Bite Size Book Reviews

I have some kindle freebies in this week’s list!   (Correct as of this article. Check the price before ordering)

It’s an even more eclectic collection than usual, with settings in first century Rome, 1880 New York City, turn-of-the-21st-century Egypt, and pre-civil war Missouri as well as modern American settings.  Audiobook, kindle and paperback!


chasing the lion1. Chasing the Lion, audiobook by Nancy Kimball

**This reader is one of the best I have ever heard. The audio version is a finalist in the 2015 Audiobook Publisher’s Association Audio awards in the Inspy/Faith-Based Fiction category**

The Christianity in this book is a primary theme.  It’s set in 35AD, when Christianity was serious business. The romance was developed gradually and naturally. Again, faith played a pivotal role in all of the book’s relationships. The violence was horrific at times, but it was appropriate to the setting of the book, as were the attitudes toward slavery and (very minor) descriptions of sexual behaviors.

This was a long audiobook – 15 hours! – but definitely worth listening to.


edge of light2. The Edge of Light, kindle, by Ann Shorey

This was an interesting antebellum novel set in Missouri, among slaveholding middle-class tradesmen. We often see slavery associated with wealthy landowners, so this was a fresh and insightful portrayal of the culture. The heroine is a believable character, and I liked the way her understanding of slavery and humanity changed near the end of the book. That was a skillful transition.




hazardous duty3. Hazardous Duty, audiobook by Christy Barritt

FREE and buy the audio version for $1.99

The first in a series about a crime scene cleaner, this book was fun and entertaining. The heroine’s attitudes about her career, education, and life-in-general seem natural. I enjoyed her persistence as she tried to participate in the investigation of the crime but was repeatedly ignored or thwarted. The mystery was solved at the end of the story, but the relationships left me looking forward to the rest of the Squeaky Clean series.



gentleman of her dreams4. Gentleman of Her Dreams, kindle by Jen Turano


This sweet little novella is a companion novel to “A Change of Fortune” from the “Ladies of Distinction” series. It’s a fun, silly short story, full of entertaining incidents, misunderstandings and conversation between the hero and heroine. The hero returned from overseas to find his old friend is as engaging and willful as she was when he left two years ago. It’s an intriguing introduction to the full-length novels in this series!



woman of fortune5. A Woman of Fortune, kindle by Kellie Coates Gilbert

This novel was different from anything I have read lately. The main characters are a husband and wife who share genuine affection; even when we realize that the husband is a criminal and has put his wife in a terrible situation, we have no doubt that he loves her and his children. The reader regrets his crimes but hopes for a happy ending for the family. The character of the younger son who steps up to be a strong help to his mother is particularly appealing.



laughter of dead kings6. The Laughter of Dead Kings, paperback by Elizabeth Peters

This is the final book in the Vicki Bliss series. That makes me sad, in a way, but I am glad the author got it all wrapped up before she died. Her real name was Barbara Mertz, and she held a PhD in Egyptology, so the two Vicki Bliss books set in Egypt seem to have more creative plots. Vicki hasn’t changed significantly from the first book. Her relationship with the hero is stabilized, and she has learned to respect her boss – finally! – but her character never developed any depth. This novel would be hard to enjoy as a stand-alone book, because it doesn’t give much background about the characters. It has fun links to the Amelia Peabody series by the same author, but if you ARE familiar with that series, there is no mystery. Overall, the ending of the Vicki Bliss series was satisfactory. I will miss Ms. Peters. Her books have been a blessing to me for 25 years. Note – this book is not written by a Christian author and the characters are not Christians. There is no description of sexual behavior, but you know it’s happened. The language is not terrible, but neither is it perfectly clean.