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A Latte Difficulty, #3 The CafFunated Mysteries by Angela Ruth Strong

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About the Book

Title: A Latte Difficulty

Series: #3 The CafFunated Mysteries

Author: Angela Ruth Strong

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink

Released: April 2020

Can two baristas track down a gunman after the espresso shot heard ‘round the world?

When Marissa witnesses an attempted murder during the 4th of July parade, it starts a battle for her independence. She is forced to hide out in a safehouse, leaving her co-owner, Tandy, to run their coffee shop, track down the criminal, and, worse, plan Marissa’s wedding. Thankfully Tandy has help, but can she really trust the P.I. in a bow tie, her new deaf barista who acts more like a bartender, or a wedding planner who’s keeping secrets?

The threat on Marissa’s future goes from bad to worse when her bridal gown is covered in blood. Though her fiancé, Connor, agrees to give up his identity to join her in the Witness Protection Program, Marissa refuses to wave the white flag. Instead, she enlists Tandy to help her fight for truth, justice, and the Americano way.

 

My Review

The third book in the CafFUNated Mysteries, A Latté Difficulty, by Angela Ruth Strong, is a cozy winner. It is time for an extended celebration of the Fourth of July in the small town of Grace Springs. If you have read the first two novels in the series, you will welcome back old friends Marissa and Tandy, owners of the Caffeine Conundrum, and their boyfriends, Connor and Greg. While Marissa is in the throes of planning her perfect wedding, their frenemy, Randon, is attacked in their shop and his computer stolen. 
We see a bit more of sweet Billie and her rich, but rough-around-the-edges businessman boyfriend whose company becomes embroiled in ransomware, possibly involving Randon. Will the new deaf ex-barista Zam be a help or a hindrance as our foursome rush to save Randon’s life and keep themselves safe from the unknown assailant(s)? 
Zam is such a fun and amazing character to add to this cozy mix. With his mad juggling skills and lip-reading abilities, Marissa and Tandy are lucky to have him on their side… unless he’s not… 

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Finally… it’s taken me three books to really like Goth Tandy. But do I ever admire her quick wit in this book and ability to get herself and Marissa out of trouble on more than one occasion because of it! 
Kudos to Strong for the cross-mention of crime scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire, by Christy Barritt. Scenes like that ramp up the reading fun. 
Fun, suspense, and faith. All of these factors into this cozy. The suspense is great, but Strong makes sure to place comic relief at just the right points. The other important factor in her books is faith. The main thought here is that the fear of the Lord if understood properly, will set you free from the fear of man. Wow! 

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A Latté Difficulty had twists enough that the reader may have trouble, like I did, figuring out who to trust and who to suspect, yet I was still surprised. Well done, Mrs. Strong!! 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. 

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior – Hit My Reading Sweet Spot and leaves me begging for more CafFunation!

About the Author

4746114Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.

 

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Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep

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ABOUT THE BOOK: 

TITLE: Ladies of Intrigue (standalone book)

AUTHOR: Michelle Griep

PUBLISHER: Barbour

PUBLISHED: February 2019

GENRE: Christian Romantic Suspense

3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

MY REVIEW:

4.5 stars- Great, just short of spectacular.

Yay for Michelle Griep for coming up with another new book. However, this one is not quite new, but a collection of three novellas that have appeared in other works. Thankfully, I found these, bundled together, whereas I missed them before.

  1. The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady was the first story and my favorite. Taking place in Cornwall, England, Helen, the young adult daughter of a dying minister is thrown into the path of an unusual smuggler. Can Helen understand the world is more than black and white? Can Isaac give up his “rightful” revenge against Brannigan? Eventually, the truth comes out that God is sufficient. Sometimes I shake my head at what appears to be characters’ convoluted thinking- but then realize we all have our blind spots. I found lots of quotes to like in this part.

“‘You are all I have left.’ ‘No, child, there is always God.’” 

“Those who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything…” 

“Sometimes what we see… and what is truth are two different things. The world is not as black and white as you seem to believe.” 

“If one cannot trust in God’s provision, then perhaps one has no business professing a faith at all.” 

  1. The Doctor’s Woman – This was my second favorite. Taking place in 1862 Minnesota, Emmy Nelson arrives at Fort Snelling, where she is needed in her deceased father’s place. She ends up helping Dr. James Clark, there because he needs field experience.  As the two get close, will Dr. Clark return east to Harvard? God is indeed watching over this pair, as He watches over all of us, and maps out our futures, too.
  2. A House of Secrets- 1890 St. Paul, MN   Amanda Carston and her attorney fiancé Joseph are at odds about the old Griggs House and its use. Why is Joseph suddenly secretive and refusing to support her very well-intentioned endeavors? While this wasn’t a favorite, the lessons are obvious: honesty, prejudging, considering one’s own motives better than others’, of self, assuming the worst of others. Pretty much the opposite of the love chapter in the Bible.

I received this book as a complimentary copy from the author and/or publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review, and all opinions are solely my responsibility.

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 2754194

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?