Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

A Story of Heartbreak and Mending

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Strait of HormuzToday, I’m sharing a slew of excerpts from reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz. I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review. Today’s reviewers are:

  1. Geni White
  2. Sarah Judith Cole
  3. Tina Hunt
  4. Kitty Bucholtz
  5. Kattarin Kirk
  6. Beckie Burnham
  7. Russ Hanley
  8. Shari Bradley
  9. Sidney W. Frost
  10. Deb Haggerty

Mark Royce Faces Great Odds to Prevent a World War

By Geni White, Amazon

Marc Royce has again been called to investigate a matter that could involve the whole world in war, started unwittingly by the United States. As usual, Marc’s appointment upsets powerful government leaders, so he must work without official sanction and against numerous attempts to have him removed from the case…

Great book

By Sarah Judith Cole, Amazon

…Royce must solve the puzzle of an attack that seems to be directed against America, but the pieces don’t fit together like he expects them to. After seeing the woman he loved, but had to let go, painful memories and desires resurface. On top of that, he has to find people he can trust, and has to stay out of trouble with the authorities.

Grow Along With the Characters

By Tina Hunt, Pot of Manna blog

…The characters have a depth that makes them quite real. As is typical of Bunn’s writing, they grow as they face their issues and questions. And while faith is an obvious theme and thread that runs through the story, it is certainly not “crammed down your throat” or preachy. Topics of past hurt along with questions of trust for the future are dealt with in gentle wooing ways that may find you questioning your own faith journey and growing with Marc, Kitra, and Rhana.

Loved the Characters

By Kitty Bucholtz

…While struggling to find out where the new threat to America is coming from, sometimes at odds with his own government, Marc meets a really interesting array of people – a Swiss operative and a Swiss police inspector, a Persian art dealer, a knighted English art collector, and many more, as well as several people he’s worked with in the past. (I love it when you see characters appear in multiple books. It feels like you get to know them better.)

Heartbreak and Mending

By Kattarin Kirk, A Gracious Stumble blog

An amazing story of heartbreak and mending. It makes you realize that even when we don’t get our human version of happily-ever-after God has a plan that is so much better.

Pulse-Raising Action

By Beckie Burnham, By The Book blog

A great book for suspense lovers, this novel has it all — terrorists, multinational spies, a threat to Israel and the US, and a group of patriots with the desire and hope of freedom for their countries. There is also a very satisfying romantic element to sweeten the plot. A great conclusion for a great series.

Marc Royce is off on another action packed thrill ride

By Russ Hanley, Amazon

If you like action-packed adventure and suspense, you’ll love this whole series and especially Strait of Hormuz. These books can be read by themselves but the real gem is in reading all three in order because you’ll get to know the characters and understand their history.

Marc Royce is the hero America needs and Kitra Korban is the “girl next door” only with more complexity and interest. Bunn creates characters and stories that are so real you feel like you’re right there and these are people you know.

Journey With the Characters

By Shari Bradley, Amazon

…Though Marc and Kitra are the primary focus, I found the complexities of the other characters and the trials they face to be equally stirring, very much like ourselves and the passages we each face in our own lives.

It is not easy being an operative in this dangerous world of international intrigue and turmoil, nor is it easy to really look inside and see ourselves for who we are. In these engaging stories, we have seen Marc overcome tragic times in his life to live again and love again, all the while serving his country and his God.

Powerful Descriptions

By Sidney W. Frost, Christian Bookmobile blog

…The story moves quickly and the suspense gets intense at times. The descriptions are so powerful you feel you are there with the team and you wonder if the author has firsthand experience with such situations. He knows what he is talking about and he makes what could be a confusing tale understandable and entertaining.

Has Marc Royce finally met an enemy he can’t beat?

By Deb Haggerty, Positive Grace blog

Strait of Hormuz, the third in Davis Bunn’s Marc Royce series, has all the elements of a good story: the beautiful woman, a mysterious older woman, a daunting enemy, and lots of action. Bunn squarely nails every element!

Danger and Dark Alleys in ‘Strait of Hormuz’

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Strait of HormuzI’m delighted to share another round of reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz with you. Today’s reviewers are Mary Hake, Gary Gilmore, Katherine Scott Jones and Faith Farrell. Read on…

Exciting adventure and intrigue!

By Mary Hake, Amazon

Plunge into the world of international intrigue and danger in Davis Bunn’s newest book, Strait of Hormuz.  Marc Royce, who starred in the astounding Lion of Babylon and its exciting sequel Rare Earth, needs to stay at the top of his game to outwit and survive the enemy’s tricks and attacks. When even his American compatriots seem to suspect him and thwart his efforts to protect the world from nuclear meltdown, Marc must decide whom he can trust and how to carry out his mission—even if it means going it on his own.

Circumstances throw Marc and Kitra Korban together again, which can be awkward as they attempt to deal with the threats they face and the future they long to spend together. They must both overcome the past in order to move forward.

I always enjoy the way Davis Bunn weaves his stories with authentic characterization, thrilling plots, and realistic settings, and includes new technology in the mix. The novel definitely sounds like something from the pages of current history. Let’s hope if such a crisis does develop that the outcome turns out as well as this fictional account ends.

I suggest reading the series in order but each book is an exciting adventure of its own.

Danger and dark alleys

By Gary Gilmore, blog

Full of romance, thrills, dangers, intrigue, high speed, and dark alleys, Strait of Hormuz does not disappoint. Davis Bunn is a masterful writer. From the explosive first chapter to the unexpected ending, you are in for a hair-raising good time.

Strait of Hormuz finds Marc Royce in Geneva, Switzerland, for some unknown reason – unknown to Marc and to Ambassador Walton who sent him there. Marc struggles throughout the whole book to determine his reason for being in Geneva, and the struggles not only define his skills, but highlight the matter of US security.

In every situation in which he finds himself – and he finds himself in some unbelievable situations, he does not seem to know how or why he is where he is. But being the astute man that he is, Marc collects all of these happenstances as clues to some bigger puzzle. He does not so much stumble into situations as he marches purposefully into them. He believes that eventually he will know the purpose, and that it will lead him to the desired end, which he is sure he will recognize when he sees it. Now that is trust with a capital T.

His trust in God, his Ambassador boss, and his country, along with his positive, optimistic attitude of life, seem to keep him afloat and upright. It is tempting to reveal the plot in order to make the point, but you will just have to read the book. And just know that those who have already read the book are looking over your shoulder, eager for you to discover what they have discovered along the way.

Another well-drawn adventure from an author who understands his brand

By Katherine Scott Jones, Story Matters blog

Genre: Fiction/Christian/Suspense

Judge this book by its cover? I can’t decide. On the one hand, it captures the essence of the book’s climax. But it doesn’t hint at its strong romance or the glamorous Swiss setting leading to that point. In my opinion, this cover is meant to appeal to the male audience.

Reminds me of… Brock and Bodie Thoene.

Buy or borrow? Fans will want to buy.

Why did I read this book? For Bethany House for review.

My take: Davis Bunn strikes me as a novelist who understands his brand and knows how to deliver time and again what his readers clamor for: well-plotted, deeply researched stories populated by complex characters and threaded with strong inspiration messages.

In Strait of Hormuz, readers will once again find Bunn’s trademark clean, straightforward prose as well as between-the-eyes Christian themes. They’ll also find another element we’ve come to expect from his novels: a well-imagined, fictionalized take on real-world politics.

I can’t decide, however, which audience–male or female–the Marc Royce series will appeal to more. They contain a balanced blend of action (in this novel alone, I believe I counted four major explosions) and romance, plus heartfelt explorations of spiritual matters. So I guess the answer to my question is that Bunn writes for both men and women (and in this way, he reminds me of John Grisham). Indeed, I’d say his finely honed skill at writing for a broad audience explains much of his well-deserved popularity.

If pressed to give Strait of Hormuz a rating, I’d give it 4 stars–falling short of five only because this style of storytelling doesn’t particularly resonate with me. Nonetheless, I’m confident this latest of Bunn’s well-drawn adventures will surely appeal to his myriad fans–and win him a few more besides.

Lessons of faith, culture and history

By Faith Farrell, Found a Christian By His Grace blog

…While reading this I learned much more about Iran, the history of Persia, Israel’s precision trained Mossad, the Strait of Hormuz itself, and the lives of Christians in the Middle East where faith often has to go underground to survive. There are Jews, Muslims and Christians among the characters, and some characters are not what they seem at first.

They are complex, and once you get to know the good characters, you really like them. You care about them, you are fascinated as you follow them in their mission, and you know that you don’t want any of them to be hurt or killed.

One of my favorite characters was Kitra, a spirited woman who is offered a world beyond the kibbutz of her youth, and a chance to save her people. Kitra is also offered love, true love, and must make choices about how to proceed with that.

The plot is the kind that is fast moving but never at the expense of the details that make it memorable. Military, Intelligence Agents, men and women of espionage, Christians who manage to spread the Gospel through “hidden” Churches… it’s all here.

And the setting. Once again, the writing brings the settings to life. I went online and looked up St. Catherine Monastery in Egypt, intrigued by the way Davis Bunn had described this place. The many photographs confirm that sunrise there is as other-worldly beautiful as it sounded.

Yes, Strait of Hormuz  is a book that you can give a man or a woman of any age, because there are well-drawn characters both male and female. If you read this book you will learn lessons of faith and culture and history while enjoying a great story.

Complex Female Characters in ‘Strait of Hormuz’

Monday, December 9th, 2013

In these new reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz, the reviewers reflect on faith and friendship. You’ll hear from Mark Buzard, Audrey Sauble and Kim Martinez.

Lion of Babylon Rare Earth by Davis Bunn Strait of Hormuz

Making God Part of the Story

By Mark Buzard, Thoughts of Sojourner blog

As with the other two books, the very likable Marc Royce returned as the main character. He is thrown again into some major political suspense and intrigue. I really had a hard time putting the book down, and since I was reading it when I didn’t have to put it down, I let myself be pulled into the story, and through the book traveled all over Switzerland the Middle East. Although the book is fiction, the reality of how much the Arab nations hate Israel is not, and the book had a very scary scenario of what could happen if one of those countries decided to go after Israel.

Bunn is an author who isn’t afraid to write Christian fiction and make God part of the story. The Christian aspect of the book only added to the story, and was such a part of the story that it wouldn’t have been as great of a book without it. Through fiction, the author shows how God can always work for the good, and even when things look impossibly grim, He can save the day.

I was sad to see this series end, but this book wraps up an excellent series with a lot of suspense, drama, action, and some romance thrown in for good measure. I still say the first book was the best, but this third one is even more exciting and action filled, and left me with a great satisfied filling that comes from reading a great novel.

When Friends Need Help

By Audrey Sauble, The Lore Mistress blog

Everyone has a friend who needs help occasionally. Marc Royce’s friend just happens to be Ambassador Walton, a very old friend and a top intelligence official.

It also just happens that Marc’s friend needs help with a very serious problem. The US was tracking a shipment from North Korea to Pakistan when nine containers on the shipment disappeared. US officials believe the containers are headed to Iran, with the missile parts that could increase Iran’s firing range to reach the US. Within a week, the containers will have time to reach Iran, and meanwhile, the US’s best solution is also the worst—to stop ships entering the Strait of Hormuz and search them for the containers. Doing so may stop the attack, or it may give Iran an excuse to declare war.

Marc’s role is to find a way out—specifically, he’s supposed to track the money and find out what really is going on. Unfortunately, his first search effort uncovers a booby-trap instead.

And then Kitra, the Israeli nurse Marc met in Rare Earth, walks onto the scene.

In the background, waits a shadowy, but intriguing, cast. There’s the wealthy backers who can send agents anywhere in the world or to any five-star hotel at a moment’s notice, as well as the underground house-church with members from enemy cultures and a mission to protect believers in hostile countries.

Bunn started the series in 2011, introducing freelance intelligence operative Marc Royce in Lion of Babylon. The middle novel, Rare Earth (which I reviewed last summer), won the 2013 Christy Award for Suspense Fiction. And now, Strait of Hormuz marks the end of the series.

Even as the last book in the series, Strait of Hormuz stands on its own, telling Marc’s latest adventure separate from his previous missions. As with Rare Earth, I would have no problem picking up the action from the first few pages. At the same time, this being the second book I’ve read from the series, I noticed more that Bunn doesn’t spend a lot of time on character-development. I was able to connect fairly well with Marc and Kitra, but part of that was from having met them before.

I’m not sure whether I would classify Strait of Hormuz as a slow-paced spy story or a fast-paced romance. It has elements of both—Bunn balances a race to save the world fairly well against Marc and Kitra’s struggle to understand their emotions and their relationship.

Bunn does well at both, but I found the background characters with their range of motives and backstories to be the best part of the story. They were also, in some way, easier for me to connect to than the story from Rare Earth. So, while Strait of Hormuz ranks 4 out of 5, I liked it better overall than Rare Earth, and I’m not sure I was ready for the series to end.

Another fantastic Marc Royce action!

By Kim Martinez, Amazon

While a lot of our media shows us intrigue that disengages from personal purpose, Bunn shows us how the two intertwine to develop our future.

He doesn’t shy away from the hard questions that real people ask, nor does he give easy answers. Instead, he weaves terrific intrigue with honest human interaction to create a fantastic book that is well worth your time.

Strait of Hormuz is classic Davis Bunn – intricate character development and amazing plot work. In fact, one of the things I particularly like about Bunn is his ability to create very complex female characters. Many authors seem to create complex male characters in their action novels, but Bunn manages to do both.

Strait of Hormuz is a current-day, believable plot that took me inside communities that I hadn’t heard of. I learned a bit about Christianity in the Middle East while reading a great action novel. If you haven’t read Rare Earth yet, you might enjoy both books best if you read them together. Although each stands alone, the character development of Marc and Kitra spans the two, and is really well done.

Gun fire, Explosions, and a High-Speed Chase in a Red Ferrari

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Strait of HormuzWow. I wish I could share ALL the fantastic reviews from readers of Strait of Hormuz. Here’s a sampling of excerpts from reviews that have been posted recently. Today we’ll hear from Vickie Taylor, Tammy Griffin, Katherine Wacker, Pris Phillips, Deb Killian, Shirley McDonald and Eddie Gilley! I hope you’ll click on each author’s link to read their full review.

Impact: Worldview

By Vickie Taylor, Book Marks blog

A former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations once noted that “Patriotism… is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

This mind-set is the framework from which Marc Royce operates. A U.S. intelligence operative, Royce specializes in being the man on the ground in tenuous situations with little prep time and no backup—the man whose instincts and judgment can be trusted when Intel is sketchy and allies are hard to find. Royce is the man you count on when you can count on nothing else, and that makes him the perfect hero for the imminent threat facing the Middle East in Davis Bunn’s latest release, Strait of Hormuz.

The third installment in Bunn’s Marc Royce series, this story opens with Royce being sent to Switzerland to follow up on a lead, but when he arrives, his lead is dead, a bomb is about to go off, and the woman he cares about walks into the building right before detonation. Readers are dropped straight into the action and hit the ground running as they follow Marc Royce into the fray.

The sense of urgency established in the first chapter builds by degrees as the reader joins Royce in his pursuit for answers in the midst of political posturing between competing intelligence agencies and rival governments. On this mission, Marc is searching for a missing freighter carrying what is believed to be guidance systems for long-range missiles. U.S. officials fear that the components, shipped from North Korea, are headed for Iran, and recent Intel indicates that the Atlantic Coast of the United States may be the target.

The United States wants to intercept the cargo before it reaches the Strait of Hormuz, the channel of water linking the Persian Gulf with the open ocean, but the ship has gone off the grid. Marc’s job is to discover the ship’s destination and find the people responsible for its movements before military intervention is necessary.

Royce’s trip to Switzerland was supposed to connect him with the man facilitating the financial transactions for the movement of arms. Instead, it leads him to an ally inside Israel’s intelligence agency and an informant with connections to Iran. These unlikely allies work together to prevent a serious international incident and, in the process, find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Their love for country is surpassed only by their commitment to Christ. Trapped inside a world that would divide them by geography, politics, and culture, these patriots transcend those arbitrary barriers to form a cohesive team.

This unique collaboration allows them to find answers to the questions their governments aren’t asking and puts them all on the front lines of a deadly assault aimed at America’s strongest ally in the Middle East. Tension mounts as the team is forced to work against time and outside official governmental parameters to prevent a biochemical attack on Israel and to apprehend the man responsible for its implementation.

Davis Bunn’s skill at weaving faith and integrity into the fictional world of covert ops without sacrificing the adventure and intrigue inherent to the genre is unparalleled. Fans of Bourne and Bond could easily identify with Marc Royce’s world and would, no doubt, come to respect a man who values progress over politics and pursues justice rather than glory. Royce’s keen intellect, combat skills, and decisive command make him an admirable warrior while his sincerity and compassion make him an attractive hero. This combination accounts for the character’s overall appeal to both male and female readers.

Also appealing is the view of the world we see through Marc Royce’s eyes. This series depicts more than the age-old conflict of nation rising against nation. It casts a vision for a world where leadership is defined by sacrifice, unity is prized over power, and peace is found in obeying the call of God. In Strait of Hormuz, Davis Bunn offers readers a model of hope for a world in turmoil and a picture of faith that perseveres in spite of the obstacles.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, in large part, because Bunn portrays a world where peacemakers are recognized as the sons of God and the meek really do inherit the earth. I find the more I read Bunn’s work, the more I want to live in that world. How about you?

Fantastic Christian Suspense!

By Tammy Griffin, Tammy’s Book Parlor blog

From the first page the excitement comes at the reader with a barrel of gun fire, explosions, and a high speed chase in a red Ferrari! And Marc is thrown into a perilous situation with a woman he is attracted to but cannot love… A great end to fantastic trilogy!

Exquisite Detail

By Katherine Wacker, Katherine’s Chronicle blog

Davis Bunn is at his best when he transports readers to places most can only dream of. He tells a story in exquisite detail as few Christian authors do. This gift only enhances the already page-turning, suspense-filled tale that could be ripped from today’s headlines. It is incredibly well-researched and filled with details that even a political junkie would enjoy.

Bunn’s Best Yet

By Pris Phillips, Amazon

I have read both of the previous Marc Royce books by Davis Bunn, and Strait of Hormuz is the best yet! I’m about half way through the book, and can’t put it down! I had to write a review before I even finish it… it’s THAT good!!

Marc Royce is my hero

By Deb Killian, M2M blog

Davis Bunn once again captured my senses as he took me on a new journey of reconnaissance, romance & faith… I was drawn into the story as Bunn wove each character in and out of the tapestry of the rich and beautiful to the dangerous and harrowing moments of international espionage. From prominent art gallery, yacht and luxurious resort to high sea adventure and car chase you will find yourself on the edge of your seat as Marc and the woman he secretly loves zigzag their way through an intricate plot.

Davis Bunn has a gift of interlinking suspense with God’s plan, redemptive nature and hope for each individual person. I love un-wrapping each and every story. You will too.

Marc Royce is back in a great action thriller

By Shirley McDonald, Amazon

…Continuing Marc’s story on another assignment for Ambassador Walton, Bunn uses well-developed characters, fact action, suspense, and multicultural friendships to explore those hard to answer questions that many people have about Christian beliefs. The reader learns much about the Middle East as Marc’s group travels throughout the area in an attempt to stop a vicious terrorist attack. Author Davis Bunn gives the reader much to think about, along with a hard-to-put-down story. A definite 5 star rating!

Thrilling ending to the Marc Royce Trilogy

By Eddie Gilley, blog

…As in the other two books in this trilogy, Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth, readers are treated to detailed descriptions of locations in several countries. Bunn takes the time and effort to thoroughly develop the settings of the events in order to bring the reader along on the incredible and dangerous journey facing Marc [Royce] and [Kitra Korban]…

…As usual, Bunn manages to write an action novel that includes faith without coming off as fake or forced. The story of Marc’s faith and how it affects his life as an agent continues to unfold in way that will seem natural to those who have read the previous two volumes but will also make sense if this is your first foray into the world of Marc Royce.

When a Warrior is Called to be Weak

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Strait of HormuzI am astounded by the quality of the reviews readers are posting about Strait of Hormuz. I think you’ll enjoy these four fabulous reviews by Terri Smith, Margaret Nelson, Mike Winskie and Kathryn Eriksen.

Falling in Love With Marc Royce… Again

By Terri Smith, Amazon

As soon as I heard that Davis Bunn was releasing the final book in this series, I reread the first two books, Lion Of Babylon and Rare Earth. I again fell in love with Marc Royce!

Kitra described him best when they were praying together, “But Marc was real in this…He was always real…the integrity that was so ingrained, so much a part of him that no one even spoke of it or questioned it. Others followed him, even when they disagreed with him over one point or another. They trusted him.” I loved seeing the interaction that Marc has with people he meets for the first time and the trust he receives even in impossible situations.

The story starts with explosive action and continues with adventures until the conclusion. I am sad to see the end of the series. Davis Bunn created a realistic story and a sense of place that I have enjoyed when reading his works. He has a way of making the reader open to new cultures and gives us an understanding of what people are experiencing that are so different from our daily lives.

He gives us insight in to what it is like to be a Christian in other cultures where it is not popular or even safe to name the name of Christ. As one Arab believer states, “We yearn for what you so often take for granted, the freedom to practice our faith, to live our beliefs, and to be treated with respect and equality by our neighbors.” How often do we look on others like this?

This book will NOT put you to sleep!

By Margaret Nelson, Amazon

If you want a calm, relaxing book, do NOT read Strait of Hormuz, Davis Bunn’s newest book about Marc Royce, and the final one in the series. I made the mistake of finishing it just before bedtime, and then couldn’t get to sleep for hours!

The first two books (Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth) are suspenseful, but I think this one tops them both. I had to keep taking breaks in reading to catch my breath for the next attack, chase, or cliff hanging scene. (I also wanted to know if Davis test drove a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in a situation even closely resembling one scene in the book, so asked on Facebook. He said, “I’ll never tell”!)

The plot is all too possible in today’s world, with Marc Royce ferreting out rumors of a clandestine operation stretching from Asia to the Mideast. At stake is Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, cutting off vital shipping routes and escalating global tensions beyond the breaking point. I was amazed by the amount of research that obviously went into making it all hang together, as well as make sense to a broad spectrum of readers.

One thing I appreciate about Bunn’s books is the fact that his lead characters are deeply spiritual without preaching. Honesty, trust, integrity, forgiveness, and obedience to God and His Word are lived out by the characters, and it impacts those around them, as well as the reader. This book has some thought-provoking discussions that I need to go back to and mull over.

I also appreciate the fact that the suspense is due to the action, not in the main characters being dense and self-centered until the last pages of the book, when they finally see the light and do an abrupt about face. Bunn’s characters grow and change in believable ways throughout the book. In some aspects, Marc Royce is “too good to be true,” but I like the fact that Davis reveals his shortcomings and weaknesses, and also that Marc changes through interaction and accountability with other believers, modeling a healthy spiritual life for the reader.

When a Warrior is Called to be Weak

By Mike Winskie, The Author’s Page blog

Marc Royce teaches us all a much needed lesson:

“I have spent my entire adult life training to be a warrior. To analyze and fight and succeed. To control risk and battle danger. And yet there comes a moment when I must go against my training. When I must accept that events are not to be fought against, but rather accepted in prayer. That at such times I cannot retreat into the safety of coldness and anger and still remain a faithful servant. There is NO (emphasis mine) harder lesson for me to learn than to recognize the moment when I am called to be weak.”

Wow! What a lesson!

We humans, especially men, seem to go through life trying to “defeat our enemies.” Every situation we find ourselves in must be analyzed, strategized, and conquered.  We pat ourselves on the back for our ingenuity. Yet, sometimes, our Lord has to allow the situation to get so bad that we have no choice but to look up and ask for his divine help. That’s usually when he moves his sovereign hand and brings victory- after we have submitted to him.

This is why I enjoy these books so much. Though Marc is an amazing character in literature, he is not presented as a superman. He is presented as well trained, intelligent, and dedicated, but as a real human being. He suffers the same doubts, fears, and weaknesses that we do.

Most importantly, he has to rely on God’s help to bring the victory, just as we do.

A Warrior or a Believer?

By Kathryn Eriksen, Dare to Dream Big and Live Large blog

The third and final book in the Marc Royce series, Strait of Hormuz provides a gripping story that will satisfy even the most die-hard action adventure fan.  The added bonus is that Davis Bunn is a Christian author and he boldly explores what it means to be a Christian in a violent world.

Strait of Hormuz picks up where Rare Earth (Book 2 in the series) left off. But Bunn is so adept at providing the back story that Straits can also be read as a standalone book.

Marc Royce is again entangled in an international web of intrigue that he does not understand, but that has far-reaching consequences. He must decipher the clues to determine whether he is on the correct trail or chasing rabbits while the real threat remains inbound.

Along the way, he discovers what he thought he would never see. Small, hidden communities of Christians composed of Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Lebanese, Ethiopians and Iraqi.  Sworn enemies who lay down their arms and found each other in the arms of Jesus.

Impossible if they followed their traditions and societal rules.  Possible only because of the gift of salvation.

Marc must seek their help in his quest to stop the evil that is about to descend on the Middle East. But these people have a well-hones sense of credibility and Marc must prove himself worthy of their support. He is forced to come face-to-face with his own doubts and fears, and to choose to “follow Jesus even when it is painful to do so.”  His training as a warrior and combatant has to be set aside so he can seek guidance in prayer.

His primal dilemma: remain cold and angry as a warrior or step into an unknown place of weakness and wait for direction from God.

As Marc states so eloquently, “There is no harder lesson for me to learn than to recognize the moment when I am called to be weak.”

Marc must also face his personal conflict of whether to love someone and therefore become vulnerable, or remain in the comfort of his “warrior mentality.” He already knows that the warrior mentality does not produce warm, trusting relationships, but the obstacles he faces in Straits sends him straight back to his warrior comfort zone.  Will he also shed that attitude and open himself up to the gifts of love?

Davis Bunn excels at weaving the themes of Christianity, love and forgiveness in a story that is both compelling and thought-provoking. Because the reader is allowed to see directly into Marc Royce’s conflicts and dilemmas, the resolution of his conflicts also provides a possible solution for the reader. We see into Marc’s world and gain insight into our own.

Strait of Hormuz is a book worth its weight in gold. It will change your perspective about the Middle East and what it means to be a “warrior” in Christ.

No Christian Wimp

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

In these new reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz, the reviewers reflect on Marc Royce’s faith.

Lion of Babylon  Rare Earth by Davis Bunn  Strait of Hormuz

Tested Loyalty. Tested Courage. Tested Faith.

By Mary Kay Moody, Jottings From the Journeys blog

With an economy of words and profusion of images, Strait of Hormuz is a story seemingly ripped from today’s news.

American Marc Royce has been sent on a clandestine intelligence operation that takes him to Switzerland, then across Europe into the Middle East, without backup or even a gun. He must penetrate the veil of secrecy around art thieves, smugglers, and terrorists to determine who he can trust as he uncovers which threats to himself and peace in the Mid-East are real and how they can be thwarted.

As Royce pursues the truth, each connection he has with the US intelligence community gets ripped away, and the operation grows increasingly perilous. This suspenseful journey tests his endurance, insight, and wisdom. But it is also a personal saga of tested limits, love, and faith. Will he rely on himself or on God?

Bunn populates this tale with a few familiar characters from earlier in the series—Ambassador Walton, pilot Carter Dawes, and the smart and lovely Israeli, Kitra Korban—joining a new cast of realistic, intriguing, and flawed characters struggling to find their way and purpose in an ever more dangerous world.

As Royce pursues information and then solutions, the operation grows increasingly perilous as each link with the US intelligence community gets ripped away from him. When it seems the challenges can’t get worse—more adversaries materialize. When all appears lost—an ally emerges from an unlikely direction.

Bunn weaves an intricate story, packing danger and suspense into every mile of the journey. Strait of Hormuz captured my interest on page one and carried me away as surely as a roaring mountain river. The settings springs off the page. The characters engage. The plot intrigues.

Davis Bunn’s skill as a writer continues to astound me. In Strait of Hormuz, Marc Royce begins his quest with only vague information and nebulous goals. But as each turn of events raises the stakes, Royce’s focus compresses until he locks on his target and becomes a human laser-guided missile. Truly, a worthy hero. And though I know of no plans for making this book into a movie—there should be.

Extra — My husband Ed believes this tale is a perfect illustration of God’s sovereignty and the thirty-third verse of Matthew 6: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” He also says Strait of Hormuz is his favorite of Bunn’s Marc Royce adventures.

That makes this a 4 thumbs-up, 10 star review!

Alone and Unaided

By Gail Welborn, Examiner.com

Davis Bunn, four-time Christy Award winner releases Strait of Hormuz Tuesday, November 5th, to complete his Marc Royce Adventure trilogy. It’s a fast-paced narrative of international intrigue, clandestine action and escalating global tensions that began with Lion of Babylon continued in Rare Earth and ends in Strait of Hormuz.

In this book readers find Marc in Switzerland without his customary intelligence resources and protocols in place, not even a gun because he’s been fired. Or that’s what everyone is led to believe due to a U.S. intelligence security leak.

Kitra Korban, Marc’s former “long-distance” love interest has mixed feelings of anticipation and dread as she enters Geneva’s most exclusive art gallery to save “…the very same man she had recently told she never wanted to speak with again…” Marc Royce.

The same gallery where only moments before Marc had found the corpse of gallery owner, art connoisseur, Sylvan Gollett adjacent to the famous bronze ballerina sculpture by Rodin. When he moved to take a picture of the body he heard the “most beautiful voice in the world call out to him” from the door.

Kitra’s greeting coincided with a sound he hoped to never hear again that told the agent he’d stepped into the “laser light” trigger of a bomb… there were only seconds to decide his next move. Add money-laundering, nuclear capabilities, cultural and religious issues and readers have what Hy Smith, Sr. Vice President of United International Pictures says is a “thinking person’s Indiana Jones” adventure.

Where Marc Royce, “alone and unaided” except for a selected few, must divide truth from deception, innuendo and rumor that cause him to question those he thought he could trust. Whether Mossad agents, girlfriend or fellow U.S. intelligence agents. The realistic threat, if acted upon, would have deadly results for Israel, the United States and the world that would leave the world forever changed.

The addition of Kitra’s and Marc’s off kilter romance only adds to Bunn’s delightful tale of suspense, danger and intrigue captures readers and keeps the pages turning. Although part of a trilogy, Strait of Hormuz can be read as a standalone title.

Marc Royce: He’s no Christian Wimp

By Edward Arrington, Amazon

I read my first Davis Bunn book in 2000. I was hooked. As I read Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth, the first two books in the Marc Royce series, I found it difficult to wait for the next book to be released. Although Strait of Hormuz is billed as the final book in this series, I would welcome additional installments of exciting adventure with Marc Royce and Kitra Korban.

Davis Bunn has an awesome knack for painting word pictures. As the action unfolds in each of his books, he makes it so easy to visualize what is taking place. It is easy to see that he has spent a lot of time researching the details. Strait of Hormuz is chocked full of suspense, international intrigue, strategy, extremely high stakes, and a faith that won’t give up.

I love the way Davis Bunn brings Christian faith into the interaction of individuals of various nationalities as they come together in worship and prayer. Faith plays a very vital role for Marc and Kitra throughout the course of events. It is an integral part of who he is, not just a safety net when trouble rears its ugly head. Combined with his training, skills, knowledge, and experience, Marc’s faith helps him keep his perspective and sort out the real issues.

Christians are often displayed as wimps but that’s not who Marc is. He is very much a man of action. The book has lots of action and keeps the reader on edge just waiting to see what will happen next: explosions, car chases, attacks, fights, numerous threats, and romance. I highly recommend this book.

Reviewers Write About Unlimited Power, Unlimited Potential, Unlimited Grace

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

UnlimitedBookCover788x1200Here are some excerpts from new reader reviews of Unlimited, which released September 1, 2013.

Please click the link next to each reviewer’s name to read their full review.

“The center of the story revolves around a device that creates, or rather salvages, unlimited energy ~ energy that is wasted from power plants and other sources. It is a device sorely needed in this desperately poor area and making it work comes with great personal cost. Simon will learn that it isn’t just book knowledge that makes you a success in life, it is also what you do with the gifts you have been given. He is a brilliant young man but until he turns to the true source of power, he will not understand his own unlimited potential.”

-Rozanne Janacek, Amazon

“The search may have been for unlimited power, but the discovery seems to have been unlimited grace for those with overwhelming shame, those struggling to trust and forgive, and those simply seeking to serve.

Once again Davis Bunn has provided an exhilarating story that invites the reader to think big: big about the world we live in and big about God.”

-Tina Hunt, Pot of Manna blog

“At a time when I, like Simon, doubted my potential and the gift God has planted within me, Unlimited glimmered into my reading life with a challenge – “be more.” Channel that wasted energy and potential. Believe in the dreams that God has buried in your very soul. Believe in His ability to make the impossible possible. Believe that you are destined to light up the dark.”

-Amanda Brogan, Walking The Narrow Way blog

Amanda Brogan works as a photographer in Omaha, Nebraska. She plans on pursuing her dreams to become an author of inspiring, Christian books. Catch more of her writing at Faithwriters.com or at her blog walkingthenarrowway.blogspot.com.

“Think about the last time you failed someone-what would it have been like if you weren’t able to make amends to them because they had mysteriously died? And what if you were on your way to them when events were happening to keep you from arriving? This is where we find Simon as Unlimited begins.”

-Kim Campbell, Amazon

“If Unlimited is your first exposure to Davis Bunn, you will never regret checking out all the books this talented author has produced. They are as diverse as is his imagination, and each one carries a distinct, yet vital message for today.”

-Erin Elise, Amazon

 

‘Unlimited’ Readers Discuss the Real Harold Finch

Friday, November 8th, 2013

UnlimitedBookCover788x1200Here are some excerpts from new reader reviews of Unlimited, which released September 1, 2013.

Please click the link next to each reviewer’s name to read their full review.

“A story of suspense, redemption, and ultimately hope, Davis Bunn’s new thriller grabs readers and carries them through a labyrinth of danger where things are not as they seem… I was fascinated to learn that Harold’s character is based on a real Harold Finch who sold his consulting business to H&R Block for over 100 million back in the seventies. He then devoted his life to helping underprivileged children reach their potential.”

-Lori Boles, Amazon

“…Although this is Christian fiction, it does not preach to you. It is an honest rendering of faith-filled people living their lives in this world with all of its difficulties (and probably a few extra problems that most of us will never have to deal with).

-Mary Dushel, GoodReads

“A story of suspense, courage, secrets, and some romance. Something here for everybody.”

-Wilma Metcalf, Amazon

“…Harold Finch is the orphanage proprietor and a real live person who inspired the story. Finch was the founder and CEO of a successful management-leadership consulting group, which he later sold for over a hundred million dollars.

A man of true faith, Dr. Finch traveled the world, teaching his concepts and helping underprivileged children learn that they have tremendous potential and purpose in God’s eyes. This inventor and educator devoted his resources to fund missionary projects and orphanages. In the story, he tells Simon, ‘The world is full of motivated people going nowhere.’”

-Samuel Hall’s blog

“The action takes place in only a few days, and it is relentless all the way to the surprise ending! An excellent read for anyone who enjoys high-stakes adventure.”

-Marjorie Vawter, The Writer’s Tool blog

“Unlimited inspires readers to confront their personal challenges, and hints that there is a greater purpose in life than mere survival.”

-Sarah Gunning Moser, Family Education Services blog

Marc Royce: A Man of Action, A Man of Faith

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Strait of Hormuz by Davis BunnReader reviews for my new novel, Strait of Hormuz, are streaming in. They are simply amazing and are an immense gift! I’d like to share a sampling with you:

Marc Can’t Catch a Break

By Lynn Riddick, Goodreads

Marc Royce is at it again. Poor guy doesn’t catch a break. After recovering from his last two excursions (Lion of Babylon & Rare Earth) he is now on his way to Switzerland… From the beginning of the book until the last page we are thrown into turmoil, trying to decide who to trust, where to turn, how to accomplish the task.

I must admit I fell in love a little with Marc Royce during Rare Earth. I loved his calm assurance and strong determination. But we see a different aspect of Marc Royce in this book. He seems a little more vulnerable and it makes him even more appealing.

While dealing with political suspicions, multinational personnel and opposition from his own government, Marc and his team lean strongly on the power of prayer and support from underground believers. His strength and courage comes from knowing where his faith lies.

I love the contrast of political unrest against absolute faith. I love the beauty of seeing God’s people worshiping as one. Davis Bunn gives depth to his characters by the descriptions he provides. My favourite thing throughout the entire book is Marc’s absolute honesty and integrity. Yet he is not afraid to fight, knows how to use a gun and can come up with a plan of attack when no one else can.

This is an action packed book with little time to rest and yet it is so full of personality and relational dynamics it is appealing to all readers. Oh, and let’s not forget the romance!

StraitofHormuzSweepstakesGraphicforLaunchTeamA Ride in the Fast Lane

By Nicole Sager, Amazon

Each book in this series had an element that made it different. Lion of Babylon bears the excitement of the “unknown” because a grieving Marc has just been thrown into a crazy and dangerous situation in a foreign land.

In Rare Earth, Marc has more emotional control, and so the book comes from a different angle: the federal agent superhero instead of the uncertain but physically capable combatant.

In Strait of Hormuz we find Marc in a battle to maintain his new stability even as he’s thrown into a perilous situation with the woman he cannot love.

Strait of Hormuz was an exciting read, starting with the very first chapter and entertaining all the way to a marvelous close. I felt the urge to hold on tight as Marc and his friends whirled their way through explosions, gun fights, deceptions, opposition, and a high-speed chase in a red Ferrari! The intricate plot and a strong emphasis on faith intertwine to make this story a moving tapestry, more than worthy to take a stand in the gallery of exceptional literature. Outstanding!

Marc Royce: Flawed, Yet Heroic

By Nona King, Word Obsession blog

Marc Royce is my favorite book character. He is well-rounded, flawed and heroic, a struggling Christian, and a patriot. Davis Bunn never ceases to amaze me how he can write such a wonderfully engaging hero. He does not come across the page as fake, and neither does the conflict or struggles (both romantic and political).

In Strait of Hormuz, the action and suspense kept a strong hold, not letting me go until the end of that last, breath-catching chapter. In fact, when I began reading the clean-up/wrap-up chapter, I could hardly believe the smooth transition from the thick of battle to the conflict resolution. Everything seemed to fit so wonderfully that I wasn’t left with the feeling of “it’s over already?”

But, more than that, as in the other Davis Bunn books, I came away feeling as if I learned something, always an unexpected bonus.

With all of the other Davis Bunn books, I came away with the impression that I learned more about what is going on in the world–and I loved that about the book and the way the details were woven into the story. Davis has a fantastic way of not simply telling a story, but weaving it in such a way as to never be anything but interesting.

In Strait of Hormuz, I learned about something more than the ever-present conflicts in the Middle East and America. I came away with a new idea on how to view conflicts and choices when it comes to being a Christian: all choices don’t necessarily consist of right and wrong. I blinked at that revelation, and it shuddered through my entire spirit–not only as a reader but as a writer.

I thank Davis Bunn and Marc Royce for that most of all.

OVERALL RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

WOULD YOU READ IT AGAIN? Are you kidding? It’s a Marc Royce book, of course I will!

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS? Most definitely yes! Go out and buy this, and the other Marc Royce books, right now! You won’t regret the purchase.

Readers Discuss Simon Orwell in ‘Unlimited’

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

UnlimitedBookCover788x1200Every Thursday during October, I’m sharing excerpts from reader reviews of Unlimited, which released September 1, 2013. The major motion picture of the same title was released in U.S. cinemas October 16, 2013.

Please click the link next to each reviewer’s name to read their full review.

“With his masterful style fully displayed, and his ability to apply a lesson on several levels, Davis Bunn once again invites you – no, drags you – into another life-altering saga.

The world has always been searching for the unlimited – unlimited wealth, unlimited power, unlimited passion, unlimited health.  But they’ve been looking for the unlimited in all the wrong places. While struggling to provide unlimited electricity to an orphanage in Mexico, Simon discovers the Source of the unlimited life.”

-Steve Hilton, Doc’s Doin’s blog

“Unlimited is an age-old story told in a modern day setting. Everything is in a mess, harder to untangle than a wad of yarn. The country is in a mess, the town is in a mess, the orphanage is in a mess, and the one person who seems to chosen to fix everything is a mess…”

-Gary Gilmore, Gary’s Thoughts blog

“…At Unlimited’s center is a broken man. Simon has been disappointed and he has disappointed those close to him; forgiving himself and opening up again are daily challenges.

Add an orphanage bursting with children and believers who surround him with love and compassion, and slowly, gradually, Simon’s unlimited potential is coaxed to the surface.”

-Laura Lee Groves, Outnumbered Mom blog

“The device ‘anchored him [Simon] to a million broken dreams.’ (pg 14) Boy can I relate to that. I am sure there are others out there who feel the same. Will God give us another chance, or have we blown it to many times?? God gives unlimited grace to us. I am so thankful for that.”

-Debbie Phillips, Debbie’s Digest blog

“This book challenged me as a believer. Do I really believe that nothing is impossible with God, that God’s power working in me can achieve what I couldn’t even dream up on my own? Simon’s journey seems to ask the question, just how big is your God. Is He big enough to take your past failures and redeem them, to take our puny efforts and transform them to something amazing? If He’s not, you might just need to have your notions about who God is shattered, just like Simon did.”

 -Mary Ann Esque, Reflections of Radiance blog

“Simon is a complex character and this book is about his journey, his growing and learning about life and there is a good bit of adventure along the way. The rest of the cast of characters provides great countering and support and I’m intrigued to wonder what the actors will pull off in the film as to what I’ve seen in my imagination.”

-Margaret Chind, Creative Madness Mama blog

“Simon Orwell, the main character, starts out as the kind of guy that you really want to dislike yet find yourself strangely identifying with.”

-Kattarin Kirk, A Gracious Stumble blog

“The mystery and intrigue of Simon Orwell’s trip to Mexico made me want to read more, and I look forward to reading Bunn’s other books – this was my first but not my last.”

-Joanne Mueller, Amazon
Joanne lives with her husband in Oregon where she enjoys writing and homeschooling their two children.