It’s time for another go-round in our occasional series of AAR’s adventures in blind book taste testing.  This time,  Lynn and Kristen describe two success stories and books they’d recommend.


Dangerous Games by Tess Diamond

Romantic Suspense

Summary: The hero and heroine are both outsiders of a sort. Maggie Kincaid survived a childhood kidnapping and went on to become one of the FBI’s top hostage negotiators, but left law enforcement after a hostage situation ended tragically. Jake O’Connor was a soldier who now works private security. When a Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, the two are brought into the investigation by their respective mentors and now they must work against time to rescue a child whose medical condition dictates that she be found quickly. Not surprisingly, they have to deal with their own personal demons as well as everything the kidnapper throws at them.

What drew you to the book? It popped up as a “You May Also Like” when I was ordering things on Amazon and I decided that yes, indeed I just might like it.

How much did you read? I read all of it, and I’m glad I did.  The first half of the book gets a little bogged down in the hero and heroine being irritated with one another but then (particularly on Jake’s part) constantly noticing how cute, sexy, etc.. the other one is. It got to the point that I was about ready to quit after a couple of chapters, but then the suspense plot started to gel and I found myself getting drawn into the action. Even though the answer to the question, “Who?” gets answered relatively early on, there are still plenty of plot twists and revelations to keep things going. The book is a bit uneven, but I found the universe of characters interesting enough that I’ll probably pick up book two.  Diamond is a début author, and from what I understand, there are going to be at least two more books in this series.

Who would you recommend it to? If you like government intrigue, this one might catch your eye. I honestly found the interplay between the various government offices to have almost as much drama as the actual kidnapping.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

Inspirational Historical

Summary: Cullen MacNamara heads to the 1898 Chicago World’s Fair with all of his family’s hopes and dreams riding on his shoulders. If he can successfully introduce his automatic sprinkler invention to market, he won’t be tied to the family farm forever, nor will their economic future be as precarious as it is currently. The problem is that Cullen is going slowly deaf and the noise in the hall where his exhibit is housed is exacerbating the problem. He therefore enlists the help of another exhibitor – Della Wentworth – who is an expert in lip reading. Della reluctantly agrees to help him, and this kicks off a slow burn love story with a supremely rewarding happily ever after.

What Drew You To the Book: Ms. Gist is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but had never gotten around to it. When my library had this book on an end-cap display this past month in a feature about books with characters with hearing loss, I swooped it up.

How Much Did You Read?: All of it. I kept waiting for the Jesus shoe to drop – you know, that moment in an inspirational where someone gets preachy – but it never happened. Yes, there are conversations about faith woven throughout this story, for those are as natural as breathing to these characters, but I never felt Ms. Gist imploring me to agree with them. I was fascinated with the conversations around the sign language vs. lip reading debate, of which I was unaware prior to this book. The love story is gentle but still dynamic and I’m planning on reading more of Ms. Gist’s works.

Who Would You Recommend This To?: Anyone intrigued by the infamous Chicago World’s Fair, for sure. Ms. Gist did an incredible amount of research, and this serves as quite a description of the event. It’s also for anyone looking for a non-sexual romance novel, even if they’re averse to inspirationals.

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

Have you tried any new-t0-you authors lately?  Or are you reading along with our book tasters?  Let us know your new discoveries in the comments.

+ posts

Voracious reader, with a preference for sassy romances and happily ever afters. In a relationship with coffee, seeing whiskey on the side.