Friday, August 21, 2020

Kingfisher by Clair M. Poulson

Kingfisher (c) 2020
by Clair M. Poulson

Kingfisher by Clair M. Poulson is an exciting book that doesn't let up on the suspense and danger until nearly the very end. I enjoyed learning about what the bad guys would try next. Sadly, I found the bad guys very believable. I say sadly, because I know there are people out there who think like them. They're the most tragic of all. I was genuinely worried for Kingfisher, the  talented horse and his people. The bad guys were relentless, and the things they did to cause trouble for Kit Troxler, his sister Paisley, and their friends had me on the edge of my seat from the get go. I listened to the CDs, and enjoyed listening for the most part. The reader represented one character's voice in a way I didn't care for. One of the female characters. I don't think Mr. Poulson intended to make her sound so bubble headed and whiney, and I don't think she would have come across that way had I read the book. Other than that one character, and aside from some dialogue that I found a little bit unnatural, mostly between the bad guys, the story was still very good. I loved the plot, and appreciated the author's knowledge of the way the legal system works, and how police and other special groups that provide security work in high stakes situations. I also have to say I quite liked the lawyer. He was a really stand up guy. 

From the beginning of the story I suspected the person who was responsible for the cruel deed that set off the trouble because of various clues, (Poor, poor Sharpshooter did not deserve what happened to him!) but we're not told this for sure until toward the end. Readers aren't kept much in the dark in this story. For the most part, readers know what's going on, what the bad guys are doing, and who the  bad guys are. The suspense comes from whether or not the good guys can figure out what the bad guys have planned in time to stop them.

If you enjoy clean, suspenseful fiction with characters who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (not all of them, but the main ones) you will enjoy this book.

Friday, August 14, 2020

To Win A Lady's Heart by Sian Ann Bessey

 To Win A Lady's Heart by Sian Ann Bessey is a sweet story set in the Middle Ages. The beginning is exciting, scary, and sad, and sucks you right in. In turns I was angry and felt sorry for Lord Gilbert. The things that happened when she was a baby weren't his daughter Lady Joanna's fault, yet he treated her like they were, and she suffered unnecessarily because of her dad's short-sightedness.  

To Win A Lady's Heart
(c) 2016 by Sian Ann Bessey

Despite her dad's unkindness, Lady Joanna is a wonderful character. I would love to be friends with her! She is so kind to everyone, be it her dad despite his gruffness, or the people of the lower classes when she develops genuine concern for the plight they find themselves when someone starts stealing their wool. She is a good match for Sir Lukas who is what a knight ought to be, kind, just, fair, and concerned for people even if they have nothing to offer him in return. He goes far beyond what is required when he goes out of his way to find the wool thieves. Sir Edwyn was a good mentor to both Lady Joanna and Sir Lukas, and I adored him for being a father figure for Lady Joanna when her own father was unwilling/unable to be there for her. The other minor characters, Agnes etc. were also believable, well-rounded characters.

The mystery of who was stealing the wool was mixed well with the archery tournament and the high stakes involved in that. While the plot was a bit predictable (I had at least one of the bad guys figured out well before the reveal) it was still a fun and enjoyable read!

Readers who like clean medieval romance will enjoy this story.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack

Banana Split (c) 2012 by Josi S. Kilpack
Banana Split (c) 2012
by Josi S. Kilpack
 I have often wondered what it would be like to live life as one of those poor hapless people in the murder mysteries on TV that continually stumble over dead bodies every week, and seem genuinely surprised when they do, despite the fact that last week, and the week before, the same thing happened. I've often wondered why poor Father Brown, as well as Laura Thyme and Rosemary Boxer don't develop PTSD because of their constant interactions with people showing up murdered.

In Banana Split, the seventh book in the Culinary Mysteries which feature Sadie Hoffmiller, a middle aged detective, that very thing has happened. It's the first book of Josi Kilpack's Culinary Mysteries that I've read, though. And in this book, poor Sadie, trying to relax in Hawai'i because of the stresses of other mysteries she's been involved with, finds herself entangled, quite literally, with the deceased body of a young woman found floating in the ocean. Already suffering from PTSD, OCD, etc. she finds herself terrified of leaving her condo, and accepting the police's assessment that the poor young woman must have died either from a drug overdose, or by falling in the water while intoxicated with something.

But then the young woman's eleven year old son shows up at Sadie's doorstep pleading for answers, and Sadie finds the strength to help the young man try to find out what really happened to his mom.

This book is a fun read, especially for people who enjoy mysteries. I appreciate how the victim is treated. Noelani Pouha isn't just a dead body put there for shock value and a reason to solve a mystery. Sadie sees her as a person, gets to know Noelani through her son and her friends, and cares about her, even though Sadie never met her while she was alive.  I liked the several different red herrings, which made figuring out the whodunit quite entertaining and kept me guessing.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden

"Sheriff Cade O'Brien was heartily sick of shooting people." This sentence begins The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden, and tells me a whole lot about Cade O'Brien in that one simple sentence. Right there, I like Cade O'Brien, and also feel a little sorry for him, too. But only a little. He's too cool to feel sorry for. So mostly I like him.

Sheriffs of Savage Wells, The (c) 2016
by Sarah M. Eden
And when I meet Paisley Bell, I like her just as much. She is good at being a peace officer, but no one in Savage Wells Wyoming in 1875 wants to take her seriously because she's a woman. Still, she'll try for the job even if she has to face off with the famous Cade O'Brien to do it.

In Savage Wells, the last sheriff left because he wanted to go cut down trees in Oregon. That left the spot of sheriff open. Paisley had been acting sheriff for several months as the past sheriff shirked more and more of his duties as he got ready to leave. So she should be perfect for the job. But the town council doesn't exactly agree with her. So they advertise for the job, and Cade O'Brien shows up. Not one to back down easily, Paisley wants to have a try for the job as well, so the town counsel decides to let them have a competition.

The banter between them is at times heated, and at times less so. Paisley really wants the job. She's good at it, and she wants to be able to take care of her aging father. Cade is good at it, too, and wants to settle in a small, quiet town without having to shoot any more bank robbers or horse thieves.

Despite their differences, and conflicts of interest, Paisley and Cade start realizing their attraction to each other. But then before they can discover what their growing feelings for each other might mean, a gang of bank robbers shows up in town, and the two sheriffs will have to put their feelings (good and bad) aside to deal with the bad guys. What happens next? Read the book and find out!

This is a very enjoyable and clean romance. There are a few clean kissing scenes, and the worst word in the book is "Saints!" which Cade is fond of spouting when things aren't going his way. If you like clean, western romance, this is a book you will enjoy!