Review: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Includes a Recipe!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

 

 

Review: What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie

What Ales the Earl (Widow's Brew, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Scandal does not define the “fallen” ladies of Puddledon Manor’s Benevolent Home. Instead, it’s a recipe for an intoxicating new future as the women combine their talents—to operate their own brewery and alehouse…

When Penelope Barnes arrived at the Home with her young daughter, she discovered a knack for horticulture—and for cultivating the hops needed to produce a superlative pint. She put her scandalous affair with Harry Graham firmly in the past, along with the wrenching pain she felt when he went off to war. After all, she’d always known a farmer’s daughter had no future with an earl’s son. Now she has the pleasant memory of their passion, and she has little Harriet, for whom she would do anything—even marry a boring country vicar.

Harry went off to fight for the Crown, unaware that his delightful interlude with his childhood friend had permanent consequences. Now he’s back in England, catapulted into the title by his brother’s untimely death. He sorely misses his former life of unfettered adventure, so when he has reason to explore Little Puddleton, he jumps at the chance. But what he finds there is something—and someone—he never knew he’d lost, and a once forbidden love whose time has come, if only he can persuade Pen he’s home to stay.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie is an interesting twist for a historical romance tale. I never once heard of a young lady creating and maintaining her own brewery. Yet that’s exactly what happens here. A farmer’s daughter fell in love with an Earl’s son. They had shared one romantic moment together before he left for war. But what he left behind was more than just the woman who consumes his thoughts…a surprise awaits him. Harry’s mother wants her son to marry and settle down asap. But Harry is experiencing seconds thought to that marriage promise. The lady is he supposed to marry, talks nonstop. A beauty that she is…but not very good company.

While Harry struggles with his new responsibilities, Pen struggles with her own problems. Pen still loves Harry. But she knows deep that a tenant like could not marry an Earl. Harry is above her station. Accepting that, Pen tries to move forward. Marriage to the vicarage is her option. However, her daughter dismisses that notion. She wants her father and mother to marry…but can a union from opposites classes happen? Or will that only tear down the world she has fought to build up for her herself and her daughter?

What Ales the Earl is entertaining, fresh, and full of good humor. I loved the intensity of the character’s situations. It made for a fun read.  I got to explore rules of society and rules of the heart. When mixed it created a heedy and complicated mixture. One that was worth reading.

 

Review: Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Wedding the Widow (The Widows' Club, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are reentering London society, where they’ll learn how to live—and love—again…

Of all the widows of Lyttlefield Park, Elizabeth Easton seems least likely to remarry. Though many gentlemen would love to get to know the charming Mrs. Easton better, she is devoted to the memory of her late husband. Which is why she’s so shocked to be overtaken by passion during a harvest festival, succumbing to an unforgettable interlude with the handsome Lord Brack.

After enduring years of war, Jemmy, Lord Brack, plans to defer matrimony in favor of carefree pleasure. But who could resist a lifetime with Elizabeth Easton, a woman as marvelously sensual as she is sweet? Yet despite their mutual desire, she refuses to consider his proposal. With scandal looming, and their families bitterly opposed to the match, Jemmy must find a way to convince Elizabeth to risk her wary heart on him—and turn one infamous night into forever.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon is a hot historical romance. From the first page, Jenna Jaxon swept me into the plot. A young widow is not in a rush to remarry. But when she met Jem at an event, he never once left her side. She felt an instant pull towards Jem. He was completely a gentleman and never pushed her to far. Elizabeth’s heart still belongs to her former husband. That loss hasn’t left her yet. Jem understood. I liked how well they treated each other and others around them. There were plenty of sexy scenes. Scenes that made me blush as red as a beet and melt to my toes.

However, Jem and Elizabeth seem to always be in company or in a situation that didn’t allow them as much alone time. I was a tad disappointed there. But I could still feel the lust coming off the pages. Instant heat, attraction, and love at first meeting. Neither one planned to marry but it just happened. There are some obstacles that were different than most. I wasn’t expecting the big obstacle but loved how they all bounded together as a group. Truth, anger, love, and a strong HEA are all found, here. Absolutely one of the best romances, I have read.

Review: A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford

A Catered Cat Wedding

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons run a catering business in their upstate New York town, and they’re ready and willing to handle any wedding–even one where the bride and groom have tails . . .

Susie Katz is known as the crazy cat lady of Longely, New York, and goes out of her way to earn the title, right down to her cat T-shirts and porcelain Hello Kitties. She’s a fanatic for anything feline. Humans, not so much.

So when she decides to put up a tent on her property and hold an extravagant wedding ceremony for her two Russian blues, she makes sure to include a few two-legged guests–primarily to raise some hackles. All her favorite enemies will be there: her bird-loving neighbor, a rival cat breeder, a local animal rights activist, and the niece and nephew who stand to inherit her considerable fortune . . . if she doesn’t spend it all on cat tchotchkes first. Susie can’t wait for them all to watch as Boris and Natasha slink up the aisle in their very expensive diamond-studded collars, before everyone starts digging in to the poached salmon and caviar provided for the occasion by Bernie and Libby.

But chaos erupts when a wedding gift is unwrapped and a mischief of mice jump out of the box–followed by the disappearance of all the pampered partygoers. Just a few hours later, Susie is stabbed in the back while searching for her missing kitties near the now-empty tent–and it’s up to the Simmons sisters to sniff out the killer . . .

Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford is a novel filled with humor, cats, and murder. An older woman is obsessed with her cats. She ends up spending a fortune on a cat wedding for two of her most prized cats. Yet just as the weirdest wedding is about to unfold, everything goes wrong. From there, the two sisters catering the wedding are taking care of a mice problem only to find the cat owner stabbed to death. This novel was full of laughs and utter chaos. I found the cat owner strange and her murder interesting. I loved the niece and nephew of the crazy cat lover. And the two main cats made this story even more fun to follow. I did not like Suzie, the cat owner, at all. Her personality and way with spending made me dislike her. The sisters catering the wedding, Bernie and Libby were kind even to Suzie. The plot was crazy but the murder inside caught my full attention. I enjoyed reading this new mystery.

 

 

 

Review: Santa’s on His Way by Lisa Jackson, Maisey Yates, Stacy Finz, and Nicole Helm

Santa's on His Way

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Open your heart to the holidays with these stories of unexpected love . . . 
 
A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS * Lisa Jackson
The uneventful Christmas Annie McFarlane expected is suddenly anything but. First, there’s the adorable baby left on the snowy doorstep of her Oregon cabin. Second, there’s the extremely attractive, yet extremely angry man claiming to be the father. Liam O’Shaughnessy may be intimidating, but this is one precious gift Annie isn’t giving up so easily . . .

WHAT THE COWBOY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS * Maisey Yates
When Meg O’Neill’s longtime boyfriend lets her down, again, on Christmas no less, she braves an Oregon blizzard to get to her best friend Noah’s comforting arms. But this time Noah’s not telling her what she wants to hear—he’s telling her the truth, from his heart. And his words just might be the gift Meg’s been wishing for all along.

SNOWED IN * Stacy Finz
Rachel Johnson has found the perfect spot for her second Tart Me Up bakery in Glory Junction, California. Except she’s in fierce competition with hunky bar owner Boden Farmer. Worse, while the icy rivals await the city’s decision, they end up catering the same Christmas Eve mountaintop wedding—and getting snowed in. But sometimes a loss of electricity generates a different kind of heat . . .

A COWBOY WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS * Nicole Helm
Big city art teacher Lindsay Tyler isn’t just back home in Colorado for her brother’s wedding at the Barton Christmas Tree Farm and Ranch. She’s back for good. She just hasn’t told anyone yet—including Cal Barton, the ex-boyfriend she left behind. Will it take a Christmas miracle for him to welcome her back with open arms? . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Santa on His Way is a heartfelt collection of four romantic stories. Christmas has that magical feeling…and these characters have captured my heart.

In one story, I found a young, brave, yet broken hearted woman. Her one love, aka boyfriend, has let her down for the last time. She immediately goes to her best friend, Noah. Noah has loved Meg since he was seventeen. Nothing has ever stopped his feelings for her. He pushed them aside every time, because Meg was so wrapped up in the other guy. But now, they have a chance at forever. But will the always there Noah be brave enough to accept Meg as his?

The next story, presented me with two rivals. Each one wanting the old saw mill for a restaurant of sorts. One currently owns the town’s brewery and the other is the town’s baker. Then, they get stuck at a wedding reception during a snowstorm.  The cold has a way of bringing out the truth and romance. Can either one settle aside their anger and accept a partnership in both love and business?

The third tale, was about the youngest sibling of a cowboy family wanting to leave her ever demanding family. Lindsey wanted to find herself. But she never once thought how her leaving town affected the one man she loved and left behind. All those years, and Cal still loved her. His anger makes it hard for either one to move forward. But Lindsey isn’t backing down now. Love is worth fighting for…but only if Cal lets her back inside his heart.

The last story, is a about a woman whose husband divorced her. She went through a lot of miscarriages. It’s Christmas time, and Annie is feeling lonely with her dog. Until a noise brings her to her door where she finds a baby left behind. Puzzled, she finds a note addressed to her. The baby belonged to her sister who, couldn’t raise it. And the father didn’t want it. Then, there’s the other man who comes barging onto her doorstep. Liam thinks the baby is his. Nola set him for for murder and then recanted it. But he’s still a suspect to the police. Only Nola knows the absolute truth of the crimes committed. But it will take everything to trace her down and ask the questions. Liam won’t leave without the newborn baby. However, Annie isn’t sure it’s his and won’t let him take the baby away. Both want the baby. Christmas around the corner, a snowstorm, and a baby in the cabin leave for funny ideas. Romance, marriage, and creating a family…but can the characters find the truth and happiness before they lose everything that matters?

Overall, Santa’s on His Way is an amazing collection. I loved each of these romantic stories. Forgiveness, family, and finding love…are major themes. I highly recommend this contemporary set to all readers.

 

 

Review: The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“In New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams’ intriguing new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel, Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning…”
 
Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a
suspect—or another target.

Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams sets off on another mystery. One that is deeper and more surprising than the previous one.  Nora owns a bookstore and hosts a book club. They gather together as friends and share their secrets. One new addition has secrets that lead to a case. Getting all the details, will cause for more patience than Nora has ever used. Then, there’s the shocking turn of events that made me gasp. Nora ends up doing something to the sheriff to land herself in a cell. Even Nora was surprised she went through with the act. Humor, suspense, and entertainment follow on these pages. I was thrilled with this new journey. Ellery Adams creates a tale to behold. It has just enough to peak my curiosity and send forth in the thickness of the plot. Bold, secretive, and romantic, I recommend this new cozy to all readers.

 

 

Review: Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney

Final Roasting Place

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett–since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment–until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio–and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney delivers both mystery and humor. I love the way the characters bristle and fight between each other. Each one takes their opinion seriously. Then, there is the father daughter relationship on the pages. Sherry and her father seem to get along. I find it funny how he kept eating other foods except for his daughter’s own dishes. Despite that, Sherry and her dad were charming characters. Sherry is a smart, quick, and talented sleuth. Her fast thinking and observations help solve the murder case.

News worthy stories are just about to get deadly. It might even get worse for Sherry Frazzelle and her father. A cookout show, containing contestants and delicious meals, starts off okay but ends with a big bang. Jealousy, greed, and a fear of change bring out a murderer. The suspects list grows with each page, just as all evidence points to Sherry’s father, another clue proves someone else is the murderer. But who? A race to investigate and find the real killer keeps Sherry’s hands full.

Final Roasting Place offers a lot of entertainment. Action, intrigue, and a bunch of clues as to who may or may not have committed the crime. The cast is enjoyable to follow along. Reminds me of the Murder She Wrote TV show.

 

Review: Miramar Bay by Davis Bunn

Miramar Bay (Miramar Bay #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the tender, heartwarming tradition of Nicholas Sparks, this compelling novel of two strangers in a small coastal town marks a romantic tour de force for internationally bestselling author Davis Bunn.

He had not come all this way just to break another woman’s heart.

When Connor Larkin boards a late night bus in downtown LA, he’s not sure where he’s going or for what he’s looking. Putting his acting career and his fiancee on hold, he’s searching for something he can’t define, a part of himself he lost on the road to success. Once he dreamed of being a singer in the classic style of Sinatra and Bennett. But his lean good looks soon landed him in movies as the sexy bad guy and in the arms of a famous young heiress. Now, with his wedding day approaching, Connor finds himself stepping into the sleepy seaside town of Miramar Bay where one remarkable woman inspires him to rethink all of his choices.

She needed to know his secrets, and to see if he’d tell her the truth.

Sylvie Cassick is nothing like the pretentious starlets back in Hollywood. The daughter of a nomadic painter, she’s had to work hard for everything unlike Connor’s fiancee. When Connor hears familiar music drifting out of Sylvie’s restaurant, he feels as if he’s finally come home. Sylvie isn’t sure what to think when this impossibly handsome stranger applies for a waiter’s job. Yet once he serenades her customers and slowly works his way into her heart she realizes there’s more to him than he’s letting on. And Connor realizes he’s found his destiny.

But as the outside world encroaches, threatening their fragile bond, Connor will have to risk losing everything to gain the life he longs for, and be the man Sylvie deserves.

Filled with bittersweet longing, Miramar Bay is an unforgettable journey through doubt and desire to the truth that can be discovered along the road less taken.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Miramar Bay by Davis Bunn is similar to novels by Debbie Macomber, Sheila Roberts and Sherryl Woods. It was about a woman wanting to spend time with her father and own a restaurant without the debt. She also wanted to know what it felt like to have a man love her. I could totally relate to the last one. Then, there was Connor. He’s a man on a mission. His life is missing something and he doesn’t stumble across it until he meets, Sylvie. Sylvie is a strong ordinary woman working her butt off to live. Unlike, Connor and his former love. Two opposites found each other making something beautiful. The plot was engaging but felt too slow for me. Otherwise, it’s a great contemporary tale.

Review: The Secret Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by [Adams, Ellery]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams is a fun and interesting murder mystery. The characters were charming. I loved Nora. She is the lady to go to for a book recommendation. Her personality made her perfect for this novel. I also enjoyed her group members. The ladies were all supportive of each other. Nora was supposed to meet a man only for him to turn up dead. That’s when Nora took lead into investigating the murder. She ended up placing herself into grave danger and took high risks. Then, there was Jed. I really liked him. I want to read more about him and Nora. They scenes made me blush and sigh with content. Overall, Ellery Adams sure knew how to charm me into loving her new book. I would recommend this to all to fans of Agatha Frost and Angie Fox.

 

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

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

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

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

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

Praise for A Simple Vow

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A ZEBRA SHOUT FRESH NEW ROMANCE

The Fernandez sisters have always had big dreams, and the talent and drive to pursue them. And in this sunny, spicy new series, each one will discover that success is that much sweeter when love follows . . .

Rosa Fernandez doesn’t act on impulse–she’s the responsible one, planning her career with precision, finally landing a job as the librarian at conservative Queen of Peace Academy, confining her strongest emotions to her secret poetry journal. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time. She deserves some fun, after all. So what if she doesn’t have a shot with Jeremy, not with his wealthy pedigree and high profile lifestyle. But one dance leads to one kiss, and soon Rosa is head-over-heels . . .

The adopted son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, Jeremy has a lot to live up to–especially with his birth father in prison–the perfect example of a bad example. With a big promotion and a move to Japan in the works, Jeremy is worlds away from settling down. But sweet, steady Rosa is a temptation he doesn’t want to deny himself, at least for now. Yet when their simple fling turns complicated, everything they’ve both worked for is threatened–except the red-hot intimacy they’ve found together. Can forever really grow from just-for-now?

Praise for Priscilla Oliveras’ His Perfect Partner

“Moving familial relationships and splashes of Puerto Rican culture round out this splendid contemporary.”
–Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Oliveras takes all the right steps in this sweet romance . . . Packed with emotion, humor, and memorable characters.”
–Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Well written and full of fun, welcoming characters. Readers will laugh and cry and be uplifted.” 
–RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras delivered on heat, sassy heroines, and a romantic story. A young Puerto Rican woman is determined to stay the good girl. She works hard and does not allow herself to play just as hard. Until her sister’s wedding, Rosa Fernandez finds herself wishing about a romance with a particular man. Little does she know, but fate has granted her a wish come true. It seems like the perfect story. But in reality Rosa gets a taste of it for a bit. A tease of what could be. The young man has a lot of pressure with family and his career. Rosa won’t let him into her life, until he mends his family tension and decides where he wants to be with his career. But until he does, neither one is happy.

Priscilla Oliveras writes well. The only thing that stops me from rating the book higher was due to the characters. The main protagonists kept pushing the off button. Rosa pushes Jeremy away countless times during the novel. Even her sisters said, she’s crazy. While her fear of tying down Jeremy made some sense, it still didn’t feel right. She never worked to keep him close to her. It was like, okay, Jeremy, it’s all up to you. Whatever Jeremy chooses that would have been how the story ended. Rosa shows no sign of fighting for Jeremy. Jeremy not once really fought to persuade Rosa that he really wanted to be at her side more than nay thing. It just felt flat in this area. Otherwise, the rest was perfect.

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: Bells, Spells, and Murders

Bells, Spells, and Murders (Witch City Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Someone’s spreading deadly holiday cheer through Salem, Mass . . . 

Lee Barrett has landed her dream job at Salem’s WICH-TV. As the new field reporter, she’ll be covering events live as they’re unfolding. Next on her holiday checklist is an interview with the beloved chairman of a popular walking tour through Salem’s historic districts. But it may be his ghost walking this snowy Noel season after Lee finds him murdered in his stately offices, bloody Santa hat askew.

With her police detective boyfriend working the case and a witch’s brew of suspects–including some bell-ringing Santas–Lee chases down leads aided and abetted by her wise cat O’Ryan and some unsettling psychic visions of her own. When a revealing clue leads to another dead body, not even a monster blizzard can stop Lee from inching closer to the truth . . . and a scoop that could spell her own demise this killer Christmas.

Praise for the Witch City Mysteries

“Perfectly relaxing and readable.” —Kirkus Reviews

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

“An entertaining story that keeps readers guessing until the very twisted and eerie end.” —RT Book Reviews

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry is another grand adventure full of mayhem. Murder, secrets, and danger lie here. It’s up to Lee Barrett once more to solve another murder investigation. She has a fiery personality that is fun to follow. Her curiosity and determination to solve a case is crazy sometimes dangerous. She is always finding herself in a difficult position. But in the end there is her boyfriend, Detective Pete, there to come to her rescue. It was funny, sweet, and engaging. I could not stop reading this novel. The mystery was good. So many possible suspects that I was guessing the whole way…I liked the red herrings that the main character dropped for readers like me. It was enjoyable. I am hooked.

Bells, Spells, and Murders is highly recommended for all cozy mystery lovers. For fans of  Angie Fox this is a must read. I loved the main character’s visions and the presence of cats running around…plus, there’s a bit of romance inside, too.

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: Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

 

Review: Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No more cheating . . .

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: The 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: First Comes Love by Heather Heyford

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: How Not to Let Go by Emily Foster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Murder in the Locked Library by Ellery Adams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Expiration Date by Devon Delaney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: 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: Murder in an Irish Churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Murder at an Irish Wedding (book 2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The O Sullivan clan of County Cork, Ireland, are thrilled to be catering the matrimonial affairs of a celebrity couple until a cunning killer turns an Irish wedding into an Irish wake . . .

“Any wedding is a big deal in the small village of Kilbane even more so when the bride is a famous fashion model. It s also good for business. Not only has customer traffic picked up at Naomi s Bistro, Siobhan O Sullivan and her five siblings have a full plate catering for the three-day affair. And Siobhan s own beau, local garda Macdara Flannery, gladly steps in as best man after the groom s first choice makes a drunken arse out of himself.

Even if he hadn t been disinvited to the wedding, the original best man wouldn t have been able to show. He s been found murdered in the woods, casting a pall over the nuptials. And when a second member of the wedding party is poisoned by a champagne flute engraved with Macdara s name, the garda goes from being best man to prime suspect.

With a killer at large and a string of robberies plaguing Kilbane, Siobhan feels more than a little protective of her village. She vows to clear Macdara s name, but the suspect list is as long as the guest list. Like the bride walking down the aisle, Siobhan needs to watch her step. For as she gets closer to unveiling the truth, the murderer is planning a very chilly reception for her . . .

 

 

 

 

PRAISE FOR “MURDER IN AN IRISH VILLAGE”

“”

If Janet Evanovich and Maeve Binchy wrote a book together, “Murder in an Irish Village”would be the result. This one isdelicious fun. Laurien Berenson, author of”Live and Let Growl”

A lively debut . . . The cheeky and close-knit O Sullivans are sure to appeal to cozy fans, who will also appreciate the warmth and spirit of the people of Kilbane. “Publishers Weekly”

A smart whodunnit in an idyllic locale. I dare you not to be charmed by sleuth Siobhan and her siblings, the O Sullivan Six. Barbara Ross, author of “Fogged Inn”

“”

This entertaining combination of Maeve Binchy s old-world Irish charm and Janet Evanovich s roguish humor is a smart, fast-paced read. Devotees of the Hibernian mysteries of Dicey Deere and M.C. Beaton will toast this debut with a pint of Guinness. Slainte! “Library Journal”

 

 

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder at an Irish Wedding by Carlene O’Connor is rich in the Irish culture. I felt like I was transplanted in Ireland. The focus is strong on the Irish roots of the characters. Sometimes, it is a bit overwhelming. The plot was steady with enough action to keep me guessing. The groom, his father-in-law and Kevin were acted a bit strange. Their behavior put me on edge as I dug further into the book. Then, a mysterious note appears to Kevin and my curiosity explodes. Drama, mayhem, and murder are found here. The big Irish clan has more drama than any set of characters I’ve meet. The more drama exposed, the more interesting the scenes grew. Lady sleuth, Siobhan, is the easiest character to like. I’m happy that she’s the main protagonist in this novel. Her personality sparkles. Tempers flare, arguments break out, and all chaos breaks the happy wedding environment. This, was the first book I have read by Carlene O’Connor and yet I felt as though I’ve been reading her books for a long time. This one kept me on my toes with the characters. Overall, I enjoyed reading this murder mystery. I recommend to readers everywhere.

Book Review: No One Like You by Kate Angell

No One Like You by Kate Angell is one fantastic romantic read that readers will instantly love. One super hot famous baseball player hires a personal assistant to keep him and his four dogs organized. That’s right fours dogs! Two dachshunds, his golden retriever, and a Great Dane named Atlas. Apparently the Great Dane, Atlas, has it in him to force both Beth Avery and his owner Ryan Cates together every time he can. Who would have know that a Great Dane who play match maker. Beth is doing this personal assistant job for the money before moving on but with Atlas trying to force her and his owner to confess their feelings her job just got hotter and harder by the minute. Can Beth and Ryan admit their undeniable attraction towards one another? Or will the Great Dane’s attempts fail in match making?

Kate Angell’s novel is funny, sweet, and addictive. A story whose pages are worth every turn and keep readers lured in forever. A heart melting and hilarious read. I enjoyed reading the tension between both Beth as she struggled to fight her feeling for Ryan. And how Ryan also struggled with his feelings towards his personal assistant. The build of romantic frustration and the help of one huge and adorable dog this is a must read novel for all. Animal lovers will love the four amazing creatures and the two stunning characters. It’s no surprise to find out that Kate is on the National Best-selling list. Her work will dazzle readers everywhere. Overall, I highly recommend this story and rate it a five out of five stars. A perfect romance.

Book Review: Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan

Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan is  must read mystery thriller. This story is highly unusual for its kind making it the number one novel that readers will want to read. The story is about a pregnant woman who is a deputy coroner is out on the prowl as to who stabbed a math teacher with a barbecue fork. The weapon was straight in the heart. Why would someone want to kill a high school math teacher? And who had any motives to do so? Mattie also has her own problems. One being pregnant and having her estranged father following her around. Can Mattie solve the murder case before someone decides to kill and her unborn child? And even with all the evidence pointing to the dead teacher’s son as the killer, will Mattie be able to clear him or find him guilty? I highly recommend readers to pick up this brilliantly yet stunning novel to find out what happens next. Mattie Winston is no ordinary sleuth. Overall, I rate Still Penalty a five out of five stars.

Book Review: Santa’s Secret by Serenity Woods

Santa’s Secret by Serenity Woods is a charming, sensual, and a heart melting novel. Eva  and her son are spending Christmas in Santa’s Secret Village where they meet Rudy and his daughter Isabel. Eva and Rudi feel the attraction towards each other instantly and their kids enjoy spending time together. Isabel teaches Eva’s four-year old son manners and learns how to enjoy Christmas spirit more. Rudi and his ex-wife are separated. They argued a lot and then having seen his wife in their bed with another man was the last straw.  Eva and her husband ended up spending less and less time together. Soon, after drinking Eva’s husband dies in a car accident when their son was still just a baby. Will both Rudi and Eva find love this Christmas in each other’s arms? Or will they just have a one time fling and go about the own ways? And will Rudi’s daughter Isabel learn how to enjoy Christmas’s magic like Eva’s son does? Or will she not be able to enjoy Christmas after all?

I fell in love with Serenity Woods’s amazing book! I could not put this novel down. Hot, sexy, and irresistibly stunning, Santa’s Secret is the best novel that I have read in a long time. The character’s are realistic. They children make the novel interesting and funny. It will be very hard for readers everywhere to not fall in love with this incredible story! A story about family, love, and Christmas magic will leave your holidays glowing with warmth.  I would recommend this novel to those who love a cozy romance that will heat up their night and melt their hearts. Overall, I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

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