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Review: A Page Marked for Murder by Lauren Elliott

 

A Page Marked for Murder

Lauren Elliott

Beyond The Page Bookstore Mystery Series, book 5 

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2020 by Kensington Books

In Lauren Elliott’s fifth Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, a murder and a missing first edition of The Secret Garden have rare bookstore owner Addie Greyborne running around her Massachusetts town trying to read the clues…

January isn’t the season for the seaside, but the big Fire and Ice festival is keeping bookstore owner Addie busy. Amid the plans for a fireworks display and an ice-carving competition, she’s also dog sitting for a friend in the hospital. When Addie goes to her friend’s house to gather supplies, she notices an interesting item on the nightstand which belongs to her shop assistant, Paige: a very valuable copy of the beloved children’s book The Secret Garden.

But Addie’s blood runs cold when she finds something else: a dead body behind the bakery next door to her shop. Martha, the bakery owner, has no alibi–and has been seen in a heated argument with the victim. And the next thing Addie knows, that first edition has gone missing. Is there a connection between the body and the treasured tome? If there is, it’s up to Addie to find a killer with a motive as hidden as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous garden…

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

A Page Marked for Murder is a fun, small town cozy with not one but two mysteries within its pages. 

 

The cozy town of Greybore Harbor is shaken when a dead body is found behind the bakery. That hits close to home with Addie, as the suspect is her assistant mother. Addie does what she does and starts putting her nose to the ground and figures out what is going on. When a rare book goes missing as well, Addie can’t help to think the two are connected. 

 

Addie Grayson as a fantastic lead character. I enjoyed her way of thinking. She thinks things through and uses a good bit deductive reasoning letting her see things for what they really are. 

 

I very much enjoyed A Page Marked for Murder. Author Lauren Elliott crafted a well written mystery. Well paced and plenty of things going on to keep us guessing. Many likable characters throughout the story just add to the enjoyment of the story. Easy to read yet will keep you guessing Ms, Elliott gets a thumbs up from me.

 

 

Review: Looking for a Cowboy by Donna Grant

 

Looking for a Cowboy 

Donna Grant 

Heart of Texas Series, Book 5

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Grind by Jayne Rylon

 

Grind 

Jayne Rylon 

Powertools: The Original Crew Returns, Book 3

E-Book, 130 pages 

Happy Endings Publishing October 20, 2020

 

 

The original Powertools crew are back in a brand new series!

 

The crew has overcome enormous odds to live and love together, but can it survive being divided?

 

Devon, Neil, and James know where they’re needed most is in Middletown, working on Mike and Joe’s new construction team. Because in addition to their careers, the Powertools’ intimate bond is in jeopardy.

 

It will be up to them to find a way to strengthen it again even if it means grinding away at the past, leaving two of their members in the dust, in order to prepare for a bright future.

 

This is a standalone book set in the Powertools universe. All your favorite Hot Rods and Hot Rides characters will be making appearances as well. So come make new book boyfriends or hang out with old ones!

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Life has taken on some major changes for the Crew and in this newest installment has Kayla and Dave in the hot seat with Grind. 

 

Change is happening all around the crew and as they are trying to adapt they seem to be getting hit harder. A horrible fire has claimed Kayla’s beloved Bare Natural Resort as its own, learning herself and Dave without a home.  Kayla is not herself while dealing with the loss of her home and dream, the sting of Crew members away in Middletown has hit her hard. Kayla is the definition of calm and this series of events is on the verge of breaking this peaceful woman. Is their bond stretched too thin? Can the crew help heal some of these wounds? Is it time for a change?  Is the Grind of it all too much. 

 

Kayla and Dave are my favorites of the crew. Kayla is so centered and usually so at peace with herself. It was very hard to see her struggling the way she did. It just goes to prove that even the strongest, what seem like most centered people can even lose it. Dave is always so supportive and caring. His willingness is always swoon worthy. Kayla rides a frantic emotional ride within the pages of Grind. With the help of her devoted husband and an unwavering bond of her people, the entire crew takes another step into the next chapter of their lives. 

 

 

 

 

Review: Witching Time by Yasmine Galenorn

Witching Time

Yasmine Galenorn

The Wild Hunt Series, Book 14

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

4 Stars

The Wild Hunt is back.

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

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

Review: Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca Zanetti

Guardian’s Grace

Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protector Series, Book 12 

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

Duty—or desire?

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

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

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

4 Stars

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

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

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

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

Review: More Than Protect You by Shayla Black

 

More Than Protect You 

Shayla Black

More Than Words Series, Book 6.5

1001 Dark Nights #133

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

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

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

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

I can’t.

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

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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

Review: Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder

Joanne Fluke 

Hannah Swensen Series, book 26

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

A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery

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

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

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Review: Moments in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

 

Moments in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 3.5

ebook, 102 pages
Published September 14th 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink saga continues with a bonus romance between two strangers on a path of healing that leads to something far more.
Zia Clarkson thought she found her happily ever after, not once, but twice. Her first love is now engaged, and her second love broke more than her heart. Heart and soul bruised; she’s not looking for a relationship. Ever. Especially not with the uptight Meredith Legend who stars in her fantasies.
They promised each other one night of passion. And when the sun rises, they’ll walk away—even if they’re both lying to themselves about why.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Meredith has a great head for numbers but she feels like when it comes to love she pays bad choices. Zia thought she had found love, not once but twice and learned the hard way that love hurts you just as much as it brings happiness. Two people that have had love hurt them in the past or not looking for anything of the sort. But when an unexpected meeting and some undeniable attraction and chemistry make their presence known they both agree to one night. Ha! We all know one night is never enough. Quickly they both realize there’s more to what they’re feeling both women realize a big decision is going to have to be made.

 

I very much enjoyed Moments in Ink. Ms. Ryan hits readers with an emotional and touching tale of two women trying to heal and finding comfort, attraction and maybe even love in something neither one of them was looking for. We even get to visit with a few of our Montgomery friends making this a wonderful addition to an emotional and sexy series.

 

 

Review: Checked Out for Murder by Allison Brook

Checked Out for Murder

Allison Brook

Haunted Library Mysteries, Book 4

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

Carrie Singleton and Evelyn the ghost sleuth the slayings of a starlet and a star-crossed psychic in Agatha Award nominee Allison Brook’s fourth Haunted Library mystery.

Daphne Marriott strolls into Clover Ridge and informs librarian Carrie Singleton that she’s a psychic. But had she foreseen what fate awaited her, Daphne would have steered clear of the quaint Connecticut town. Evelyn, the library ghost, tells Carrie that there’s more to Daphne than she lets on.

The mysterious woman grew up in Clover Ridge with her no-good dad, who apparently met his end at the hands of Daphne’s brother, Billy. Still, Daphne proves a welcome distraction when Carrie’s overbearing mother hits town. Mom’s much younger husband, Tom, is in a movie that’s lensing locally, and she’s there to keep an eye on him: Tom’s costar, sultry Ilana Reingold, is also his ex-fianc�e, and there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. Soon after mingling with the moviemakers at a meet-and-greet, Daphne is found dead.

Carrie and Evelyn investigate, assisted by bushy-tailed library cat Smoky Joe. But the suspect list could overflow the library shelves. Has Billy killed another relative? Is their long-missing mother involved? Or Daphne’s mean ex-husband? Carrie’s sure she knows who committed the crime, but can she bind together the clues before the culprit Dewey-decimates the town?

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

A psychic, a ghost and a movie cast walk into a library……. Well not really walk into a library but all three are the makings of a good mystery

 

Carrie is the programs and events director for the Clover Ridge library. Her little town has a lot going on and is filled with excitement and anticipation for the movie about to be filmed.  Along with the excitement of the movie, Carrie is approached by a patron who is wanting to give a program on psychic abilities and her mother is in town as her husband is an actor in the movie. If things were already all over the place add in not one but two murders to place the icing on the cake. So to speak. Carrie can’t help but want to help find out who’s wreaking havoc in their small cozy town.

 

 

Checked Out for Murder is an engaging and fast paced read with a lot of fun characters. Carrie is a fun lead. She goes out of her way to those she cares for and admits her faults. With a little bit of luck and some ghostly help, Carrie seems to get to the bottom of what is going on. I loved Smokey Joe the cat and Evelyn the Ghost. Both played an important role to Carrie and they just add that extra to the story.  The story is well written and entertaining. The plot had layers that unfolded complexities well weaves within the story. I also love that there was a romance within the story. 

All in all I enjoy Checked Out for Murder. The Haunted Library Mysteries series is one I can see myself going back and reading previous titles.

 

 

 

 

Review: Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

Ellen Byron

A Cajun Country Mystery, Book 6

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

A delightful and fun cozy mystery with a Halloween theme great for kicking off the fall season. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was a Great distraction for a lazy day of reading.

 

Maggie is not a fan of Halloween, yet goes along with her family along with other B&B owners hosting Halloween theme weekend to help bring more business to their businesses. What should be fun and pleasant weekends turn into mayham and murder. Not to mention some appearances made by fabled, bayou creatures just to spice up the mix a little bit more. If that wasn’t enough Maggie has out of town distant relatives that are just not quite The kind of people she was expecting.  Pelican, Louisiana maybe a small town but it sure got a lot going on.

 

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was my first visit with the characters of the Cajun Country Mysteries and will not  not be my last. Not only was the story entering, the mystery kept you guessing and the plot was solid. The characters are well developed and fun. The setting is like being transported to a different place.  With everything that’s going on in the world right now I feel it’s important for myself to be able to get lost in a book. Author Ellen Byron does just that. I felt like I was right in the bayou with Crozets. The only thing missing was the delectable food that we read about through the pages of this entertaining book.