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Audio Review: Chapel Bend by Kristen Proby

Chapel Bend 

Kristen Proby

Kit Swann (Narrator)

Lee Samuels (Narrator)

Huckleberry Bay Series, Book 3

302 pages, Paperback
Published: May 8, 2023 by Ampersand Publishing, Inc.

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes Chapel Bend, an enemies to lovers, small town romance in her beloved series, Huckleberry Bay!

There’s a fine line between love and hate.

In Huckleberry Bay, Oregon, everyone knows that when it comes to Juniper “June” Snow – what you see is what you get. When you hire her construction company to do a job, it’s done right, on time, and on budget. When she’s your friend, she’s a ride-or-die who will support you no matter what. And when you’re her enemy…well, she can hold a grudge.

And she’s never forgotten how the tall, dark, and delicious Apollo Winchester hurt her so many years ago.

In a small town, it’s impossible to ignore someone who greets you with a death glare every time you meet. Apollo can’t recall why June hates him, but it doesn’t stop him from stirring her up every chance he gets. There’s something about her stubborn, “don’t mess with me” attitude that keeps him coming back for more. But June is his sister’s best friend and permanently on the “off-limits” list.

June puts aside her war with Apollo and hires him to work on her most important project, the renovation of a chapel into her dream home. She wants the best…and Apollo is the best . . . on the job site and in her bed. He won’t turn down the chance to spend more time with June, especially when it’s clear that she wants him as much as she hates him. Proximity leads to opportunity, and opportunity leads to steamy times between the sheets.

But a mystery threatens June and Apollo will protect her and their growing connection, no matter the cost.

4 Stars

Juniper and Apollo, where to even start with them? We start at the beginning when they were just little kids and already had that enemies thing going on. In reality, both of them from a very young age, had an amazing crush on the other one. When some not so nice words were spoken a flare of anger grew and continue to fester over the years. June and Apollo have been bickering and bantering and fighting with one another for almost as long as they have known one another.

Even as adults, they have continued their mortal rivalry. Juniper and Apollo fall in the same circles, and it absolutely makes her crazy when he uses her full name. It makes her heart go pitter patter. Apollo and June have an intense chemistry that just about anyone can see. One night they decide is what they’re going to give it and that is it well little did they know that one night was going to make everything that much more. Yet they continue their banter for a bit more.

Chapel Bend was a wonderful small town romance. I love Juniper and Apollo, even if it took them a but of time to find their way. But that’s the story, finding their way. Apollo is truly a top-notch and wonderful guy. June is a bit harder around the edges but in time you learn that she does have a softness within her. Together they make a great team it just took 20 couple years to figure that out.

Review: Charm Me by Samantha Chase

Charm Me 

Samantha Chase 

The Donovan’s Series, Book 4 

292 pages, Kindle Edition

Expected publication May 23, 2023

There isn’t anyone in Laurel Bay he hasn’t been able to charm.
But charming a baby is a whole different story.

Life has never been better for Jamie Donovan. Always has been. And now that it’s his turn to take charge of the family pub, he truly feels like everything in his life is just the way it’s supposed to be. Or it was until an early morning knock on his door ended with a baby on his doorstep. The man who can normally charm his way out of any situation doesn’t know the first thing about taking care of a baby and running a business. And so he turns to his siblings for help.

And once they tell him their solution, he wishes he’d never asked for help.

Fallon Murphy has always prided herself on being good with people. In all her life, she’s only met one person she hasn’t been able to get along with. Unfortunately, their parents are best friends and avoiding him just wasn’t a choice. When his sister calls stating an emergency, the last thing Fallon expects is to find an abandoned baby – one that belong to Jamie. As much as she’d love nothing more than to see Jamie fail at something, she would never put an innocent child at risk.

They’re rivals.
Sworn enemies.
And now…roommates.
Can one small baby help turn adversaries into lovers? Or maybe even…a family?

4.5 Stars

If there was an award for the biggest flirt of Laurel Bay, Jamie Donovan would win it hands-down. At this point, he has probably charmed every woman within their nice little town. Never one for a long lasting relationship, but yet he prides himself on being able to end a relationship on good terms. Until the one Jamie thought could just let go and then left him with the biggest surprise of his life.

Fallen Murphy had big dreams. She has a goal of getting higher education and stuck to it. Now, having a high-level education in early childhood development is not working out quite the way that she expected it to. Two jobs in two different towns, and neither one of them worked out. Fallen returns home to Laurel Bay to figure out what her next move is.

Fallon and Jamie have been mortal enemies since they were five years old. Something that continued well through adulthood. Upon Fallin’s return they pick up just where they left off. Until a moment that changed Jamie‘s life also interned changed Fallon as well. With a newborn left on his doorstep Jamie’s life changed in an instant. Knowing he needed the help of his family, he calls in the cavalry yet even with his family’s help, they alone can’t do it. Jamie’s sister calls in the help of family friend and Jamie‘s longtime rival Fallon, knowing she can help care for this precious baby. In an instant, the dynamic between the two of them shifted and realized that there was something more important going on than their bickering. Fallon teaches Jamie how to care for his new son and the dynamic between the two of them changes tremendously. Most of the bickering has stopped and the need to fight each other is quite different. There’s a feeling shift to something else. Is it really something else or was it just something they were hiding from one another.

I absolutely loved Charm Me. Jamie and Fallon are absolutely perfect for each other. They push each others boundaries in the best ways. Once they stopped fighting and learned that they were such a complement to one another they became something tremendously beautiful. Jamie not only charmed his son, but he charmed the girl that he never thought he’d even want to charm.

If e they

Review: Dark Alphas Fury by Donna Grant

Dark Alphas Fury 

Donna Grant 

359 pages, Kindle Edition

Expected publication March 7, 2023

From New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant comes another gripping story in her Reaper series featuring a brotherhood of elite assassins who wage war on the Fae at Death’s behest—and the women who dare to love them.

There is no escaping the Reapers—or me. If you succumb to evil, you will be judged. And we will come for you . . .

I’ve known the torment of being trapped, of battling monsters—both outside and within. But I’ve also known the peace and completeness of holding the one I was meant for in my arms. Unfortunately, she’s not intended for me. I am destined for one thing and one thing only: eradicating the evil that plagues our world. Once I deal with my nemesis, maybe I can finally rest. Even if it means my soul being reaped by the strong, beautiful, and utterly captivating woman who makes my heart beat like no other. But I’m not sure even that is possible. Because I am no longer merely a Fae. I am something else altogether.

Contains mature themes

4 Stars

It is always bitter sweet when a book series comes to an end. Donna Grant delivers an excellent and epic, good versus evil, final chapter in the tale of the Reaper’s with Dark Alpha’s Fury. 

Xaneth is on the verge of facing his biggest challenge and refusing to back down until the evil is gone. Xaneth’s powers are intense and he has an instinct on what it is that he needs to do. Yet he has this fear that seems to follow him and everything he does. 

Aisling’s circumstances, for becoming a Reaper, are some of the most tragic of betrayals. She keeps her heart closed and trust is very hard for her.  Aisling is focusing all of her energy on this group of Fae and get rid of this evil plaguing their world.  Yet her mind keeps finding Xaneth. It also seems that her heart would like to have him in it as well.

Dark Alpha’s Fury is an action packed, epic and emotional conclusion for Reapers. Questions are answered, battles are fault, emotions are all over the place and two people that should have been together finally get to be together.  Donna Grant has a unique way of tying her reader into the story and making them not want to leave. It’s more than just reading, it’s an adventure.

Review: Iron Ember by Donna Grant

Iron Ember 

Donna Grant 

Skye Druids Series, Book 1 

Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2022 by DL Grant, LLC
Delve into the thrilling first installment of the all-new Skye Druids series by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant, where magic reigns and danger abounds.

Skye isn’t just an island. It’s a home. A refuge. But not to Elodie MacLean. Not anymore. Tragedy tore her world apart and then took the one thing she felt made her whole. She vowed she’d never return, but that’s exactly where she ends up. Now, surrounded by the ghosts of her past, Elodie must navigate her version of Hell and try to make peace with herself and her family. But someone or something doesn’t want her on Skye, and she finds herself attacked—and this time not by her personal demons.

Scott Ryan has a mission: uncover who has been killing Druids and why. When his quest takes him to the beautiful Isle of Skye, he doesn’t think anything could captivate him more than the land itself—until he lays eyes on the breathtaking and confident beauty his leader sent him to find. However, it’s clear that she has trust issues, and he can’t reveal his plans—at least, not yet. But he’s always been sure of his ability to sway a person, and she’s a challenge he’s more than happy to accept, especially when he finds he will do anything to protect her.

With so much history and so many secrets, victory is anything but guaranteed for the couple and their allies. And the forces at work, those who wish to rule the Scottish isle and all those who reside there, have a plan that nobody will see coming.

4 Stars

The Skye Druids Series has a thrilling beginning with Iron Ember.

Elodie vowed she would never come back to Skye. Reaching the lowest point she’s ever been in her life has her returning home to regroup. Steps away from rock-bottom, and with nothing left to lose, Elodie returns to her childhood home. What should be a simple task of cleaning a home to get it to sell has Elodie facing her current predicament face on, but memories of things that happened in the house, are beginning to plague her more so than normal.

Scott has two objectives on his mind. The first to figure out who is killing the Druids. The second is to find a woman who was seen in a vision to help them complete their task. Scott truly believes in his cause, as he has lost friends near and dear to him. When Scott realizes the woman he was sent to find may not be able to do what his leader wants of her he realizes he is beyond protective of her and will do whatever he can to keep her safe.

The magic, the mystery and the secrets. Iron Ember is a thrilling beginning to what I am sure is going to be another fantastic series from Donna Grant. The Druids are the target and someone wants some dead. Skye is a place of refuge and sanctuary for those that follow the Druid path. Skye also holds a lot of secrets. One comes home and the other comes seeking a powerful druid hoping to make a difference. Little did they know what they could do and be for each other. I have to admit I was a little iffy on Scott at first, but he did come around. I do think that Elodie and Scott complemented each other beautifully. I love how the magic literally hangs in the air in Skye. The Druids are literally having their world rocked, there’s a power struggle in place. I can only imagine what the struggles for the Druids are going to be and can’t wait for the romances that will come within the series.

Review: A Dark and Stormy Tea by Laura Child

A Dark and Stormy Tea 

Laura Child

A Tea Shop Mystery Series, Book 24 

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 9th 2022 by Berkley Books
A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browning into a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning’s troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she has just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog.

In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim–it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.

Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer who is stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.



4 Stars

A Dark and Stormy Tea will have you hooked from the get go. 

A Dark and Stormy Tea is the 24th book in the A Tea Shop Mystery Series and will have you on your seat from the very first chapter. The weather is dreadful in Charleston, setting the tone for a very well plotted and written mystery. There was such a creepy sense to the story. Playing on the wonderful ghost stories of Charleston I definitely set the tone for the novel. This story could have easily been a Halloween release and it would’ve fit right in with the season. 

Theodosia witnesses a murder without even realizing it and discovers A body while trying to take a shortcut to get out of the rain. Believing she knows the witness makes this one even harder. Theodosia does her best to try to keep out of things but yet when the mother of the deceased asked her to poke around with her reporter person friend to get some information that they may not know leads her to do what she does best. Well second best that is. She gets to the bottom of this mystery.

A Dark and Stormy Tea has everything you need for a well-rounded cozy mystery.  The characters are charming and intriguing whether you are just meeting them or you have known them for quite a while. The atmosphere is amazing. You feel like you’re walking down the streets of Charleston as you’re reading the book. Theodosia makes me shake my head many times but she does what she does and she entertains me while she’s doing it. Although I may not make all the choices that she does, even when she warns not to do things she does get to the bottom of the mystery. You have to give her that. Oh my goodness, for the love of tea and scones, A Dark and Stormy Tea Will give you an afternoon or two, depending on how fast you read, of wonderful entertainment filled with delectable treats that you just want to eat right out of the pages. 


Review: One Way Back to Me by Carrie Ann Ryan

One Way Back to Me

Carrie Ann Ryan 

The Wilder Brothers Series, Book 1

Expected publication: April 18th 2022
The Wilder brothers have retired from the military and as they’re forced to learn a new life, things get interesting fast in this kickoff to a brand new steamy, contemporary romance series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan.

One dance at a stranger’s wedding. That’s all it took for me to fall for Alexis.
And then? Disaster. Another man—her boyfriend—gets down on one knee and proposes to her.
I never thought I’d see her again.
Years later, I’m in desperate need of a wedding planner—not for myself, but for my company.
My five brothers and I need to get our new Wilder Resort off the ground, and Alexis is the only one savvy enough to help us.
But there’s the little matter that I still have it bad for her. Alexis has changed since the night we met. She’s gun shy. But there’s a spark between us that will not die. We both fight it, until we don’t.
Until history repeats itself. The same guy who took her away from me is back to do more damage. But this time he’ll have to go through me to get her.

4 Stars

Talk about chemistry and attraction making not one but two people stop in their tracks. A simple dance was all Eli needed to know that this beautiful stranger was the one for him.  Life cut him hard with that his stranger was proposed to only minutes later. 

Fast forward two years and things have changed a bit. Eli and his brothers are holding down their Resort. A band of military brothers running a resort may seem comical to some but The way I read it it was like therapy with alpha therapy to them. All recently leaving their respective services for one reason or another each one is on a very different path and finding his own way. Eli is constantly worrying as to whether he talked to his brothers into making the right choice for their futures. Finding themselves in need of a wedding planner for their resort, a blast from the past walks into Eli’s life, rekindling that spark all over again.

Alexis has been burned. Newly divorced and having her life taken from under her she is starting over. Trying to re-establish her name and reputation as a wedding planner, A friend sent her to a new resort looking for someone with her talent.

Walking into her interview at Wilder resort she lays her eyes on someone she didn’t think she’d say again. That spark of passion and chemistry once again ignites feelings all within her. Alexis sees this as a new beginning as long as the pass stays in the past.

I really enjoyed the introduction to the Wilder Brothers in One Way Back to Me. Eli and Alexis complement each other so well. They both had some baggage but I loved how they were able to work through their issues and come together as one. Eli is a workaholic but yet loyal and dedicated. Alexis is extremely sweet and amazingly talented. The two of them together are a force to be reckoned with. We meet each of the five brothers and learn that they have issues as well. With each of them just getting out of the service they are in a very different place mentally.  Their actions prove that they are devoted and loyal to their family however each is holding something to themselves that we will have to wait and see unfold in future books. Carrie Ann Ryan gives us another group of brothers to get all swoony over. 

Review: The Burning Pages by Pagie Shelton

pagesThe Burning Pages 

Pagie Shelton 

Scottish Bookshop Mystery Series, Book 7

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2022 by Minotaur Books
Delaney Nichols faces off against an elusive arsonist in the seventh Scottish Bookshop Mystery, The Burning Pages, from beloved author Paige Shelton….

One winter’s night, bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a Burns Night dinner, a traditional Scottish celebration of the poet Robert Burns. She’s perplexed by the invitation, but intrigued. The dinner takes place at Burns House itself, a tiny cottage not far from the Cracked Spine bookshop but well hidden. There, it becomes clear that Delaney and Hamlet were summoned in an attempt to make amends between Edwin, Delaney’s boss, and one of the other invitees, who suspected Edwin for burning down his own bookshop twenty years ago after a professional disagreement.

But after the dinner, there’s another fire. The Burns House itself is burned to the ground, and this time there’s a body among the ruins. When Hamlet is accused of the crime, Delaney rushes to prove his innocence, only to discover that he might actually have a plausible motive…

3.5 Stars

The latest installment of the Scottish Bookshop Mystery Series finds Delaney Nichols being invited to a traditional Scottish celebration of poet Robert Burns, A Burns Night Dinner. Confused and intrigued by the invitation, Delaney invites coworker Hamlet to go along with her. Sarot the mystery of the invitation is revealed and that’s really where the entire mystery of The Burning Pages begins. 

I thoroughly enjoy this visit to the Cracked Spine. We get several Mysteries packed into this well written story. Delaney finds herself in the middle of a 20 year long story, a mysterious birth certificate and an arsonist set on burning down bookstores. When Hamlet becomes a prime suspect for burning down the Burns house, Delany is determined to prove his innocence. 

This one was a twisty mystery and I give a round of applause to author Paige Shelton.  This is a multi-layered mystery set in beautiful Edinburgh Scotland. The Burning Pages is a very engaging and twisty mystery. Delaney is an amazing character. With a supportive husband and a group of coworkers and friends that egg her on, there’s no way for her not to be involved in the mystery. But when the mystery involves a friend and then another mystery turns up about that friend, Delaney does all that she can to get to the bottom of it and prove what a good friend she truly is.

Blog Tour: The Man from Sanctum by Lexi Blake

A painful past
An unexpected reunion
A dangerous future

The Man From Sanctum, an all-new must read standalone romance in the suspenseful Masters and Mercenaries: Reloaded Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is available now!

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.

Fall in love with Deke and Maddie!
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About Lexi Blake
New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. Since starting her publishing journey in 2010, she’s sold over three million copies of her books. 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 and believes in happy endings.

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Happy New Year 2022!

Review: My Bad Decisions by Carrie Ann Ryan

My Bad Decisions 

Carrie Ann Ryan 

On My Own Series, Book 4

Expected publication: December 7th 2021
The first time he kissed me, we kept it a secret.
Tanner and I have been at each other’s throats ever since.
The second time he kissed me, I told myself not to fall.
I should have known something burned beneath the surface and I couldn’t resist him.
The third time led to something more and now one positive test later, neither one of us can walk away.
Only when his past sheds light on every difference we’ve chosen to ignore, we’ll have to fight for each other, or lose everything before we’ve even had a chance.
4 Stars

Tanner and Natalie could not be more different. Six of the eight friends have paired off and these two are the last standing. 

Natalie is very different from the way her mother wishes her to be. Coming from privilege her parents expect her to do one thing but yet Natalie is determined that she’s going to live her life the way she wants.  Tanner grew up with his mom and little brother, he lost his life overseas. Life was not always easy for them yet Tanner does everything he can to better his life and to make things easier for his mom even if the man in her life is not one that Tanner cares for. Tanner hides what he does for a living because he feels like it makes him less of a person yet when a certain friend discovers what he does it seems to open up more possibilities than he could’ve dreamed of.

My Bad Decisions is an emotional conclusion to the On My Own series. Tanner and Natalie like each other more than either one is willing to admit. Through all the arguing and banter, you could feel the underlying desire and chemistry. They both have their issues and confide in one another to help themselves. Big life changes hit them both hard and quick and I love the way they came together.  Tanner and Natalie had to work hard but love is hard work. Carrie Ann Ryan completes the series wonderfully.