Finding new authors who quickly become a favorite is one thing I love about book blogging. Often times, I agree to review books from authors I have never read, and then I can’t wait to read their next book. Good thing I had Joanie Bruce’s second novel ready to read after I finished this one (in fact, be sure to stop by tomorrow to learn more about A Memory Worth Dying For). I loved this novel for it’s characters and story, not to mention the large dose of tension that didn’t let up until the final page. If you are looking to try a new author of suspense, I suggest you look to one of Joanie Bruce’s novels.
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Alana Candler is on someone’s hit list. But why? A stalker is breathing down her neck at every turn, hiding in the shadows, waiting for her to make a mistake— to freeze long enough for him to make his hit. When the stalker kidnaps her from a hotel and leaves her to die, Jaydn Holbrook, CEO and owner of the largest company in Tennessee, saves her life and promises to protect her. Jaydn’s high school friendship with Brad, Alana’s brother and the City’s Police Chief, gives him incentive to protect Alana and shelter her from the growing danger. Alana’s trust in God’s protection intrigues him and compels him to explore her faith further, but when she mentions her aversion to rich, executive-type bosses, Jaydn keeps his position at his company secret—trying not to destroy their fragile bond. As tensions build, Jaydn and Alana are caught up in a dangerous web of hiding from the pursuer trying to kill them and fighting the attraction they feel for each other. While Brad scrambles to find her stalker and Jaydn struggles to keep her safe, Alana searches her memory to find the motive someone might have for murder.
“There’s something calming about giving a loving, powerful being complete control of your life.”
-Jaydn, Alana Candler, Marked for Murder
Characters: All of the main characters in this novel were extremely likable and felt real. Alana felt quite normal, and the fact that someone was trying to murder her raised my compassion for her even more. She was a woman who relied on her faith and live it. Often, she would be shown praying when things were hard. Jaydn was nearly larger than life, but he had his own struggles, faith being one of them. The two of them together were a great team.
Storyline: Tension, faith, mystery. All three of these things are combined in this wonderful novel. From page one, it is clear that someone is after Alana Candler, but she doesn’t know why, and neither do we. The reader follows along as the mystery unfolds and as the stakes are raised with each turn of the page. From page one, I found myself absorbed in this story and needing to know what would happen next. Their was also a thread of romance that fit into this story perfectly. Elements of faith are strong and authentic in the characters, which this reader really appreciated.
My Thoughts: This novel consistently had me scooting closer to the edge of my seat. It was almost a relief to be finished so that the tension could leave my muscles. Chapter after chapter, stakes were raised and I became more nervous for Alana. It was a puzzle to figure out why she was being targeted for murder. I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, and am looking forward to more by this author.
About the Author:
After writing simple picture books for children and mysteries for teens, Joanie found that her passion for writing exploded when she started working in suspense fiction. As an avid reader, she welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful new experience to please others with her words instead of visual means.
As an artist, Joanie’s primary goal is to achieve a strong likeness of her subject, while portraying it in the most complementary setting. Her greatest joy is realized in providing her customers with a cherished reminder of someone or something very dear to them – a work that will stand the test of time.
With a specialty in portraiture, Joanie Bruce uses such media as oils, acrylics, pastel, graphite, charcoal, and clay to create commissioned pieces as well as creative landscapes, animals, and still life using a realistic approach to art. Her body of work includes over 100 commissioned portraits in various media as well as numerous landscapes and is found in private homes as well as corporate offices.
- Joanie Bruce’s Website
- Visit Joanie Bruce on Facebook
- Follow Joanie Bruce on Twitter
- Read what Joanie Bruce is reading on GoodReads
- Check out Alana Candler, Marked for Murder on Amazon