Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The follow-up to her critically acclaimed Lie to Me, J.T. Ellison’s Tear Me Apart is the powerful story of a mother willing to do anything to protect her daughter even as their carefully constructed world unravels around them.

One moment will change their lives forever…

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

Who knows the answers?

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison is another great tale. It has the mystery, intrigue, and dark edge to it like all of her previous books. However, the pacing was what almost stopped me from reading the book. It felt dragged. In the beginning there was no action or dialogue that made me want to dig in further. I felt myself wanting to quit until the middle of the book when the story finally gripped me. I should be hooked in from the beginning. But I was not. I love this writer’s work. Every book is unpredictable as to which way she writes. This one kept me wondering…until the clues came straight out which gave away too much in my opinion.

The story was about a family a family being torn apart by deception. The main characters is dying and relied on her parents to help save her. Only to find out, they are not her parents after all. Can you imagine being a family all those years only to discover that when it really counts, the truth come out…or sort of does. Mindy’s predicament is a tough one. Then there is someone wanting to keep things hidden. Only time will tell if Mindy survives and whether her family is completely destroyed. Overall, Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison was a good book. But not as great as her previous ones.

Review: Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Don’t Look Back by Dawn Ryder

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In DON’T LOOK BACK by Dawn Ryer, she is the only woman worth fighting – or dying – for…

Shadow Ops Agent Thais Sinclair has sworn off falling in love for good. It’s what’s kept her calculated, steady, and on-task in a world dominated by men. She needs nothing and no one but her own wits and strength to guide her. But when she’s slated to shadow the one man who could reveal their entire operation, all bets are off.

Dunn Bateson, illegitimate son of a Southern debutante, has always had to fight harder than the rest to get what he wants. Now, the last thing he needs is Thais following his every move. She is so strong, sly, seductive. . . No woman has ever captivated him so completely. Thais may only have room for her mission in her heart, but is Dunn up to the challenge of showing her that she’s worth every risk he is willing to take?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Don’t Look Back by Dawn Ryder is a hot as hell romantic suspense novel. I love the characters. Thais and Dunn make the perfect pair. Both are tough, smart, and willing to take risks. Only Thais is willing to risk her life for her career. Dunn will not sit back and watch the woman her cares about get hurt. Dunn has issues but he’s so attracted to Thais he can’t stop thinking about her. Thais drives Dunn crazy by teasing him. Both are playing with fire. Thais is now in jeopardy due to the bad guys making her look like a murderer. A warrant is out for her and both her team and Dunn are working to keep her alive. The fun banters between Dunn and Thais is charming, intense, and sexy. These pages are smoking in humor, action, and danger. This one one romance book that I recommend to all readers. Dawn Ryder does not disappoint.

Review: Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton

Every Day Above Ground (Van Shaw #3)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A favor for a dying ex-con turns into a violent battle against a mysterious enemy for Van Shaw in this emotionally powerful and gritty thriller from the award-winning author of Past Crimes and Hard Cold Winter

It sounds like a thief’s dream to Van Shaw: A terminally-ill ex-con tells him of an easy fortune in gold, abandoned and nearly forgotten after its original owner died in prison. For the dying man, the money is a legacy to ensure his pre-teen daughter’s future. For Van, the gold is cash he desperately needs to rebuild his destroyed family home.

The grandson of a career criminal who taught him all the tricks of his trade, Van suspects that nothing is ever that easy. Sure enough, the safe holding the fortune is a trap—set by a mysterious player armed with tremendous resources and a lifetime of hatred. Now, Shaw’s partner is in the clutches of the hunters, and the former Army Ranger may be their next prey. But when the ex-con’s innocent daughter is threatened too, Van’s own hard childhood means he can’t let her come to harm.

To discover who has them in the cross-hairs, Shaw must seek out the hunters’ real prey. His quest leads him from an underground bare-knuckle fighting ring, which may be fronting a darker purpose, to a massive pop-culture convention, where Van and his allies, Hollis and Corcoran, play a dangerous game with foes on every side. It also introduces Van to a brash and beautiful aspiring journalist who poses a whole different kind of personal risk.

For years, Van Shaw has tried to live every day above ground, on the right side of the law, even though crime is his gift . . . and in his blood. If he survives the coming storm, he’ll have to decide what he wants—and whether he can live as an outlaw without sacrificing his honor.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik Hamilton is a great crime fiction novel. I instantly liked the main protagonist. Van Shaw is trying to live by the law but present circumstances are making that difficult. He could lose everything he’s trying to build. Then, out of nowhere, an offer too good to be true happens. From there, I was sucked into the troubled mess that Van got himself into…

Plenty of action, suspense, and intrigue are supplied. The plot was enjoyable. I found myself wondering how Van Shaw was going to make it. A criminal who turns into a good guy only to be propelled back into hell is exactly what this book contained. I was rooting for this criminal. Normally, I like the good guys and Van was sort of a good guy. He  wanted to do good. Overall, I recommend this crime/mystery to all readers.

Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Sister of Mine

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A debut novel of domestic suspense in the vein of Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and Claire Douglas about two sisters bound together by a murder

Penny and Hattie have always only had each other—their father left long ago and their mother died in a sudden tragic accident. Penny has always watched out for Hattie, even when she felt usurped by her younger, more vivacious sibling. When Penny’s marriage turns sour and her once-charming husband becomes controlling and abusive, who does she turn to for help but Hattie? An unguarded cigarette, helped along by a few conveniently lit matches and some sleeping pills, creates a deadly fire that frees Penny from an unimaginable life, but not without a cost. The weight of their secret binds the two sisters together, for better or worse. When a new man enters their lives, the twists deepen and the secrets compound. Meanwhile, incidents of arson begin to break out locally and the detective who investigated the death of Penny’s husband develops renewed interest in the case, threatening to unravel all their secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou is a haunting yet intense journey. Two sisters who are close end up with a deadly secret. One that can shatter their bond forever or keep it closer. The story consumed me. The emotional bond between Hattie and Penny made me cry. Penny suffered so much only to fall further away from everything. It felt terrible knowing that disaster was hanging over them constantly. Fear of their secret breaking out…then, to end up having their lives separated and utterly destroyed. It broke my heart to know how it ended for Penny. I had hoped for so much more for her. Penny was weak in the beginning yet became a strong woman in the end. Her life felt like it was over before it could even blossom. There’s nothing greater than two sisters who bond together…Overall, this mystery was good. I recommend it to others who love a dark and gripping story.

 

Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin is a frightening thriller. A young girl looses her sister to a murderer. But no one knows who killed her. The young girl girl, now a grown woman, is desperate to find answers. She believes an older man, a photographer with dementia, is the killer. Yet, nothing fits. She goes a long way out to set-up an adventure to help the old man remember details. The longer she’s with him, the more she’s not sure if he’s really forgetting or just playing her. Traveling a lone with a possible murderer is the craziest thing ever. However, Grace is willing to do it. The plot was steady. Sometimes slow. It felt like the who dun it was dragged out so much that finding the real killer was lost. I am still left questioning everything that I just read. The ending to me, was unsatisfactory. It left more things open than closed. I wanted to know all the answers. Only questions kept popping up instead. Overall, it was creepy and strange.

Review: Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

Among the Red Stars

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

World War Two has shattered Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.

Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking its toll on everyone, including the boy Valka grew up with, who is fighting for his life on the front lines.

As the war intensifies and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.

Inspired by the true story of the airwomen the Nazis called Night Witches, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, learning to fight for yourself, and the perils of a world at war.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz is a heart breaking tale. One of war, loss, and grief. But with that also comes hope, love, and strength. A young woman bravely goes into the air force knowing the risks. Her male friend is also fighting on the front lines. Danger, nightmares, and risks await them both. Their friendship never fades even as the war breaks out all around them. Hope keeps them both going.

Females are being allowed to fight in the war as pilots. Valka is one of them. She defies all the stereotypes that go against women during that time. Valka is brave, smart, and a good woman. I like her. Her personality makes this sad journey more enjoyable. I easily got lost within the pages. The relationship between both Valka and her male friend, Pasha, is heartfelt. Missing opportunities before the war, now have the chance to happen. But only if they both make it out alive. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical/women’s fiction novel to all.

 

Review: Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

Farewell, Four Waters: One Aid Workers Sudden Escape from Afghanistan. A Novel Based on True Events

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Day 14: It should have been the beginning . . .

All she needed were stamps and signatures. Marie and her translator stood in the government offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, to complete the paperwork for her new literacy project. The women in her home town, the northern village of Shehktan, would learn to read.

But a spattering of gun shots exploded and an aid worker crumpled. Executed. On the streets of Kabul. Just blocks from the guesthouse. Sending shockwaves through the community.

The foreign personnel assessed their options and some, including Marie’s closest friend, Carolyn, chose to leave the country. Marie and others faced the cost and elected to press forward. But the execution of the lone aid worker was just the beginning.

When she returned home to her Afghan friends in Shehktan to begin classes, she felt eyes watching her, piercing through her scarf as she walked the streets lined in mud brick walls.

And in the end . . . 

It took only 14 days for her project, her Afghan home, her community—all of it—to evaporate in an eruption of dust, grief, and loss. Betrayed by someone she trusted. Caught in a feud she knew nothing about, and having loved people on both sides, Marie struggled for the answer: How could God be present here, working here, in the soul of Afghanistan?

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord seemed interesting enough. The fact that is was based on true events made it even more frightening. It only took a short time for everything to change. Disaster stroke and danger lied ahead. The main character was an Afghan woman who struggled to survive each passing day. The Afghan culture and belief were mentioned across the pages. Murder, chaos, and deception are themes that are explored here. It was definitely a dark read. The sense of a broken community was sad. Trust was hard to come by…the plot was slow. It felt dragged out.

Inside this novel, I followed Marie. Marie spent 14 days of hell. It was quite scary how an ordinary day can turn dark so fast. Everything was told from her point of view. I saw her community and journey through her eyes and ears. An aid worker is shot dead in the street. Everyone saw it. After that, the gates of hell broke lose. Marie questioned whether God was around or not. She felt like God had abandoned the community. War broke out…making it deadly for Marie to stay behind. This story told how she survived and made it back home. Overall, Farewell, Four Waters was a good read.

 

Review: Jealousy by Nancy Bush

Jealousy

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

HATRED LEADS TO OBSESSION . . .

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

OBSESSION LEADS TO JEALOUSY . . .

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

AND JEALOUSY LEADS TO MURDER . . .

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: Paradox by Catherine Coulter

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With unparalleled suspense and her trademark explosive twists, #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter delves into the terrifying mind of an escaped mental patient obsessed with revenge in this next installment of her riveting FBI series. When he fails to kidnap five-year-old Sean Savich, agents Sherlock and Savich know they’re in his crosshairs and must find him before he continues with his ‘kill’ list.

Chief Ty Christie of Willicott, Maryland, witnesses a murder at dawn from the deck of her cottage on Lake Massey. When dragging the lake, not only do the divers find the murder victim, they also discover dozens of bones. Even more shocking is the identification of a unique belt buckle found among the bones. Working together with Chief Christie, Savich and Sherlock soon discover a frightening connection between the bones and the escaped psychopath.

Paradox is a chilling mix of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, old secrets that refuse to stay buried, and ruthless greed that keep Savich and Sherlock and Chief Ty Christie working at high speed to uncover the truth before their own bones end up at the bottom on the lake.

Don’t miss Paradox, the twenty-second FBI thriller.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Paradox by Catherine Coulter is a thrilling race to catch a murderer before it’s too late. Two agents wake up to find their son being threatened by an unknown man in a mask. The man escapes from them. But his threat leaves behind a mass of fear and a start for a new investigation.  Little do they know his tie to a bigger and former case will be connected. Until then, they have to be faster and outsmart their enemy.

Catherine Coulter creates a suspenseful new tale in Paradox. Immediately, I connected with the agents. Their level of protection for their son was amazing. Being in their field of work, it is understandable to have such security and plans made. It worked. Their plans gave them the alert and saved their son’s life. Their young son is clever for his age. There was a hint of Winnie the Pooh bear somewhere in the boy’s room, which suggested he was still pretty young. But like his parents, he came to the conclusion of what really happened. His parents couldn’t lie to him. I liked that. It made the situation realistic. Then, there was the chase after the criminal and the procedures of starting an investigation. I felt like I was there watching and participating with the agents. The pacing of the plot was quick. I just kept on reading chapter after chapter. My attention was fully caught with this novel. A thriller with enough action and intrigue to keep me reading. Overall, I would recommend it to all fans of Laura Griffin, Heather Graham, and Criminal Minds.

 

Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctively and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sandra Brown’s latest novel, Friction, was just the way I liked it. Raw, complicated,  dangerous, and emotionally charged. The plot was fast-paced. It had my adrenaline pumping, like the moment when the judge got into her car and there was the other main character…inside it with blood and a gun in his hand. Frightening and intense is the temperament of this tale. The characters have everything to lose. One has lost a lot more than he knew and has an even greater risk of losing what’s left. Loss, grief, and justice are the main themes to this novel.

Friction held my attention from the start. It gained my sympathy for a father who lost his wife and found out that his daughter who survived a deadly situation wasn’t really his. But he loved the little girl as if she were his own. Despite his dead wife’s betrayal, he was still in love with her. That proved how great of a man he was inside and out…then there was the lady judge whose life just got complicated. A man whose case she handled ended up being the one man she fell in love with…it was not intentional but it happened. He was not going to let a second woman die. So, he risked himself to save her…but the bad guys are still loose. Overall, I loved reading this thrilling book. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Deep Cover by Scarlett Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

ARE THEY IN TOO DEEP?

Ex-Navy SEAL Cabe Moss always comes when called to duty―at all costs. Even though the death of his fiancée nearly destroyed him, Cabe won’t let his past interfere with any work that has to get done. When his latest task pushes him to team up with FBI Agent Amy Murray, a fierce beauty with the undercover skills to match, Cabe must admit that, for the first time in years, he wants to do more than just complete their mission together…

Amy was born ready for this assignment, but working side-by-side with the the strong, silent, and frustratingly professional Cabe seems to be the biggest challenge of all. But when the sparks begin to fly―and the stakes rise to dangerous heights―the only thing Amy is left worrying about is how she can resist him. Their lives may be in danger, but their hearts hold the biggest risk of all…

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Deep Cover by Scarlett Cole is a sexy yet dangerous journey. Loss, grief, and moving forward after a death are commonly found here. I found them realistic, inspiring, and heart melting. The characters felt like I knew them forever. One character loss a loved one and on the two-year anniversary finds a woman who interests him. Instantly guilt hits him hard and he leaves. It isn’t until later that the same woman is working with him on the same op. That’s where everything rides like a roller-coaster from a theme park. A separation of work and love are seen on the pages. Also, there’s a hint of women harassment in the workforce dominated by males. I found it interesting.

Inside Deep Cover, I got to meet a Navy Seal who lost his love. Both him and his loved one were in the military and just started to get serious when he lost her. The loss has plagued Cabe ever since. He goes to work but is like a robot. Cabe keeps putting one foot in front of the other, until he meets, FBI Agent, Amy. Amy is a young gorgeous yet clever woman in a male dominated sector. She has just been sexual harassed by a senior male agent before meeting with Cabe. Cabe changes everything. He is nothing like the men she has worked with or met. He loves her intelligence and beauty. Both feel happy being near each other. However, Amy is on a deadly deep cover op that could go wrong any second. Cabe has to fight with letting Amy do her job as an agent while, doing is job to protect her. It’s a difficult situation for both of them. Yet Scarlett Cole made them so likable, I couldn’t stop reading. The intensity of their attraction and danger of the op made this a must read. Overall, I would highly recommend it to all romantic suspense readers.

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: Built to Last by Julie Ann Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Masterful, mysterious, and completely ruthless, Jamin “Angel” Agassi joined the Black Knights Inc. after a mission-gone-wrong forced him to undergo extensive plastic surgery and change his name. He’s going to bring down the world’s worst crime syndicate, and hopefully keep Sonya Butler, a love from his past, from discovering who he really is…

When a dark-eyed stranger gets caught up in Sonya’s latest mission, she starts to question all her hard-won instincts. Something about Angel tells her he’s more than he seems, and sometimes, when she least expects it, he reminds her of a man she used to know. As the bullets fly, she realizes that in love and war nothing is ever what it seems…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Julie Ann Walker’s latest novel, Built to Last, is one hell of romantic suspense tale. Inside, I got to follow a strong yet determined man to bring down an evil force. But in doing so he loses his identity and goes undercover. However, he’s not the only one…his former love, Sonya, does the same thing. Thinking she lost him, she went undercover to bring down the bad guys. She still loved Angel. Angel has not forgotten her either and is doing all he can to accomplish his mission, keep his love safe, and get them out of there alive.

I immediately got lost within this world of fiction. Built to Last, is one emotional journey that I won’t ever forget. The characters were so real. Charming, strong, and clever…it was hard not to love them. The book’s title described Sonya’s and Angel’s love perfectly. Despite the danger, the risks, and the final outcome-whatever that will be-their love remained intact. Priceless…a romance that wrapped its way into my heart and pulled me deep into its fast-paced plot. This read had so much action and surprises, I was constantly guessing. Overall, I highly recommend this hot book to readers worldwide.

Review: Broken Promise by Tara Thomas

Broken Promise (Sons of Broad #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In this next 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 SWORE TO KEEP HER PROMISES. 

BUT CAN SHE KEEP THEM SAFE…AND PROTECT HER HEART?

Charleston Police Officer Alyssa Adams made a promise years ago to protect innocent women from harm. Now, she won’t rest until she can reunite every lost daughter with her family.Bring closure to every grieving husband. And, most of all, find out what happened the night her own sister disappeared, more than ten years ago…

As the eldest of the Benedict brothers, Kipling will stop at nothing to protect his family from a threat that aims to destroy them once and for all. But when a long-lost sibling is kidnapped by a powerful adversary, Alyssa is the only one he can turn to to get her back.

As Alyssa and Kipling band together to find their lost siblings, a powerful attraction builds between them that they can’t ignore. As the truth comes to light, will one broken promise tear them apart?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Tara Thomas has wowed me with her latest Sons of Broad series. I was captivated by each character’s own risk both personally and non.  The element of danger was included on every page, escalated into fear and intrigue. I was not sure what was going to happen and what would not happen to each character. Somehow, the characters were all circled back to each other. That only made my curiosity grow even more.

In Broken Promise, a young woman is in a deadly scenarios with her guardian wanting to dispose of her permanently before the Benedict brothers figure out anything else. But time is not on his side. Then, there’s another woman, a police officer, whom Kipling is romantically entangled with…that the killer wanted gone too.  So the race to figure out what happened in the past and who is behind both the past and present murders is a mystery worth reading. I loved every moment. Suspense, surprise, and romance were all included into this wonderful book. Overall, I would highly recommend both this writer and book to readers everywhere.

Review: House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The dangerous beauty of Lavender Tides is harboring secrets that reach around the world.

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her—would he?

Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie, who seems to view him as the true enemy.

Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble is full of suspense, mystery, and danger. The story swept me up quickly. One missing person who has a sister willing to look for her, and a man trying to find that missing sister who may be guilty of crime. Neither one is happy. Both are searching for one common thing, Mackenzie.

Lies, deception, and trust are put to the test. Ellie and Grayson are two interesting heroes who will need to rely on each other when everything comes out…I enjoyed the sister who loves her sister enough to risk danger in finding her. However, there are some powerful questions from Grayson that kept me guessing and wondering the whole way through the book. Intriguing, fast-paced, and entertaining, Colleen Coble crafted a wonderful world of fiction. I was excited to follow these characters and see where their search led them. Overall, I would highly recommend The House at Saltwater Point to all readers.

Review: One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing romance—and no patience for Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of always honing in on her territory. . .annoyingly handsome though he may be. But when a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offers of protection. Even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. . .

Lisle was once amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work. But now that he understands how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her genius—Lisle is desperate to prove his respect…and prove himself worthy of her. But is he too late? A bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Lisle help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One for the Rogue by Manda Collins is an exciting historical tale. A tale of two geniuses who start off fighting against each other only to fall deeply in love. A young woman, the last of the four heiresses, is trying to prove herself among the male scientific geology community. She searches and discovers a skull that might make her career in geology. Another geologist wants the skull for himself. However, that man ends up dead and the skull goes missing. A murder investigation begins…and Gemma is warned to stay out of both the danger and the investigation. Like the other women in her family, she does not listen. Instead, she drags Cam into it with her. While they investigate they find they enjoy geology as much as the other one and they also enjoy each other’s company. Despite the danger, the two single people end up putting themselves in repeatedly scandalous situations. Marriage is bound to happen…but will they willingly marry one another or be forced by society? Manda Collins kept me intrigued. Her words had me laughing all the way. I was rooting for both Cam and Gemma. Their intelligence and personalites were fun to follow. I adored both of them. I was so happy for their story…with the way it ended. Overall, I recommend this scandalous yet funny novel to all readers.

 

Review: In Hitler’s House by Jonathan Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Original and imaginative . . . Ripping suspense, sheer terror, and a wrenching love story.” —Sandra Brown, New York Timesbestselling author of Friction 

The terrible truth about Manderley is that someone is always watching. Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world–at least those with the means to afford it–will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one.

Writing in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, and with a deep bow to Daphne du Maurier, author Gina Wohlsdorf pairs narrative ingenuity and razor-wire prose with quick twists, sharp turns, and gasp-inducing terror. Security is grand guignol storytelling at its very best.

A shocking thriller, a brilliant narrative puzzle, and a multifaceted love story unlike any other, Security marks the debut of a fearless and gifted writer.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf is an entertaining yet deadly mystery. It kept me guessing. The scenes where it was so obvious that someone did something that couldn’t be brushed off was overlooked. I wondered what would have happened, if the blood scenes were checked and inspected. How many times the hints of something darker were present yet ignored. The intrigue built with every page. Made me curious as a cat. Every moment a murder has been committed it’s been shrugged off by the sheer visibility due to a reasonable excuse of what it could have been. My questions were, wouldn’t a sane person look further into the blood scenes, who was injured, and how did it happen unnoticed? Yet the characters who noticed something did not take it further which added to the intensity of the severe situation. A murderer was loose and able to kill everyone without a single disturbance. Gina Wohlsdorf’s writing caught my eye and kept me reading. I love a good mystery and the frightening story of being watched by someone unknown was creepy as hell. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

Review: Look for Her by Emily Winslow

Look For Her (Keene and Frohmann, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Everyone loves a beautiful missing girl… a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the grief, jealousy, and unresolved mystery surrounding a cold case kidnapping, in the vein of Gilly MacMillan and Mary Kubica.

Just outside of Cambridge, Lilling seems like an unassuming idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared while riding her bike home from school. Though her body was later discovered in a shallow grave, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity in the small town, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.

When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case investigator Morris Keene realizes he may now have the chance of his career. Morris and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally solve this perplexing mystery, and bring closure to a traumatized community. But the new evidence that should be the simple solution instead undoes the case’s only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.

Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Could she have had a secret child? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections?

With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Look for Her by Emily Winslow is a living nightmare. One young girl disappears and her cold case connects to a newer one. I found it intriguing. So many questions popped up in how they were connected, who dun it, and etc. Emily Winslow has a way of capturing my interest with every page. Twists and turns kept me guessing the whole way. This novel was definitely a psychological thriller but more of a mystery. The psychological part is where the missing Annalise girl and another by the same name come into play. One is completely crazy…but there’s a story behind that as well. A story within another story. This kept up the edgy vibe and fear factor. The fact that a doctor was easily chilled by her patient, Annalise made goosebumps appear on my arms.

A call comes in…

“I have so much to say next time I see you…” says Annalise.

Then just silence…the sound of the patient breathing on the other end…handing onto the call.

The doctor was the same age as the Annalise girl that went missing years ago.

That only made me more curious. Overall, a great plot worth reading.

Review: Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

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

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

 

Review: Drama Fraternity by Joe Cosentino

Synopsis:

Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing Tight End Scream Queen, a slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house, co-starring his husband and theatre professor colleague, Noah Oliver. When young hunky cast members begin fading out with their scenes, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is sending the quarterback, jammer, wide receiver, and more to the cutting room floor before Nicky and Noah hit the final reel. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining sixth novel in this delightful series. Lights, camera, action, frat house murders!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Drama Fraternity is the sixth novel in this LGBT mystery series. Joe Cosentino packs humor, murder, action, and a bit of romance all into one great package. I enjoyed following the dramatic yet entertaining couple, Nicky and Noah, as they solve yet another murder mystery. The variety of characters is refreshing. There is never a boring moment in this plot. It quickly escalates into suspense, murder, and mayhem after introducing the plot and characters. There are some reaccurring characters, such as the detective and the friends of the most engaging gay couple the world has ever followed. The love of theatre and acting comes to play in this book as in the previous ones. I loved the personalities that shine in this novel. Nicky is sweet and charming. Noah is just as kind and a great actor. Their adopted son makes me laugh a lot. His questions from time to time, are raw and honest, as well as simple and pure. The kid has a way of wiggling into my heart. The plot follows a male Christian fraternity that pledges no sex, drugs, or alcohol. It was interesting to follow those male characters especially two that seemed to be hiding a secret. My curiosity grew and before I was aware of it the ending came. Drama Fraternity by Joe Cosentino is full of twists, fun, and surprises. I would highly recommend this theatre murder mystery novel to all.

Review: Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins

Synopsis:

Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild over feral felines. . .

Cassie’s good friend Dawn is part of an organization that’s trying to protect a colony of stray cats on the property of a senior condo community in Chadwick, New Jersey. The residents have got their backs up over the cat invasion, and Dawn has come to Cassie’s grooming and boarding shop, Cassie’s Comfy Cats, to ask her help in talking sense to them.

Not everyone’s against the cats. Eccentric Sabrina Ward feeds them and has even created makeshift shelters for them in the nearby woods, infuriating her neighbors. Following a heated community meeting–in which Cassie and her veterinarian boyfriend come up with a proposal–Sabrina’s body is found in the woods. The police are calling her death an accident, but Cassie smells a rat. Narrowing down the list of suspects may be tougher than herding cats, but Cassie is determined to collar the killer before another cat lover has a fatal accident . . .

Praise for The Persian Always Meows Twice

“Fans of felines will appreciate Cassie’s demonstrated attachment to the master species, which Watkins successfully integrates throughout her debut, a deft blend of mystery and cat love.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A promising start to a new cozy series. And the information the author provides about cats is fascinating.” –Suspense Magazine

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins is an exciting feline mystery. It turns out that a community of feral cats have moved closer to an older retired community housing center. That’s where all the trouble begins…A few residents began feeding the cats thus, an increase in the population of feral cats being seen. Many of the residents do not like the cats and want them gone. Some are willing to go to the extreme to get rid of the cats and those invloved in helping the cats stay alive and free. Murder, mayhem, and a charming cast of characters are found in this book. I love how an expert cat groomer who has an animal behavior degree is called in to settle the dispute. But Cassie soon finds herself in more hot trouble than she can handle…I loved reading this new novel. Overall, I would recommend Feral Attraction to all readers. I can’t wait for the next book!

Review: Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton

Synopsis:

Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill’s donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she’s expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner–the former police chief of Fallingbrook–she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton is one of the best cozy murder mysteries I have read lately. The characters are so real. The cast of characters are funny, charming, and deadly if crossed. Themes of family, love, and food can be found inside this book. Ginger Bolton created an a very entertaining piece of fiction.

The main question was how far does our love push us and how far is too, far? An older sister takes raising her younger sister way too seriously…Jenna was right in saying, that her older sister, Suzanne, is smothering her. When one cannot be allowed to marry a man whether he was decent or not, is not up to anyone but the bride. Yet things do not go as planned and get sticky pretty fast.

Emily is the main protagonist. She owns a bakery with her father-in-law. Emily lost her husband and her interest in weddings isn’t high. But then, she was asked to do a baking thing, and Emily is all in…until the groom is found dead eating one of her creations. Who poisoned him and why? Emily will work hard to find who the killer is to save her business and her friend aka the bride.

Another lovable character is Brent. Brent is a police officer who is deeply interested in Emily. Emily likes Brent, too. Plus, her feline cat, Dep, likes him as well. Brent ran miles just to get to a deadly scene where Emily is involved. The man deserved happiness and medals in my book. His personality is fun.

Overall, I would highly recommend Goodbye Cruller World to all readers. I got swept up immediately. The danger made it fast-paced. Ginger Bolton’s writing was engaging to follow. I truly loved her characters and how the scenes played out in the end. It was amazing. Never a boring moment and plenty of action.

Review: Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Allie’s second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas–the tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen on overhead satellites. She’d already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started and now losing her husband, no matter how unfulfilling their marriage was, might just push her over the edge.

Joseph’s time in Vietnam left him with scars that never seemed to heal. No matter how he’s tried to love or what he’s tried to do since then, he can’t pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. His trust and security shaken, he isolates himself in a cabin. But every morning, he faithfully pours two cups of coffee, drinking his while he sits with the second, and then pouring out the full cup.

It’s no small coincidence that Joseph found a mother and her two young children lost in the woods near his cabin. Or that when he helps them return to family in Florida, he’s near enough to see that explosion. Near enough to know it’s close to home. Near enough to know that his childhood sweetheart needs him.

The years have built so much distance between them, but it’s the secrets that may be their final undoing. Send Down the Rain reminds us of the beauty of truth . . . and the power of love to wash away the past.

Rating:  5-stars

Review:

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin is another brilliant tale. I love this writer’s work. His characters are three-dimensional and their situations are written in a way that made me feel like I was there. This romance saga brings forth action, danger, and secrets. A man comes back from danger only to relive it back home. His long held love is placed in a deadly situation and it’s up to him to help save her.

Allie is a mother of two kids when she loses her husband. Loss, grief, and danger will only add to her troubling heart and situation. Then, comes a former friend, one who can help her. Only there are roadblocks that both she and Joseph need to get through, if they want to find happiness. Right now, survival is important.

Joseph is struggling with his own demons when he finds a woman in trouble. This woman happens to be someone he really cares about, and he won’t be letting her go. But there are things he has to figure out first. The more time he spends with her, the more he wants to keep her with him.

Charles Martin is a talented writer. I was hooked. His latest piece was just as great as his previous books. Amazing characters, emotional attachments, and a suspenseful plot is what I got and liked. Overall, I would highly recommend Send Down the Rain to all readers.

 

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: The Angel Makers by Tessa Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Victorian England, flower seller Constance Piper goes searching for the truth behind a new rash of murders in London’s East End . . .

In November 1888, the specter of Jack the Ripper instills fear in every woman who makes her living on the streets of London. But there are other monsters at large, those who shun fame and secretly claim their victims from among the city’s most vulnerable . . .

Options are few for unmarried mothers in Victorian England. To avoid stigma, many find lodging with “baby farmers”–women who agree to care for the infant, or find an adoptive family, in exchange for a fee. Constance Piper, a flower seller gifted with clairvoyance, has become aware of one such baby farmer, Mother Delaney, who promises to help desperate young mothers and place their babies in loving homes. She suspects the truth is infinitely darker.

Guided by the spirit of her late friend, Emily Tindall, Constance gathers evidence about what really goes on behind the walls of Mother Delaney’s Poplar house. It’s not only innocent children who are at risk. A young prostitute’s body is found in mysterious circumstances. With the aid of Detective Constable Hawkins, newly promoted thanks to Constance’s help with his last case, Constance links the death to Mother Delaney’s vile trade. But the horror is edging closer to home, and even the hangman’s noose may not be enough to put this evil to rest . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Angel Makers by Tessa Harris is a story with a dark and most intriguing plot. Women who are helpless, desperate, and single with children…are being picked off. Until, the main protagonist, Constance Piper, works with the police to discover how, who, and why. The danger escalates and the intensity of the situation feels so real. It was like I was actually there in Constance’s shoes.

The characterization was well-done. I immediately took to both Constance Piper and her friend Detective Constable Hawkins. They made a great team in unraveling the clues. However, it is due to Constance’s special gift that the investigations get solved.

There was plenty of action and mystery to enjoy. Tessa Harris swept me into her book and caught my full attention. I did not read the previous novel, in this series, and I was able to follow along just fine. The time period was fun and realistic. I love historical reads with some dark and hidden thing to unravel. In this case, the death of the women and the mastermind behind it all. Overall, I loved reading this mystery and recommend it to other readers.

 

Review: Crime & Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients–and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .

When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story . . .

Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts . . .

Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously–the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Crime & Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett caught my attention with just the title alone. I was immediately drawn into what the plot may have held. Once I started reading, I was even more curious. The book quickly introduced me to the main protagonist. Mikki Lincoln is an older widowed woman who moves back to her family home. A home that needs major improvements such as updated plumbing for modern use. Her money is fading…and then, she begins work as a freelance editor. That’s when the story really starts. A young client approached her with a new book. One that holds more history than fiction. But what Mikki will soon find out is that it may contain the details she needs to solve a current murder investigation and an older one.

Kaitlyn Dunnet’s writing was well-done. I could visualize the the older woman as she worked to solve the crime committed. Her home was easy to see as well. The plot spun fast once the freelance editor finally dug into her client’s novel…after that, I was swept into a journey filled with danger, suspense, and chaos. It was engaging to read. I liked Mikki. Yes, she was older than a I would have liked for her character in this type of story, but she made it work. The trouble that came with her client’s death was fun to follow. Overall, I would recommend this title to readers everywhere.

Review: Loved by Darkness written by Autumn Jordon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A two-year-old child is found adrift on the Atlantic. It’s the job of the Cape James Police Chief, Norris Stiles, to learn who left the girl to die. New to the area, and the job as chief, he might be out of his depth. Fortunately help has arrived. Unfortunately, the feisty and beautiful U.S. Marshal could distract him from his obligations.

Burnt out by grueling covert missions, U.S. Marshal Jolene Martinez heads home to the Virginia Coast for a much-needed vacation, only to become embroiled in a heart-breaking child abandonment case. When she saves the child, the case becomes personal for Jolene, and she’s determined to solve the mystery with or without the chief’s support.

As the clock ticks on, both the sweet girl and the charismatic chief pluck at heart strings Jolene believed severed years ago. Duty and desire mix while she and Norris race to eliminate suspects and expose the perpetrator of the sinister act before the tides wash away all evidence and he attempts to harm the child again.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Loved by Darkness is an emotionally engaging mystery with more of a romantic suspense spin to it. Autumn Jordan is now one of my new favorite mystery/suspense/romance writers. She has incorporated a lot of the elements that I always enjoy in a good book. Her characters are easy to relate and to like. I was swept up into U.S. Marshal Jolene Martinez’s story. Her personality made her a likable character. She is strong, independent, and sassy. I was cheering for her all the way through this book. The plot grew more intense and the bit of romance tugged at my heart. Police chief, Norris Stiles, is another great character. He adds more to the story and it got more complicated as work and romance collided. Loved by Darkness was intriguing. Kept me guessing. Mostly, it was character driven, but I am not complaining…Overall, I recommend this tale to readers everywhere.

Review: Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.

Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear is a historical novel that took me back to Nazi Germany. It would have been more beneficial to me, if I had read the previous books in this series. I would have loved getting to watch the main protagonist, Maisie Dobbs grow and work her way through each plot. This journey had its filling of danger, intrigue, and mystery. The focus was on the secret service and their recapturing of a war prisoner from Germany. This is where famous Maisie Dobbs came into the factor. She is sent to retrieve that prisoner being released from Germany.

Maisie Dobbs has worked as a detective and nurse. Her knowledge is great. She has been avoiding her family. Loss, grief, and moving forward are just a few of the things Maisie went through in this story. I was able to connect with the character. She was strong, determined, and restless mostly. Always needing something to preoccupy herself.

I enjoyed the historical time period and how it was captured for my entertainment. I felt like I did get sent back into time. However, the government spies and handling was strange. It didn’t feel like it was good representation of how they operated. But still, this was a work of fiction, and thus, it could be anyway the writer wanted it. The gossip and other minor characters were fun to follow. Priscilla is an interesting lady. I really liked her. She made me laugh and feel like I was right there the whole time. Journey to Munich offered action, adventure, and suspense. I was happy with the plot. It wasn’t fast-paced but it was steady enough that I did not give up on it. There were plenty of risk that made reading this novel worth it. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

Review: The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between JFK and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story – in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

The Summer I Met Jack is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is a great read. It is based off some realistic events. I found that part intriguing. My mind spun with how would those characters have survived, done, and moved forward. The consequences of their actions and the choices they have made will affect them like a domino affect. The book was similar to some soap opera themes but had a real life tune. There was plenty of drama, sacrifices, and emotions that flew across the pages. I was deeply entertained. The intensity and curiosity of what would happen to and between both Jack and Alicia caught me.

This novel was historically interesting. Michelle Gable did her research into the whole affair JFK and Alicia Corning Clark. The writing was engaging. I could not stop reading her book. The more I got into it, the more I had to read it. There was and still is a mystery surrounding the real historical events and the ones in the novel. I loved that! A romance that soon turned forbidden, and then distorted and kept hidden in such a way tha no one really knows the answers was appealing to me. Overall, I recommend The Summer I Met Jack to all readers.

Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: 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: In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Clarity by Keith Thomas

The Clarity

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

 

Review: Betrayed by Nick Haskins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: If I Live by Terri Blackstock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Exhibit Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Shattered Mirror by Iris Johansen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Expiration Date by Devon Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Confessions of a Red Herring by Dana Dratch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Dead Girl Running

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author

 

 

 

I have three confessions to make:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Then She Was Gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

And then she was gone.

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

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

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

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

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

 

 

Praise for Lisa Scottoline:

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

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

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

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: The Flower Girl Murder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Sirens by Joseph Knox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

 

“Razor-sharp urban noir…very special indeed.” — Lee Child 

 

The breathtakingly propulsive and stunningly assured debut thriller, perfect for readers of Tana French, Don Winslow and Dennis Lehane

The mission is suicide.

Infiltrating the inner circle of enigmatic criminal Zain Carver is dangerous enough. Pulling it off while also rescuing Isabelle Rossiter, a runaway politician’s daughter, from Zain’s influence? Impossible. That’s why Aidan Waits is the perfect man for the job. Disgraced, emotionally damaged, and despised by his superiors. In other words, completely expendable.

But Aidan is a born survivor. And as he works his way deep into Zain’s shadowy world, he finds that nothing is as it seems. Zain is a mesmerizing, Gatsby-esque figure who lures young women into his orbit–women who have a bad habit of turning up dead. But is Zain really responsible? And will Isabelle be next?

Before long, Aidan finds himself in over his head, cut loose by his superiors, and dangerously attracted to the wrong woman.

How can he save the girl if he can’t even save himself?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sirens by Joseph Knox is a dark web that left my adrenaline spiking. Fast-paced with tons of action, this novel is a must read. Aidan is the main protagonist who is taken into a world he hardly knows and is alone to continuing where he left off…criminals, murder, and not enough clues left Aidan helpless. He kept digging and finding himself in situations that made me hold me breath. I was not sure what Aidan was going to find but only knew that it would get bigger and more intense as the plot flew by. The pages were engaging. Aidan is recruited into helping a young woman from being the next victim. Whether or not he accomplished this, is for me no to tell. But I will say, that is was fun to read.

Review: Severed by VL Towler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Louisiana parish of Nakadee, a typical town of Creoles, Cajuns, Blacks, and Whites, is more interested in its annual Hot Sauce Festival than in the lives of two eccentric celebrity writers living in the “Hollykook” house. Dr. Lula Logan, a Northerner teaching forensic anthropology at the local university—and researching the stories buried in the graves of local slaves—is reluctantly drawn into an investigation by her ex-boyfriend, a detective, regarding a severed finger left at the Police Department. As the investigation expands, she is caught up in a romantic tug-of-war with an enigmatic U.S. Congressman who turns her liberal worldview upside down. She is also thrust into the lives of the town’s colorful suspects, including a head-turning Confederate-sympathizing college student, a precocious wanna-be- rapper, and a scholarly handyman.

Everybody is connected in Nakadee, which leads to intriguing alliances among the rich, not so rich, and those on their way to being important. When the crimes become a murder investigation, Lula discovers that small towns like Nakadee are not always what they seem, and sometimes hide very big secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Severed by VL Towler is  the perfect book to reading during this month (March). This novel features a black educated woman who is plunged into a big murder investigation. From politics to the crazy locals, Dr. Lula and her ex-boyfriend will have their hands full. The cultural aspects of the different characters inside this fictional town was fun to read. Louisiana is the best place for this kind of chaos and murder to happen. It felt real. A lot of racial issues were brought into this story. Blacks versus whites etc. and the danger is enough to cause a sense of fear… chills running down my back. Here, unlike most stories a black person is behind the danger…and Dr. Lula will find her life in danger. Survival, forensics, and chasing after a killer kept me entertained. I cannot wait to see what happens next. Overall, the plot was good (3.5-stars), the intrigue and suspense (4-stars each), the characterization is spot on (5-stars).

Review: Murder at Half Moon Gate (book 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A wealthy lord who happens to be a brilliant scientist . . . an enigmatic young widow who secretly pens satirical cartoons . . . a violent killing disguised as a robbery . . . Nothing is as it seems in Regency London, especially when the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane join forces to solve a shocking murder.

When Lord Wrexford discovers the body of a gifted inventor in a dark London alley, he promptly alerts the watchman and lets the authorities handle the matter. But Wrexford soon finds himself drawn into the murder investigation when the inventor’s widow begs for his assistance, claiming the crime was not a random robbery. It seems her husband’s designs for a revolutionary steam-powered engine went missing the night of his death. The plans could be worth a fortune . . . and very dangerous in the wrong hands.

Joining Wrexford in his investigation is Charlotte Sloane, who uses the pseudonym A. J. Quill to publish her scathing political cartoons. Her extensive network of informants is critical for her work, but she doesn’t mind tapping that same web of spies to track down an elusive killer. Each suspect—from ambitious assistants to rich investors, and even the inventor’s widow—is entwined in a maze of secrets and lies that leads Wrexford and Sloane down London’s most perilous stews and darkest alleyways.

With danger lurking at every turn, the potent combination of Wrexford’s analytical mind and Sloane’s exacting intuition begins to unravel the twisted motivations behind the inventor’s death. But they are up against a cunning and deadly foe—a killer ready to strike again before they can recover the inventor’s priceless designs . . .

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose is another exciting mystery. Murder, mayhem, and chaos…are found everywhere. An inventor is found dead by one of the leading characters. But soon he is encouraged to follow the investigations find the stolen design plans. Lord Wrexford does not go sleuthing alone. Instead, he has his lady friend, Charlotte Sloane. Together they have the skills necessary to figure out the mystery. But danger keeps building as they get closer. The intensity of the risks they engage in while solving the murder is intriguing. There’s a bit of a romance between them yet neither one is ready to define it or open up about it. They are clever, strong, and determined to solve this case. The suspects range from the dead inventors wife to others whose interest in the inventors plans could be profitable to them. The plot was engaging. Clues were left here and there…but I was still not sure who was behind the murder and why. Andrea Penrose has hooked me with her latest mystery. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series to find out what Charlotte and Lord Wrexford are up to…overall, I highly recommend this novel to all readers.

Review: A Tale of Two Murders (book 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On the eve of the Victorian era, London has a new sleuth . . .

In the winter of 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist on the rise at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at the estate of the newspaper’s co-editor, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious nineteen-year-old Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the pleasant evening. Charles, Kate, and her father rush to the neighbors’ home, where Miss Christiana Lugoson lies unconscious on the floor. By morning, the poor young woman will be dead.

When Charles hears from a colleague of a very similar mysterious death a year ago to the date, also a young woman, he begins to suspect poisoning and feels compelled to investigate. The lovely Kate offers to help–using her social position to gain access to the members of the upper crust, now suspects in a murder. If Charles can find justice for the victims, it will be a far, far better thing than he has ever done. But with a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond is a both classic and an exciting mystery. This plot shows us, readers, a young Charles Dickens in love who ends up going after the bad guys. His investigation leads to many suspects. Especially, those in the top circles of society. His lady, Kate helps him get into the top circles to question the possible suspects. I was enchanted with this book. Intrigue, suspense, and a repeat of murders just like in the past…everything held my attention to the last page. The writer brilliantly took a famous person, Charles Dickens, and wove a masterpiece entailing him and his younger life. I cannot see how readers would not be hooked. My curiosity peaked the pages flew by. The intensity of mystery grew the further I dug into it. Overall, A Tale of Two Murders is a must read. A little bit of mystery, suspense, and history all wrapped into one stunning book.

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