To Wager Her Heart Hits the Mark

Deb’s Dozen: Disowned by her family for following her heart—will faith be rewarded?

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is the last book in the Belle Meade Plantation series. As in all Tamera’s novels, there is history, a moral, romance, and a happy ending.

Sy Rutledge has come to Nashville hoping to win a railroad contract, but as a westerner finds the customs and mores of the South puzzling. He meets Alexandra Jamison and hopes to hire her for his tutor. Alexandra’s terrified of trains and angry at him because his father caused the train wreck that killed her fiancé.

Alexandra, however, needs the money because her family has disowned her because she’s accepted a position teaching at Fisk University, the first Freedmen’s university in the US. How Sy gets involved, how Alexandra learns to live with less, how she overcomes her fear of trains are but three of the many threads running through To Wager Her Heart. You’ll love Sy and Alexandra and the other characters in the book—they become friends and companions as you’re reading. Four stars. Well done, Tamera.

To Wager Her HeartTamera Alexander is a multi-published, multi-awarded author. Her Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation series are two of my favorites. Tamera and her husband live in Nashville, TN, not too far from these two beautiful plantations.

I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of To Wager Her Heart from Zondervan Books but was in no way obligated to review the book.

Is the President Above the Rule of Law?

Deb’s Dozen: A SEAL Team Died—Is the President above the Rule of Law?

Rule of Law by Randy Singer is one of those books you can’t put down. Page after page, you’re drawn into the web woven by the president, her staff, the CIA, and the State Department. But are they above the law or must they too follow the rules even in the area of foreign policy?

A SEAL team is dispatched on a rare presidential mission to rescue an American journalist and a Saudi prince who have been captured by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The prisoners are scheduled to be executed on Easter Sunday. The team views the mission as a non-eventful in and out—dangerous, of course, but routine—or so they thought. The mission goes horribly wrong; they were expected, and they all are killed.

Those left behind are in deep mourning. Paige Chambers, an attorney courted by one of the SEALs, regrets she did not accept his proposal. Kerstin, one of the wives, cannot understand how she’s been left to raise their two boys alone. Then they are contacted by the PATRIOT, a faceless voice who has proof the CIA and the State Department colluded and knew the SEALs would be ambushed.

A crusty, crafty, and cantankerous lawyer, who has been retained by Kerstin, decides to sue the government and the president as well. Did she play political games with these young lives? The stakes are huge and the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court—is there equal justice under the law?

My husband read Rule of Law first and rated the story and the writing five stars. With believable, compelling characters you quickly care for, and an extremely plausible story, you too will be enthralled. Indeed, five stars!

Rrule of LawRandy Singer is a critically acclaimed writer and a seasoned trial attorney. He said he wrote Rule of Law to raise the questions, “Should the CIA be fighting shadow wars with drones and special forces in countries where we have not declared war? What happens when the lives of service members are sacrificed for political gain?” His debut novel, Directed Verdict, won the Christy Award and in 2015, The Advocate won the ECPA’s Christian Book Award for fiction.

Randy is an attorney, an author, and a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He also serves as Attorney in Residence and Director of the Singer Civil Litigation Practicum at Regent Law School. He and his wife live in Virginia Beach and have two adult children.

I was given an Advance Reader Copy of Rule of Law by Tyndale House, but I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.

WEAVER’S NEEDLE WEAVES ROMANCE, MYSTERY, AND SUSPENSE.

Deb’s Dozen: Each needing cash, Landry and Nicolai take an assignment fraught with danger.

Weaver’s Needle was an interesting book. Part adventure, part whodunit, part romance, the book leads the reader down a somewhat predictable path. The story starts slowly, with Landry and Nicolai needing money for different reasons—Landry to rescue her business; Nicolai to restore his sister to normal life.

Enter a murder and a widow determined to recover the property stolen from her dead husband. Landry and Nicolai both run property recovery businesses and Mrs. Winslet has decided to pit them against each other with the successful person earning a $50,000 fee. The property to be recovered? An ancient map to the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine.

And they’re off! Landry to Apache Junction, Arizona, with Stan Hauge, Mrs. Winslet’s representative, and Nicolai to research the murder trying to get info from his former partner, Chris. Of course, the trail leads him to Apache Junction as well.

I found the story very slow at the beginning—so slow I almost stopped reading the book, but I’m glad I continued. The character of Nicolai was more believable to me than Landry’s. I also found Stan Hauge well drawn. Landry is the Christian in the story, praying before every meal. Nicolai is the sceptic—how could God have allowed the death of his parents and the hospitalization of his sister? The Christian elements were more of a diversion than an asset to the plot.

Even with the sketchy character development and the distraction of the Christian elements, Caroll draws you into the story and makes you want to know the outcome. Add in the Apache Thundergod mystique and you’re entrapped—enticed to read the book to the ending. Three-plus stars.

Robin Caroll says she “loves to keep you on the edge of your seat with her Southern-style, romantic mysteries/suspense.” Her passion is storytelling and presenting the faith element to her readers. She’s married with three daughters, two grandsons, and a menagerie of pets. You can find out more at RobinCaroll.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.