Cilka’s Journey (by Heather Morris) … an emotional journey

What an emotional read! This book covered a part of history that most people are not aware of … Siberian Gulags. The relationships that develop or the conflicts that arise are both touching and angering. You will travel back and forth in time through Cilka’s memories. There are no words strong enough to describe the hardships, the abuse, the brutality that individuals endured, but Cilka and so many others demonstrated an amazing level of strength and determination.

The author does a great job of bringing you into the story, developing the characters, making you feel their pain and hope, and holding your breath as your endure their daily existence.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Keeping Lucy (by T. Greenwood) … an emotional roller coaster of a read!

How difficult would it be for you to give up a child because of mental disabilities and health issues? And then how much would you be willing to give up in order to save this child?

This was a very moving book that will have you holding your breath waiting to see what will happen when you turn the next page. The author does a great job of bringing you into the story and having you emotionally invested in how things will end up by the time you turn the last page and close the book.

What a roller coaster ride of angst, fear, love, anger, hope, and strength. Once you’ve finished the book, the emotions you experienced will stay with you long after the book has been closed and set to the side. You will have to wait a while before you can even think about opening another book.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Behind the Badge (by Adam Davis) … devotions for individuals in law enforcement

I am the mother of a police officer. When I saw this was available to request on NetGalley, I knew I would need to read this book.

This is a must-read for anyone who is involved in law enforcement. The devotions are spot-on and will encourage individuals working in the various fields of law enforcement spiritually and professionally. The scripture passages provided are very appropriate for each day.

I would highly recommend purchasing this book, especially if you know of an individual who is just starting out in this field.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Emily, Gone (by Bette Lee Crosby) … moving story of love, loss, anxiety, heartache, and forgiveness

What a wonderful, moving story that will have the tears flowing down your cheeks! This book will have you experiencing love, loss, anxiety, heartache, and forgiveness, You will find yourself asking how a mother can handle such a devastating loss, whether justice will be meted for horrible behaviors, if such a magnitude of forgiveness is possible.

Once I opened the book, I was hooked and could not stop reading it. Though the story will be an emotional trip, you will also be filled with an amazing sense of compassion and grace.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Death on the Menu (by Lucy Burdette) … a quirky group of characters in Key West, Florida

I enjoyed the other book I read from this series and was looking forward to another trip to Key West, FL. However, this one was a disappointment. I felt like it was nothing but a political argument which I get enough of in my everyday life. I don’t want to spend my escape time reading about a political disagreement. And then you factor in that the main character’s mother has managed to be hired to cater a huge catering event, and it becomes completely unbelievable.

I do love the primary characters, especially Hayley’s roommate, Miss Gloria. The relationships developing were entertaining and the quirky characters kept you chuckling.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of my honest review.

Save Your Breath (by Melinda Leigh) … an edge-of-your-seat mystery

I am sad that this is the last book in the Morgan Dane series. I have loved the books I’ve read in this series and will miss the characters and the relationships that have developed between them.

While a romance mystery, the romance portion is not overwhelming and just adds flavor to the main theme of the story. While the relationship between Morgan and Lance is a solid and healthy one, it has been interesting to see how Lincoln and Olivia’s romantic relationship is evolving. While that’s not the basis of the story, I believe the mystery that makes up this amazing book helps their relationship reach a new level.

The mystery is good, but not unpredictable. I’m not sure everyone will be left scratching their head and wondering who is guilty. But it’s still a good ride while you’re flipping through the pages.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Big Lies in a Small Town (by Diane Chamberlain) … you will find yourself drawn into the drama of the two main characters

I love Diane Chamberlain’s books and this one does not disappoint. The fact that the story is based in Edenton, NC was a delightful surprise. I spent many days in this lovely small town in Eastern North Carolina during the late 70’s and early 80’s. I fell in love with the town and many of the landmarks mentioned in the story were ones I recognized from the time I spent in Edenton.

I really enjoyed the back-and-forth time periods. While this can be confusing in some books, the author does a wonderful job of melding the stories so that you are pulled into the two stories from the different time periods and how they are connected.

Such a well written book and a delightful story that has you holding your breath and wondering what will happen on the next page. You will not be disappointed from the first page you turn and how the book will draw you into the lives of the two main characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I can’t wait for the next book Diane Chamberlain will write.