Welcome to Sue's Book Reviews
Over the years I have read many books. Some become favourites I read time and time again. Others strike me as a definite to add to my favourite list.
I decided to review some of these books in the hope that others may enjoy them as I have.
The reviews below reflect only my own thoughts on these novels.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Faberge Secret by Stephanie Burkhart

       Title:         The Faberge Secret
        Author:      Stephanie Burkhart
        Publisher:   Desert Breeze Publishing
        Pages:        88 pages
        Genre:       Contemporary, 
                         Inspirational romance

        Heat:       Intense
        Available:  December 15th
Beauty, love and danger arrive in Elise's life when she purchases a Faberge Christmas egg. Beauty is the wonderful, colorful egg; danger comes from the man who has stolen the egg and then lost it. Love is Dimitri, the true owner of the egg.
Elise would like to return the egg to Dimitri but needs proof he is the real owner. They are in Vermont and his proof is in Russia. A trail of bodies follows the egg putting and Dimitri vows he will protect Elise from danger.
The Faberge Secret takes us through the first sparks of love between Dimitri and Elise. The two have much in common, including their faith, the major barrier is one lives and works in Russia, while the other lives and works in Vermont, USA. None of that will matter if they can't survive the men determined to steal back the egg, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
Ms Burkhart has a wonderful ability to take a subject and weave a fantastic story around it. Her knowledge of Europe shows through in all her novels, but I believe this is the first time she's taken us to St. Petersburg, Russia. I love the depth of character in Ms Burkhart's books, the rich scenery and the actual stories. As soon as I see her name on a book, I know it's time to put the kettle on and settle down for a good read. The Faberge Secret exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth reading more than once. What more can I say? It is such a good book.

PS. The book trailer on YouTube or Desert Breeze is also wonderful.

Purchase link: Desert Breeze Publishing

Author's Webpage: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com/

YouTube: http://youtu.be/nf5ujOoDRXs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson

Title:           Touched by Mercy
Author:       Tina Pinson
Publisher:   Desert Breeze Publishing
Pages:        620 pages
Genre:        Historical, romance, inspirational

This book is a WOW book! I had read Ms Pinson's In the Manor of the Ghost and loved her style of writing so was happy to read another of her novels. Touched by Mercy is as good if not better than the first one. Once you pick it up - you can't put it down. 
As a young woman there is only one thing Samantha loves - her sister's young daughter. Devastated by the abrupt separation from the child, Samantha escapes her unhappy home life when her stepfather tries to force her to marry an elderly man. She goes in search of her niece, and changes other lives as well as her own. 
Far from the home she grew up in Samantha finds her true purpose in life in a small town. Here she makes friends and helps others, but her bad childhood throws a shadow over her future. Samantha is terrified the past will come into the present and wreck all she has achieved.
The christian values of the book only enhance the story, bringing the characters to life so that I felt I was in the room with them. Warmth, depth and love are an integral background to this novel. Sometimes when conflict rears its head in a romance belief gets strained. This is definitely not the case in Ms Pinson's book. The story becomes deeper and more intriguing with each chapter. I'm now eagerly awaiting the next novel by this author.

Website: Tina Pinson
Buy Link:  Desert Breeze Publishing

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Wolf's Torment by Stephanie Burkhart

Title:            The Wolf's Torment - Moldavian Moon, Book One
Author:        Stephanie Burkhart
Publisher:   Desert Breeze Publishing
Pages:        202 pages
Genre:        Historical, romance, paranormal
Witches, werewolves and hot romance. What more could you ask for?
Crown Prince Mihai of Moldavia returns home to marry the woman his father betrothed him to as a child. His friend Viktor accompanies him and will act as his companion and secretary. The King is dying and Mihai is determined to carry through his father’s projects to bring Moldavia into the present. 
Mihai’s hard work means he has little time for his fiance, Theresa. He has always known his mother was a witch, but circumstances arise which force him to learn the art of witchcraft. Meanwhile Viktor and Mihai’s sister, Sonia fall in love the instant they see each other. 
Mihai and Theresa, Viktor and Sonia. The two couples learn to know and love one another and with marriage the future of all four looks wonderful. 
Mihai’s mother’s disobedience of a senior witch brought about her death when Mihai was five. The witch and her werewolf lover have now returned to Moldavia intent on twisting things to their own evil ends. The werewolf needs to make a new leader for his pack and he looks to the two young men in the palace to fulfill this wish.
Ms Burkhart has blended a richness of history with romance and the paranormal to provide a wonderful novel. Mihai is the type of man half the women in the word sigh over, while his friend Viktor affects the other half of the female population. Sonia and Theresa are perfect foils for their individual loves, each one complimenting and supporting their husband.
The country of Moldavia is shown as a beautiful country, reminiscent of the historical smaller states in Europe which eventually joined together to make the central European countries. The rich vista of scenery proves Ms Burkhart has a deep knowledge of this area.
The Wolf’s Torment is a book which held me more captive with each page. It almost seemed as if I wasn’t reading a book, but seeing the life of the characters unfold before me. It’s some time since I read a historical book which engaged my interest in this respect and I would like to congratulate Ms Burkhart for providing me a means to escape real life for several hours.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kellan's Dragons by Antonia Tiranth

Title:             Kellan’s Dragons - Dragon Wars Book 1
Author:         Antonia Tiranth
Publisher:     MuseItUp Publishing
Pages:          149 pages
Genre:          Fantasy, romance, mystery
I love dragon stories so when I saw this book’s title with the promise of more to come I just had to read it. Ms Tiranth didn’t disappoint me, the story drew me in from the first page and  kept my interest to the end.
Kellan wakes with another being in her mind. She’s linked to a dragon -  the biggest dragon in the Program. A mistake has been made. This is not the beast she was meant to join with. The dragon originally intended for Kellan decides to fight for her giving her a big headache. Jericho doesn’t want her, but he doesn’t want anybody else to have her. Kellan’s new life involves learning how to communicate with her dragon, Jericho and transmit instructions to him. Unfortunately her dragon doesn’t want to join in the training.
Confused by the conflicting orders from the people in charge of the Program and Jericho’s thoughts on what she should do, Kellan turns to Drake, one of the guards. She is then torn between her feelings for Drake and her commitment to Jericho.
Ms Tiranth’s world with dragons is superbly crafted. Dragons bonding with humans, dragons fighting with dragons and attacks by rogue dragons and their riders. Ms Tiranth has hidden a secret within the story and its revelation provides the perfect finish to the book.
As mentioned at the top of this blog I only review and recommend books I personally like. This book will sit on my electronic shelf forever along with my other favourites. 

Webpage:  http://www.antoniatiranth.com/

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In the Manor of the Ghost by Tina E. Pinson

Title:              In the Manor of the Ghost

Author: Tina E. Pinson
Publisher:    Desert Breeze Publishing
Pages: 220 pages
Genre: Historical, romance, mystery, inspirational.

As a child I loved curling up by the fire and losing myself in a book. Since reaching adulthood I find it’s not so easy - life intervenes and I seldom find a book which fascinates me in the same way. Ms Pinson’s book In the Manor of the Ghost is the exception as I begrudged every moment spent away from reading this story.
This entrancing book is set in 1875 and tells the story of Kaitlin. She lost her husband and child in a terrible fire where she suffered serious burns. She starts a new life in Minnesota where she is a voluntary teacher of children. One little boy in particular steals her heart but when the child’s father proposes a marriage of convenience, Kaitlin isn’t sure what to do.
Devlin Clayborne desperately wants his child to be happy, but his wife has died and his son can no longer speak. Devlin sees how his child loves Kaitlin and by introducing her into his household as his wife he hopes to break down the barriers and learn to love again.
Neither Kaitlin or Devlin know the terrible secrets they keep from each other. These secrets bring misunderstanding and conflict to their relationship and the child is caught in the middle.
This book has many underlying sub-plots, some obvious, but most of them mysterious and secret. However, the story is woven together seamlessly. It kept me enthralled and I couldn’t really relax until I’d finished reading it. Knowing Kaitlin’s problems provoked empathy, but Devlin’s thoughts were not so clear. Gossip said he’d killed his wife. Unkind people called his servant “freaks”. And was there really a ghost in the house?
The intrigue and mystery come from unexpected directions, but through it all Kaitlin’s love for Devlin’s son shines through. I did wonder if her attraction for the father was due to the love for the son, but soon dismissed that thought. Kaitlin’s love had been imprisoned inside her since the death of her family, now she had found a man and a child to love.
Congratulations Ms Pinson. In the Manor of the Ghost is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves historicals, romances or mysteries. I look forward to reading more of your books.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Title:               Sunshine Boulevard

Author:          J.Q. Rose

Publisher:     MuseItUp Publishing

Pages:           63 pages

Genre:           Light hearted mystery with a touch of romance

Available:     March 2011

Who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard?
Sorry to take this straight from the book’s blurb, but it explains the plot so perfectly. The residents of Sunshine Boulevard migrate south for the winter to the sunshine of Florida. Hence their name “snowbirds”.
Only the seniors are dying. None of the surrounding neighborhoods have any problems. The residents try to continue with their lives, but the bodies are found in an unexplained state of decomposition, not to mention the awful smell. Who or what is responsible for the deaths?
Behind the mystery of the murders, community life goes on with intrigues, secrets and illicit liaisons. This is where the humor and lightness threads through the story. It also brings normality to the tale of death, creating a real world as a backdrop.
Sunshine Boulevard starts light heartedly. Then the first death occurs. So what, I hear you say. The trailer park is full of seniors, death happens when you get old. True, but you expect to have a recognizable body to bury. One death could be an accident, but several bodies in the same state stretch the credibility of death by natural causes. 
This story blends humor with mystery and death very cleverly, making it a book I had to keep reading. Even after I found out the answer to the above question, I was still hooked and had to read on to find out what happened next. 
I would like to compliment Ms Rose for writing a book which is extremely pleasant to read, but grabs the attention at the same time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Forever With You by L.J. Holmes

Title:                   Forever With You
Author:                L.J. Holmes
Publisher:           Muse It Hot Publishing
Pages:                 19 pages
Heat Level:         Hot

Release Date:   1st February 

Coryne’s unexpected elevation to riches provides her with the wealth to buy land and build the home she’s always wanted - but on a bigger scale than she’d intended.
Tempted by Keith, the builder, she does her best to resist him. With the house almost finished will her hot dreams become reality?
I came to know Coryne intimately through her thoughts. Ms Holmes reaches inside her character to provide the reader with a deep insight into what drives this woman. With no need to work for money, Coryne shows her compassionate side as she puts her extensive legal training into representing battered women and their children. 
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. While certain scenes were extremely sensual, the story as a whole was warm and excellently written. Coryne came alive as I got deeper into the story. Her hopes and fears, her reluctance to give in to her emotions and the temptation of a handsome, sexy man, made her a very strong woman.
I believe Ms Holmes must enjoy surprises. Just as you think you know where the story is going, the author throws in a surprise to complete the reader’s enjoyment.
If you’re looking for a light but meaningful book to read, I would highly recommend Forever With You by L.J. Holmes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

Title: Dragongirl

Author:           Todd McCaffrey
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages:            512 pages
Genre:            Fantasy - Speculative Fiction
When Todd McCaffrey first took over the Dragons of Pern from his mother, I wondered if he could bring anything new to the series. At first it seemed the answer was no, but since he started writing about Harper Kindan and Weyrwoman Fiona the series has come alive again.
I love the way Dragongirl carried on immediately from Dragonheart. It continued the story faultlessly keeping the exuberance and dedication Fiona had learned in her three years living in the past. Three years older in the present time she finds it difficult to restrain her impatience with those who still consider her a child. A sudden calamity thrusts her into a position of authority. Little does she know her emotions will also be stirred into turmoil.
I am a great fan of the Dragons of Pern, especially those written by Anne McCaffrey. Her son Todd has definitely taken up the baton to continue this series, but in his own way. He breathes life into a different aspect of Pern, showing us a young girl’s view of the magnificent dragons and weyr life. 

If you love stories involving dragons and other worlds, this series is the one for you.
Well done Mr McCaffrey, I look forward to reading many more of the Dragons of Pern series.

Buy Link: Random House