Category Archives: Review

Review: Three Shots to the Wind by Sherry Harris

 

Three Shots to the Wind

Sherry Harris 

Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery Series, Book 3

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 29th 2022 by Kensington

Chloe’s Windy City ex-fiancé gets blown away in the Florida panhandle . . .

DEAD EXES TELL NO TALES

Saloon owner Chloe Jackson appears to have a secret admirer. She’s pouring drinks at the Sea Glass Saloon in Emerald Cove when an airplane flies by above the beach with a banner reading I LOVE YOU CHLOE JACKSON. She immediately rules out Rip Barnett. They are in the early stages of dating and no one has said the L word. Then a bouquet of lilacs—her favorite flower—is delivered to the bar, followed by an expensive bottle of her favorite sparkling wine. It couldn’t be . . .

Sure enough, her ex-fiancé from Chicago has flown down to Florida for an accountants’ convention. But is he trying to mix business with pleasure and win her back? Unfortunately he’s not in a hotel conference room, he’s floating facedown in the lake next to her house, clutching a photo of Chloe. Who murders an accountant on a business trip—it just doesn’t add up. When Rip becomes the prime suspect, Chloe is determined to find the secret murderer. But if she isn’t careful, it may be closing time and lights out for her .

4 Stars

I love this beach saloon!!
Chloe Jackson is a part-time waitress, learning to be a bartender and part owner of the most popular little beach saloon in Emerald Cove, Florida. As we begin our tale, Chloe is having one of those days. It’s one of those days where it just gets more strange as the day goes along. On what should be a relaxing run Chloe stumbles upon the local deputy investigating the murder. For me to add on to the strange events of her day it’s Chloe‘s ex fiancé who is found dead.
This is a fantastic story. Sherry Harris gave us a Mystery that kept us on the edge of our seat. The moral of the story is don’t judge a book by its cover and Chloe found out that her ex was not the man whom she thought he was. This mystery has fingers pointing at the man Chloe is currently dating but she knows he had no hand in it. As a mystery unfolds I became more and more engrossed in the story. It’s a great story with lots of humor and a fantastic Mystery woven in.

Review: Evernight Unleashed by Carrie Ann Ryan

Evernight Unleashed 

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Ravenwood Coven Series, Book 3

ebook
Published March 15th 2022
In the dramatic conclusion to the Ravenwood Coven series by NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan, this sleeping magical paranormal town knows that war can be a beginning…and an ending.
Rowen Ravenwood is the final witch of her line—the only one standing in the way of Oriel, the dark necromancer who wants the core of the town’s magic for his own. With each passing battle and loss, Rowen is one step closer to losing it all if she doesn’t rely on the one man she refuses to love again. Only this time she might not have a choice when family secrets come to light.
Ash Christopher’s family curse hit him harder than anyone knows. He’s cool, relentless, and only feels what he needs to in order to survive. He’s gained everything in power and lost all else to his ambition—including Rowen. After all, a man cannot have a soul mate when he does not possess a soul.
The town of Ravenwood is dying and as the final battles come to pass, it will take the courage of a coven reborn, a mating bond broken, and a love worth fighting for in order to save all before it is lost.\
4 Stars

Ash and Rowen, swoon my heart. Their road was a crazy one but they made the magic happen in the end.

Overnight Unleashed Is the epic conclusion Ravenwood Coven Series and the couple that I have been most eager for. Rowen is the last of her line and an original family of Raven Wood. Rowen is tied to the Town in ways deeper than even she knows. With each battle she loses a bit herself, also taking away the protection of the town. Rowen has strength beyond measure yet one of the things she wants the most she can’t have even though it crosses her path on a regular basis.

Ash I just found the love of his life and bonded in a way that he knew was forever only to have the curse hit him harder than anyone in the family. He’s become a cool and relentless man who doesn’t feel remorse, he is only out for gain. As a town begins to fall, Ash takes measures, putting himself in the line of danger hopefully, to succeed and helping save his family in town. Not to mention his soulmate.

I absolutely loved this conclusion. Evernight Unleashed is emotional, magical and action packed. Rowen and Ash have some serious history. There is so much emotion between the two of them that it’s hard to describe but you know that they belong together and even when Ash is having some of his moments you know that they were meant to be together. Carrie Ann Ryan keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a fast paced, action packed and quite steamy romance. Although I am sad to see this series end, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I have spent with The Ravenwood Coven.

 

 

Review: The Man from Sanctum by Lexi Blake

The Man from Sanctu

Lexi Blake 

Masters & Mercenaries: Reloaded Series, Book 3

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 373 pages
Published March 8th, 2022, by DLZ Entertainment, LLC
A painful past

Deke Murphy and Maddie Hall should never have worked as a couple in high school. She was the class valedictorian and he the jock who took nothing seriously…except her. Together they formed an amazing team, and young love blossomed into something that strengthened them both. Until tragedy struck and Deke made a sacrifice that split them up forever.

An unexpected reunion

Seventeen years later, Maddie is living her dream working for a brilliant tech guru in the beauty of Southern California. She’s made a life for herself and it’s first class all the way. She rarely thinks of the jock who dumped her all those years ago. But when Maddie realizes her boss might be part of an international conspiracy, she can’t deny Deke might be her best bet to solve the mystery. Her one-time sweetheart works for one of the world’s premiere security and investigative firms. She’ll hire him and prove to herself their relationship could never have worked.

A dangerous future

As Maddie and Deke begin to uncover her boss’s secrets, they can’t deny the chemistry that has reignited. But before they can explore the connection growing between them, they must survive the deadly forces hunting them down.

4.5 Stars
A second chance at romance, intense suspense, jaw dropping moments ……The Man from Sanctum is classic Lexi Blake!
Deke thought he did the right thing by Breaking ties and sending the love of his life on to fulfill her dream without him. He may have continued on with his life but he had never really gotten over his love for her. The thought of her was the one thing that kept him going through all the torment he has been through. Many years later Deke has become comfortable with his life. It has taken years of therapy and an unconventional family to get him back on his feet. Decades after the last time he saw her she shows up on his doorstep out of the blue with a problem she feels only he can help her with.
Maddie is smart. Just may be a little bit too smart for her own good. She has built a very successful career in a male-dominated world. She has become the Intercal part of an artificial intelligence satellite program and strange things are beginning to happen. Afraid for what her boss maybe up to Maddie pieces together a plan to see the one person that she knows that she can trust with this information. That one person is also the man that broke her heart two decades ago but yet can’t seem to let go of either.
Holy hotness, intensity, suspense and chemistry. I’m not sure which good one got me more. The Man from Sanctum is my favorite read of the year thus far. I love that this is a second chance romance because those are my favorite. Maddie and Deke had the chemistry and had the passion. And they had history, history they hold closer than they would like to admit. I love how Deke did not hesitate to help when Maddie showed up. His love and need to Protect her didn’t skip a beat. I love the way that they work through their issues of the past while battling the danger of the present. Their chemistry is off the charts and my goodness were they hot together. The suspense aspect of the book is top notch. I did not want to stop reading because I had to know everything. Lexi Blake never fails to deliver some jaw-dropping moments that we readers both love and hate. The Man from Sanctum is a highly intense read in both suspense and romance that to me in from the beginning and had me Noring all of my adult responsibilities for an entire day so I could plow through this amazing read.

Review: The Poisoned Forest by Yasmine Galenorn

The Poisoned Forest

Yasmine Galenorn

Hedge Dragon Series, Book 1

Kindle Edition
Published February 22nd 2022 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC

 

To the rakshasa who enslaved my sister: you just made the worst mistake you’ll ever make in your life.

Yes, I’m a hedge dragon. An abomination, or so they call my kind. I’m a loner, but I’m also loyal to my sister. Turns out, the rest of the family couldn’t care less. I’m the only one willing to go after her when she vanishes.

She’s being held in Owlanvine, a city in the desert. To reach her, I must travel through the Poisoned Forest, one of the darkest, deadliest places in Wildemoone. But the Lord of the Hunt and his Lady take pity on me and offer me help.

Now, together with a small band of allies who I swear are more trouble than they’re worth, I’m out to save my sister before she’s lost forever, and before the forest does all of us in.

This is a spinoff of the Wild Hunt Series. You do not need to read the Wild Hunt Series to read the Hedge Dragon Series.

 

 

 

4 Stars

Ms. Galenorn creates an all new world of magic, mystery and danger with her new spin off series Hedge Dragon with The Poisoned Forest.

Storm is a Hedge Dragon. Seen as an outcast to many, yet she is a unique and beautiful creature. And person for that matter. Storm is on a mission to save her sister who has been sold. Leaving her home and another sister, Storm journeys into new lands and places to seek her kin. Along the path she is fortunate to have stumbled upon good hearted people who are willing to go above and beyond to help her in her cause. Storm is a warrior and a protector. She has lived a rough life but quickly learns that things are far beyond things she would have realized. She has a heart and that makes her stand out.

The Poisoned Forest is a fantastic beginning to this new series. I am very excited to see where Storm’s path is going to lead. As with being the first book in the series there is a lot of world building an introduction. One of the things I believe Ms. Galenorn is at the top of her game in world building. I love the way she brings you into her worlds with a uniqueness that is all her own. The Poisoned Forest starts the series off already having this reader wanting more. Storm has strength and determination yet a bit naïve to the world that she does not know. She learns hard lessons quickly, trying to do all she can.

I read this book in one sitting and then read it again slowly. I am so excited for what is to come with the Hedge Dragon series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly

Batten Down the Belfry

Diane Kelly 

A house Flipper Mystery Series, Book 4

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 2022 by St. Martin’s Press
Batten Down the Belfry is the fourth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, Tennessee—where the real estate market is to die for.

Here is the church, here is the steeple…

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have successfully flipped houses, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to renovate a house of worship. Still, the colorful stained glass in the country church has caught Whitney’s eye, and she’d love to breathe new life into the abandoned building. What’s more, the place has perfect acoustics. Could the worship hall be reborn as an entertainment venue with its parsonage repurposed as a pre-show bistro?

Open the doors, and see all the trouble.

The owner of the horse farm next door has asserted a legal claim to the church property, rendering their title uncertain. If that’s not bad enough, while rehabbing the church, Whitney’s cat Sawdust discovers a bombshell in the bell tower—the body of the man who’d delivered their beautiful new replacement windows. What transpired in the spire? Who rang the man’s bell and why?

The steeple is keeping its secrets and, when a second body turns up, things become even less clear. Can Whitney help Detective Collin Flynn solve the crimes before someone else is sent to meet their maker.

4 Stars

 What a fun visit and adventure with Whitney.

Batten Down the Belfry has Whitney and Buck flipping something a little bit different this time. Instead of a house they are transforming a church with beautiful Stained Glass into possibly an entertainment venue.  This fun endeavor takes a turn when a delivery driver is found dead and this becomes all too personal for Whitney when a second body is discovered.

Whitney and her cousin Buck are a great team. I love what they do to the houses and I love that we get a good mystery in there as well. Whitney is smart and beyond capable. I love how she clues in the local detective along the way. We get a bit of suspenseful action with a good storyline and a mystery that I didn’t figure out until the end. Diane Kelly Rights to draw you into the story and gives you and exciting mystery in the end.

Review: Caramel Pecan Roll Murder by

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder

Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen Series, Book 28

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 22nd 2022 by Kensington Books
In this scrumptious new read in the blockbuster series packed with delightful recipes from a beloved New York Times bestselling author, baker Hannah Swensen is tempted by a high-profile tournament in Lake Eden that quickly turns deadly…

Embracing a sweet escape from her usual routine at The Cookie Jar, Hannah gets asked for her help in baking pastries at the local inn for a flashy fishing competition with big prizes and even bigger names. But the fun stops when she spots a runway boat on the water and, on board, the lifeless body of the event’s renowned celebrity spokesperson…

Famed TV show host Sonny Bowman wasn’t humble about his ability to reel in winning catches, and no one knew that better than his tragically overworked sidekick, Joey. Did Joey finally take bloody revenge on his pompous boss—or was Sonny killed by a jealous contestant?

With goodies to bake and a mess of fresh challenges mixed into her personal life, it’s either sink or swim as Hannah joins forces with her sister, Andrea, to catch a clever culprit before another unsuspecting victim goes belly up…

Features Over a Dozen Cookie and Dessert Recipes from The Cookie Jar!

3.5 Stars

It’s time for another visit at the beautiful lake Eden. With a big fish competition taking place, Hannah sets aside her usual cookie baking to have some fun with pastries while helping the local Inn. The event is bringing all kinds of big names and lots of excitement to the lake. All things seem to be going wonderfully until a TV host is found dead and now Hannah is not just baking pastries but fishing for clues as well.

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder is a lighthearted and fun cozy mystery with a romantic twist.  As this is a long running series you could read as a standalone however I do think you will miss some of the Background and underlying meanings of things between certain characters events and actions. However if you are an avid reader and enjoy this sort of thing you will be able to figure out easily enough what is going on. With that said, I did enjoy this read. Hannah is a little off in this book and that is understandable. I do hope that she finds herself quickly and is able to get back to herself . The mystery of Caramel Pecan Roll Murder is what we’ve come to love from this author. Lots of twist interns with many red herrings to keep you guessing. Although I figured it out easily it was still an enjoyable read.  I like that Andrea is becoming more of a present character in the stories. Visiting with Dick and Sally is always a good time. I am looking forward to seeing how this Hannah-Mike-Norman thing turns outs.

 

Review: Totally Pawstruck by Sofie Ryan

 

Totally Pawstuck

Sofie Ryan 

Second Chance Cat Mystery Series, Book 9

Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2022 by Berkley Books

Secondhand store owner Sarah Grayson and her inquisitive rescue cat, Elvis, will need to close the book on a killer in the newest installment of this charming New York Times bestselling series.

Although Sarah Grayson is often tending to the contained chaos of her delightful secondhand store in North Harbor, Maine, plus dealing with the quirky personality of her rescue cat, Elvis, she still takes an occasional night off. But her evening out comes to an abrupt end when Sarah discovers Stella Hall, a member of the library board, standing over a body in the street.

Although Stella admits that she and the victim had fought about several things including library funding, she is adamant that she is innocent and the real killer is on the loose. Sarah is eager to help, but even with the assistance of Charlotte’s Angels, the senior citizen detectives who rent out part of her shop, there is still a vast amount of circumstantial evidence linking Stella to the crime. The odds may be stacked against them, but Sarah and Elvis, along with the Angels, will work hard to check out the suspects and catch a killer.

3.5 Stars 

What a fun cozy!!

When I get to my senior years I hope I have a group of friends like the Charlotte’s Angels and am willing to do even half of what they do!  

This is my first visit with Sarah and her lively group of friends. North Harbor Maine is as beautiful as it is charming. With a super cool rescue cat named Elvis and an intricate mystery, all is set for an entertaining read. The story is well written and the characters are fun and hilarious. You can tell Sarah and her ladies are tight and would do just about anything for one another.  Like figuring out how the man everyone dislikes died and prove one of her dear friends had nothing to do with the crime. 

 

Review: Live, Local and Dead by Nikki Knight

 

Live, Local and Dead

Nikki Knight 

Vermont Radio Mystery Series, Book 1

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 8th 2022 by Crooked Lane Books
In a fit of anger, radio DJ Jaye Jordan blows a snowman’s head off with a Revolutionary War-style musket. But the corpse that tumbles out is all too human. Jaye thought life would be quieter when she left New York City and bought a tiny Vermont radio station. But now, Edwin Anger–the ranting and raving radio talk show host who Jaye recently fired–lies dead in the snow. And the Edwin Anger fans who protested his dismissal are sure she killed him.

To clear her name, Jaye must find the real killer, as if she doesn’t have her hands full running the radio station, DJing her all-request love song show, and shuttling tween daughter Ryan to and from school. It doesn’t make matters easier that the governor–Jaye’s old crush–arrived on the scene before the musket smoke cleared. Fortunately, Jaye has allies…if you count the flatulent moose that lives in the transmitter shack, and Neptune, the giant gray cat that lives at the station.

If Jaye can turn the tables on the devious killer, she and the governor may get to make some sweet, sweet music together. But if she can’t, she’ll be off the air…permanently.

3.5 Stars

What a story!! Live, Local and Dead is a different take from my normal and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Jaye Jordan is a very interesting woman. A radio DJ, a mom and recently divorced moving. She and her daughter have recently moved to a small Vermont town where she has taken over the local radio station. What should be a nice and safe home for her and her child, Jaye soon becomes the target of some nice crimes.  The surprising thing about this is our lead lady is not the one figuring out the mystery. She is going on with her day today life but yet working closely with the local authorities to figure out what’s going on behind these crimes.

I enjoyed Live, Local and Dead. Jaye has gone through a challenging event and is trying to make the best of her new life. She is a woman with strong opinions and beliefs. She doesn’t let up on those things that she values just because someone else pushes her to try to do so. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this as a cozy mystery just because it’s a little more outspoken in certain ways than the typical cozy Mystery.  that did not deter my enjoyment from this book. I’m actually very much looking forward to see where the author takes the series.

Audio Review: Take A Chance With Me by Kristen Proby

 

Take A Chance With Me

Kristen Proby

The O’Callaghans Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 276 pages
Published January 25th 2022 by Ampersand Publishing, Inc.
A friends to lovers, soulmates story from Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby, set in her beloved With Me In Seattle Series!

Cameron Cox has mastered the art of keeping secrets. His talent for computer hacking means he’s been recruited for highly classified jobs since leaving the military. He travels the world, risking his life. But his biggest secret isn’t from a government job or a foreign spy.

It’s Maggie O’Callaghan.

He’s loved her from afar, always standing by as the friend. He’s been her rock through the hardest days of her life. But after his dangerous past comes crashing into his life and threatens the only woman he’s ever loved, he has a choice to make.
Give up the secrets and win her heart.

Or watch Maggie walk away with his.

4 Stars

Friend to lovers and a brother’s best friend, Two amazing tropes weaved into one story that is heartwarming and sexy. John Hartley and Kirsten Leigh perform this emotional and beautiful tale by Kristen Proby in a way that makes sure it hits the heart. Take a Chance With Me gives us the one we have been waiting for. Well I have been!  Good things are worth waiting for. 

Maggie took a chance years ago and put herself out there. Wanting Cameron is nothing new for her but she knows when the job calls he goes. After a bad marriage Maggie knows exactly what she doesn’t want or need. Her want for Cameron has never changed but her self happiness it’s something that does come first in her life.

Cameron lives a life of secrets. Because of his job everything is hush-hush. Cameron knows more than he is allowed to tell, information he knows that could help someone he cares about. Cameron has begun to put the at the drop of a call, I am gone for the job aside to start living the life he wants, with whom he wants. Caneron knows that there are obstacles ahead. But for her he will take on every one of them.

Take a Chance With Me  is a wonderful romance filled with some mystery and deep roots in the family. It’s hard not to love the O’Callaghans.  Cameron and Maggie are definitely two people that belong together. It just took them a very long time to find their way. They’re so sweet together. Their story is a long one with many hurtles and a bit of mystery but in the end, they get their happily ever after

 

Review: Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library by Holly Danvers

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library

Holly Danvers

Lakeside Library Mystery Series, Book 2

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 8th 2022 by Crooked Lane Books
An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danvers’ second Lakeside Library Mystery.

A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.

After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.

As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?

With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?

3.5 Stars

The Lakeside library is gearing up for a new tradition of being open during the winter months. Rain is already to get cozy down in her Lofty Pines cabin with a good book through the Wisconsin winter. The start of the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree brings excitement to the town as the ice shanty’s start going up, all trying for those coveted spots and chili cooking begins. What should be a festive and fun time turns into mystery and murder of the coldest proportions. Rain Is smart, able to put the clues togetherand will sometimes forget reasoning or logic to help out those she cares about. 

Rain is a helper by nature. She generally cares about people. Whether it’s the desire to help them find that perfect book they’re looking for or to solving a murder. She does get herself into the thick of things. There were a few times I wanted to grab the girl by her shoulders and ask her what you are thinking. But then we wouldn’t have a story. What when one of your good friends it’s a suspect you will go above and beyond to prove his innocence. Rain allows her best friend, Julia, to talk her into some rather peculiar situations. Even if they are for the good of figuring out the truth, they may not always be the best decisions. But you get a good laugh.

Holly Danvers gave us a second installment that was just as enjoyable as the first. Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was an entertaining read. This is a charming town and I love the inhabitants of it. As much as I say I just like winter weather I do love a book that has a good winter element to the story. You could feel the cold seeping through the pages and just made you want to cuddle up in a blanket as you were reading. That is high praise from me. The one thing I wish is that we see a little bit more personal character development within Rain.  I enjoy her very much, but I feel she can be led astray very easily. However, that does give us some of our most laughable scenes of the book.