Behind the Lies – Joy Dekok- a Review

Behind the Lies (The Northern Lights Book 2) 

Amazon Synopsis:

With nowhere else to go but a house bequeathed to her from an old friend, Olivia Morgan finds herself back in Oak River. The small town holds memories of abuse, neglect, and sorrow, but also stirs up longings she’d thought were long buried.

She thinks she can live in seclusion, but resisting the kindness of an elderly neighbor, her tenacious younger sister, and the magnetic attraction of the most handsome man she’s ever seen, is undoing the best of intentions.

Pulled into using her artistic talents to help the police in the disappearance of a young violin player, Olivia finds that reconnecting with the canvas and her camera might just be the lifeline she needs to survive coming home.

Will old enemies and new ones drive her over the edge, or can she finally make peace with the past and see beauty spring up from the ashes?

Things I liked about this book:

  • Originality. I’ve not read another story exactly like this one. A must-have quality for any book to be a favorite with me.
  • It moved along at a good pace and had tension in all the right places. It was able to hold my interest, no problem.
  • The characters were well developed and engaging, according to their importance in the story.
  • I read the story behind the story, and from that I think the author did an excellent job of pulling it all together. There were many moving parts with a large cast of characters. Definitely not an easy story to write and do it well.

Disappointing things:

  • The synopsis didn’t do justice to the story. It was so much better than I expected going in. I think a better synopsis would attract more readers.
  • It was a difficult chore keeping the characters straight. I had trouble remembering who they were and what part they played in the story. Partly because there were so many of them and partly because some of the names and functions were similar and easily confused.
  • The ending. It left me feeling like the book was about Isabella when the main character was Olivia. A small tweak could have solved the issue. It’s like the last bite leaves you with a right or wrong impression of the whole meal. You want to finish with the right taste in your mouth.
  • Although, when I go back and look at the cover … Isabella is the implied main character. Maybe the synopsis had it a bit wrong. Maybe Isabella is the intended, albeit absentee, main character.

In the end: I considered dropping this book to three stars due to the constant struggles with character identity. However, I settled on four because the story was that good.

This is one of my favorite stories this week. It definitely stands out above most of the books I’ve read lately.

I loved the characters and enjoyed being part of their lives for a brief space of time.

Check it out, I think you will enjoy it too.

It’s still at a bargain price and that’s always good incentive.

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Next up… my submission for the weekly Story Prompt.

Books read & enjoyed October 07, 2020

I have a few books to share but somehow I think they have all been mentioned recently in passing, so pardon me if I’ve said any of this before. Hopefully you don’t remember either if I did.

Sometimes I totally love a bunch of books in a row. (I know you can’t have a bunch in a row because bunches never stand it a row, they are always crowded together in a heap, but hey, that’s what’s in my head and I can’t help but go with it. I know you know what I mean anyway, you’re smart that way)

Then sometimes I read a bunch and only love a few of them. That’s how it was this time.

I also have to say, liking a book is usually very personal. Kind of like favorite colors. Not everyone loves pink.

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This first book was one I skimmed through rather quickly. Not really my cup of tea. But still, not a bad read at all. I gave it three stars.

Will of Steel

When the truth behind her husband’s death comes to light, Jordan will need strength as strong as steel to survive.
Jordan Regent finds herself a widow, running her husband’s steel business. One night while sorting through her husband’s things she discovers a secret that threatens her future. As her life unravels, Jordan must hold on to her faith and fight to survive.
Ryder Foster is a lawyer who offers to help with her husband’s business as well as personal affairs. As they search for the truth behind her husband’s death, their attraction to each other creates complications and the threat to Jordan increases. Will Ryder be able to help her face the threat and will Jordan be able to let go of the past?

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This next one I did enjoy, more than I thought I would. I tried once and abandoned it but my second attempt worked, well. I gave this one four stars.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt–and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an “invisible” servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

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I liked this book collection but I know I’ve mentioned it multiple times so I will leave it at that. I gave this one five stars. That alone will tell you tell this was my favorite.

The If I Run Series: If I Run, If I’m Found, If I Live

Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

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This next one is still a bargain if you are interested. I liked this book but only gave it three stars and I can’t remember why. I know there was a reason because I don’t give three very often. Four stars is the norm. Probably details and thoughts repeated too many times.

Hopeful Cowboy: A Mulbury Boys Novel (Hope Eternal Ranch Romance Book 1) 

Nathaniel Mulbury is released early from his six-year term in prison to care for his brother’s four-year-old son. Dealing with grief over his brother’s death and continued guilt for his role in the embezzlement scheme that landed him in jail, Nate has one more problem. He’s never been a father and has no idea how to take care of Connor.

Make that two problems: He’s released, but only to the care of Hope Eternal Ranch, a work-parole ranch run by the beautiful and smart Ginger Talbot. He’s never been a cowboy, and he’s got no room in his life for a woman.

Ginger has dealt with plenty of men like Nate, even if the sparks between them don’t just come from his background. She’s not falling for a handsome face and a nice pair of biceps again. After all, most prisoners have plenty of time to work out.

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I’m going to look around a little for bargains, if I find any I’ll put them in a separate post.

Hope to see you soon!

Happy Reading

Another favorite – podcasts

Books are my number one favorite activity but a close second these days is podcasts.

Now that more and more interesting people are into podcasting a number of them have quickly become regulars on my watched list.

One of the new regulars is Andy Andrews, The Professional Noticer. Andy has had a career as a comedian, conference speaker, resource person to government organizations and others. He’s written books and is now into podcasting. He still does all of the things he used to do but with covid interfering, for now, life is different, things have changed.

My mission has been to share books I’m excited about. As I watched a recent episode of Andy’s podcast I was excited enough to think I needed to share podcasts as well.

So I will.

This is an interview with Dallas Jenkins.

He’s oldest of three sons of Jerry B Jenkins, celebrated author of the Left Behind Series and more. I follow Jerry and have taken some of his online writing courses. They are excellent. If you are interested in writing I’d encourage you to check out his online presence.

Dallas is following in his father’s footsteps in terms of writing ability and creativity. He is not only a successful writer but the director and producer of films as well. His most recent popular project is the TV series The Chosen.

The almost hour long interview with Dallas Jenkins was the highlight of my week. I’d never heard of Dallas Jenkins but now that I have I’m a fan.

I want to share the interview with you hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.

If you are in another country and this link doesn’t work for you, search YouTube for Andy Andrews and it should show up.

Be sure to check out The Chosen if you’ve not seen it. The interview will tell you more but if I remember right it is available for viewing everywhere. A simple online search should work too.

Happy Viewing.

Let me know what you think of my new idea about sharing favorite podcasts. Good idea?

(I haven’t forgotten I’m supposed to be writing something for story prompt Lost.)