The two Bethany House titles that released this week have vastly different settings, themes, and genres, but they have one thing in common: I can recommend them both to readers who enjoy a great story. Want to give them a try? Click a cover to read an excerpt.
Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl
Summary: When U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan is assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD, she’s forced back into contact with her father and into the sights of a notorious gang. Mercy’s boss assigns her colleague—and ex-boyfriend—Mark to get her safely out of town. But when an ice storm hits and the enemy closes in, can backup reach them in time?
First Lines: “The seemingly deserted street was lined with empty houses, their windows as blank and vacant as the eyes of those who had become casualties in St. Louis’s war on heroine. Deputy U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan gazed out the window of the black van as cold tendrils of rain slid down the darkened glass next to her, reminding her of tears.”
Favorite Character: Tally! Yes, this is partially because sidekick characters get some of the best lines, but his faith and mentor-like relationship with Mercy were both very compelling dimensions to his character. Add to that a great backstory that came up at all the right moments and a very real internal struggle about whether to continue on in law enforcement, and he’s someone you can’t help but root for.
Other Unbiased People Say: “An out-of-control roller coaster of a romantic suspense novel! The first book in the DEFENDERS OF JUSTICE series has something for every fan of the genre. . . . The characters are smart, cunning and know how to use their wits to get them out of tight situations. The plot is fast paced and is not standard or run of the mill. Nancy Mehl has raised the bar with her new series.” (RT Book Reviews)
Recommended for: This series follows U.S. Marshals, a career I knew very little about, and Nancy’s real-life research shines in tense situations that could be something you hear on the evening news, so anyone, especially romantic suspense fans, who enjoy learning something new would love this book. Fans of Dee Henderson will enjoy finding a new author while they wait for her next release. Once you start, you might find yourself postponing sleep to keep going until the last page to find out what happens!
The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr
Summary: Despite their recent victory, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover the continent is still far from safe. When unseen assassins begin targeting the Vigil and their gift and his associates scatter, Willet must find a way to defeat this latest threat alone.
First Lines (from the villain’s POV): “Darkness fell within the storyteller’s room, the pain and light of day diminishing, though the heat remained, absorbed and surrendered from countless clay walls and tiled roofs. Nightfall. He relished the dying of the light, the way the sun that blinded him slid beneath the horizon with all the desperate clinging of a drowning child.”
Favorite Character: Can I pick all the urchins? Seriously, the young apprentices who each travel with a member of the Vigil are complex and wonderful. Fess absolutely stole my heart, Lelwin broke it, Mark has an interesting faith struggle, and Rory is hilarious and could easily be the hero of a future series in his own right. (Also, not an apprentice, but if you can read this book without falling in love with little Aellyn, you are heartless.) Far more than an amusing subplot, these young people raise the stakes and give the story added depth.
Other Unbiased People Say: “Carr grips readers from the very beginning, creating suspense that doesn’t let go. Readers are fascinated by Willet and empathize with his struggle in doing what is right when the path is not clear, and every way he turns is filled with danger. Well timed, surprising and intense, this book does not disappoint.” (RT Book Reviews Top Pick)
Recommended for: Anyone who reads fantasy (though there are parts that would be too intense for younger teens). But even if you don’t typically read fantasy, I’d recommend you give this one a try, if only for the amazing characters and thought-provoking insights on faith that you’ll find in the pages. (You should read The Shock of Night first for background, since this one builds on the plot of the first in the series.)
Who was a favorite secondary character from a book you recently read?