Reviewer: Jessica Sichel
“The tangled webs we weave…” This sentiment is featured in “Tangled Webs,” written by Irene Hannon – the final book in her Men of Valor series. In this romantic drama/suspense, Finn McGregor literally comes running to Dana Lewis’s rescue in the middle of the night. Along with the development of their relationship comes another, more deviant story featuring Roger Burnett. The stories come together as good and evil vie for the upper hand.
Irene Hannon definitely has talent. Her colloquial style keeps the story vibrant and approachable and less rigid. She does a good job with employing diverse adjectives, moving the book along with a fresh feel. Overall, the story flows well and engages the reader. Finn McGregor is a hero, complete with slight flaws. Dana Lewis is actually the ‘girl next door.’ Sparks fly and romance ensues, just as one might think it should.
Hannon does give her main characters depth and background and struggles; however, while Dana and Finn are the ‘leads’ of the story, neither is the best character. That honor falls to Roger Burnett.
Roger is not your classic villain; Hannon fulfills that position with someone else. Instead, Roger is a good-hearted guy in difficult circumstances – something to which most readers can relate. He is caught between his duty, his honor, and temptation. It is Roger who wrestles with right and wrong, with the harder decisions. With him, the reader senses the angst of tangled webs and his choices deliver the difficult consequences of taking the future into your own hands instead of leaving it to God.
While Hannon does a good job in many areas, there is room for improvement with “Tangled Webs.” There is a disconnect between the faithfulness the characters claim and their actions and behaviors. While this is explored with Roger, whose flaws are acceptable because of his role as a semi-antagonist, it is not really handled with Finn and Dana. For example, Finn “gave his neighbor’s lithe figure a once-over. Hot was a perfect adjective to describe her.” Yes, this is a romance, but it could be argued that Hannon is a little too ‘on the nose’ with the sexual undercurrent. Finn and Dana’s passionate embraces, especially so early on in their relationship, give the feeling of things moving too fast and heavy. In general, while there is some faith connection in the story, it is not overwhelming and, in some cases, does not seem to be very present at all.
To sum it up, “Tangled Webs” is a fun, casual read. It could use some polishing and reworking in a few areas, but the story is engaging. Keep at it, Irene!
This book was provided by Baker Publishing and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
When I first agreed to review Understory by Lisa J. Lickel I had the impression it would be a rather tame love story - about a girl born with a disability, who tried hard to overcome her feelings of self-loathing and the prejudice of what she looked like, who meets a man dealing with his own issues and they fall in love. However, when I received the book I realized it was more along the lines of a thriller/suspense, involving murder, deception and a sex-trafficking ring. Not quite what I was expecting, but Lisa is a good writer so I was drawn in from the first page.
The story is intriguing, and has lots of layers or Understory (the title is so appropriate!), but overall I must admit I was a bit disappointed and lost a time or too as I tried to follow all the setups. I think this is because it is not the type of book I typically read. The character of Lily was not quite as developed as I would have liked. It was clear she had some kind of deformity, but it was never clear (until the end) what the disease was and even after it was explained I had a hard time picturing it. The love-story that developed between Lily and Cam also did not seem real to me, but more of an "add-on" to a story that was already full of action.
Overall, I think the book will appeal to those who like action and suspense. I lean more toward historical romances, so I will admit I was probably not the best person to review this book. It is not an overtly Christian book so it could be enjoyed by anyone.
Reviewer: Laura Thomas
Romantic suspense is my favourite genre to read, especially when the storyline is gripping and the characters are strong. For me, Always Watching hit both marks! There’s nothing like a stalker to keep the element of surprise real, and this book managed to stay at a decent pace right the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed the gradual blossoming romance, and liked the idea of having female bodyguards—it was an interesting twist. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is that I wish I could have liked Wade Savage, the famous client, more. We didn’t quite “click” and so I wasn’t rooting for him as much as I was for his young daughter, but that’s totally fine—I still devoured this book, and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
becomes clear that his connections go much further up the chain of command than anyone realized, putting all believers, especially Jesse, in extreme danger.
Meryn wants to give her heart to Jesse fully, but her past holds her back. Although circumstances conspire to keep her silent, she needs to tell him her secret. When he finds out what she has been keeping from him, nothing will stand between them anymore.
Or nothing will ever be the same.
The year is 2054. As the world descends into chaos around them and Christians in Canada and around the world face tighter and tighter restrictions, Jesse and Meryn wage a battle against forces of darkness – both physical and spiritual. And they face the threat of being ripped apart forever as Gallagher closes in on his favourite target and Jesse’s life hangs in the balance.
Jesse, Meryn, and all believers must decide if their faith is strong enough to carry them through these dark days, or if the cost of declaring allegiance to Jesus Christ is just too high.
Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier, namely Lieutenant Thomas Gallagher.
Jesse watches out for Meryn when possible, although she wants nothing to do with him. His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.