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Review: Shadow Web by Yasmine Galenorn

Shadow Web

Yasmine Galenorn

Moonshadow Bay Series, Book 5 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 30th 2021 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC
The holidays are here, and this year, they’re deadly…

It’s my first Thanksgiving back in Moonshadow Bay, and everything is hunky-dory until the Witches Guild assigns me a research project for the upcoming Winter Solstice Festival. Not only do I melt down my computer, but I download a demon who ends up stuck in my house.

But Tarvish the Funtime demon is the least of my worries when my grandmother asks my BFF and me to go undercover. A magical pyramid scheme has moved into town and it’s siphoning more than money off its recruits. Will we be able to take it down, or will the leader of the cult manage to silence us for good?

4.5 Stars

 It’s Thanksgiving time in Moonshadow Bay and January Jackson,  in what should be a wonderful vacation while hosting her first Thanksgiving upon returning home, she soon realizes what the hustle and bustle of the season is all about. When a research project comes from left field and leaves her without a computer, a strange demon manifests in her house and an undercover mission from her grandmother that has her on edge.  With chaos rising and soon a house full of people, January has a lot to cross off that to-do list in Shadow Web. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow Web. January is really becoming one with herself. She is learning who she is and it’s very much starting to show. I felt a big sense of hearth and home throughout the story. She has finally I believe put her past life behind her and is really looking forward to things to come. She’s happy and it shows.  January knows that family is not always blood and she sees that in the people around her. She’s willing to help get to the bottom of things and even puts her own self in danger to make things right. From Funtime Demons to putting her own self in danger January makes leaps and bounds with who she is and what she’s capable of doing. Yasmine Galenorn gives a true holiday feel with her unique style of paranormal with Shadow Web.

Review: Brazen by Jayne Rylon

Brazen 

Jayne Rylon

Powertools: The Shields Series, Book 3 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 30th 2021
They were sent to kill him, but fell in love with him instead.

Sola doubted her instincts after her best friend and partner on the Shields security team, Aarav, acted for months like the attraction between them didn’t exist. One wild night on their boss’s private jet proves she was spot on even if she has no idea where their relationship will go from there.

When they’re sent to assassinate the head of a money laundering operation at a brand new casino, Sola looks into the eyes of their target and her gut screams he’s not the source of the evil they’re hunting. Risking everything, Sola steps in between the man she loves and the one they’ve been sent to kill.

Sola’s instant and undeniable attraction to their unintended captive forces them to investigate him further and decide—will they eliminate him, protect him, or entice him to join their intimate partnership?

Brazen is a bisexual multipartner romance in NYT and USA Today bestselling author Jayne Rylon’s fan-favorite Powertools Universe. Visit your favorite characters or meet new ones in this interconnected, why choose standalone in the Powertools: The Shields MMF ménage series.

3.5 Stars

Sola and Aarav are on a mission unlike any that they have been before. Their friendship is something they both treasure yet they both want more and taking that next step has been a difficult one for them both. The mission at hand has all the cards on the table and everyone is seeing clearly. Yet when the target gives you such strong feelings and doubt of what you’re doing sometimes you have to take A step back and look at things for what they are. Cash was the target, not someone that they should’ve cared about or get an instant reaction from. The game is dangerous, once all the facts are no the way it’s played just may be life-changing.

Jayne Rylon combined an emotional journey, a dangerous mission and a love story all in one. Sola and Aarav danced around their chemistry for far too long. They wholeheartedly embraced their passion. Just as they are discovering themselves together, they realized they need something more than they knew. Cash was in a messed situation and two people saw something more inside he didn’t even know he had or wanted or needed.  Together Sola, Cash and Aarav worked hard to find that together their world is right as rain and apart it is no way near the same. Brazen is sexy and emotional. There is nothing like a visit in the Powertools world. 

Enemy Heir by Carrie Ann Ryan and Nana Malone

Enemy Heir 

Carrie Ann Ryan

Nana Malone 

Tattered Royals Series, Book 2 

ebook, 286 pages
Published November 16th 2021
A bad boy prince meets his match in this epic Tattered Royals stand-alone romance.
I know men like him.
Powerful. Arrogant. Trouble. The world is his playground.
The playboy prince, the tabloid favorite, and the bane of my existence.
And unfortunately, he’s the only one who might be able to help me uncover the truth.
We’re all but shackled together as he works to help me find my stalker before another attack
I don’t want to trust him. I don’t want to want him.
But letting Breck Waterford in might be the only thing to save us both.

I’ve never met a woman like her.
My secrets are mine to keep, but she has a habit of finding the truth.
Sparrow Bridges can’t discover who I am under the crown.
She’s everything I told myself I couldn’t have.
I push her away every chance I can…only every time I look at her, I fall harder.
When danger comes, I can’t stand the idea of losing her before I have a chance to claim her.
She doesn’t need a savior. But anyone who threatens Sparrow will soon find they don’t want me as an enemy.

4 Stars

Feisty, intense and emotional,  Enemy Heir puts enemies to lovers to the test. 

Playboy Prince and Heir to throne Breck is arrogant, very much full of himself and the man is like a drink of cold water on a super hot day.  He has a reputation and in a few ways is quite proud of it.  Breck only shows half of who he is to the world. Yet when a feisty, independent and beautiful security guard starts to get under his skin, Breck soon learns even a prince can’t stop a strong willed woman. 

Security guard Sparrow is the textbook definition of a butt kicking woman. She will not allow an arrogant Royale to keep her from doing her job.  She has a vulnerability but yet knows her own fault. She wears her skin as armor to protect herself from getting too attached to anyone. Somehow a cocky and full of himself prince that she can’t stand has made himself very prominent in her thoughts.

Carrie Ann Ryan and Nana Malone make you want to get tangled up with a Royal. Enemy Heir is full of the unexpected. Breck and Sparrow are great together. Their back and forth, push and pull these two out each other through only enforces the attraction and chemistry that they feel with one another. Sparrow lives a dangerous life with her job and the closer that she becomes to Breck, more he wants her yet the more he tries to pull away. Alphas and their alpha tendencies. They have a crazy road that leads to their happily ever after and I loved watching them find their path.

Review: An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing

An Eggnog to Die For

Amy Pershing 

Cape Cod Foodie Mystery Series, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages

Published November 9th 2021 by Berkley Books

 

 

Christmas has come to Fair Harbor, but when the town’s Santa is murdered, it will be up to Sam Barnes to find a killer in this newest installment of the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries.

It’s Santa Claus, she says tonelessly. Santa Claus is dead.

Food writer Sam Barnes wants a lot of things: a quiet Christmas at home with her dog and the town’s handsome harbormaster, to never be in a viral video again, and to stop finding dead bodies. Unfortunately for Sam, her parents are coming to visit, she’s often around cameras for work, and she just found the town Santa dead in the storage room of the cocktail bar she was profiling.

Although she was only interviewing the owners of the Ginger Jar in hopes of getting the recipe for their Coquito Eggnog cocktail for the friends and family Christmas Eve dinner she’s hosting, Sam quickly finds herself taking on the role of investigator once again. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa–but with holiday stress already building, will Sam be able to pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Foodie Sam Barnes has quite the to do list this holiday season.  However finding a dead Santa was not one of the things to be scratched off.  An Eggnog to Die For is a laugh out loud and twisty cozy mystery. 

 

With videos to make and articles to write, her parents visiting, wondering what going with that man of hers and a big dinner to prepare Sam Barnes doesn’t have time to investigate a murder but somehow she manages to fit it in her schedule. Between writing articles, taking part in holiday festivities, making decorations for her Christmas tree, entering the three things, and being a chauffeur for her parents she found a way to get herself tangled up in helping to solve this mystery. With more suspects than clues Sam manages to ask the right questions to get her thought process rolling. With a few crazy ideas and some good deductive reasoning Sam narrows down the suspect list even though sometimes she allows her feelings to get in the way. She’s a smart woman, sometimes unconventional but yet extremely funny. 

 

I very much enjoyed this foodie mystery. An Eggnog to Die for is a good mystery with a touch of romance and a lot of humor. Amy Pershing caught my attention with this entertaining holiday read.

 

 

Review: Beating the Wrap by Julie Ann Lindsey

Beating the Wrap 

Julie Ann Lindsey

Bonnie & Clyde Mystery Series, Book 3 

ebook, 250 pages
Expected publication: November 15th 2021 by Cozy Queen Publishing

 

Bonnie Balfour adores the changing seasons, fabulous fall activities and holiday hoopla, but will a corpse on the porch squash her holiday plans?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner in historic Bliss, Georgia, and Bonnie is trimming display tables at Bless Her Heart, especially for the occasion. A Gift of Gratitude display, beside the front door of her second chance dress shop, encourages shoppers to leave messages of good tidings for neighbors and friends. Unfortunately, someone has left a cornucopia of complaints instead.

And they’re all about Bonnie!

When the scrooge turns out to be a neighbor, fed up with Clyde’s habitual petty theft and trespassing, Bonnie’s claws come out in defense of her kitty. The heated exchange leaves a bad taste in Bonnie’s mouth, but the man turns up dead before she can dish out a proper apology.

Determined to see justice served, Bonnie and Clyde dig into the case with gusto, only to land in hot water with the handsome Sheriff Wright. A series of anonymous attacks soon have the town wondering if Bonnie can find the killer before it’s time to cut the turkey. Or if she’ll be the next one on his carving board.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

What a wonderful and cute story! 

 

It’s fall in Bliss, GA and Bonnie is all ready to deck out her storefront window in an autumn gratitude theme. What should’ve been a fun and festive activity at her second-hand dress shop has someone filling her dish with complaints instead of compliments.  Bonnie soon finds out that the one complaining it’s none other than another store owner who is fed up with Clyde basically being Clyde. It’s petty served by a cat truly saved? Bonnie and the complaining man share a very heated discussion. With no less than half the town watching of course. Later when said man is found dead Bonnie becomes a top suspect on the list. Now it’s up to her and her furry companion to figure out what really happened. 

 

Bless her heart, Bonnie is a hoot and a half. She is full of personality and determination. She is an extremely well written character who did a lot of growing in just one book. I love the antics and how she even has her grandma alongside. It’s almost like she’s a natural sleuth. I love how she defended her cat Clyde. Yes he is guilty of the charges yet he is a cat and everyone knows you don’t own a cat a cat and you and they do exactly what they want. The mystery was well plotted with some very good twist interns along the way. The story is definitely character based and I have to say I love how they all play their part. Bliss Georgia is a quaint cozy little town with some very funny characters.

 

Beating the Wrap was a funny, twisting and entertaining cozy mystery. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Holiday Ever After by Jill Shalvis

Holiday Ever After 

Jill Shalvis 

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 26th 2021 by Avon

 

 

Three fan-favorite Jill Shalvis novellas are together for the first time in this holiday anthology!

One Snowy Night
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to her family. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, her long-time crush, and his big, goofy, lovable dog. A long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past…and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

Holiday Wishes
When Sean O’Riley shows up for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, the last person he expects to see is Lotti Hartford, the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago. As the weekend continues, Sean realizes he wants to leave his hook-up life behind, but can he convince Lotti to open her heart to him again?

Mistletoe in Paradise
Years after their secret fling ended, Hannah isn’t eager to see James during their families’ annual joint holiday-themed yacht adventure. But when they’re the only people who show up, James and Hannah are stuck together on the high seas for days. As the former lovers try to make the best of the Christmas snafu, they soon realize the best things in life can’t be planned, and sometimes love is sweeter the second time around.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Jill Shalvis always create a story that makes you feel at home, feel good in your heart and very satisfied when you’re finished reading. This collection of short stories it’s just that. Three chances at love, three short stories to get you in the mood for the holidays and a lot of what I love about Jill Shalvis. 

 

One Snowy Night

 

Max and Rory have been friends since high school. Max has alway been front and center in Rory’s book. Crushing on the man for years but never able to tell him. Max blames Rory for missing out on something he wanted. They both have “issues” with each other yet Max is Rory’s ride home for the holidays. When a snowstorm traps them together longer than planned, it’s kind of put up or shut up time. This force proximity story has these two hashing out their past and realizing I just maybe there’s something more in the future.

 

Holiday Wishes- Is it a second chance for Sean and Lotti? They were each other’s first and Sean broke Lotti’s heart. Many years later do the fires still burn as they once did? As a snowstorm extends the stay at Sean‘s brother‘s bachelor party weekend at Lotti’s family’s B&B. Now it’s time to hash out the past and settle it or many just get it burning again! 

 

Mistletoe in Paradise- 

Christmas on a yacht in the Caribbean, yes please sign this girl up. Hannah and James shared a secret lover affair many years ago. The two have a long history with a little bit of tragedy and heartache added in. For the first time in years they are kind of forced together on the family boat. I really enjoyed how they were able to come together, talk out their issues and even found something more. This was my favorite of the three stories. A bit anxiety but a very good story.

 

Jill Shalvis will warm your heart for the holidays with Holiday Ever After. 

 

Review: Getaway with Murder by Diane Kelly

Getaway With Murder 

Diane Kelly

Mountain Lodge Mystery Series, Book 1

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 26th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
Getaway With Murder is the first in a brand new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where secrets hide behind every hill.

As if hitting the half-century mark wasn’t enough, Misty Murphy celebrated her landmark birthday by amicably ending her marriage and investing her settlement in a dilapidated mountain lodge at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the old inn teetering on both a bluff and bankruptcy, she must have lost her ever-loving mind.

Luckily, handyman Rocky Crowder has a knack for rehabbing virtual ruins and for doing it on a dime, and to Misty’s delight, the lodge is fully booked on opening night, every room filled with flexible folks who’d slipped into spandex and ascended the peak for a yoga retreat with plans to namastay for a full week. Misty and her guests are feeling zen—at least until the yoga instructor is found dead.

With a killer on the loose and the lodge’s reputation hanging in the balance, Misty must put her detective-skills to the test. Only one thing is as clear as a sunny mountain morning—she must solve the crime before the lodge ends up, once again, on the brink.

4 Stars

Diane Kelly gives readers a thrilling beginning to her new Mountain Lodge Mystery Series with Getaway With Murder.  

Getaway With Murder was a fantastic read. This was a different type of cozy and it was welcome and refreshing. Missy has lived a good life, yet herself and her now ex husband have grown out of love and decided that they could go their separate ways and maintain the friendship that they have built over the years. Missy is starting over in a place she enjoys and loves.  Purchasing a mountain resort, packing up herself and Yetti, her lovable feline companion,  to embark on their new lives. Sounds easy right? Well not so much. After a night of bad storms, an encounter with a nose in the contractor, and a few local locals that genuinely care, Missy takes a deep breath and takes her leap. 

Getaway With Murder is a fantastic beginning to why I feel is going to be an amazing series. Missy is independent, strong and resourceful. She knows what she wants and will do what she can to make it happen. I enjoyed that Missy.  She’s a great character and I know I will be eagerly waiting to see what comes next.  The mystery side of this tale was definitely a twisty one. Well written and plotted, Diane Kelly had me guessing throughout the story. Entertaining and funny, with a good mystery and just a splash of romance. Getaway With Murder will transport reads to a beautiful mountain town, with great characters and an even better story.

Review: Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant

 

Home for a Cowboy Christmas

Donna Grant 

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 26th 2021 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

 

 

 

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived for this cowboy in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest novel, Home for a Cowboy Christmas.

Tis the season—for everyone except Emmy Garrett. She’s on the run after witnessing a crime. But when it becomes clear that trouble will continue following her, the US Marshal in charge takes her somewhere no one will think to look–Montana. Not only is Emmy in a new place for her protection, but now, she’s stuck with a handsome cowboy as her bodyguard…and she wants to do more than kiss him under the mistletoe.

Dwight Reynolds left behind his old career, but it’s still in his blood. When an old friend calls in a favor, Dwight opens his home to a woman on the run. He tries to keep his distance, but there’s something about Emmy he can’t resist. She stokes his passion and turns his cold nights into warm ones. When danger shows up looking for Emmy, Dwight risks everything to keep her safe.

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Donna Grant gets readers in the mood for the holiday season with the suspenseful and heartwarming Home for a Cowboy Christmas! 

 

Emmy is a gal on the run. A successful bookkeeper who saw more than she should ever have seen, is now in hiding, waiting with bated breath to testify against a big mob boss. Emmy is trusting the law to keep her safe. When those that are to be trusted start faltering, not only is she one the run, the Marshal that is In charge of keeping her safe questions who he can trust, Emily believes her days are numbered and just hopes she makes it out alive.

 

Dwight Reynolds lives a quiet life on a ranch in the middle of nowhere in Montana. He may have left his old career behind but it never truly leaves the man. When a lifelong friend asks for a favor there’s no way Dwight can refuse. Protecting people is in his blood whether it’s someone he knows or not. Little did he know the attraction and connection he would feel to the one he’s asked to help protect. No it’s not just a matter of protecting her for her is about protecting her for him as well.  

 

An unconventional romance that works out so so well. Home for a Cowboy Christmas is a thrilling and entertaining romantic suspense. Donna Grant 

sets a fast pace in this romantic suspense. Emily and Dwight have a natural chemistry with one another and their attraction is flying off the charts. It’s a tense situation and they try to make It the best they can.  Their connection and chemistry come naturally as their attraction adds fuel to the fire every day. They are in a dangerous situation but yet they found a way to trust in one another to get through.  I love how Dwight was willing to protect no matter what. Emily‘s tenacity and strength are like none other. Together these two are a force. Donna Grant keeps our hearts beating fast while spreading a little bit of holiday cheer with Home for a Cowboy Christmas.

 

Mulled to Death by Kate Lansing

Mulled to Death 

Kate Lansing

Colorado Wine Myteries Series, Book 3 

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 19th 2021 by Berkley Books

A Valentine’s Day getaway is on the rocks when a young winemaker discovers a body at an alpine resort in this delightful cozy mystery.

When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort’s wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner’s body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.

As a result, not only is Parker’s romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker’s going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice.

4 Stars

Mulled to Death is an entertaining and adventurous edition to the Colorado Wine Mystery Series.

Parker is mixing a bit of business and pleasure with Valentine’s weekend getaway. Nestled away in the mountains of a beautiful Alpine ski resort Parker and her boyfriend Reid have plans of a romantic time in between hitting the slopes and Parker pitching her wine to the Director of the resort. On what should be a fun day of hitting the slopes Parker comes across the resort owner’s body dead on a ski trail. What should’ve been a fun and romantic weekend is thrown into chaos. Not only does Parker find a dead body but little things keep happening that have her looking a bit over her shoulder.

Mulled to Death was fantastic. Each book in the series gets better and better. Parker takes sleuthing to a whole other level. She wants to get to the bottom of it and she goes full tilt. Even if sometimes it’s not the best choice. She’s very passionate about finding out who and why. I love seeing Parker‘s romantic side come out a bit more. As a romance lover I love seeing a bit of romance with my cozy mysteries. As for the mystery part this one is twists and turns and has the reader doing some thinking. I also love how the author is able to incorporate things about wine in just about every aspect of the book that does not involve winemaking. The description of the spices for the mulled wine makes me want to try and make a batch myself.

Kate Lansing’s Mulled to Death is what you want in a cozy mystery.

Review: Once Upon a Seaside Murder by Maggie Blackburn

seaside

Once Upon a Seaside Murder 

Maggie Blackburn

Beach Reads Mystery Series, Book 2 

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: October 12th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books
As the holidays approach, bookstore owner Summer Merriwether learns a dark secret in this second volume of Maggie Blackburn’s Beach Reads mystery series.

There’s no place like home for the holidays, even if home is sleepy, beachside Brigid’s Island, NC. During this season for giving, the town wakes up to a welcome throng of shoppers–and Beach Reads is no exception. But bookseller Summer Merriwether’s Christmas cheer turns to cringing fear when she uncovers a deadly secret about her late mother–a secret someone will kill to keep.

When the local library hosts a cozy mystery panel discussion, Summer learns that one of the authors on the panel based her book on an actual murder that shook Brigid’s Island thirty-five years before. Worse, she soon learns that her dearly missed mother, Hildy, took a disturbingly deep interest in the case, going so far as to collect clippings and keep a journal of the dark doings. This doesn’t jibe with Summer’s memories of her usually cheery mother at all.

Tidings get worse when Summer learns of her long-lost biological family’s involvement in the crime…and still worse when the life of the book’s author is threatened. With the help of Hildy’s plucky book club, Summer puts her scholarly smarts to work on protecting the cozy author and solving the decades-old murder.

But this ghost from Christmas past may still be deadly in the present, and if she can’t find the killer, Summer’s future will be brief.

4.5 Stars 

As the holidays are getting into full swing in the cozy coastal town of Brigid Island. Summer Meeriwether is all geared for a holiday cozy mystery signing event. When Summer discovers one of the featured authors has written a book about a murder that happened many years ago in Summer’s own town, questions pop up faster than answers can be sought out.  The Christmas season is bringing up ghosts from the past.  Beach Reads is knee deep mystery and secrets this merry season. 

Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a fantastic reads. Piled to the brim with everything that cozy mystery lovers love. You’ve got a great atmosphere and cozy little town. The characters are filled with personality and charisma. The setting is a bookstore, how can a reader not love that. The mystery is quite twisty and many secrets are revealed throughout the pages. Maggie Blackburn really gave it all in this book and it really shows. Summer has grown so much between the first and second book. Once Upon a Seaside Murder Summer discovers her own mystery in conjunction with what’s going on with the cozy mystery event.  So many secrets are found and the answers are jaw dropping. Summer is on A mental and at times physical roller coaster ride. I love how she goes from being uncertain about certain things, having all this craziness happen to realize the things that she really needs are the things that are right in front of her.  Summers’ personal struggles tie into the craziness surrounding the cozy mystery event. Along the way there are some shocking moments, truths you didn’t see coming, a group of friends that have become family and many laugh out loud moments.

Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read.