A Journey of the Heart Leads to Adventure

Deb’s Dozen: He’s off to be a soldier; she follows to become a wife.

I was given three of the books of Colleen Coble’s Journey of the Heart series, and I liked them enough I’ll have to find the other three. This was the first series Colleen wrote and they were republished in 2015. They’re easy reads—light and predictable—and happily ever afters. Nevertheless, I enjoyed them.

Book 2, A Heart’s Obsession, begins the story of Rand and Sarah. After a misunderstanding, Rand heads west to Fort Laramie to be a “bluecoat.” Sarah, left behind, is hurt that Rand would leave her. When Sarah’s father dies, Sarah heads West to evade her brother’s plans to marry her off to Ben Crofter, the bounder who caused the problems in the first place. You’ll enjoy the story of her trip and her adventures once she arrives at the Fort and finds things not at all what she expected.

Book 3, A Heart’s Danger, continues Rand and Sarah’s story. Sarah is managing to survive in the hostile environment of the West—hostile because of the ever-present danger from Indians as well as the woman Sarah found Rand was engaged to marry. To top things off, who should arrive on the scene but the scoundrel, Ben Crofter. You’ll enjoy the machinations of Jessica, Brad’s fiancée, and Ben to mess up the lives of Sarah and Brad.

Book 4, A Heart’s Betrayal, finds Emmie Crofter, Ben’s sister, heading West to be a helper to Sarah. She’d been married, but her husband, Monroe, had died after only three months of marriage. Then to Emmie’s dismay, she finds out Monroe had another wife and a child—she is left with nothing but the few things she personally brought to the “marriage.” Now disgraced, she heads West to escape and to find a new life.

These are short, cozy stories to read. The characters are real and you come to care for them quickly. I’m off to find Books 1, 5 and 6! Four stars.

Journey of the HeatColleen Coble is a best-selling author with many awards and sales of over two million books. She and her husband, Dave, live in Indiana. You’ll want to read Colleen’s other series—her other series are even better and more intriguing than this, her first.

A friend gave me these three books, so I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.

A Note Yet Unsung–A Symphony Yet Unplayed

Deb’s Dozen: A maestro and his assistant—creating a symphony. Sharing music or life?

Tamera Alexander writes the most exquisite novels. Her Belmont Mansion series and her Belle Meade Plantation series hold much of her best work. A Note Yet Unsung is the last of the Belmont Mansion series. I am disappointed to see the series end—I’ve come to love the mistress of the mansion, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, and the personalities who are drawn to her and surround her. A Note Yet Unsung brings us yet another cast of fascinating characters.

Rebekah Carrington comes back to Nashville from almost ten years in Vienna where her grandmother had sent her to perfect her music. But her beloved grandmother has died and the funds for Rebekah’s living have ceased. Dreading her return home, Rebekah dallies across the street from the house remembering her disgust for her stepfather, Barton Ledbetter. She is accosted by a street urchin selling papers. After an interesting interchange, she persuades him to go to the house to deliver a paper there and to see if her mother is at home. With the knowledge her mother is not there, she pays him the three nickels promised and delaying still, begins reading the paper.

Rebekah reads about a position open at the Nashville Symphony for a personal assistant for the maestro, Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb. Deciding she has nothing to lose and determined to show him her musical ability, she heads to the opera house. Having talked her way past the dragon lady guarding the maestro’s time, she pauses in the hall outside his office, hearing a lecture going in within. The lecture ends, the door opens and who should emerge but her childhood nemesis, Darrow Fulton. True to past form, Darrow scathingly attempts to put her down but finds the older Rebekah a match for his taunts.

Tate Whitcomb is frustrated—the orchestra and Darrow are not performing up to his standards. And now he must put up with interviewing another simpering female who wants the job, but mostly wants the conductor. Finally making Tate understand she was not there for the assistant position, Rebekah masterfully plays her oboe for him and asks for a position in the orchestra. He turns her down flat—women are not allowed to play in the orchestra—it just isn’t done! The maestro then rushes out for another appointment. Surprisingly, the dragon lady, Mrs. Murphey, give Rebekah a lead for another position—at Belmont Mansion. And so all the characters are in place.

You will love this last story in the series—and you’ll love Rebekah and Tate. You’ll wonder if either of them will ever attain their dream. And you’ll come to appreciate Adelicia Alklen Cheatham even more than you have if you’ve read the other books in the series. Five stars!

A Note Yet UnsungTamera Alexander has five series to her credit. She is a USA Today best-selling author. She is also a genuinely nice person, who cares for her readers and her fans. Her novels are well-researched and she willingly shares the research with us—down to recipes for beaten biscuits or classical music. Find out more about Tamera at TameraAlexander.com

I purchased my copy of A Note Yet Unsung, so I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.

Mystery and Suspense–The Doctor’s Dilemma–Stay or Go?

Deb’s Dozen: Mystery and Suspense—Doctor’s Car Explodes—He and New Girlfriend in Danger?

I love Richard L. Mabry’s books. Doctor’s Dilemma is a novella replete with mystery and suspense, but not his usual full-length novel. As a result, the pace is faster, the details sketchier, the denouement more quickly reached. All that to say I wasn’t ready for the book to end. I’d become attached to the characters and wanted there to be more—more interaction between them and more future.

Dr. Tyler Gentry has recently finished his residency. He’d fully expected to return to his hometown and enter practice with his father. But, his dad and his mom had been killed in a plane crash and suddenly, his plans for paying back his med school debts was in a shamble. In addition to the pain from the loss of his parents, he faces additional debt. His father had recently signed a demand note for three hundred thousand dollars and forged Tyler’s signature—now Tyler was a half a million dollars in debt!

Because he’d been going to go into his father’s practice, Tyler hadn’t looked into other possible positions and now almost all of the good ones are gone. So, when Dr. William Hall offers him a position with his group of surgeons, Tyler takes the job. The job sounds almost too good to be true. How does the saying go? If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And the night before he starts, he gets a three-a.m. call warning him that joining the Hall group could be hazardous to his health—he should get out while he can.

At the hospital during surgery, he meets operating room nurse, Ashley Wynn, to whom he feels an instant connection. He asks her out and over time they become close. After their first coffee shop date, as they’re on their way to Tyler’s car, the car explodes into a ball of flame.

Tyler and Ashley, along with Detectives Brent and Rios, try to figure out why Tyler has been targeted—and what the mystery is with the Hall group. The Doctor’s Dilemma—stay or go?

Albeit short, you’ll love this medical mystery novella—and you’ll want to purchase the rest of Dr. Mabry’s books. Four stars.

Richard L. Mabry MD is a retired physician who writes what he calls “medical suspense with heart.” He has written ten novels and three novellas along with one nonfiction book, The Tender Scar, written after the loss of his first wife. He has won the Selah Award for Lethal Remedy, and his books have been finalists in several other Award competitions. He loves to golf and has had the same partner for ten years. Additionally, like most writers, he is a voracious reader—mainly fiction. Find out more about Dr. Mabry at rmabry.com.

Dr. Mabry gave me a copy of Doctor’s Dilemma, but I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.