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Sunday, November 21, 2021

My review of The Genesis (Saints and Sinners book 6) by Dayo Benson

The Genesis: A Contemporary Christian Romance (Saints and Sinners Book 6)The Genesis: A Contemporary Christian Romance by Dayo Benson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a satisfying ending to a tumultuous, yet exciting story about two people in impossible situations that desire each other on so many levels. My favorite thing about this last segment of the series is the slow softening and/or thawing of people's cold/hard hearts.

Several scenes that moved me were the ones showing how you have to forgive yourself to allow yourself to be loved by others. Otherwise you may expend a lot of energy beating yourself up and pushing people away. On the other hand, you could misinterpret things and protect yourself against what you perceive is rejection, but is it really love? And can you truly love someone if you are not connected the the originator of love, who is God?

There are so many themes in this series that touched me deeply. The overarching one in this book is that no one and nothing is beyond redemption and healing. Fantastic ending to a truly compelling series. Loved it!

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Monday, November 08, 2021

My review of Fractured Light (Saints and Sinners book 5) by Dayo Benson

Fractured Light: A Contemporary Christian Romance (Saints and Sinners Book 5)Fractured Light: A Contemporary Christian Romance by Dayo Benson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know how she does it. This book is even more intriguing than the last. I read it almost straight through. It reminds me of what could be an intriguing television series, yet it is written with much more realism than you'll see in a typical Christian novel. This is like a Christian version of the television series Famous in Love, but it's way more sinister. The darkness and light contrasted on a spiritual level is nothing you would see on secular TV. And the story is extremely blunt and honest. The way the author deepens the level of danger and darkens the plot, then pulls it back around only to let it delve into a darker place is incredibly difficult, but she pulls it off.

She did the same thing in the first series of novels I read by her titled Beauty for Ashes. I fell in love with those characters, too. She has a gift for bringing characters to a place where they are brought to their knees and only God can see them through. And one truth really shines in this series. You can't change for someone else. You have to find it within yourself (the will to change) and sometimes it won't work without divine intervention. At the same time she shows that the impossible really is possible with God and she does it in such a way that you believe it. Nothing feels contrived, glossed over, or cheesy. I love her books.

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Friday, November 05, 2021

My review of Irredeemable (Saints and Sinners book 4) by Dayo Benson

About the book:


Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future?

That is complete bull. Chloe Campbell is so saintly and perfect, she terrifies me. She has no past.

The phrase innocent as a dove comes to mind. She’d probably never done a single thing wrong—until she met me.

Right now, we’re stranded in LA, sharing the only hotel room we can get, and trying to ignore the electric chemistry that hums between us.

She’s hurting, which makes her thinks she wants me, but I know it’s just her pain talking.

Besides, I don’t want her getting entangled in the colossal mess that is my life.

I don’t want to break her heart.

And I definitely don’t want to fall in love.


Colby Carter is a devil with an angel’s face.

My head knows that but my heart doesn’t. It keeps telling me he can change. So when he asks me to put him in bootcamp and help him turn his life around, I pull out all the stops. I get him reading books, attending church, and even going on a weekend prayer retreat.

But as Colby slowly opens up to me and lets me in on some of his deepest darkest secrets, I begin to realize that maybe he’ll never break free from his problems. Maybe there are some people who are just too broken to be healed.

Maybe the man I love really is irredeemable.

My review:

I am pretty convinced now that Dayo can't write a book that isn't a page turner. Her characters are complex but consistent. They are loveable and yet sometimes annoying (like real people tend to be.) Of the first four I am thinking the first and this one are my favorites so far. I am growing to like Chloe more with each book. I am really proud of her (even though she isn't a real person) because she is growing stronger and more sure of herself as time goes on. Getting away from toxic people certainly helps with the growing process. Family or not, her mother and nana are extremely toxic. 

Colby is loveable and believable too, though I feel more sad for him as time goes on. He really is trapped. But as Chloe loves him unconditionally (yet with boundaries) he is also growing stronger and his heart is softening up a bit. This one is a real page turner as Colby starts to thaw. I loved how Dayo put them in impossibly intimate situations and still managed to keep things clean. Great job! My favorite part is how Dayo leaves you on a cliff hanger that is satisfying but also makes you want to keep reading and getting the next book. All around great writing and can't get enough of these books! Wish I had more time to read these days. I would burn through all of her books if I didn't have to work. 

Monday, November 01, 2021

My review of Unholy Ground (Saints and Sinners, book 3) by Dayo Benson

About the book:

Saints and Sinners is a reality TV show like none other...


What happens when you take a sheltered Christian girl and lock her in a house with a random mix of self-professing sinners?

Especially when one of those sinners is Colby Carter, a man whose soulful brown eyes have tripped me up before.

The whole aim of the show is to turn good girls bad and make nice boys nasty. But I'm determined to stand strong and do Christians everywhere proud. Any kind of failure will not only get me evicted but will lock me in a personal prison of shame.

That cannot happen.


They think I'm just a dirty sinner. They don't know I'm simply trying to survive.

Saints and Sinners is supposed to be my ticket to freedom. But the danger I'm trying to escape follows me into the competition.

It seems I'll never get free.

I never used to care so much about freedom, or cleaning up my life. But now I have an incentive. She has an electric smile and a penchant for inserting 'Jesus' into every other sentence.

But my enemies are close.

Maybe, for me, freedom will only ever be an illusion.

My review:

This story had a very unique premise. I wasn't sure the author could pull it off, but she did. And it didn't come across as cheesy. I can't help but like Chloe. She's all sweet and innocence to the point where sometimes you want to shake her a bit as she is always worried about pleasing other people. Her mother and nana are very bad for her worldview in my opinion and they are not directing her the way her life should go. So when she enters the show Saints and Sinners I thought... hmmm. It was a creative way to get Colby back in her world. Some of what Colby did was despicable and made him unlikable but then you feel for him again every time he softens and allows himself to hope that he can change. His backstory is tragic and he has a lot of guilt so he hides behind his tough guy persona. But God can see past all that and shine light into the dark corners of his heart. But like true Dayo Benson style, people are stubborn and are not easy to convert. That's my kind of book. I still have hope for Colby and haven't given up on him just like God never gives up on us. 

Some of the times that Chloe shared her heart on the set really shed some light on the fact that while it would make no logical sense that God would want someone on a reality show like Saints and Sinners, God wants to reach everyone and use anyone who is willing to get the message out there. Chloe was a willing vessel and being on the show put her in a position of influence that she would never have had in any other setting. She was able to reach some people who needed to hear the truth, that God never gives up on us and is waiting for people to look to Him for salvation and for acceptance. He loves the backslider and longs for their return to him just as much as he loves the person who turns to him for the first time. God never gives up on us. Beautiful story and it left me wanting more since it had a bit of a cliff-hanger ending. Good job, Dayo. I am still hooked. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

My review of Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

About the book:

Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.

My review:

This novel was a bit grittier than I thought it would be, but I enjoyed that part of the book the most. It was full of intrigue and had likable, yet imperfect characters. The timeliness of a weaponized virus story grabbed my attention, but that was not the best part of this novel. I felt their attraction and the pain that Kadence experienced when she allowed herself to feel safe and protected with Lyndon. I also felt her fear of love and yet it was unconditional love that inspired her to want to be different and eventually thawed her stone-cold sniper's heart. This book ended on a good note but at the same time some of it was not fully believable. I did enjoy the storyline of them being on the run while trying to stop the plot to unleash Ebola on the population... that held my interest. The fighting scenes were a bit too technical sounding and I got a bit lost in the details. The emotional connection the characters developed was the high point of the story for me. The cat made for a good sidekick, too. 

Never Miss was published by Revell and released in May 2021
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