Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HOW CASSIE GOT HER GRIND BACK by Heather Rainier

Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Date published: May 2016
ISBN: 978-1-68295-242-9
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Ebook
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)


Obtained via publisher

Rating: 4 Hearts

Cassie has lived her life under the thumb of men who were supposed to love and care for her but all she got was disdain and pain. Even her love of music is taken away from her. Her only saving solace in her life is that she has two beautiful children and she has now made it on her own and gotten out from the men and their hurtful ways. When the two most important men from her past show up in her life again Cassie must make a choice to take back what was taken from her all those years ago or let it slip away once again.

Cassie’s story is a beautiful read. She pulls herself up and out of her painful past and makes a good life for herself. Her life may not have gone the way she wanted or thought it would but she made the best of what she had. With the return of Samson and Ivan to Divine Cassie can grab a hold of what she truly wants. She finds that their love never died and the two men accept her any way that they can get her. They love her and will do anything to prove their worth to her. Cassie only needs to take a leap of faith and grab hold of that love.
 
I enjoyed watching Cassie and her men reunite. They are a bit older and a lot smarter. Ivan and Samson are both great men. Each loves Cassie in his own way. Cassie loves both men equally and goes through her own emotions and thoughts on where their relationship will go. The three are great together in and out of the bedroom. The sex is hot and the love and interaction between the three is nice to see. I really liked seeing Cassie fight to take her life back into her own hands with the help of her men and the support of her children. It was also nice to see Cassie and her men interact with many of the others in Divine. I am excited to see just what will happen next in this series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh

Psy-Changeling Trinity #1
Gollancz Books, June 2017
Hardcover

Obtained via:  publisher
ASIN: B01LNT53EY
Paranormal Romance
****



The first in Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changeling Trinity series spin-off, SILVER SILENCE, is a story of physic girl meets alpha bear shifter that is at times amusing, at times aggravating and every time engrossing.

Silence has fallen and a new peace accord, the Trinity Accord, has been signed by all three groups: the Psy, the Changelings and the Human Alliance.  But not everyone is happy with the accord.  Psy Silver Mercant, who has chosen to remain silent, plays a key role as director of the new worldwide emergency network. 


 

Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, is determined to make Silver his mate.  There is just something about her that has him climbing buildings just to be near her.  But when an assassin nearly succeeds in ending Silver’s life by poisoning her, Valentin takes the threat very seriously and moves Silver into the heart of his bear clan while he and her family search for the assassin.

 

Valentin and Silver’s pairing may be the oddest love match these books have seen so far.  These two are almost complete opposites.  Silver embraces silence, while Valentin embraces chaos.  Still, this romance has got to be one of the most amusing and enchanting of Singh’s books.  SILVER SILENCE is filled to the brim with excitement, danger, tricks and triumph.  The characters are constantly evolving over the course of the story.  And although the storyline is on the slightly weaker side, the writing is top shelf and well-paced in spite of being written from multiple points of view (a difficult task for any writer in this reader’s opinion).

 

If you are a fan of Nalini Singh’s psy-changeling books, SILVER SILENCE will be a welcome addition to your collection.


Reviewed by T. Barringer
tammyLRM@gmail.com

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

Monday, August 21, 2017

SHATTERED by Allison Brennan

Max Revere Series Book 4
August 22nd, 2017
ASIN#: B01N39CQA9
Suspense, Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedures
E-ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Netgalley and St. Martin’s Publishing

5 hearts

 

For Max Revere, finding the truth is her call as she investigates cold cases that catch her attention. When one of her college friends calls her up to help find the truth in the matter of his son’s death. Is his wife a killer or did someone else do it? Max can’t help since the trial is less than 2 weeks away and the police as well as the DA insist they have the right person on trial for the murder. When Max finds three other cases that are similar in nature, she dives into those cold cases hoping that in solving those cases she might be able to help her friend.

What Max gets when she goes to San Diego and the first cold case/murder, Justin Stanton, is a father determined to find the answers to his son’s murder but when she finds out the father wants her to work with his former sister-in-law, well let’s just say Max is less than pleased. But when FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid Rogan strolls through the door, Max finds herself facing a woman who is determined to find justice, to find the truth in her nephew’s murder as well as the other two cold cases. Lucy finds Max’s theory compelling and intrigued from the start. But as these two formable women draw closer to the answers they search for, another child is in the cross-hairs of the killer. Will Max and Lucy be able to figure the truth out and get justice for those three families? And will Max be able to tell her friend what the truth is in his son’s murder without breaking his already fragile heart into a million pieces?

SHATTERED brings two series by this acclaimed and talented author together in a story that literally will leave you on the edge of your seat, flipping (or in my case swiping the screen) pages to see where Max and Lucy go next. It’s tense, engrossing and downright enthralling as the reader finally finds out what happened to Lucy’s nephew twenty years before. This story is layered and totally intriguing with a few twists I didn’t see coming. The writing is tight and the pace of the story flows quickly. I highly enjoyed Max and Lucy together and apart as both women try to work within the parameters of the law and their own ethics and morals. What really intrigued me was how Max couldn’t read Lucy at all. Max takes pride in figuring people out and it was fun to see her so stymied over trying to see what makes Lucy tick, so to speak. I also loved seeing the Kincaid family again. Those scenes are heartbreaking, joyful and at times quite tension filled as family dynamics go into play, even in a fictional world such as this one. Ms. Brennan does a wonderful job conveying so many characters personalities and vulnerabilities within the pages of SHATTERED. I loved how Lucy has grown as a person with in the series and her love story with Sean continues though not as focused in the story as it is Lucy’s series.

SHATTERED is more than a mystery/thriller, it’s about the characters as well. They are well written, multidimensional people that I would adore meeting and basking in their presence for a day, heck even an hour. Sean and Lucy are delightful especially since I finished Make Them Pay (Lucy Kincaid #12) and Two to Die For (two book anthology) recently. The author does an amazing job having the characters grow with each book, showing how they are strong yet also putting the spotlight on their vulnerabilities as well. Max and Lucy are tough women, determined to find truth and justice no matter what, even as they cross lines at times to get that information. Ms. Brennan delivers a heart pounding ride from start to finish and its one you cannot help but want to go along with them. All I can say is buckle up, it’s about to get bumpy!

If you haven’t tried either series I highly recommend you grab the books, settle in and binge read them. They are highly entertaining and this is one author I automatically buy or pre-order because her books are just that good. I look forward to seeing where both Lucy and Max go in the future and see what this author has in store for them next because the ending of Shattered leaves the reader with not answers but a whole lot more questions than ever before.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DEATH IN DARK BLUE by Julia Buckley

Publisher:      Berkley
Published:  May 2, 2017
ISBN:        978-0425282618
Genre:       Cozy Mystery, Romance
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com

 
THREE-1/2 Hearts

 

Life for Lena London in bucolic Blue Lake has been pretty nice these past few weeks.  Exonerated from being accused of murdering his ex-wife, Victoria, thanks to Lena’s efforts, she and Sam West are finally able to move along in their relationship.  On top of that, aside from working as the assistant to her all-time favorite author, Camilla Graham, Lena’s name is on the cover of Graham’s upcoming release as a co-author.  It turns out Victoria isn’t dead, but missing.  Given her love of reading and now writing mysteries, Lena can’t help but get involved in looking for Victoria.  Just when it looks like a clue is about to be revealed, there is another murder not only in Blue Lake but on Sam’s property.  Given the already existing notoriety surrounding Sam, it isn’t long before the press descends on Blue Lake with any number of reporters looking for a story.  With reporters dodging their every move, can Sam, Lena, Camilla and her new beau, Adam, find Victoria before she goes deeper underground?

I really like the premise of Julia Buckley’s Writer’s Apprentice series—an aspiring author gets to work with and for her most favorite author.  It sounds like a dream come true for any aspiring author.  The second book in the series, DEATH IN DARK BLUE is a mixed bag.  The title isn’t as catchy as most cozy mysteries are—but the cover is adorable.  The characters are interesting and Buckley doesn’t leave out her secondary characters as she develops their storylines as well.  At times Lena sounded more like a teen in the first throws of romance than a mid-20’s career woman. 

DEATH IN DARK BLUE is a good one is not your typical cozy.  Yes, there are a couple of quirky characters, a determined female sleuth and a cadre of devoted friends.  The story itself reads more like a romantic suspense than your general cozy mystery.  In fact, with just some slight changes in direction and making Lena a bit more mature, it would have been a fantastic romance suspense.  Cozy purists may be disappointed because most of the book was about Lena and Sam’s romance rather than the steps she was taking trying to solve the crime. 
 
The writing is tight and the mystery of where Victoria is well done.  The ending was, however, for me, a big turn off. Rather than the end story on an up note with a conclusion of the mystery surrounding Victoria’s disappearance, the author dangles the storyline of the next book.  I’m not a fan of “cliffhangers” because for the most part they come across like a ploy to get you to buy the next book rather than add spice to the story.  If a writer is going to do that they should consider a disclaimer in the beginning or on the back cover that the story is not concluded so if you want to know how it ends be ready to buy the next book. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TALON by Julie Kagawa

Talon Series Book 1
Harlequin Teen
November 1st, 2014
978-0-373-21215-6
Young Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Dragons
Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read282gmail.com)
Obtained by self-purchase

5 hearts

 

In the Talon organization, hatchlings must spend around three months showing Talon they can blend with the humans and hide their true nature. But for Ember and Dante Hill, twin sibling dragons, this summer of fun and relaxation is not what it was supposed to be. Rogue dragons, the Order of St. George are just the tip of the iceberg as these two siblings try to navigate their accelerated training and find out what careers they will have in the Talon organization. But for Ember, change is coming and it’s going to take all her strength to break from the past and fly to the future because when the mortal enemies of the Talon organization, The Order of St. George, there will be death no matter what. Take a leap and see what Ember is willing to do to have the future she wants; not what others want for her.

TALON just blew me away. I had this series on my bookshelf for a while now and I am so glad I decided to try it after finishing the last mediocre book. This is a story of not just the dragons, which by the way are awesome but also of their enemies, the order of St. George as well. TALON gives you a fast-paced story that literally leaves you gasping in disbelief as you flip the pages quickly to see what is happening next. Ms. Kagawa delivers a story that is equal parts action adventure, romance and thriller. You have dragons, those glorious dragons, so delightful and so different than I have read before. I loved how this author delves in to the world of dragons and the history behind them. I loved how this author gives us such amazing and entertaining characters to fall in love with, even those ‘bad guy’ St. George soldiers. This is an author who knows how to let her characters shine in all ways, to show their vulnerabilities and flaws to the reader and to get you, the reader, to fall in love with them all. I’ve always loved this author’s work but TALON just takes the reader for a ride and doesn’t let them off till the last page is read and even then, you are left eager for more.

Meet Ember and Dante Hill. Twin sibling dragons, an anomaly in the dragon world. Dante has always walked the straight and narrow but once Ember tastes the breath of freedom, well let’s just say she tests her limits and rules to the max. I adore these two, not because they are dragons but also because the author does such a wonderful job in keeping them as different as night and day yet also have a strong bond between the siblings that tug at the heartstrings. Dante is trusting, a follower and believes in Talon 100%. Ember on the other hand is willful, determined to carve her own path even as she chafes at the strings and restrictions Talon organization has placed upon her. The characters are what makes this series so downright enjoyable. Ember is snarky, determined and fearless. Dante is methodical, a thinker and determined to toe the line with Talon. The secondary characters deliver more punches to the storyline and keep the reader guessing on what happens next.

TALON is a delight to read and one I am eager to read again. I am looking forward to seeing where this author will go in the series as Ember, Dante and the rest of the cast of characters find themselves on the front line of a war that if it got out to the humans, would be devastating to them all-Dragons, St. George soldiers and humans. Run-don’t walk-to grab this wonderful entertaining novel and settle in for some amazing storytelling.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement



 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

FATAL THREAT by Marie Force

Book 11 in Fatal Series
Harlequin Books
July 25th, 2017
9781460399989
Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Thriller
E-ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Author

5 Hearts

 

When Lt. Sam Holland is called to a routine homicide scene, she never anticipated that the Secret Service would come and whisk her away to an undisclosed place. A threat was made against her family, her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano and now the chaos of being the second lady of the United States hits Sam hard. With no answers to who made the threat or even why, Sam finds that her and Nick’s past are about get front and center as Sam races against the clock to figure it all out. Because nothing is going to harm her family, not if Sam has anything to say about it.

Wow! Just wow is all I can say after finishing this wonderfully addicting story by one of my favorite authors around. With her trademark style, Ms. Force delivers a wild, action packed ride as Sam, Nick and all their friends try to figure out the just who is determined to cause them so much trouble and why they are doing it. With a few twists, I sure didn’t see coming, the story flows along, picking up speed like a runaway train and the reader goes along with Sam for the ride. I got to admit, FATAL THREAT, just pulled me in and didn’t let up even after I finished the book. It drew laughter, a few blushes, a few tears and more as I flipped the pages and gasped with each twist that came within the pages. Ms. Force is a talented storyteller and is on par with Nora Roberts and Jill Shalvis. With captivating characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, storylines that feel like they are ‘ripped from the headlines’ and told in such a way that you can’t help but cheer when the bad guy(s) are taken down.

FATAL THREAT is a story that delves into Sam and Nick’s past in a way that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat till the very end. It’s heart stopping as well as intriguing, I just couldn’t put it down. It kept me riveted to the kindle even as I discovered my old friends and met a few new ones that I found interesting and I am really hoping the author goes into more detail about them and how they fit in Sam’s world in future books. The characters are what makes this series so entertaining and downright addicting. They are well written, wildly different yet are just about perfect scheme of things and you can’t help but fall in love with each one of them. From book one, Fatal Affair, I fell in love with this author and she has not disappointed me yet, especially with this series. This is an author who knows when to let her characters just run with the story even as they weave a spell around the reader. I love how complex and so lifelike these characters are. I could see Sam running hellbent after a suspect or seeing them visit her father with her husband and son. This is an author who lets the characters shine, no matter what and that right there cements this author as one of the best storytellers around. She gives the characters flaws and is not afraid to reveal them to the readers. I love that about Ms. Force’s work and more, I love how she can keep the characters growing with each book. Sometimes stories and characters start to stagnate and get old quickly-not with the Fatal series. Each book moves the story of Sam and Nick along nicely as well as adding in sub-plots of other characters romances/issues/family, etc. It’s like living in a real world and one I adore revisiting repeatedly.

FATAL THREAT is not just a wonderful story, it’s an adventure that will leave you breathless, even as the climatic ending will make you gasp in shock. I am so eager for the next book that I pre-ordered it just to make sure I get it when it comes out in 2018. If you haven’t tried this series yet, please run-don’t walk-to grab the books. You won’t be disappointed at all. I highly recommend this author’s work and hope you check out her books. There is something for everyone in her backlist.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

 

Friday, August 11, 2017

LOST AND FOUND SISTERS by Jill Shalvis

William Morrow
June 20th, 2017
978-0-06-244811-8
Women’s Fiction
Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by self-purchase
4 Hearts

 

Sous-chef Quinn Weller is just living day to day after losing her sister in a devastating car accident. She has a good if demanding job in the hottest restaurants in Los Angeles, a somewhat of a boyfriend determined to get her to his thinking of being married and she seems to be on the fast track to having the perfect life. Except Quinn is lost and feels empty, not knowing why. Until a lawyer finds her and delivers a bombshell: she is the heir to an inheritance in a place called Wildstone, California. Shocked and feeling like her life has been a lie, Quinn picks up and goes to Wildstone, expecting to take over a house or something. What she finds is a small town where gossip is the norm, people are friendly and the simple pleasures start to grow on her. But when she finds out the second portion of her inheritance, a sister she never knew she had. Can two wildly different people get through the loss of a life, of a person to see that they need one another? Can Quinn find it in her heart to let herself be loved by not just her new-found sister but also by the town of Wildstone?

Wow is all I can say after reading Jill Shalvis’s new book, LOST AND FOUND SISTERS. It’s a wonderful tale of a woman floundering after a major loss, just going through the motions and not moving forward. Quinn is stuck in life so to speak. I loved this book so much because it delivers wonderful characters that are quirky, intriguing and downright enjoyable. You got Quinn, who is struggling with all the bombshells going off around her and then there is Tilly, a teenager who lost her only parent, finds herself with a sister she didn’t know she had and uncertainty in where her place is in life. These two stole my heart right off the bat and kept it even after the last page is read. I loved Quinn and Tilly so much. They are delightful, entertaining even as Tilly tries to one-up Quinn and their unconventional relationship gets stronger even as these two try to forge a bond, a bond that happens even as both try to avoid it. I loved the scenes with Quinn trying to parent Tilly, of finding her place in the town of Wildstone and starting to move forward in life with cutie, Mick, a man determined to have nothing to do with Wildstone, yet finds himself there a lot. These three are just the tip of the delightful cast of characters that make up LOST AND FOUND SISTERS and I truly loved each of them. They had me laughing over their quips and comments, sighing as they delivered some of the best snarky comments I have read lately and kept me glued to the book till the very end.

LOST AND FOUND SISTERS is more about one woman finding her place in this world, moving forward after a major loss in her life but also about forgiveness, desire to be loved and cherished and above all, finding their place where they belong, be it in a small town like Wildstone or big city like Los Angeles. Ms. Shalvis delivers a heartfelt read that will take you on a journey that is plain amazing and delightful. I for one wish I could visit Wildstone just to meet these amazing people, have a cup of coffee at Caro’s Café and find out all the gossip. Ms. Shalvis is a talented writer who hits it out of the park in her first women’s fiction book, LOST AND FOUND SISTERS and I, for one, can’t wait to see if this author will return to Wildstone, California for more stories.

If you enjoy a story full of complex and wildly entertaining characters set in a small town that is just as fascinating then you need to check this book out and maybe fall in love with this author’s writing. I look forward to seeing where she goes from here.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement
 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A PANICKED PREMONITIONI by Victoria Laurie

Publisher:   Berkley
Published:  July 4, 2017
ISBN:        978-0451473905
Genre:       Cozy Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com

FOUR HEARTS

 

Abby Cooper-Rivers’s husband, Dutch, and her best friend, Candice’s husband, Brice, have embarked on a new venture in addition to their jobs as FBI agents. Along with Abby and Dutch’s friend Dave, they’ve opened a “safe room” business catering to the wealthy homeowners of Austin. Things are moving along smoothly, however one client has a slight problem she wants Abby’s input on. When Abby and Candice arrive the woman, Murielle McKenna, turns out to be quite the piece of work.  She’s been pursuing Dutch and has a penchant for suing anyone and everyone. When Abby and Candice leave Murielle’s house they find there is more to worry about than the woman’s veiled threats of a lawsuit.  They learn from Dave’s wife that he is missing and not only that, he’s the key suspect in the murder of four people—two of them the homeowners of a house Dutch’s company has installed a safe room in.  The plot thickens when Dave’s wife also goes missing.   As Abby, Candice, Dutch and Brice try to locate Dave and his wife the case takes a series of twists and turns, linking several homeowners to each other along.  Even with Abby’s sixth sense they cannot find the missing couple or reason out why the original murders happened.

Victoria Laurie takes the characters in her Psychic Eye series down a new road in the latest book, A PANICKED PREMONITION.  With Dutch and Brice’s new business there is some solid potential for some fun new stories.  I like how Abby continues to develop—Laurie hasn’t left her stagnant in time, but she’s grown and matured.  As Abby approaches her 40’s she has become a bit more introspective and secure in herself. Not that she wasn’t secure in her skills before—she just knows herself better and is able to give more of herself to her husband. Abby and Dutch have been totally and completely in love from the beginning, but Abby has had some issues to overcome before she could truly let Dutch in.  His own unconditional love for Abby is laid out in the stories making them a terrific couple.

A PANICKED PREMONITION has a good mystery with some nice red herrings…just when you think you’ve figured out what is going on Laurie throws in yet another layer of information.  You totally know how frustrated Abby is feeling when she reaches for a thread only to have it unravel before her eyes. The answer is there…you just need to be paying very close attention to the clues Laurie embeds in the story. 

In addition to having her supporting characters develop along their way she adds a few new ones that will make for some good reads in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

 


Monday, August 7, 2017

FURY AWAKENED by Yasmine Galenorn

Book 3 in the Fury Unbound Series
Nightqueen Enterprises, LLC
June 15th, 2017
ASIN#: B071KLX73L
Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance, Action-Adventure
Reviewed by Dawn Roberto (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Self-Purchase
4 Hearts

 

For Kaeleen Donovan. Life as a Theosian-minor demon- is complicated at best. By day she runs the Crossroads Cleaning Company and readsfortunes and casts hexes at Dream Wardens. But at night, she is Fury, bound to the goddess Hecate to take down abominations that come through the World Tree and send them back to Pandoriam.

Now on the run in the Wild Wood, Fury as well as her friends are on the run away from Seattle and the zombie invasion that is going on. The regent has set the devani free to use whatever force they need to. But things go bad to worse when the Order of the Black Mist rises yet again and systematically strikes all around the world and it becomes deadly and dangerous as city after city falls to the chaos magicians. Now as Fury and the gang try to get to the UnderBarrow, life has changed for them all. The world they knew before is gone in a blink of an eye and now Fury has a choice from Hecate: Kiss her old life goodbye or walk into the fire and take charge of her powers.

Wow is all I could say when I was done with FURY AWAKENED. It was a madcap ride from start to finish and I fell more in love with this author’s exquisite worldbuilding as I flipped the pages of the next book in the series. This has fast become one of my favorites from this author-well besides a few of her other ones that is. The characters continue to grow and evolve with each book, the storyline continues to weave a spell around the reader with each book as it marches on, delivering more and more glimpses of new characters, places and more. I especially love the scenes between Hecate and Fury. It had me grinning even as I rooted for Fury to continue being the kick-butt woman I know she is.

Ms. Galenorn delivers a wild ride from start to finish that with enthrall you, captivate your imagination and leave you breathless in the end, eager for more. I loved seeing things through Fury’s eyes and meeting some new characters that kept the story flowing so nicely. If you enjoy a different take on gods/goddess, urban fantasy and more then you need to try the Fury Unbound series. Each book capitalizes on the last and keeps the story moving along at a nice, even pace. Now I am looking to see where the author goes in the next book and if they will defeat the Order of the Black Mist. Run-don’t walk-to grab this series and get ready to binge read it in one sitting.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

 

 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

MAP OF THE HEART by Susan Wiggs

William Morrow
August 22nd, 2017
978-0-06-266965-0
Women’s Fiction, Romance
Paperback ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
4 Hearts



Camille Palmer has spent the last five years grieving for her husband who died tragically and trying to keep their daughter on the straight and narrow. But when a mysterious package arrives to her father, it opens a secret of her family that no one knew about. In the sleepy little town of Bellerive and set the ghosts of the past to rest. But for Camille, her daughter Julie and her father, Henry, they find a summer of transitions for them all as they uncover the past of Henry’s parents and discover that sometimes playing it safe may mean you are missing out on a life worth exploring. Sometimes it takes just enough trust to forge that path to the unknown.

MAP OF THE HEART is a wonderful tale about a family who finds secrets to their family’s past and it causes them to travel to France to see if they can find the answers. I adored this book for a variety of reasons but first and foremost was the story itself. It delivers a current storyline as well as one set in the 1940’s during World War II. It made for a fascinating timeline and the back and forth didn’t deter from the story itself that revolved around Camille, Henry and Julie. It enhanced the story in my opinion. I loved how the author gave just enough backstory in those 1940’s scenes and ties them up in the current time frame with Camille and Henry searching for answers about Henry’s parents and his past. What I loved the most was the cast of characters stayed small yet the secondary characters were all unique and different, keeping the story moving along at a nice even clip while showing clues to the overall mystery. They are well written and diverse, showing their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths to the reader.

Ms. Wiggs has always delivered a story that will thrill me but MAP OF THE HEART just stole my heart in all ways. It was moving, sweet, tense, romantic and utterly entertaining. I loved Camille, Julie and all the other players and the mystery behind their family secrets kept me riveted. I loved finding out little things that were done back during that time and what was going on in Europe as well. It fleshed the book out nicely. The author melds the past with the current world perfectly in a book that celebrates family and the power of love.

If you get a chance and haven’t read this author before, then grab MAP OF THE HEART. You won’t be disappointed at all and this will give you a perfect introduction to this author’s writing style. I look forward to seeing where this author will go next in her writing and hope we won’t have to wait long for the next Susan Wiggs book.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

Thursday, August 3, 2017

MULBERRY MOON by Catherine Anderson

A Mystic Creek Novel, Book 3
Penguin
January 3rd, 2017
978-0-451-48802-2
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
3.5 hearts

 

Sissy Sue Bentley is determined to rise above her poor beginnings and make a life of her own in Mystic Creek. Running the local café, she works long hours and tries to keep her head above water even as she tries to avoid Ben Sterling, a man determined to woo Sissy. But when her chickens escape and Ben helps her round them up, Sissy sees a side of Ben that she thought was obsolete and rare in the male gender. Slowly, Ben starts to build trust with Sissy even as they begin to fall for one another. But when Sissy’s past comes to Mystic reek, she’ll have to figure out if being alone is better than letting yourself open up to a love worth healing even the smallest of cuts.

MULBERRY MOON is a sweet tale of two people who are determined to find that place in the world, be it in Mystic Creek or in their lives somehow. I love this author’s Mystic Creek series and MULBERRY MOON delivers a story that is tender, sweet and downright delightful. The story flows nicely, with some intriguing bits that had me flipping the pages to see what would happen next. It’s the characters that steal the show. We met Ben in the past two Mystic Creek books and I loved how sweet he is with Sissy. He is determined to woo this prickly woman and when things happen to help his cause, he grabs it with both hands. What proceeds is a sweet romance that left me in stiches at times and other times wiping a tear away from the sadness that Sissy tries to hide behind a steely façade. The characters are what truly makes this book so entertaining and enjoyable. They keep the story moving along as Sissy and Ben dance around their attraction as well slyly steal some of the show for themselves at times.

 

I adore Sissy and Ben together. The sparks fly right when they first meet up and from then on, it’s an entertaining read to see how these two fall for one another even as one person is determined to not risk it all. Ben is looking for that special someone, someone like his brothers have found. When he is intrigued by Sissy, well let’s just say he has his work cut out for him with this skittish and reluctant woman. But Sissy is just as determined and I love at how she tries to deny her attraction to Ben, even as he continues to show her that he means no harm nor does he pressure her in any way. These two just fit together. Ben steadily and completely chipped away Sissy’s armor in front of her heart even as she struggles to keep things casual and not give into temptation. The secondary characters keep the story moving along nicely and keep the reader entertained immensely. All the characters are multidimensional and have a depth that is nice to see in a book. It makes the story so much richer in my opinion.

 

MULBERRY MOON is a sweet and wonderful tale that will steal your heart and in the end, leave a smile on your face after the last page is read. I adore this author’s books and look forward to reading more in this series. I just wonder who will be next to fall in love in Mystic Creek. I hope we won’t have to wait long for the next book from this author.

 This is an objective review and not an endorsement
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

THE CLOSET BOY by Sean Michael

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date published: July 5, 2017
Contemporary, BDSM
Audio book
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)



Obtained via publisher

Rating: 4 Hearts

 

Way’ra was lucky enough to have found a job at the Iron Eagle Gym. Nobody knows he has been living in a forgotten supply closet since then but soon he is noticed by one of the members. Neal takes a liking to Neal and is determined to get to know the young man. Way’ra soon finds that he cannot push his feelings for Neal away and the two begin a tentative relationship. As the two find their way together Way’ra begins to blossom and find his true self with Neal’s guidance. Can Way’ra fit into this new world that he has found or will Neal have to give up his lifestyle to keep Way’ra?

Narrator Jeff Gelder brings the characters in this audio book to life.  Way’ra is an adorable young man who is thrown out into the world to fend for himself because of the beliefs of his family. He finds a home and friends in the Iron Eagle Gym. Soon he finds a lover in Neal but he is still unsure about his sexuality and about how the things that the men do in the other part of the building make him feel. Neal is a great man, he is patient with Way’ra and helps him explore his feelings. The two make a great couple and I enjoyed seeing their relationship take shape. Not only do the two find an attraction but they develop a great friendship and I loved the banter between the two. I loved seeing Neal help Way’ra blossom and come out of his shell. Neal shows him that love is precious no matter who it is between and that Way’ra himself is precious. 
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

NIGHTSHADE FOR WARNING by Bailey Cattrell

Publisher:   Berkley
Published:  May 2, 2017
ISBN:        978-0451476890
Genre:       Cozy mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com


FOUR-1/2 HEARTS

 

After successfully proving she had nothing to do with a recent murder in her home town of Poppyvile, California, life for Ellie is moving along nicely.  Her shop, Sense and Nonsense is flourishing, as is her Enchanted Garden.  Her relationship with her long time crush, Ritter, is, despite the distance because of his job, moving along nicely.  Life couldn’t be better. To add to how well things are going, her brother, Colby, is in town with his girlfriend, Larken. And to top it off, Blake Sontag of Conscience magazine is coming to do a story on her tiny house! What more could a girl ask? Certainly not for that same Blake Sontag to be killed, right? He might be mean and nasty, but he certainly didn’t deserve to be killed…especially when suspect No. 1 turns out to be Larken. When detective Max Lang tries once again to take the easy way out, i.e., simply arrest the easiest suspect, Ellie finds herself in the middle of the investigation.  It is her knowledge of plants that points to the murder weapon and a host of possible killers. Of course, not everyone is happy with her sleuthing, however, as made clear when a mysterious black SUV tries to run her down not once, but twice. Can Ellie find the killer before the killer finds her?

BAILEY CATTRELL (aka Bailey Cates) is a new author to me under this name, but she won’t be for long.  Her latest, NIGHTSHARE FOR WARNING, quickly moved her to one of my “must read all” authors. Her characters are multi-dimensional and have some interesting changes and developments throughout the story.  I loved how Cattrell intersperses a bit of plant/scent lore into the story, giving the reader a nice glimpse into the benefits and myriad uses of aromatherapy. She includes some easy to do recipes at the end of the book.

The mystery unfolds in an easy paced manner with several possible suspects for the reader to consider along with Ellie. I had a couple I was rooting for to be the bad guy.  The setting of Poppyville makes for some interesting layers to the story—especially the old Sontag place. I hope future books reveal more of the secrets of those 30 acres.

The only issue I had with the story—which is why this is a 4-1/2 instead of a 5 review, is it appears Cattrell is following that trend so many cozy readers, including myself, dislike and that is the love triangle.  They don’t add anything to the stories.  If I wanted to read a romance, particularly a love triangle, I’d pick up a romance.  A love interest is fine…but the whole “which one do I choose” is annoying in a cozy mystery.  If Cattrell follows the pattern far too many cozy authors have undertaken with their love triangles, i.e., it gets heated in book 3 (or 4) and then books 4 and 5 become centered around the love scenes, I won’t be continuing with the series.

Cattrell tells a good story and is not an author you want to miss.

 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

 

 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

DESERT ICE by Rose Maefair

Publisher: Loose ID LLC
Date published: January 2017

ISBN: 9781682522950
Fantasy, Paranormal, M/M

Ebook
Reviewed by Gabrielle (meingee@yahoo.com)

Weblink: http://www.loose-id.com/desert-ice.html?___SID=U
Obtained via publisher


Rating: 4 Hearts




Two men from opposite ends of the world find themselves thrown together by fate. One is a noble prince from the North and the other is a Magi from the South.  Lysander has come to the slave market to buy a warrior. There he finds Wyl who is just the kind of man he needs.  When Lysander buys Wyl he finds that the sellers will not negotiate and he must bind Wyl to him. As abhorrent that is to Lysander and against what he believes in he needs a warrior more than his morals. Can Lysander find a way to explain to Wyl that he longs for help and this is his last resort at finding it?  As Wyl learns his fate he must also come to terms with what is building between him and Lysander. Will these two men find a way to a future or are they doomed from the start?

The world that Wyl finds himself thrust in is so different from where he comes from. He was once a prince and now a slave. Wyl must decide on where his true home and family are. Lysander tries hard to do right by Wyl as much as he can but there is only so much he can do to help him after binding Wyl. As the two learn to trust one another they fiercely fight their attraction but it seems a love has become to grow and blossom. I enjoyed watching Wyl and Lysander find their way. Both men are strong and together they are something else.  It was nice to see the men’s personalities come out as the story moved along.  It was nice to see the two men fight for what was right and aim for their happy ever after.
This story moves along at a nice pace and the characters are full of emotions and depth. It is an interesting and engaging read. The author weaves an adventure full of magic and emotions. I hope that this is not the last that we get to see of this world.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.