Category Archives: Review

Review: Premeditated Murder by

 

Premeditated Murder 

Kate Carlisle

A Fixer-Upper Mystery Series, Book 8

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 2020 by Berkley
Contractor Shannon Hammer gets tangled up in murder at a spooky old asylum in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle. . . .

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked-out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Premeditated Mortar was an unexpected pleasure of a read. Shannan Hammer is a determined sleuth and makes a fun story. 

 

Shannon Hammer is all set to help her best friend Jane turn one of the seven Gables buildings, that made up an insane asylum, into a beautiful and welcoming hotel. Taking something with bad and horrible memories and giving it a new light. It’s an ambitious project with an ambitious timeline and Shannon is more than willing to give it her all.  Shannon very quickly learns that all still many secrets are still left within the Gables.  From the beginning of the ribbon cutting ceremony the trouble begins. Protesters arrive, projectile fluids are flung, accidents, injuries, trespassers and dead bodies. 

 

Premeditated Mortar was a fantastic and compelling cozy read.  It’s an intricate story with a lot of details, but yet was easy to read and kept you guessing with every page. There is the edge of creepiness that comes with asylum stories yet is not too deep you will be having nightmares. Shannon was an awesome character. She’s smart, good at what she does and her eye for detail is spot on. I so enjoyed the romantic element of Shannon and Mac!  Their chemistry is fun and you can tell they will complement one another very nicely. They encourage one another and all that they do even if something might be a bit more dangerous. 

 

Premeditated Mortar is my first adventure with Shannon Hammer and the Fixer-Upper Mystery series. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I’m looking forward to going back through previous books in the series and getting to know these characters a little bit better. If you enjoy a mystery that will make you think, with a little bit of romance and just enough of a creep factor to keep you intrigued this is definitely a book for you.

 

 

 

 

Review: Christmas Embrace by Kym Grosso

Christmas Embrace 

Kym Grosso 

The Immortals Of New Orleans Series, Book  11

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 17th 2020

 

 

A supernatural wedding brings everyone together during the holidays. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas for Detective Sydney Willows. She finds solace in the arms of her sexy vampire but with a fragile heart, not quite mended, she’s afraid to commit to an eternity. After she rescues an abandoned child and is then forced to give him away, she’s determined to fight for the family she never knew she wanted.

Vampire Kade Issacson never expected to have a baby but soon realizes what’s been missing in his life. After he’s forced to return the abandoned wolf pup to the pack, the child’s mother is found murdered in an alley. Vowing to protect the boy, Kade fights for him, swearing he’ll never give him back again.

Determined to win Sydney’s heart and her hand, Kade plans a surprise for his reluctant detective. Convinced their souls are destined for an eternal future, will he convince her to say yes once and for all?

Falling in love. Second chances. A new nemesis arises. Find out who’s naughty and nice as the Immortals of New Orleans conjure up Christmas magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars 

 

Powerful, sexy and emotional.  

 

Christmas Embrace is a wonderful little gift for long time readers of the Immortals of New Orleans Series. Ms. Grosso has wowed this reader once again. 

 

While Christmas Embrace is focused on Sydney and Kade, it’s more like a reunion of characters we have come to love throughout the series. Sydney has hit a rough spot and Kade has figured out what he wants in life. The two are not seeing quite eye to eye at the moment.  Kade makes a plan to show Sydney just what they have and what they could be. 

 

Christmas Embrace was fantastic. What a story!! So much packed into this novella. Danger, magic and passion. An emotional and healing journey for Sydney and Kade but also a renewal of their love. A reminder of how tight the bonds of friendship are and family is more than blood.  No matter what comes for the Immortals, they will always stand their ground. Christmas Embrace is filled with holiday cheer, a few life changing events, dangerous enemies and a truly blessing of a gift. Ms. Grosso’s Immortals of New Orleans Series is paranormal romance at its best. Unique and original, with characters you can’t help but to fall in love with. Christmas Embrace satisfies your pallet but leaves you wanting more.

 

 

Review: FAR FROM DESTINED by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

FAR FROM DESTINED

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Promise Me Series, Book 3

Paperback
Expected publication: October 27th 2020

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan continues her sexy new contemporary stand-alone series with a broken heart and the shattered soul that can heal them both.

Macon Brady remembers every moment he lay on the ground, a bullet in his chest, his life bleeding out with each pulse. Yet his nightmares aren’t the only thing keeping him up at night.

Dakota Bristol left her ex with nothing but the clothes on her back and her child in her arms. She’s been hurt before and wants nothing to do with the shadows in Macon’s eyes. The problem? Her son loves him, and the more time she spends with the man, the more she’s afraid she’ll come to love him just as much.

Danger always comes back to haunt those who run. It was a lesson Dakota learned before. Now, it might be the man she refuses to fall for who makes the greatest sacrifice of all.

4 Stars 

A pact and a promise……

Macon almost lost his life helping a friend and would do it again in a heartbeat. Yet the aftermath of being shot has very much messed with his head. He finds an unconventional way of dealing with his stress. It may not be the best choice but he is trying to work out his head.  Dakota left her past with the clothes on her body and her baby on her hip, never to look back. Hard work and perseverance have allowed her to become a small business owner and provide for herself and her son. Unfortunately the past doesn’t always stay in the past and came knocking right on Dakota’s front door.

Dakota and Macon have had this like to hate, can’t figure out what their feelings are for one another dance going on for awhile. Macon has even won over the heart of her precious baby boy. Yet Dakota’s past keeps her so guarded towards men, she doesn’t want to hurt herself or her son. Were they really looking for a relationship, no not at all but some way they were able to find something meaningful and deep and let the dance they have been avoiding begin. 

Far From Destined is an emotional and heart hitting story in the Promise Me series. Macon and Dakota work so well together. I enjoyed their slow burn romance. Turning something deemed as fake into something very real. They were a team before they even realized it. The brooding veterinarian and the coffee shop momma make one emotionally entertaining read.

Review: Looking for a Cowboy by Donna Grant

 

Looking for a Cowboy 

Donna Grant 

Heart of Texas Series, Book 5

Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

A cowboy finds love in the most unlikely place in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s newest Heart of Texas novel, Looking for a Cowboy

 

 

 

A beautiful stranger has come to Clearview, asking questions that are nobody’s business. Cooper Owens also wasn’t born yesterday. He knows that this out-of-towner is hiding a dark secret of her own. Much as he knows he should head in the other direction, he can’t make himself turn away. . .

P.I. Marlee Frampton always wanted to lead a nice quiet life, working as a cop in her local police department. But that dream came to an end when her sister was murdered―and her baby kidnapped. Now Marlee’s come to Texas to investigate the Harpers, who may be linked to shady adoption agencies. Cooper can’t believe that his friends could be involved in anything so sinister…and soon he makes it his mission to help Marlee discover the truth―and keep her safe in his arms.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Have you ever had a book hit you out of left field and hit you like a ton of bricks, in the best reading way of course? I went into reading Looking for a Cowboy with no expectations other than to get lost in a book for a few hours. Did I get lost, you ask? It was so much more. Looking for a Cowboy consumed me in every way that a reader loves to be consumed in a book.   

 

Marlee Frampton is smart, cunning and determined. This woman took the worst event of her life and made it a mission to help right these wrongs. She’s like a wall of glass and steel all in one. The amount of compassion within her is amazing yet what she does is a constant reminder of her own loss. She’s too brave for her own good. Yet that is one of her best qualities. There is not time or room for love in her life yet sometimes a girls got to be good to herself. That goodness just may have become a thing she needs most. 

 

Cooper Owens is a genuine good man. As loyal as they come. He may not be settled into a career but what he does for others more than makes up for it. A man who believes friends are family and would do anything for them. When a PI starts snooping in on his beloved friends, Cooper gets to the down, Only to find out the situation is much bigger than him. But that lovely PI, has got him twisted in a way or two. Cooper calls on the troops to do what they do best and tries to get the girl to believe in love at first sight. 

Looking for a Cowboy is an emotionally charged story with subject matter that some will find extremely delicate and dark. Within also lies a story of determination, hope and love. Ms. Grant has given readers a story that I was compelled to read and not stop until I was finished. The suspense and the twist of the story will get you one way and the emotions and romance will get you in another. The loyalty of friendship and family is something unbreakable and a force to be reckoned with. This story will take you from the most brutal of loss to a profound happiness. I haven’t had a book take me like this in quite some time and I have to say it was quite unexpected, and I couldn’t be more happy. Looking for a Cowboy is definitely a recommended read from me.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Love Song by Kylie Scott

Love Song 

Kylie Scott

Stage Drive Series, Book 4.7

1001 Dark Nights #134,  79 pages

Published October 20th 2020 by 1001 Dark Nights Press

 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kylie Scott comes a new story in her Stage Dive series…

There’s always the one that got away. Or kicked you out…

The new darling of rock n’ roll, Adam Dillon, is ready to show his ex-girlfriend, Jill Schwartz, what a mistake she made kicking him to the curb. So maybe he wasn’t the best of boyfriends. Writing great songs and climbing to the top of the charts isn’t easy. Only problem is, he’s fast finding out that success isn’t everything.

**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.**

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A second chance at love set inside my favorite fictional band world. Love Story is a fun edition to the Stage Dive world. 

 

From being tossed to the streets to achieving Rockstar status, Adam Dillon made his way to the top by creating songs throwing all his anger and heartbreak on ex. Is he living the dream and trying to rub it in? Or is there something more behind his act of goodwill. Jill is a force of nature. Determined and sassy, she is going to get her answers. When those answers are not what she expected, the brave and ready to speak her mind woman is just a bit speechless. Sometimes the artist has to create the art before the emotions can be spoken. 

 

I very much enjoyed Adam and Jill’s story. When Love Story being as short as it is, so much of their story could have been unseen, yet a simple background set the whole story in motion. Their chemistry and attraction was never the issue, emotions and lack of communication was their weakness. The time apart and the distance between them allow them to grow in the ways they needed to to be better for themselves. 

Adam learned quickly that money wasn’t everything, the girl that made him write those crazy, angry songs was. Kylie Scott’s Stage Five world is always a fun place to visit. Adam and Jill fit in just fine. 

 

 

 

Review: Witching Time by Yasmine Galenorn

Witching Time

Yasmine Galenorn

The Wild Hunt Series, Book 14

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 12th 2020 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC
It’s Mabon and Llewellyn’s friends–Marigold and Rain–are running a harvest festival on their farm. Llewellyn and Raven open a vendor’s booth to join in the fun. But Raven soon discovers the farm has deadly past. When she encounters the spirit of a teenaged girl who was thought to have been a runaway, she quickly discovers the girl was killed. As she attempts to prove the girl was the victim of a deadly ritual gone awry, a series of terrifying paranormal events begins to occur. Raven soon realizes that the spirit of the killer is still lurking on the land, and a race is on. Raven must prove that the girl was murdered before the killer’s ghost strikes again, because he’s willing to sacrifice anyone and anything who threatens to reveal the secrets of his past.

4 Stars

The Wild Hunt is back.

Raven is all set to read cards at the annual Autumn Festival. Fun times should be had yet not all is as it seems. There’s a unsettling darkness surrounding a friends farm that puts Raven on high alert. All things are not as they seem.

Witching Time is an action packed, thrilling and dark urban fantasy. A beautifully diverse cast of characters that has someone for every type of reader. Ms. Galenorn creates a world that invigorates, captivates and almost entrance is the reader. Her take on myth, legend and lore is unique yet holds pieces of the original. Raven is one of my favorite of the Wild Hunt. She makes a few leaps and bounds within the pages of Witching Time. I loved getting to know her more intimately. One of the things I love most about The Wild Hunt books you always finish satisfied but yet you always want more of Ms. Galenorn’s creation.

Review: Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca Zanetti

Guardian’s Grace

Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protector Series, Book 12 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 13th 2020 by Lyrical Press

Duty—or desire?

Vampire soldier Adare O’Cearbhaill’s default setting is cranky. Or irritated. Or down-right hostile. Still, as a Highlander of honor and duty he stepped up to save an enhanced and special human female by mating her—with merely a bite and a brand. The last person he wants in his life is a fragile human, yet he can’t get her out of his mind as she regains her strength before taking off for parts unknown. And when he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from hunting her down—whether she likes it or not.

There’s only one way to find out . . .

Photographer Grace Cooper has had it with vampires, demons, and the rest of an immortal world she was happier not knowing about. She also doesn’t believe she’s destined for some great battle because of an old birthmark. Forget the fact that her mate is the sexiest thing on two stubborn feet, or that her brand is fading along with her health. She’ll handle things on her own—until an old enemy reappears and she learns the only way to stay alive is to actually mate, wild sex and all, with that ripped and dangerous Adare—a powerful, captivating Highlander who demands nothing less than everything . .

4 Stars

Grace got thrown into the supernatural world to safe her life. Determined to have nothing to do with that world and way of life, Grace has kept her distance.  As iron willed and stubborn as she is, there are things she can’t control and with her life on the line again, steps back through a door that never really closed on her.

Adare is warrior alpha, one of the seven and a protector to the core.  Adare saves Grace’s life yet lost a mate.  As typical of most men it takes them a long time to be able to express their feelings and he allowed her to walk away years ago. He may have expressed what he did as a sense of duty, but deep down, in my mind, he knew she was for him.

We have a fiercely strong and protective alpha warrior and a highly independent woman who can stand her ground.  A duty may have brought them together, yet they have kept themselves apart. Five years pass and Grace finds herself in  a predicament and Adare is more than willing to do what it takes to protect her and to convince her give into the bond of matting this time.

Guardians Grace is an action packed, sizzling hot read. Ms. Zanetti gave readers a different kind of story with Adare and Grace.  These two Razzle each other up like no other. Their banter was on point. The chemistry was beyond the boiling point yet as stubborn kept them away.  Which made me want to slap them both upside the head at different point through out their story. What I can say is this- the battles are intense, the lovin’ is hot and two very strong and hardheaded people were able to find their way back to each other.

Review: More Than Protect You by Shayla Black

 

More Than Protect You 

Shayla Black

More Than Words Series, Book 6.5

1001 Dark Nights #133

Kindle Edition 152 pages
Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by 1001 Dark Nights Press

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black comes a new story in her More Than Words series…

Can I keep the gorgeous, gun-shy single mother safe—and prove I’m the man for her?

I’m Tanner Kirk—Certified firearms instructor and mixed martial arts enthusiast. When I filed for divorce at the end of an empty marriage, all I wanted was a vacation in paradise, not another woman in my life. But how can I possibly say no to Amanda Lund, a young single mom desperate to learn self-defense? Or refuse the banked desire on the guarded beauty’s face?

I can’t.

So I seduce Mandy until we’re burning up the sheets…and soon find my heart entangled with her bruised and battered one. But when a nemesis from her past tries to destroy our future by unearthing my secret, will she understand and forgive me—or give up on us forever?

**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
Tanner doesn’t think twice when he’s asked to protect a woman and her young son. The moment he lays eyes on her he knows, deep in his soul he’s done. The man is about to sign final divorce papers, is not doing the love thing and is now caught between the need to protect her and attraction and chemistry that is pulling Amanda to him in every way.
Amanda is on the run. Trying to move on with life for herself and her son yet a threat is still right on her tail. Crossing an ocean should give her a safety net but soon realizes that’s a no go. When help is called in it tips Amanda world in a whole different way. The safety of herself and son are on the line, yet there’s an incredible pull to someone she hardly knows.
Tanner and Amanda’s story is a fast, slap you in the face, ya that just happened kind of story. On the move, tension rising, emotions blaring, Amanda and Tanner form a connection that can’t be fought or forgotten. It’s insta-love but it’s not. Their connection and chemistry found a way through the fears and secrets. Can a few days really be enough or will the secrets of the past taint the future? Tanner and Amanda is a ride but one with a happy ending.

Blog Tour: No Love Lost by Lexi Blake

“Lexi Blake is a master!” — “Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author”

 

No Love Lost, an all-new sexy and suspenseful, standalone in the

Master and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series

by New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is available now!

 

 

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

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

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

 

Download your copy today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QXUO1o AppleBooks: https://apple.co/30wKmRx Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/NoLoveLost Nook: http://bit.ly/374qPdC Kobo: http://bit.ly/389tseg Google Play: http://bit.ly/38eU79Q Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3agoiiH

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2G2hS8J

 

Excerpt:

“Kim, stop.” Beck sighed, an exhausted sound. “Please.” It was the please that did it. He was so rarely polite to her. She took a deep breath and turned to him. They needed to ratchet down the emotion. It was what always tripped them up. “I don’t think we can work together.” “We certainly can’t if I continue to be a massive asshole.” He moved toward her, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry. You’re still a touchy subject for me.” She nodded, unable to say a word for fear of unleashing a tidal wave. Not seconds before she’d told herself to tamp down the emotion, but here it was, threatening to overwhelm her and all he’d had to do was touch her. “How about we agree that Levi Green is a problem for both of us and we work together to solve it,” he offered. “Kim, we’ve been going in circles for years. Maybe it’s time we find a way to move on. I know I’m tired of hating you.” She stepped back. She couldn’t have his hands on her when he used that word. It was wrong when all she’d ever done was love him. “Ariel pointed out that it would be easier on both of us if I stopped showing up in your life.” His gaze softened. “Would it? I didn’t see you for a couple of years and it didn’t feel any easier.” She let a moment pass. How was it she felt even more vulnerable than she had when she was with Levi? “I know. I’ve tried to move on. I don’t seem to be able to.” His hands moved as if he wanted to touch her, but he seemed to rethink the idea. “So maybe we should go about this another way. Maybe we should take this time and do what we didn’t do before. Talk. Try to find a way to get through this. I’m sorry I said what I did about you and Levi. It still hurts and I’m lashing out. All I know is when I thought you were in danger, I knew I couldn’t sit on my hands and let it happen. I can’t do it now either. Let me come with you. Let me help fix this.” No. It was the only word she should say to him, and then she should turn and walk out and never look back. If she let him in, he would hurt her no matter how good his intentions were. Beck had always had a well of rage inside him that he wouldn’t deal with, wouldn’t acknowledge even existed. He hadn’t changed. “Okay.” She hadn’t changed either. She was still helpless when it came to this man. She was still in love with him and likely always would be. He let go of a heavy breath. “Good.” He was silent for a moment, looking her over. “Did he hurt you? Are your wrists okay?” She’d managed to get what was left of the zip ties off in the car. She had some red marks on her wrists. “They’re sore, but all right. He didn’t slap me around this time.” She watched as Beck’s hands formed fists and wished she hadn’t said that. His rage was always simmering under the surface when she was around. He seemed to let it go. “All right. We should get on the road. Can you grab some water and protein bars? I don’t know what we’ll find when we get to Paris.” She kind of thought she did know. She’d done a lot of homework on Big Tag, and if Rene was who she thought he was, then Beck would feel right at home. Still, she grabbed the water bottles and bars and stuffed them in the duffel Steph had provided for her. There were a couple of T-shirts and a pair of sweatpants that would likely be too short, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. This was all she had in the world. It was odd. She would have said possessions were meaningless, but now that she had no access to any of the things that brought her comfort, she missed them with all her heart. She had one thing. She reached up and found some peace knowing her ring was still there. All these years and she still had her wedding ring. It hung low around her neck, and she always hid it under her shirt when Beck was around. It was all she had left of her marriage. “You ready?” Beck fitted a cap to his head and passed her another. “You might want to put your hair up. I know if I was looking for you, all that hair would be the first thing to catch my eye.” How many nights had he tangled his fingers in her hair and gently tugged, had he told her how beautiful it was and that he never wanted her to cut it? “Yeah. I’m ready.” He stepped in front of her and placed the cap on her head, his gorgeous eyes staring down at her. “I really am sorry I said what I did. Can you forgive me?” Her whole soul threatened to melt. She nodded. “Can I hug you? I want to. I want to reassure myself that you’re really okay.” She nodded again and then she was in his arms for the first time in years. “Promise me he didn’t get a chance to hurt you,” Beck whispered. He sounded like he actually cared. His arms around her made her feel safer than she had in forever. “He threatened me with a bunch of stuff, but I don’t want to talk about it. I will, but not now.” “Okay.” They stood there for the longest time, the sound of his heartbeat the only thing she could hear.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Lexi Blake is a master storyteller. She has this amazing ability to create characters readers can’t help but to connect with or like without really understanding the reasoning why.  She creates an adventurous story provoking the reader’s mind while leading them on a path of danger and deceit. Then throws you the curve ball of getting your heart and emotional well-being put on the line. Well not on the line really, but yes.  In the end, Ms. Blake gives readers something they can feel. What more could you ask from an author or a book. 

 

No Love Lost is epic and emotional! I was hysterically emotional from being to end. The type of emotion that has you sitting on the edge of your seat, jaw dropping, eyes popping, screaming your heart out kind of you. Ezra and Solo, well lets just say, grab the tissues and the wine. You will need both.  That is all I can say or needs to be said. Well done Ms. Blake, well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Lexi Blake

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Connect with Lexi

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uUiScN

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Stay up to date with Lexi by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/LexiBlakeNL Website: http://www.lexiblake.net/

Review: Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder

Joanne Fluke 

Hannah Swensen Series, book 26

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

 

It has been a long time since I have dipped into a Hannah Swensen novel.  I enjoyed the Christmas Cupcake Murder was a bit of a step back into time and allowed me to see these wonderful characters beginning to come into their own and getting to know them all over again. 

 

Lake Eden, Minnesota is all in gear for the festivities that come along with the Christmas season.  The baking is a foot at The Cookie Jar while a homeless man, suffering from memory loss stumbles upon Hannah’s bakery step willing to work in exchange for food. Hannah does what she does best, Offers a cozy environment, a sweet treat, something warm to drink and a bit of conversation and companionship.  Days later while inspecting a building that could possibly become an antique shop, Hannah and her mother stumble upon the same homeless man in dire straits. They spring into action getting  “John Doe” The help he needs and begin to unravel the mystery of who he is and where he’s from. 

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder was a fun and entertaining read allowing me to get reacquainted with these characters. The story shows the beginnings of the good characteristics and qualities that readers have come to love within these characters. When it came to finding John Doe’s past , It was like a needle in the haystack yet they never gave up, persisted and slowly were able to put the pieces in place. Honestly the mystery was an OK part of the story, I really loved the family drama between Hannah, her mother and her sisters, all the delectable recipes that I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free and Revisiting a small cozy town that I haven’t been to in a while. revisiting a small Coseytown that I haven’t been to in a while. If you’re looking for something pretty high on mystery this unfortunately is not going to be the right for you but if you’re a long time fan of this author and series It was one of those little treats the authors like to drop us every once in a while.