Review: Wicked Ever After by Shayla Black

 

Wicked Ever After 

Shayla Black

Wicked & Devoted Series, Book 2 

342 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Shelley Bradley, LLC

 

 

 

The exciting conclusion of One-Mile and Brea’s story!

He’s dangerous. She’s his—even if he scares her. But once he unravels her secrets, he’ll risk everything to claim her for good.

Sniper Pierce “One-Mile” Walker nearly had everything he ever wanted—until a fateful mission stripped it all away. Now an outcast, he’s forced to watch the off-limits beauty who stole his heart slip through his fingers. Left with nothing but revenge, he’s determined to defeat evil and win her back. But when he learns she’s planning a future without him, he vows he’ll break every rule and defy all odds to make her his again—forever.

Brea Bell was always a good girl…until Pierce Walker. Despite everyone’s warnings, she gave the rough warrior her body—and her heart. When she receives news that shatters her world, he devastates her by walking away. Terrified of losing all she’s ever known, Brea tucks away her dreams and commits to a “safe” future. Then Pierce appears in the dead of night, challenging and seducing her. Brea isn’t sure she can trust him…but she also can’t say no.

Angry and betrayed, he leaves to pursue vengeance, while her sins are exposed to the world, forcing her to fight painful battles. Can Brea and Pierce conquer the dangers that threaten their happily ever after…or will fate wrench them apart forever?

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 Wicked Ever After is the intense and emotional conclusion to Brea and One-Mile’s epic story.

Picking up right where Wicked As Sin left off. One-Mile drops a bomb of information then has to leave for a mission. Brea’s life is changing faster than she can blink. Emotions are high, life is intense and just when they think it may be leveling out another wave hits full force. I don’t think there could be two more opposite people then Brea and One-Mile. Yet they find a way to balance each other out perfectly. While both of them lead a life of service they do it from very opposite sides. One gives and the other takes yet they both try to make life for others a better place.

Brea finds herself within the pages of Wicked Ever After. I love that she found her voice, learned how to use it and was able to stand up for herself. One-Mile is an amazing gentleman disguised as someone who didn’t give a care in the world. Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side, but it just proves the perceptions and assumptions are not always fact.

Shayla Black continues to amaze me with the depth of emotion and The varying levels of intimacy that she gives us within her amazing stories. I am not a fan of duet type books and I really don’t care for cliffhangers. I have to give Ms. Black credit for not letting us readers hanging for too long and making the second part of the book just as engaging if not more than the first. Brea and One-Mile Have an intricate story that’s like an insane roller coaster ride. One minute you’re excited and the next your heart is about to jump out of your chest. The ride they take us one is not easy but we’ll worth it in the end.

 

Review: The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton

 

The Stolen Letter

Paige Shelton

Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Book 5

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton returns with the next installment of The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, The Stolen Letter

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

It’s not too often that you can find a book that encompasses many interests wrapped into one. Ms. Shelton gives us past and present queens, a rich dose of history, a bookstore filled with the unexpected and a mystery that will keep you on your toes. The Stolen Letter is an intricate story with a mystery within a mystery that was very much enjoyable.

Delaney Nichols it’s a very interesting character. I love the passion that she shows for her job. You can tell that it’s more than just a job for her, it’s a part of who she is. She’s smart, witty, a little bit nosy and doesn’t seem to know how to back down. She stands up for what she believes and then she cares about. I love the bookish Voices that pop into her head just when she needs to lead in the right direction. She’s still adjusting to being newly married yet her husband, Tom, is very supportive in all manners of what she does.
Delaney, along with the cast of characters that the series, and this book contain sure to give you laughs while trying to figure out the mystery of it all.

The Stolen Letter was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Ms. Shelton weaves a good plot but you can tell this is truly a character driven story. I love how she mixed history into this modern day story. I personally am a huge fan of paranormal and I loved that little touch added into the story. As I am just coming into the series at this book I found it easy to fall into place within The Cracked Spine(Love that name for a book shop by the way) and the colorful and charismatic people who work and frequent the shop. There are essentially two stories that intertwined within the pages of The Stolen Letter And a lot going on all at the same time yet every bit of it was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to going back and reading some of the earlier books in the series just because I enjoyed this one so much.

 

Review: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

A Bad Day for Sunshine

Darynda Jones

Sunshine Vicram Series, Book 1

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff–an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Whether it be contemporary or paranormal, Darynda Jones knows how to engage her readers, entertain them and have them laughing before they even know what’s going on with the story. A Bad Day for Sunshine is a fantastic beginning to what I am sure will be another winning series for Ms. Jones.

When anything and everything can possibly go wrong on your first day of your new job…….

Sunshine Vicram is my new favorite female lead character. She’s sassy and smart with a job she didn’t even apply for. I love that her mind wanders and she still harbors a crush on the one she shouldn’t. The love for her family shines through all that she does. Her strength and confidence are something truly remarkable. Sunshine’s dedication to her job is a whole different level of loyalty. Sun’s daughter, Auri shares the narrative of this story as well and you can’t help but to fall in love with them both. I love the relationship that the mother and daughter share. You don’t realize what a big part of the book it is until you realize it is.

A Bad Day for Sunshine is a laugh out loud, jaw dropping, gasping, suspenseful yet endearing read. Ms. Jones gives her reader nothing short of pure entertainment with this newest title. If you enjoyed the Charlie Davison series, you will love Sunshine too.

 

 

ARC Review: Pivot

Pivot

Kat Martin 
Alexandra Ivy 
Rebecca Zanetti 

Deep Ops #2.5

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 1st 2020 by Zebra Books (first published March 31st 2020)
As girls, they bonded over broken homes and growing up in foster care.
As women, they’re fighting for their lives, and loves, once more . . .

 

MERI
When Meriwether Jones takes her young daughter and runs from trouble in L.A., that trouble follows. By the time Meri reaches Spokane, she’s out of gas, money, and ideas. Luckily, ex-cop Ian Brodie hires her to help him with his father’s farmhouse, and they seem like the answer to each other’s prayers. But Meri is keeping a dangerous secret—and Ian is in danger of losing his heart . . .

 

MELANIE
That secret explodes when Melanie Cassidy spots two men trying to kidnap a young boy she tutors and responds by ramming them with her car. The last thing she expects is for the man she once loved, Detective Gray Hawkins, to appear and rescue them both. Now she has no choice but to trust him as they investigate the truth about a conspiracy of dirty, drug trafficking cops—and the truth about their relationship . . .

 

MICHELLE
After a rough youth, Michelle Peach was finally content in Portland—until two men broke into her home, threatened her, and sent her mentally unstable mom on a blackmail spree that Michelle has to stop. The last person Michelle wants to see is her ex, Evan Boldon, a former marine turned sheriff. But Evan misses the woman who walked away instead of letting him help years ago. This time he’s not asking permission; he’s going to put a stop to the trouble stalking Michelle and her friends—and win her heart for good.

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4 Stars

What an amazing collection of stories. Anthologies are a great way to introduce readers to new authors and for those that are already fans get an extra treat with a short story. Each author brings their all with their story.

Each story is intense and suspenseful, yet sexy and romantic.

Against the Heart -Kat Martin

This may be my favorite of the three stories. A single mom on the run with her daughter and A son trying to help his father put his life back together. This one is sweet and tender, it hits the heart just right.

Shaken – Rebecca Zanetti

Whether it be a full length novel or a novella Ms. Zanetti knows how to catch the reader’s attention. Evan and Michelle rocked the pages hard. I love that they had a past and that made their chemistry so much more. Shaken in my opinion, was the hottest of the three stories.

Echoes of the Past – Alexandra Ivy

Ms. Ivy focuses a little more on the suspense and a little less on the romance. However she still gives us an intriguing and adventurous story.

Although each story does tie in with one another you do not have to read all of them to be able to enjoy them. However I highly recommend that you do as they do complete a story that is highly enjoyable.

 

ARC Review: Four Love by Jayne Rylon

Four Love 

Jayne Rylon 

Ever and Always Duet, Book 2 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Happy Endings Publishing

Holly has never been more scared in her life. She’s hoping that the bad guys attempting to bank off her realize—like she has—that her temporary husband doesn’t care for her as anything more than a way to cash in on his inheritance and amuse his roommates in the process.

Even if she makes it out alive, she won’t ever be whole. Not unless Trent, Lorenzo, and Owen suddenly decide that the stakes in the game they were playing are a lot steeper than can be paid for with money.

This time, they’re gambling everything on love.

Four Love is the conclusion of the Ever & Always Duet, and should be read following Four Money.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Jayne Rylon brought it all with the conclusion to the Ever and Always duet, Four Love.

Falling was the easy part, now comes the hard. Holly, Trent, Lorenzo and Owen have the attraction, chemistry and passion but figuring out all the feeling has some knots twisted and lingering doubt. Four Love is a journey in trust and discovery. A path that could be the brightest of blessings or the road paved in ruin. They may be a unit but they are still individuals within their group. With their new found emotions, navigating the waters is unfamiliar territory yet is a force they can’t seem to contend with. Owen, Lorenzo, Trent and Holly found a way to turn a crazy mess into something bigger than imagined.

Jayne Rylon concludes the Ever and Always duet, Four Love with a fast paced, draw you in, super hot and emotional read.

 

 

Review: Dead in the Doorway by Diane Kelly

Dead in the Doorway

Diane Kelly

A House-Flipper Mystery, Book 2

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 31st 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

Dead in the Doorway is the second in a delightful cozy series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville—where the real estate market is to die for.

A HOUSE WITH GOOD BONES. . .

Whitney Whitaker has scored the perfect piece of real estate: a ramshackle white Colonial at the top of a hill with views of downtown Nashville. What more could a self-taught home-improvement maven and occasional house-flipper ask for? Ideally, the property of Whitney’s dreams would not have come with a dead body blocking the entrance to the foyer. But Whitney, always quick to take heavy-duty matters into her own hands, also happens to be a skilled amateur sleuth. So that helps.

AND SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET.

Who is this older woman—and how did her corpse end up at the bottom of the staircase of this locked, unoccupied house? That is what Whitney, along with the support of her wood-working cousin Buck, Detective Collin Flynn, and, of course, feline partner-in-crime Sawdust, intends to find out. Her friendly-neighbor investigation takes a sharp turn, however, when Whitney discovers that the house’s former owner was a gourmet baker whose secret recipe for peach pie was to die for—perhaps literally. Now it’s up to Whitney to learn the truth about what happened before she loses this killer real-estate deal . . . and the killer comes knocking at her door.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Dead in the Doorway is a fast paced cozy read embedded with humor and wit. Diane Kelly thoroughly entertains her readers with fantastic main characters, a solid plot and a peach pie to die for.

 

Whitney Whitaker is a busy woman. Property manager, Carpenter and flips houses on the side. She is a lady that knows how to get things done, has a good head on her shoulders and is genuine to the core. I enjoyed her relationship with her Uncle Buck. The back and forth banter between the two is comical and entertaining. They are a solid team and it shows. The chapters from the cats, Sawdust, point of view are priceless. That is a wonderful addition to the story, as Sawdust is in tow Whitney quite a bit. The flip house neighbors were a lively bunch that kept the story interesting. Another enjoyment of the story was seeing the house come together. Ms. Kelly balances the details of the restoration of the house without going overboard, yet has a reader interested in the outcome of not only the mystery of what this house is gonna look like at the end.

 

Dead in the Doorway takes the saying this pie is to die for to a whole new meaning. Diane Kelly has wrapped home improvement, some delectable eats, a little bit of romance and a well spun mystery into an enjoyable and entertaining cozy read. Whitney is a wonderful lead character. She’s smart and funny and adds so much personality to the story. Ms. Kelly twisted the story well as I had no clue who had done it yet should have known from the clues she is giving us. Dead in the Doorway was much more enjoyable than I expected and I give my highest props to the Author for her enjoyable tail.

 

 

Review: Dead on the Vine by Elle Brooke

Dead on the Vine 

Elle Brooke White

A Finn Family Farm Mystery, Book 1 

Hardcover
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Perfect for fans of B. B. Haywood and Peg Cochran, Ellie B. White’s whimsical series debut is full of farm fun, complete with a helpful teacup pig.

Reluctant farmer Charlotte Finn needs the help of the livestock to sleuth a mysterious death.

Charlotte Finn never wanted to inherit the family’s produce farm–much less plow a heap of money into it. Her plan is to hammer a great big FOR SALE sign into the farm’s fallow furrows–but Charlotte’s sunny hopes of a quick sale succumb to a killing frost when she finds a dead body entwined supine in the tomato vines. The poor man, it seems, was run through…with a pitchfork?

Now, Charlotte is stuck with running the farm in the midst of a murder investigation. Charlotte’s knowledge of farming is smaller than her bank balance, so she relies on caretakers Joe and Alice Wong and their farmhands. Can she trust them? She doesn’t know them. There’s also farmer Samuel Brown, who still carries a childhood grudge. But the case gets personal when Charlotte learns that the victim might have been her own kin–and seeds of suspicion grow into a fertile field of suspects.

Charlotte turns to the farm’s teacup pig to help root out the killer. Soon, the goats, geese, and horse join in, but will Charlotte harvest a murderer–or buy the farm?

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars 

 

A charming and fun beginning to a new cozy mystery series.

 

Inheriting the family farm is not the ideal plan that Charlotte had in mind. She has it in her mind to sell but when a dead body is found amongst the vines that leaves her stuck on the farm for longer than she would like.  Being new in town and not knowing who to trust, Charlotte sets her mind to some old fashion sleuthing to get to the bottom of this.

As Dead on the Vine begins to unravel the laughs just begin. Charlotte and her unlikely yet extremely helpful band of friends are a hoot and then some. This is truly a laugh out loud read. I love how the townsfolk come together To help and the personality of this town really starts to stand out.

Author Elle Brooke did a fantastic job with the story. The characters are bubbling with personality, the mystery will have you guessing and guessing again. I love the personal touches to the personalities of the animals within the story. I found that to be unique and added something special to the story.

 

Review: Shameless With HIm by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

Shameless With Him 

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Less Than Series, Book 3

Paperback, 250 pages

Published March 24th 2020 by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan completes a sexy contemporary series with an unrequited crush on the bad boy next door.

Caleb Carr might have once been ready for commitment, but when the unexpected slams into him with the force of a two-ton truck, he knows he has to run away from anything that might be important. Zoey might well be his final temptation, but to keep her whole, he’ll walk away.

Zoey Wager has loved Caleb since they were eight. And has had her heart broken from afar repeatedly ever since. It doesn’t help that every time she sees him—even when she’s running away halfway across the world—he’s with another woman. She’s watched him fall in lust her entire life. Now, she’s ready to watch him fall in love. With her.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

This is one of those books that you were rooting for the couple from the get go even though it takes the many years to even find a way to start something that could be more. Zoey and Caleb have known each other practically their entire lives, Ms. Ryan starts the story with moments from the past that bring us forward to the feelings of the future. I loved that through different times and places in their lives they found each other just when they seem to need to.

Zoey and Caleb are both genuinely good hearted and wonderful people yet each of them has their own issues that hold themselves back more than anything else. I love that they seemed to pick up where they left off each time they met. Their friendship was genuine and that made their attraction even more so. These two took a bit to find their way and every bit of rooting for them page after page was well worth it when we came to the end.

Shameless With Him is the story of a lifetime crush that finally finds love in the end. I love how Carrie Ann Ryan intertwines the Carr’s and the Montgomery’s. It’s always good to visit with characters we read about in the past as they impact the current tale we are wrapped up in. . Just like the Montgomery’s and Carr’s would say, Family.

Review: The Body in the Apartment by Judi Lynn

The Body in the Apartment
Judi Lynn
A Jazzi Zanders Mystery Series, Book 4
Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Lyrical Press
The charming homes of River Bluffs, Indiana, make perfect projects for house-flipper Jazzi Zanders. Less charming is her hothead brother-in-law, who’s a bit of a fixer-upper himself.
But could he also be a murderer? Jazzi married her gorgeous contractor Ansel—not his family. But somehow she keeps living with them. So she’s delighted to help Ansel’s brother Radley move out of their home and into his own place, in the same building as his work supervisor, Donovan. But when Donovan is shot and his apartment ransacked following an argument with Ansel and Radley’s older brother Bain, their sibling becomes a suspect—especially after his missing gun turns up as the murder weapon.Told not to leave town by Detective Gaff, big brother moves in with . . . Jazzi and Ansel. Now Jazzi needs to prove Bain’s no killer, not only to keep him out of jail—but to get him out of their house. What was the killer looking for in Donovan’s apartment? And what will happen to the next person who gets in the way?

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

A lighthearted and fun cozy mystery with extremely likable characters. The Body in the Apartment is my first forte into Judi Lynn’s writing and is very far from my last.

 

Jazzi is an awesome character, who can do just about anything. Not only can she hang drywall with the best of them, this woman can cook just about anything. She has a strong body and a strong mind yet cares above and beyond what friendship is and her sense of compassion is something that can’t be topped. Jazzi is one of those people that if she makes you a friend, you have become family. Even if that family drives her crazy, her loyalty is unwavering.

 

The Body in the Apartment finds House flipper Jazzi, her husband Ansel, and her cousin Jared In the middle of restoring a beautiful Victorian house while helping Ansel’s brother get a new start on his life when they stumble upon a murder that happens moments before. Getting mixed up in a murder is not something new to this trio but for me the way they go about it is exceptionally entertaining. Nothing like family drama to keep things interesting. What I found unique about this book was how the local cop enlisted Jazzi help and compassion with those that may be delicate to interview. This trio of characters along with their family and friends are extremely close and very nosy. Everyone seemed to know what was going on with everyone yet always seemed to help or support in any way they could.

 

The Body in the Apartment is a drama filled yet well written mystery with a good plot that keeps you thinking. I loved that Jazzi is always feeding everyone. You can definitely tell food is her thing and she loves sharing that with everyone. This book takes us from a gutted out it out house, to neighborhoods people have to be careful visiting to getting tangled with ex cons and making wedding cake. Ms. Lynn Has readers all over the place with this book and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Review: Death on the Page by Essie Lang

Death on the Page

Essie Lang

A Castle Bookshop Mystery, Book 2

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 10th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

I will admit when I read the description of this book and the setting was a bookstore within a castle I knew I had to read it. What reader doesn’t love a bookstore? Add in the fabulous setting of the castle you had me from the get go. Now when you add a compelling Plot that involves a true crime writer getting murdered inside said castle and you have more than peaked my interest.

 

The second installment of the Castle Bookshop Mystery, Death on the Page is an interesting and enjoyable read. Shelby Cox, co owner of the Thousand Island book stores and has the nose of a sleuth, host a signing for crime writer Savannah Page,  and she get more than her pages worth when the lady of the hour ends up murder inside the glorious castle. Shelby don’t necessarily want to help, yet she can’t seem to keep herself away from this binding murder.

 

Essie Lang knows how to catch her readers attention in more ways than one. The setting draws you into a beautiful place, the well-developed characters make the company fun and entertaining and then she gives you a plot that is well paced and keeps you attention fully in the book. Shelby and her aunt Edie are together. Shelby is a natural at sleuthing and entertaining while she does it. This is my first read by Miss Lang and I will tell you I was highly impressed.