Monthly Archives: July 2011

Book Review: False Witness by Randy D. Singer

False Witness by Randy D. Singer

False Witness

My rating: 4 stars!

‘False Witness’ was suspenseful and intriguing. The fact that if the ‘Abacus Algorithm’ really did exist, Internet security would be non-existent was a scary thought.

There were so many interesting characters in ‘False Witness’, from Professor Dagan, who discovered the algorithm – that is the ‘key to every lock’, to bounty-hunter/repo artist Clark Shealy (a.k.a. David Hoffman), to the ambitious law students Isaiah, Jamie, and Wellington.

When Clark goes to arrest a highly wanted man, he instead finds out that he has been double-crossed and gets knocked out. When he wakes up, he learns that his wife was abducted by the Chinese Mafia!

They give him an ultimatum: locate and bring Professor Dagan to them within 48 hours. If he fails to do so, they will start torturing his wife.

Until he had actually captured Dagan, Clark hadn’t thought twice about the ethics of exchanging Dagan for Jessica. The only question had been how to do it. – Page 71

What I didn’t like about ‘False Witness’ was how some chapters ended suddenly and the next chapter didn’t continue on where the last one left off. And at one point the book jumped ahead 4 years.

I was relatively surprised by how much I liked ‘False Witness’, because the last book I was reading by Randy Singer, I didn’t enjoy that much.

The concept that there could be this algorithm that could cripple the Internet, fascinated me. But the fact that the mob wanted it SO much that they kidnapped Clark’s wife and demanded him to bring Dagan to them, added a lot suspense and tension, making ‘False Witness’ (at times) hard to put down.

I found Jamie’s story really sad, what happened to her and the reasons why were so unnecessary and mean (I’m not going to say what happened because that would give too much away). I enjoyed Wellington’s character. He’s was so smart, yet he didn’t gloat about it – in fact he was somewhat shy.

All in all, I really enjoyed ‘False Witness’! I would recommend this if you enjoy suspense books or legal thrillers.



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Filed under Fiction, Randy Singer, Reviews, Suspense, Thriller, Tyndale, WaterBrook Multnomah

Treasuring Emma, Middlefield Family Series #1 by Kathleen Fuller

My rating: 4 stars!!!

Sorrow and grief follows Emma everywhere. First her father dies, then the man she loves leaves with no plan on returning, and finally her mother just recently dies after battling cancer.

Now all the family Emma has left is her sister, Clara (who she doesn’t get along with), and her ailing grandmother.

Adam Otto couldn’t leave Middleton and all his father’s rules behind fast enough. But now, two years and many compromises later, he’s not so sure that was the right decision.

Adam didn’t think he would ever return to Middleton, but a letter from Emma’s grandmother, telling him that his mother is acting very strange, brings him back.

‘Treasuring Emma’ has many emotions: grief, romance, sorrow, love, guilt, forgiveness, and deception. When I first started reading this and saw the glossary page, I was like ‘oh no!’  I find that when books have glossary pages, you end up having to go back to that page to see what words mean – which is somewhat annoying.

The characters in ‘Treasuring Emma’ were gripping and real. I found Mark King evil and mean. How he could purposely try to hurt Emma and Clara (Emma’s sister) was just heartless and cruel.

Adam Otto, however, was sweet and very likable. Yes he’d made bad choices, but he learned and had tried to not repeat them.

Emma’s story was sad, but it had a few highlights. Throughout the book I was hoping that Emma would forgive Adam and that somehow they would end up together.

So many characters and they were so enjoyable to read about. I don’t want to part with them. I will definitely read other books by Kathleen Fuller.

The only complaint I have is the Amish language. It was annoying and difficult to read sometimes, but the story, plot, and characters were great! I recommend this if you enjoy romance with a hint of mystery.

*I received a complimentary ebook copy from Thomas Nelson for my honest review*

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Inside Threat: A Riley Covington Thriller by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn

Inside Threat (A Riley Covington Thriller)Inside Threat by Jason Elam

My Rating: 4 stars!!!

Riley Covington has always played by the rules. Now he’s about to break every one.

Riley Covington’s comeback to football as the linebacker for Washington Warriors is cut short. First he gets in trouble with his boss and then he hears about a hostage situation involving Khadi Faroughi – the woman he loves.

Scott Ross, Director of the Counter Terrorism Division’s Special Operation Group Bravo and Riley’s former boss, doesn’t want Riley anywhere near the scene. But because it involves Khadi – and so many others – he goes anyway, with a dangerous plan to rescue them.

Considering I’ve read the first 3 books in the ‘Riley Covington Thriller’ series (Monday Night Jihad, Blown Coverage, and Blackout), when I heard there was going to be a new addition, I eagerly anticipated reading ‘Inside Threat’.

One thing I really like about this thriller is how the beginning of every chapter tells the reader what time, date, and location that chapter takes place. When books don’t provide that information, I sometimes will think ‘How many days later is it since the last chapter’,  ‘Where are the characters now’ and so on.

I recommend reading the first three books in this series, but I feel that even if you haven’t read the rest of the series, you could still enjoy ‘Inside Threat’ because Jason Elam and Steve Yohn did a great job of filling in a lot of the background story.

‘Inside Threat’ starts out with just a hint of the suspense that’s to come and when you get about half way through, that’s when the main plot begins! I loved the story of redemption that was throughout the book.

The reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is because I found many moments in ‘Inside Threat’ very sad. I ended up getting teary-eyed a couple of times. There were also some gruesome scenes that I found a little disturbing.

I would recommend ‘Inside Threat’ if you love reading thrillers, but be forewarned – this is not a typical thriller.

*Much thanks to Tyndale for providing me a complimentary copy of ‘Inside Threat’ for my honest review!*

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The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A Novel by Kathleen Y’Barbo

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A NovelThe Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck: A Novel by Kathleen Y’Barbo

My Rating: 4.5 stars!!

One thing I loved when reading Kathleen Y’Barbo books (‘The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper’, ‘Anna Finch and the Hired Gun’, & ‘The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck’) was seeing how the characters’ stories unfolded. It is sad to see the “Women of the West” series (as Kathleen Y’Barbo dubbed these books in her acknowledgments) come to an end.

The first time I “met” Charlotte Beck she was a spoiled, trouble-making child, but in this book she’s now a young lady getting ready for adulthood.

On her journey, she still gets into some trouble – including getting a man pummeled in the face, stealing that man’s pocket watch, breaking a telescope, and performing in a wild west circus show!

At her ‘unofficial’ debut into proper society, Charlotte meets a highly irritating man, Mr. Hambly. When she tells her Uncle Edwin Beck something less than truthful, Mr. Hambly ends up with a black eye.

Edwin Beck had been itching to punch a Hambly for years. At least since the day Martin won Edwin’s favorite polo pony in a race Edwin claimed was fixed. It wasn’t, of course, but the younger Beck brother had never been a good sport or a good loser. That Alex had been the one to offer an excuse for fisticuffs irked him almost as much as the slight to the Hambly name. Page 21

Alex Hambly has enough trouble without Charlotte Beck. His family is in debt, and he is the one responsible to help fix that. One of his many options is to marry a rich American lady, although the thought doesn’t sound pleasant to him.

Charlotte wants to go to college and then join her father’s company, but he has a stipulation: agree to marry Alex Hambly and I will allow you to go to college and after you graduate, having a four year engagement, you will marry Alex Hambly.

“Papa!” Charlotte rose. “You’re not serious. You wouldn’t dare trade me for some silly title. You’ve got one of your own. Why add another? Especially his.”
    “I assure you, Charlotte, my interest in seeing you yoked to the viscount has nothing to do with nobility.” Mr. Beck laugh held little humor. “It is because I’ve never seen anyone handle you and your outrageous behavior as well as Alex does.”Page 162

‘The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck’ was really good. I continued reading it well into the night, until I had to stop. I really liked Alex’s and Charlotte’s characters and how their relationship blossomed. I found myself laughing when reading this book – some of the situations were just very humorous.

One of the only things I didn’t like was how quickly the book covered some topics. I felt that had I not read the other books, I wouldn’t have known what Charlotte’s father was talking about when he mentioned her birth certificate. Also, I would have liked an epilogue that showed a couple of years later, how things unfolded. I hope there will be a book in the future featuring some of the same characters – I just don’t want to say goodbye to them yet.

I liked this book so much that I will probably reread this in the future. I recommend this if you enjoy reading romance novels with a western theme mixed in!

* I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I’ve expressed are my own.*

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Filed under Fiction, Historical, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Please rate my review, Reviews, Romance, WaterBrook Multnomah

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun: A Novel by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun: A NovelAnna Finch and the Hired Gun: A Novel by Kathleen Y’Barbo

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Soon after I finished ‘The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper’, I started ‘Anna Finch and the Hired Gun’.

I was pleased when I saw that many of the same characters from ‘The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper’ made an appearance in this book (Jeb Sanders, Anna Finch, Charlotte Beck, and Daniel Beck – to name a few).

There was about a 5 year gap between books (1880-1885), but it didn’t feel like that much time had passed.

‘Anna Finch and the Hired Gun’ gave me a completely different view of Anna Finch. When I read ‘The Confidential Life of Eugenia Beck’, I kind of thought that she was just a wealthy woman seeking to find a husband – mainly Daniel Beck. Now I see that it was really her father that wanted her wed and that her dream was to be a reporter.

“When a female of marrying age is no longer amenable to remaining under the guidance of her father, it is my opinion she should be handed off to a husband who can perhaps do a better job of it.” His eyes, the color of her own, narrowed. “And you, Anna Finch, have proven by your audacious behavior today and, I daresay, on many as-yet undiscovered occasions in the past, that you are well beyond any control I might have over your person and behavior.” – Page 16

I was shocked, relatively early in the book, when I found out an interesting fact about Miss Anna Finch. I’m not going to say what it is, because I feel it would spoil both books if I did, but I will say that it was unexpected!

Anna Finch first met Jeb Sanders when she accidentally shot him (he was hidden in a log that she was using for target shooting). She at first thought that he was an outlaw – little did she know he worked as a Pinkerton Detective Agent and that her father would end up hiring him to be her hired gun.

He saw her socializing with Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday, and formed opinions of her that weren’t true. He longs to see justice for Ella, the woman he loved and thought Doc Holliday murdered, but now that he’s a believer, he knows that vengeance is the Lord’s, not his.

I loved how there were history facts mixed in with a ficticious story. This book kept me entertained and wanting more. I found ‘Anna Finch and the Hired Gun’ comical, romantic, and (at times) adventurous.

This book was just as good, in my opinion, as ‘The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper’. I loved ‘Anna Finch and the Hired Gun’ and I recommend it! The next book I’m going to read is – ‘The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck’ by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

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Filed under Fiction, Historical, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Please rate my review, Reviews, Romance, WaterBrook Multnomah