Thursday, February 29, 2024

February Book Reviews #bookreview #books #amreading #readingcommunity #PainterBrothers #militaryaction #historialfiction @MarciaMeara @Linneatanner @gmplano @YvetteMCalleiro

Hello, beautiful readers! How is February already over? It feels like 2024 is on hyperdrive. I'm happy I've been able to continue to read and write this month, and I've read some great books as well. They are all part of series I started in previous years and just haven't been able to get back to, but I'm thrilled that I chose to revisit them this month.

by Marcia Meara

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Romantic Suspense

Pages: 518 pages


In Book 3 of her popular Riverbend series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit,and Harbinger, takes another look at the lives of the Painter brothers—Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. While Hunter is home again and on the mend, the same isn’t true for his oldest brother. Jackson’s battle has just begun.

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don't leave your brother stranded in that darkest place."
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancĂ©e is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

My Review: 

I am so happy I came back to this family. I fell in love with Hunter Painter in Finding Hunter, but it ended in a tragedy that broke my heart. So, it took me a bit to come back to this series, and it was absolutely worth coming back to.

The story picks up right where the last one left off. Jackson is in a coma with Hunter and Forrest believing his drunkenness had finally severed all that was good about him. Luckily, they were wrong on all accounts. As Jackson awakens, they learn the truth about his accident and vow to be by his side as he recovers. With his memory loss and his shattered spirit, Jackson leans on his brothers for strength. But he doesn't find a way forward until he meets Mel at his group counseling.

Forrest struggles to be the best brother to both his siblings. He fights his infatuation with Hunter's wife and second guesses every decision he makes when it comes to helping Jackson. It isn't until he begins leaning on Bailey, his brother's caregiver coordinator, that the world starts making sense.

Add to that a vengeful ex-boyfriend of Jackson's deceased ex-girlfriend, and all hell breaks loose!

This story is so perfectly written! The author is blessed with the ability to dig deep into each character's pain, insecurities, trauma, and recovery, and she does it in such a realistic way. These brothers are not perfect, but they have so much heart, and I love each of them exactly as they are.

This is such an amazing series, and I truly recommend that everyone read it. I now want to read her spinoff series, The Emissary. I've also heard the author is writing a book four, and I will read it as soon as it is written. :-)

by Linnea Tanner

Genre: Historical Fiction, Greek & Roman Myth & Legends

Pages: 332 pages


A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?

My Review:

It has been a while since I read Apollo's Raven (book 1), but I was swept right back into this world with the first chapter. What an amazing story! There wasn't a moment of inaction throughout the whole book. Every scene added to the ultimate battle, and what a battle it was!

King Amren's daughter, Catrin, fell in love with a foreigner, Marcellus, in book 1. She has mystical powers and is able to merge with ravens to see what they see and to foresee the future. King Amren's outcast son, Marrock, is hellbent on avenging his mother's death, killing his father, and becoming king. King Amren is obsessed with breaking the curse set upon him by Marrock's mother, but nothing he (or Catrin) does prevents the inevitable from happening.

This story is brilliantly written. Each scene is described so vividly that you can see it play out in your mind. And the characters have so much depth to them. The emotional angst of some and the evil cunningness of others is expertly created!

This story has Greek/Roman tragedy written all over it, and I loved every minute of it. There are still two more books in the series, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. If you are looking for happily-ever-after, this is not it (lol!), but if you want a story where you are going to be sucked into and held captive until the end, then you will love this book!

by Gwen M Plano

Genre: Military Action Fiction

Pages: 314 pages


The Culmination, a new beginning is the third book in The Contract thriller series. After an assassination attempt on an Air Force base in northern California, tensions mount. Heads of state meet to craft a denuclearization agreement. The meetings between these nuclear powers take a murderous turn. A nefarious conspiracy re-emerges and leads the characters into the heart of the Middle East, where they encounter the unexpected and find a reason for hope.

My Review:

This book had me nibbling my nails, and I haven't bitten them in years! It's been a while since I read the first two books in this series, but I fell right back into the story rather quickly because the author did such a great job and reconnecting the reader to the dire circumstances at the end of the second book.

Tensions ran high throughout the whole book with one crisis after another having to be dealt with, but moments of love and friendship were sprinkled in between to give a perfect balance to all the chaos. The evil powers in the world were working together for world domination. Unbeknownst to them, a separate group of world leaders were envisioning a world where peace was the norm. It all comes to a head at the end, and what an ending it was!

Admiral and Julie were my favorites, probably because they were there from the beginning of the series. The love story between the presidents (no spoilers) felt a bit unrealistic but I understand the need to have them fall in love quickly to fit into one novel.

The author did some major research to make sure the political and crisis scenes felt realistic. I could visualize everything happening in my mind (hence, the nail nibbling). I couldn't put this book down. I would have loved a little bit more at the end, some more closure or understanding of the after-effect, but all in all, this was a fantastic book and I highly recommend the whole series!

Have you read any great books this month? I'd love to hear about them.


  1. Fantastic reviews, Yvette! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Excellent reads, Yvette. I thoroughly enjoyed Marcia and Gwen's series and polished both off. I've read the first of Linnea's series and this was a great reminder to continue. Thanks for that! And congrats to all three authors on the wonderful reviews. :-)

    1. Thanks, Diana! I think you'll enjoy Linnea's second book. It's fantastic! I'm happy I reminded you about it. :-)

  3. Yve, you’ve been busy, huh?! Wow. These are long reads. How wonderful. All three books sound intriguing. I’m sure all three Authors thrilled with your reviews of their books. It’s amazing to read them. And each enticed me to look them up. I wish the Authors success with these amazing novels.
    Since The end of the year I’ve been reading One novel— Burrowed from the library for two weeks at a time. I’m finally done and almost ready to talk about the Novel (not the translations of which I read two) The Tale of Genji: Genji Monogatari by Murasaki Shikibu. Tremendous.
    Thanks for sharing yours today, Yvie. Bless you for taking the time to do so. Xo, Selma Martin


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