Review: Jagdlied by Dolly Gray Landon

Jagdlied: a Chamber Novel for Narrator, Musicians, Pantomimists, Dancers & Culinary Artists (color paperback) by [Landon, Dolly Gray]

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This musically and graphically enriched chamber novel is an over-the-top black and blue comic extravaganza about the conspiratorial undoing of a teenage entitlement princess. The story throbs throughout with an undercurrent of apocalyptic motifs related to the extinction of art, fall of empire, and coming of the Antichrist. It is an epic farce that reads like an erotically supercharged psychological suspense thriller. The narrative takes the reader/audient on a veritable boomerang roller-coaster ride (with multiple inversions) through a reputational strip-and-whiptease of the novel’s malignantly artful (albeit ingenuously doe-eyed) protagonist: a wealthy young heiress and socialite who boasts an exclusive claim to her progenitors’ munificent estate. Her inheritance comprises an immense fortune amassed through shareholder investments in the world’s largest employment recruiter: the multi-national temp agency behemoth known as the Pleasant Peasant Corporation.

The character-driven narrative of Jagdlied explores themes of jilted love, misinterpreted motives, paranoid ideations, bombastic egos, ghoulish envy, smoldering jealousy, unconscionable revenge ploys, extravagant public humiliations, ruthless power games, insatiable greed, pernicious corruption, feigned moral outrage from all sides, and even (Heaven forfend!) coldblooded murder—all the type of stuff pre-calculated to magnetize your run-of-the-thrill-seeking bookworms and bibliophiles.

A rich repository of tongue-in-cheek nonce words, malapropisms, neologisms, archaisms, spoonerisms, slanguage, and whole swaths of unintelligible nonsense, the text of Jagdlied is also replete with irreverently lurid, salacious, and scatologic elements, which serve to set it in motion as a formidable contender for the distinctive cachet of being regarded (by cultivated aesthetes of omnifarious persuasions) as a momentously serious dirty book. It is targeted towards percipient readers and audients in possession of a well-seasoned sick and—dare it be said—cruel batch of funny bones inflected with a gallows-cum-smoking-room bent.

Whilst the plot of this story (grotesquely absurd as it will undoubtedly be esteemed) embraces reflexively cringeworthy sadomasochistic motifs, its author would hesitate to instyle it as porn, yet he would not be wholly disinclined to characterize it as a farcical parody thereof. And whilst at the same time its author is admittedly predisposed to eschew ascribing labels of any kind to this opus (especially seeing as what he has concocted is so rarefied in its formal structure that it cannot be facilely pigeonholed), it may not be altogether off the mark to view it as a form of literary neurotica (if, indeed, there is such a genre) as opposed to the more boilerplate literotica—or what in sex nazi circles is dysphemistically adverted to (in no uncertain squirms) as “filth.”

Whilst the text of Jagdlied may be read in silence as a novel in the traditional sense, it is ultimately written for the purpose of being recited by a skilled elocutionist to the accompaniment of extemporized music by ad hoc variable ensembles in relatively brief, self-contained or—depending on how one looks at it—semi self-contained episodes with the aid of a do-it-yourself improvisation kit provided in its appendix. This “kit” is likenable to a Baroque-style table of ornaments, albeit comprehending specific sets of chance operations for each and every participant involved in renditions of individual fascicles of this work. Aside from entailing a professional narrator and musical extemporizers, the score discretionarily calls for pantomime actors, dancers (hence choreographers), set designers, culinary artists, and even members of the audience itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Jagdlied by Dolly Gray Landon is a thriller novel unlike any other. Its words lead you on a journey that give a unique literary style I have not seen before. I was curious and lost within the pages immediately. The plot was complex. Dolly Gray Landon knows how to write in a way that peaks one’s interest and holds it until the end. The language was a bit bigger than my normal reads, yet it was still a good read. Due to the level of content and words, I highly recommend it for adults only. Although, I can see young adults grabbing this book and hiding away to read it. There was a combination of styles poured into this book. They add to the flavor. Reading this book takes time, but it has so much to offer. Overall, this is a rich, fun, and one epic read.

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Review: Cross Breed by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fans of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh’s scorching Breed series first met Cassie as a little girl in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now Cassie has finally come into her own as a young woman, and she’s about to discover the one she is destined for–but it is unclear whether her fate is to be mated for life, or marked for death…

The Breeds are humans altered before conception with the DNA of the predators of the earth. But although they all carry the genetic material of beasts within them, Cassandra Sinclair stands apart. A unique mix of wolf, coyote and human, she is revered by many–but preyed upon by others. She is fiercely protected by her community…but no one manages to stop her when she slips away one day to offer her body in exchange for her sister’s safety.

The man she succumbs to surprises her by unleashing her inner animal in ways she never dreamed possible–and provokes her deep, furious rage. To Cassie’s shock, he is the mate she has long awaited. She may never be able to forgive his deception. Still, as dangerous enemies track her, and as the threat of all-out war between Breeds and the humans who despise them hovers in the air, they must join forces and hold fast to each other.

But the passionate union between them holds a potential that could change the world–and some will do anything to stop it…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cross Breed by Lora Leigh is an intense paranormal romance tale. I was sucked into the whole Breed and Human world. Scientists took children away from their families only to use their embryos for creating half humans and half animals. Taking sperm from coyotes and wolves the government thought they could create an army to use as a weapon against others. Only it backfired on them in ways they did not expect. Eventually, enough human families had missing family members used and killed for these experimentations. The offspring were not looked at as monsters by the majority of the humans. But that did not mean that others were not disgusted with the Breeds and hybrids.

A young woman, Cassie, is overpowered by the feelings of lust and lack of fear towards a man who first aimed to kill her. He knew she was his mate when he saw her at eighteen. But he never went to claim her until 6-years later. One challenge between, and a night of exotic passion lead to distrust and anger. No matter the danger towards them both, their mating heat keeps increasing and only they can help each other survive its brutal wave.

Dog, aka Cain, is a coyote Breed. But he lets the council who created him think he’s undercover for them. Dog wants to get the info to take them out and destroy them. The council are the ones responsible for creating the Breeds and Hybrids like himself. Anger and loss is all Dog knew until his mate. Cassie gives him hope and tears his world upside down…but he’ll do everything in his power to keep her alive and with him.

Lora Leigh created a world full of drama, risks, and heat. I felt the instant attraction between both protagonists. They reeled me in deep. The plot is full of adult language from time to time, some fighting but not graphic, and a little bit of BDSM is inside the sex scenes. I recommend this paranormal romance to all adults.

Review: Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman

Some Like It Sinful

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Chloe Nelson and professional hockey player Griffin Lange get along like chocolate and pickles. But Chloe needs the famous (and infamously unattached) Griffin to attract people to her struggling bakery, and Griffin needs the curvaceous and fiery Chloe to keep him out of trouble. A fake relationship for the media to focus on seems like the perfect plan.

But when temptation throws them into bed together, a new plan arises. Why not make the most of things? Griffin’s winning every home game, and Chloe’s business has never been better. Both know it’s only physical-and only temporary-so why is it starting to feel like more? And can they drop their defenses long enough to find out if what started out as playing pretend can rise into something sinfully good?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Like It Sinful by Robbie Terman is a sexy heartfelt story. I love stories that swept me off my feet. This one did exactly that plus, more. I lost my heart to the characters. They were irresistible. Their anger banters soon took a quick turn for the hot romantic kind. The lady baker, Chloe, immediately judged this hot shot hockey player. But as he works off his community service in her bakery, there’s more to Griffin than most see or know.

Then, Griffin’s tale alos tugged at my soul. He grew up in a life that embarasses him. He had to work so hard to get where he’s at now. Rich, popular, and center of attention. Griffin is needing to be remembered but wants to be remembered in good ways. His current actions have dragged his hockey team and his loved ones through hell. Time to own up and confess.

Hot, sexy, and funny too. Griffin isn’t looking for a happy forever. But Chloe wants that…and little do they know they needed each other more than words can say. Robbie Terman had me laughing, crying, and rooting all the way. I was so happy to have bought this book! It was perfect! Overall, I recommend it to all contemporary romance lovers.

Amazon currently has the book still on sale for FREE as of 8/8/18: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G8BTRWW/

 

 

Review: The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D.

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Spencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are a happy bonus. But Spencer is about to be introduced to the most mysterious inner sanctum of the inner sanctum: to his surprise, he’s in the running to be “punched” for one of Harvard’s elite final clubs.

The Delphic Club is known as “the Gas” for its crest of three gas-lit flames, and as Spencer is considered for membership, he’s plunged not only into the secret world of male privilege that the Gas represents, but also into a century-old club mystery. Because at the heart of the Delphic, secured deep inside its guarded mansion club, is another secret society: a shadowy group of powerful men known as The Ancient Nine.

Who are The Ancient Nine? And why is Spencer—along with his best friend Dalton Winthrop—summoned to the deathbed of Dalton’s uncle just as Spencer is being punched for the club? What does the lore about a missing page from one of Harvard’s most historic books mean? And how does it connect to religion, murder, and to the King James Bible, if not to King James himself?

The Ancient Nine is both a coming of age novel and a swiftly plotted story that lets readers into the ultimate of closed worlds with all of its dark historical secrets and unyielding power.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D. is one very interesting mystery. A young man who appears to be the average guy, is soon chasing after clues to solve a disappearance. From there, it leads to a lot of intriguing connections like the Nazis and a college club society that leaves behind more questions than answers. Dark, edgy, and entertaining, I got lost within this novel. Ian Smith’s main protagonist was easy to relate to and felt real. The plot was steady. Overall, I recommend this book full of secrets to all readers.

Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Avoiding the Badge by Dorothy F. Shaw

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED 
 
Rayna Michaels may be a veterinarian, but she knows a little something about the human heart—especially when it comes to worried pet owners. Law enforcement’s bonds with their K9 partners are legendary, and Derek Hansen is a perfect example—he’s had his dog Axle in more times than she can count in the last few months. And Derek’s sculpted muscles and heart-stopping smile would be truly irresistible, if only he wasn’t an officer of the law…

Derek can’t get Rayna’s stunning face and no-nonsense smarts out of his mind. Any excuse to see her will do, until he works up the nerve to ask her out. He’s not sure where her resistance to cops comes from, though he’s more than willing to prove he’s one of the good ones. But when casual dating turns into explosive lovemaking, Derek knows he has to come clean about his past before the woman he loves finds out what he’s been hiding and turns tail to run…

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Avoiding the Badge by Dorothy F. Shaw is about this sexy as hell officer who took his canine partner to a vet. The vet happened to be a gorgeous woman who took his breath away. Plus, she was sweet. Ever since then, he’s been bringing in his dog to the vet for a check-up just to be close to her.

This felt a bit stalkerish. He meets her and immediately goes, that’s the woman. Mostly because of her looks. This book was all about his sexual lust towards her.  I couldn’t connect with him nor her as main characters.  Then the sex was the main purpose of this book. It was about pain sex. BDSM to be specific. I have read other books with BDSM scenes and felt more like an actual story than this book did. It failed my expectations in the romance department. Was it hot? If you’re into the graphic sex, then, yes. But all I think about was…when was this book going to end. I did not like either character. Okay, so then, the female vet has this issue with officers due to her dad. That was briefly mentioned and yet she took a chance on this officer oozing of lust and sex. He did not have to work hard to get her to have sex with him. Nor did he have to work hard to get her to trust him either. But were too far lost in lust towards the other to even think about real trust. Again, that’s why this book just did not meet my expectations for a contemporary romance.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff is one YA romance that swept me up quickly. I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot was that juicy…and addictive. The characters felt real. Their dilemmas had me laughing, crying, and left wondering what next.

A young finds her her boyfriend in an unexpected situation. To Sari, it looked like betrayal and felt like it too. Her boyfriend, Zev, tried to explain but Sari wasn’t having any of it. She just wanted to leave immediately and be rid of him. But love, if  real, doesn’t back down nor die. Nor does it give up that easily. Sari will have to find the answers to how to deal with the shocking betrayal and decide where her and Zev’s fate lie.

Shani Petroff had me hooked. This book was a lot of fun. I really like the teenagers that were created. First love, kisses, and the confusion of what to do in those cases led me back to a time when I too, was that young. Overall, I recommend this romantic and heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Dancing with the Sandman by L.T. Garvin

Dancing with the Sandman

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
***
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.

A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

Dancing with the Sandman by L.T. Garvin is about a rural town losing its history due to the world. The writing was entertaining to follow and easy to get lost within… Places are always changing yet the same people are still there. The writer gives a deeper look into the protagonist’s past and present life. The pages are fill with humor, memories, and life. It was like watching a movie through Billie Jo’s eyes. Her intake on the past and present made it enjoyable. Overall, this was a heartfelt women’s fictional piece that I do recommend to others. It was fun traveling to Texas with Billie Jo Dunstan.

Review: One More Moment by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Dagger’s Edge by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

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

Review: The Fall of a Sparrow by Dan Scannell

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Found in Paris, an old, long neglected book that purports to be the journal of one Henry Howard turns Michael Devon’s world upside down.

Within its tattered pages, Michael finds a rich tableau of mid-sixteenth century life, experienced with all of the wonder and sense of adventure of a teen-aged boy at the brink of manhood. A story of improbable love, loyalty, friendship, and courage emerges, set in the tumultuous events of the France of Catherine de Medici and Nostradamus.

Woven within this narrative is the story of an emerging poetic sensibility, coupled with an uncanny ability to bring to life a richly imaginative world. Howard provides a subtle sprinkling of linguistic tropes that suggests, in its early stages, the rich language of Shakespeare.

The Fall of a Sparrow is a book about language, the beauty of its texture, the force of its eloquence, and the music of its cadences.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Fall of a Sparrow by Dan Scannell is an interesting take on Shakespeare literature. I was swept back into the 1500’s and enjoying the time period. A young man named Henry Howard has grown up through a troubling time. He writes a lot of work that resembles that of Shakespeare. It comes back to the present moment where one of the characters suggests that somebody else wrote what Shakespeare created. I got to travel back and forth between present and past in discovering the character’s suggestion. I love Shakespeare’s work. This story created a vivid yet entertaining tale that I just could not stop reading. Any fan of literature would love reading this book just as much as I have. The writing was so easy to get swept up into and lost within…

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: Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant

Cowboy, Cross My Heart

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

A LEGENDARY LOVE

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: Pretty Boy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

#Prettyboy Must Die

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A CIA prodigy’s cover is blown when he accidentally becomes an internet sensation in #Prettyboy Must Die, inspired by the #Alexfromtarget story.

When Peter Smith’s classmate snaps a picture of him during a late night run at the track, Peter thinks he might be in trouble. When she posts that photo–along with the caption, “See the Pretty Boy Run,”–Peter knows he’s in trouble. But when hostiles drop through the ceiling of his 6th period Chem Class, Peter’s pretty sure his trouble just became a national emergency.

Because he’s not really Peter Smith. He’s Jake Morrow, former foster-kid turned CIA operative. After a massive screw-up on his first mission, he’s on a pity assignment, a dozen hit lists and now, social media, apparently. As #Prettyboy, of all freaking things.

His cover’s blown, his school’s under siege, and if he screws up now, #Prettyboy will become #Deadboy faster than you can say, ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ Trapped in a high school with rabid killers and rabid fans, he’ll need all his training and then some to save his job, his school and, oh yeah, his life.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Pretty Boy Must Die by Kimberly Reid is an entertaining spy novel. However, it felt like it was just too easy going. The volume of high risks, did not leave me feeling scared. The danger was something an ordinary hacker could do instead of a teenage boy hacker who happened to be a spy. Also, he went against his boss a lot. If she wanted him out of an operation, why wasn’t there more of an effort? It just was not realistic. I could not connect this story to being about spies. These so-called spies were novices who were lucky. The teenage boy spy thing did peak my interests which is why I wanted to read this book. All in all, this novel failed my expectations of a teenage spy world.

 

Review: On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

On Turpentine Lane

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It’s a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state.) And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he’s Chagall. When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, officemate par excellence . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman is a romantic comedy for 30-year-olds. Faith is engaged to a man named Stuart. Stuart appeared to be nothing more than a douchebag as the cool character, Nick said. I had to agree. Honestly, I could not fathom why Faith allowed her fiance, Stuart, to travel alone with her credit card/card number. He never tried to contact her. The few times he did, it was like hi and bye. I felt no romance from him to Faith. Faith was just as her name suggested. She was faithful to her fiance. Stuart made me hate him with every page. Faith for some reason stuck with Stuart longer than I would have liked. However, she had to find herself, juggle her dysfunctional family, and a friendship that turned into more. Nick is the best character in this read. He was likable from the beginning to end. Overall, the plot was quirky, entertaining, but very slow.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: 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: Last One Home by Debbie Macomber

Last One Home (New Beginnings #1)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close — until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite — a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities — making amends with her sisters, finding love once more — she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber is a story about forgiveness, moving forward, and new beginnings. Central themes were focused on family, love, and second chances. The tale was both sad and sweet. A young woman made some bad mistakes and learned how to move beyond them. Cassie is strong, independent, and smart. I liked her personality. She felt both lost and deserted by her family when they too, felt the same way about her. Loss, grief, and hope were shown here, too. Cassie and her family might have a chance at redeeming themselves and being a family again. Overall, this women’s fiction novel was great.

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 Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Janet Peery’s first novel, The River Beyond the World, was a National Book Award finalist in 1996. Acclaimed for her gorgeous writing and clear-eyed gaze into the hearts of people, Peery now returns with her second novel, The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs.

On a summer evening in the blue-collar town of Amicus, Kansas, the Campbell family gathers for a birthday dinner for their ailing patriarch, town judge Abel Campbell, prepared and hosted by their still-hale mother Hattie. But when Billy, the youngest sibling—with a history of addiction, grand ideas, and misdemeanors—passes out in his devil’s food cake, the family takes up the unfinished business of Billy’s sobriety.

Billy’s misadventures have too long consumed their lives, in particular Hattie’s, who has enabled his transgressions while trying to save him from Abel’s disappointment. As the older children—Doro, Jesse, ClairBell, and Gideon—contend with their own failures, they compete for the approval of the elderly parents they adore, but can’t quite forgive.

With knowing humor and sure-handed storytelling, Janet Peery reveals a family at its best and worst, with old wounds and new, its fractures and feuds, and yet its unbreakable bonds.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs by Janet Peery is a story of family. Families are the center of the community. This one displayed how a family struggled yet still supported and loved one another. It was heart felt, emotional, and entertaining. The funny part was that the mother seemed to head the family even though she feared how her husband would react to their son’s behavior. Grief, mischief, and and unconditional love are shown here. It was amazing to follow them all. The characters gave this book a three-dimensional touch. It felt like I knew the family for years. Overall, I recommend this dramatic yet beautiful story to all.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron (The Great Library, #4)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: 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: The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard

The Atomic City Girls

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the bestselling tradition of Hidden Figures and The Wives of Los Alamos, comes a riveting novel of the everyday women who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II

“What you see here, what you hear here, what you do here, let it stay here.”

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government’s plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June’s search for answers.

When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard gave a realistic yet deep look into women and their roles during war especially, in 1944. The story told how two women who have goals go about obtaining them. But not all ends up well. June wanted to learn more about their missions and is successful. Her friend Cici wanted a husband and she had for a time but then lost even that. One got what she wanted while the other sort of lost out on hers. But even when Cici’s life ended up a disaster she somehow holds herself up and keeps moving forward. I liked that about her. Then, there was the African American mistreatment that was explored. I felt as though I was transported back in time. The poor group suffered greatly at the hands of the white people. It hurt to watch as Joe lived in fear. He worked to protect his family and keep them safe. I felt overjoyed to see how Joe and his family survive through the tough times in their world. It made this book so much more than just a work of fiction. It combined history and strong themes to make an entertaining yet emotional story. All three main characters were brave, bold, and good people. It showed how they moved forward despite what life brought them. They made lemonade out of lemons. Overall, it was a good read.

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: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

The Feed

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Mad Max and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age.

IT MAKES US. IT DESTROYS US. NOW WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The Feed is accessible everywhere, by everyone, at any time. It instantaneously links us to all information and global events as they break. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it; it is the essential tool everyone relies on to know and understand the thoughts and feelings of partners, parents, friends, children, colleagues, bosses, employees . . . in fact, of anyone and everyone else in the world.

Tom and Kate use the Feed, but Tom has resisted its addiction, which makes him suspect to his family. After all, his father created it. But that opposition to constant connection serves Tom and Kate well when the Feed collapses after a horrific tragedy shatters the world as they know it.

The Feed’s collapse, taking modern society with it, leaves people scavenging to survive. Finding food is truly a matter of life and death. Minor ailments, previously treatable, now kill. And while the collapse has demolished the trappings of the modern world, it has also eroded trust. In a world where survival of the fittest is a way of life, there is no one to depend upon except yourself . . . and maybe even that is no longer true.

Tom and Kate have managed to protect themselves and their family. But then their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing. Who has taken her? How do you begin to look for someone in a world without technology? And what happens when you can no longer even be certain that the people you love are really who they claim to be?

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo is emotional dystopian story. Imagine the world as you know, being connected to the internet. Everything is controlled by what humans do on this internet, aka The Feed. Humans are the source of energy for the feed. Apparently, none of the characters or humans could survive without the Internet. It was needed just a highly as the air required for one’s lungs. Take the internet away and society was doomed. But was it already doomed before it collapsed?

So, this story explores the depth in which society relies and on lives on The Feed. An internet thing that keeps everyone and everything going. It crashes and everyone falls apart. Destruction, chaos, and war among individuals who once loved each other…are depicted on these pages. I couldn’t find a connection to the characters. Their world was confusing and dark. The world really was obsessed with The Feed, if they could not learn to live without it.  This made me wonder if our society would go this extreme one day. Absolutely, scary fact to think about…but it left me wondering. Other than the couple who loss their daughter the story felt flat and repetitive. It did not capture my interest the way I thought it would have. I was expecting for a more realistic doom day relating to technology and society. Some of the fictional twists, just did not make sense. Overall, The Feed was okay but not the best.

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: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Hunger by Alma Katsu is an interesting yet dark journey. A moment in history known as the Donner Party has been relived and retold here. Survival is key. Each member of that doomed party went through hell. Back then, traveling was difficult if not impossible. Timing was not on the Donner Party’s side. Their hardships soon led to chaos, mistrust, and death. Alma Katsu made this historical fiction come alive with a suspenseful voice. A sadness clung to every page. The intensity of the plot grew and it was hard to let go of the book. I felt sorry for the characters and enjoyed following them on this trail. The plot was steady but packed with the right amount of details and action to keep the pages turned. Overall, I would recommend it to those looking for a scary yet entertaining tale.

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: Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Formula of Deception

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks is definitely for fans of Heather Graham, J.T. Ellison, and Brenda Novak. Carrie Stuart Parks brings a lot of excitement and danger in this thrilling read. A crime investigation leads back to a historical secret that somebody is  willing to kill to keep buried. Yet, investigators are getting closer and their death hangs into the air. As new and old victims pile up, the intensity of the situation rises. This dark Alaskan murder mystery, kept giving me chills.

Inside Formula of Deception, I got to meet a twin of a dead woman. The twin, Murphy Anderson, goes into hiding. Staying away from a murderer, is the plan. However, Murphy is soon drawn out of hiding and back into danger. Murphy has a talent that is needed for an investigation. This now, puts her at high risk. The murderer is still killing people to keep the historical secret hidden. It’s only a matter of time, before everything escalates out of control. Overall, this one was phenomenal.

 

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: The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

The Air You Breathe

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

 

Review: California Summer by Anita Hughes

California Summer

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“The perfect beach read!” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Timesbestselling author of Beach House Reunion.

“Tender and triumphant…California Summer made my heart sing. —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Between Me and You

Anita Hughes’s California Summer is a charming and beautiful love story about a former Hollywood producer who trades her cast list in for cookbooks in the hopes of following her dreams and finding new love.

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again.

California Summer is a touching and romantic story about following your dreams but not letting them get in the way of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

California Summer by Anita Hughes is definitely for fans of Samantha Chase, Brenda Novak, and Debbie Macomber. Here, I got to meet a young woman who finds betrayal where she least excepts it. From there, she moves forward creating a new life. New friends, following a dream, and maybe, even a new romance. But balancing her dreams and a new love seems impossible…this story is about finding the courage to chase after one’s dreams. It is sweet, engaging, and had me rooting all the way. California Summer is an easy read. The pacing is steady and fun.

Anita Hughes introduces Rosie. She lives with her love until she finds him breaking her heart. After the betrayal, Rosie leaves her old life. Starting a new one, seems like the best thing. Until she falls in love again. Fear, challenges, and acceptance are featured on these pages. I am in love with all the characters. Rosie is determined to keep everything she wants in her new life. But whether that happens is to be seen. Josh is a handsome man who makes Rosie believe in love again. Suddenly, the future looks bright. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all readers.

 

Review: Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin is both sad and a happy journey. A young woman loses her parents, and then her fiance. Alex feels like she can never love anyone for fear of losing them. Yet she is falling in love with her best friend, Jake. Jake is known for not having relationships. But with Alex, it feels right. Being with her, Jake feels happy. He now has to prove to her that they’re made for each other. Happiness can exist once more. But the journey will be totally chaos.

Nicole McLaughlin’s book made me cry and laugh. The characters just have a way of pulling my heart into their life story. They swept me up into their beautiful chaos. Love, fear, and new beginnings…that’s what this book explored. Plans can be difficult. One path closes but another one opens. Alex is a strong yet determined woman to show that she can move forward. Losing a loved one is never easy; however, she held her own. Jake was the good man. Always being there for her, Jake made me swoon from page one. He is this irresistible man that every woman dreams about…overall, I highly recommend this romantic tale to all readers.

 

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: Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson

blythe-cover-hirez.jpg

 

 

 

 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Blythe of the Gates by Leah Erickson is a deep emotional story that pulled me in from the start. The main characters went through a life of hell before they got to where they were. A young baby boy left in blood at a nunnery, was then working on a farm where he was abused, and then left as an orphan. He soon worked in a carnival where he meet an older man. One that had magic. The magic drew him in unlike anything else. It held promise of a better, happier life. Yet, the things we want in life are not always what we need. The boy becomes the magician. He meets our lady protagonist. From there, she has lived in fear of her husband. A sadness swept over me  like an ice-cube going down my back. It was depressing. She ended up living a rich lifestyle but was abused by the magician. Her happiness sapped out of her. Until, Sean…a man as ordinary as her. He makes her happy but not perfectly happy. Things spiral out of control and our lady find herself in one chaotic mess after another.

Blythe of the Gates featured themes such as marriage, abuse, and moving forward. Luna and her husband were both lost souls looking for happiness. After reading this novel, I am still not sure if Luna will ever find it. Her husband managed to  find a temporary form of happiness but it still never gave him the full satisfaction that he desired. This story was epic. The pages were dark, engaging, and mysterious…I enjoyed reading it. Overall, I recommend this book to fans of Unfortunate Events. It has the same resemblance but better.

 

 

Review: Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.

Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…

In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.

But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?

 

“Readers who enjoy works by Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice will want to give Kramer a try.”—Library Journal

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer is a sweet heartfelt story of second chances. New beginnings await a young pair. Their future lies in their hands. I loved the father-daughter bond. It was engaging…and brought me a little closer to the main protagonist. I felt her passion for theater, as well as her love for her father. Ella is a woman who leaves people liking her. Her personality if warm. Determined and ready, Ella leaves to tackle a college career. She will be the first to get a degree in her family. I felt the happiness bloom inside of her. A young guy catches her attention early and it is from there that they have a connection. Love on the horizon…or is it? They proved they have the heat and attraction, but they need more if there is to be a future together. Overall, I loved the fiery banters and chemistry that was displayed on every page. Tugging at me heart, I will never forget this story.

 

Special Guest: Elyse Douglas Author of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

Image result for elyse douglas author

You Are a Real Character

by Elyse Douglas

A young teacher at a small town high school—married, in her 20’s, with aspirations to become a television journalist—was accused of murdering her husband.

In the weeks before her arrest, she appeared on television several times, making emotional pleas, asking anyone with knowledge of the murder to please come forward to assist the police in locating the person who had killed her dear, kind husband.

This is a true story that took place on the East Coast a few decades ago.  The killer turned out to be a 15-year-old boy from the school where the teacher taught, who said he was her lover.  He testified that she helped plan the murder, so it would look like a burglary.

Of course, everyone in the community was stunned.  Many said, “It was so out of character.  She was so nice and good.  How could she have killed her husband?”

My uncle Ted was not a big man, but he always bought shirts that were much too large for him.  He usually wore old baggy jeans and a cotton shirt that covered him like a gown.  If the wind blew brisk, the shirt would puff out like a balloon.

Whenever anyone asked him why he wore those big shirts, he’d say, “Small, medium, large, extra-large… all the same price.  I get more value for my money.”  He wore a medium, but an extra-large had more fabric, so instead of buying a medium, he’d buy the extra-large.

My Aunt May would say, with weary resignation, “Ole Ted Boy is a character, ain’t he?”

Cussing Helen and soft-spoken Wayne were the parents of a best friend.  Helen was a contractor and Wayne a caterer.  She built houses and he built wedding cakes.  People would often say, “Shouldn’t it be the other way around?” Meaning shouldn’t Helen be the caterer and Wayne the contractor?

Helen would say, “I can’t build a damn cake and he can’t build a friggin’ doghouse, and that’s okay with us.”

These characters had been happily married for over twenty years.

One writer said, “In every novel I’ve written, I began with a character, and allowed the drama to emerge out of human nature and relationships.”

As a young girl, I recall being fascinated by people: how they dressed; how they talked, their choice of words; their beliefs and opinions.  I soon discovered that everyone—without exception—was a character, and I would write down aspects of their character in a notebook.

From a young age, I observed that people often say one thing but do another; that guilt can ruin an entire lifetime; that laughter often masks great pain.  I would ask myself, why?

Invariably, in my own life, I’ve learned that what people say about someone else usually says more about them than the other person.  I’ve learned that what people think will make them happy doesn’t, especially, if it’s obtained too easily.  Instead, they get disenchanted and feel the frantic need to chase after the next happiness.  (This can be a great driving force for an entire novel.)  I’ve observed that true happiness mostly comes from sacrifice, tenderness, patience, and a good sense of humor.

When I began writing novels, I learned that I could drop any flawed, colorful character into nearly any plot and the story would sail off and hold the reader’s interest.

So, I usually begin my stories with a character who is struggling with fate, a painful secret, or a buried fear.  In our latest novel, The Lost Mata Hari Ring, a Time Travel Novel, the protagonist is plagued by nightmares from a past life, which she learns are a consequence of painful events and bad choices that left her estranged from her daughter.  After our protagonist time travels and meets the love of her life, she must then face herself as she was in the past and reconcile with her daughter, so that she can move on with her life in the present.

I love writing about romantic discovery and relationships, where characters meet that special someone who attracts and challenges them.  Over the course of the story, it is the relationship that helps to change and expand the protagonist from a tiny bud into a glorious rose.  The once frightened, flawed character finally grows up and blossoms.  She doesn’t just find herself, but she is free to create a new and authentic life.

As the great playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.

A quote that I have never forgotten was one I first read in junior high school:

Character is destiny.

—Heraclitus

 

 

 

The Lost Mata Hari Ring: A Time Travel Novel by [Douglas, Elyse]

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Up-and-coming actress, Trace Rutland, has had nightmares about a tragic past ever since she was a little girl. She struggles with her everyday life, finally seeking help from a hypnotherapist.

While under hypnosis, she inadvertently experiences a tragic past life in Paris, in 1916, during the First World War.

Later, while visiting a wealthy man’s private Mata Hari collection, Trace is drawn to a glittering ring, once worn by the convicted spy. Trace is enthralled. When she’s alone, she slips the ring on and is swiftly hurled into the past. There, she must face herself as she was in the past, while struggling to change the course of her destiny.

When she meets the handsome Edward Kenyon Bishop, a World War I British flying ace, she falls in love. She is swept away into a journey of suspicion and treachery, and must fight for her life.

Can she survive the past? Can she return to the present? Can true love endure for all time?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Lost Mata Hari Ring is so much like The Time Traveler’s Wife. The plot is full of mystery, intrigue, and a bit of romance. There is plenty of action to follow. I was never bored. I am hooked. It captures my interest from the first chapter. Time travel that allows a young woman to find her past and move past her nightmares. This journey in time, gives Trace a new beginning and a sense of peace. I easily was swept into the story as I followed Trace reconnecting with her past life and accepting her present one. Trace is a strong character that was likable. I can connect with her without difficulty. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

Enter to Win a Copy of The Lost Mata Hari Ring

To enter into the free giveaway: participants must be from the US; like this post; comment on this post, and share on social media. Tell your friends to enter! Contest ends Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 11 PM Central Time. 

 

Review: An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco

An Enlightening Quiche

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two headstrong women in their forties coming from different moral directions clash:

AUGUSTA BERGERON: Dysfunctional. Deceptive. Demure. More than meets the eye at face value, and stuck in a holding pattern, the town siren engages in reckless behavior she attributes to maternal abandonment, until she eggs-humes her mother’s quiche recipe.

LINDSAY METCALFE: Pedigreed. Privileged. Proper. Mourning the recent death of her mother, the historian-in-residence hailing from Boston, sets out to preserve the legacy of an impoverished mill, but gets more than she bargains for when taking a self-centered adolescent under her wing.

Their alternating first-person narratives relate how an heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry between two bosom buddies redress erroneous assumptions, misdeeds, unleashed secrets, and malicious intent—all of which wreak havoc, altering the lives of those affected from the fallout of a tragedy.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco is a contemporary fiction novel set for women everywhere. The drama of the two ladies inside is enough to keep readers, like myself, interested. A rivalry between bakers is fun to follow. The plot quickly escalates. It grew more intense with every page. There was a lot of depth added to this tale. This made it rich and more realistic. I found it quirky yet emotionally engaging to read. Each woman has something to add and take from this story. I love anything that digs into food, community, and secrets. The writer easily gave me the side of each protagonist. I could figure what each one was thinking. Their perspectives showed me how they might proceed with what was happening. It made it easier to follow their actions, and it made me feel like I was there witnessing it all. People can jump to conclusions all the time, but overcoming the obstacles and differences made this a good book. Overall, I would recommend it to other readers.

Review: Highland Betrayal by Alyson McLayne

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Laird Callum MacLean vowed to marry Maggie MacDonnell. But when his father’s supposed suicide makes him Laird of a clan, he’s too busy unmasking his father’s killer to bring her into his dangerous new home.

Maggie’s home isn’t any safer, so she does what any resourceful Highland lass would do. She escapes―and finds herself toe-to-toe with Callum, who’s determined to fulfill his promise. Maggie can’t bring herself to trust him with her heart again. But with a traitor still at large, they must rely on each other in every way, or their clans―and their love―will be destroyed.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Highland Betrayal by Alyson McLayne is one exciting Highland adventure. From one danger to another, Alyson McLayane kept me intrigued. Danger hung onto every page. Enemies seemed to appear from everywhere. Spies were in every clan making the intensity of the deadly situation for the heroine and hero that much more interesting. I loved how the lead female protagonist was just as strong, if not stronger, than the male protagonist. It brought a lot of humor to the dark journey.

Inside this tale, I found a young Highland woman left by her fiance, to stay, at her home. It was supposed to be safer for her there. Callum had every intention of returning as soon as possible for her. But his father’s death kept him away. Maggie thought her fiance broke his promise to come back for her. Now, her clan was full of traitors and enemies. The leading enemy being her cousin. He has planned to take the Laird title from her dying brother. Then, he planned to force her into marrying him. His evil plan went as far to have rapped to get her pregnant. Talk about betrayal…

Maggie came up with a plan. One that involved her leaving behind her home and running to find her other brother. She never intended to run into her old flame…

Callum loved Maggie and when he found out she’s in danger, he won’t let her go. He has a plan to take her to his home and keep her safe. Even marrying her…but was he too late? Overall, I recommend this exciting read to all readers.

A love that never died out…

Mistrust on both sides…

And enemies wanting them both dead…

Can they survive?

 

Review: Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster is about second chances. Friendships, fresh starts, and a bit of romance can be found on the pages. The story is sweet, steady-sometimes slow, and engaging. I felt it tug my heart in some places. Other spots in the book dragged a little. It felt like there were more details than was needed. The main female character seemed sad and distant. Her new job was just the thing to stir up her life. It like she came back to the living. Cooper, her boss, was real likable. He had this way of dragging me further into the plot. Charming, hard-working, and kind, Cooper was a great character to follow. Overall, it was a good story about letting go of the past and moving forward.

 

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: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: House of Belonging by Andrea Thome

House of Belonging (Hesse Creek #3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Private Investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving Luke Gallagher after he disappeared. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal while on the brink of a biological disaster that will shake America to its core. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next target?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey is an exciting yet deadly journey. One that will reunite two old lovers who never gave up…time has a way of pushing old memories to surface and soon anger turns to passion. But now, they’re both targets. A fierce enemy has found out who they are and where they’re located. The end goal was to kill them both. However, FBI Agent Kate Maxwell and top agent Luke Gallagher are not to be stopped.

Inside Dead Drift, I got to experience the thrill of chasing down and stopping the bad guys. Especially one that wouldn’t stop targeting the FBI members. Danger, romance, and suspense kept me turning the pages. Dani Pettrey brought to life, the law enforcement and organization of a federal criminal case. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect and numerous times I thought both main characters would die. Death hung in the air as the agents worked to escape and capture an enemy. Overall, I would recommend this to all Criminal Minds and NCIS fans. This book has all the similarities but the danger feels so much more realistic.

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