Review: Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher

 

Murder Makes Scents

Christin Brecher

Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery, Book 4

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store–and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France–and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Murder Makes Scents, the second book of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series is a wild ride from Paris to Nantucket.

 

Stella and her world traveling mother, Millie are a hoot. You can tell the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Both women share a passion for scents. Taking that passion and turning it into a livelihood that they love and unique to each of them.  Even though both women are very much like, they are both distinctly different and very much their own person. Millie is a care free, go with the flow where Stella is a bit more grounded and extremely happy in her little Nantucket town.Stella was a fabulous character even if she was a bit too trusting. I loved her quirkiness and how she let her determination outshine her fear.

 

Murder Makes Scents starts a little on the slow side, but that’s just the build up. An up and down, twist and turn, keep you guessing plot. We get engaging and humorous characters. I love the relationships established in the small town settings. Christin Beecher mixes a good dose of humor, some action and adventure along with a good plot that had me jumping back-and-forth on who the killer really was kind of mystery.  We even get a little bit of romance, which of course makes me very happy. I stumbled across Murder Makes Scents on netgalley and I’m very thankful to the publisher to allow me early access to this very entertaining read.

 

 

 

Review: Al Dente’s Inferno by Stephanie Cole

Al Dente’s Inferno 
Stephanie Cole
 
Tuscan Cooking School Mystery, Book 1 
Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Berkley Books

 

 

An American chef will have to serve up more than good eats if she wants to establish a successful farm-to-table cooking school in Tuscany, in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in Italy.

When Nell Valenti is offered a chance to move to Tuscany to help transform an aging villa into a farm-to-table cooking school, she eagerly accepts. After all, both her job and her love life in America have been feeling stale. Plus, she’ll get the chance to work under the acclaimed Italian Chef Claudio Orlandini.

But Nell gets more than she bargained for when she arrives. With only a day to go until the launch dinner for the cooking school, the villa is in shambles, and Chef O is blissfully oblivious of the work that needs to be done before a group of local dignitaries arrive, along with a filmmaker sent to showcase and advertise the new school. The situation only worsens when Nell discovers that the filmmaker is an ex-boyfriend, and he’s found murdered later that night. Even worse, Chef O has disappeared, and accusations of murder could shut the school down for good.

As tensions reach a boiling point at the villa, Nell must throw her chef’s hat into the ring, and investigate the murder herself. Because if she fails to solve the case, her career, or even her life, could be next on the chopping block

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Stars

 

Al Dente’s Inferno is the first book in Stephanie Cole’s new Tuscan Cooking School Mystery series.  Murder, mystery and a bit of romance are all lurking on the Tuscan countryside.

 

Chef Neil has found herself in a unique position of being able to help open a cooking school with her idol of a chef. Neil gets more than she bargained for while trying to start this farm to table is cooking school.  Neil is a hard worker with a deep sense of pride. She’s knowledgeable in what she does, and seems to handle stress better than most. But opening a cooking school and solving a murder are two completely different things.

 

Al Dente’s Inferno introduces readers to a beautiful setting within the Tuscan countryside. It was very easy to imagine the kitchen in which they were cooking and the olive fields outside of the house. I honestly could almost smell garlic if I tried hard enough.  Along with a colorful, charismatic and tight knit group of characters Neil uses her power of observation along with a little bit of nosiness to try to get to the bottom of the mystery.

 

Al Dente’s Inferno had the potential to be an exceptional read, however I found a few hiccups along the way. The amount of actual Italian used in the book made it very hard for me to read. Using a word or two here or there is not an issue but when you are using full phrases and several sentences at a time, anyone who does not have an understanding of the language is going to have a hard time. I do think the use of the Italian language to give the book a more authentic feel however for myself It was almost too much and began to take away from the entire feel and mood of the book.  I also felt that some of the characters were almost too much of a mystery. The characters that we got to know were very enjoyable but there is a cast we still know little about.  Neil, Pete and Chef were amazing and I felt like it was because we really got to know them. Stephanie Cole has a good foundation with the start of the series. I am hoping through the next book that we will actually get to know the characters a little more, the language barrier is not so high and the story will flow a little more evenly.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: No Love Lost by Lexi Blake

NLL - CR banner.jpg


When the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.

No Love Lost, an all-new sexy and suspenseful, standalone in the Master and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series by New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is releasing September 29th, and we have the stunning cover!

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When Ezra Fain joined the ranks of the CIA, the last thing on his mind was romance. After meeting Kim Soloman, it was difficult to think of anything else. A tragic mistake drove them apart, leaving him shattered and unable to forgive the woman he loved. But when his greatest enemy threatens her life, Ezra leaps into action, prepared to do anything to try to save her.

Solo accepted long ago that she won’t get over Ezra. She’s worked for years to get back into his life, looking for any way to reignite the love they once shared. Unfortunately, nothing seems to penetrate the wall he has built between them. When she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she believes she’s on her own.

Racing across the globe, Ezra and Solo find themselves together again, caught in the crosshairs of the agency they sacrificed so much to serve. Days on the run soon turn to steamy nights, but Levi Green isn’t about to let them find their happily ever after. And when the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.

NLL - PO.jpg

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QXUO1o
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Cover Designer: Croco Designs
Photographer: Studio Smexy
Model: W. Tyler Johnson

About Lexi Blake

lexi blake author photo

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

Connect with Lexi

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uUiScN
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Website: http://www.lexiblake.net/

Cover Reveal: Vlad by Patricia Rasey

 

 

 

OMG- This cover is everything!!!  Thank you Patricia Rasey!

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

Vlad Tepes, king of the vampires, has a problem on his hands. His brother is taking out humans at an alarming rate and drawing unwanted attention, threatening exposure for their entire race. Vlad needs to stop Mircea before that happens, even if it means taking his head. In his mission to hunt Mircea down, Vlad encounters a stunning special agent who’s out to stop a killer—namely his brother. Vlad’s inability to hypnotize her presents an entirely new dilemma, putting the beautiful law officer in harm’s way.

Special Agent Janelle Ferrari chases bad guys for a living, with a little help from her strange gift of psychic visions. That is until a sinfully sexy man, claiming to be the ancient, blood-drinking Romanian ruler steps into her office. Plunged into a secret society of vampires and a mounting war between immortal brothers, Janelle’s visions suddenly go quiet, leaving her vulnerable and placing her in the crosshairs of the killer she’s determined to take down.

Vlad and Janelle must join forces to stop the psychotic vampire before more humans perish. But when Janelle becomes next on Mircea’s hit list, will Vlad be able to protect the woman who’s captured his long-dead heart?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:

Janelle used her palms to push away from his rock-hard chest. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? You can’t just treat me like a belonging. And smacking my ass? I should shoot you for that.”

He smiled, mischief twinkling in his gaze. “You liked it.”

“I…” She glanced away from those impossibly dark eyes so he wouldn’t see the truth. Christ, it had been a turn-on, but she’d die before admitting as much. “I didn’t.”

His arched brow mocked her. “Liar.”

~*~

 

 

 

Review: A Fatal Faberge by Ellery Adama and Parker Rigg

 

A Fatal Faberge

Ellery Adams 

Parker Riggs

Antiques & Collectibles Series, Book 8

185 pages

Beyond the Page (February 2, 2020)

 

 

A new book in the Antiques & Collectibles mystery series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ellery Adams and Parker Riggs!

In the world of antiques and collectibles, it helps to have a sharp eye for quality, a good ear for gossip, and a nose for murder . . .

In the grips of a cold and drab autumn, Collector’s Weekly reporter Molly Appleby is thrilled to be attending a festive black-tie fundraiser hosted by the very private Natasha Gordon, an heiress known for her charitable events and aversion to the limelight. It’s Molly first chance to see the stunning interior of the Gordon estate, but when a rare book dealer is pushed from a high window to his death, she’s confronted with a sight that’s become all too common for her. And despite the fact that the crude and pompous victim was roundly disliked by all who knew him and that any number of people may have wanted him dead, Molly agrees to look into the murder for his surviving son.

As the police go about their steady business of interviewing the dozens of people in attendance that night, Molly decides to look closer to home and begins questioning the staff and anyone else connected to the estate and the victim. More and more stories of the dead man’s troubled life and marriage begin to emerge, including a potentially lucrative deal that’s gone bust and an old Gordon family heirloom that’s gone missing—a rare jeweled Fabergé egg once owned by the Empress Alexandra of Russia.

When clues to the murderer’s identity begin to accumulate, so too do the threats to Molly, and she knows she’s getting close to the truth. But with a secret family history and an untold amount of money on the line, Molly knows she’ll need to tread carefully before she becomes the latest victim of a killer trying to cover their tracks . . .

“A wonderfully written, captivating cozy novel with likeable main characters and an interesting plot!” —Goodreads review on A Treacherous Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

A new to me series that delivered a very enjoyable cozy mystery. A Fatal Faberge is the eighth book in the Antiques and Collectible series by Parker Riggs and Ellery Adams. A murder mystery filled will twist and deception that sucks you in from the get go.

In this little Vermont town amateur sleuth Molly has given herself a reputation of being able to solve cases. She is like a cat, and curiosity gets the best of her. Sometimes even too much for her own good. She’s smart and witty with a great personality. I love the little nudges Molly‘s husband Matt, and her mother, give her to continue to get to the bottom of the mystery. Having the ear of the local detective is not a bad thing either.

A Fatal Fabergé is an engaging and enjoyable cozy read. A twisting plot that keeps you going as the secrets unhold. For a little Vermont town and an antiques writer things sure get shaken up in A Fatal Fabergé.

 

 

Review: Dirty and Dangerous by Shayla Black

Dirty and Dangerous

Shayla Black 

Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published February 6th 2020

 

 

Trading pleasure for information is no way to catch a criminal…or is it?

With fifty grand at stake and a star-witness missing, bounty hunter R. A. Thorn and Detective Cameron Martinez reluctantly team up to and put their bodies on the line to make gorgeous informant Brenna Sheridan a deal: everything she knows in exchange for everything she desires.

Their heated interrogation explodes into an unexpected experience none can forget or forego. Commitment-shy Thorn is sure their “deal” is nothing but pure, sizzling lust. Cam knows it’s more. But Brenna is keeping dangerous secrets, one a mafia boss is intent on learning—before silencing her forever. While on the run, her past spills out. And when shocking desires are revealed, there’s no turning back…

Can the guys come together to protect and serve the woman they want to claim for good before the threat ends her?

Short Novel

*(Formerly titled Dangerous Boys and Their Toy. Contents of this book are unchanged.)

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

This book is intense on so many levels. From page one the action is in your face and bam, it keeps coming at you. A complex situation that gives a fast-moving plot and multi-layered characters with intense personalities.

 

Thorn is raw, aggressive and very alpha. Being a bounty hunter is very fitting for him. Thorn is the love them and leaves them, type of guy.  Cameron is as observant as he is a charmer. He had a way with people that makes them melt into his hands. He has finesse and patients and knows the meaning of being sensitive and how to use sensitivity. Cam’s way with words is a gift. Brenna is a woman trying to get answers to questions she’s been asking for a lifetime. One man connects these three people and is the first link in a fast chain of events that changes each of them down to the soul.

 

Dirty and Dangerous is a quick-moving, action-filled, intensely intimate and hot as sin itself.  Shayla Black once again draws readers in with raw emotions, a great story and some wicked romance that just may leave readers panting.  Thorn, Cam, and Brenna together found a way to help, save, free and understand and love. I loved the open-mindedness and the natural progression in which the relationship developed. It may have been quick but it gave me goosebumps and chills while reading. Dirty and Dangerous is a male, male, female ménage that is beyond hot.

 

Review: Southern Double Cross by Caroline Fardig

 

Southern Double Cross

Caroline Fardig

A Southern B&B Mystery, Book 3

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Alibi

 

A fundraising party goes south in a delightful cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Southern Discomfort and the Java Jive novels

Quinn Bellandini is ready to get back to running her grandfather’s B&B in Savannah, Georgia, with her sister, Delilah—but first, she has to coordinate a fundraising event at the house of local philanthropists, with the help of her boyfriend, Tucker Heyward. Everything is running smoothly until Quinn’s friend, Pepper Fox, frantically calls her with the horrifying news that the lady of the house was found dead, and Pepper’s brother, who was working as a caterer, has been charged with her murder.

Pepper knows her brother didn’t commit the crime and asks Quinn, now a veteran detective with two solved murders under her belt, to prove his innocence. Quinn can’t bear to see her friend upset and enlists Delilah and Tucker to help investigate.

The invite list quickly turns into the suspect list as tensions mount and old feuds are brought to light. Could Quinn have hired the only catering company in Georgia that throws in a murder on the side?

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

Quinn and Delilah are a hoot!

When you are known around town as the solver of murders and your best friends brother is framed for murder he didn’t commit, Quinn can’t help but get her arm twisted into this mess that is as hot as the southern heat.

Quinn is a sweet southern girl with a knack for solving murders faster than the local police. She’s kind to the core with a quirkiness and spunk. She is a guitar player after all. I enjoyed the entertaining banter between Quinn and her sister Delilah. They are so different and that is part of what makes them so comical. Delilah will speak her mind and has a great knack for putting two and two together. Pepper is a hot mess with everything going on but even with her pushiness she’s a grateful and loyal friend. From rubbing noses with the elite to shady meet ups in dive bars and crazy stakeouts Quinn and Delilah walk with their head held high into craziness that their world seems destined to stumble upon.

Southern Double Cross is a fun and twisty cozy in the Southern B&B Series. This is my first read by Caroline Fardig. I enjoyed her fun and entertaining style of writing. A plot that hand me guessing and then double guessing myself. With so many suspects and a lot of personalities going around Quinn uses her good and not so good wits along with her southern charm to peel through the many layers of this mystery.

 

 

Review: In Cold Chamomile By Joy Avon

 

In Cold Chamomile 

Joy Avon

A Tea and Read Mystery, Book 3 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid’s arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf.

Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid’s arrows can be deadly when a Valentine’s Day soiree ends in murder.

Callie Aspen can’t think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine’s Day than her adopted hometown of Heart’s Harbor, Maine. When she’s not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy’s vintage tearoom, Callie’s adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine’s event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who’s slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance–one she’d hoped she’d never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead.

When Iphy’s old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn’t want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy’s anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie’s budding relationship with Ace–and, quite possibly, her own life.

Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Valentine’s Day brings more than hearts and roses when Callie finds herself steeping in a murder happens during a booktastic charity even.

Callie Aspen is unique in a few ways. She’s got a knack for getting things out of people yet you can tell there are times she feels guilty for digging in deeper than she should. Even drives her cop of a boyfriend batty with her sleuth thing. I personally just think he’s jealous because Callie is good at what she does. I liked how Callie would cut the conversation and excuse herself when she knew she was crossing the line yet hightailed it out of there before she did. In Cold Chamomile brings many changes in her life, along with a murder Callie can’t helped to be wrapped up in.

In Cold Chamomile is a Multi layered cozy mystery with a romance or two added in. Well develop characters with a vast array of personalities, charm and quarks that make them more relatable and fun. Joy Avon twisted and turned the plot, keeping readers guessing. While I had an idea of who, the why caught me by surprise. Callie and Iphy are a force, whether it be good or bad, these women will make you laugh. In Cold Chamomile is my first read of the A Tea and Read Mystery series and I felt like I was walking into a friend’s house for tea and entertainment. The characters definitely drive the story while the layered plot keeps pages flying.

 

 

Review: Sated in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

Sated in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan

Montgomery Ink: Bolder, Book 2

Paperback, 250 pages
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Carrie Ann Ryan

The Montgomery Ink saga continues in a seductive romance where a runaway bride and two best friends might just take the chance of a lifetime.

Ethan Montgomery thought he had his life figured out until the moment he and his best friend met a woman in a wedding dress drinking wine out of a paper bag. He might work too many hours and always seems to put his family and friends first. Still, when he finally opens up to Holland and Lincoln, he may just get everything he’s ever wanted.

Holland Yeaton made a horrible mistake, and running out on her wedding seemed like the only thing to do at the time. Taking the next step of her life on her own won’t be easy, but now she has two sexy and bearded strangers to help her figure out exactly what she desires.

Lincoln McClard has loved his best friend for as long as he can remember. Only he’s never dared to do anything about it. Instead, he puts all of his sexual frustration into his art. As soon as he meets Holland, he realizes exactly why he waited for Ethan and what has been missing all along.

However, it’s not only the three of them in this tangled and steamy relationship. And if they aren’t careful, it won’t only be their feelings that get hurt…and broken.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Sated in emotions

Carrie Ann Ryan continues her emotional and hot Montgomery Ink: Boulder Series with Sated in Ink. Ethan Montgomery’s life changed forever that ordinary day he and his best friend Lincoln McClard went for a run. Sitting on a park bench, in a wedding dress with a bottle in hand and eyes the showed to the deepest layers of her soul, Ethan and Lincoln both knew things would never be the same. Holland was at her lowest of lows with two beautiful men stumbled upon a hot mess that her life has become. With her world feeling like everything was lost Holland learned what the heart of a Montgomery heart can do.

Hitting hard from page one, Sated in Ink is wrapped in a tangle of emotions, loss of inhibitions and a story of love. From an act of kindness that later leads to a friendship that becomes more. From first kisses Holland, Ethan and Lincoln embrace a passion that immediately forms an intimacy that is something way beyond casual. With inhibitions dropped the feelings at the forefront, Holland, Ethan and Lincoln learn there more if they allow themselves to have it.

I am pretty picky when it comes to the ménage reads that I enjoy. Carrie Ann Ryan nails the emotion, passion and compassion with Sated in Ink.

 

 

Review: Phantom Queen by Yasmine Galenorn

 

Phantom Queen

Yasmine Galenorn

Whisper Hollow Series, Book 3

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published January 27th 2020 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC

 

Whisper Hollow, where spirits walk among the living, and the lake never gives up her dead…

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and I’m a spirit shaman. It’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people-and secrets-don’t always stay buried.

Veronica, Queen of the UnLiving, is causing trouble. When I request an audience with her, she tells me something big is coming, something that even the Hounds of Cú Chulainn fear. Now, Bryan and I must enlist the help of the dead in order to keep the spirit world from unwinding and to keep the Hounds from using the approaching disaster for their own ends.

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A new darkness has wandered into Whisper Hollow just as Kerris has begun to settle nicely into her role as spirit shaman. Fast paced and action packed, unlikely alliances, and dark magic grab the reader from page one. The Phantom Queen is a page turner from beginning to end.

Kerris is becoming confident within her role of spirit showman. I love that she admits that there is still much for her to learn yet she is learning new things about who she is and what she does each day. I like the little things that you see within her friendship with Peggin. Yes we have got to know these characters in previous books but I feel like now that the series is set up we are really getting to see who these characters are. I love that Kerris understands the importance of relationships. Kerris is a very sweet and caring woman yet she can be as tough as any of the creatures that she comes across if need be. I really enjoyed the little intimacies shared by Bryan and Kerris. I also enjoyed getting to know the townspeople. They are a fun and interesting bunch that truly lend more to the story than what you think they would.

I’m so excited for Ms. Galenorn to continue the Whisper Hollow Series. The Phantom Queen was well worth the wait. Ms. Galenorn dazzles her readers with interesting characters, a good plot, great world building and a satisfying ending. Whisper Hollow is a dark and mysterious town but it also has a warmth that makes you feel like you’ve come home.

 

“I was given an Advance Reader Copy as a gift from author without obligation. I am providing an honest review.”