Category Archives: ARC
Moments in Ink
Carrie Ann Ryan
Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 3.5
The Montgomery Ink saga continues with a bonus romance between two strangers on a path of healing that leads to something far more.
Zia Clarkson thought she found her happily ever after, not once, but twice. Her first love is now engaged, and her second love broke more than her heart. Heart and soul bruised; she’s not looking for a relationship. Ever. Especially not with the uptight Meredith Legend who stars in her fantasies.
They promised each other one night of passion. And when the sun rises, they’ll walk away—even if they’re both lying to themselves about why.
Meredith has a great head for numbers but she feels like when it comes to love she pays bad choices. Zia thought she had found love, not once but twice and learned the hard way that love hurts you just as much as it brings happiness. Two people that have had love hurt them in the past or not looking for anything of the sort. But when an unexpected meeting and some undeniable attraction and chemistry make their presence known they both agree to one night. Ha! We all know one night is never enough. Quickly they both realize there’s more to what they’re feeling both women realize a big decision is going to have to be made.
I very much enjoyed Moments in Ink. Ms. Ryan hits readers with an emotional and touching tale of two women trying to heal and finding comfort, attraction and maybe even love in something neither one of them was looking for. We even get to visit with a few of our Montgomery friends making this a wonderful addition to an emotional and sexy series.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
A Cajun Country Mystery, Book 6
Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.
Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.
Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.
When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.
A delightful and fun cozy mystery with a Halloween theme great for kicking off the fall season. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was a Great distraction for a lazy day of reading.
Maggie is not a fan of Halloween, yet goes along with her family along with other B&B owners hosting Halloween theme weekend to help bring more business to their businesses. What should be fun and pleasant weekends turn into mayham and murder. Not to mention some appearances made by fabled, bayou creatures just to spice up the mix a little bit more. If that wasn’t enough Maggie has out of town distant relatives that are just not quite The kind of people she was expecting. Pelican, Louisiana maybe a small town but it sure got a lot going on.
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was my first visit with the characters of the Cajun Country Mysteries and will not not be my last. Not only was the story entering, the mystery kept you guessing and the plot was solid. The characters are well developed and fun. The setting is like being transported to a different place. With everything that’s going on in the world right now I feel it’s important for myself to be able to get lost in a book. Author Ellen Byron does just that. I felt like I was right in the bayou with Crozets. The only thing missing was the delectable food that we read about through the pages of this entertaining book.
For Whom the Book Tolls
Laura Gail Black
An Antique Bookshop Mystery, Book 1
In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna–his primary beneficiary–becomes the prime suspect.
Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle’s gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she’ll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle’s body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.
Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she’s inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy…which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna–bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna’s status as the prime suspect in both deaths.
Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle’s killer. On the one hand, she’s made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address–and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna’s story.
Jenna Quinn seems to have this black cloud following her. After an unfortunate incident leaves Jenna in a low place she takes up the offer of a change of scenery from her uncle and makes her way to Hokes Folly, NC. Jenna has barely made her way into town when she stumbles across the fallen body of her gracious uncle. In what should be a time of healing and getting her life back together, has become a roller coaster ride Jenna was not expecting. Now she has a business to figure out what to do with, a dead relative and has found her way as one of the prime suspects in the murder. Will this woman’s day get any better or is all about to go down the drain.
I very much enjoyed For Whom the Book Tolls. Jenna is a fantastic character. She was down on her luck, at the bottom of her rope and needing a breath of fresh air. She shows determination, adaptability and forgiveness. I found her to be an exceptionally strong and willful character for cozy mystery. The more I got to know her the more I enjoyed her. I very much enjoyed the story and plot line. There are many twists that keep the story interesting in going. It’s fast paced and even has a touch of romance. I was able to figure out our culprit before the end of the story, however it wasn’t much before the end. The setting was perfect and the town was charming. The characters definitely drive part of the story giving the reader entertaining antics to go along with this twisting mystery. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a good start to what I feel will bring many entertaining cozy reads in the future.
Little Bookshop of Murder
A Beach Reads Mystery, Book 1
A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop–and a murder mystery–in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.
Summer Merriweather’s career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder’s thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper’s pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.
Returning to Brigid’s Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom’s embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: “Sell the bookstore or die.”
Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid’s Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there’s not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy’s beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid’s Island than are dreamt of in the Bard’s darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can’t find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy’s worth of corpses–including her own.
Little Bookshop of Murder is a light and easy cozy mystery read that is more than fitting for beach reading.
Summer Merriweather is having a time of it. A Shakespeare Professor researching a paper in England to try to save her career when the unexpected death of her very healthy mother brings her back to her childhood home. Upon return she realizes things are not as they seem. Summer decides that if the local law won’t listen she will have to figure out this one herself.
There are many things I enjoyed about Little Bookshop of Murder. First and foremost the store, Beach Reads! The Idea of this store is a reader stream on the beach. From its name to its beach themed decor, It’s a place that I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon or two enjoying reading by the sea. Second small towns whether I’m reading cozies or romance are always a favorite. This one has a vast array of quirky characters that make up a very fun and interesting town. Next the family dynamic within the story is priceless. I love the inner jokes and squabbling that goes back-and-forth between them. Summer it’s an interesting main character. She may have left a few ill feelings when she left home yet it’s still her home and has a love for it even if she didn’t realize how deep it goes. The mystery of the story itself was rather easy to figure out but the why was a bit off for me. However I enjoy this little town and these crazy characters enough that it will make me read the next book in the series.
Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 2
A heartwarming contemporary romance set in Louisiana’s Butterfly Bayou from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.
Seraphina Guidry loves Butterfly Bayou. A young, single mom, she’s trying to find a place for herself in the town she cherishes, but past mistakes have made her wary. She adores her son but has sworn off men. She’s dedicated herself to restoring an historic house and building her own business. A quiet life is all she wants.
Harrison Jefferys never expected to find himself in small-town Louisiana, but he has a job to do and a family to reconnect with. After years in the Army, he’s happy to spend time with his Aunt Celeste and his cousins in such an idyllic spot. When he meets Seraphina, he starts to think Papillion might be a great place to call home. But a secret from Sera’s past rears its head and threatens to tear the community apart.
Caught between the woman he’s coming to love and the only family he has left, Harry knows he has to follow his heart and with the help of the crazy, loving, meddling locals find a way to keep them both.
Once again Lexi Blake gives a story readers can’t help but to enjoy and get lost in. The Butterfly Bayou series continues with the emotional and charming Bayou Baby!
Seraphina is a single mom and the focal point of one of the biggest pieces of gossip in town. Who is her son’s father? Sera is a strong woman with a determination like no other. She always puts her little one first and as willing to sacrifice anything of herself for him. She doesn’t allow the town gossip to stand in the way of her life.
Harry is a man of strength, patience and determination. He served for his country and even gave a part of himself while doing it. Reconnecting with family he’s truly still getting to know is a blessing and a curse all in one. Harry is full of determination as well yet he is focused in a different way. His mind is as open as his heart. A rare thing! He’s a wounded warrior who will melt your heart.
Bayou Baby is an emotional, family drama, small town romance with those few crazy people you can’t help but to love. Sera is a Perfect example to not judge a book by its cover. This girl had her stuff together even if it didn’t look like that at times. Harry knew she was the one. He set his goal and proved in so many ways what a good man is and should be to a woman. Sera and Harry had some ups and downs but in the end they showed each other that family is what matters. I love their getting to know you squabbles and how Sera fought against their attraction. I enjoyed Harry slowing breaking her walls down. The two were a good match. Some family you’re born to and some family you choose but family makes it all better. Bayou Baby is Lexi Blake at her best.
The Anna Albertini Flies, Book 1
A fun, sexy, suspenseful new series from New York Times Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti!
Bullets and Kisses Can Burn
The last person Anna Albertini expects to see in an orange jumpsuit in District Court—a place she SO doesn’t belong as a new prosecuting attorney—is Aiden Devlin, the man who’d saved her life when they were kids. For years, she has dreamed about him. Now here he is—his eyes blue, his chest wide, and his hands in cuffs.
Sure, Aiden says he doesn’t want her help, and his ties to a deadly motorcycle club should give her warning. Yes, her new boss is a sexy Italian bad boy who might be using the case to climb to the top. Plus, the detective assigned to the case, with his green eyes and broad shoulders, wants her to stay out of his way.
With so much testosterone surrounding her all of a sudden, most women would find it hard to concentrate. This might be why the case leads Anna to yelp during a spa appointment, fall out of a tree, and chase a naked old man around the courtroom. It’s a good thing Anna learned a long time ago to be her own hero, no matter how fast the bullets fly or the kisses consume.
Disorderly Conduct was an unexpected, eventful and completely entertaining read. Ms. Zanetti is offering readers something completely different and exciting that will have you laughing out loud.
Anna Albertini is a force. She’s like the girl next door without understanding the concept of danger. She’s smart, intuitive and not afraid to get her hands dirty or a little bruised up. A lawyer who is just getting her feel wet, quickly finds herself deep in shark infested waters. Her determination is too strong to allow her to sink, she keeps her shoulders held high while diving in deep first. She does have this uncanny way of being just in the wrong place at just the wrong time. And yet she keeps on keeping on. Anna has a past that haunts her constantly yet she became a lawyer to help those that may not be able to necessarily help themselves.
Ms. Zanetti is totally rocking the romance suspense with the first release of the new Anna Albertini Files Series. Disorderly Conduct is a fast paced, did that just happen, no way, wait til you see what’s next coming kind of book. Anna’s a strong person with a stronger personality that doesn’t quit and doesn’t back down. For a woman that has her life thrown upside down she handles everything pretty well. Finding out your boss is not who he seems, the one person who has stuck with you through your entire life magically reappears and getting thrown headfirst into something bigger and more dangerous than she’s known, it’s basically just a start. Anna quickly experiences many ups and downs, rights and wrongs, while trying to put all the pieces of this giant puzzle together. They say it’s not good to mix business and pleasure but sometimes there’s no way to separate the two.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Anna,and can’t wait to see what excitement we will be in store for with future volumes in the series.
Mums and Mayham
A Magic Garden Mystery, Book 3
A famous fiddler has been kilt. A magic garden’s left to wilt. Does Fiona Knox’s father hold the guilt? Will florist Fiona’s blood be spilt?
World-famous fiddle player Barley McFee arrives in blustery Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for a grand homecoming concert organized by jeweler Bernice Brennan. Fiona Knox, owner of the Climbing Rose Flower Shop, is starting to regret volunteering to help with the concert. Bernice is an exacting taskmaster, and Fiona has enough tension dealing with her parents, who have traveled from Tennessee to visit Fi and her younger sister, Isla, and to reveal a secret about Fi’s birth. But when Barley is found dead in his trailer during the concert’s intermission, and his death is shockingly tied to Fiona’s father, Fiona discovers there are more secrets surrounding her family than she realized.
Much to the chagrin of handsome Neil Craig, Chief Inspector of the County Aberdeen Police, Fiona delves into the case to clear her father’s name. To make matters worse, Fiona learns that Duncreigan, the magical garden that she inherited from her godfather, is dying. At some point during the concert, someone broke into the garden and cut the centuries-old climbing rose–the source of the garden’s magic–from the standing stone.
The stakes are higher than ever and Fiona could lose all that she’s grown unless she’s able to dispel this terrible curse and dig up the truth–fast.
A sweet touch of romance, some family drama,a bit of magic and a twisted mystery wrapped all in one. Mums and Mayhem is an entertaining read.
Fiona Knox has more than a little going on. She’s part of the merchant Society preparing for a major concert in their little town, dealing with a dead body in her garden, someone trying to sabotage her garden and family secrets that she can’t seem to find the answer she needs. A flower shop owner who has a knack for solving mysteries and the holder of a legacy that she doesn’t quite understand. Fiona is smart, funny and just beginning to see what this new life of hers in Scotland is all about. Yet dead bodies have a tendency to fall within her path.
As the mystery unfolds this one hits a little too close to home as the family secrets unfold and answers Fiona has been waiting for our revealed. The characters drive the story with their charm, personality and charisma making it very difficult for the reader to guess who done it on this one. Author Amanda Flower adds just enough of a magical touch to keep the story very interesting without making it a full-blown paranormal. The magical garden series is quite magical and this latest installment of Mums and Mayhem it’s a wonderful addition to this cute and sweet series.
The Key Lime Crime
A Key West Food Critic Mystery, Book 10
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.
When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.
Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.
It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?
Holidays, key lime pie and murder, The Key Lime Crime is a deliciously entertaining cozy mystery.
As if life isn’t crazy enough for food critic and newlywed Hayley Snow with it being Christmas in the beautiful Key West, there is a Key Lime Pie contest that every baker in town is trying to win and she is a judge. All the while trying to finish out her articles for the remainder of the year. Toss in a surprise visit from her new mother-in-law that turns her into a tour guide that has them stumbling upon a dead body. I believe the day just got worse.
Key Lime Crime is a funny and entertaining cozy mystery. If you are not craving several slices of key lime pie by the time you’re reading then somethings just not right. Hayley is a wonderful character that readers can relate with. She smart, charming, in love and a good person. She’s still becoming comfortable in her new married life, as many readers can relate to. Hayley navigates the reader through an interesting and twisting plot that keeps you guessing. You see significant character growth within one book. As being a primary romance reader that is something I see frequently within romance but not quite so much in cozies. I definitely enjoyed that factor of the book. This is a long going series that fortunately I stumbled upon and was able to pick up at book 10 and didn’t feel like I was left out from anything of previous books. Author Lucy Burdette twisted a fantastic mystery well giving you fantastic descriptions of every possible Way of having Keylime pie. I very much enjoyed Key Lime Crime. I look forward to going back to previous books in the series and truly getting to know these characters.
Death at High Tide
Island Sisters Mystery, Book 1
In the first installment in the delightful Island Sisters series, two sisters inherit an old hotel in the remote Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall and find it full of intrigue, danger, and romance.
When Evie Mead’s husband, Robert, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, a mysterious note is found among his possessions. It indicates that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Isles of Scilly.
Still grieving, Evie is inclined to leave the matter to the accountant to sort out. Her sister Margot, however, flown in from her glamorous career in LA, has other plans. Envisioning a luxurious weekend getaway, she goes right ahead and buys two tickets–one way–to Tregarrick.
Once at the hotel–used in its heyday to house detective novelists, and more fixer-upper than spa resort, after all–Evie and Margot attempt to get to the bottom of things. But the foul-tempered hotel owner claims he’s never met the late Robert, even after Evie finds framed photos of them–alongside Robert’s first wife–in his office. The rest of the island inhabitants, ranging from an ex-con receptionist to a vicar who communicates with cats, aren’t any easier to read.
But when a murder occurs at the hotel, and then another soon follows, frustration turns to desperation. There’s no getting off the island at high tide. And Evie and Margot, the only current visitors to Tregarrick, are suspects one and two. It falls to them to unravel secrets spanning generations–and several of their own–if they want to make it back alive.
The Island Sisters Series is off to an entertaining and enjoyable start with Death at High Tide.
Evie Mead is in quite a spot. Her husband suddenly dies, she finds out they’re broke, a mysterious letter from her late husband finds its way into her hands and her sister, Margot, has a crazy idea to figure things out. These two sisters are very different yet extremely hilarious together. You can tell they have a bond even though they’ve been away from each other for years.
The seaside town of Tregarrick is a unique setting. I loved the hotel, once used as a mystery writer’s getaway. Even with its outdated decor it had a whimsical charm. Like most small towns, everyone knows everyone and the inhabitants of this town make up a colorful cast of unique, strange yet entertaining individuals. There are many secrets floating around and when several murders occur within a short time, checking out a simple hotel becomes something much more complicated.
This is my first read by Author Hannah Dennison and I will admit I am pleasantly surprised. The characters had a lot of personality, layers and a bit of mystery to the. The setting is amazing with just a touch of a gothic feel. Winter seas can do that. Lol. The story was well paced and entertaining. The mystery was well plotted and I honestly hadn’t figured out who had actually done it. This is one of those stories that will suck you in and before you know it you have finished the book in one sitting. Evie and Margot are an interesting pair and I look forward to seeing what interesting situations these two will find themselves in.
Want You To Want Me
Want You series, Book 2
The new sexy contemporary romance in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s Want You series, set in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis–smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund–for help.
Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.
They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends–much more.
5 A sweet and sexy slow burn kind of romance that gets you in the right spots. Want You to Want Me is a fantastic read to get lost in.
Nolan Lund is the never settle down, fun loving, different woman on his arm kind of man. With a personal shopper and always dresses to the nines there is no wonder the man has gained the nickname of the Prince of LI. Nolan is honest in what he does. He may be a ladies man but he’s no player. Nolan is smart and willing yet still has a lot to learn. In many aspects of his life. I enjoyed how his romantic side emerged when he realized that everything he thought about his type was blown out the window when love smacked him in the face before he even knew what was happening.
Gabi Welk is a force. An amazing hockey player and a fantastic coach. This woman has a talent and determination to achieve anything she could possibly want. Her will is almost as strong as her compassion and heart. There is more to Gabi than meets the eye and that is just the beginning of what I loved about her. Her tough exterior hides to the world her own self doubt. At what could be one of her lowest of low an unlikely Prince in fancy pants knocks down a wall or two and allows Gabi so see someone more.
The verbal sparring and bickering between these two are worth the read alone. The back and forth, pushing each other’s buttons, showing each other both the will and stubbornness they possess. I love their slow burn and build up. They way Gabi and Nolan got to know one another and build something wanted and needed was natural and remarkable. They allowed each other to be themselves. Even if it took them both a bit to figure it out. Enemies to lovers and opposites attract, Gabi and Nolan have an emotional story but I know you will be entertained. Ms. James gives readers heart, humor and sexiness wrapped up beautifully in Want You to Want Me.