Category Archives: Review

Review: Wicked as Lies by Shayla Black

 

Wicked as LIes

Shayla Black

Wicked and Devoted, Series, Book 3

Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Shelley Bradley, LLC

 

He’s reckless. She’s forbidden.
And he’s done caring that she’s the enemy.

Chase “Zyron” Garrett left a bloody stint with Uncle Sam for the personal security business. His employment agreement forbids hookups with co-workers, which isn’t a problem—until Tessa Lawrence, the office secretary and single mom, is harassed by her vengeful ex-boyfriend. Zy is assigned to protect her, but the moment he meets the gorgeous blonde, those contractual restrictions tighten around him like a noose.

Tessa Lawrence is alone in the world…except for her newborn baby, and she’s determined to survive without anyone’s help. Then Zy walks through her door. Fiercely protective yet tender, he’s everything she wants in a man, lover, and father for her daughter. But he’s totally off-limits. If she falls for him, she’ll be fired.

When a teammate is captured and the enemy predicts their every move, it’s clear they’ve got a mole. The bosses task Zy with discovering their traitor, and all clues point to the woman he’s losing his heart to. With danger lurking, he’s caught in a tangle of unquenched need and searing betrayal. Will their love be the greatest casualty of all?

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

 

Nothing like being put into the position of where the choices are bad and worse. So what is an alpha male to do? Give into the temptation and deal with the fallout, lose the woman he doesn’t have, possibly betray a friend, give the bosses a piece of his mind and mess up his own head in the process. Just for starters. 

 

Wicked as Lies is a slow action packed, on the edge of your seat story with a slow burn romance. Tessa and Zyron are attracted to each other from the moment they meet. Being coworkers makes them off-limits but yet circumstances have put them together that has made a profound impact in both of their lives. Two very strong people are tested in ways they never imagined, yet keep their heads held high as they face the pain they can’t seem to do anything about.  There is a wicked game afoot and telling the players from the pawns is cutting soul deep. 

 

Wicked as Lies Will take you through the whole range of emotions from swooning at sweetness to wanting to smack someone upside the head because they’re acting like a fool.  Tessa and Zyron are as intense as their story is dangerous. 

Shayla Black has readers waiting on their knees, with bated breath, for the sure to be epic conclusion of Zyron and Tessa story in Wicked and True.

 

 

 

Review: Driven by Rebecca Zanetti

 

Driven

Rebecca Zanetti

Deep Ops Series, Book 4

Mass Market Paperback, 1st edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Zebra

 

Unswerving: Angus Force is determined to hunt down the serial killer he’d once shot dead–or so he thought. But an anonymous source reports that Lassiter is alive. Force hasn’t slept since, knowing it’s only a matter of time before “the Surgeon” strikes again. And soon, a body is found, bearing Lassiter’s same maniacal MO. It’s just the beginning of a murderous trail blazing through DC and Virginia, right to Force’s backyard…

Unstoppable: Nari Zhang is the shrink for the ragtag Deep Ops Unit, though she isn’t Force’s shrink–which is a very good thing. Because once they’re thrown together on the case, their attraction is explosive and irresistible. They’ll just have to fight that much harder to keep the heat between them from flaming out of control. But things are about to become far more challenging, and deadly, than they could have imagined…

Unhinged: Once the killer catches a glimpse of Nari, she becomes his new obsession. She is now the focus point–for both Force and Lassiter–in a dangerous dance for survival…

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Grab something and hold on tight. Driven is a crazy, bumpy ride that will keep you on the edge. 

 

It’s a very fine line between determination and obsession for one of the best profilers the FBI has ever had. Angus Force is intense. He’s got a darkness in his past that he’s carried to his present and uses it as a driving force. Losing his sister to a serial killer has him messed up. As it would anyone. The guilt kills him more and more each day, turning him to the bottle and trying to keep those around him at an arm’s length. Yet one gets under his skin in just the right way. When what should be a dead man starts hitting too close to home again, Angus holds no bars and revs up to get him once and for all. Even if that means walking away from everyone. 

 

Nari is a primo shrink who could have just about any job she wanted, yet she is getting down and dirty with the bad boys.  She’s observant ,smart and remarkable at what she does. Even being at odds with Augus she is completely committed to being a part of the team.  When the going got tough she was one of the first to just in the fire. 

Angus makes her head spin, yet she can’t help what she feels. Even putting herself on the line to make everything right in the end. 

 

Angus and Nari are as explosive as the situation is dangerous. Driven is one of those books that has you sitting on the edge of your seat, clenching your jaw, scrambling to turn the page to see what’s going to happen next kind of book. Rebecca Zanetti grabs readers hard with Driven.  Filled with action, suspense, delicious sex tension, some emotional fueled romance and even a bit to make us laugh.  The characters are strong yet broken(in different ways) determined to do what right and finding a way to heal some too.Driven is a tangled mess with emotions driving in the lead and I loved a minute of it.

Review: Captured in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

Captured in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan

Montgomery Ink: Boulder Series, Book 4.5

1001 Dark Nights 

ebook
Expected publication: January 26th 2021

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan returns to the Montgomery Ink world with three souls bruised yet forever connected in this sexy and intoxicating ménage romance.

Julia and Ronin know their relationship is solid. They’ve been through hell and back, but their love has stayed true through it all. When Ronin’s ex, Kincaid, comes back to town, however, the two realize what they might be missing.

Kincaid didn’t mean to leave Ronin behind all those years ago. When tragedy struck not once, but twice, bringing with it the heat of horror, he couldn’t face the past he’d left behind. Now, he’s back and doesn’t know how he fits in with the seemingly perfect couple—especially not when their families will apparently stop at nothing to keep them apart.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

 

Ronin and Julia both have a past that made them both work really hard to have what they do. They found each other and a love that gave them more than they could ask for. Open and honestly with one another, able and always willing to talk. Communication has been their key all along the way. The devotion they share allows Julia and  Ronin to be themselves, discover their wants and needs and know genuine love and happiness. Ronin and Julia share a very unique relationship and are very open minded people with big hearts and a lot of love. 

 

Circumstances beyond his control sent Kincaid into a downward spiral. Tragic events and losing his loves was more than he could handle. Darkness overtook when the hurt and pain became too much. It took quite a while for Kincaid to find his way back to himself. Although he’s not completely there he’s trying really hard. Kincaid showed up on his ex’s doorstep with an apology and a hope for more. Shock hit him on two fronts, one, his ex was married and two, they both welcomed him like family. 

 

Captured in Ink is an emotionally deep and beautiful story.  Ronin and Julia have an amazing relationship. They’re honest and bold, willing to talk to each other and not afraid to express their dreams, wishes or fantasies.  Together they are amazing. Kincaid was a love lost that became a love returned. They approach their wants openly and honestly, knowing it could be a thing of wonder and beauty or we could go completely down the drain ruining a marriage and what could be a friendship. Once the nerves settle and they fall into being who they are, something amazing happens to these three people that have a dark past but found something more.

 

Review: A Pairing to Die For by Kate Lansing

 

A Pairing to Die For

Kate Lansing

Colorado Wine Mystery Series, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Berkley Books

 

 

A young winemaker is over a barrel when her new boyfriend is accused of murder in this delightful cozy mystery.

It’s fall in Boulder, Colorado, and the leaves aren’t the only things changing. Parker Valentine, owner of Vino Valentine, is finally settling in to her winery and her new relationship with Reid Wallace, a local chef. But their delicate pairing is endangered when Reid’s estranged family comes into town to celebrate the opening of his new restaurant.

Reid and his family are immediately at loggerheads, given their often acidic temperaments, but Parker still wants to make a good first impression. However, her efforts might be in vain when Reid’s sous chef is found dead in the alley behind the restaurant, and Reid is implicated in the murder. In order to save Reid, Parker will have to find the real killer, even if the truth is difficult to swallow.

 

 

 

 

 

Like a good wine, A Pairing to Die For surprises the pallet, leaves a lingering mystery of flavorful thoughts and leaves you nicely cozy in the end.

 

Parker Valentine is living her dream. Her wine shop Vino Valentine,is picking up in business, people are enjoying her creations and there is a man that makes her heart happy.  The opening scene of the book just goes to show you what a woman will do for a man she cares deeply for. This strong and independent woman embraces a snobby family, makes some wine, investigates a murder, cares for a lonely cat and even dangled her toes in a bit of matchmaking. Well really just a push on both sides. Not too bad for a day’s work. Parker is determined and I love how when she sets her mind to a goal, she does her best to follow through. 

A Pairing to Die For is a fantastic follow up to Killer Chardonnay.  Kate Lansing is a fantastically descriptive writer combining the delicacies of winemaking with the delectable nature of wonderful food, the comfortability of friendship, with a mystery that will keep your mind working. Along with the beautiful descriptions of Boulder and the fantastic cast of characters she has given readers, good stories and entertainment will be had. The Colorado Wine Mystery series is off and running!  I can’t wait for more time with Parker and her crew.  If you are a lover of cozy mysteries with a bit of romance and wine, you should give A Pairing to die for a try! 

 

 

 

Review: Egg Shooter By Laura Childs

 

Egg Shooter 

Laura Childs

Cackleberry Club Series, Book 9

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 26th 2021 by Berkley Books

A murder in the local hospital is raising everyone’s temperature in the latest book in the New York Times bestselling Cackleberry Club series.

Suzanne Dietz, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club Caf�, is visiting her fianc�, Dr. Sam Hazelet, when a masked gunman bursts into the emergency room. He shoots two people and would probably have done more damage had Suzanne not brained him with a thermos full of chili. Still, the gunman manages to escape.

Now the ladies of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he finds them.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

The Crackleberry Club will crack you up. 

 

Suzanne was just being sweet, delivering some Chili to her fiancé at the hospital. When her thoughtful gesture turns into a chili throwing, gun shooting, robbery that ends with someone dying. Suzanne gets herself tangled into a crazy pickle in Egg Shooters. 

 

Egg Shooters is the ninth book of the Crackleberry Club series. Suzanne, Toni and Petra are well developed characters with distinctive personalities and a bunch of history to go with their friendship. Seems like these women can talk themselves into just about anything. Putting themselves into some compromising situations and at times not realizing the danger that they are putting themselves into. There were quite a few moments that I wanted to take Suzanne and Toni by the shoulders and shake them just a bit. Petra’s culinary creations are described in such a delectable way that you will want to go and sit, have some tea and enjoy the things that she is cooking.  Truck high jacks and pharmacy robberies are happening around their town and somehow these three women have managed to get themselves caught up into.  The mystery unfolds as somehow these women keep themselves out of jail. Lol. 

 

Laura Child gives a good mystery with lots of laughs to go with. The characters are solid and extremely entertaining. To some of the links that they will go to make you just shake your head but if they didn’t then we wouldn’t have a great story. Egg Shooters is a funny, laugh out loud mystery.

 

 

 

Review: Pound by Jayne Rylon

 

Pound 

Jayne Rylon

Powertools: The Original Crew Returns, Book 4 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 19, 2021 by Happy Endings Publishing

With the crew reunited to work on a massive career-expanding project and spend their off-time relaxing together, what could go wrong?

They’ve learned not to tempt fate, but are also committed to doing whatever is in their power to make their crew happy, sated, and whole for the rest of their lives.

So when someone threatens one of their own, they will do anything—including bringing in some of their more qualified friends—to figure out who wishes their time in Middletown was over before it has really begun.

This is a standalone book set in the Powertools universe. All your favorite Hot Rods and Hot Rides characters will be making appearances as well. So come make new book boyfriends or hang out with old ones! 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

 

The Crew has faced many challenging changes as they have moved themselves to Middletown. Everyone is starting to adjust and settle into their new home except for James who has seemed to have lost a bit of himself as the crew has transitioned into new and different roles. 

 

Pound finds James questioning his role in the crew. Being a part of the crew, his crew, was it for him. Being a foreman is a great job but it’s not what he feels. James hangs up his tool belt and does some soul searching. He tries a few different hats to see what fits, confides in his crew and takes the nudging from a few good friends. The crew is as solid as they have always been and sexy as even. They have embraced the challenge set before them, worked through it and tightened the bonds that they share. With the support and love of his husband, wife and the crew he holds so dear, James works through his funk and finds a way to not only help himself but helping others too. 

 

Pound shows a very unexpected side of a character I thought was extremely solid. James is a loving, pleasing man. Rough when needed yet tender and kind. All of the crew have challenged themselves with the major move and all the crazy things falling upon them. They continue to show that family is more than blood and beyond soul deep. Jayne Rylon delivers sexiness and emotions with the latest from the crew of the Powertools, Pound.

 

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.