Review: Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter is a sweet tale full of sacrifices and hope. Two friends are battling for things they want in life. However, when the push comes to shove they put aside their dreams for a better future than they hoped for…

Brady is a decent man and going to be a wonderful father. His trouble broke my heart. I felt sympathy for him right away. It was easy to connect with Brady due to his circumstances. Losing a loved one and then finding out that your newborn isn’t yours to begin with…is a whole new level of difficulty that no one wants to have. Yet Brady is dealing with them all. Then, the pressure from his wife’s family is giving him even more trouble. But hope and promises lie with his friend, Hope.

Hope is a determined woman willing to get what she wants. Yet something keeps pulling her towards Brady and his newborn that she cannot deny. A new future with new possibilities is hard to let go of when the hear is being torn.

Honeysuckle Dreams is exactly as it sounds. Hope and dreams colliding causing for an adventure of a lifetime. Overall, I was entertained from beginning to end. I would recommend it to readers everywhere.

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Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden is an awe inspiring tale of the bond between two sisters. Being an older sister, I can relate to these sisters. My baby sister has moved away to pursue her dreams, and I felt like we drifted apart. But we still love each other and are there when we need each other. The same can be shown in this book with the Talbot sisters. Their aunt passes away and that starts their reunion in becoming closer. From there their journeys become messy, complicated, and scary. But they now, have each other in their lives again and from there they learn and help each other. I loved the protrayal of the sister bonding moments, the emotional rollercoaster each one took, and the sacrifices they made. It was a steady piece of fiction. The plot was heartfelt and realistic. Overall, I recommend it to readers.

Review: The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story by Darcy Pattison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION

Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper?

Early in August 1937, a news flash came: a sea monster had been spotted lurking off the shore of Nantucket Island. Historically, the Massachusetts island had served as port for whaling ships. Eyewitnesses swore this wasn’t a whale, but some new, fearsome creature. As eyewitness account piled up, newspaper stories of the sea monster spread quickly. Across the nation, people shivered in fear.

Then, footprints were found on a Nantucket beach. Photographs were sent to prominent biologists for their opinion. Discussion swirled about raising a hunting party.

On August 18, news spread across the island: the sea monster had been captured. Islanders ran to the beach and couldn’t believe their eyes.

This nonfiction picture book is a perfect tool to discuss non-political fake news stories.

Back matter discusses the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson make it clear that fake news has always been one of the costs of a free press. A Timeline lists actual events in the order they occurred. A vocabulary list defines relevant words.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story by Darcy Pattison is a great story for children. It teaches them to not believe everything the read. Just because the newspaper prints a story does not mean it’s true. Newspapers can decide which stories they want to print for their audiences and which ones they do not want to print. Things such as hoaxes, free press, and publicity stunts can be seen and used for a great story. No real Sea monster existed yet it gained so much attention. This same thing can be applied to books, social media, and websites. Not everything published is accurate nor true. Be careful what you read. This book teaches children about fake news. How it happens, how it is used, and that things like a newspaper have that right. I thought it was entertaining, colorful, and informative.

Review: Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Jesus the Bridegroom, Brant Pitre once again taps into the wells of Jewish Scripture and tradition, and unlocks the secrets of what is arguably the most well-known symbol of the Christian faith: the cross of Christ. In this thrilling exploration, Pitre shows how the suffering and death of Jesus was far more than a tragic Roman execution. Instead, the Passion of Christ was the fulfillment of ancient Jewish prophecies of a wedding, when the God of the universe would wed himself to humankind in an everlasting nuptial covenant.

To be sure, most Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ is the ‘Bridegroom’ and the Church is the ‘Bride’. But what does this really mean? And what would ever possess Paul to compare the death of Christ to the love of a husband for his wife? If you would have been at the Crucifixion, with Jesus hanging there dying, is that how you would have described it? How could a first-century Jew like Paul, who knew how brutal Roman crucifixions were, have ever compared the execution of Jesus to a wedding? And why does he refer to this as the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32)?

As Pitre shows, the key to unlocking this mystery can be found by going back to Jewish Scripture and tradition and seeing the entire history of salvation, from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary, as a divine love story between Creator and creature, between God and Israel, between Christ and his bride—a story that comes to its climax on the wood of a Roman cross.

In the pages of Jesus the Bridegroom, dozens of familiar passages in the Bible—the Exodus, the Song of Songs, the Wedding at Cana, the Woman at the Well, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and even the Second Coming at the End of Time—are suddenly transformed before our eyes. Indeed, when seen in the light of Jewish Scripture and tradition, the life of Christ is nothing less than the greatest love story ever told.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jesus the Bridegroom by Brant Pitre is a must read for all Christian readers, especially those who are Catholic. It explains and takes readers, like myself, on a journey to following the relationship between Jesus and the church. I was impressed with the research that went into making this book. There were plenty of quoted material that went with the pages as they continued the discussion. I loved how Brant Pitre showed us, readers, the way of Jesus and the way of the Jews. History, faith, and Christian doctrine are implemented throughout this book. I enjoyed diving deeper into my faith with Brant Pitre as my guide. His words were easy to follow and made understanding the content of that historical moment in a way that was epic. I would recommend this to readers worldwide. If you’re Catholic definitely read this, if you’re another Christian faith, read it to familiarize yourself with relationship of Jesus Christ. Overall, it was educational, informative, and well-done.

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon is a nice clean read. It is a story of one grandson who loss his grandfather and inherits a lighthouse that nobody wants, ncluding him. Then, there is the cat he tried to save only to get scratched up, the police called on him, and a determined female reporter wanting a story from him. Ben Garrison is an easy character to like and connect with…his emotional journey sucked me into the story. Sad, entertaining, and hopeful, this novel was good. I felt everything Ben did.  It was like I was there personally watching it all unfold. Overall, I recommend this sweet heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: X-Ops Exposed by Paige Tyler

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

HE LEFT TO KEEP HER SAFE
Believing he’s too dangerous to be among people, feline hybrid Tanner Howland retreats deep into the forests of Washington State—with no choice but to leave behind the woman who’s captured his heart. What he doesn’t know is that she followed him…

SHE WOULDN’T STAY BEHIND
Heartbroken and determined, Dr. Zarina Sokolov tracks Tanner into the wild. Her presence unleashes Tanner’s protective instinct—big time. Locals have been disappearing and he is desperate for Zarina to leave. As the kidnappings escalate, Tanner must embrace the dangerous instincts he fears so much. But with Zarina at his side, he’ll have to learn to control his animal impulses, or lose himself—and the woman he loves—to the beast within.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

X-Ops Exposed by Paige Tyler is an exciting paranormal romantic suspense read. I was thoroughly engaged, hooked, and in love with this book. It was full of danger, excitement, risks, and hot steamy scenes too.

I couldn’t get enough of Tanner Howland. He is the kind of man every woman wants in her life and every man wants as his best friend and backup. Tanner is a tough soldier who went through a lifetime of hellish situations. But somehow he’s managed to keep living and moving forward. Sure, he still struggles with real-life issues that all men could relate to him, but he is still the perfect hero. Tough yet kind as hell, Tanner is irresistible.

Dr. Zarina Sokolvo is Russian. I can see and hear her speak as the plot ran by me. I was fascinated with this scientist. She was kidnapped to work on a biological scheme for evil men. They took men off the streets to inject them with hybrid syrum to transform them from humans to animals. Many died from this experiment. Dr. Zarina wanted no part but teed like hell to stop them. She risked her life to save Tanner. Tanner has never forgotten her help nor who that bright woman was…

Life is messy. Complications arise as Dr. Zarina and Tanner are brought together again. Trouble comes  crashing down around them sending them apart once more. But Dr. Zarina does not give up that easily nor does Tanner. Overall, X-Ops Exposed by Paige Tyler was sexy as hell and full of action. I could not stop reading this novel. I would highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: An Amish Heirloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston

Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiance and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

 

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman

Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller

For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin

Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Heirloom is a wonderful collection of Christian stories. Each story is written by a different author. I enjoyed reading these tales. Every one of them had a different vibe and emotional as well as spiritual lesson attached. New beginnings, love, hope, and faith are tested here. The characters were easy to connect with and had me liking them more as their story unfolded. These were clean, good plots,  that made me heart melt with love. I  would recommend this collection to readers worldwide.

Review: The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future.

In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder—including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.

Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. Born on opposite sides of the conflict, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls—even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd is a heartfelt journey full of surprises. I was entertained from the beginning. The main characters have a heavy weight on their shoulders. Both of  their families and the town are hanging by a thread. A wrong decision could make everything much worse. Two families are fighting among each other. The past held bad memories. Kate is bound to her father but things have changed. She will have to make choice between her father and the man that holds her heart. Henry is also bound by duty. He and Kate kept meeting and fate has taken over their lives. Good things are on the horizon but loss and grief may still exist. Some things may never change…

Sarah E. Ladd has written a fun historical fiction piece. I was charmed and lured by both Kate and Henry. The younger generation trying to to hold together what their families have created is a daunting task. I felt as though I had slipped back in time. Loyalty, hope, and love are some of the major themes explored here. It was well-written. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

 

 

Review: Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A grieving daughter and abuse survivor must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and escape a catfishing stalker to find her power.
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death, and her dark past, by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate an annual conference to raise awareness of violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer.

Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about identity, shame, and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her trust in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

Louisiana Catch is a triumph. In Ahana, Sweta Vikram has created an unforgettable character, strong, wise, and deeply human, who’ll inspire a new generation struggling to come to terms with their identity in a world of blurring identities.” –KARAN BAJAJ, New York Times bestselling author, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

“In Louisiana Catch, Sweta Vikram brings life to the complex human rights issue of violence against women. Through one woman’s journey to make sense of her past and ultimately heal, Vikram shows us that yoga can reconnect us to ourselves, and that by empowering others, we transform our own lives.” –ZOE LEPAGE, Founder, Exhale to Inhale

Louisiana Catch perfectly captures what it means to be human in a digital world, where support groups meet online, love interests flirt on Twitter, and people get confused with personas. Equal parts tender and playful, moving and hopeful, Vikram’s prose connects us with timeless truths about grief and redemption in a satisfyingly modern way.” –STEPHANIE PATERIK, Managing Editor, Adweek

Learn more at http://www.SwetaVikram.com
From Modern History Press, http://www.ModernHistoryPress.com

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram is like a drug. It pulls you into its depth and hooks you inside of its journey. This was one epic path that the writer lead me on…I was intrigued. A woman, Ahana, finds herself in one of the most complicated and dangerous situations a woman should never be found in, yet Ahana does. She lost her mother and she soon becomes a victim to her husband’s brutal sexual torment.

Rape is ongoing issue women worldwide still face. This issue should be solved yet so many fall victim. Some never survive that form of destruction, both physically and emotionally. I found myself crying for Ahana. Her losses are so great and many. People she should be able to trust turn out to be the worst. I felt the fear, the risks, and the danger as the plot carries me from beginning to end. Ahana is a strong female protagonist. She may loose her way occasionally but eventually finds it. No one is perfect. Life is messy.

Sweta Vikram captures my attention with the devasting events and the suspense of what will come from it. I felt sympathy and a connection instantly to Ahana. I really liked her. Her colleague, Rohan, is another great character. He was there helping her. Or trying to help her when she was in a bad situation. From the beginning to end of her journey, Rohan supports Ahana. Ahana at times made me want to shake her, for her carelessness but she has grown into a wonderful woman at the end of her journey. This is one unforgettable character that will forever live in the minds of readers like me and countless others. There are so many things that drag readers into Ayana’s sad yet powerful story. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all women including those who have been abused. It shows that even though the world is a dark place, there too, is a light that will eventually shine bright.

Review: First Comes Love by Heather Heyford

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Heather Heyford’s newest book, a single mom and attorney with deep roots in the rolling hills of Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge wine country thinks her family is perfect as is—until she crosses paths again with a gruff police officer who has two boys of his own . . .

There is nothing sweeter than the family you pick yourself . . .

After detective Alex Walker’s last case in Portland is skewered by a tough-as-nails attorney, he decides to finish out his career on a quiet note in the Willamette Valley. Dedicated to his job and committed to his family, he’s fine letting his brusque exterior keep even the thought of a relationship at bay—especially once he realizes his new hometown is the old hometown of the attorney who ruined his last case . . .

Single mom and attorney Kerry O’Hearn is just as wary as Alex is, thanks to her disastrous first marriage. But she isn’t fooled by Alex’s tough-guy image. When he asks for her assistance in gaining custody of two little boys from an abusive foster home, she sees what he desperately tries to hide: a giant-sized heart. Between them they have five kids and a whole barrel of bad experience. And yet, Kerry can’t shake the feeling that she and the crusty cop were meant to be . . .

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

This contemporary romance novel by Heather Heyford is sweet, engaging, and heartfelt. There is a huge theme on family. Patience, love, and friendship are among the smaller themes featured in this book. I was hooked. I connected quickly to both the single mom and the police officer. Both have enormous hearts of gold and an unavoidable attraction to each other. First Comes Love, was fun to follow. Kerry O’Hearn is a single mother who feels something for the former police officer she knew from her past. Brought together again after so much time, both end up getting what the desired and what they never thought they could have. The children made for some laugh out loud moments. I truly enjoyed reading this romantic tale. Overall, Irecommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant detective…A baffling murder…An isolated manor…A list of less than perfect suspects with perfect alibis…No way out…It’s going to be a long and gruesome night.

Hired to stop a murder at a birthday party of invited suspects at a Mississippi Manor cut off from the world by The Great Flood of 1927, Detective Rowan Manory needs to solve a 20-year-old case to save his client from unwrapping a deadly and perhaps deserved gift of revenge.

Can Manory figure out the identity of the murderer before the bodies start dropping?

‘Goodnight Irene’ is a locked-room murder mystery that will have you guessing until the final reveal.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The prologue of this book, made me curious. Death, murder, and mystery are found on these pages. The plot was very interesting. It was mostly steady. The dialogue between characters kept me reading. Like the characters, I too, am a Cub fan. Or was in the past…but now, I do not follow any sports teams. Sometimes, it felt like there wepas more telling than showing what was happening. This caused for a feeling of slowness in spots throughout the book. It seems that clues were left and the detectives find a string of murders that might help them solve a current case. The police have no where to go with the investigation. All suspects have a clear alibi. Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside is similar to the style of Mary Higgins Clark and Michael Connelly. The night a mother checks in her daughter everything changes. The daughter’s life is never the same. Irene’s past comes tumbling to the present, and there’s nowhere to hide…overall, I enjoyed the intrigue and suspense of what happened all those years ago and how they related to the present time. I would recommend this fiction title to readers everywhere.

Review: The Fed-up Cow by Peta Lemon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hilda is FED-UP with being a cow. Spending all day doing not much but moo. There has to be something more she can do.

So she decides to be a sheep…
… then a pig
… and even a chicken.

Is the grass any greener on the other side?

Join Hilda, the fed-up cow, on her voyage of self-discovery in this daft but timeless story, written in rhyme.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Fed-up Cow by Peta Lemon is an engaging story. A children’s book hat is entertaining as well as educational.Here, I got to meet Hilda, a cow tired of being just a cow. She thought it was better to be others things than to be herself. The overall lesson, showed children that being who you were meant to be is the best person to be after all. Hilda tried to be a sheep, a pig, and even a chicken before realizing that being a brown spotted cow was just the thing to be. Overall, the story rhymed, and I liked the beautiful illustrations that went with this book.

Review: In the Eye of the Storm/Catering to the CEO by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dealing with your boss is never easy…falling in love with him is even harder.

In the Eye of the Storm
Holly Abrams can’t believe her demanding…and unbelievably sexy…boss, Stephen Ballinger, called her to pick him up at 2 A.M. in the middle of a tropical storm. To make matters worse, the storm is too dangerous for her to make the trek home. Forced to stay at his place to wait it out, their relationship quickly turns passionate…but will it last past the thunder and lightning?

Catering to the CEO
Millionaire CEO Adam Lawrence knows how to get what he wants–in business and in the bedroom. So when caterer Cassie Jacobs dares to best him on a deal, Adam vows revenge. But when they get life-changing news that could bind them together for years to come, Adam may have no choice but to change his ways…and open his heart.

What People Are Saying About Samantha Chase:

“A sweet romance: classic, thoughtful, and as lyrical as the stars.” –Kirkus for A Sky Full of Stars
“So much more than just a romance.” –Night Owl Reviews for Always My Girl
“A classic love story…a delight for readers.” –RT Book Reviews for This Is Our Song

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

This duo book, was fantastic! Samantha Chase incorporated her magic touch once more in both In the Eye of the Storm & Catering to the CEO. These novellas were engaging from the first page and onward. I couldn’t stop reading them. The characters made me believe that love is still in existence. Sometimes, it comes in a surprise or takes a long waiting period, but it’s so worth the wait. These two stories were worth waiting for…the characters are easy to connect with and easy to love. Both the males and females made me laugh hard. Their struggles were real. Stubborn yet determined these duo set of characters were perfect. I loved how Mother Nature had a slight role in bringing together one couple in – In the Eye of the Storm. The male character was so obtuse at times, I wanted to smack him and say, open your eyes and your eyes! Overall, there was action, romance, and life issues to follow in these books. Samantha Chase you are a genius in the contemporary romance fiction…I loved these! I highly recommend them to readers everywhere.

Review: The Don’t Laugh Challenge Joke Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! BEST SELLER FOR KIDS JOKE BOOKS!

Why shouldn’t you download the iceberg app? It’ll sync your phone!

Laughter is medicine to the soul – which is exactly what your kids will be doing with our Don’t Laugh Challenge – 2nd Edition! The challenge is for the players to sit facing each other at eye level and take turns reading jokes to each other. Each laugh = 1 point! First person to 3 points is crowned the Don’t Laugh MASTER!

This book is filled with hours of fun with friends or family and perfect for ages 7 and up! Give it as a gift or get your own and let the laughter begin! Game on!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Don’t Laugh Challenge Joke Book contains some funny jokes as well as Q&A’s. Riddles are also found in this book. I found it interesting, fun, and challenging. Especially, when I got to the 50 tongue twisters. Try saying those and say them fast! I recommend this to parents and teachers for children to read and use when in the car on a long ride. Children will have fun with these as I sure did. Overall, an entertaining book for children everywhere.

Review: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment–a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition–she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery–there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Color Me Murder by Krista Davis is exactly that! It’s the first book in a new series. This cozy mystery was fun. If the cover didn’t lure me in already, the plot definitely did. The cover is in a format where readers, like myself, can have fun coloring it. I really liked that and hope to see something like that continued with this series.

This novel introduced me to Florrie Fox. She is the main protagonist and the woman sleuth who solved the murder investigation. She owns a coloring bookstore. I found that neat. It tied in with the title, Color Me Murder. Florrie is a woman that I could easily relate to and love. Her sparkling personality made it fun to follow her. The way she stumbled onto some of the clues was interesting. Like falling and then finding a secret trap door…only to find a dead body. It was both exciting and chilling. From there Florrie goes about coloring, doodling clues, and possible answers. That was something I never knew a sleuth to do.

Krista Davis brought danger, friendship, and mystery to this start of a new series. Also, I found a tiny bit of romance bubbling up too. The plot was engaging. It kept at a steady pace. I was able to finish reading this book in one sitting. Once I dug into the book, I couldn’t put it down. Color Me Murder is a must read cozy mystery with an excellent cast of characters that are likable and believable too. Overall, I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn is an exciting romantic suspense novel. I was very pleased with this story. It offered suspense, mystery, and some romance. As the plot raced on, I found myself curious about who was behind the murders and what would happen next. The leading female protagonist has a slight idea but could not see the whole picture. I appreciated this, because it kept me in the dark as to who was behind it all. The building romance between the leading protagonists was fun to follow. Both had a crush on each other but did not realize it until an investigation dangers them both. Ryan is best of buds with the brother of the woman he loves. Kirk is the big protective brother of Leigh. Leigh always held a secret crush on Ryan. This complicates things further and made the connection to the characters easier. I loved them all. Kirk, Ryan, Gabe, and Leigh were my favorite group of characters. They’re the good guys. Beneath the Surface offers a lot of intrigue. The characterization and action propelled me through the pages quickly. It was hard to put this book down…overall, I highly recommend to all readers.

Review: The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lady Shona, the newly crowned queen of the realm, is a leader without a throne. Pursued relentlessly by a dark force, her small contingent of loyal followers must make a difficult choice–flee or fight. Determined to save her land from nefarious threats, Lady Shona decides that she must seek out the enemy and attack them head on–a strategy that leads back to the region of the Three Valleys where Hyam was born.

Alas, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that is silently sweeping through the realm. Known as the wasting disease, the sickness has no cure. But there is one shred of hope for Lady Shona and the realm–and it comes in the most unlikely of forms. A young orphan, untested and untrained, could well mean the difference between victory and total defeat.

Thomas Locke concludes his epic trilogy with a gripping tale of courage that will inspire readers to persevere even when all seems lost.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke is a strange yet intriguing fantasy. I was lured deep into a young woman’s journey. Dally, an orphan has been adopted in a way and soon to play a bigger role for many. Her power remains hidden until things start to happen. A woman, who is a queen, comes to her in dreams. Offering to help the valley residents that Dally knows. From there, it was like following the Lord of Rings and The Hobbit. Adventure, action, and danger all caging in around the characters. Power and enemies lie so close. I enjoyed reading this story. There was mystery, suspense, and a tiny bit of romance, too. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: Mind Me, Milady by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jane Larson is an attorney on the Upper East Side of New York City, and the Gentleman Rapist has chosen her to receive his calls announcing each conquest. He also reminds her in chilling terms that he will one day twist his wire around her throat and bend her to his will.

Jane has professional and personal problems of her own, but she is forced to try to catch this monster when he stalks her newest client. Susan is a sweet young woman who cannot remember large time periods of her past and who has dreams about a prior life in which she was raped. Soon, the Gentleman escalates to murder, and Jane wonders if he was involved in Susan’s forgotten past, or if Susan is simply a means to get to Jane. Either way, Jane is caught in the deadly game of stopping the Gentleman before another woman feels the wire at her throat and hears his sinister whisper to Mind Me, Milady.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Mind Me, Milady written by both Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is the most intriguing women’s sleuth story ever. I was immediately swept into the plot as an evil man was strangling a woman. I love how the writers chose to use action to speed readers through the tale. It was not boring. I kept wondering what would happen next and who would fall victim.

This murder mystery, was suspenseful. It caught my interest right away. A man known as the Gentleman went around raping women. But something changed and he resorted to both rape and murder. The reason why became clear when I got further into the story. Women were being targeted by this crazy killer and it was up to one woman to stop him forever.

Mind Me, Milady carries many themes. These range on rape, survival, psychological fears, and the legal system. I was impressed with Jane. She is the main protagonist and the one who may stop a killer and save other women. Her personality was easy to connect with and overall, I really liked her. Jack is another character that I liked. Jane likes him, too. Madame Rosa is a strange lady. This novel was great! I, recommend it to all.

Review: The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart.

Fearful of bombings in Tokyo, Emi’s parents send her to a remote resort town in the mountains, where many in the foreign community have fled. Cut off from her family, struggling with growing depression and hunger, Emi repeatedly risks her life to help keep her community safe—all while wondering if the two men she loves are still alive.

As Christian Lange struggles to adapt to life as a soldier, his unit pushes its way from the South Pacific to Okinawa, where one of the bloodiest battles of World War II awaits them. Meanwhile, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, as Leo fights to survive the squalor of the Jewish ghetto, a surprise confrontation with a Nazi officer threatens his life. For each man, Emi Kato is never far from their minds.

Flung together by war, passion, and extraordinary acts of selflessness, the paths of these three remarkable young people will collide as the fighting on the Pacific front crescendos. With her “elegant and extremely gratifying” (USA Today) storytelling, Karin Tanabe paints a stunning portrait of a turning point in history.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe is a historical novel that just never hit it off with me. I felt more distaste for the characters than I have for any other book’s characters. They sunk my interest. The Japanese woman, Emi, was completely unlikable. I couldn’t connect with her on any level. She believes she is far greater than anyone else. She fell in love with two men. When one of them found happiness with another woman more mature than Emi, Emi tore the letter bearing the news. Anger, hatred, and sadness crept into her nature. Yet, there was still Christian remaining in the equation. Hope seeped into her being…and when she found him, she thought he was still the most handsome man he was when she first met him. Thoughts of what if she found him missing an eye or other body part…or what if he became ugly due to war injuries, would she have still accepted him or simply reject him? I could not like her at all. Even at the end, I still did not find anything about her to like.

Karin Tanabe wrote about the war time periods with great detail. I enjoyed that part of this book. The plot was slow and unbearable due to the characterization. The Diplomat’s Daughter was a crazy love triangle that quickly dissolved. Only at the very ending, did one man still hang on for the young Japanese woman. I could not fanthom why he liked her. I could not stand her personality. Looking for romance, do not read this book. If you want a picture of what world wars were like, then read this book. Overall, I would not recommend this to readers.

Review: How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of How Not to Fall comes an electrifying, powerful new story about love, trust, and emotional surrender.

Once upon a time, med student Annie Coffey set out to have a purely physical fling with Charles Douglas, a gorgeous British doctor in her lab. It didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, secrets—and desires—were bared, hearts were broken, and Annie knew she had to leave this complicated, compelling man who remains convinced he can never give her what she needs.

Walking away is one thing. Staying away is another. Annie and Charles reunite at a London conference, rekindling a friendship they struggle to protect from their intense physical connection. Little by little, Annie gets a glimpse into Charles’s dark past and his wealthy, dysfunctional family. Soon, she’s discovering what it means to have someone claim her, body and soul. And she’s learning that once in a lifetime you find a love that can make you do anything…except let go.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster is by far not the best novel I have read. It has the strong emotional attachment. Yay! But the characters…what in the world s going on? They find they are attracted as hel, to each other but one of them cannot accept the fact that love is indeed a thing. This male character believes he will lose the best thing that has happened to him and that being is the main character, Annie. Annie and Charles mostly have this weird as hell sex relationship. It feels like a tug and pull situation. Okay, have sex but afterwards go away from me kind of feeling. This situation keeps happening repeatedly throughout the book. I was confused as I haven’t read the first novel in this series. However, based on what I have read, I am happy I did not read the first novel. While I would love to give this book 4-stars for the sad yet intense emotional ride, I just can’t. The story was more a bad sex scene where the man manipulated his female girlfriend in both physical and emotional ways. For those reasons, I cannot connect to either character or feel for them. The entire time, I keep asking why is she interested in him, move forward, lady! The characters felt like two losers who were stuck on some form of attachment to each other and ended up bearing all abuse and emotions that they caused each other. It was just insane. A mad house, actually. I believe the author could have written a better book. It could have been epic. Yet, it was just intense, insane, and fluff. Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone.

 

Review: The Crooked Staircase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”

Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom–and free will–of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz is by far the darkest thriller I’ve read in awhile. That’s a good thing…however, there was not a ray of sunshine in this book. I felt like any hope for the main protagonist and her son were none to slim. There should have been a feeling of a fifty-fifty chance that Hope was possible for them. The bad guys were looming over them like giants. It felt as though they had already lost way before I got too deep into the plot.

The protagonist, Jane, has potential as being well-liked. I liked her personality and determination to win even if there was not any chance of coming out alive. She made me want to believe that there was a rainbow at the end…yet, I got more danger than I bargained for instead. Dark, intense, and deadly…just one wrong move and it felt that the whole book could have ended a lot sooner than it did.

The suspense was great. Dean Koontz definitely knew how to wield power of intrigue and fear into his readers. I was frightened enough that I wouldn’t want to read this novel twice. But it was good. Those who are always searching for that darker, more powerful thriller…this is it!

Review: In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

`It is better to be feared than loved’ – Niccolo Machiavelli

In the bear pit of renaissance politics, a young Florentine diplomat finds himself first hand observer on the history’s most notorious family – the Borgias.

In the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate is deep political read. A family swamped with political tension, betrayal, and revenge. A daughter who helps her father as much as her brother tries to destroy their father.  So many themes are found inside this book…it was an adventure of a lifetime. The historical novel captured the time period and politics down perfectly. It felt as though I traveled back in time. There was plenty of action to keep me attention. Murder, corruption, and power were the central themes featured on every page. The children of the Pope felt more like pawns than anything else. The daughter was a pawn for the Pope’s own gain. The son became a hungry Mongolia for more power and influence. The level that each of these three main characters stooped to was engaging as it was sad. Too many viewpoints were told in this book. I would have enjoyed it more if there just two different viewpoints at most telling their side of the story. The historical time period was what made this an entertaining tale. I couldn’t connect with the main characters, which was really disappointing. Overall, good but could have been better.

Review: The Clarity by Keith Thomas

The Clarity

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Clarity by Keith Thomas is an interesting read combining fictional elements and nonfictional information together. The frightening parts about experimental portions were based on some real experiences that did really happen to people. The characters were okay. But no emotional attachment that made me want to really connect with them. I thought they were fine but but not were Inwould be talking bout how great they were. The plot was gruesome, dark, and intense as was expected with some of the things mentioned. There was a lot of action in this novel. I would have been happier if there was more to the characters. There needed to be more on the interaction and backstory between/of the characters. It just felt felt flat to me.

The novel did hold a promising tale…Dr. Matilda is by far the worst character. She is a doctor interested in the whole journey of memory and past lives. Yet she wasn’t what I expected and didn’t meet the expectations for her role in this story. There were other characters that I did really like and thought that Keith Thomas did a fine job in creating. Characters like Kojo and Brandon were believable and enjoyable to follow.

The Clarity was fast-paced, action packed, and full of government misuse. Like the medical experiments that still bring a chill down my back. A lot of conspiracy themes are found inside the book. Overall, it was good and suspenseful.

 

Review: Betrayed by Nick Haskins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sixteen years ago, William Majors Sr. made his young son, Billy, a promise that he would always take care of him after his mother died. He vowed to raise his son into a man he would someday be proud of. William also vowed not to take another wife until Billy was all grown up, so he opted to live as a single man. That all changed the day Jennifer Payne walked into his life. Her seductive body and stunning beauty instantaneously captures William . . . and Billy. When Billy secretly deceives William – seemingly overnight – Jennifer finds herself trapped in a dangerous love trio with both Father and son. When she chooses one over the other, a deadly line of betrayal will be crossed that will shake The Majors’ forever . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Betrayed by Nick Haskins is an interesting drama. One small family lost their loved one.  Now many years later, a father is ready to love again. Yet this new character may just rip them apart. The plot was intense, dark, and sad. I felt sympathy for the father and son. Some things are easy to steer away from while other temptations are not. Jennifer Payne was exactly that. She ended up destroying what mattered most.  Watching the destruction of a father and son relationship was hard. It was an huge emotional  mess.

Nick Haskins is a creative writer. His novel was entertaining and deeply engaging. Themes of love, lies, and betrayal are found here. Family, loss, and grief are the other remaining themes readers will find. The father was my favorite character. He had the best intentions and was trying to do well by his son. For that reason, it was easy to connect with William. Overall, the plot was promising but a bit slow due to the telling instead of showing. I recommend this drama action filled story to all readers.

Review: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is an informative nonfiction read. It is a memoir of one man’s experience and suffering of the injustice of our justice system. Political issues and racial issues were used to put innocent black men into jail. Some never got out of there. Very few ever regained their life back from the mistakes of the justice system. The messages in this book were strong and the author’s viewpoint can easily persuade others why. Having suffered under this injustice himself, he is speaking out about it. So much time was stolen from innocent men, like Anthony Ray Hinton. Overall, this memoir was powerful and should be read by all readers regardless of racial background.

Review: Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton is a fascinating women’s fiction piece. Here, are two sisters with different lives. One wants children the other feels pulled down by her children. As one sister and her husband deal with two girls in their home, a season of storms brews ahead. This season of storms is both a physical and emotional journey. Both sister are experiencing storms in their personal lives as well as the physical ones threatening their lives. I found interesting. The story was realistic and heartfelt. I felt sorry for the sister and her husband who were trying to have children. The characters and their struggles tugged at my heartstrings. Overall, I recommend this beautiful engaging tale to all readers.

Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Casey is hiding again—in Memphis this time—but it’s different now. She knows without a doubt that Dylan believes her and is doing all he can to help bring Brent’s killer to justice. He’s become an unexpected friend . . . and even, maybe, something more. Hope makes everything more bearable.

Casey makes a deal with the DA to turn over all the evidence she and Dylan have gathered against Keegan and Rollins—only to discover that the DA is in league with them too. After a desperate escape, who can they possibly turn to now?

Time is running out for Casey, but master suspense writer Terri Blackstock will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last, utterly satisfying page.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

If I Live by Terri Blackstock is suspenseful. The danger and intrigue build up with every page. I was hooked. This novel, had all the right elements to keep my interest. I have not read the previous books before this one and was able to follow along just fine. The characters felt real. Their situation went from super bad to worse in seconds. What had been a hopeful turn, turned out to backfire on them. Casey and Dylan are easy to like and relate to…their troubles and decisions made them believable. I felt sorry for them both. Overall, this novel was packed full of action, risks, and hope. I would recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: Sharks (A 400 Million Year Journey) by Ted Rechlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sharks have been cruising our planet’s waters for millions of years. They were here long before us. They were here long before the dinosaurs. Sharks are a window into the distant past and into deep time. See how the most legendary ocean dwellers got their start, and how they became the sharks we know today.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sharks: A 400 Million Year Journey by Ted Rechlin is another great educational read for children everywhere. Sharks are world known and an interesting topic. Here, I got to follow the history of sharks and learn about the different species as well. The pages were bright, colorful, and engaging. The book reads like a comic book but the illustrations are amazing. Overall, I recommend this stunning book to parents, guardians, and teachers everywhere.

Review: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons attorney Brooke Trappnell to her 20,000 acre barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never actually met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter, but why enlist Brooke and not the prestigious Atlanta law firm she has used for years? Brooke travels to Shellhaven and meets the cagey Josephine, whose home is a crumbling pink mansion at the edge of the turquoise sea.

Over the course of a few meetings, Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, dark secrets, betrayal, and a long-unsolved murder. She is hiring Brooke for two reasons: first, to protect her island from those who would despoil her land, and second, to help her make amends with the heirs of the women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth, and Varina. To fulfill a dying woman’s wishes, Brooke must find Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met. But in doing so, Brooke unleashes the makings of a scandal that could make someone rich beyond their wildest dreams…or cause them to be in the crosshairs of a murderer….

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best: a story shrouded in mystery, Spanish moss, verandah cocktails, 1940s dinner dances, love lost, and possibly…love found.

Praise for The Weekenders:

“This book has all the makings of a beach read…The perfect blend of drama, humor, intrigue, and just a touch of murder.” —Bustle

“Andrews has this ‘perfect beach read’ label down pat—and then some. The Weekenders is not just good, it is beyond good… Summer doesn’t truly begin without a Mary Kay Andrews book in your beach bag, so here is another winner and Top Pick just for you.” —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

“Andrews’ novels…are the epitome of relaxing yet involving summer reads, and her latest is no exception.” —Booklist

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The High Tide Club by MaryKay Andrews is a good read. It goes back and forth a lot between the last and present moments. This switching sort of lost me on what was happening. I felt bad for the characters. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. Usually, I love the characters that I meet. Here, I felt sorry for them but didn’t really care that much. The thing she that happened in the past shouldn’t happen to any young girls. But it did. The story was sad, intense, and heartbreaking. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and consequences are found inside this book. A group of girls keep a secret and it costs them in the process. Now, years later, most of them are dead but their children live on…it’s up to the last remaining friend to set things right. Secrets come out and so do the tears.

Review: Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He’ll have to play his cards just right for her to take a chance on him…

Megan Montgomery has always been careful…except that one time she threw caution to the wind and hooked up with a sexy groomsman at her cousin’s wedding. But that was two years ago—so why can’t she stop thinking about Alex Rebat?

Alex has been living the good life. He loves his job, has a great circle of friends, and doesn’t answer to anyone. The problem? There’s only one woman he wants and she ran out on him after one amazing weekend. But now that Megan’s coming back to town, Alex hopes he can convince her to take another chance on him…and on a future that can only be built together.

Montgomery Brothers Series:

Wait for Me (Book 1)
Trust in Me (Book 2)
Stay with Me (Book 3)
Return to You (Book 4)
Meant for You (Book 5)
I’ll Be There (Book 6)
Until There Was Us (Book 7)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase is the most emotionally charged book I’ve read so far. A young woman has had to work so hard to prove to her father that she is just as good as her brothers. Yet he has never once taken notice until she proved him she was just that good. However, she finds out that having her dad’s approval could mean an unwanted life with him constantly telling her how to run her life. Her brother Christian had always been their father’s favorite. But after what their dad did to him, he’s turned into ‘the stone man’. That visit with her brother helped them both. She got to see her brother and understand what would happen if she let her dad give her a job. Then, there the issue of her working too much. She is trying to fix that but it’s harder than saying she can. But there’s a special man who can help make her feel happy again. If only she lets him into her life and heart. Megan was burned once and her self-esteem isn’t as great as it should be. Megan is a determined, bright, and good person. I really liked her. I felt like her and I could be best friends for life. Plus, she has a secret…

Alex is a therapist. He’s so caring it’s hard not to like the man. Also, he’s just as sexy as he is sweet. Alex loves the outdoors and is best of friends with Megan’s cousin. Alex met Megan at a family wedding and they hit it off from there. But since then, Megan blew him off and has hidden from Alex. Life gets in the way, and Alex finds he’s still in love with her. Maybe, her coming back in his life is a positive sign. But knowing Megan, the road to convincing her to give them a chance will be tough.

Samantha Chase has created another amazing feel good title. It’s sexy, hot, and engaging as hell. I loved it! I could not stop reading it. I was held in suspense as to what would occur between Alex and Megan. They seemed perfect for each other yet…it was a constant tug of war. Samantha has placed a little bit of her awesome pug into this story! Maylene, is the beautiful yet sassy pug inside this heartfelt tale. I thought it was pretty cool to meet her as well. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary novel to all readers.

 

Review: A Duke Like No Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.

Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowmanis another enchanting romance. A historical that pushes boundaries and sinks its teeth into my heart. The plot was fast-paced, engaging, and emotional. Two protagonists both with a desire to work in a dangerous field and do what is right. Despite their Desiree and attraction, both hide things from each other. This causes a rift to form and both fall apart. A marriage based on love but broken by secrets. Neither one was able to let his or her pride down to set things right between them. Ten years later, life has a way of bringing them back together. One wants to become a mother and the other the Secretary of State.

However, to become Secretary of State he needs his wife back in England to assume the position of a family man. General Mark Grimadali is more of a family man than most presume and more than he, himself thinks he is. It was funny watching his troubles, fears, and heart explode among the pages. His wife Nicole is jus s strong of character as her husband. Stubborn to a fault…she can’t hide her feelings any longer. Afraid of a broken heart again, she is prepared to leave her husband she loves one more…but could he really not love her? Both are grave, smart, and charming. I fell hard and fast for these characters. Their personalities and struggles were exciting to follow. Overall, I highly recommend this historical regency novel.

Review: Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The magical Hotel of Hoo is a mysterious place with some very unusual occupants. As our guests explore the strange hotel, they are invited to experience everything it has to offer with just one warning… don’t ever look behind door 32.

This imaginative picture book aims to take children beyond the first ten cardinal numbers, and introduces them to the patterns of counting in a fun and accessible way. With rooms to explore and unique objects to count, children will enjoy lingering on each page as they make their way closer to the forbidden door.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan is another brilliant children’s book. This one is beautifully illustrated. Captivating to look thorough and easy to follow along. The words are just engaging. The words rhyme together and bring a variety of characters to children everywhere. Overall, this entertaining journey was educational, funny, and full of mystery. I highly recommend Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 to all parents, guardians, and teachers.

Review: The Luck of the Bride by Jana MacGregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Can a woman who’s down on her luck find love with a dashing Duke-to-be? Find out in The Luck of the Bride, the next Regency romance in the Cavensham Heiresses series from Janna MacGregor.

She’s leaving nothing up to chance. Not even love…

March Lawson is an orphan who, for the past eight years, has struggled to raise her siblings on a meager allowance. Most women March’s age would be picking out ball gowns for the upcoming season. But March’s focus is not on finding a husband. First, she must devote her energies to just one man: the coldhearted skinflint who refuses to release her inheritance.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, is not a heartless man. When he learns that Miss Lawson has been forging his name to procure funds, he can’t bring himself to have her arrested—not when the bold-faced embezzler is so enchantingly beautiful. Instead, McCalpin agrees to visit her home to assess the situation more closely. March has no choice but to accept. But how can she manage the handsome trustee who controls her purse strings—when he tugs at her heart strings as well?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Luck of the Bride by Jana MacGregor is another interesting tale. A historical romance that takes readers deep inside a family’s woes. A young girl of 16, eldest daughter, lost her parents. After losing them both, she had to grow up quickly and take care of her family. Two other sisters and a baby brother, plus managing their family estate isn’t what March should have been left to do. Yet she took her responsibilities seriously and made do with what they had. Until too much of the burdens were adding upon her shoulders. Now, seeking her inheritance to help her family eat and stay well, she forges a letter. This letter leads March and her siblings into a headfast journey. One that brings trouble, trials, laughter, memories, and maybe, love.

Next, there is Michael. A Marquess who has a heart of gold. All his life he has struggled with a secret. He cannot add or subtract numbers. In fact, he can’t do anything with numbers. But he’s very smart with reading, arguing, and hard labor. The man helps anyone who needs him. But his brother fears of March using Michael’s generosity and kindness for her own personal gain. But as Michael and March hang out together, a path so unknown to them opens up…I was immediately enchanted and deeply engaged.

Jana MacGregor definitely knows how to lure readers, like me, into her world of fiction. The characters were memorizing. Believable, charming, and realistic…they were. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with them all especially, March’s young brother, Bennett. I hope to read his adult story. He will become a great man one day. This novel, was wonderful. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: A Refuge Assured

 

 

Synopsis:

Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green is full of historical events like the Whiskey Rebellion. I felt as though I have traveled back in time. The characters really portrayed their time periods. The accents and actions made the historical moments come alive. I was impressed. The plot was steady but good. Danger, risks, and hope are filled on these pages. A single woman traveling with a boy under her care looking for a safe place. A man wanting to run his farm but might be forced to fight for it again. These were strong independent characters. I could easily relate to their troubles and connect with them on many levels. Overall, it was a great read. I recommend it to others.

 

Review: Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose unspeakable evil . . .

The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. He does not suffer fools gladly. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back. As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church—his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear—and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose is the first installment to a regency murder mystery series. I loved the combination of the protagonists. One is a determined single female writer and the other is a male scientist. Together they are brought into a murder mystery. While working on this new adventure both find their attracted to each other. Yet neither one is ready to pursue that path too soon. But they acknowledge that they cannot deny it. Here, one of the protagonist, Wrexford, finds himself in deep trouble. He is being treated as a possible suspect for the current murder of a clergyman. Charlotte Sloan is penning under the name of her deceased husband. She is afraid of anyone knowing that she is the popular writer of their time, he pushes her to help him find the real murderer. But will she accept the challenge or let him expose who she really is?

Andrea Penrose has created a set of characters unlike any others. Their personalities are charming to watch unfold as the plot unraveled. I was anxious to see what became of their partnership, if anything at all. Plus, the trouble hanging around Wrexford’s neck and Charlotte’s fear of her pen name dissolving had me intrigued. The whodunnit suspense was strong as well. I couldn’t stop reading this novel. Overall, Murder on Black Swan Lane is a must read for all liking for risks, danger, and a bit of romance.

Review: Reclaiming Shilo Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber is an exciting adventure. Once more readers are led by Sofi Snow in search of her brother. A brother everyone presumed to be dead. But not Sofi Snow. Together she and Miguel search her memories for clues to find him. Humanity is besting destroyed and it’s up to them to keep it safe.

I found myself completely engaged with this YA sci-fi fantasy novel. I was easily hooked. Sofi Snow is a likable character. Her caring personality and determination make her a strong protagonist. I loved how she would go to such ends to find her brother and save the world. Mary Weber created a stunning tale with an unforgettable emotional journey. I enjoyed every page of this suspenseful world. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Exhibit Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He thought he knew everything about her until she went missing.

Before she disappeared, Alexandra Southwood lived an average, happy life: devoted to her wonderful husband, Marc, and caring for her two beautiful daughters. But now, held in a room against her will, Alexandra is forced to think about all she’s lost, and imagine how Marc and her daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She’s shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family’s devastated new reality. And as she envisions Marc’s distress, she can’t help but remember their courtship, their marriage–all that he saved her from and all that they’ve built together.

Marc’s pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but her. Even when the police discover Alexandra’s bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He shifts from total despair to frantic action, embarking on his own journey through the dark maze of secrets she kept and passions he never understood. Following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask, he’s forced to confront how frighteningly little he’s grasped about the woman he loves.

EXHIBIT ALEXANDRA is a shocking psychological portrait, an original and unrelenting thriller that ultimately proves how unknowable even those closest to us can be.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell is a fascinating thriller. So many twists and turns to keep readers, like myself, intrigued for hours. Alex is a character that was a puzzle within a puzzle. From the synopsis, I had so many questions. As the plot dug deeper, I felt her husband’ Spain and surprise at what was discovered. Marc is the loving husband who goes to very deep depths just to find his missing wife. I applaud a man who is that deeply attached to his wife. A love that shocked me. The story flowed easily. It was a bit strange but well-told.

Review: Shattered Mirror by Iris Johansen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Shattered Mirror, a new explosive thriller featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan.

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is once again thrown into a deadly game of intrigue when she receives a cryptic package containing a skull and a two sided mirror. Eve is determined to reconstruct the skull and uncover the mystery of the person’s identity, and when she does, the face of a beautiful woman begins to emerge. But who is she?

As Eve gets closer and closer to finding the answer, she becomes swept up in a lethal chase that spans continents and threatens to destroy the family that she has worked so hard to bring together. Eve and her team must work quickly to discover who is behind the murder – and maybe even prevent more loss of life. But how do you fight a killer who is willing to destroy anyone as a means to an end?

No one is safe in #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen’s next explosive, high-stakes thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seat through every heart-pounding chapter.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Once more, I am lured deep into Eve Duncan’s deadly world. The dead Speak to,her in terms of their bones. Eve Duncan can take bones and reconstruct them in a way that shows who or what they were before they ended up dead. I love that about Eve. Now, Eve is a mother and a wife. She’s being targeted by a killer. The killer doesn’t like Eve and the way she’s handling everything. It bothers the killer until the killer feels only rage and hatred. Because Eve is upsetting the killer, her little boy becomes the target. From there her world spins out of control.

Iris Johansen’s latest novel, Shattered Mirror, is the most intriguing mystery I’ve read. The suspense builds up into an intense atmosphere. There was plenty of action to keep me guessing and keep me hooked. Mystery, murder, and chaos are found in this new thriller. I absolutely loved it. Overall, I highly recommend this Eve Duncan novel.

 

Review: Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . .

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams is an exciting adventure. It is perfect for bookworms of all ages. So many literary references and book talk that I could not stop reading it. I love books. Jane does too. She owns Storyton Hall. Inside it, there is a library with dozens of mysterious books waiting to be read. Jane is planning on building a luxurious spa to attract people. Yet on the day of building, a body is found with a book. A murder mystery that spirals out of control. The who and why kept me intrigued. Everything in this novel is booked theme. Even the spa is named after a famous writer. I can easily relate to Jane. A single mother of two boys, twins. Double trouble and full of mischief…yet the danger and real trouble have just begun…

Ellery Adams is a master of suspense, intrigue, and mystery. Her characters are interesting. Some are quirky and older than Jane. The cat, Muffet Cat, is like a stray cat in a way. He lives in Sotryton Hall but mostly keeps to himself unless he wants someone’s food. I loved how the cat was defended in this book. Even though one mystery is solved another is still a cold case. Jane is tempted to figure it out…and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Adventure, action, and humor can be found here, in Murder in the Locked Library. I enjoyed every moment. So many twists and turns…overall, I recommend this cozy mystery to all.

Review: Expiration Date by Devon Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking–but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school.Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Expiration Date by Devon Delaney is an exciting new series. This first novel was packed with humor, murder, and mayhem. There is a cooking contest with a huge money prize. People want to win. But then, a judge is killed and an innocent cook is being setup. Sherry is excited to cook and hoping to win the contest. However, all hopes go down the drain when she has been framed for murder. Sherry has to work hard to solve the case just to prove her innocence. The lead detective doesn’t believe in her and that puts her in a pickle.

Sherry is a determined woman to make it as a cook. Yet her sleuthing skills are just as much fun to follow. Devon Delaney’s writing is engaging. I found myself laughing and enjoying the cast of characters. Plus, there are fun phrases that are used that made this book a must read. There was mystery, suspense, and a sort of charm that pulled me in deeper. Sherry has seen a lot of action and had her hands full with this latest journey. I cannot wait to see what adventure comes next. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news.
Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list.
And Alex is on it.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch is the first to a new cozy mystery series. Murder, mayhem, and suspense all wrapped in one great plot.  I instantly took a liking to the main character, Alex Vlondnachek. Her vibrant nature called to me. She’s the woman I see myself being best friends with…she has seen,,heard, and witness enough craziness to tell anyone. Her work life is total chaos. The employers have no sens of morals and Alex seems to hold up the fort with professional attitude and decor. The things they expect her to do…well, I can definitely understand her frustration. Alex is framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Her whole life went from handling crazies at work to being put on the spotlight as a murderer. Alex being a former reporter must find out who did commit the murder she’s being framed for and why. That’s where her friend, Trip, came…together they can maybe find the killer before it’s too late.

Dana Dratch combines family drama and humor in a way that was intriguing. I was rolling my eyes and laughing so hard, I cried. Alex’s family isssues is hilarious. Her youngest brother sells his farm and marries a girl without having money, a job, or a place to live in…luckily her other brother is a lawyer and can help her with legal advice. Being convicted of a murder is not something Alex took lightly. The cast of characters were easy to like. They felt real. There was no easy road for Alex or her family which made this book even better. I love a plot that can hold my attention to the end and be realistic, too. Confessions of a Red Herring is engaging, funny, and full, of adventure. I recommend this mystery to all readers.

 

Review: Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dressing up as a bride once a week is all fun and games until you come face to face with your ex.

Penny Blake loves her job with Enchanted Bridal. She gets to model wedding gowns and help brides plan for their big day. And yet…she’s wanting a little more. Besides wishing for her own happily ever after, she has big dreams of making her own contribution to the business in the form of her own glam squad. Her bosses all think it’s a great idea, but right now she’s needed in other ways – like helping out with the groomsmen.

Was there any greater form of torture than having to help your sister plan her wedding?

That’s what Spencer Buchanan is facing and although he goes into it with a bit of an attitude, running into the girl who got away – three times! – suddenly made this whole wedding planning thing a lot more bearable. Moving back home was never part of his plan, but once Spencer sees Penny again, all bets are off. And having her help him with his fittings on his tux turn into his favorite pastime ever!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase is an exciting and addictive tale. I loved how to young people who has always loved each other have found a way to each other again. It was heartfelt, funny, and charming. The man was sexy as hell and one I would love to keep. Spencer is the man that make women dream of happily ever afters. Penny is the leading female protagonist and she’s awesome, too. Her personality is fun to watch. Going from running away to forcing to reckon with her past love, she has grown a lot in this book.  Marriage, weddings, and second chances are the themes of this journey. I loved every moment of it. Hot, emotional, and and sweet just the way I like my romance stories. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: Dead Girl Running

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Christina Dodd reinvents the romantic thriller. Her signature style—edgy, intense, twisty, emotional—leaves you breathless from first page to last. Readers who enjoy Nora Roberts will devour Dodd’s electrifying novels.”

—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author

 

 

 

I have three confessions to make:

1. I’ve got the scar of a gunshot on my forehead.

2. I don’t remember an entire year of my life.

3. My name is Kellen Adams…and that’s half a lie.

Girl running…from a year she can’t remember, from a husband she prays is dead, from homelessness and fear. Tough, capable Kellen Adams takes a job as assistant manager of a remote vacation resort on the North Pacific Coast. There amid the towering storms and the lashing waves, she hopes to find sanctuary. But when she discovers a woman’s dead and mutilated body, she’s soon trying to keep her own secrets while investigating first one murder…then another.

Now every guest and employee is a suspect. Every friendly face a mask. Every kind word a lie. Kellen’s driven to defend her job, her friends and the place she’s come to call home. Yet she wonders—with the scar of a gunshot on her forehead and amnesia that leaves her unsure of her own past—could the killer be staring her in the face?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dead Girl Running by Christina Dodd is an intriguing mystery. One that propelled me further into a deadly investigation. Imagine not knowing a year’s worth of your life…that would prove hard to live with knowing that the killer could be someone the character knows. Intrigue, suspense, and drama added up as I traveled deeper in this book. My curiosity peaked. Kellen Adams is the main protagonist who is searching for answers to murders when her life is a mystery itself. The plot was engaging. I wanted to follow Kellen Adams everywhere and find out everything. Fear washed over me as I was not sure what would happen as Kellen got closer to her answers. Overall, I found this novel very entertaining. So many possibilities and what ifs…went through my mind as the danger got closer.

 

Review: Then She Was Gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“More than a whiff of The Lovely Bones wafts through this haunting domestic noir from bestseller Jewell…Skillfully told by several narrators (some of them ghostly), Jewell’s gripping novel is an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal.” —Publishers Weekly

Ten years after her teenage daughter goes missing, a woman connects with a charming single father, but she is still haunted by her child’s disappearance in this “deeply emotional and incredibly clever” (Mail Online) thriller from the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of I Found You.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is an intriguing yet dark thriller. The suspense killed me. It started off okay but then I was not as surprised anymore. This book is a journey of a mother who lost her young daughter. Now, after so much time has passed, she meets someone who has a daughter that looks like the duplicate of her lost daughter. From there things get darker fast…and the emotional rollercoaster will be crazy. Overall, it was a good read.

Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his older brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all of the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ROBYN CARR is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s
Crossing series, as well as highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends and The Summer That Made Us. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.robyncarr.com.

 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr is a heartfelt story. It has themes about family, community, and relationships. I loved how the characters were all like one big family. The family members of the main characters were interesting as well. They added more zest to the plot.

A good looking man returns back home. All the women want him except for one. While we have heard this same plot line so many times, it’s the emotional journey and risks these characters take to follow their hearts. That is what makes it so different. Everything from their personalities to yer actions give the plot a different tune. I enjoyed watching them grow and grow together as a community. The sense of belonging was strong. The struggles and fears made all of these characters stand out to me. The Family Gathering contains some romance and a whole lot of action to keep readers, like myself engaged. Overall, I recommend it to everyone.

Review: Lone Star Blues by Delores Fossen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Wrangler’s Creek’s most eligible bad boy has just become its most eligible single dad

Dylan Granger could always count on his rebellious-cowboy charm to get his way—until the day his wife, Jordan, left him and joined the military. The realization that during a wild night he got her cousin pregnant is shocking enough. But the news that Jordan has come home to Texas, to help raise the baby is the last thing he expects.

Raising a baby with Dylan in Wrangler’s Creek is a life Jordan might’ve had years ago, but she doesn’t want regrets. She wants what’s best for the child—and to find out if there’s something deeper between her and her ex than blazing-hot chemistry. Getting closer means letting down her guard to Dylan again, but will he be able to accept the emotional scars on her heart?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Lone Star Blues by Delores Fossen is another story about a sexy as hell cowboy who got himself into a reckless situation. Before that, his wife left him and his heart broke. Now, he faces the consequences and is raising a kid whose mother didn’t want to be bothered. When news travels to Jordan’s wife, she comes back to him with hopes to raise the baby, together. But fear places them both at odds with each other. Their chemistry is still there. However, it is up to them to figure out where they are headed and what they really want. Life is always completed and messy. Delores Fossen easily captures this into her latest novel, Lone Star Blues. I enjoyed reading this sexy cowboy romance. Overall, I recommend this book to readers.

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.” —Booklist on One Perfect Lie

“Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting…they’re in for one thrilling ride.” —Kirkus on One Perfect Lie

“Entertaining…This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is an intense thriller. A deadly journey where people have died and other may still die. A father wrongly accused of murdering his wife’s daughter. He never killed anyone and the dead girl isn’t who they originally thought she was. This family was torn apart and ruined. Only to be bounded together again once more. However, getting back together, will depend on timing. If they’re too late the husband dies and so does the real daughter. But if timed right, they may just end of saving both. The FBI are involved after a therapist finds out that the young girl isn’t the one matching in the newspaper. This whole time, the innocent have been trapped and tortured. I was filled with intrigue. This book kept me guessing. I was afraid of what the outcome would be. Lisa Scottoline has once again, written a title worthy of reading. Dramatic, frightening, and emotional…After Anna is a journey of survival and hope in a world of darkness. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Dr. Maker was diagnosed in 2011, she, like most people, knew almost nothing about breast cancer. What she did know is that she didn’t feel safe simply following her doctors’ advice. She needed to understand for herself all her treatment options, the statistical outcomes for each option, and all the potential side effects, so she could make informed decisions. Because of her academic background and expertise as a researcher, she discovered a great deal about the disease and its treatments that few lay people are aware of.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer is the story of her journey and the things she learned along the way. This information helped her to make informed decisions about her treatment, and it also helped her to make the lifestyle changes that she hopes will keep her in remission. This is the book she wished she had before, during, and after her treatment.

Topics that will help readers take charge of their recovery include how to find the best doctors and hospitals; how to build a support system; and pros and cons of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormones. Topics that will help readers stay in remission include how to make the body less receptive to cancer, including changes in diet, exercise, supplements, and stress reduction. Readers may not make the same decisions that Dr. Maker did, but the information in the book will empower them to make the decisions they consider best for themselves and their loved ones.

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer by Janet Maker, Ph.D., is the most informative book I have read. As a young woman myself, I was impressed with the content inside. The material isn’t boring like most informative books that I come across. It has topics of concern that women should be more aware of and what they can do. Sure, we have heard those things before, but what makes this different than others is that even I, a non cancer victim, can take information from this. There’s a lot about the types of foods, plastic, and carcinogens that we probably ingest every day constantly and not think twice about…that’s what makes this book so important. The layout and words are educational and from a former breast cancer survivor. Maybe, it is also the fact she can write education yet informative books welll. But whatever the case is, this was wonderful to read. As a college student, I was satisfied with the level of material presented to me. It is definitely worth its weight in gold. This isn’t a memoir…it is like a textbook in a way that it alerts the reader to the many issues and factors relating to this cancer and many other cancers as well. I enjoyed reading this. Overall, I highly recommend it to others.

Review: Entwined Hearts-The Sunset of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As author JJ Janice reflects on her surprise connection with a mother-daughter duo, she finds herself, an outsider, overwhelmed by mysteries regarding the short time it took for her to become a new member in this tight-knit family with a complicated past. How did she get here? What forces are at work? Why was she chosen to be a witness?

Using her diary as guide, she sifts through layers of her imagination and shares her story in Entwined Hearts. It chronicles the ascent of forgiveness by and for three women who perhaps least expect it–all in two short years. Through the stories of Anita, who suffers from Alzheimer’s; Lynn, Anita’s daughter who struggles with bi-polar disorder; and Janice, a friend to both, it investigates how relationships change and endure through challenges.

Though this memoir touches on the difficult topics of Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, stress, drugs, incarceration, and alcoholism, it also looks at the world with kind generosity and love–a love that connected three unlikely women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Entwined Hearts: The Sunest of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities by JJ Janice is a great read. It covers a lot of topics such as alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorders. This book took a piece of my heart. My own grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It has gone from forgetting something to having to repeat things many times during the day to her. It is emotionally hard because we have to remember to be patient with her. The book discussed the stages of Alzheimer’s, the path of the Alzheimer’s person fading from who they were into someone that one wouldn’t recognize. This road is painful for all who are involved. Overall, this nonfiction book was encouraging to read. I cried because a I know there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the most unpreventable diseases. I still carry hope that one day there will be a cure. I recommend this book to all readers.

Review: The Flower Girl Murder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Daisy Burns was a likable, devoted wife and mother who spent her spare time volunteering at school events. Everyone loved Daisy. So why would someone shoot her three times and dump her body behind a Planned Parenthood chapter in North Carolina?

With no witnesses and few leads, Raleigh detective Marc Allen turns to the press for help—specifically, veteran news anchor Lancaster Heart. Heart agrees to broadcast the police department’s plea for information in his nightly newscasts.

Elderly viewer and longtime social worker Blanche Avery is positive she recognizes the photograph on the television as an older version of her friend Daisy— the young, heavily pregnant girl she met years before who made the decision to give her child up for adoption.

When Tanner Goochly Jr.—a member of a notorious crime family—becomes the victim of another point-blank shooting, Allen races to discover the connection between the murders. Could it be that Daisy was somehow involved with an illegal enterprise, or was she hiding something else, another secret to be discovered?

The body count is rising, and the suspect pool is widening. As Allen’s investigation reaches a fever pitch, he realizes that a mother’s choice could have killer consequences.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Flower Girl Murder by Keith Hirshland is another crime investigation. A murder that goes unsolved until a clue pops up…from there I was hooked. Not everything is what it appeared to be. A young woman who appears to be a decent woman is found dead. No clues as to why or who did it. Then, another body is found and the detective is racing to find out why and how they’re connected. Two murder victims with an apparent opposite lifestyle are now dead. The race to find the killer is exciting. Crime, secrets, and lies keep the detective, Marc Allen busy. But then someone remembers something…and from there all hell breaks loose. There was a lot of action, intrigue, and suspense to keep me entertained. The who done it kept echoing in my mind…guessing happened a lot. Keith Hirshland is a talented writer. He made it impossible to stop reading his book. The detective is a determined fellow who gives his all into solving his investigations. I really liked this character. Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to all.