Monthly Archives: August 2011

Book Review: Torrent (River of Time #3) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Torrent (River of Time, #3)Torrent by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.
My Review:
‘Torrent’ the third (and final) book in ‘The River of Time’ series and the fourth book that I’ve read by Lisa T. Bergren.

‘Torrent’ picks up right where ‘Cascade’ left off. After traveling through time to save their dad – Gabi, Lia, Adri (their mom), and Ben (their dad), travel back in time to 14th Century Italy.

Even though there is the threat of the ‘Black Plague’ arriving, getting killed, and/or tortured, Gabi and Lia still want to return and remain in Medieval Italy for as long as possible.

They will have to deal with wars (again), imprisonment (again), kidnapping, and forced marriage.

I loved this book! The story was so addicting and I finished ‘Torrent’ in under 2 days! There was alot of action, romance, and a ton of suspense! I liked many of the characters including: Gabi, Lia, Marcello, Luca, Ben, and Adri – to name some of them.

As I said ‘Torrent’ is very addicting and I don’t think there was a “good” place to stop reading because I wanted to continue on and see where the story was going to continue. If you decide to read ‘Torrent’ be prepared to stay up late reading☺!

I REALLY hope that Lisa Bergren will write more books in the future with these characters (I don’t want to say goodbye to them yet…) and if she does, I definitely plan on reading them!

I highly recommend the entire ‘River of Time’ series (‘Waterfall‘, ‘Cascade‘, and ‘Torrent’).

Many thanks to David C. Cook for providing me a complimentary copy for my review and Lisa T. Bergren for sending me a Galley Copy.
AUTHOR CONNECTIONS: (author web site) (the Bergrens’ travel web site)
Facebook: “Lisa Tawn Bergren” and “River of Time Series
Twitter: @LisaTBergren



Filed under 'River of Time' series, 5 Stars, David C. Cook, Fiction, Lisa Tawn Bergren, Reviews, Romance, Teen Fiction

Book Review: Reluctant Smuggler (#3) by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Reluctant Smuggler (To Catch a Thief #3)Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

My rating: 4.5 Stars
4 1/2 stars


‘Reluctant Smuggler’ is the third book in Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ series and my favorite of the three.

Desiree Jacobs is trying to plan her wedding, run her business ‘HJ Securities’, and avoid dangerous situations. But her plan isn’t working – it seems as though danger follows Desi everywhere.

While she’s in Mexico, she was robbed three times in the same day, was held at gun point, and many other similar incidents.

Meanwhile, FBI Agent Tony Lucano was stuck in Boston…literally. A blizzard made airports close, phone lines go down, and cell phone service unavailable. And when Tony goes on a mission during the storm, he ends up in a coma fighting for his life.

“Don’t even try to tell me you’re a victim. The reluctant smuggler. Hah!” Page 301

‘Reluctant Smuggler’ is my favorite in the series (so far). I don’t know whether there will be another addition, but if there is, I will definitely want to read it.

As usual, I loved Desi’s, Tony’s, and Max’s characters, but I also enjoyed Mama Gina and even Stevo’s character.

I loved this story – it had so many twists and kept me guessing. There were many times I was “on the edge of my seat” waiting for what was going to happen next.

I won’t mention one other thing that I really liked about this novel because I feel it would spoil parts of the book for you –  should you decide to read it.

I recommend ‘Reluctant Smuggler’ if you enjoy a good, clean suspense/mystery book (with romance)!

PLEASE rate my review. Thanks in advance if you do!  🙂
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Filed under Fiction, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Mystery, Please rate my review, Reviews, Suspense, WaterBrook Multnomah

Book Review: Formula For Danger by Camy Tang

Formula for DangerFormula for Danger by Camy Tang

My rating: 4.5 Stars
4 1/2 stars

Someone is trying to harm Rachel Grant. 

First, she is attacked and robbed outside her family’s spa – then the greenhouse where she stores special plants for her new scar-reduction cream is broken into and trashed – and if that isn’t enough, a car tries to run Rachel down when she is riding her bike.

I love reading ‘Love Inspired Suspense’ books because they are quick and easy to read, full of suspense, have romance, and are mostly clean. I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile and since I had the time, I decided to pick ‘Formula For Danger’ up and read it…finally!

I realize that this is the second book in the ‘Sonoma Series’ (the first book is ‘Deadly Intent’) and I probably should have read ‘Deadly Intent’ first. I don’t feel like I wrecked the first book, however, by reading them out of order – I just know a few extra details.

‘Formula For Danger’ starts out with Rachel getting attacked and robbed of a brand new laptop outside her family’s spa. From there the story escalates. The twists and turns kept me guessing and trying to figure out who the culprit was.

I really liked the characters, especially Rachel and Edward. Rachel worked really hard at her work in an attempt to please her father but all she got was rebuking and criticism.

Edward’s father was a workaholic and Edward doesn’t want his future kids to ever have to deal with the pain associated with a parent that chooses work over major moments in a person’s life  – that’s why he distanced himself from Rachel when he saw her choosing work over family and friends.

Rachel thought he was rejecting her – when she finally starting to open up and be herself…

As you can see, ‘Formula for Danger’ has a really interesting plot. I loved the romance and mystery. I loved how the reader could play detective and maybe figure out the mastermind behind it all.

The only reason I’m giving this 4.5 stars is because I wasn’t totally captivated by the book in the beginning. I recommend ‘Formula For Danger’ if you enjoy mystery and romance.

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Filed under Camy Tang, Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Suspense

Book Review: Reluctant Runaway (#2) by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Reluctant Runaway (To Catch a Thief #2)Reluctant Runaway by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

My rating: 4 Stars
4 stars

Stolen Indian artifacts…A murdered museum guard…A missing woman…A baby in danger…Only Desiree can unearth the horrifying secret that links them all.

‘Reluctant Runaway’ – the second book in the ‘To Catch a Thief’ series by Jill Elizabeth Nelson – continues Desi and Tony’s relationship.

They both have strong feelings for each other – maybe love? – but Desi feels Tony is shutting her out and not sharing stuff from his life with her. Tony doesn’t know if he can handle being with Desi when she continues taking risks and getting in danger.

Karen (Desi’s best friend’s niece) was either kidnapped or has runaway – abandoning her husband and baby. She is one of the lead suspects in a museum robbery that was secured by HJ Securities – which makes Desi somewhat involved in the case.

She had to be wrong about the reason those artifacts were stolen, because being right was an alternative too awful to imagine.” – Page 173

I really liked ‘Reluctant Runaway’ – more so than ‘Reluctant Burglar’. There is more drama and (clean) romance, plus I loved the plot/mystery.

With a TV ministry that’s more like a cult, talk of cannibalism, kidnapping, drugging, and evil spirits – ‘Reluctant Runaway’ leaves the reader with much to ponder.

I really liked a theme in this book that Jill mentioned in her letter to the reader at the end of the book. She talks about how Christianity is unique from other religions because Christians believe that God Himself became a man – Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human.

Overall, I really liked ‘Reluctant Runaway’ and I recommend it if you like reading books that have suspense with romance and a good message.



Filed under Fiction, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Mystery, Please rate my review, Reviews, Romance, Suspense, WaterBrook Multnomah

Book Review: Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Mercy Come Morning: A NovelMercy Come Morning: A Novel by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My rating: 3.5 Stars
3 1/2 stars

Krista Mueller and her mother, Charlotte, aren’t close. Charlotte has had Alzheimer’s for more than a decade and is now dying of heart failure.

Krista, upon Dane McConnells (Krista’s first love and the director of the nursing home) insistence, drives the 5 hour drive to Taos, New Mexico to sit and hopefully mend the relationship she has with her mother.

This is the third book I’ve read by Lisa Bergen, but it’s the first book that wasn’t YA.

I thought ‘Mercy Come Morning’ started off a bit slow and didn’t really grab my attention until I was about half-way through. I didn’t at first connect with the characters but, as I continued to read, I found that I liked them more and more.

I found Krista’s story really sad – she longed for her father who was never there, she felt like her mother never loved her, and something terrible happened to her when she was seventeen.

I loved the story of grace and forgiveness, but I didn’t like the Spanish words and phrases (even though it fit the story) because at times I found it difficult to interpret and follow along (I only know a little Spanish).

All in all, I liked ‘Mercy Come Morning’ and I think it had a good message.

3.5 stars

*I received ‘Mercy Come Morning’ from the publisher through their Blogging for Books program. The opinions I’ve expressed are my own.*

PLEASE rate my review. Whenever anyone reads and ranks my review, they will automatically be entered to win a free copy of the book that I reviewed.


Filed under Fiction, Lisa Tawn Bergren, Please rate my review, Reviews, Romance, WaterBrook Multnomah

Book Review: The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

The Colonel's Lady

My Rating:  5 Stars

Set in 1779, ‘The Colonel’s Lady’ brings the reader back to the historic time of the Revolutionary War.

Roxanna Rowan travels unannounced to live with her father as he fulfills his enlistment. But upon arriving, she learns of his tragic death, and now, wonders what lies ahead.

While Roxanna mourns the loss of her father, she tries to extinguish the growing attraction she feels toward Colonel Cassius McLinn. With the always present threat of an attack, with the war and all, ‘The Colonel’s Lady’ is filled with suspense and drama.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Laura Frantz, so I didn’t know what to expect. Because I heard great things about her previous novels, I looked forward to reading ‘The Colonel’s Lady’. And wow! I was not disappointed with this book at all! It was great. The characters and story in ‘The Colonel’s Lady’ was written so well that I felt like I was there and it was 1779 instead of 2011!

It’s labeled as Historical Romance, but I found it also somewhat suspenseful. Danger lurked everywhere. There was always the threat of an Indian or British attack – and if that wasn’t enough, there was also a spy among the Continental Fort.

At one point in ‘The Colonel’s Lady’, I was skipping pages then going back to read what I skipped – I couldn’t read fast enough! I got somewhat teary-eyed anticipating what might happen…and dreading it. I could say more, but I don’t want to ruin the book for others.

The one thing that I didn’t like was how it was sometimes hard to interpret all of the foreign words, but the plot, characters, and story made up for that so much that I can’t give this any less than 5 stars!:)

I wholeheartedly recommend ‘The Colonel’s Lady’ if you enjoy historical fiction…and don’t mind being at the edge of your seat anticipating what ‘s going to happen next!

*I received ‘The Colonel’s Lady from Revel Publishing for my honest review. The opinions I’ve expressed are my own.*

“Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


Filed under Fiction, Laura Frantz, Revell, Reviews

Book Review: CASCADE by Lisa T. Bergren

CascadeCascade by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My Rating:  ♥♥♥♥

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Fiorentini will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

My Review:

I recently finished ‘Waterfall’ (which was the first book I’ve read by Lisa T Bergren) and I loved it so much that I was eagerly anticipating the next addition in ‘The River of Times’ series.

‘Cascade’ picks up where ‘Waterfall’ left off. Gabi and Lia return from their trip through time, but Gabi wants to return because the man she loves is there – Marcello.

Gabi and Lia return pretty much right away – with their mother this time – and learn that months have passed in Marcello’s world. This time they must battle the Plague as well as wars and imprisonment.

I love how the story continued. The relationship between Gabi and Marcello is so sweet and I am rooting that everything works out for them.

In ‘Cascade’ we see a lot more of Gabi’s mother than we did in ‘Waterfall’, which I liked.  They didn’t really connect with her much in their time because she was mostly too busy, but in the 14th Century they spent more time together, and became closer.

‘Cascade’ also showed hints of romance between Lia and Luca, which makes me more eager to read ‘Torrent’. I did not like a couple of slang phrases that were used.  That aside, I really, really, really loved ‘Cascade’.  I am therefore giving it 5 stars!!!!!

I highly recommend ‘Cascade’ if you enjoy YA or romance/suspense books, but I would suggest you read ‘Waterfall’ first.

*Many thanks to David C. Cook for providing me with a complimentary copy of ‘Cascade’ for my review.*

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Filed under 'River of Time' series, David C. Cook, Fiction, Lisa Tawn Bergren, Reviews, Teen Fiction