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Daily Deals: Romantic suspense, thriller, and an epic historical

Daily Deals: Romantic suspense, thriller, and an epic historical

Nikolai 2 by Roxie RiveraNikolai 2 by Roxie Rivera. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Claimed and cherished by Houston’s most ruthless mob boss, artist Vivian Kalasnikov embraces her new position as Nikolai’s wife and the lonely, dangerous role as queen of Houston’s underworld. But Nikolai is keeping secrets from her, and the whispers of a coming street war leave her terrified for the man she so passionately loves—and the tiny life growing inside her.

Nikolai finally has everything he’s ever wanted—power, wealth and a family with Vivian, the beautiful sun who lights up his dark life. But as his young wife prepares for her debut on the international art stage, he finds himself drawn into a bloody conflict that threatens the quiet life he’s painstakingly built. He can feel the promise of his future happiness slipping through his fingers like grains of sand.

One wrong move, and he’ll lose Vivian and his child forever. One wrong move, and he won’t see another sunrise.

The sins of their fathers have come back to haunt Vivian and Nikolai. To protect his beloved wife and his heir, he’ll do absolutely anything. The brutal gangster who violently conquered the streets of Moscow and Houston is about to be unleashed—and Houston’s underworld will never be the same again.

I’ve not read this series yet. It features romances between the criminal underworld and their loves. Given that it’s the second book, it makes sense to read it after Nikolai 1 but that book is not on sale currently but I have seen it for sale from time to time.

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Ignited by Kaylea CrossIgnited by Kaylea Cross. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

When her father is murdered by a Taliban cell in the tribal regions of Pakistan, Khalia Patterson reluctantly steps into his shoes to carry on the legacy of Fair Start Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to furthering the education of girls. There she meets Hunter Phillips, the ex-SEAL and head of her Titanium security team, and quickly learns that coming to Pakistan might prove to be a deadly decision.

Battling demons of his own, Hunter grudgingly leads Khalia’s protective detail as a favor to his boss. From their first meeting it’s clear she’s going to be trouble, and that the cell that killed her father is hell bent on taking her out as well. Keeping her alive is one of the toughest assignments he’s ever faced, yet through one harrowing situation after another she continually impresses him with her strength and inner courage. Even though he fights his feelings for her, it’s a losing battle. And when the job is over, he doesn’t know how he’ll let her go.

The main complaint I found was that the ending was far too abrupt and it needed more closure. It’s not a cliffhanger but the readers needed more warm fuzzies at the end.

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What Comes Next by John KatzenbachWhat Comes Next by John Katzenbach. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

A retired university professor is diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that will lead him to lose his memory and die within a few years. On his way home from the doctor’s office, he witnesses a pretty young girl being kidnapped right off the street. As the police drag their heels, he realizes that if he doesn’t act the girl may never be found alive.
Jennifer Riggins, the kidnapped girl, is being held prisoner by a perverted couple who run an exclusive Web site called “What Comes Next,” on which viewers can watch, in real time, the horrors inflicted on their victims. Given the moniker “Number Four,” Jennifer is at the mercy of the depraved pair, with thousands tuning in for every episode of her ongoing nightmare.

What Comes Next is a bold and timely thriller about what lurks within the depths of society’s most depraved minds, and how the only hope for a girl whose life is just beginning is a man whose life is nearing its end.

PW writes “The tense plot smoothly shifts between Adrian, who teams with a skeptical, compassionate detective, and the captive girl. Katzenbach (The Wrong Man) avoids the clichés of dementia, while deftly showing the inner resolve that Adrian and Jennifer each discover in themselves”

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Love's Reckoning by Laura FrantzLove’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

“Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Breathless. Not since Gone with the Wind have I read an epic novel that has stolen my heart, my breath, my sleep to such a jolting degree. Love’s Reckoning marks Laura Frantz not only as a shining star in Christian fiction today but as a shooting star who soars skyward to the glittering heights of Rivers and Higgs.”–Julie Lessman, award-winning author of the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series
On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master’s beautiful daughters.

Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas’s heart–and will he agree to Liege’s arrangement?

In this sweeping family saga, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.

This is an inspirational but the critical reviews said it was morose, Eden was very weak, and awful things happen throughout the narrative, including rape.

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Daily Deals: Ancient Egypt, one of the best Middle Grade books I’ve read, and a UF

Daily Deals: Ancient Egypt, one of the best Middle Grade books...

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife  by Patricia Harman The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Midwife Patience Murphy has a gift: a talent for escorting mothers through the challenges of bringing children into the world. Working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience takes the jobs that no one else wants, helping those most in need—and least likely to pay. She knows a successful midwifery practice must be built on a foundation of openness and trust—but the secrets Patience is keeping are far too intimate and fragile for her to ever let anyone in.

Honest, moving, and beautifully detailed, Patricia Harman’s The Midwife of Hope River rings with authenticity as Patience faces nearly insurmountable difficulties. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light and life into an otherwise hard world.

This book is tremendously well reviewed. The one drawback was the sheer volume of birthing stories and a somewhat open ending. While there is a romance, it’s very backseat and some readers wanted to know more about her relationship with “Mr. Vet.”

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Under Wraps by Hannah JayneUnder Wraps by Hannah Jayne. $ 1.99 AMZ | Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around?

Call the Underworld Detection Agency.

As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .

Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power. . .

PW “After a slow and vague beginning in which characters casually toss around stereotypes and epithets based on (supernatural) race, Jayne gains control of her various plot threads and brings most of them to a satisfying, exciting conclusion with plenty of intrigue set up for a sequel”

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Wonder by R. J. PalacioWonder by R. J. Palacio. $ 2.50

From the Jacket Copy:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

I highly recommend this book. It’s the story of a young boy who suffers from cranial facial abnormalities whose greatest desire is to be viewed as an ordinary fifth grader. There are some points of view from his sister and his sister’s boyfriend and a certain sentiment that God won’t give you more than you can handle (1 Cor 10:13) but mostly I believe it teaches us empathy and gives us insight on how everyone is the same inside and how you treat someone shouldn’t depend on how they look.

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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby WilkinsonThe Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson. $ 1.99 AMZ | Google Play.

From the Jacket Copy:

In this landmark work, one of the world’s most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its final absorption into the Roman Empire—three thousand years of wild drama, bold spectacle, and unforgettable characters.

Award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson captures not only the lavish pomp and artistic grandeur of this land of pyramids and pharaohs but for the first time reveals the constant propaganda and repression that were its foundations. Drawing upon forty years of archaeological research, Wilkinson takes us inside an exotic tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions.

Here are the years of the Old Kingdom, where Pepi II, made king as an infant, was later undermined by rumors of his affair with an army general, and the Middle Kingdom, a golden age of literature and jewelry in which the benefits of the afterlife became available for all, not just royalty—a concept later underlying Christianity. Wilkinson then explores the legendary era of the New Kingdom, a lost world of breathtaking opulence founded by Ahmose, whose parents were siblings, and who married his sister and transformed worship of his family into a national cult. Other leaders include Akhenaten, the “heretic king,” who with his wife Nefertiti brought about a revolution with a bold new religion; his son Tutankhamun, whose dazzling tomb would remain hidden for three millennia; and eleven pharaohs called Ramesses, the last of whom presided over the militarism, lawlessness, and corruption that caused a crucial political and societal decline.

Riveting and revelatory, filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt will become the standard source about this great civilization, one that lasted—so far—longer than any other.

Apparently if you’re going to read one book on Egypt this would be it. The author writes unflinchingly about the dark side of the Egyptian empire such as the use of human sacrifice, slaves, and starvation of people so the rulers could erect monuments to their glory.

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