The Paris Protection.
By Bryan Devore.
2015. 359p. Bryan Devore, paper, $12.99
In Devore’s third thriller, U.S. President
Abigail Clarke has arrived in Paris for a
public summit that aims to dismantle powerful international crime syndicates—only
to come up against a scenery-chewing terrorist named Maximilian
Wolff. Wolff is a former
Israeli security officer who
has turned his back on
Western governments after
witnessing the assassination
of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin. Now he and his
Muslim lieutenant, Kazim,
President Clarke in an attempt to ruin
American-Israeli relations. The terrorists
use the catacombs below Paris to assault the
president’s hotel, blowing up her extraction
helicopter with a shoulder-mounted missile.
From here, the book turns into an exhilarating, running gunfight through the hotel and
into the catacombs below Paris. Devore is a
superb writer who has clearly done his research into the inner workings of the Secret
Service, but also takes time to breathe life
into his heroes and villains. Movie fans who
enjoyed Air Force One, White House Down,
or Olympus Has Fallen will find almost identical cinematic thrills here.
The Single Gal’s Guide to Shopping
for a Great Guy: Valuing Your
Worth as a Single Girl Who’s Living and
Looking for Love in a Cheap, Sex-selling
By Tiffany Yvonne Grant.
2015. 131p. iUniverse, paper, $12.95 (9781491766514).
Grant delivers fresh perspective on waiting for Mr.
Right in her fun, energetic
book, which uses clever
analogies to compare dating
to various shopping situations and encourages single
women to respect and value
themselves, live celibate until marriage, and shop for men God’s way.
Grant pours her infectious, joyful spirit into
every page, displaying transparent honesty
that will endear her to readers. She expertly
uses analogies to explore topics such as virginity (don’t let strangers rummage through
your precious purse!), safe dating (stores
close at nine; no shopping after hours!), and
not settling for just anyone (don’t fall for
90-percent-off coupons for damaged goods).
Grant’s goal is to remind women that they
are jewels in God’s eyes and that they need
to “be that kind of woman—one who knows
what she’s made of, God’s absolute best!”
Sometimes she stretches a bit to maintain
the shopping theme, but Grant’s motivating
Kings of Brighton Beach, Part 1:
Gangsters with Guns, Episodes 1–3.
By D. B. Shuster.
2015. 355p. Crime Bytes, e-book, $5.99
Shuster’s crime saga is centered on the Ko-slovskys, a family of Russian immigrants with a
shadowy past who, along with their associates,
are kingpins in the Russian-Jewish neighborhood of Brighton Beach, New York. In part
1 of the series, made up of three episodes,
we meet family patriarch Artur, a ruthless
player in the high-stakes world of organized
crime. While he has managed to keep his
true identity a secret from Inna, his beloved
daughter and Achilles heel, he has powerful
enemies inside and outside the family. Vlad,
his newly hired henchman who has returned
to the neighborhood after a decades-long absence, seems loyal enough, but he’s keeping
his cards close to his chest—that is, until he
reconnects with Inna and begins questioning everything he has believed about the past
he fought so hard to outrun. The settings are
clear, the characters vivid, and the action peppered with authentic Russian dialogue. While
the pacing of episode 2 suffers slightly from
excessive character building, episode 3 makes
up for it in both content and timing, resulting
in an exciting read full of jealousy, revenge,
redemption, and love.
By Russel Lazega.
2015. 237p. CreateSpace, paper, $12.99
In this memoir, we meet an unforgettable
character through the eyes of her grandson
make necessary life changes. Lazega brings
Bubbie to life with humor and love through
side-splitting comedic dialogue and a powerful historical narrative accompanied with
letters illuminating Lea’s struggle raising a
family in Hitler’s Europe. Her improbable,
hair-raising escape from Poland via Belgium,
France, and Spain illustrates the resourcefulness, derring-do, and sheer chutzpah of a
woman who delivered her family to safety.
The author re-creates the good-humored
teasing he throws at Bubbie (much of which
goes over her gray-haired head) with vaudevillian timing, and the comedic dialogue is
written with a musical Jewish accent. In the
uncompromising, larger-than-life Bubbie,
her family has their hands—as well as their
hearts—full. Her stirring story will please a
spin on the dreaded single life is encouraging
and will be passed around from girlfriend to
girlfriend. It’s a must-read for any Christian
single woman feeling hopeless about not yet
having the ring she covets.
Way to a Stranger’s Heart.
By Margy Millet.
2015. 165p. iUniverse, paper, $13.95 (9781491771976).
This charming erotic romance begins as
Johanna, an environmental researcher in
the Australian Outback, and her fellow
workers are tracked down by Jason and his
security team, which is scouring remote villages for a missing flash drive that someone
on Johanna’s team possesses. Jason discovers Johanna as she bathes in a nearby river,
unaware she is part of the research team.
Experiencing instant chemistry, the couple
returns to the river each evening for sizzling,
erotic encounters. Although uninformed
of the other’s true identities, they develop
deep feelings—until their secrets threaten
to tear them apart. Romantic, sensual sex
scenes provide heat, and an engaging cast of
secondary characters help add depth. While
there are a few holes in readers’ knowledge
(for instance, it’s never completely clear what
Jason does for a living: Is he a businessman?
Working in security? Something else?), all of
the major questions about the couple’s relationship are answered in time. Overall, this
is an exciting and sexy romance, perfect for
readers who enjoy a fast-paced story with a
A Year of Learning, Laughter, and
Life: 365 Motivational Parables.
By Jaishen Rajah.
2015. 421p. Partridge, paper, $22.53 (9781482832495).
Sometimes it only takes a little nudge to
bring a smile, make a decision, or discover
a bright light in one’s life. Rajah’s stellar collection of 365 motivational parables—one
for each day of the year—
does just that with witty,
entertaining, and thought-provoking anecdotes and
stories. The author spent
20 years gathering his little
gems, which are usually followed by a brief summation
of each story’s message plus
a quote that more succinctly brings its point
home from well-known figures ranging from
Henrik Ibsen to Phyllis Diller. Slotted under
different themes for each month, including “Philosophy and Wisdom,” “Children
and Family,” “Spirituality,” and so on, each
parable is generally limited to little more
than a page and can be read in just a few
minutes. Well organized and user-friendly,
this book offers a year’s worth of provocative entertainment. As it gently urges readers
to approach life with humor, thought, and
care, it provides an utterly charming selection of stories that would be a welcome gift
for friends and family.