Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson is a master at taking characters from her other books and weaving them within her latest stories. The threads that tie all of her characters together are one of the many reasons she’s often at the top of my list when someone asks for a good romantic suspense writer. In her latest offering, Traces of Guilt, not only does Henderson continue the trend of incorporating her past characters, she gives voice to one of them.

traces of guilt cover

While balancing not only multiple points of view (more than two which is a bit of a change for her) but also multiple storylines and crimes, Henderson’s ability to tie everything together through the Thane family is a reflection of her ability to engage readers. I felt like I was sitting in the room with Evie, Gabriel, and Ann as they worked to solve two cold cases in the town of Carin.

Most of the book is in either Evie’s or Gabriel Thane’s point of view but we do get some insight into the other characters once in a while. It was great to get a better peek into Ann Falcon’s life (she’s shown up in books between her story in Full Disclosure and this one but in Traces, we get a better insight into her life now that she’s happily married).

I appreciate that Henderson writes strong female characters despite some horrific experiences and the men in their lives who are not only protective of them but also who encourage and uplift them.

There is just the tiniest hint of romance between the two main characters in this one. They’re building a friendship—one that hopefully blossoms into more in future books. In the end, she left me wanting more (which I’m hoping will be a wish fulfilled because this does look like the start of a new series: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case).

Traces of Guilt is available to pre-order with a release date of May 3. Just a helpful suggestion: Pick up Sins of the Past (also available May 3) and read Henderson’s novella before Traces and you’ll recognize one more name.

***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

As with Laura McNeill’s debut, Center of Gravity, I am sure there will be a slight uproar about her latest book, Sister Dear. While Thomas Nelson, a publisher most known for their Christian Fiction, continues to release books that aren’t quite what readers expect from them, there are sure to be some opponents. That said, I enjoy veering away from straight Christian fiction once in a while, and Sister Dear would definitely fit on the shelves of the ABA market alongside a book such as, say…Gone Girl (this mainly because of the character development. I didn’t like either character in that book and I didn’t like one of them in this one).

sister dear cover

After ten years in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit, Allie is released early. But life doesn’t go back to the way it was. Her parents are uncomfortable around her and her daughter, now fifteen, doesn’t want anything to do with her. In fact, the only person who seems to be on Allie’s side is her sister Emma. But Emma has secrets of her own and with Allie’s return and determination to find the true person responsible for the crime she paid for, all of these secrets and lies start to unravel.

An interesting concept for a book but in the end, I found it difficult because there was no redemption for Emma. Her jealousy and hatred made her into an unlikable character even though I felt McNeill tried to make the reader like her at first. It was almost as if her dark side was revealed a little too early. However, the story moved along quickly as I wanted to find out all of the details of the crime and whether or not Allie would be okay. Overall, an interesting read but not something I’d likely pick up in a bookstore to take home and read.

****Booklook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Are You Happy? Learn to Experience Wellth

My job has been tough lately. Computer systems that are constantly crashing and being updated, long hours, and some issues with management all combine to make the hours of 9-5 (more like 7-7 recently) leaving much to be desired. With all that going on, a book titled Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life and Not a Resume caught my attention.

wellth book cover

Some insights in this book resonated with me. I liked that the author, founder CEO of mindbodygreen Jacob Wachob, focused on more aspects of like that a career. In fact, he gave a well-rounded approach to becoming wellthy including everything from health (exercise and diet) to spending time in nature to including laughter in your life. I also appreciated that Wachob acknowledged the fact that people may not be in the place to leave their current career for something they will enjoy more. His advice? Focus on the other areas of your life.

The few things I wasn’t sure about in the book are things the author readily admits readers may not be sure about. Things like taking time to meditate or incorporating Eastern medicine into your life (he advocates for combining Eastern and Western medicine).

Overall, the book is an encouragement and provides practical steps for anyone who wants to experience true happiness and joy in life, for anyone who realizes success isn’t about the almighty dollar and how much you have in your bank account.

****Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.