Category Archives: ARC

Review: The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis

The Forever Girl 

Jill Shalvis 

The Wildstone Series, Book 6

Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

 

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis does it once again with a heartfelt story of family, forgiveness, and secrets that have the power to change the course of more than one life.

When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.

Now as adults together again in the lake house, there are secrets and resentments mixed up in all the amazing childhood memories. Unexpectedly, they instantly fall back into their roles: Maze their reckless leader, Cat the den mother, Heather the beloved baby sister, and Walker, a man of mystery.

Life has changed all four of them in immeasurable ways. Maze and Cat must decide if they can rebuild their friendship, and Maze discovers her long-held attraction to Walker hasn’t faded with the years but has only grown stronger.

 

4 Stars

 

A deep emotional story that will have several characters finding their way into our hearts. 

 

A family with a lot of love to give opens their home to three foster children.  With the help of their own children, they show 3 lost souls what a loving family is and that didn’t have to be of their blood. One year together changed their lives. Then a tragedy struck which separated them.  A family they were but their strings were getting thin. They have lived life, stayed in touch yet years later when their rock calls them home for her wedding, they come, some reluctantly. Opening old wounds and a new chapter for four somewhat lost and a bit broken people.  

 

Cat- the rock and mother hen is about to get married and wants her family, all of her family with her.  Maze- the one with a trail of chaos following behind. Walker- always has and will always be their mystery man. Heather- the youngest and their beloved has a few secrets in tow.  Maybe they all have a few or more secrets or self hurting guilt they are carrying.  They are bonded in ways few will understand. Yet are at times a mystery to each other.  

 

Jill Shalvis delivers the emotions like a punch in the gut.  The Forever Girl is a story of friendship, love and loss. A story of challenging oneself, learning to forgive yourself and learning to trust your heart in love. A family that made themselves a family.  Through the course of this complex and emotional story four people found a piece of themselves that was missing. Learned it was ok to break down and asking for help is not a burden. Love is worth fighting for, worth working for. Grab some tissues and your drink of choice, settle in for an amazing, hit you in the heart story within the pages of The Forever Girl.

 

 

 

Review: Dragon Revealed by Donna Grant

 

Dragon Revealed 

Donna Grant 

Dragon Kings series, Book 1 

Published January 12th 2021 by 1001 Dark Nights Press

 

 

 

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant comes a new story in her Dragon Kings series…

The capture of a Dragon King is cause for celebration. Jeyra never dreamed she would actually face one of the creatures who destroyed her home. But the longer she’s around him, the more she finds herself gravitating to him. All it takes is one reckless kiss that unleashes desires and the truth that has been hidden from her to set them both on a course that could be the end of them.

Varek, King of Lichens, has known nothing but a life with magic. Until he finds himself on a different realm unable to call up his powers. Worse, he’s in shackles with no memory of how it happened. When he sees an enthralling woman who leaves him speechless, he believes he can charm her to free him. The more she rebuffs him, the more he craves her, igniting a dangerous passion between them. Can he protect the woman he’s fallen for while uncovering the truth – or will peril that neither see coming tear them apart?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A life changing journey packed into an exciting novella.  Dragon Revealed is a great introduction to the next chapter for the Dragon Kings. 

 

Jeyra should be feeling her greatest accomplishment. She captured a dragon king. However the lengths she went to carry this amazing feat could have her in jeopardy.  Revenge for her family is finally on the horizon.  She’s an amazing Warrior but an interrogator she is not. The more time she spends with the Dragon King the more she begins to question many things. Caught up in confusion and no one to trust Jeyra feels most at ease with the one who should be the enemy.  For someone who has hated dragons her entire life, next to Varek is where she wants to be. 

 

 One minute Varek is swimming around the ocean and the next he wakes up shackled to a wall in a realm he’s never seen before. Unable to contact the other dragons and his magic nonexistent at the moment for the King of the Lichens, he quickly learns that he has to be smarter than his captors. Needing information Varek answers Jeyra questions asking his own along the way. Quickly finding himself drawn to this woman, anticipating her visits and imagining her red hair hanging down.  As Verak’s questions begin to make Jeyra think and question her own people, he wants to protect her, keep her safe, fight for her.  Verak found his one but is she the enemy or his mate? 

 

Dragon Revealed grabs the reader from the get go and doesn’t let up until the end. Jeyra is an amazingly strong character. She stood her ground, sought  the truth and did what was right. She followed her gut and it never led her wrong. Verak is strong in so many ways. When he couldn’t use his magic or his strength he compensated with his patients. Even with his own safety on the line Verak shows his compassion and passion for Jeyra without the blink of an eye.  They were perfect for one another. Donna Grant bridges the Dark Kings to the Dragon Kings flawlessly. A short story that packed a big punch. Filled with questions and mystery, Dragon Revealed will have you flying through the pages just to see what happens. There are even a few surprises and a nice little treat in store for a long time readers of the series.

 

 

 

 

Review: A Curious Incident by Vicki Delany

A Curious Incident

Vicki Delany

Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 6

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

It’s up to Gemma and Jayne to root out the killer in national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s sixth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery when the winner of a garden tour trophy is left pushing up daisies.

“I am not a Consulting Detective,” Gemma Doyle reluctantly tells 10-year-old Lauren Tierney, when the little girl comes to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium to beg Gemma to find her missing cat, Snowball. Gemma might not be able to follow the clues to find the cat, but her dog Violet follows her nose to locate the missing kitten in a neighbor’s garden shed. Gemma and Violet proudly return Snowball to her grateful owner, and Gemma basks in praise for a job well done. But a few days later Lauren is back with ten dollars in hand, wanting to once again hire a consulting detective, and this time for a far bigger job: Her mother has been accused of murdering her garden club rival.
Sheila Tierney’s garden, which everyone said was the one to beat for the West London Garden Club trophy, had been vandalized the night before the club’s early summer tour. Sheila confronted her former friend and gardening partner Anna Wentworth in a towering rage, and the women nearly came to blows. Later that night, after having won the trophy for best garden, Anna is found murdered and Sheila Tierney is the police’s prime suspect.
Despite herself, and despite the disapproval of her police detective boyfriend Ryan Ashburton, the game is once again afoot, and Gemma finds herself and Jayne Wilson using their powers of deduction to ponder yet another curious incident.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

 

From missing kittens to trashed gardens. having the garden club up in roits to rivalry and murder, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, finds herself knee deep in yet another curious mystery that she tries really hard not to be involved in. She really does try to stay out of it. 

 

I really enjoyed Gemma. She is a fun take on Sherlock Holmes. I loved her use of logic, her straightforward manor and her ability to put it all together. Gathering all the informal and extracting the facts then coming to the correct conclusion. Gemma’s got a gift for sure even if she is blunt and abrupt at times. Lauren is a fun addition to the cast of characters. She adds a lot of humor and fun to the story.  Her curiosity is something to smile at while dealing with a very serious situation. She is all over the place, but that is a pre-teen for you.  

 

A Curious Incident is a curious mystery indeed. A fun Sherlock Holmes themed cozy mystery with an enjoyable cast of characters. Well plotted and well developed, being my first read of the series I didn’t feel as if I was missing a thing. Vicki Delany gets the reader engaged with fun characters and well timed Holmes antidotes. I love how the book and tea shops go hand in hand together. The mystery and plot are solid, however this is a fully character driven book.  There’s a lot going on but it all curiously fits together making an entertaining story.

 

 

Review: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Our Italian Summer

Jennifer Probst

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by Berkley Books

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst comes a new women’s fiction novel featuring three generations of Ferrari women who need to heal the broken pieces of their lives…and one trip of a lifetime through Italy.

Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother’s wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. . . .

Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.

Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A spectacular story…

 

Three generations of women who love each other dearly yet don’t always see eye to eye. Francesca- a workaholic who hardly has time for herself yet alone her family. Allegra who is in those pivotal years between teenager and adult trying to figure out who she is and what she wants in life. She knows she doesn’t wanna be like her mother. Sophia hates seeing her girls suffer and yet holds a secret of her own. She knows she must take action before it’s too late and her family falls apart. The trip of a lifetime. A tour of Italy. Each of the women agree to go but each with a different reason why.  Little did they know their lives would change so much in one short month.  

 

Through beautiful cities, amazing food, breathtaking churches, small villages and a handful of extraordinary people three women, three generations found a way to come together. To solidify a bond that was deeper than they realize they had.  Yes, there were some rocky moments and ugly words were uttered yet they each found a part of themselves through their Italian Summer journey.  Something life changing that allowed each of them to get outside of their own heads and figure out something deep within themselves. In the process it allowed a grandmother, a mother and a daughter to bond in a way that would not have seemed feasible just weeks prior. 

 

I loved Our Italian Summer.  A fantastic story of family, love and adventure.  Learning to let go and being willing to take a chance. Knowing it ok to have some fun and it’s ok to shed tears when needed. Jennifer Probst hits you in all the right spots with Our Italian Summer.  It was not just a story, but a journey that me completely rooting for these women to find their happiness. 

 

 

Review: Everspell by Donna Grant

Everspell 

Donna Grant

The Kindred Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition
Published December 21st 2020 by DL Grant, LLC

 

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant “skillfully melds history and legend” (RT Book Reviews) in a brand new series – The Kindred.

To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…

Runa is used to mysteries. Fortunately, she’s skilled at using those things to her advantage. Until some truths about her past are revealed, and her world is shaken to its very core. Now, she has her sights set on finding and saving the family she’s never known. What wasn’t in her plans is the sexy, mysterious stranger who seems to find her over and over, taking her breath every time.

All his life, Brom knew he’d eventually have to find the Varroki and take his birthright. Then a witch lays out a nearly impossible choice before him, and Brom decides to follow his heart. The beautiful and enigmatic female he’s drawn to is more than captivating. She makes him want to reveal all his secrets. But doing so could be the difference between life and death—for both of them. Especially in the battle between good and evil where all of the relics of the First Witch are in play—and everyone has a hidden agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Soulmates, secrets and magic… it’s epic! 

 

Runa is a loner. A survivor, warrior and a woman who knows how to take care of herself. Runa walks a thin line with her feet dangling on both sides of the line and holds her secrets deep. She’s someone I definitely wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of her sword but yet hope she would join in on my side of the battle. Just learning of family Runa didn’t believe she had any longer, her world is shaken just a bit. Runa is now on a mission when an unexpected man drops into her world and never leaves her mind. 

 

Brom chooses to be a loner because he doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. He dreams of a woman he has yet to meet but feels the overwhelming pull to find her. Brom hides his true nature of what he is at the moment he needs the woman he sees in his dreams. He knows he can feel something so much more and knows deep inside that he can be himself with her. There Is much more to her and them than the lady in his dreams.

 

Everspell was epic in so many ways. From the moment Runa and Brom meet to the struggle they face, together and apart, to the battles they face in the end are epic.  I knew I was walking into a well established series but let me say the world building it top notch. I feel like I was truly carried away to another world. The characters are confident and strong. Willing to fight to the end and very likable. The magical element was exciting and in your face. The romance between Runa and Brom was fast and furious but fate has a way of doing that. They fought for their lives and their passion. That is a winner in my book. I very much enjoyed Everspell. 

 

 

 

Review: Bailed Out by Rebecca Zanetti

 

Bailed Out 

Rebecca Zanetti

The Anna Albertine File, Book 2 

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 342 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2020 by RAZ INK LLC

 

The Past Never Stays Buried

Anna Albertini is settling into a routine while ignoring the fact that the blue-eyed Irishman she’d allowed into her bed has up and disappeared on her. Two weeks without a phone call is no big deal, but still. With her hottie Italian boss goofing up the prosecuting attorney’s office, she at least has something to fix. Until she appears in court, across from her sister Tessa’s dirtbag ex. Then she has a mission.

Unfortunately, Anna isn’t the only person who wants the ex put behind bars…or in the ground. Which is not a problem until she and a local cop find the ex-boyfriend deader than dead…with both her sister and Aiden standing over the body.

As a prosecuting attorney, it’s Anna’s job to build a case against Tessa and Aiden. As a sister, it’s SO her job to get Tess out of this mess. As Aiden’s…what? Lover—girlfriend—friend from the past—it’s Anna’s job to figure out who the heck he really is. She has to dig out the truth, regardless of her ambitious boss or the cranky cop trying to thwart her every move. Sometimes a woman has to take matters into her own hands, regardless of the consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars 

 

 

Anna Albertini is a laugh out loud riot.

 

Bail Out is one of those books that one you start reading you can’t put down. Picking up where Disorderly Conduct left off and find Anna thrown into predicaments, some beyond her control. When the bad boy of a man that is a forerunner in Anna’s mind and her sister are found together over the dead body of said sisters ex, the problems have just begun. The fact that Anna is a Prosecutor, has a very large family in their own way of doing things and a heart bigger than she knows what to do with, it’s just the beginning of this crazy and suspenseful tale. 

 

Anna Albertini is like a danger magnet with a cloud of chaos not too far behind. Smart, honest and a hysterical riot. I truly love Anna. Her quick wit, loyalty and big heart make Anna go to great lengths to find the truth. The thoughts that go through Anna’s head make me bust out laughing. Anna is not the type of person that is going to wait for something to get done, she will get it done.  Even if she has to put herself into the line of fire. She is a unique individual and I can’t help but wish I could truly have this woman as a friend.  

 

Wow, there is nothing I can say that’s truly going to express how much I enjoyed this book. Bailed Out is overwhelming in such a good way. The story grabs you, pulls you in and keeps you there from beginning to end. As the layers to the characters unfold it gives this story so much more. The danger and suspense one thing but the romantic side it’s quite another. Anna is a passionate person by nature and to see the chemistry explode between her and Aiden is quite sizzling. Changes happen, truths are revealed and through all the danger Anna will have everyone laughing along the way. Rebecca Zanetti rocked this one hard.

Review: Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush

Grounds for Murders 

Tara Lush

A Coffee Lover’s Mystery, Book 1 

Hardcover
Expected publication: December 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Barista Lana Lewis’s sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

A fantastic start to a new cozy series. 

 

Grounds for Murder is the debut book in the new Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series. Lana Lewis as a former journalist who has returned home and is now managing the family coffee shop. Now days before a huge barista competition her best and most frustrating employee quits and leaves her high and dry, only to turn up dead the next day. Said barista has made a name for himself in their small little town and fingers are pointing in all directions when his body is found. Lana’s investigative nature kicks in and starts looking for information and clues, not only to clear her name but to find who did. 

 

A fun, laugh out loud, entertaining cozy mystery. Lana Lewis is a strong enjoyable character who has a few complications to her life but is genuinely a good person. She’s got a quirky and likable personality. Lana knows how to get to the bottom and get her answers. Lana’s home town of Devils Beach is a hoot. From the names of the businesses like the coffee shop, Purgatory, to the characters that dwell within the town. Lana’s hippy of a dad is a riot. The new barista is going to be the best kind of bad influence on Lana!!  Lol. And of course to for fill my romance needs there’s a hottie cop who catches the readers attention nicely. Grounds for Murder is a well written mystery with many twists to keep you guessing. I very much enjoyed my trip to Devils Beach and can’t wait to go back.

 

Review: Whisky and Wishes by Donna Grant

 

Whisky and Wishes 

Donna Grant 

Dark KIngs Series, Book 18.5

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: December 7th 2020

Return to New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s Dark King world for a special holiday novella.

Finally free of the dangers surrounding him and the burden of pining after his mate, the King of Dragon Kings is ready for some peace—time to enjoy the woman he loves without interruption. Sure, the matter of accessing the clans across the Dragon Bridge still looms, as does the ultimate Fate of Con and his brethren. But for now, Con plans to enjoy the people he loves and celebrate the holidays with those closest to him. Why borrow from tomorrow’s problems? When the time comes to confront what’s next, they will do it. Together.

4 Stars

When the enemy is defeated we take a breath….

The King of the Dragon Kings finally finds a moment of peace that has been out of reach for so long. With no enemies knocking on the door Con and his long awaited mate Rhi. A time of talking, of love and of reflection. A meaning look at their past and plans for the future. With the holidays approaching and famil returning home, Con and Rhi give readers a deep looking into who they are with their passion, words and actions. 

Whisky and Wishes is a feel good holiday tale. A homecoming, a gathering of friends and loved ones and a glimpse of what’s to come. Donna Grant just made me love that Dragon King even more. A feel good story with a bit of emotions and heavy on the love. 

Review: Bayou Dreaming by Lexi Blake

Bayou Dreaming 

Lexi Blake 

Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 3 

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2020 by Berkley

 

New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake’s heartfelt contemporary romance set in Louisiana’s Butterfly Bayou.

Roxanne King left the big city looking for a simpler life, but after years of proving herself on a SWAT team in New York City, being deputy in a sleepy Louisiana parish is something of an adjustment. She’s settling in, but she knows she made some mistakes in the beginning–Zep Guidry being the worst of them. Zep drifts through life on his looks and Cajun charm. Roxie learned the hard way he’s not for her.

Zep is a man who knows what he wants, and what he wants is Roxie. He’s just not sure how to get her. They spent one hot night together a year before and now all the lovely deputy seems interested in doing to him is arresting him. He’s not used to a woman he can’t charm, but Roxie seems immune. He’s determined to win her back by any means necessary. Including becoming the kind of man she desires.

And when Roxie’s past comes calling, it might be the opportunity Zep needs to show Roxie that the town bad boy might just be the man of her dreams.

 

 

4.5 Stars

Lexi Blake knows how to make you fall in love.

Bayou Dreaming is a fun small town romance with all the bells and whistles. Towns folks in everyone’s business, gossip is almost like news, a few folks have lost more than a few marbles, yet everything is not as it seems.

Zep has given the town the perception that he has one way when he is really so much more than what he lets people see. One of those people you truly don’t judge a book by the cover. With a heart as big as a Bayou itself and caring kindness that will hit you from left field. The man has more passion and compassion that you could ever imagine. I was intrigued with him from the first book of the series and now I think I might actually be in love with Zep.

Roxie is new to small town life but she is making it her new home. The newest deputy to the Butterfly Bayou has a story that comes with her. It’s smart and courageous. A woman willing to stand up for herself but has a hard time giving into what she wants.

I loved Bayou Dreaming. Zep’s bad boy reputation has left a lasting impression on Deputy Roxie. I loved their playful banter. One night together changes them both. Roxie soon learns there is way more Zep than she realizes. Roxie’s use of her authority with Zep is as cute as it is funny. The two are a great match, their chemistry is incredible and their passion is pure. Bayou Dreaming is a captivating read with amazing romance, some colorful characters. Lexi Blake captures readers once again with an entertaining and intriguing story with a crazy little town that just about anything could happen, and sometimes does.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Wine Tastings Are Murder by Libby Klein

 

Wine Tastings Are Murder

Libby Klein

A Poppy McAllister Mystery, Book 5

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 24th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

It’s vintage Poppy McAllister when the gluten-free baker and B&B owner tries to solve a murder at a Cape May winery . . .

When Poppy and Aunt Ginny agreed to host a Wine and Cheese Happy Hour for a tour group at their Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast on the Jersey Shore, they never anticipated such a sour bunch. Grumpy guest Vince Baker should be in a better mood–he’s filthy rich and on his honeymoon with his much younger wife Sunny, who seems to dote on him almost as much as her high-spirited teacup Pomeranian, Tammy Faye Baker.

But the honeymoon is over when Vince drops dead the next day touring the Laughing Gull Winery. Turns out he’s been poisoned, and it seems like everybody on the tour is hiding something. Now Poppy has to put her gluten-free baking on the back burner and bottle up her feelings for the two men in her life while she charges after a bitter killer with a lethal case of sour grapes . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Spectacularly hilarious, mystery, laugh out loud moments and romance, just my cup of tea. 

 

Poppy McAllister is a riot and I’m kind of disappointed in myself that I have not found the series earlier. The south New Jersey wine tour has partnered with Butterfly Wings Bed and Breakfast to deliver a relaxing and fun filled time. 

Poppy and Aunt Ginny are Hosting an eccentric group of characters with personality for days, a few hangups and even a teacup Pomeranian. All set to be a fantastic time until one of the guests mysteriously passes away during a wine tasting.

 

I have never met a more entertaining cast of characters within a cozy mystery. Poppy is caught up between choosing between two men in her life, one of her guests being murdered, A Pomeranian that thinks he can do no wrong, a crazy Aunt that may be more mysterious than the mystery itself, a cat that is in retaliation for a dog being in its home.  That combined together with some amazing characters and a list of suspects that keeps you guessing on every end. Aunt Ginny is a hysterical riot. She really does steal the page whenever she’s there. Poppy’s  world is on the verge of chaotic but it’s the good kind of chaotic that was thoroughly entertaining and made me want to revisit these characters as many times as possible. Author Libby Klein is brilliant!!