Review: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The island fishing village of Eastport, Maine, has plenty of salty local character. It also has a sweet side, thanks to Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, her best friend Ellie, and their waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose. But when island life is disrupted by the occasional killer, Jake and Ellie put their chocolate treats aside to make sure justice is served.

This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined by foul murder.

When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is cancelled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.

Includes a Recipe!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake is a fun cozy mystery. Two ladies with bakery think a milkshake of theirs was the murder weapon. Yet as it turns out…it really wasn’t. But they won’t know that until much later. A man nobody liked is killed. Leaving the main characters worried and in a much bigger hole…than they started with. Jake feels like giving up on their business, while Ellie is still hopeful. But with a local murder to solve things quickly escalate out of control.

The characters were realistic. There was no emotional attachment where I felt like cheering for them. I did feel bad about their sinking business. The plot had mystery. It was entertaining. Just not the omg, I have to finish this tonight or else. Sarah Graves brought themes of family, friends, and intrigue to her novel. It had enough to spark an interest of whodunit and why.

 

 

Review: Face Off by Brenda Novak

Face Off (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work—studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her—until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…

As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate—and finds not one but two bodies—Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing—Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Face Off by Brenda Novak is another brilliant installment to this series. I was intrigued. The entire time, I was waiting for Evelyn’s past killer to attack her. Yet each moment never seemed like the right time for Jasper. Jasper like any other serial killer, ended up making many mistakes. He became careless and it took him spiraling out of control. Everything he worked for, was doomed. The intensity of the big moment, kept me on edge. I was expecting a dark, creepy, and deadly read.

Brenda Novak provided me with just that. The characters were funny, entertaining, and added to the flavor of this read. I had to roll my eyes and bite my tongue at the humiliation that Jasper put up with as he planned his future killings. He hated the men who told him what to do and when to do his work. It was interesting to watch as his temper was pushed and how he barely reined it all in…I kept expecting him to lose his patience at the facility every time. Yet, he surprised me. So many turns and twists…Even knowing the background, I was still kept in the dark as to what would happen. The ending was epic. I would have wanted a bit more darker satisfying end with Jasper. But I will have to wait for the next tale to see what happens next. Overall, I recommend this thriller to all.

Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica. 

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a very depressing yet intense novel. Inside, I followed a young woman’s journey through nightmares. She has been in the hospital at her mom’s side and won’t sleep until her mom gets better or passes away. The doctor tried to tell Jessie to get some sleep, but she won’t listen. I felt her pain and her tiredness. Her confusion and pain about finding her father and her mom’s cancer was horrifying. Jessie could not tell apart reality from nightmare. I could not tell the difference until the ending…that’s when all became clear. Grief, loss, and secrets are explored in this novel. I cried a lot when I read this story. Jessie did want her mom to die from cancer. She kept hoping she would get better. Then, there was the fact that Jessie never knew her own father. Mary Kubica never revealed that secret. But the man that should have been her father became one to her while her mom was passing away from her cancer. The death was slow…and when the last moment came, it sped by quickly. My heart broke. Overall, this was intriguing, dark, and heartbreaking.

 

Review: One More Moment by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Julian Grayson is taking a break
…from his cheating fiancée
…from his band
…from his life in the spotlight

Charlotte Clark is devoted to her work
…to save the world
…to help the homeless
…to get a broken man back on his feet

When Charlotte Clark offers to pay for Julian Grayson’s coffee, the world-famous drummer assumes she wants something from him. But Charlotte has no idea who he is, and Julian can’t resist keeping up the charade—being incognito is a novelty and a relief. He’ll have to tell her…eventually. But as Charlotte cheerfully undertakes to transform his life, Julian realizes there’s something about her that gives him what he hasn’t felt in years: hope.

Shaughnessy Brothers: Band on the Run Series:
One More Kiss (Book 1)
One More Promise (Book 2)
One More Moment (Book 3)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One More Moment by Samantha Chase is the best novel yet in this Band on the Run series. I could not tear my gaze away from the pages. Heat plus, raw emotions, and flaws that make it super easy to connect with the characters, make this a must read. Inside, is a famous rock musician who was badly burned. His ex burned him repeatedly and broke his pride. Julien is so full of anger that his character had this heavy weight constantly keeping him from being happy. Everyone tells him what and how he should live. He’s not ready to let go of his anger. That was until he met, a beautiful kind hearted woman. Charlotte has a way of stunning the drummer. He expects her to ask him for something. Yet she continuously proved she wanted nothing more than to help him. Julien needs to let lose his anger and face his past. Otherwise, his present happiness won’t be his future. And Julien wants Charlotte in his future more than he knows.

Once more, Samantha Chase has created a masterpiece. One that everyone can relate to…as well as remembering way after the last page is read. The characters made me fall in love and root for their happiness. Julien was a stubborn man. That made his fight tougher and more realistic. I liked how he was an average joe, who looked good, and had  a heart of gold despite his wealth and music talent. Charlotte was just an ordinary woman helping the homeless finds jobs. She complimented Julien and was his light to his darkness. Both were strong and independent characters. I cried for Julien’s pain, I laughed at how ridiculous Julien’s jealousy was, and I melted when they had their good moments. I cannot read a book by this writer without my heart and soul getting attached every damn time. Overall, I highly recommend this sexy as hell contemporary romance to all.

 

Review: Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

#1 bestselling author Lora Leigh is back–with a vengeance–in her latest novel of passion and intrigue, Dagger’s Edge, featuring the men of Brute Force. 

Ivan Resnova wants nothing more than to escape his hard, brutal past. Starting over is not so easy once you’ve been a powerful crime boss but now, instead of being punished for his alleged crimes, Ivan fears that the one woman he can’t forget is in danger of paying the price.

Crimsyn “Syn” Delaney thought the danger she’d faced was over, and that she could resume her life. She never imagined it would return with a vengeance and throw her back into Ivan’s world. But when an attempt is made on her life, she needs Ivan more than ever to keep her safe–even if she is in danger of falling deeply and dangerously in love. . .

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh is one hell of a romantic suspense novel. Dark and intense like J.T. Ellison’s books yet hot and steamy like that of Lynsay Sand’s books. I could not tear my eyes away from this read. It was so intense, dark, and sexy. The characters were on edge constantly. Danger hung in the air on every page. One pair also had to battle their raw lust and love for each other until it exploded. Their lives were at risk and the depth to which they went to stay alive was amazing. Lora Leigh did not disappoint. Her words created vivid scenes and plenty of action to keep myself entertained. Overall, I highly recommend this epic romance to all.

Review: Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant

Cowboy, Cross My Heart

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side. . .

Naomi Pierce isn’t the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It’s not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can’t help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol’-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it’s one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye…

Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can’t help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him from the stands. It doesn’t take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close–and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn’t be any kind of cowboy if he didn’t offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger–without risking his heart?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant is a strong read. There are issues of sexual harassment, rape, and unlawful men abusing their power status. The emotional journey was a roller-coaster ride. There were just as many ups as there were downs. I cried for the women being abused by men who should have been trusted. It was sickening reading how a strong character broke into a frightened women for her life. Until her best friend came back to visit her and start investigating into what was happening…the young lady would have been drowning in a miserable life. Their friendship was unbreakable and held them together. The men, aka the cowboys, who came to the rescue made my heart melt multiple times. I fell in love with each cowboy who swore to protect the women and their family. Also, the theme of family was strong here. It showed how one family who went through abandonment survived. Their love and support for each other made me smile. Their were parts that were funny, charming, and romantic as hell. Other parts were intense, dangerous, and scary. Donna Grant provided a lot of action-packed scenes. This made the contemporary romance novel a quick read. I loved it. Overall, I would highly recommend this title to all readers. Plus, it provided an inspiration for women to stand up for themselves.

Review: The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlyn O’Riley

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Victorian London, the Hamilton sisters are known for their bookshops—and for finding their happily ever afters on their own terms. Now, much to their chagrin, their offspring are following in their unconventional footsteps—in life and in love…

Raised in New York, shipping heiress Sara Fleming was ready to elope—until her disapproving parents tricked her onto a boat heading to England. Her only consolation is getting to see her beloved aunts and cousins. Even the start of London’s Season—and a strikingly handsome earl—can’t make her forget the man she left behind.

Considered one of London’s most eligible bachelors, Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, is not what he seems. Having inherited his father’s crushing debt, he must choose a wealthy bride to save his family’s estate. Though rumored to be penniless and committed to another, Sara takes his breath away—and makes him question what he truly needs to be free of the past. But he’ll have to win the headstrong beauty’s heart one kiss at a time.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlyn O’Riley is an interesting spin to the England society. A young lady in New York has fallen for the charms of a no good thief. Yet she has no idea of his schemes nor his evil plans for her. However, her parents have heard the rumors. They tricked their daughter into a boat trip to London. Once there, they will visit their family.

That is where the beauty heiress meets the charming Duke. Only he’s dirt poor and trying to protect his sisters and mother from ruin. Marrying a rich lady would help provide for his family. Little does he know that the American lady he’s falling for is richer than first rumored.

Sara feels that instant attraction and pull to the Duke. But in her mind she still has eyes for her American beau. Only time, will tell if the American lady and London Duke will find their happily ever after.

Overall, I highly recommend this funny, action-packed, and romantic tale to all. It made me laugh and fall in love with the strong yet determined young couple. Their banters and moments of passion made my heart melt.

Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and BonePaper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Timesbestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making…if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine is a fun fantasy novel. There was a lot of action, mischief, and danger to keep me reading. I haven’t read the previous books, yet I was able to follow along. The story showed a world being destroyed and others wanting to protect a library containing a lot of books. It was interesting to see who the characters were that were guarding it with the lives. A lot of risks are involved including trying to stay alive long enough to save the library. The library is not just a library but much more than that. Can you imagine being punished for having books that you own? It was definitely an exciting twist filled with magic, deception, and rebellions. I enjoyed watching a variety of people who resulted to crime to give people books. Their personalities ranged and gave it more depth. Overall, I recommend this entertaining tale to others.

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Hubbard writes Amish stories with style and grace.”
–RT Book Reviews 

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times–and in the face of an unexpected homecoming. 

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts–blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer–not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some
bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Praise for A Simple Vow

“Charlotte Hubbard has a way of writing that draws you into the story from beginning to end.”
–Romance Junkies

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is a sweet Amish tale. There is plenty of trouble, intrigue, and emotion to keep the pages turning. A person runs from his  life only to head straight into another mess. Only this one leads his heart  into a bright future. But until he figures out his path, a lot of mischief and sadness follow him everywhere. Another young person, is dealing issues with her father. A secret that is eating up the family and soon tears them apart. Meeting each other, leads them to hope…and maybe, happiness. Charlotte Hubbard brings a warm heartfelt story to life. Her characters are open and inviting. It is easy to get lost within their journey. Themes such as forgiveness, family, and faith is inserted into this book. I am in love with the novel. Perfect, clean, and inspiring…to read. Overall, I recommend to all Christian readers. This Amish tale is must read.

 

Review: Jealousy by Nancy Bush

Jealousy

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

HATRED LEADS TO OBSESSION . . .

It’s taken time for the plan to unfold, years spent waiting, watching, hating. . . . And after the first victim, the killing gets easier and easier . . .

OBSESSION LEADS TO JEALOUSY . . .

The Crissmans, owners of Crissman & Wolfe department store, were once one of Portland’s most powerful families. There’s still enough fortune left to sow mistrust between Lucy, her bohemian sister Layla, their brother Lyle, and his grasping wife Kate. When a charity event at the Crissman Lodge ends in a fatal poisoning, Lucy becomes a prime suspect. But the truth is even more twisted, and Lucy can’t be sure which of her family is being targeted . . . or who to fear.

AND JEALOUSY LEADS TO MURDER . . .

Renowned defense attorney Dallas Denton has been hired to clear Lucy’s name, unaware of the secret that ties them together or of the deep cracks in the Crissman legacy. Someone is ready to eliminate every obstacle to get what they most covet, and prove that envy runs deeper
than blood . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Nancy Bush is the new Mary Higgins and J.D. Robb. Jealousy is a new mystery/thriller that quickly spirals out of control. Secrets are coming out from the grave. A family is tearing apart. Murder, blackmail, and mistrust add to the suspense. I liked the fact that I wouldn’t be able to predict who or what was really going on…but the pacing seemed steady no matter how much drama was added.

Jealousy is about a family that has and still is experiencing a lot of issues. A father who never let wife leave him. Kids who thought their mother left them. A family will that has been hidden and another one was recently found. Secrets make for a lot of trouble. The siblings are struggling to trust each other when they really need to…danger is closing in around them. It’s only a matter of time before more are killed. Death hangs in the air…as the family scatters to catch up.

Overall, it was a good read. I didn’t see the ending coming. The plot was intense and emotional.

Review: Feared by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Machiavelli, a corrupt lawyer, aggressively strikes close to the DiNunzio household, attacking Mary’s father and one of their beloved family friends by filing a lawsuit that accuses them of embezzling from the treasury of a local South Philly social club to which they belong. The lawsuit is frivolous, but Machiavelli ups the ante by spreading rumors that support its allegations, muddying the reputation of Mary’s father.

The claims shake the DiNunzio clan to its foundations, threatening her father’s weakening heart, and Mary steps in to fight back. But Machiavelli is a more than worthy adversary. Then the unthinkable happens, and Mary goes to her own dark side, finding a part of herself that makes her more fearsome than ever before. Is it still a battle between good and evil, when good turns evil? And will Mary be able to find herself, before she loses her soul completely?

Feared, the sixth entry in the acclaimed Rosato & DiNunzio series, expertly explores what happens when we are tempted to give in to our own inner darkness.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Feared by Lisa Scottoline is a heart-racing plot. The intensity of the scenes kept my heart pounding. I was not sure of what would be the outcome. The main character went through a lot of changes recently. From motherhood to catching bad guys, this strong independent woman made me speechless. Her bravery was crazy. Lies, deception, and danger hung in the air. Lisa Scottoline poured suspense and action onto every page. Not one single boring moment. Also, I loved the small community of support that was created for the main character. It softened the hard yet dark edges of this story.

Romance, crime, and mystery are displayed here. I could not get enough of the characters. Mary is the central character. She is pregnant and solved a case that others couldn’t solve. Her instincts are so clear, that it was frightening. Her guesses were right but sometimes the wrong suspect is chosen. But none of that stopped Mary from working the case. Her strong willed personality helped define her as a woman not to be toyed with…as one of the male characters has figured out later in the plot. The connection between Mary and her husband, as well as the connection with another man kept the me guessing. Feared is a novel about facing fears and getting justice. Overall, I would recommend it to readers seeking a rush of adrenaline.

Review: Double Blind by Iris and Roy Johansen

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning authors are back with an electrifying new novel that will leave your heart racing.

Kendra Michaels, formerly blind and now a hired gun for law enforcement agencies who relies on her razor-sharp powers of observation, is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they’ve brought to her. But then she hears the details: the body was found just blocks away from Kendra’s condo. The young woman was carrying an envelope with Kendra’s name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. The woman died trying to get the video to Kendra, but for what purpose? Before Kendra and the FBI can answer that question, the bride is abducted from her suburban home.

And so the hunt is on for a killer whose nightmarish plan is slowly becoming clear. A plan that involves a powerful law firm and a multi-billion dollar corporation. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to stop the plot as it grows ever closer to its terrifying conclusion.

In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.

Praise for Double Blind:

“Magnetic characters and a twisty, suspenseful plot ensure that readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

“When it comes to delivering amazing tales of edge-of-your-seat suspense, team Johansen and Johansen have proven they are unbeatable! Kendra Michaels is an exceptionally compelling protagonist…Get the snacks ready and keep the lights on, for this book will keep you hanging on until the last word!” RT Book Reviews (5 stars)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Double Blind by both Iris and Roy Johansen is an exciting thriller. A deadly game that could end up worse if not stopped soon. A serial killer is hired by a company to handle problems for them only that the killer goes off the edge and blackmails them. The killer is then able to get away with a lot more than planned. Murders are now being traced to the company and the company can’t control their hired hired any longer.  FBI is introduced into the case when a dead woman has something for someone they know…that’s when the chase really begins…

Kendra Michaels is the lead female character. She is the one the FBI like to work with because of her ability to notice the smallest details quickly. Kendra cannot handle working on cases like the FBI does, because she hates seeing victims’ families suffer. Death is never easy to handle. But now, a dead woman is found with a USB drive containing damaging evidence for her. Only she never knew the victim. It is only a matter of time before the FBI bring her in on the case. Kendra feels obligated to help since the dead woman tried to reach out to her. Other than that she wants noting to do with the case. But that’s where it starts to get complicated. Her former FBI friend that she is attracted to, handles deadly crime stuff. She feels something more for him but she isn’t allowing herself to fall in love. Adam Lynch wants Kendra Michaels as his woman. However, he knows it will be difficult to get to agree. She likes him just as much as he likes her but she won’t open up. Instead, she pushes away from him. The new case is provides a tug of war in their relationship.

Overall, this new novel was suspenseful. I was deeply engaged from the start. Both Iris and Roy Johansen have caught my attention with Kendra Michaels. She is a detective for the FBI in a way. The personality was easy to latch onto as well as like. Kendra is a strong independent woman who won’t let anyone or anything bring her down…Adam Lynch is a cocky good looking man who is smart and deadly to mess with. But when it comes to Kendra he makes mistakes and doesn’t know how to approach her. I felt their push/pull relationship. It was intriguing and sad to follow. Double Blind was fast-paced. It kept me guessing the whole way. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: In Hitler’s House Book 2 by Jonathan Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In book two of In Hitler’s House, Willy Weber and Carlotta Krause descend into the depths of the espionage game as World War II rages around them. Working at once against Hitler and often at odds with one another, each fears getting an order to assassinate the other. Meanwhile, the allies dither over whether or not they should be assigned to assassinate Hitler.

Their love grows more intense and more desperate. Carlotta, with her hidden Jewish background, comes into ever greater danger of being sent to a concentration camp. Willy, who is now responsible for delivering certain essential war materials to the Reich, must play a dangerous game as he contrives to short the orders on instructions from his handler, master spy Paul Dukes. Hitler becomes increasingly suspicious that Willy is actually a spy and saboteur, but his love for him as the son he never had prevents him from acting on his suspicions…until it doesn’t.

As the war intensifies, the increasingly deranged Hitler makes more and more bizarre sexual demands on both Willy and Carlotta, to the point that they are forced to do things with him that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The battle within Hitler’s very secret innermost circle parallels the war unfolding beyond the peaceful Untersberg and Hitler’s mountain hideaway the Berghof, where intrigue abounds and danger hides in every shadow.

Jonathan White Lane is the pseudonym of a scholar of both 20th Century and classical history.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

In Hitler’s House book 2 by Jonathan Lane, the plot becomes more dangerous. Those closest to Hitler are experiencing the fear that he creates. None of them know for sure, if they will kill each other or be killed. Then, there’s those that are closer to Hitler’s heart, that are now suffering the same kind of fear as those who work for his deadly fantasies. Hitler’s demands become unbearable and it is that which will destroy them all one by one. Doom is leering over the cast of characters as war is a constant battle. Hitler is getting more delusional by the second and that makes him the deadliest enemy alive.

History, espionage, and secrets come alive in this novel. Jonathan Lane knows how to entertain his readers. I was lost within his book. It was deeply engaging and fun to follow as the events played out…deception is both a miracle and a curse to those around Hitler. Even Hitler himself is causing his own destruction because of it. Overall, I would recommend this historical dark tale to readers everywhere.

 

Review: In Hitler’s House by Jonathan Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

William Weber was on tour in Germany in the summer of 1931 when he chanced to meet a struggling politician, Adolf Hitler. Hitler soon discovered that Willy was a wealthy innocent and set out to exploit him in every way that he could. There follows a startlingly vivid exploration of inner life of this deeply evil man. In two volumes so richly detailed that they seem to have actually been created by somebody who lived through the events they depict, the private world of Adolf Hitler comes into focus in all its perversity and strangeness.

Willy soon realizes that Hitler is a monster and resolves to use his extraordinary position as his friend to try to derail his plans. In the process, he becomes a invaluable British intelligence asset and an extremely vulnerable spy in Hitler’s House. He also meets and falls in love with Hitler’s ultra-secret mistress, Carlotta Krause, a Berlin prostitute who is a year younger than Willy and has known Hitler since she was a child. As their secret love affair explodes into great passion, they both must play roles in the weird fantasy life that Hitler successfully hid from history.

In exploring the private life of Adolf Hitler, the story also by extension offers a warning to the world about such men, and a means of seeing beyond Hitler into the hidden lives and distorted psyches of many dictators and demagogues.

In Hitler’s House is the work of a pseudonymous history scholar, an expert on both modern European history and the history of the later Roman Empire.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

In Hitler’s House by Jonathan Lane is an interesting historical insight into men like Hitler. The lives of such evil men leaves behind a lot of questions. What makes them into such devils, are they like that 24/7, or do they have more hidden secrets than we were aware of? This book dives deep into all this and even goes much further. I found it intriguing. A historical that goes back to a deadly terror and showed more betrayal, deception, and other sides not commonly known to many.

As a huge history fan, this caught my full-attention. Exploring into the lives of evil men and who they were really makes for an entertaining tale. One that can leave so many options. But it also opened up the lives of those close to Hitler himself. That’s where I got glued into this book. After reading some of it, I could not stop. I had to find out more. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all who love history, politics, and thrillers.

Review: From Nothing by Ken Goldstein

From Nothing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Victor Selo had blown up his life. A wannabe rock star turned tech savant, he’d wagered his Silicon Valley executive position on a corporate inside straight and lost. Having security escort him out of the building was the best thing that happened to him that day. The rest left him in the hospital, broken, broke, and with no prospects. That’s when a shadowy stranger with questionable motives came with an offer: a chance to get his life back – and better – if he simply cooperates. It would require becoming invisible for a while, but he would be hiding in the spotlight, playing guitar in a Vegas cover band. Reluctantly, Victor accepts and begins an odyssey he never could have imagined. One that involves a charismatic lead singer who owns the stage but aspires to own an Elvis wedding chapel, a mesmerizing woman who can play anything on her keyboards and can really play with Victor’s head, and two specters from his old life offering competing devil’s bargains. Suddenly, multiple futures are opening up in front of Victor. All of them offer opportunity – and each comes with potentially catastrophic risk. Populated with a wide array of colorful characters, brimming with reflections on everything from love to God to the price of commitment, and backed by a great soundtrack, From Nothing is an endlessly engaging work of fiction that will resonate like your favorite song.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

From Nothing by Ken Goldstein is unlike any novel I have read. It carries so much punch and intrigue that I could not put it down. The tale carries me through one man’s journey from a corporate world to the lifestyle of a rock star. This book shows what happens when the main character rolls like a dice on a gambling table. The chances are fifty-fifty and the risks are high. An opportunity of taking a new road to life comes with consequences. But this character keeps rolling; making the best with each roll. I liked the do not look back attitude and how Victor moves forward despite his past life being destroyed. The remaining cast varied in positions and levels of life. It was quite interesting to follow them. The main focus was redemption for Victor. It was a long yet tough journey for him, whether he found it or not, is up for discovery. I enjoyed watching Victor grow as a man throughout novel. He went from being someone to nothing then to somebody going somewhere. His future held hope. Overall, I would recommend this read to all. There’s a little of everything for readers to like, relate to, and connect with…

Review: Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison

Savage Liberty (Duncan McCallum #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The fifth installation of Eliot Pattison’s Bone Rattler series follows the exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum to the stepping-stones of the American Revolution

Acclaimed author Eliot Pattison continues his Bone Rattler series as Duncan McCallum is drawn into dark intrigue surrounding the Sons of Liberty in this gripping thriller set in the early days of the American revolution.

Pattison’s deep historical knowledge and attention to detail brings a young America to life, immersing the reader in the atmosphere and events that were to lead to the American rebellion. Protagonist Duncan McCallum is lead into a mystery of murder, treachery, and intrigue with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and a secret society of American patriots organizing to resist the British throne.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison is a novel that sent me back in time. I love following Scottish characters. I have never read a novel, where they were never not in trouble. There was always something going wrong to keep the action steady. Duncan MaCallum’s life was interesting. Death was constantly hanging over his head. Duncan is a strong, determined, and stubborn man. He appeared foolish but is not. He is braver than most men. His relationship with the strong-willed woman, Sarah, is beautiful. Both are good people struggling to survive in their new world. Boston was a place of danger, violence, and uprising. Duncan was smart to leave there but somehow it still chased after him. The time period was captured perfectly. Eliot Pattison created this story in way that deeply engaged me in all the characters’ lives. I felt as though I just lived through them all. Overall, I would recommend this to history fans and historical fiction lovers. This was fun to follow.

Review: Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is one of the most intriguing drama mysteries that I’ve read. This was similar to Pretty Little Liars and Big Little Lies. A lot of deception is found, here on the pages. Just when the characters think they know everything, their neighborhood gets shaken upside down.  Secrets, drama, and mystery were combined making this a page turner. I was deeply engrossed with the characters’ lives and how they were connected. My curiosity was snatched immediately by this writer.

A group of women sit outside, sipping their wine. Too much to drink, and one of them disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to their missing neighbor or why. Kristen seemed to have the perfect life and a divorce that was just about closed, when she was found missing.

The ending was sort of surprising in a way, but I kind of predicted  what was going to happen. It felt like the same kind of plot as other books but on a grown adult level. The story was easy to get lost within…but like I said it was predictable in many ways due to similarities. Otherwise, great mystery novel.

 

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: 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: 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: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

 

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.  

 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results. 

Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all. 

Novel Writing Challenge 4

Sam, a young 15-year old, who was short, skinny, small chested, super white skin and dark black shiny hair that went past her shoulders a touch had beautiful green alluring eyes. She was a quiet teen, who loved reading, writing, drawing, and swimming. She was the invisible girl at her local public high school. None of the guys asked her out. Thinking they would probably scare her because of her quiet nature. She aced all her school subjects and helped her swim team to the Nationals every year. This year, being a freshman, was tough. Girls were dressing in low tops, short skirts, and wore lots of makeup. Guys were..well the were the same as always. Some were jerks, others were nerdy, and a few were decent guys. Sam only had her academics and swim team to preoccupy her time. Nothing more. Would it be so bad to like a guy? Her mom and dad asked her during dinner yesterday. Sam simply said she wasn’t interested. And the few good guys were not interested in her. So why date? 

Heading to her AP English class, Sam bumps into someone. Someone..who turned out to be a guy. A very good looking guy. Who smelled good. His brown hair in a messy but sexy style, his plain top the fit perfectly over his biceps, and his eyes were so..blue.

“Sorry, I wasn’t paying any attention to where I was going. I’m new here.”

“Hi, I’m Sam. And it’s fine. I was rushing and not paying attention either.”

“I’m Blake. Nice to meet you, Sam.”

Smiling at her and feeling a blush coming on Sam said, “Yeah, it was nice meeting you too. Do you..um..”

“Need help with where to go”, he finished for her.

“Yeah, do you?”

“Yeah, I can definitely use a beautiful lady’s help”, he said smiling even bigger at her.

Laughing and shaking her head slightly,Sam asked him where he was headed. After sharing his schedule with her. They found out they shared a lot of the same classes. They agree upon meeting up for lunch by the cafeteria’s doors. Not believing her luck, Sam felt excited about lunch with her new friend. AP English, Environmental Science,  and Physics went by faster than usual. Heading to her locker to put her books away, Sam walks to the cafeteria’s doors. There she sees, Blake standing there waiting for her. 

“Hey, Sam.”

“Hey, Blake.”

Smiling they get into line and take their lunches to a small table by the side windows. 

“So, how did your classes go?”, asked Sam.

“Great, except for the super blonde chick that is more fake than silicon boobs.”

Laughing, Sam feel great. So far, Blake seemed to be cool. Especially when he said the most popular girl in school was faker than plastic boobs. Really? Where do you guys come up with these phrases. 

“Yeah, so how was your  classes?”, he asked her.

“They were good as usual. Thank you for asking.”

Smiling up at her, Blake felt great. This girl was more real than a lot of the girls in the whole school. And she doesn’t load her face with all that makeup stuff girls put on. She’s pretty just like she is. Her green eyes twinkle when she’s in a good mood. Sam not knowing what to say next asked him if he’d be interested in joining the swim team this year. 

“Are you on the swim team?”

“Yeah, I’ve been on the swim team since 6th grade. I enjoy being in the water. Plus, I enjoy the competition meets as well. We as a team have placed in the Nationals every year so far.”

“Wow, that is impressive. I think I would like to join. When and where do I sign up?”

“Come tomorrow after school is over to the school’s gym at 3:30. We will be having sign ups and try outs.”

“Awesome count me in!”

Sam couldn’t believe his enthusiasm for joining the swim team. He was super excited it seemed.  

The next day after school was over both Sam and Blake headed over to the school’s gym together. Sitting next to each other on the second bleacher they wait and listen as the coach called out names and had everyone try out in the swimming pool. 

“Blake McCain”, the coach yelled. 

“That’s me. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck, Blake!”

Heading over to the coach to introduce himself,he then started doing laps as the coach insisted. Watching him swim, was amazing. He swam with confidence and grace. Sam was impressed. It wasn’t soon before Emily Sanders walked over with her groupie. 

“So, you meet the new guy, Blake”, Emily asked Sam.

“Yes, I have”, Sam briefly stated. Not really caring what Emily had to say.

“Well, did you know that the reason Blake is here at our school is because he was responsible for his girlfriend’s death at his other school. Though they couldn’t find enough evidence to arrest him. But everyone there thinks he killed her. After all, he was the last person to see her alive. And.. she was seeing another guy. The other guys was Blake’s best friend. So that’s a motive to kill his girlfriend, right?”, Emily asked.

Sam suddenly feeling dizzy, couldn’t believe what she just heard. “You’re lying!”

“Am I?”, Emily asked Sam.

“Yes, you are. You are lying because Blake isn’t interested in you.”, Sam retorted back.

“Well, then I guess to prove that I’m not lying all you would have to do is look it up, or..ask Blake himself”, Emily replied back.

Write all this and what happens next. Does Sam believe what Emily told her? Does she ask Blake straight out? And if so, does he give her an honest reply or make her feel that he’s hiding something. Could Blake really be responsible for his girlfriend’s death?  Write all this and more in your response down below in the comment area using only 2500 words!!

Best of luck!!!

 

 

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