Category Archives: Review
Review: A Trip with Trouble by Diane Kelly
A Trip with Trouble
The Mountain Lodge Mysteries, Book 2
When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn’t be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colorful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.
The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are gorgeous. But what starts as a perfect ride turns worrisome when the tail gunner – the last rider in their group – fails to show up at the Craggy Gardens overlook. Cell phone service is spotty in the remote, mountainous area, and the group is unable to connect with their friend. Might the missing woman have simply run out of gas? Or is something far more sinister afoot?
The ladies are determined to locate their ride or die, and Misty is equally determined to help them. But will they be able to solve the mystery when the scenic route seems intent on hiding its secrets?
Diane Kelly combines the beauty of the outdoors, a cozy and comfortable lodge, and a good heaping of mystery to keep you entertained with A Trip with Trouble.
Returning to the Mountaintop Lodge is going to be a wild ride. Misty is sold out for the week. Dangerous Curves, a lady’s motorcycle group, has reserved every room in the lodge for a week. Misty can’t be more excited. Upon checking in the group of ladies seems to be nice, charismatic and genuinely a good bunch of people looking to have some fun. Misty and her assistant Brynn even get asked to accompany the group on a ride, which to my delight they did indulge in. However, things go south when one of the members does not show up at an overlook where everyone has stopped. Misty helps the ladies look for their friend and unfortunately find her dead. Was it an accident or was it foul play? Misty with the help of Brynn and her handyman Rocky, try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with this mystery
I love when I’m reading a book and a place that pops up in the story. The tail of the dragon is a fun and beautiful ride although I have never done it on a motorcycle I understand the thrill behind it. Now, with that being said, Diane Kelly knows how to bring the loveliness of the outdoors into the story. I love the fact that the majority of the story does take place outside. From fires and roasting marshmallows to fun motorcycle rides there is atmosphere all over this book. Now, there is kind of a twofold mystery within the story, and I enjoyed both of them. At one point I wondered if they were connected and was surprised when I realized the answer. The story told primarily from Misty’s point of view, but those few chapters that we get from Yeti make me laugh every single time. and I love every single one of them. Diane Kelly knows how to draw the reader into the story, keep them entertained all the while, making them laugh and enjoy the experience all in one.
Review: Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush
Live and Let Grind
A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series, Book 3
Laid-off journalist Lana Lewis is thriving as the proprietor of Perkatory, a coffee shop on quirky Devil’s Beach island, Florida. She’s juggling a relationship with police chief Noah Garcia, enjoying the company of her best friend, Erica, and relishing the companionship of her golden Shih Tzu, Stanley. Only problem is her neighbor, Gus, who incessantly uses his leaf blower, disturbing everyone in the neighborhood. Lana has learned to tune it out, but Erica’s rage boils over and she confronts Gus.
Then Gus is found dead, killed when his leaf blower explodes. Erica immediately becomes suspect number one. But there are plenty of other candidates as well: Gus’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Honey Bailey, who thinks she’ll be written out of his will; Mickey Dotson and Doug Beck, who were scalded financially after purchasing a pirate-themed tourist cruise business from Gus; and plenty of angry neighbors who’ve had run-ins with him.
As the clock ticks down will Lana get someone to spill the beans on the killer so she can clear her friend’s name, or will Erica go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit?
Live and Let Grind takes readers back to Devil’s Beach with our favorite barista Lana Lewis and her fun yet quirky friends for another fun filled mystery adventure.
It’s no secret that I love coffee and coffee related cozy mysteries are what got me started reading the genre. I have been fortunate enough to read every book in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. I am happy to say each one gets better as we go. Live and Let Grind has Lana and Erica rooming together, while repairs are happening on Erica‘s houseboat. Things that purgatory are fine and Stanley is as cute as ever. However things get shaken up when Lana’s neighbor, Gus is found dead. Gus has made a reputation for himself for being a nuisance amongst the neighborhood. Erica recently, having had a confrontation with Gus finds herself in the hot seat as a suspect. Lana does all she can to help clear Erica’s name and discover more suspects are popping up then she realizes.
Oh my latte. Live and Let Grind is a fun and entertaining, cozy history. With each book in the series is just getting better and better. Lana is a natural snoop, it comes with being a reporter. It’s kind of funny when she gets upset that she can’t do more than what she does. The cast of characters for the series is top notch. With a hippie father and a Goth for best friend it says it all right there. Tara Lash gives us another fast paced, caffeine infused entertaining read.
Steeped in Secrets by Lauren Elliott
Steeped in Secrets
A Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery Series, Book 1
Flat broke and divorced, intuitive gemologist Shay Myers has changed since leaving her artsy hometown of coastal Bray Harbor sixteen years ago. But when she moves back under strange circumstances, old instincts may be the only key to spilling the tea on a deadly mystery.
Even with her life in ruins in New Mexico, Shay feels uneasy about settling into the small seaside town where she grew up on California’s Monterey Peninsula and taking over an estate bequeathed to her by Bridget Early, a woman she had barely known. Her heightened senses—an empathic gift she’s had since childhood—go into overdrive upon touring Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, Bridget’s eclectic tea and psychic shop brimming with Irish lore and Celtic symbols. They reach a boiling point when Shay looks up to discover a stranger’s body sprawled across the shop’s greenhouse roof . . .
With her new business a crime scene and questions brewing over Bridget’s so-called accidental death, Shay fears she’s also inherited the attention of a killer. The terrifying realization sets her on an impractical investigation for answers aided by her sister, an elusive pure-white German Shepherd, a strikingly handsome pub owner who speaks in a gentle brogue, and a misunderstood young woman with perceptive talents of her own. As Shay struggles to figure out her true purpose in Bray Harbor and the powerful connection she has with the tea shop, she must trust her judgment above all else to identify a ruthless murderer and save herself from becoming victim number three.
Lauren Elliott’s new Steeped in Secrets is as warm and magical as it is mysterious.
I think I’m in love with just one book. Steeped in Secrets, the first book of the Crystals and CuriosiTEAS Mystery series by Lauren Elliott. Starting with the beautiful setting of Bray Harbour, California, a cozy little coastal town in the Monterey Peninsula. Then we have Shay. A woman, returning home after being robbed of everything by her now ex-husband, who not only ruined their marriage, but also her business as well. Her return to Bray Harbor comes with a little mystery herself. She has been bequeathed an estate from a woman that she barely knew. Then the secrets just start pouring out from there. I will admit it sounds like a hot mess but once you start reading it all comes together into a beautiful and magical story.
She quickly sees that the mysteries are piling up. From why she was left the estate, to a dead body found in the greenhouse on her roof to the secrets that keep on failing themselves, just as she thinks she’s got an answer to one of the previous secrets.
With the help and guidance of a beautiful, white German shepherd named, Spirit, a misunderstood teen, who may just understand things more than what most realize, and an Irish gentleman who believes in fairies, Shea begins to navigate her way through one mystery after the other.
Lauren Elliott has truly made a magical story with Steeped in Secrets. I eagerly wait to see what is going to happen with Shay.
Hallow’s End by Kristen Proby
The Curse of the Blood Moon Series, Book 1
Returning to her beloved home of Salem after a trip away, Lucy Finch can’t shake the feeling of anxiety that suddenly plagues her. Nor can she shrug off her third eye’s urging that she has a mission she must undertake—a secret she must uncover.
As a green witch, Lucy has always felt strongest and the most at home in the forest, surrounded by nature. But when a disturbing dream wakes her and sends her fleeing into the woods, she isn’t prepared for what she finds. She expected her element. Perhaps a message from spirit. She didn’t expect to cross paths with a sexy-as-sin man, straight out of a movie scene.
Jonas Morley isn’t like the other residents of Hallows End. He knows the town’s secrets, as well as Salem’s, and it has been his honor and duty to protect them for as long as he can remember. But the gorgeous witch who graces the town’s hidden border shakes him and makes him second-guess his directive. She calls to him like no other. But can he save his home and those under his care and still make her his? Or will their union mean danger and destruction for not only them but also those who live within the town’s borders?
Curses don’t discriminate, and the curse of the blood moon is the most determined and dangerous of all.
Hallows End is the first book in the Curse of the Blood Moon Series.
Review: Claimed by Jayne Rylon
Powertools: The Shields Series, Book 5
First published August 16, 2022
When Karolena answered an ad for a live-in housekeeper responsible for taking care of at least a dozen guys, she was obviously desperate.
Although she hadn’t realized they were spies and assassins when she accepted the position, it could work out for the best since the Shields’ headquarters might be the only place she’s safe from the evil ex hunting her.
That is, if she doesn’t give in to the two agents that live across the hall who tempt her to do things that could be dangerous to her still healing heart.
Tavish is more than willing to show Karolena a good time so long as that’s as far as it goes. He’s learned the very hard way that it’s fine to sleep with women, or men, so long as you don’t trust them.
That’s only because Tavish’s partner—both in the field and the bedroom—has always made sure his judgement isn’t compromised when they surrender to their non-traditional urges together. Legend is the one person Tavish is certain has his back since he’s proved it over and over on life or death missions yet still, he’s not able to give the man the affection he deserves along with plenty of satisfaction.
So when they find themselves entangled with their housekeeper, and her ties to the mafia, they have to decide whether she’s capable of bringing the three of them together permanently or whether they have to get rid of her before she wrecks them for good.
The next multipartner romance in NYT and USA Today bestselling author Jayne Rylon’s fan-favorite Powertools Universe. Visit your favorite characters or meet new ones in this interconnected why choose standalone in the Powertools: The Shields ménage series.
Karolena has lived a Life that no one should ever have to indoor. Running away from her home in Russia and her mafia husband, she ends up in the United States in a small town in which nothing too exciting should be happening. Just trying to earn a living, have a place to live and basically blend in, Little did Karolena she ended up in hands of some of the best people she could possibly want on her side.
Tavish and Legend are not only partners in the field, but they are also partners in the bedroom. There are not too many people Tavish trusts at his back and Legend is one of them. They have been on too many life-or-death missions together and have proven not only their trust but their unique affections as well. When a new housekeeper shows up at Shilds, The men are more than willing to show her a good time in any way she wants. However, when her story doesn’t check out, they are the ones assigned to try and figure out what is truly going on. Is she a plant in their home or is there something else behind that beautiful woman?
Claimed is a fast paced, intense and emotional. This is one of those stories that as soon as you start reading it it hits you hard and fast and doesn’t stop until you’re at the very last page. Jayne Rylon Is a master at multiple people intimacy and this is one of those stories that is done beautifully tastefully and is so hot you may have to be fanning yourself. If you are a fan of beautiful men in tuxedos or have a love for kilts, my goodness you are in for a treat. Karolena lived a hard life where her choices were taken away from her. Tavish and Legend are a beautiful duo that balance each other out in just the right way. They are giving, protective and more than willing. They had some work to do between themselves and along with Karolena together, the three of them, through the blissful moments and the moments of incredible danger. They overcame the danger, worked through some of their internal struggles and found a way to find happiness. Together, as a trio.
Review: Always the One for Me by Carrie Ann Ryan
Always the One foe Me
Carrie Ann Ryan
The Wilder Brothers Series, Book 2
320 pages, Paperback
First published August 15, 2022
The Wilder Brothers from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continue in this emotionally charged enemies to lovers romance.
It took two days for me to know Kendall was the one for me.
And it took two years for me to realize I had to leave in order to protect her.
When I walked away, I told myself it was for the best. But now we work together, and every time we’re in the same room, we end up fighting. If we didn’t, we’d end up naked. Or worse–spilling heartbreaking secrets.
If she knew the truth, she’d either walk away for good or convince me to take a second chance. The first thing would break me, and the second would break her. I can’t let either of those things happen…
A story so raw and emotional it feels almost real.
What an amazing story for a second chance at love. Always the One for Me is the story of Evan and Kendall.
Evan, a career military man until an accident takes that away from him. Now he has come together with his brothers and he’s running an amazing resort and winery. Evan carries a lot of issues from his past. His time in the military has left a toll on him, and created other issues in his everyday life.
Kendall is an amazing chef and worked very hard to get there. She’s a bit of a workaholic but that comes with working in a kitchen. She now has a position of head chef but it comes with a price. Working side-by-side with her ex-husband who broke her heart has her feeling all sorts of things. Some she wants, some she doesn’t and others that just come and there’s nothing that she can do about it.
Kendall and Evan met, fell in love and got married all within a matter of days. It was like fate put them together to give them something magical. Then in just a short time things fell apart. Evan who experienced one of the worst moments of his life and intern made decisions that affected not only him but his wife. Choosing to walk away left both of them brokenhearted. Fast forward years later and once again fate has stepped in and put the two of them close together. Always the One for Me is an emotional ride of a story. There are so many feelings, memories and What Ifs. What if they try again and it doesn’t work, but if they don’t try and they’re missing out on the best thing they could’ve had. Second chance romances are a finicky thing and Carrie Ann Ryan does this one perfectly in every way. Kendall and Evan never stopped loving each other but yet couldn’t seem to get along with one another. They had a mountain to climb but yet in the end they knew they were the ones for each other.
Review: A Dish to Die For by Lucy Burdette
A Dish to Die For
Key West Food Critic Mystery Series, Book 12
288 pages, Hardcover
First published August 9, 2022
National bestselling author Lucy Burdette returns to Key West for another delectable dish of secrets, intrigue, and murder.
Peace and quiet are hard to find in bustling Key West, but Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, is taking the afternoon off for a tranquil lunch with a friend outside of town. When she comes home, she discovers her husband Nathan’s dog, Ziggy, has disappeared. She follows his barking, to find him furiously digging at a shallow grave with a man’s body in it. Davis Jager, a local birdwatcher, identifies him as GG Garcia, a rabble-rousing Key West local and developer. Garcia was famous for over-development on the fragile Keys, womanizing, and refusing to follow city rules—so it’s no wonder he had a few enemies.
When Davis is attacked in the parking lot of a local restaurant after talking to Hayley and her dear friend, the octogenarian Miss Gloria, Hayley is slowly but surely drawn into the case. Hayley’s mother, Janet, has been hired to cater GG’s memorial service reception at the local women’s club, using recipes from their vintage Key West cookbook—and Hayley and Miss Gloria sign on to work with her, hoping to cook up some clues by observing the mourners.
But the real clues come when Hayley begins to study the old cookbook, as whispers of old secrets come to life, dragging the past into the present—with murderous results.
A Dish to Die For takes readers to beautiful Key West where food critic and amateur sleuth Haley Snow is looking for a bit of peace and quiet in this bustling tropical town. After a well needed peaceful day ends Haley comes home to find her puppy missing only to find him digging at a shallow grave with a body in it. Afters a series of events that slowly draw Haley‘s attention to the case. With the help of her fun octogenarian friend Miss Gloria and Haley’s mom in listing their help, they are hoping to cook up some clues to solve this case.
I absolutely love the series. A Dish to Die For is A bit on the dark side for cozy mystery but that does not make it less entertaining. When the most notorious man in town is the one found dead there are bound to be a few dark secrets that come to light. The mystery did not get it for me but I do enjoy this cast of characters tremendously. Haley and her cop husband are living their best life on a houseboat with their adored pets. Living in a tropical community. Although stumbling upon dead bodies it’s not something I would want to be a part of my paradise but that’s what makes a good read. Author Lucy Burdette knows how to catch your attention, give you a setting that you absolutely enjoy and characters that you fall in love with very easily.
Like most food related cozy mysteries we get some wonderful recipes along with our story. There are some delectable bites mentioned within the tail and some recipes that are very tempting to try.
Review: In Too Steep by Kate Kingsbury
In Too Steep
Misty Bay Tearoom Series, Book 2
It seemed like a simple case: the murder of Lewis Trenton, a beachcomber who lived alone in a cabin in the Oregon hills. But the newspaper article piques the interest of Vivian Wainwright, owner of the British-style Misty Bay Tearoom. The photo accompanying the article shows Lewis’s cluttered living room, and on the shelf is a replica of Big Ben. Vivian is sure she sold the clock a week before in her shop. Who could have given the replica to Lewis?
Unable to keep from doing a bit of sleuthing, Vivian hunts down the replica in a local thrift shop, noticing that the base is missing, rendering it worthless, but just as Vivian is about to throw it in the trash, a sparkle catches her eye. It’s a diamond, hidden away in a crevice in the clock. Vivian takes the diamond to Detective Tony Messina, who identifies it as part of a jewelry heist in Portland a month earlier. Portland police think Lewis was the fence who sold the jewels, and that he was killed after double-crossing the thieves—but Messina doesn’t believe the story.
What was the true motive behind Lewis’s murder? How did he come upon the diamond? And what secrets can the clock tell—before the killer strikes again?
I love a tearoom cozy!
Vivian Wainwright was shocked to find out hermit who love to come to beach had been murdered. when a newspaper article gathers Vivians interest. Showing a replica of a Big Ben, Vivian is sure she sold the clock a week before and her cozy little tea shop. Unable to keep the article and picture from her mind Vivian starts to do a bit of sleuthing and tracks down the object at a thrift store. Obtaining the object noticing it broken she thinks it’s almost worthless until a second look has her calling the police right away. This mystery has more and more layers as it goes on.
What an amazing introduction to this author and her series. Kate Kingsbury knows how to write a cozy mystery. She has engaging characters, a wonderful setting and describes her delectable treats so well that you could possibly be gaining weight while you read the book. I’m just joking on that but seriously they do sound good. We even get a little bit of romance sprinkled in here. Vivian has two employees that also are her friends that are a hoot. Vivian definitely grabbed your attention and has no fear for danger. Well maybe she does but that’s still not gonna keep her from sleuthing. I love the town of Misty Bay Oregon. Usually if I don’t read the first book in the series I don’t go back because I feel like I’ve got enough to go on. I enjoyed In Too Steep so much that I will be going back and reading the first book and probably do a reread of this one just to feel like I’ve had my fill of tea and know everything that’s going on. Or that we know that’s going on at this point.
Review: Bayou Sweetheart by Lexi Blake
Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 5
After leaving the military, Major Blanchard moved to Papillon, Louisiana, to be with his aging father, where he’s taken a deputy position with the sheriff’s department. Now that he’s settling into life on the bayou, he’s trying out the dating scene. Every single woman in town seems to be pining after the handsome newcomer. But so far, nothing’s worked out, and he’s had some spectacularly bad dates. Major’s getting ready to give up on love when a new lady roars into town to film a movie and turns his world upside down.
Actress Brynn Pearson is trying to make a successful transition from child star to leading lady. Now that she’s landed her first lead in a major film, nothing can stop her. She’s committed to focusing solely on her work, so romance is the last thing she needs—too bad she can’t get her mind off the dreamy deputy she keeps running into. He’s gorgeous, and something about him makes her feel safe. As Brynn’s feelings for Major deepen, she starts to wonder if maybe there’s more to life than her career.
When a family crisis throws Major’s life into a tailspin, he turns to Brynn for support, and hopes their budding relationship will shine brighter than Hollywood lights.
I love visiting Butterfly Bayou!
Bayou Sweetheart is the latest edition to Lexi Blake’s small town Romance series Butterfly Bayou. This is one of those types of stories that I love we’re both our main characters find love when they least expect it.
Brynn Pearson is an actress dedicated to her craft. Brynn has come to Pappyon to film her latest movie. Doing research and getting a jumpstart on what her role entails yet she questions whether acting as what she really wants to continue doing. Her family depends on her and she doesn’t want to let anyone down. Yet acting does it make her as happy as it once did. Being in Papillion and the to do of Hollywood, Brynn is finding out who she really is and what she actually wants in life. Running into the small town sheriff has sparked many feelings and emotions within Brynn. The girl is not looking for love but love has a funny way of finding you when you least expect it.
Major Blanchard Is ex ex-military and has relocated to Papillon, Louisiana to be with and help care for his aging father. He finds himself a position within the sheriffs department and has nicely settled into small-town life on the Bayou. On the other hand he’s been trying the dating scene and has not worked out too well. It seems like everyone wants to try but no sparks are flying. Just as he’s about to give up, a bombshell of a beauty makes her way into town and takes him by storm.
Bayou Sweetheart is a fantastic small town romance. I love this quirky little town and all the crazy yet amazing things that happened within it. Major and Brynn have chemistry and then some. I love that they look beyond the surface of each other and see who they truly are. The way that Major talks to Brian makes my heart feel pitter patter. There is a good deal of humor and a great deal of emotion lining the pages story. Both of them have their issues that they’re dealing with very different but yet choices that will affect their lives and those around them. They always say when you’re not looking for love is when you find it and that was the story for Major and Brynn.
Review: Murder Spills the Tea by Vicky Delany
Murder Spills the Tea
Tea by the Sea Mystery Series, Book 3
Suspicion immediately falls on Cheryl, but the temperamental star has racked up plenty of culinary clashes in the past, both on- and off-screen. And nearly anyone associated with Tommy or the show could be the killer: be it one of Lily’s fierce competitors, a member of the beleaguered film crew, or even one of Tommy’s fellow judges–struggling cookbook maven, Claudia D’Angelo or beauty contest winner, Scarlet McIntosh. Now, while she’s baking up a storm for the show, Lily must also whip up an impromptu investigation . . . before the murderer rolls someone else away.
I love the Tea by the Sea Mysteries.
Murder Spills the Tea has us back to our favorite tea shop in Cape Cod. Lilly is nervously gearing up for a cooking competition. Her grandma Rose and friend Bernie have convinced her that this is a fantastic idea. Lily is already at the point that she regrets her decision. With a potential exposure for the tea shop being very high but yet a TV crew making havoc in the busiest time of the year has Lily finding it a most unpleasant experience. The experience has become agitating, and aggravating and Lilly is about done with the whole experience. Things just seem to get a bit worse when a body is found in the kitchen and one of the staff of the tearoom is accused of murder. Lily along with the help of Grandma Rose and Bernie make it their mission to discover who the real killer is.
I have been very fortunate and have gotten to read each of the Tea by the Sea mysteries as arcs for review for the blog. I genuinely love this series. Usually, it takes me more than three books to say that, but Lily and Grandma Rose have made a little place in my heart for themselves. Murder Spills the Tea Is a fantastic addition to this cozy mystery series. The atmosphere is amazing, the characters are well developed and grow with each book and are extremely entertaining. The mysteries are written well, and the stories are well played. Vicky Delany Knows how to weave a good mystery story to catch your attention and give her characters much personality and charisma that you can’t help but to enjoy your time with them.