Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She’s found that in Hope, Oklahoma–she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she’s made wonderful friends, and she’s taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she’s flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he’s almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he’s happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she’s been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton is a romantic contemporary romance read. It was simple, fast-paced, and heartfelt. I loved the funny yet fun banters between football coach and English teacher. Both feel an undeniable attraction towards each other. Good looks, intelligence, and a passion for helping others in need made this a sweet story.

Josie is experiencing family issues from her past and present. Her mother is struggling to keep a job and to stay drug free. Her mother is always calling her for help…more like more money for drugs. Yet somehow, Josie finds the courage to not feel bad about giving into her mother’s needs. Then, there’s her stereotyping towards men like Zach. Good looking yet popular men. However, Zach keeps proving to Josie that there’s more depth to him than just his looks.

Overall, I would highly recommend this novel. It had themes of overing coming one’s fears, relationships both romantic and family wise, and friendship. I fell in love with the characters. Their journey was one that melts my heart and makes me swoon.

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiance betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen is historical romance that captures the heart and soul. Here, I got to explore the depths of humanity. How far are we willing to help others? An earl, suffering from war, gets a young boy soldier up on a horse when his fellow friend/soldier points a gun at him. Daring the earl to give up the horse so that his uninjured friend could run away. Yet the earl refuses and saves the boy instead. That day earned him more scars and possible death…Years later, just when everyone assumed him dead, the earl finds his father has died and is now taking up to hiding away from the public. Scarred, damaged, and licking his wounds, the earl is content to leave London’s society. Yet his plans are dashed when he comes back home. The one woman who caught his heart lives and teaches at his home residence. There they banter back and forth until both get their anger, loss, and grief straightened out…friendship builds up and so does the attraction and lust. However, both are too injured to let loose and love. The young female artist and the earl need to forgive, heal, and overcomes their fears.

I loved this novel. Kelly Bowen creates characters that are impossible to ignore. Her scenes are vivid, entertaining, and full of emotion. My heart broke for both protagonists. Their troubles made them three-dimensional. I easily was swept away by their actions, romance, and personalities. Plenty of heat, intrigue, and humor are displayed on the pages. These make it hard to stop reading the book. Overall, I highly recommend Last Night with the Earl to all readers. A discovery of art, passion, and inspiration await in this read.

 

Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Most men can’t handle Hazel. But her best friend Josh isn’t most men. Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s new novel about two people who are definitely not dating…no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren is the best contemporary fiction novel I have read in a long time. At first, looking at the cover, I thought it was be okay. But it proved me wrong on so many levels. The novel was out of this world good. Stunning, engaging, heartfelt, and well-written…It was super easy to get lost within Hazel’s and Josh’s world. Both were so interesting, that I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know more about both of them. Hazel is the typical ordinary girl who felt like a loser due to her lack of trouble. She is always having some kind of embarrassing thing happen to her. I felt a deep connection to Hazel. She’s full of life. Funny, real, and entertaining to be around…while Josh was kind, clever, and charming. Two completely opposite people coming together in unexpected ways. I loved following their story. Overall, I would recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter is a sweet heartfelt tale. A historical novel using a Christian theme. Inside, illegitimate children were being protected by a young woman. The same young woman whose father abandoned her and treats her with disgust. Yet hope remains in sight, and with the help of a new friend, Kit can help the children find a family.  There was also another theme of not judging a book by its cover. A young man, Graham, lived in the rich lifestyle. However, he was nothing like what Kit expected from a man such as himself. Graham displayed nothing but kindness, generosity, and love for the children and Kit. I loved the characters. They made reading this book enjoyable. It was hard not to cheer for Graham and Kit. The illegitimate children also touched my heart. Entertaining, charming, and engaging, this book is a must read for all. I recommend it to all Christian and historical readers.

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 Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelai will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

“Byrne is a force in the genre.”—RT Book Reviews

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne is a fun filled historical adventure. A young man goes after a bad man. This leads him to life in prison and where he meets his friends. A group of other men in jail for lesser crimes banding together like brothers. Ash ends up being beaten to death due to switching a cell with a friend. That friend still lives thanks to Ash for that day. Ash is then found by a young woman. She nurses him back to health. They become best of friends…and their attraction grows. Ash has to keep reminding himself to wait…that his friend is too young for where his heart and thoughts take him. Her deceitful older brother ends up taking Ash to a life of misery and hell. Ash fights his way through it all by thinking of his lady friend. Until one day he does find her again…only to find she’s about to marry an old man. Ash’s anger gets the best of him. He kidnaps her and her lady friend. Taking them both to his ship. Ash forces her to marry him. Only his plans keep falling apart…Ash will have to fight again to save his lady. But he must also find a way to gain back her trust. Only then, can he have her heart…

This novel was funny, heartbreaking, and romantic. The intensity of the attraction from both Ash and his lady is engaging to follow. It’s full of sweet and innocence. Two injured and bullied people coming together to form a long lasting relationship. Only it gets taken from them, and as the years grow, they lose each other. The characters were believable. I loved them. Ash had so much hell to go through, I was surprised he lived as long as he did. Overall, I would highly recommend this pirate historical romance to all.

 

Review: How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You by Tara Eglington

How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You (Aurora Skye #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a perfect first kiss, Aurora’s second kiss lands her boyfriend in the hospital, and her matchmaking strategies start to backfire in this sequel to Tara Eglington’s How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You.

For a girl who shares her name with a princess (aka Sleeping Beauty), Aurora Skye’s romantic life seems fathoms away from a fairy tale. Sure, she’s landed her prince charming, Hayden Paris. And she got her wish—one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for. But instead of happily ever after, their second kiss landed Hayden in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as “Lethal Lips.”

When Aurora’s best friend decides to run for class president and offers up Aurora’s matchmaking service as one of her campaign initiatives, the kissing games begin. Aurora has to convince everyone that her program works—but that might be hard to do when it seems like her own love life might be falling apart.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You by Tara Eglington is a lighthearted read. It’s funny, sweet, and realistic. I loved Aurora’s list for finding the perfect guy. Do not settle for anything else than what you are worthy for-according to Aurora. I wished I had met this teenage girl when I was in high school. She’s cool, caring, and energetic. Aurora has waited a long time for her first kiss and got it. Her second kiss turned out to be a disaster and from there life got messy for her. The trials, friendship, and relationship stuff was fun to follow. It felt like I knew her for years. Out of all the YA contemporary fiction novels that I have read, this one beats them all. The morals, laugh out loud moments, and heart melting scenes made this a special read. Overall, I recommend to readers everywhere.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain is a heartfelt YA novel. I followed a young Latina girl as she went through abandonment from her mom and her so-called best friend, Sydney. The girls relationship felt more one-sided. Miranda was more of a friend to Sydney than Sydney was to her. I was glad that Miranda didn’t have such a toxic friend in her life. It was sad but in a good way. Miranda is a protagonist that was easy to love. She’s bright, kind, and energetic. Her life seemed empty until she fell in love with a guy. Nick is a top boy scout and is headed to Harvard. Miranda is headed to Brown. Their colleges are pretty close…and it’s up to them to see where their stars lay.

Carrie Fountain had me falling in love with her characters. A young girl trying to step out into the light after being hidden away by a friend. Sydney was rude, obnoxious, and overbearing. She kept her friend in the dark, literally. The two girls had one connection other than that, they were complete opposites. I cried, laughed, and cheered as Miranda found herself. She totally blossomed by the ending. Overall, this novel was spectacular.

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

The Air You Breathe

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy and pride–and each woman’s fear that she would be nothing without the other.

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Graça, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Graça quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes–and haunt their memories.

Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship–its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses–and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles delivers a Brazilian historical tale that is rich in culture. It also features two women going against the present life to find something better for themselves. They go away from their community’s expectations and soar higher than they can dream. Music, slavery, and unwavering friendship make this an interesting read. Frances de Pontes Peebles captures the time periods perfectly. Readers, like myself, will travel back in time to World War II era. The writing style is unique and gives a clear voice to these Brazilian women. It is both sad and fun to explore.

Inside this book, I got to watch as two women went on to begin their own future. They quickly became best of friends with a talent in the music industry. This road leads to a roller-coaster of jealousy, love, and loss. Both need the other one for support. To them, it was like they couldn’t operate well, unless they were together. However, despite their need for each other, they also have this push and pull relationship. Each gave their support to the other one yet at times they were competitive and cruel. The Air You Breathe is an emotionally engaging story. It is easy to get swept into the characters’ lives. Overall, I recommend this women’s fiction novel to others.

 

Review: Judy Moody (Mood Martian) by Megan McDonald

Mood Martian (Judy Moody #12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Backwards Day, so Judy Moody double-dares herself to become Queen of the Good Mood for one whole week. Can she do it?

Will the real Judy Moody please stand up? In honor of Backwards Day, Judy Moody decides to turn that frown upside down, make lemonade out of lemons, and be nice to stinky little brothers. In fact, Judy becomes a NOT moody, cool-as-a-cucumber neat freak for one whole entire day. But when her combed hair, matching outfits, and good moods hang around for days after, her friends begin to worry. Could this smiley Judy be an impostor?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Judy Moody: Mood Martian by Megan McDonald is the best novel yet. In this tale, I got to watch Judy Moody show a different side to herself than her usual self. In fact, her family started to think she wasn’t really Judy…at all. The change was pleasant and welcoming.

Judy Moody is a young girl who has a wild imagination and a good heart. She wants to be good, but her plans always went wrong. There was always a big oops, somewhere if not everywhere she went.

I was surprised by how much Judy changed and grew up. Her personality is still creative as ever. I laughed a lot. Her and Stink will always be my favorite two characters in this series.

Judy Moody: Mood Martian is about Judy trying not to be her usual Moody self. Readers familiar with the series all know how moody Judy Moody can get at times. Her ways of accomplishing not being moody was interesting! I definitely recommend this book story to all. Judy did make a lot of boo boos as usual, but she somehow ended up at the top. I liked the themes and the new adventure presented. The illustrations were great. They went well with each chapter. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

House of Belonging by Andrea Thome is so much more than it appears. I thought it was about a woman or women overcoming an obstacle and moving forward. Yes, it was about that. But it had more depth and emotion than I knew. The journey that each character went through to get to where they ended up was heartfelt. I could not be happier. They were so realistic. I felt as if I lived right beside them for years. Sad, funny, and charming-Andrea Thome hooked me. I couldn’t stop reading. One chapter turned into several and then I was finishing the whole book. Love, new beginnings, and a promising future were shown here. I enjoyed it. Overall, I would recommend this inspirational and heart warming tale to fans of Hallmark, Debbie Macomber, and Susan Mallery.

 

Review: Amir’s Big Catch by Shelia Jones and Charis Haines

Amir's Big Catch

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Amir lives by a lake and his dream is to catch a fish–but he can’t do it on his own! Join Amir in this adventure as he meets some friends who can help him along the way.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Amir’s Big Catch teaches children about fishing. The pages are filled with beautiful illustrations that show each tool required for Amir’s fishing day. There’s the tackle box, fishing rod, bobber, worm, and hook. The other character is the fish whom Amir catches. I enjoyed this nature filled story. It was cute. I liked how friendly the environment was. Fun, entertaining, and detailed this children’s tale is a delight to read.

Shelia Jones and Charis Haines created an educational catch and release book. Fishing is one popular old time pleasure that has not died out yet. The youth are being taught how to fish here. How the process of working with the fishing tools can help one catch a fish. Amir catches a fish and makes a new friend that day.

 

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: Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lee Hollis begins a delightful new series in which Poppy Harmon and her friends find that life after retirement can be much busier—and deadlier—than any of them ever anticipated . . .

When Poppy goes from complacent retiree to penniless widow in a matter of weeks, the idea of spending her golden years as the biggest charity case in Palm Springs renders her speechless. With no real skills and nothing left to lose, Poppy uses her obsession with true crime shows to start a career as a private eye . . .

But after opening the Desert Flowers Detective Agency with help from her two best friends, Violet and Iris, Poppy realizes that age brings wisdom, not business—until she convinces her daughter’s handsome boyfriend, Matt, to pose as the face of the agency. It’s not long before Matt’s irresistible act snags a client desperate to retrieve priceless jewelry burglarized from an aging actress at the Palm Leaf Retirement Village. Or before Poppy stumbles upon the bloodied body of the victim’s arch rival . . .

In a flash, Poppy’s innocent detective gig is upstaged by a dangerous murder investigation riddled with slimy suspects and unspeakable scandal. As she and her team uncover the truth, Poppy must confront the secrets about her late husband’s past and swiftly catch a killer lurking around the retirement community—even if it means turning her world upside down all over again. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is an interesting twist to a new mystery series. It’s similar to Miss Fisher and Murder She Wrote. I love murder mysteries with a strong woman sleuth. That’s exactly what I found here. Poppy Harmon is the new detective lady in town and she’s definitely worth following in this book.

The book cover led me thinking that Poppy Harmon was in her tense ties when she is in fact, in her 60’s. I can picture Poppy dressing like the woman pictured on the cover except for the heels…considering her age.

Poppy Harmon is a retired actress left with no money. She then works on finding an income and the choice she makes will make readers laugh out loud. Poppy decided to run her own detective agency with a little help from friends and her daughter’s boyfriend. Like most women sleuth just beginning their epic journey, Poppy lands herself in trouble. Mayhem, murder, and humor are displayed across these entertaining pages.

Overall, I would recommend this new series to all readers. There is plenty of action, intrigue, and peril moments that adds to the suspense of the plot. Fast-paced with exciting characters, Lee Hollis sucked me into her world of fiction. 

 

Review: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From Barbara Delinsky, the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends—and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made—though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself—or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

From a multimillion-selling master of women’s fiction, Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky is a fast paced plot. The story is about a family’s life that gets turned upside down when they loose their only daughter. A five-year-old girl, dead on impact of another car hitting them. The mother was driving the car. Since then, life has beennothing but hell for the parents. A divorce, separation, guilt, shame, and grief immediately consumed me. I felt an instant sympathy for the family, especially the mother. It was intense. Sad, horrifying, and just one big emotionally charged journey. What started out as a sad and dark road, soon proved to hold some hope and light for this couple. I loved how realistic and how I was shown what was happening.

The situations were not easy but I could easily see all of this happening in real life. It’s difficult to lose a loved one, especially one that was so young and in the mother’s care at the time…the physical and emotional trauma would be hard. Yet Barbara Delinsky showed that there is always a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. We may lose ourselves but not all is lost. There is hope for a future…overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ever since her best friend died six months ago, Laura Reihl has vowed to make each day count. And that means she should probably break off her relationship with Rudy. They’ve been together for so many years, and his friendship means the world to her. But she knows friendship doesn’t come close to the fireworks of true love, and she’s not really feeling the fireworks.

So when Savilla’s widower, Allen, asks her to help him take care of the baby Savilla left behind, Laura jumps at the chance. Maybe the change of scenery will help her gain perspective on her relationship with Rudy. And she’d do anything to help Allen out—he’s always been a good friend to her, and he’s Rudy’s best friend as well.

When she arrives at Allen’s house, though, she finds a man she barely recognizes. Allen is distraught over his wife’s death, blaming himself for not taking her to the doctor soon enough.

As Laura helps Allen work through his grief, she remembers just how easy he is to talk to. And she discovers an attraction she’s never felt with Rudy. She can’t be falling for Allen, can she? It would be a betrayal to the two people she’s care most about, Savilla and Rudy. But if she denies her feelings, is she betraying herself?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston is a sweet, engaging, and heartfelt tale. An Amish journey that tugs at my heart strings. Amy Clipston knows how to engage readers, like me, into her world of fiction. I was in love with this story. It was so easy to relate to the protagonists that I couldn’t stop reading it. Their journey towards their future together was fun to follow.

Currently, Laura is attached to a young Amish man who would make any Amish woman happy. But she’s not feeling the sparks towards him at all. But she does feel them towards a man whom she should not be feelings these things with at all. She keeps telling herself and her boyfriend that she’s helping a friend in need. But Laura finds herself so deeply interested in her friend that she feels confused. Should love have instant sparks?

Allen lost his his wife and has a young baby to take care of…but when help arrives in the form of Laura, he cannot resist innsyaing yes. He needs all the help he can receive. However, as they spend more time together, their friendship starts to blossom in ways he did not expect.

A journey of discovery, love, and friendship are explored here. Room on the Porch Swing is the most engaging Christian piece of fiction that I have read. I loved the characters. Their stories are like reality. There will be loss, grief, and happiness mixed in together. Overall, I highly recommend this new tale to all.

Review: It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey is one of a kind. This historical romance shows a man who goes about being a rake all his life is actually more of a gentleman underneath all that cockiness. He’s confident, bold, and everything a woman wants in her lifetime partner. His bachelor ways are soon coming to an end.

The Duke, aka Rath, is made a guardian of a young woman of his age. He didn’t want to be her guardian of free will. But he felt, it was his destiny towards making up for his terrible ways. A way to show his father and family friend tha he can be the Duke that wanted him to be. No more scandalous plans…until, he meets his ward. All thoughts of propriety gone…thoughts of having her as his…keep him troubled.

Marlena is a young woman who is different than her peers. She adds refreshment where past heroines are concerned. I couldn’t help but to love her personality and felt thankful that the writer created such a fun character. Strong, independent, and a bit scandalous, Marlena writes scheming stories on the Rakes of St. James. Little does she know, her life is about to be turned upside down when the very rake comes into her life, as her guardian. Of all things impossible, Marlena finds herself growing attached and more attracted to her guardian than she has proper rights to…plus, her secret of writing about him and his friends will surely mean nothing
can come between them, right?

Amelia Grey has wonderfully captured my full attention. This new title, was everything I had hoped for in a good read. It went beyond my expectations. Sizzling sparks, chemistry, and scandal all wrapped in one delicious piece. Plenty of action to enjoy, as well as mystery. Overall, I highly recommend It’s All About the Duke to all readers. Looking for a romance that sucks you into the time period and keeps you begging for more….then, this is it!

 

Review: Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No more cheating . . .

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon is a deadly chase for a woman sleuth, Tallie. Tallie’s best friend is dating a man that seems too good to be true. Just when they should be heading out for a date, a wife comes in cursing at Tallie’s bff. Gina swore to kill her latest if he does not stay away from her. Turns out that a lot of people overheard. Next thing they know, he ends up dead in Gina’s place. From there Gina is a top suspect. But Tallie knows her friend did not do it. That left questions of who did it and why he or she would frame Gina.

Tallie is a strong woman dependent woman who left her previous ex. Both she and her friend Gina start dating again. Only Gina’s date seems to be more than what he appears to be. Tallie is dating a decent man, Max. Max is easy to love. He is perfect for Tallie. Max is a complete gentleman around Tallie and makes her happy. Tallie works for her family’s funeral home yet she has a thing for solving a crime and getting into deadly situations. The police, like Burton do not want to see Tallie in a long time. She’s always getting herself into trouble. Her boyfriend, Max, agrees. This made me laugh.

Tallie wants everyone she cares about to be happy and safe. Yet it appears all she gets is yelled at for placing herself into danger. She swears she won’t get involved again…but usually, when  that is said, it seems trouble will always find Tallie no matter what she says. I can already feel it brewing.

Gorunds for Remorse was fun, addictive, and charming. It had enough suspense to keep me guessing. The characters were quirky and realistic. I felt like I was there and could see these things happening for real. Trouble, mischief, and death can be found inside this book. I was thoroughly entertained. The promise of another book featuring Tallie, Gina, and Max is exciting. I cannot wait to read the next grand adventure. Misty Simon has caught my full attention and will be keeping it glued for her next book in this, A Tallie Graver Mystery, series.

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: 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 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: 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: Murder Will Speak (book 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1880s Chicago, Shakespearean actress turned Pinkerton detective Lilly Long must play the part of a soiled dove to find a missing friend . . .

As one of a handful of female operatives employed by legendary crime fighter Allan Pinkerton, Lilly draws on her theatrical training to go undercover in situations inaccessible to male detectives–much to the discomfort of her partner, Cade McShane. Their latest case takes them to the rough and rowdy bordellos that line Hell’s Half Acre in Fort Worth, Texas–truly the Wild West. By virtue of her gender, only Lilly can infiltrate the disreputable dens of iniquity that trade in flesh and cater to vices that would make even a Pinkerton blush.

This time the case is deeply personal. Lilly’s friend, Nora Nash, who traveled to Fort Worth as a
mail-order bride, has instead been forced into prostitution. After a desperate call for help, Nora has gone missing. To find her, Lilly must revamp herself as a vamp and expose a seamy underworld of unspeakable secrets where anything goes. But she and Cade soon discover firsthand that lives are cheap in Hell’s Half Acre–including their own . . .

Praise for Penny Richards and An Untimely Frost

“A strong heroine and the intriguing Pinkertons make this historical mystery a cozy way to spend a weekend. Lilly Long’s independence and stubborn spirit will immediately endear her to many readers.”
–RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)

“Penny Richards has created a fascinating heroine, a great mystery,
and an exceptional play on history.”
–New York Times bestselling author, Heather Graham

 

 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Murder Will Speak by Penny Richardson is an exciting adventure in the Wild West. The main characters, Lily Long and Cade McShane are fun to follow. There growing interest in each other peaks my curiosity as well as they deadly situations they put themselves into…

Lily seems determined to help women like herself. In doing that she must go undercover to solve the mystery. Yet, this one mystery will take everything she has. Danger, risks, and love are themes found on these pages. Lily likes Cade. Cade is her detective partner. He is just as interested in her as she is in him. Makes for an interesting duo. Lily finds herself in situations that have her rethinking her career as a female detective. If it weren’t for her partner Cade, Lily might not fully be the same.

The writer has captured the time period and mannerisms down perfectly. I felt like I was transported in time. Intriguing, fun, and engaging, I enjoyed reading this novel. Overall, I highly recommend Murder Will Speak to all readers.

Review: The Perfect Hope (book 3)

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers – Beckett, Ryder, and Owen – as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out – with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be – except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome – and embarrassing – appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hot, sexy, and sweet!

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts was exactly that. It felt so real and believable. The deeper I got into the story, the more I wanted to keep reading it. The beginning and middle sort of felt slow/steady that I didn’t realize how fast the ending got u till I was done. The characters are out of this world charming. I love them all. Feisty, unpredictable, and entertaining to follow. Ryder and his woman were my favorite couple featured in this whole series. Overall, I recommend this sexy romance to all.

Review: The Last Boyfriend (book 2)

Synopsis:

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist – and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers give him grief for his compulsive list making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery MacTavish….

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation — and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of BoonsBoro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected — and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last….

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts is the next book in this great series. This part continues where the other left off. I followed Avery and Owen as they took their relationship further. Only it feels like their relationship is being stretched into three books. I love the story and the characters; however, I would have preferred if their story was told in one book. Owen knows exactly what he wants. Avery seems to be holding out and that frustrates me like crazy. The question I kept asking is why. The plot is sweet, engaging, and fun to read. But it’s their relationship that isn’t going at the speed I’d wish. Other than that is still a good read that I recommend to others. Romantic, family orientated, and tasteful.

Review: The Next Always (book 1)

Synopsis:

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Always by Nora Roberts is a sweet heartfelt story. Her characters feel real. Beckett is remodeling an older building into a hotel. He’s very attracted to a single mother of three boys, Clare. Clare is just as attracted to Beckett. Hope, new beginnings, and second chances at a happily ever after are major themes of this book. It is entertaining. It engages me further into the characters’ lives. Overall, I would recommend this romantic book to all.

Review: Murder in an Irish Churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, has a new garda–and her first case is a grave matter indeed . . .

It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant.

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard–aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin–Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

Rating: 4-.5-stars

Review:

Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O’Connor is the third installment to this enjoyable cozy mystery series. Humor, family drama, and an Irish heritage are woven into this book. Siobhán is the leading protagonist and sleuthing detective. I really like her personality. She’s reliable and well-known for solving crimes. This time, an unknown person ends up dead in the church yard. No one knows who he is. Siobhán gets called in by the priest to check it out. She hasn’t even started her new career officially and yet Father wants her to head this murder case. Father is also another likable character. Easy to love him. Carlene O’Connor heats up the story as Siobhán takes the case. I was hooked. The plot is intriguing and the who done it theme kept going through my mind until the mystery was solved. I had to keep reading! It was fun getting lost within this third novel. I would love to see more of these wonderful characters…overall, I highly recommend this mystery to all readers.

Review: The Man He Never Was

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Rubart will leave readers inspired . . .” –Publishers Weekly STARRED review for The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on–with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside–like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury–and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us–and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart is an interesting twist to the classic, Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. Except in this case, the bad part of the main protagonist disappears completely. Like it was never there. Tore Daniels has had an awful temper. He has a wonderful family but sometimes his temper could be really bad…Toren goes missing. His family believes he’s dead until he suddenly pops up at the doorstep of their house. That’s where it gets really weird. Where was he, how did he go missing, and what happened to him while he was gone? These questions kept playing over and over again. His wife tries to push his buttons to see his temper fly but somehow Toren seems to hold it in way better than he ever did. His wife wonders who is this man…I found that a bit funny. The mystery is solved and it was a sweet ending. I loved these characters. There is a lot of inspirational messages on marriage, love, hope, and faith included in this book. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Review: Ghost Night (book 2)

Synopsis:

A slasher movie turns real when two young actors are brutally murdered on a remote island film set. Their severed heads and arms are posed in macabre homage to a nineteenth-century pirate massacre.

Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren is drawn back to South Bimini by a documentary being made about the storied region. Filmmaker Sean O’Hara aches to see how the unsolved crime haunts her…and Sean knows more than a little about ghosts.

Lured by visions of a spectral figurehead, Vanessa discovers authentic pirate treasures that only deepen the mystery. Are the murders the work of modern-day marauders, the Bermuda Triangle or a deadly paranormal echo of the island’s violent history? As Vanessa and Sean grow closer, the killer prepares to resume the slaughter…unless the dead can intervene.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ghost Night by Heather Graham is at it again! Her cast of characters from the previous book are meet once more in this second installment. I love the O’Haras and their significant others. Hearing and seeing ghosts adds to the fun and mystery. This time, however, is Sean O’Hara and ghost Bartholomew’s turn at adventure and maybe, romance. A woman comes seeking Sean’s help. She once acted for a film until people were murdered. Then, more people were being killed. Sean isn’t convinced but with his sister, uncle, best friends, and a ghost, he can’t ignore the quest. History there seems to be nothing but dark, haunting, and deadly. I felt shivers down my spine. The intensity of the deadly situation kept building up with every page. It was thrilling. The cast of new characters are enjoyable to follow. A new crime to solve and new ghosts to meet. Heather Graham has just proved to be the best writer. Overall, I recommend this book to all.

Review: The Sea Before Us

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin takes me back to the rush of World War II. Dorthy is a beautiful yet smart woman. Her work helps the war effort in more ways than most imagine. She meets Wyatt. A soldier missing his family. Together, Dorothy and Wyatt find hope and courage to get through the rough times ahead. What they never thought would happen is the love they find for each other. Somehow, each character gives the other one exactly what they needed. Themes of friendship, love, hope and new beginnings can be felt throughout this engaging read. I couldn’t stop reading it. Both characters risks their hearts and lives to help win the war. Sarah Sundin created memorable characters in a time period that still haunts many of us, today. Heartfelt and intriguing, I highly recommend this historical romance to all.

Review: Phoebe’s Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an enlightening Quaker journey. I love historical novels that take me back in time and hold me captive. The main cast of characters were interesting. They felt three-dimensional. The Quaker language and cultural is captured on every page. Phoebe wanting a different life than the one she has on land leaves for a life at sea. Until she leaves home, Phoebe does not realize just how much being on land means to her. Marrying the sea captain brings a whole new adventure to her life. Quipped with a journal from her great-grandmother, Phoebe learns a lot. Phoebe is wanting an adventure. That is exactly what she gets. Matthew is another main character that was easy to like. He’s a good man. Phoebe’s Light is inspiring in many ways especially, to women. Secrets, murder, and an emotional rollercoaster ride…all inside this intriguing story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Review: Fully Ignited (Boston Fire)

Synopsis:

When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Fully Ignited: Boston Fire by Shannon Stacey is a smoking hot read. It engages and pulls at the heart strings. Once a playboy, Scott is now looking for his happily ever after. Yet when he found a woman, he soon realized he made a mistake. Scott then goes on a hiatus from dating women. Thinking his choices in women is bad, Scott focuses on his family life and work. But that all goes to hell, when a sexy lady firefighter comes in to take over for one of their fallen members. Scott instantly takes to the beautiful woman before him. But being working partners their relationship is doomed from the start.

Jamie has fought her way through life proving she is just as good as the men. Many of them do not believe that she has what it takes. Her determination and hard work only makes the men like her more. Jamie has never had to watch herself around men more than she has had to when Scott is around her. He makes her want to break all the rules. He oozes sex. Makes her want things she cannot have…but avoiding temptation could prove to be difficult. Working day in and day out with Scott makes it impossible. Something about him makes Jamie fall harder for the man.

Fully Ignited is a temptation in itself. Hot, intense, and sweet. I love the characters. Their flaws make them real. Their courage for what they do is amazing. The reality of their risks is seen on every page. Family life, sexism, and the younger man loving an older woman are just a few themes featured in this contemporary tale. I recommend it to others.

Review: The Undercover Billionaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Tate Brothers were raised to protect what is theirs…

Navy SEAL Wolf Tate is on a mission of vengeance. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to infiltrate the lair of his arms-dealing enemy—and rescue the mother he never knew. To do this, he’ll need more than his father’s fortunes or his brothers-in-arms. He must find a way to kidnap his enemy’s daughter for leverage. There’s just one problem: She is also one of Wolf’s closest friends—and the only woman he’s ever loved…

For years, Olivia de Santis has been waiting for Wolf to take her in his arms and make her dreams come true. But she never imagined that he’d sneak into her bedroom one night…and take her as his hostage. Olivia knows she should resist him—and stay loyal to her own family. But how can she deny the burning justice of Wolf’s mission, and the blazing desire in his eyes—even if giving into the heat of the moment can put her in grave danger?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Undercover Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden is sexy, hot, and dangerous. The plot takes readers, like myself deep into their lives. Their fears, anger, and love are felt from all angles. A game of chess with the bad guys could prove to be the undoing of one couple. A woman who can’t resist the sexy seal who kidnaps her and the man who loves his captive fiercely. The stakes are high and there is so much to lose. Time and teamwork will help them…but will it be enough? Choices have to be made…

Jackie Ashenden sucks me into her world of fiction. I am in love. Engaging characters, fun yet irresistible banters, and danger on every page…everything I need. This book is suspenseful and intense. The further I went in, the more pressure the characters felt. This is one romantic suspense title, I will recommend to readers worldwide.

Review: A Vicarage Reunion

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District… where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters…

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents.

Life as a singleton thirty something living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates. She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again.

New challenges face them as they start over–and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt is a heartfelt women’s fiction story. Romance, marriage, miscarriage and family life are put to the test. A journey that sucked me in from the first page. A young married couple have been suffering silently for a long while. Until one day, the wife decides she can’t take it anymore. Losing their baby, was the last straw for Esther. Esther is a daughter of a vicar. She knew her faith should be stronger but she felt broken, sad, and unhappy. Esther decided to leave her good husband Will. Only fate has plans that neither adult saw coming. Will loves his wife and alway will love her. He felt sad, broken, and unhappy that she left him. Worried about what he did to make her leave, Will goes about trying to woo his wife back into his arms.

It was so easy to like the characters. Relating to the married couple was like breathing in air. Their personalities made them believable. Heartache, fear, and their little flaws make way for a path of discovery, renewal, and acceptance. Both Esther and Will have a lot to figure out before they can get their lives back in-order.

Overall, A Vicarage Reunion, is sweet, thoughtful, and deep. I enjoyed following the protagonists as they fell and rose. Their dilemmas were understandable. The story was clean, well-developed, and engaging. I highly recommend this title to all readers.

Review: It Takes a Coven

Synopsis:

There’s a new witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts . . .

When Lee Barrett joins a former student’s bridal party as maid of honor, she expects cake tastings and dress fittings. But wedding planning becomes more peculiar than Lee’s scrying talents could ever predict. There’s a magical baker, a best man with a checkered past, and a talking crow named Poe as the ring bearer. There’s also a kindly old man dead under his apple tree—one of a series of unexplained deaths hanging over the Wiccan community . . .

With witches dropping dead before they even come out of the proverbial broom closet, Lee’s best friend, River, fears she might have somehow unleashed a terrible curse on the city. Now, aided by Poe and her clairvoyant cat, Lee sets out to investigate. Are lives being claimed by vengeful supernatural forces—or by something more shocking? She soon discovers, casting light on the wicked truth can be one killer commitment . . .

Praise for the Witch City Mysteries

“This rewarding paranormal cozy series debut will have Victoria Laurie fans lining up to follow.” —Library Journal on Caught Dead Handed

“Perfectly relaxing and readable.” —Kirkus Reviews on Look Both Ways

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It Takes a Coven by Carol J. Perry is a bewitching read. I was enchanted. For fans of paranormal mysteries and Salem witches…this, is a must read. I have not read any previous novel by Carol J. Perry but now, I want to read them all. Her writing is superb. The characters felt so real. I felt like I spent my life living there where Lee and the others live. The cat and talking crow also made this particular book interesting. There’s murder, mayhem, and romance all in this one stunning title.

Inside, It Takes a Coven, I got to meet Lee Barrett. She is smart like Nancy Drew and well-liked. Her background makes her more three-dimensional as a character. I could easily be friends with this lady. This protagonist, reminded me of Julia from Agatha Frost’s cozy mystery series. She never gives up trying to figure out what is happening to the people she knows. Also, both sleuths share many common traits. The personality of Lee’s made her my favorite.

Other characters that I enjoyed meeting were Lee’s Aunt Ibby, her best friend River, and her romantic interest, Pete. Pete is a detective on the police force. He and Lee make a wonderful couple. Aunt Ibby is an interesting woman who raised Lee into the woman she has become. River is a witch. This cast of characters offered a variety of delightful and charming people. I was definitely kept on my toes with this book.

Carol J. Perry’s latest book is about a group of Salem witches being targeted by either a curse or someone who wants them dead. Some witches do end up dead, and I felt so sad for their loss. I wasn’t sure what was happening until all the prices came together. There were some very peculiar and mysterious stuff that happened that I still wonder about…overall, I loved reading this and would highly recommend it to all. I can’t wait to read this next novel in this exciting series.

Review: Darkest Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER

Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE

Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…

When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Darkest Night by Tara Thomas is a sexy and thrilling romantic suspense novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this writer. I have never read any of her previous books. But now, I can say that I will be reading every book she writes! I was entertained from the first page. Dark, edgy, and hot…all of the right combinations to make me want to read this.

The characters were different as the day is to night. Tilly is super smart, works hard, and pays her own way. After her parents died, she has had no one else to care about or care about her. Until, bad things start happening to her. And her past crush, now a grown man, walks back into her life. Complicated, messy, and fun. Tilly struggles with the events as much as accepting that Keaton has returned and he still cares. Someone is after her and Keaton’s family. The question why lingers…

Keaton is one of three brothers. Their father created a business empire that is successful. The sons now run it. Except, Keaton is the last son dragging his heels into the family business. Keaton is forced to spend the summer with a family friend’s daughter. A woman whom he wants nothing to do with…and as the story unravels, neither do I. Keaton finds his past crush and best friend, Tilly, at a gentleman’s bar. There, things just got complex for them both.

Darkest Night is full of surprises. Tara Thomas kept me on my toes. Death keeps happening, and it is only time before disaster really hits them all.

I loved the suspense. I still have no idea who is behind it all of the dark stuff. But there’s former crushes, family secrets, and family friends who are anything but friendly. Blackmail, threats, and arrests happen here, too. Exciting and full of action. Darkest Night is a must read for all.

Review: Maybe This Tme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Maybe This Time is the next heartwarming contemporary romance from Nicole McLaughlin in her Whiskey and Weddings series.

Jen Mackenzie has been knocked down more than a few times, but she always gets up and makes sure she has the last word. It’s the reason she now considers herself equal parts self-sufficient and free-spirit. But since losing her job and trying to help her mother beat cancer, real life—and her occasional careless choices—have begun to catch up with her. Her one saving grace: The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s go-to wedding venue. The only catch: One of the owners, TJ Laughlin, happens to be the one man who somehow manages to make Jen feel inadequate.

TJ has secretly had a thing for Jen since high school. Now, as her new boss, it’s a daily struggle between revealing his feelings and wringing her beautiful neck. Only one thing is for certain: he can’t stand idly by and watch the woman he cares for struggle. She may be convinced that accepting TJ’s help is a weakness. But all he sees in Jen is beauty and strength, inside and out. As things finally heat up between them, can TJ find a way to convince Jen that love is about give and take—and having it all, together?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin is sweet contemporary romance. Two young adults with completely different background have always crushed on each other. Turns out, that all this time, they still love one another. But neither one knew what the other was dealing with as they were teens.

TJ comes from a wealthy rich lifestyle. Yet, he’s super smart, hardworking, and a gentleman, TJ isn’t anything like his other male peers. He has always stuck up for Jen. Harbored a secret crush on her ever since they shared their first school project together. TJ had a mother who still lives with his jerk of a father. A father who sleeps with other men’s wives and thinks nothing of it. TJ’s mom loves him though. Jen is opposite of him in background and personality.

Jen can be super confident like TJ. Except that when it comes to TJ and his kind, she loses her confidence. Jen sees herself as this woman who still can’t control her life, is dirt poor, and can’t do anything right. Yet she handles her bar tending well. She can also, handle wedding clients at the Stag for her bosses. TJ is one them. Jen can sing and loves theater. Her personality is wonderful. Colorful at times when she’s feeling angry or hurt. But overall, she’s a strong independent woman who can do anything. Jen’s mom is going through cancer again…and Jen thinks her mom is going through medicine therapy to get well…only she’s not.

Maybe This Time is exactly as it presents itself. Maybe, the characters will finally get together forever. And maybe they can find their happiness. Love, work, and family are hardships they both share. Together, they can get through anything, if they let themselves. I laughed and cried while reading this book. Nicole McLaughlin writes well. I fell fast for the characters. Colorful, bright, and what an exciting journey! Overall, I recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Review: Smooth-Talking Cowboy

Synopsis

Welcome to Gold Valley, Oregon, where a rough-and-tumble rancher and the girl next door are about to learn that opposites attract

Olivia Logan has a plan: win back her ex by making him see what he’s missing. But first she needs to find a man who’s willing to play along. With his laid-back cowboy charm and knack for getting under her skin, Luke Hollister is an unlikely hero—but he wants her help convincing her father to sell him land, which means he needs her as much as she needs him.

Luke likes his life—and his women—uncomplicated. So why does good girl Olivia heat his blood like no one else? She’s always been off-limits, but the more time they spend as Gold Valley’s hottest new “couple,” the more real it’s starting to feel. Luke was supposed to help her win back another man…not keep her in his arms. But now that he has her there, he’s not sure he’ll ever let go.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Smooth-Talking Cowboy by Maisey Yates is a sexy cowboy romance. I was enticed with the bad boy image that one particular cowboy had. Yet inside, he was a good man. He worked hard and played hard. Luke has always wanted one person…Olivia. Yet she’s the one person he can’t have. He feels underserving of her. His life is dark and empty. There’s nothing he can give her or so he thought…

Olivia is this straight laced kind of woman. Or so I originally thought. She carries her herself in a way that scares off most. So stiff like. But inside, she’s as wild as that sexy cowboy, Luke. Luke ignites a passion in her. Olivia always that Bennett was the one. But he never lit her up the way Luke does. One touch, one kiss, and that attitude has Olivia feelings things she shouldn’t. She wants Luke. Her barriers are being broken and she’s not sure what to do. All she knows is what Luke makes her feel…

Smooth-Talking Cowboy is exactly that. Luke knows how to smooth talk any woman but Olivia. She heats his blood up in ways no other woman has. Olivia is different. His words only frustrate her not smooth her over…yet this cowboy ends up smoothing his way into her heart. Maisey Yates made me fall in love with this novel of hers. I wanted to keep these characters. I want to hear about what comes next for them. They were that good. I enjoyed their banters and their fights. I love their chemistry too. Hot and instant. Overall, this was one addictive romance title. I recommend it to all.

Review: Words from the Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ivy Yoder thought she had found the man she would marry, but she returns to her Amish community of Birch Creek with a broken heart. When a family friend asks for her help in cleaning out an attic, she’s grateful for the chance to get her mind off the betrayal.

Noah Schlabach is an Amish auctioneer and is eager to get into his aunt’s attic in search of lost treasures. He loves learning about the past, and he has created a thriving auction business for himself. When he meets Ivy, he suspects his aunt is trying to set them up, but all of that is forgotten when they come across a box of old love letters.

While Noah is more interested in potential auction items than love letters, Ivy is swept up in the story of the young couple. She’s also fighting her growing feelings for Noah—she can’t risk her heart again. But if there is one thing these young Amish people learn from the past, it’s that they must take hold of the gifts of today. With a little help from the letters, and a lot of help from God, Noah and Ivy begin to live in the present, full of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is a sweet and heartfelt journey. Two young Amish adults must learn what their hearts wants and where God leads them. Heartbreak is tough but builds the character. Somethings are meant and some are not mean to be. But unless they try, they won’t know.

Ivy loved another Amish man. Yet her love wasn’t returned. Ivy felt broken. Her heart shattered. Her first love destroyed her hope for a chance at love. But God has plans for her. However, she needs to listen with both her mind and her heart.

Noah is an interesting young Amish man. He is all about finding things to auction. Auctions business is what Noah does well. He soon has Ivy helping with auction stuff, and the more time they spend together the harder it is for him to not like her. Feelings grow along with faith and respect.

Kathleen Fuller has peaked my interest with this tale from the beginning. Her characters are realistic and easy to like. I felt like I was tagging along with them. Their troubles soon grow complex but not all things in life are easy. Ivy has to reopen her heart and that’s the toughest thing to do after having it broken…overall, I recommend this Amish novel to all.

Review: Luckiest Cowboy of All

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A secret baby brings a second chance for love. Carlene Varner’s homecoming isn’t exactly going according to plan. She thought she’d have some time to adjust before introducing her daughter to Jace Dawson, the father her little girl has never known. Instead, within days of her arrival, her house burns down and she and Tilly have no choice but to move in with the sexy cowboy himself at the Prairie Rose ranch. Now the whole Dawson clan-heck, the whole town of Happy-is all up in their business.

Jace has dealt with stubborn bulls and bucking broncos-but being a dad? He is so not ready for this… Yet the more time he spends with Carlene and little Tilly, the harder it is to imagine life without them. Now he just has to convince Carlene that he’s the real deal-and hope that this time she’s here to stay.

More in the Happy, Texas, series by Carolyn Brown: Toughest Cowboy in Texas Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Luckiest Cowboy of All by Carolyn Brown is an engaging romance. I enjoyed the 8-year-old daughter the most. Her language and attitude is adorable! I can only imagine what her parents will go through when she’s a teen…going to be hell. The main protagonists such as the cowboy and his past high school sweetheart were likable not not as much as their daughter was. These two had chemistry but it was like they were dragging their feet too much for me to really love them as much as I did Tilly.

The title is exactly what this story is about. A cowboy who gets lucky. He finds out his love is back in town, they still have the sparks, and that he is now, a father of an eight year old girl. Talk about surprises…Jace couldn’t believe it when he saw Tilley and found out her age. After that it was like he was being sucker punched in the gut.

Carlene loved Jace when they were together. They spent one amazing yet reckless night and it changed her life forever. Her parents moved, she became pregnant and had Tilley. Carlene raised Tilley by herself and never told Jace. Even though he had every right to know…

Now, as fate has it they both are brought together in more ways than one…

The words from Tilley’ mouth made me laugh so hard, it was amazing. I loved it!

Overall, this contemporary romance is a must read. Humor, action, and second chances were enticing in this tale. There was a big emphasis on family in this book. I enjoyed the other cast of smaller characters. They too, made this a sweet journey.

Review: One More Promise

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Dylan Anders is making amends
…to his family
…to the public
…to the woman who just walked into his life

Paige Walters must learn to forgive
…her busy father
…her bossy sister
…and the wonderful man she horribly misjudged

Ambitious Paige Walters is ecstatic when she’s hired to recruit musicians for a literacy campaign—it’s her chance to prove she’s got the chops to make it in the family business. When Dylan steps in, she immediately dislikes him and vows not to let the fallen idol screw it up. But as the work brings Paige and Dylan closer together, their attraction grows…and so do their challenges…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One More Promise by Samantha Chase is a promising romance. Samantha Chase has cleverly created an atmosphere that appeals to all appeal people of different backgrounds. Whether one comes a conservative or rich family, the characters are nothing like their parents. They mess up a lot. But those mistakes make them who they are in the end…it was emotionally charged.

Here, I got to meet a sexy as hell rockstar who just got out of rehab. He drank so much he got into an accident. No one died. Yet, Dylan feels so guilty. Then, there’s a deep secret about his life that shocked me completely. With him coming from a good family, I just couldn’t believe it…but it felt believable. I can see how he got away with it for so long. And despite his issue with that secret, he still became a successful hero aka man. One that everyone could be proud of…

Paige Walters comes from a wealthy conservative family. She’s got the boho librarian style down right. Her passion about reading made me love her. Plus, she has a heart of gold. Works hard, goes all out to help others, and is an intense woman. She takes her job seriously…and her family doesn’t. Her dad underestimates her. He lets her do all the hard work then steals the spotlight from her. Yet, he never acknowledges her hard work. Then, there’s her sister who always steals her spotlight and takes over her projects after all the hard work has been done. Her sister is lazy and a complete bitch. She’s nothing but selfish and a liar. Whereas Paige is nothing like her older sister. Paige is easy to understand and love. She’s the hero.

One More Promise made me swoon all the way until the last page. Even when I finished reading it, I still awed over the characters. Their lives became messy and complicated. But they both survived their struggles and learned a lot along the way. Enticing, sexy as hell, and sweet too. Samantha Chase has successfully hooked me into her new world of fiction, easily. Overall, this is a must read for all romance readers.

Review: Road to Eugenica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two dimensions – And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

Since she was created.

With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Road to Eugencia by A.M. Rose is an intriguing YA science fiction/fantasy tale. A young teen has her entire life flipped upside down and inside out…it’s torn apart. First, she comes down sick, then, there’s a car crash and her dad doesn’t make it. Her mom is not who she thought she was. And then, there’s two guys. One of them is her best friend forever, Dylan. He’s crazy about Drea. Dylan wants to keep her safe. Next is Maddox. He too, wants to keep her safe.

Road to Eugencia is full of action, suspense, and danger. The attraction Drea feels towards Dylan feels real. After going through all the hell, Drea has to figure out whose after her and why. Staying safe, will be difficult. But with Dylan, Drea feels safe.

The shadowing from the end of this novel, has me wondering everything I thought I knew about Drea’s situation and her best friend, Dylan. I can’t wait to read the next book! Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: A Devil in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The dawning of desire…

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

…is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Devil in Scotland by Suzanne Enoch is a very satisfying romance. I was instantly in love with the characters. Especially, the fallen hero who ends up redeeming himself. It’s a story I couldn’t resist.

Callum MacCreath is a Highlander at heart. Ten years ago, he figured out that the woman he loved was betrothed to his older brother, Ian. Wanting Becca, Callum tries to persuade Becca to marry him instead. Yet she wasn’t having it. And to top if all, he insulted his older brother, and made a drunken fool of himself in front of everyone, including Becca and Ian. Ian pushes Callum to leave their only home. Callum doesn’t hesitate and leaves without a penny to his name. Now, he’s brought back home by news of his older brother’s death. A drowning…his brother was the best swimmer and the water he drowned in was not deep enough to drown in…Callum knows who the killers are and his going to get them both. But first, family duty calls.

Becca was Callum’s and Ian best friend. Until she gets betrothed to Ian. That’s when, Callum realizes he’s loosing the one thing he thought he’d always have, Becca. Becca has always had a thing for Callum. However, all he has done was prove that he’s irresponsible, ignorant, and a drunk. He’s not to be trusted. That was ten years ago. Now, Becca has lost her husband and her father not too, long after each other. Becca is doing everything she can to find her way in life. Until Callum returns and comes claiming his inheritance. He always brings with him a lot of trouble. Enough to rattle Becca’s heart, and the two killers’ scheme to get Becca’s inheritance….plus, there’s Callum’s niece aka Becca’s daughter to consider.

A passion that never died…

Heat, danger, risks, and trust are found on every page.

A Devil in Scotland was everything I expected and more. Suzanna Enoch writes well. Her characters were charming. The Scottish rogue held my heart from the beginning. Then, there was the little girl, who brought so much joy and humor to Callum’s and Becca’s intense situation. I can’t wait to read more by this writer. Overall, I recommend this historical novel to all.

Review: Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery is funny, realistic, and the most engaging women’s fiction novel, that I’ve ever read. This, is a story about the relationships between mothers and daughters. Quirky, sweet, and heartfelt were these pages. It felt like it was nonfiction but entertaining like fiction. Yet, it really is fiction…which made me like it even more. Susan Mallery captured life between these women perfectly. They fought, cried, and laughed. But in the end, they love and respect each other. No matter what, the were there for each other.

First, there is Harper. A forty-two-year-old divorced woman. Harper is raising her daughter on what little her ex gives and what she can make as a single mother. Life isn’t easy to balance. Harper works so much she forgets to listen and spend more time with her daughter. Her daughter feels like Harper doesn’t love her anymore. She never listens. Just works all the time.

Second, there’s Harper’s mom, who forced Harper to give up her dreams and live the life she lived. Harper’s mother is always telling Harper how to raise her own daughter and how she’s lacking as a mother figure. Harper and her sister always have to tiptoe around their mother. Fear of not having their mom happy or proud of them keeps them having secrets.

Third, is Harper’s sister, Stacey. Stacey is a lab researcher. Super smart and gorgeous, Stacey is happily married and expecting. Only her mother doesn’t know…then, there’s the fear of her not loving her own child and not being a good mother. Stacey’s husband defends her and is willing to stay as a stay-at-home dad. He loves Stacey. Yet she fears she lose both him and their child.

Fourth, is Harper’s daughter. This girl has had it rough as a teen. Her parents divorce, her friends move, and another friend accuses her of being boring. She feels like her mother doesn’t listen to her at all. Her grades are slipping in some classes and she’s not sure what she wants to study for college. Then, there’s her father who breaks his promises and doesn’t do anything with her. To make things even more complicated, there’s Lucas. He’s the next door guy. Always paying her mom for doing his stuff. He respects Harper and her daughter. In fact Harper’s daughter feels like a daughter he never had. I love the sweet moments when the girl tells him stuff that makes him uncomfortable and she needs advice….it was both funny and heartfelt. Also, a new guy her age moves in with her aunt. Ashton is super hot…and it’s not long before she crushes on him…

Overall, Sisters Like Us is amazing. It’s so easy to love and understand. The characters were believable. The scenes were interesting. There was a rollercoaster of emotions as the plot unfolded. I enjoyed reading this novel. After reading this, I can’t wait to see what Susan Mallery comes up with next. I highly recommend this to readers worldwide.

Review: The View from Rainshadow Bay

 

Synopsis:

Prepare to stay up all night with Colleen Coble. Coble’s beautiful, emotional prose coupled with her keen sense of pacing, escalating danger, and very real characters place her firmly at the top of the suspense genre. I could not put this book down.” –Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered

“…The View From Rainshadow Bay, opens with a heart-pounding, run-for-your-life chase. This book will stay with you for a long time, long after you flip to the last page.” – 4 STARS, RT Book Reviews

After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble is a romantic suspense novel readers like myself won’t forget. The characters have a way of pulling me further into their lives. I was frightened for them and hoping they would make it out fine. As with any suspense novel, I wasn’t sure of the outcome nor who the killer was.

Shauna lost her husband due to a dare competition. She never forgave her friend Zach’s for daring her husband too, far. However, it’s been a year later and now, she’s facing another loss. An older man and friend of hers dies from an explosion. But that didn’t happen until after he gaveled a box to give to his wife and his burner phone number. Shauna can’t ignore the gut feeling that the sweet older man was murdered…

Zach owns an emergency airway place in town. He and Shauna haven’t spoken since the day they loss Shauna’s husband. Now, it’s just Shauna raising her son alone and blaming Zach for the loss. Zach is torn inside about the whole situation. Out of the blue, Shauna comes to him asking him to take her son on a father-son picnic only because her son begged her. Zach is filled with hope to mend things between them. But then fate has other plans.

Colleen Coble has created a fascinating world of fiction in this book. I was impressed. The danger, risks, and romance caught my full attention. Sexy Zach and compassionate yet daring Shauna…made for a fun journey. I enjoyed reading this, and I recommend to all readers.

Review: Beneath the Summer Sun

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.

Leo Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again, and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.

Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?

The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is an interesting tale. One full of faith, hope, and love. Three protagonists have their own dilemmas to face. The question of them being able to move forward and find happiness caught my attention. Pain, loss, and fear cloud the characters as they struggle to face their issues. Clean and heartfelt, I felt like I was there with the characters.

Kelly Irvin has created a believable plot. Jennie is scared to love again after her abusive marriage. But with all of her kids, she needs a man in her life. Nathan is looking for love too, but he struggles accepting his faith. He must first find that before he can love anyone. Leo like Jennie has faced a loss. He lost his father and struggled with wanting to save others especially Jennie. But his fear of not being able to save someone he loves has him stuck in a rut.

A love mess with two Christian men chasing after one widow, made me smile. It gave a shed of lightness to Jennie’s dark marriage and to Leo’s loss. Having a third character brought out a little more in Leo. It gave me more of the push he needed to go after Jennie. Jennie is super easy to connect to…her situation made her likable. She felt real. I really liked her.

Beneath the Summer Sun was a sweet journey. A path to finding oneself and one’s heart. Having faith helped these characters face their lives in the present. Slow but steady, I think these characters will have found what they’re looking for in life. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel.

Review: The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author comes the fourth novel of suspense taking place in Virtue Falls, Washington.

Beautiful Merida is married to a wealthy older man who takes her around the world as his trophy. Merida is everything a man could want. But a traumatic accident years before left her without the ability to speak. When her husband dies, she knows it’s her chance to exact revenge on those responsible for her accident—and that vengeance begins in Virtue Falls. Reinventing herself, she slips into village life, biding her time. But someone knows exactly who she is and will use this chance to finish what was started years ago. And this time an accident for Merida will mean silencing her forever.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream by Christina Dodd is a thrilling yet intriguing romantic suspense novel. I was hooked. The characters intrigued me. The beginning opened me up to a young woman who was through hell and continues to be put through it as the plot unfolded. Merida is mute. She’s been severely injured in the past through a terrible experience. One that many would love to forget. But it still haunted her. Merida is married to a the wealthiest man much older than her. He’s jealous and possessive of her. I felt the threats vibrating off of him from the pages.

Then, there’s Benedict. He’s more her own age and is fascinated by her. Merida’ beauty lured him in where all he could do was watch her. Benedict appeared to be real. At first, I couldn’t put a finger onto whether he was a decent man or not. Christina Dodd definitely has me guessing…

Another important character is a woman, Kateri. She’s a Sherrie and friend of the victim in this tale. Kateri also becomes a victim as well. As with any suspenseful yet dangerous journey, the women always become a victim.

There’s a bit romance between two sets of characters. The entire cast of characters come from a variety of backgrounds. Kept me turning the pages. I didn’t know for sure what would become of the couples.

The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream had an ending that I would never have guessed. It has something to do with the first victim. I can’t say much more…without giving away the whole tale. I loved the intensity of the situations, the deadly atmosphere, and the risks that were involved. Drama, murder, and romance all in one great book! Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to all

Review: Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017

 

 

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There.

 

 

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend, Judith Carrigan, can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan is an interesting novel. A thriller that holds a lot of action, intrigue, and danger. Explorations of murder, past secrets, and the truth are found among these thrilling scenes from their past. I was captivated. Jennifer Finney Boylan created a thick mysterious atmosphere in which I couldn’t deny. Her characters were believable. It was fun following them especially, Judith, as the intensity of the situation came unraveling from the past. Friendships tested, complex scenarios, and drama filled characters made for a fun read.

The pacing of this story was slow. Not quite up to my normal steady/fast paced environments that I usually love. The whole position of the friends locked up and things escalating out of control reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars. I noticed that the book switches from past to future a lot. This was understandable as it explored the backstory of what happened to the cast of characters and what was currently happening to them now. Despite their past that haunts them as adults that they are now, I wasn’t that impressed with the rest of the current happenings of the story. Overall, it was good but not as good as I had expected.

 

 

Review: Amish Sweethearts

Synopsis:

Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

Love and Buggy Rides  (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds  (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston is a wonderful collection of four short stories. Each story has a powerful message and heartfelt connection. I enjoyed following each of these characters. Their journeys were hard and full of promise. Hope, faith, and love are major themes examined in each of these tales. Amy Clipston captured the Amish language and culture down perfectly. It was like being there physically experiencing all of the scenes firsthand.

In Love and Buggy Rides, I got to meet these characters again from a previous collection. Two young Amish adults find themselves facing their fears. An accident involving a buggy brings them together in ways they didn’t think would.

A Home for Lindsey was exciting. I got to meet with previous characters from another story. However, in this one, I got to follow along and see if there would be happy ending. Love is simple yet complicated. This tale made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. Amy Clipston never disappoints. I was intrigued.

Where the Heart Is, showed me that even though we think we know something, it turns out that there’s always more to the story than originally thought. Here, there was a lo of anger directed at a father from his son. Boundaries were explored and tested in this story. It was interesting to watch the rift between them men become less sows the pages fly by. A young woman helping the son find strength and hope. A sweet journey.

Love Birds was my most favorite. Here, two best friends lose their friendship over a misunderstanding. It takes a lot of work, patience, and forgiveness before these two can begin again. Plus, there’s the secret attraction one feels for the other. It made the plot more engaging.

Overall the Amish Sweethearts, is a clean romantic collection of novellas. Each one facing a different love issue. The struggles felt real. Amy Clipston beautifully wove these words into three-dimensional worlds. I loved the Christian feel good environment filled with sweet promises.

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