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Missing in the Desert

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Five years ago, her sister disappeared… Now someone is coming for her. Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her Five years ago, her sister disappeared… Now someone is coming for her. Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it. A DESERT JUSTICE STORY From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith. Desert Justice Book 1: Framed in Death Valley Book 2: Missing in the Desert


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Five years ago, her sister disappeared… Now someone is coming for her. Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her Five years ago, her sister disappeared… Now someone is coming for her. Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it. A DESERT JUSTICE STORY From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith. Desert Justice Book 1: Framed in Death Valley Book 2: Missing in the Desert

30 review for Missing in the Desert

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Romantic Suspense book, and this is the second book in the Desert Justice series. This book starts off with a ton of action and suspense, and the suspense stays up though out this book. The romance was something that built through out this book. I found the two main characters fit together really well. I have to say I love all the animals in this book. The animals take over the book at times, but who does not love when misfit animals take over the story. I did not see all the twists co This is a Romantic Suspense book, and this is the second book in the Desert Justice series. This book starts off with a ton of action and suspense, and the suspense stays up though out this book. The romance was something that built through out this book. I found the two main characters fit together really well. I have to say I love all the animals in this book. The animals take over the book at times, but who does not love when misfit animals take over the story. I did not see all the twists coming. The ending was so good. If you are looking for a book fill of action and a light building romance then this is the book for you. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Love Inspired Suspense) or author (Dana Mentink) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I very much enjoy Dana Mentink’s inspirational suspense books. This in the second book in her new series and is populated with good characters and an especially good plot. Totally surprised me. Great job! And I saw people in this book that I Hope Mentink gives their own story. My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. I am also part of the Celebrate Lit tour for this book. The review here is my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Book 1 in this Desert Justice series, Framed in Death Valley, is full of layered characters, heart-in-your-throat suspense, and a sweet, renewed romance for a struggling young couple on the brink of divorce after the husband is wrongfully imprisoned for murder. One of the characters we meet in book 1 is Levi Duke, and his story in Missing in the Desert will keep you on your toes! Hold on to your cowboy hat from word one because our protagonists are in mortal danger right off the bat. Along with t Book 1 in this Desert Justice series, Framed in Death Valley, is full of layered characters, heart-in-your-throat suspense, and a sweet, renewed romance for a struggling young couple on the brink of divorce after the husband is wrongfully imprisoned for murder. One of the characters we meet in book 1 is Levi Duke, and his story in Missing in the Desert will keep you on your toes! Hold on to your cowboy hat from word one because our protagonists are in mortal danger right off the bat. Along with the breathless fight to survive & keep Mara safe from whoever is trying to kill her, Levi and Mara must figure out how to save the ranch Levi owns with Mara’s brother (who is in the hospital recovering from the initial attempt on Mara’s life) and why Mara is suddenly getting clues about her younger sister’s missing-presumed-dead disappearance from the same area years before. Mentink does such a great job of continuing to come up with compelling characters, unique plots and stunning twists – I rarely can predict what’s going to happen next. True to form, Missing in the Desert took me by surprise more than once, and I loved every minute of it! Bottom Line: Levi Duke & Mara Castillo have a bumpy ride from ‘once upon a time’ to ‘happily ever after’, and you may very well have to remind yourself to breathe as the story progresses. Not just because of the sweet romance (which will leave you swooning), but also because of the heart-racing action & suspense. Besides trying to figure out who wants to kill Mara and why, you’re also trying to determine what, if any, significance the clues she’s been getting about her sister’s disappearance have on these murder attempts. You’ll also be grinning widely as Banjo the rescue dog & his misfit band of other rescue animals steal the scene in some lighter moments meant to let us catch our breath. Fantastic characters and a wonderfully intriguing plot – can’t wait for more time with the Duke family & Death Valley! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first reviewed at Reading Is My SuperPower

  4. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    After he brother is injured Mara comes out to protect her brother's investment, working on the ranch alongside Seth's best friend and business partner, Levi Duke. But when a text message arrives that brings the past blaring back into the present with full force, Mara is determined to get answers. with Levi by her side will she finally find out what happened 5 years ago? This is a fast paced read with a lot going on, Mara is a likable and outgoing heroine, with a get-er-done attitude. Levi is more After he brother is injured Mara comes out to protect her brother's investment, working on the ranch alongside Seth's best friend and business partner, Levi Duke. But when a text message arrives that brings the past blaring back into the present with full force, Mara is determined to get answers. with Levi by her side will she finally find out what happened 5 years ago? This is a fast paced read with a lot going on, Mara is a likable and outgoing heroine, with a get-er-done attitude. Levi is more silent and solid, he is supportive of Mara every step of the way, and I loved how their relationship grew over the course of the book. Overall, this was a suspenseful read with a lot of great characters and a twisting plot that kept me guessing. My heart went to the people who were dealing with immensely difficult things, and the aftermath of it all. I really enjoyed Levi and Mara together, and hope to read more about some of the other characters in the future! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    I love series! In Missing in the Desert, the second book in a six-book series by Dana Mentink, I really loved the first book in this series, Framed in Death Valley, and went right on to read this book. Mara Castillo's sister Corinne disappeared five years ago, and due to a specific piece of evidence, is assumed dead. When Mara receives a strange one-word text - Marbles - which is her childhood nickname, Mara finds that her hopes are raised. Who but Corinne knew that Mara's nickname was M I love series! In Missing in the Desert, the second book in a six-book series by Dana Mentink, I really loved the first book in this series, Framed in Death Valley, and went right on to read this book. Mara Castillo's sister Corinne disappeared five years ago, and due to a specific piece of evidence, is assumed dead. When Mara receives a strange one-word text - Marbles - which is her childhood nickname, Mara finds that her hopes are raised. Who but Corinne knew that Mara's nickname was Marbles? Mara gets together with her brother's best friend Levi Duke in order to track down that mysterious text - and hopefully her sister. Levi proves to be a good protector for Mara as someone is not too keen on her looking for answers when it comes to Corinne's disappearance. What a thrilling story - answers regarding Corinne, the danger that faces Mara at every turn, the brewing romance between Mara and Levi, and hope. Yes, hope that Mara is determined to hold onto. Factor in cute pets, such as Banjo the dog and Tiny the kitten, and of course a Rabbit, and this story proved absolutely wonderful. I also enjoyed the emotional edge in this story, especially after Mara's brother Seth was injured. Levi's sensitivity and concern for Seth's future was really nice. This extended to the fact that Levi and Seth had recently purchased a ranch together, and this has an impact on Levi's future. This is where Levi's selflessness shined. As things turned out, the text Mara recived was only the first clue, and again, this kept Mara hopeful. This story also had an emotional edge that captured my attention from beginning to end. Factor in faith as a basis for not giving up and this book definitely proved a winner for me. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Many thanks to Love Inspired Suspense and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Inspirationalfictionreader

    I always know when I start a Dana Mentink story that I’m in for a suspenseful read that will keep me turning the pages long into the night. She is one of those authors where you just keep saying “one more chapter” until you’ve turned the last page. Levi and Mara’s story is so good! It takes place in Death Valley, which is really interesting. It starts with a bang - literally- and never lets up. It kept me riveted to the pages the entire time. Mara’s missing sister and the clues that were being dr I always know when I start a Dana Mentink story that I’m in for a suspenseful read that will keep me turning the pages long into the night. She is one of those authors where you just keep saying “one more chapter” until you’ve turned the last page. Levi and Mara’s story is so good! It takes place in Death Valley, which is really interesting. It starts with a bang - literally- and never lets up. It kept me riveted to the pages the entire time. Mara’s missing sister and the clues that were being dropped kept me guessing throughout the story. Was she dead? Alive? Who has her? Why? I accused pretty much everyone in the story of everything! I was so surprised with the way the story played out! It was excellent and unexpected. If you’re looking for a quick suspenseful read with a nice romance, this is the story for you! I can’t wait for the next story in this series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Review of "Missing in the Dessert" by Dana Mentink. Levi Duke buys a ranch with Seth Castillo. They have plans for a horse ranch. Because all their money is in the Ranch, Levi trying to earn money with horse tours at Camp Town Days. As Seth and his sister, Mara, are headed to Ranch they are shot at. Seth in coma for some time. Mara stays at Ranch to be near her brother and help with his dream. Mara had received a text of one word - Marbles. Only her sister called her that. It rekindled hope she Review of "Missing in the Dessert" by Dana Mentink. Levi Duke buys a ranch with Seth Castillo. They have plans for a horse ranch. Because all their money is in the Ranch, Levi trying to earn money with horse tours at Camp Town Days. As Seth and his sister, Mara, are headed to Ranch they are shot at. Seth in coma for some time. Mara stays at Ranch to be near her brother and help with his dream. Mara had received a text of one word - Marbles. Only her sister called her that. It rekindled hope she may still be alive. Then at Camp Town Days. Mara buys a painting she believes is done by her sister. So many attempts on Mara's life. The text, painting, and more keep Mara hoping her sister is still alive after 5 years. Mara is targeted over and over, romance, Seth in coma, and so much more. The book grips you immediately. Family are important and hope.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Another fantastic story by Dana Mentik. I absolutely love her suspense books! She captures my attention all the way through and doesn't let go until the end. A lot of twists and turns going on to make it exciting. Another fantastic story by Dana Mentik. I absolutely love her suspense books! She captures my attention all the way through and doesn't let go until the end. A lot of twists and turns going on to make it exciting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Whew! This was a fast paced suspense book, full of harrowing situations! The imminent danger that Mara faced was compounded by the fact that she had recently received mysterious messages that could be a cry for help from her sister…the one who had been missing, presumed dead for almost five years! Mara had a lot to deal with in the book. She started out angry with Levi and frustrated that he and her brother were starting up a ranch together. She then had to fight for her life multiple times, yet Whew! This was a fast paced suspense book, full of harrowing situations! The imminent danger that Mara faced was compounded by the fact that she had recently received mysterious messages that could be a cry for help from her sister…the one who had been missing, presumed dead for almost five years! Mara had a lot to deal with in the book. She started out angry with Levi and frustrated that he and her brother were starting up a ranch together. She then had to fight for her life multiple times, yet through it all, Levi proved strong, caring and faithful. It was nice to watch as her heart softened to who Levi really was. This story was definitely a page turner and filled with disturbing happenings that made me wonder what exactly the villain was trying to cover up. A very exciting and chilling story! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ebos Aifuobhokhan

    Slow build romantic suspense with wonderful characters and a good plot filled with intrigue, action and a lot of mystery. I love when suspense books start with action. It sets the pace of the book for me. And the author did just that here. If you love crime books that are not too fast paced but captivating enough then this is for you. I received a copy of this book and this is my honest opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK My Goodness! This book comes in with a bang and never let’s up. Mara wants answers after she receives a one word text from a phone that has to know something about her sister who has been missing for five years. But she is headed head on into a danger she has no idea what or who it is. Or what they want with her. Dana Mentink writes a story that is sure to have your head spinning by the time you finish reading this book. When I started reading Missing in the Dessert, I did MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK My Goodness! This book comes in with a bang and never let’s up. Mara wants answers after she receives a one word text from a phone that has to know something about her sister who has been missing for five years. But she is headed head on into a danger she has no idea what or who it is. Or what they want with her. Dana Mentink writes a story that is sure to have your head spinning by the time you finish reading this book. When I started reading Missing in the Dessert, I didn’t put the book down until it was finished. And I’m telling you I had to find out what this wild mess was that was chasing Mara and trying to kill her. With characters that are believable and realistic, I felt as though I was living the story with Mara and Levi. I felt bad for Levi because Mara’s family blamed him for everything, when it came to their son, and he wasn’t at fault. The story is so twisted that it’s impossible to know who is doing what. It seemed as though this person was everywhere. And the almost ending, I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say I actually had parts of it figured out but not the worst parts. Then for the final ending, it is something that will make the whole story worthwhile. Wow! What a story! This gets a Five Stars from me and wish I could give it more! A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    Missing in the Desert by Dana Mentink delves into Levi Duke’s story (those who read Mentink’s previous book have already met Levi). The setting of this series brings home the challenges of living and surviving in Death Valley along with the ruthless people out to harm the heroine (in this case). I always appreciate Mentink’s ability to come up with original scenarios to put her characters in peril and the high stakes that go along with it. If you haven’t read anything by Mentink but love action-pa Missing in the Desert by Dana Mentink delves into Levi Duke’s story (those who read Mentink’s previous book have already met Levi). The setting of this series brings home the challenges of living and surviving in Death Valley along with the ruthless people out to harm the heroine (in this case). I always appreciate Mentink’s ability to come up with original scenarios to put her characters in peril and the high stakes that go along with it. If you haven’t read anything by Mentink but love action-packed suspense with a believable romance, then you need to pick up one of her books. Why not start with this one? Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    I really enjoy a good romantic suspense book and when it’s a Love Inspired book, that is even better because faith becomes a focus of the characters as they work to resolve their problems. This is the second book in a series, but it is the first one that I have read by this author so I can attest to the fact that it can be read as a standalone. The main characters are Mara Castillo and Levi Duke. Levi has partnered with Mara’s brother Seth to purchase a failing ranch in the desert outside of Las I really enjoy a good romantic suspense book and when it’s a Love Inspired book, that is even better because faith becomes a focus of the characters as they work to resolve their problems. This is the second book in a series, but it is the first one that I have read by this author so I can attest to the fact that it can be read as a standalone. The main characters are Mara Castillo and Levi Duke. Levi has partnered with Mara’s brother Seth to purchase a failing ranch in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Furnace Falls is not a paradise by any means but Levi and Seth hope to turn the ranch around and raise horses. Unfortunately, before Seth can even arrive, he is seriously injured and in a coma, leaving Mara to fill in the gaps on the ranch. I really enjoyed how responsible Levi was, to Seth and to Mara and to his own obligations. I read intently as Mara’s character developed from one who was bitter about what she has had to give up into one who accepts things the way they are. The plot is complicated by the fact that Mara’s sister Corinne disappeared about five years earlier and now it seems that Mara has received a text from her. So, in addition to finding out what happened to Corinne, visiting her seriously injured brother in the hospital, dealing with her feelings for Levi and working on the ranch, Mara is trying to discover the secrets that seem to be threatening her life. There were surprising twists along the way to the end of the story and a lot of back-and-forth romance between Levi and Mara. The suspense never let up and the romance was a light one, in the background but always there. The animals were my absolute favorites of the story! There was Banjo the intuitive dog, a kitten named Tiny whom Banjo seems to adopt as his own and a Rabbit living under the porch. Plus, of course, there were lots of horses on the ranch. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the themes of family and persevering and the intrigue of a good mystery. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    3.5 Stars This was an entertaining read, taking place in Death Valley. It's about a woman named Corrine who went missing many years ago, and her sister Mara is trying to find her. Mara’s life is on the line as it seems someone is trying to kill her. There is a romance in here but I definitely feel that it was almost as an afterthought. I was much more interested in the mystery with the missing woman and potential killer than I was in the romance itself. 3.5 Stars This was an entertaining read, taking place in Death Valley. It's about a woman named Corrine who went missing many years ago, and her sister Mara is trying to find her. Mara’s life is on the line as it seems someone is trying to kill her. There is a romance in here but I definitely feel that it was almost as an afterthought. I was much more interested in the mystery with the missing woman and potential killer than I was in the romance itself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Missing in the Desert" is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second in a series, but it works as a standalone. The suspense came from repeated attacks on Mara, some more deadly than others. The people around her also got injured, increasing the suspense. Since Mara refused to stop investigating what happened to her missing sister, she agreed to allow her friends to provide protection. She says, "I'm stubborn, not stupid." Even though she did everything right, her attacker was so desp "Missing in the Desert" is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second in a series, but it works as a standalone. The suspense came from repeated attacks on Mara, some more deadly than others. The people around her also got injured, increasing the suspense. Since Mara refused to stop investigating what happened to her missing sister, she agreed to allow her friends to provide protection. She says, "I'm stubborn, not stupid." Even though she did everything right, her attacker was so desperate that they kept trying anyway. I loved the characters. Mara and Levi followed up on the clues while also trying to save Levi's ranch. Mara initially misjudged Levi's motives but changed her opinion when she saw examples of his good, caring character. Even before she admired him, she did her best to make his ranch prosper. They were a good team, especially when it came to running the ranch. She had good ideas and was willing to sacrifice her time and effort to help others. However, I found a few parts possible but not very probable, like what really happened to her sister. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable romantic suspense. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Novel Obsession

    Let me preface this by saying that historically I have not enjoyed the Harlequin Inspired line. I find myself groaning every time I open one and find myself reading only to realize that it is from this line of books. The reason being is that all of the other books from this line have not just been Christian but go into great detail to tear down anyone who isn't Christian. They tend to not only proselytize but go to great lengths to villainize anyone who doesn't believe the same. So, my first ins Let me preface this by saying that historically I have not enjoyed the Harlequin Inspired line. I find myself groaning every time I open one and find myself reading only to realize that it is from this line of books. The reason being is that all of the other books from this line have not just been Christian but go into great detail to tear down anyone who isn't Christian. They tend to not only proselytize but go to great lengths to villainize anyone who doesn't believe the same. So, my first instinct when I realized this was a Love Inspired book was to set it down. I decided to give the book a chance, and I am glad I did. Dana Mentink's Missing in the Desert is what a Christian book should be. The characters may send up a quick prayer, but they don't wax on regarding the evils of non-Christians. As for the story line, it has a nice slow suspenseful build-up. The events in the book are believable, and you find yourself liking the characters, minus the ones you shouldn't. It's a small town mystery out in the desert, with murder attempts throughout to cover up a crime. Certain animal characters, especially Banjo the dog, found a special place in my heart. Disclaimer: An advance copy was provided by Harlequin.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Whynott

    I'm not going to be really descriptive in my review this time . Basically I want to say that I really enjoyed this suspense story . The characters of Mara Castillo and Levi Duke are wonderful characters , as well as the sweet menagerie of animals . This story is one I highly recommend ! It has a lot of action and a surprise ending ! And the love of course ! Dana You are so talented ! I'm not going to be really descriptive in my review this time . Basically I want to say that I really enjoyed this suspense story . The characters of Mara Castillo and Levi Duke are wonderful characters , as well as the sweet menagerie of animals . This story is one I highly recommend ! It has a lot of action and a surprise ending ! And the love of course ! Dana You are so talented !

  18. 4 out of 5

    Harlequin Books

    Categories Inspirational Suspense, Wholesome Romance, Suspense, Romantic Suspense Miniseries Desert Justice (Book #2)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie - Books Less Travelled

    *eARC provided via NetGalley & Harlequin Publishing. This does not affect my review.* Actual Rating: 3.5 I've read an earlier book by Dana Mentink in the LIS line, and remembered enjoying it as well! I've seen this one around, and while occasionally check NG for LIS books, this one happened to be one of the current available. (there are usually 3 LIS titles listed at a time, and they cycle out periodically.) I started of loving this one, and I adored Levi and Mara and getting to meet their families *eARC provided via NetGalley & Harlequin Publishing. This does not affect my review.* Actual Rating: 3.5 I've read an earlier book by Dana Mentink in the LIS line, and remembered enjoying it as well! I've seen this one around, and while occasionally check NG for LIS books, this one happened to be one of the current available. (there are usually 3 LIS titles listed at a time, and they cycle out periodically.) I started of loving this one, and I adored Levi and Mara and getting to meet their families. The trouble came early in the mystery though, as there was a hint and a detail that seemed lacking, and the more I read, the more it frustrated me. So, on the one hand, I loved the slow-burn relationship the was budding between the MCs, and I also really enjoyed the suspense and how they handled things, with plenty of themes of character growth, forgiveness, saying 'Sorry' when needed, and many others including family and friendship ties. But this one clue made the reveal and a couple other scenes almost, cringe worthy? I don't know, and I'm known to over analyze and look too deeply sometimes, so overall this is a great one from the LIS line, and if not for the one blip, would likely be one of my favorites, so I highly recommend it for LIS readers! I also would have easily given it at least a 4.5 star rating if not some the one thing, as it was a reoccurring point of focus in the book, yet didn't seem to add up as the story progressed and the characters just accepted it without question? Yet, I was glad to meet these characters and to get to enjoy Levi and Mara's story, and I look forward to reading Beckett's (previous) story and any upcoming installments in the series!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Great story! My rating is 4.5 stars Bullets flying. Cars rolling. Danger from an unknown source hounded Mara as she searched the clues to explain a text she received. Once again, Dana Mentink has written a sweet, gripping, sensitive, and romantic mystery. The story worked and flowed well. Levi and Mara were great together! Each had a secret crush on the other in the past, but their relationship started out on rocky ground as the story began. Mara's distrust of Levi and his motives was clear... I real Great story! My rating is 4.5 stars Bullets flying. Cars rolling. Danger from an unknown source hounded Mara as she searched the clues to explain a text she received. Once again, Dana Mentink has written a sweet, gripping, sensitive, and romantic mystery. The story worked and flowed well. Levi and Mara were great together! Each had a secret crush on the other in the past, but their relationship started out on rocky ground as the story began. Mara's distrust of Levi and his motives was clear... I really enjoyed the other aspects of the story as well but wanted to point out how much I loved Banjo, the wounded dog who adopted Levi. And Tiny, the kitten Banjo adopted. And the shy, injured Rabbit who came for food but kept away from Banjo! Readers of inspirational romantic suspense will enjoy the Desert Justice series. Be sure to read all the books in order! Originally Reviewed on Among The Reads I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read

    This is a suspenseful story with plenty of action and an intriguing twist to the story: What really happened to Corrine Castillo when she disappeared five years ago? Mara, her older sister, is trying to answer that question and unexpectedly finds herself facing great danger. Her friends in Furnace Falls are trying to assist Mara in finding answers about her sister, but none of them could ever be prepared for the truth they will uncover. I liked the characters in this book, especially the aspect o This is a suspenseful story with plenty of action and an intriguing twist to the story: What really happened to Corrine Castillo when she disappeared five years ago? Mara, her older sister, is trying to answer that question and unexpectedly finds herself facing great danger. Her friends in Furnace Falls are trying to assist Mara in finding answers about her sister, but none of them could ever be prepared for the truth they will uncover. I liked the characters in this book, especially the aspect of friends and family going to any length to help each other in times of distress. The background of Death Valley adds its own mystery and suspense to the story. There’s a “good friends to romance” storyline between Levi and Mara that adds sweetness to the book, but the main focus of this story is the mystery and intrigue surrounding the disappearance of Mara’s sister. It’s another wonderfully entertaining mystery from Dana Mentink. I’m already looking forward to her next book. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Adamson Stars in Her Eye

    Missing in the Desert is thrilling and intriguing and easy read, it's a great summer book. Mara Castillo is headed to Rocking Horse Ranch, an investment her brother has thrown his money into. She hopes by going with him so can change his mind. Or that is her cover story—she has received a text from her long-missing and presumed dead sister from the same city the ranch is in, the city they grew up in. But an attempt on their lives leaves her brother in a coma and her brother's best friend as her Missing in the Desert is thrilling and intriguing and easy read, it's a great summer book. Mara Castillo is headed to Rocking Horse Ranch, an investment her brother has thrown his money into. She hopes by going with him so can change his mind. Or that is her cover story—she has received a text from her long-missing and presumed dead sister from the same city the ranch is in, the city they grew up in. But an attempt on their lives leaves her brother in a coma and her brother's best friend as her only help in her mission. Hopefully, she can knock two birds with one stone. This is one of the better (if not the best) books I've read from Harlequin and, specifically, Love Inspired Suspense. While it's written in a structure that is light and airy, it doesn't read like an elementary school book. The author uses some wonderful words I would never have imagined with a novel of this kind. Another positive is that this book isn't instant stranger love and that was a huge win. It's another typical setup, lost chances when younger.. This has always been my favorite of the romantic setups because it seemed more realistic. I felt Dana Mentink balanced the romance with the intrigue in the mystery. Some people may not like the religious aspects, but it's well done. I have read Christian books that mention God a few times, a big prayer, and then moves along. The religious moments are realistic and echo times that I would have been on my knees as well. I don't feel like it's in your face though as a Christian I am biased. Though second in the Desert Justice series, Missing in the Dessert stands on its own and a reader won't be left out by not reading this book. This is a thrilling story that's perfect for the beach or a day by the pool. I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Valri Western

    Another excellent, fast-paced story from Dana Mentink! I always know that I will get a lot of action and thrills from her! This book was no exception! The characters are three-dimensional and realistic and you feel like they could live next door! I loved Levi. He had been through so many hard times but he just kept going. He had faith that things were going to work out, even when it looked bleak! Mara accused him of dragging her brother into investing in a broken ranch and that doesn't sit well Another excellent, fast-paced story from Dana Mentink! I always know that I will get a lot of action and thrills from her! This book was no exception! The characters are three-dimensional and realistic and you feel like they could live next door! I loved Levi. He had been through so many hard times but he just kept going. He had faith that things were going to work out, even when it looked bleak! Mara accused him of dragging her brother into investing in a broken ranch and that doesn't sit well with her. When her brother is nearly killed and then Mara is in the sights of a killer herself, Levi will do anything in his power to keep her safe. As I said, there is so much action that I can't put the book down! I loved the animals that Levi has adopted! They really tugged at my heartstrings! I definitely recommend this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha Bouldin

    Mara and Levi! This couple is now the couple to beat when it comes to fiction. I love Levi's soft-spoken ways and how Mara took the time to learn to understand all Levi said without saying much at all. The action and suspense were there, but for me, the best part was watching the relationship unfold through the forced proximity. With Levi's heart and Mara's life on the line, Missing in the Desert is a must-read book. I couldn't get enough and hope we get to see more of them in later books. What Mara and Levi! This couple is now the couple to beat when it comes to fiction. I love Levi's soft-spoken ways and how Mara took the time to learn to understand all Levi said without saying much at all. The action and suspense were there, but for me, the best part was watching the relationship unfold through the forced proximity. With Levi's heart and Mara's life on the line, Missing in the Desert is a must-read book. I couldn't get enough and hope we get to see more of them in later books. What Dana Mentink does best is weave faith into the story in such a way that it's a natural journey for the characters while she builds their trust and faith in God and each other. I received a copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky Baldridge

    Missing in the Desert is the second book in Dana Mentink's Desert Justice series, but speaking as someone who hasn't read the first book, this one works well as a standalone. The story is a good mix of slow-burn romance and suspense, and it starts with some action to pull you in and get things started. Mara and Levi are likable characters and it's easy to root for them both separately and together. The story is a pretty quick read, easily finished in an afternoon, but if you're planning to only Missing in the Desert is the second book in Dana Mentink's Desert Justice series, but speaking as someone who hasn't read the first book, this one works well as a standalone. The story is a good mix of slow-burn romance and suspense, and it starts with some action to pull you in and get things started. Mara and Levi are likable characters and it's easy to root for them both separately and together. The story is a pretty quick read, easily finished in an afternoon, but if you're planning to only read a chapter or two before bed, I'd advise planning to spend a little longer with this one. It's a great combination of mystery, romance, danger, family, and faith.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Missing in the Desert Dana Mentink Missing in the Desert is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. It is a Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance and I really enjoyed it. The story is well written and the characters are well developed. I was grabbed at the first and did not want to put it down. Danger, Courage, faith, suspense, action, and romance all makes this story what it is. The author knows how to hold your attention and keeps you guessing till the end. I ha Missing in the Desert Dana Mentink Missing in the Desert is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone. It is a Love Inspired Suspense Inspirational Romance and I really enjoyed it. The story is well written and the characters are well developed. I was grabbed at the first and did not want to put it down. Danger, Courage, faith, suspense, action, and romance all makes this story what it is. The author knows how to hold your attention and keeps you guessing till the end. I hated to see it end. I was given a complimentary copy of this book . All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Another great suspense by Dana Mentink. I was caught up from the first and was carried all the way through to the end. I loved the characters of Levi and Mara. Mara is determined to find out the truth behind her sister’s disappearance 5 years ago. Someone doesn’t want her to find out, because she becomes a target. Levi is trying to run a ranch and keep Mara alive while she is searching for clues about her sister. I was kept guessing throughout the book. I would think I had it figured out, then t Another great suspense by Dana Mentink. I was caught up from the first and was carried all the way through to the end. I loved the characters of Levi and Mara. Mara is determined to find out the truth behind her sister’s disappearance 5 years ago. Someone doesn’t want her to find out, because she becomes a target. Levi is trying to run a ranch and keep Mara alive while she is searching for clues about her sister. I was kept guessing throughout the book. I would think I had it figured out, then things would take a turn. The non-human characters were great, too. I would recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a positive review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    This is one book that I couldn’t put down. Oh I know people say that about a lot of books, but this one is different. It has elements of intrigue, secrets, surprises and yes a bit of romance. You put all those qualities together and you have a story that accelerates with each page. Get ready for a book that will have you bitting your nails, sitting on the edge of your seat or whatever you do when something you are reading gets your adrenaline going. Imagine driving on the road with a family memb This is one book that I couldn’t put down. Oh I know people say that about a lot of books, but this one is different. It has elements of intrigue, secrets, surprises and yes a bit of romance. You put all those qualities together and you have a story that accelerates with each page. Get ready for a book that will have you bitting your nails, sitting on the edge of your seat or whatever you do when something you are reading gets your adrenaline going. Imagine driving on the road with a family member and suddenly a shot shatters the windshield. You feel yourself losing control of the vehicle and then everything is dark. Mara is in for a shock as she tries to piece together what just happened. Is her brother okay? Does it have something to do with her missing sister? She remembers seeing someone just before she lost consciousness but her memory is clouded. The author illustrates with depth the sheer panic Mara feels as she awakens in a hospital bed. Let’s talk about Mara and her past for a moment. She has not given up hope that her sister is still alive even though she has been missing for quite awhile. I think coming back to the town where her sister disappeared will once again give Mara a push to look for clues that the police might have overlooked. I loved this part of the story because I wanted Mara to get closure so she could at least find peace. Levi was a great character but he sure has no business sense. Well maybe he just bit off more than he could chew. Trying to help his buddy out who just happens to be Mara’s brother does complicate things. Has he let his friend down? Can he save the ranch while helping Mara uncover a secret that has been hidden for years? Their interaction was refreshing because it shows real emotions that anyone could have when unresolved issues stare them in the face. Oh yes these two could either walk away from each other once again, or they could find a way to forgive. I couldn’t wait to see how the author untangles the past as Mara and Levi work together to not only try to save the ranch, but expose someone who has caused a family to grieve. I loved that the setting of the story is set in Death Valley with unforgiving terrain that is hard to adjust to. The author has definitely done her research by the description of the trails that horses travel and the feel of emptiness across the area. I think I would like to visit the place and learn more about its history. Before I end the review I must give special recognition to three very special characters. Banjo, Rabbit and Tiny you have captured my heart and I loved every moment of your appearances in the story. Thank you for reminding me that animals are a gift. Well my time is up and I hope I have enticed you enough to pick up a copy of this book. It will deliver excitement, danger, secrets and an ending that I was not prepared for. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    “Was this real? Was she in the grip of a heinous nightmare?” The second Desert Justice story by Dana Mentink, “Missing in the Desert,” shoots out of the gate with a gripping first chapter that sets the pace for the rest of this Love-Inspired Suspense installation. While technically it could be a stand-alone, I recommend reading “Framed in Death Valley” first; I did not have a chance to do so, and I think that if I had, I would have had a richer understanding of the relationships between the char “Was this real? Was she in the grip of a heinous nightmare?” The second Desert Justice story by Dana Mentink, “Missing in the Desert,” shoots out of the gate with a gripping first chapter that sets the pace for the rest of this Love-Inspired Suspense installation. While technically it could be a stand-alone, I recommend reading “Framed in Death Valley” first; I did not have a chance to do so, and I think that if I had, I would have had a richer understanding of the relationships between the characters. Nevertheless, this did not at all detract from my enjoyment of this novel. Suspense relies, naturally, on action and plot, but carefully developing the characters and how they interact with one another is likewise imperative. Mentink introduces them here in a rapid-fire style and then proceeds to explore them throughout the narrative, an effective technique that underscores the power of first impressions and demonstrates that people are not always as they appear. Everyone has something in their past that they regret, and for some, the past becomes the present. Five years after her younger sister Corinne disappears and is presumed dead, Mara Castillo reluctantly steps in to help Levi Duke on his ranch, only to find herself in the crosshairs of a killer. Her name stood out to me immediately, and as Naomi called herself Mara in Ruth 1:20, the forename is fitting here, also; Mara Castillo is bitter and sad about her circumstances at the beginning of the story, but as she begins to see things differently, her heart changes. As a dog and horse lover, this cover caught my eye before I knew anything about the story itself. I enjoy the inclusion of the ranch animals in the narrative, often offering a bit of comic relief during or after tense scenes. For instance, in an amusing twist, Banjo the dog goes from stalwart guard to unlikely mother. The animals also signify the importance of home as a place of belonging, refuge, and freedom to pursue dreams. Even when those dreams end up looking differently than expected, which is when faith must truly believe that the Lord will keep His promise to “make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie Carpenter

    Missing in the Desert is written by the one and only Dana Mentink. Dana is one of my most favorite authors, and it is always an honor to be on a tour that is featuring her book. This book is book 2 in the Desert Justice series. I have read book 1, however, it is not necessary to read them in order. The author will mention previous characters, but you will not feel like you are missing anything. This is part of the Love Inspired Suspense line. In this book we see a sister who has been missing fo Missing in the Desert is written by the one and only Dana Mentink. Dana is one of my most favorite authors, and it is always an honor to be on a tour that is featuring her book. This book is book 2 in the Desert Justice series. I have read book 1, however, it is not necessary to read them in order. The author will mention previous characters, but you will not feel like you are missing anything. This is part of the Love Inspired Suspense line. In this book we see a sister who has been missing for several years. The sister is presumed dead. Mara receives a one word text calling her a nickname that only Mara would have known. What does this mean? Mara and her brother Seth are on their way out to a ranch that Seth and his best friend Levi have invested heavily in. On their way there, someone has their sites set on hurting Mara and Seth. They are shot at which causes them to crash. Mara feels like it is all connected to the disappearance of their sister. Especially when the suspect keeps trying to come back and eliminate both Mara and Seth. Levi feels bad that they are attacked. He also feels bad when their parents tell Levi that they did not agree with their son and their business adventure. They did not want him partnering with Levi. They make it known that they want all of his investment back. Levi wants to find out who is responsible. Levi and Mara team up to try and bring profits to the ranch, along with figure out who is trying to silence and sabotage them. Now with this author, she will take you on many twists and turns. So pay attention. This book will take you on a wild action packed ride. She always writes her scenery that you feel that you are there. If you are not a part of her Facebook group, you need to be. Dana is very reader friendly and always posts such fun videos and contests. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, All thoughts are my own.

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