration is entertaining, she puts a lot of “whininess” into Annie’s voice. So maybe that colored my perspective. That being said, I still really enjoy listening to them.

Christian fiction  – suspense – no swearing or explicit scenes. Maybe read the books before listening to the audio version.

Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series #1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0310251036/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Bld0zb8ZYGS2G

Stain of Guilt (Hidden Faces Series Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SFQZ2E/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_pmd0zbTRD26MA

Dead of Night (Hidden Faces Series Book 3) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SF9X6O/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_and0zbGHC0TMB

Web of Lies (Hidden Faces Series Book 4) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SESBO0/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_Tnd0zbVATQ1E3

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7050183 This book was a bit of a gamble for me. As soon as I realized the main character, Chelsea, has “visions from God,” I was concerned that this would be a mockery of my faith.

Brandilyn Collins handles it very well. Chelsea witnesses a murder through a vision from God, and leads investigators into hunting for the killer. The second half of the book is the defendant on trial, which I found fascinating.

Cons: Okay, this is probably just me, but I have a pet peeve about “submitting to your husband.” Honor and respect, absolutely, but in this book, Chelsea’s husband (not a man of faith) forbids her from going to church, and he uses the reasoning that her faith says she has to obey her husband. And she OBEYS HIM. Really? She stops going to church because her husband said so? And her Christian friends agree that this is the right thing to do… I had to put the book aside for a while until I was less irritated. Okay, that concludes my rant. Overall it was a great read.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. Recommend the audiobook.

Eyes Of Elisha (Chelsea Adams Series Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013A55YI4/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_-Yc0zbHBTJ26Q

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14139278 This books is from Will’s perspective, a teenage boy who went on a goodwill mission with his youth group. But something goes wrong…

There’s an attempted regime change and the youth leader is killed. The kids are taken hostage, and their only hope is an ex-military man with a chip the size of the Mississippi on his shoulder.

Palmer, the American, is my favorite character. He seems real and interesting. Will, the main character, is also interesting because you’re seeing the world from his perspective.

Cons: Meredith seemed unrealistic to me. I understand that her sister died of cancer and she took that experience and used it to make herself stronger, which is good. But she says that no matter what happens to her, she chooses not to let it touch her spirit. Realistically, people only have so much control over that. Whether you want it to or not, things in this world touch and gnaw at your spirit.

Christian fiction – suspense – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

If We Survive https://www.amazon.com/dp/1595547967/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_-mRVzb8H7VQQ4

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LH-blood-ransom This is my favorite book by this author. It’s full of action and suspense, with characters that are relatable. It follows a doctor and an aid worker who are passionate about a people being enslaved by “ghost soldiers”. They try to stop a rigged election and assassination, all the while running for their lives. I enjoyed the obvious passion the author feels for this culture. Wonderful development.

Cons: none that I can think of.

Christian fiction – suspense – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

Blood Ransom (Mission Hope) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0310319056/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_1ZQVzb6PZQH1R

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LH-blood-covenant Phenomenal. This book, while not action packed, was filled with passion and intrigue. I enjoyed watching the events unfold, and I loved learning about another culture.

The main characters are struggling against a spreading illness and rebels, who are making their job more difficult, when things take a turn for the worse.

Cons: none that I can think of.

Christian fiction – suspense. No swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

Blood Covenant (Mission Hope Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4VZGWM/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_-RQVzbSMPK4ZF

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518sjXpq6jL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_ This is a great family read that follows the journey of two boys through the foster system, and the hardships their parents face. It would be perfect for teenage boys, and even parents of teenage boys. It provides a good lesson in consequences for decisions, while providing plenty of humor that keeps the attention of any reader.

Cons: there was only one drawback for me, and it takes place at the end of the book. Mrs. Clark being “subject” to her husband REALLY made me bristle. As a woman who was forced to be “subject” to men in the past, I struggled with that, but it didn’t detract from the story.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes.

Revenge Fires Back https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546624155/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_lFOVzbA1RY64Z

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61zKYdGfo5L._SY346_ Great cozy mystery. Written in 1st person, you get to see the world from Gabby’s perspective, and she’s quite a character! Humor, mystery, and a pinch of faith from a side character or two (because Gabby herself isn’t a Christian).

Cons: none that I can think of. Sadly, I don’t recommend the audio book at this time. I’m hoping the entire series will be made into audio books with a narrator who really personifies Gabby. But just reading them, you really get a feel for her voice.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes.

Hazardous Duty (Squeaky Clean Mysteries) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1460923561/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_0rOVzbSJHCE45

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41UvjVMRb3L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ I like Terri Blackstock’s writing, and I dove right into this book. Oh my goodness was that a mistake! It’s a great book, don’t get me wrong, and maybe it was my state of mind at the time, but I had a hard time getting through this book. I had to keep taking breaks because it was so heartwrenching.

I commend the author for tackling the difficult subject matter, and for wading through the grief and doubts that can haunt a believer after they lose a loved one to cruelty.

Cons: just my own lack of preparedness for the subject matter.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. There is a lot of tough subject matter in this book: physical abuse (aftermath), rape (allusions and aftermath), grief, and thoughts of suicide. Be forewarned. I recommend the audio book.

Predator https://www.amazon.com/dp/0310250668/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_8eUUzbCPDGSR2

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61bclOjYveLI loved this book. Summer was a strong female character, brave in the face of danger (if a little impulsive when angry), and she was a survivor. It shined through in the way she stood up to protect others.

David was in a pretty tough spot, but I loved watching him and Summer tackle the lies and secrecy that drove a wedge between them.

Cons: none that I can think of.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. References of abuse may cause discomfort for some readers. I recommend the audio book.

No One to Trust (Hidden Identity Book #1): A Novel https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DY9FOVO/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_2KcUzbAGZ83Q8

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15815078 Great book. Fascinating plot, relatable characters. I love how strong of a presence God has in their lives. And I love that it takes place in Ohio!

Cons: I was somewhat disappointed in the end of the book. Not that the man causing the problems was irredeemable by any means, but forgiveness doesn’t equate to no consequences, which is how it comes across when no charges are pressed for his crimes against their family.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book.

Fear Has a Name: A Novel (The Crittendon Files Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BLVGPT2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_YhWTzbH1A6J9A

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51VVy1P+PqL._SX357_BO1,204,203,200_Unique plot! At least for what I’ve read. I enjoyed how the author brought some of the personal difficulties and consequences of book 1 into book 2. Jack is someone we can all empathize with from time to time. And I did not see the plot twist coming!

Cons: Creston Mapes’ writing style, while phenomenal, can be a little difficult for people sensitive to similes and metaphors (like me). He uses them a lot, and it was the only drawback for me.

Definite pro: the setting is so close to home for me. Go Ohio! Audio book was amazing.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes.

Poison Town: A Novel (The Crittendon Files Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GNOCIPM/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_QPVTzb49NMXDJ

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sketch-1505150764219 Moon Called is a great book, and Patricia is one of my favorite authors. While the main character in this book is a Christian, the contents of the book may not necessarily be. This world revolves around shapeshifters, of which Mercy Thompson – VW mechanic and coyote shapeshifter – is an active part.

I love the characters and plots of these books, and I don’t find them oppositional to Christianity, but it really depends on a person’s tastes.

Cons: the book covers show too much skin, hence the cropping, which doesn’t at ALL match the character. I don’t find it an accurate portrayal of the book’s contents.

Paranormal fiction – some swearing, mild sexual scenes (though I don’t recall any specific ones in this book), some violence. I recommend the audio book.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0441013813/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_iISTzb5Q0JEJW

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41W-sYFjM4L._AC_UL320_SR210,320_The third book in the Elite Guardian series was good, but not my favorite. The beginning of the book reminded me of The Hunger Games, which is fine in a dystopian future, but I struggled with it in this kind of setting.

Once they leave the island though, it gets much better. Lynette is an amazing story-weaver.

Cons: beginning of the book.

Christian fiction  – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

Moving Target (Elite Guardians Book #3) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXLJM29/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_DwSTzbVA2XM8M

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71JpAHaVsuL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_ Great second part of the Elite Guardian series. Strong female lead, good character relationships. I loved the uncle-niece interaction. It was a beautiful portrayal of love. While there is romance, it doesn’t overwhelm the plot, and it’s actually kind of cute.

I like that Katie has real issues: PTSD and some estrangement with her family.

Cons: I had the villain figured out super quick. I felt like there was too much attention given to proving he couldn’t be the villain, and that tipped me off.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

Without Warning (Elite Guardians Book #2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AO3OPSK/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_GvSTzbZZ9GP4V

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51liyyqJhjL._SY346_Amazing! I love the role reversal with the strong female bodyguard protecting the man. It’s not a common theme, and usually when I come across it in books (or movies), it comes across absurdly unrealistic. A woman doesn’t need be portrayed as a SUPERHERO with mad fighting skills or super powers to be a hero. Olivia was very likable. Interesting plot.

Cons: none that I can think of.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes. I recommend the audio book!

Always Watching (Elite Guardians) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0800723260/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_yuSTzbFPHM71F

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if-im-foundAlso a great book, featuring Casey and Dylan. Casey is trying to prove her innocence in the murder of her friend, and Dylan is trying to help her without betraying his intentions to the corrupt police.

Cons: 1st person perspective changing between Casey and Dylan can be difficult to follow.

Definitely recommend the audio book.

Christian fiction – no swearing or explicit scenes, sublot (child molestation) may be difficult or triggering for some readers.

If I’m Found (If I Run Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HAKH212/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_fIQTzbYRJB4KJ

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If-I-Run-263x400This is a great book. It’s full of suspense, hints of a potential romance, and a main character who takes every opportunity for kindness, all the while running for her life. She is an admirable character, braver than she gives herself credit for, and it’s enjoyable watching her grow.

Cons: The only drawback for me was the constant switching between 1st person. It moves from Casey’s 1st person perspective to Dylan’s, and sometimes I had a hard time keeping track.

I listened to the audio book, which I definitely recommend!

Christian fiction – no swearing or sexual content. Subplot (abduction and captivity) may be uncomfortable for some.

If I Run (If I Run Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010RB5ZRY/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_nBQTzbQY9B2P5

 

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