May 302014

18479841 Spy for a Spy: Spy Another Day #2

Author: Jordan McCollum

Publisher: Durham Crest Book

Published: November 13, 2013

ISBN13: 9781940096032

Paperback: 320 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Canada is probably the last place you’d expect to find an American spy. And it was the last place CIA operative Talia Reynolds expected to run into fellow operative Brand Copley. AKA her new boss. AKA her ex-boyfriend.

Just the guy every woman wants to face in the middle of planning her wedding. Once again, Talia’s lying to the man she loves, but this time, to protect his heart.

After Brand takes over Talia’s latest case and steals her newest agent, he assigns her to spy on her old boss—who’s suddenly giving her every reason not to trust him. With only weeks until the big day, planning falls by the wayside as she goes into damage control mode. But when Talia discovers Brand’s real plan, fighting him is the only option, no matter what the personal and professional cost.

My Review

I was thrilled that both Spy for a Spy and I, Spy were Whitney Award finalists for 2013. Not only was it very deserved, but I was also so happy for Jordan.  I loved, loved, loved this book. While reading, right away, I knew I was going to love this book, just like I loved I, Spy.  I loved Spy for a Spy even more, if that was even possible!  Talia is such a great character. Her snark, humor, and smarts are my favorite things about her. She is always full of surprises and just plain awesome.  Loved Danny too. Jordan is such a great author. She really knows how to draw you in and makes you keep reading until the end, and then you’re wanting more. I can’t wait for more from her. This book has it all!

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords 

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

About the Author

7064847 An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most–she’s a mom.

Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.



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Oct 162013

I, Spy I, Spy

Author: Jordan McCollum

Publisher: Durham Crest Press

Published: June 2013

ISBN13: 9781940096001

Paperback: 310 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Canada is probably the last place you’d expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets–and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation.

It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy?

She can make this work, too–until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn’t the only thing suffering. Now to save her country and her secrets, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves.

My Review

I knew by the first page that I was going to love this book.  I absolutely loved Talia’s inner voice.  She loves being a spy, and she is doing her best to keep her relationship with Danny.  So many clever lines filled with lots of snark and heart.  Everything about this book is enjoyable.  I even learned Russian.  :) Jordan did a great job of explaining the Russian and worked in the phrases and abbreviations that could have been confusing, and did it well.  I loved Talia the most, but all of the characters were well-written and memorable.  Elliot and Danny were fav’s too.  The plot is enjoyable and I loved the action!  I really could not guess what was going to happen next.  There were so many surprises at the turn of each page, especially during the climax, it didn’t matter what time it was, I had to finish.

5 out of 5 stars.  I, Spy has also been nominated for 2013 Whitney Award.  There is a prequel short story out called Mr. Nice Spy that I can’t wait to read.  In I, Spy, there was a hint of something between Elliot and Talia in the past.  This prequel is about that…  Also Spy for a Spy should be out this November!

Author Links

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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Oct 172011

Garden Plot

Author: Kristen McKendry

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published Date: August 2011

Softcover; 222 pages

Genre: Mystery-Suspense

ISBN# 978-1-60861-236-9

Reviewed by: Shanda

FTC FYI: free review copy in exchange for an honest review

First Line:

It couldn’t be good for business to have a guest drop dead in the vegetable garden.

With a first line like that, I knew I was in for an entertaining read with Garden Plot.

Erin, the owner and director of a halfway house for recovering addicts as well as mother to a 13 year-old daughter, is our narrator in this story told in first person. The book begins with Erin finding a body of a guest/patient in her garden that has unfortunately been shot in the head. As she tries to deal with notifying the authorities and keeping other guests/patients from coming upon the gruesome scene, we are introduced to several colorful characters.

The author did a great job writing these numerous secondary characters, especially considering we only get to know them through Erin’s eyes. Of course, as director of the home, she knows more about them than anyone in the house. She doesn’t know them well enough, however, to know who might have committed murder.

Running the Whole-Life Wellness Center in Mississagua, ON, Canada, is more than a full-time job for Erin. It’s how she is healing from the sudden death of her husband three years earlier. She feels an obligation toward the guest who lost his life at her center and she doesn’t feel like she can rest until she understands how and why he was killed and placed in her garden.

After visiting the deceased’s wife, Erin learns that the guest who checked into her center may not be the person everyone thought he was. After information from another guest connects some dots, Erin decides to do a little more investigating on her own much to the frustration of Detective Liam Harris, who ultimately concedes that she has a way of getting information from people but doesn’t want her putting herself in danger for reasons that are personal as much as professional.

I laughed out at least a dozen times throughout the book, especially in the last few chapters. There were a few places that I felt that Erin and Detective Harris’ questioning-motive sessions went in circles a little much, but it didn’t change how I felt about the book. I enjoyed the author’s voice in the book — it was a bit different than other mysteries I’ve read.

I give Garden Plot 4 stars out of 5 because it was an entertaining read that kept me turning pages (I couldn’t put it down) and it made me laugh out loud. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with LDS characters (references to the religion but not preachy at all).


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