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Review: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

Our Italian Summer

Jennifer Probst

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by Berkley Books

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst comes a new women’s fiction novel featuring three generations of Ferrari women who need to heal the broken pieces of their lives…and one trip of a lifetime through Italy.

Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother’s wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. . . .

Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.

Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

A spectacular story…

 

Three generations of women who love each other dearly yet don’t always see eye to eye. Francesca- a workaholic who hardly has time for herself yet alone her family. Allegra who is in those pivotal years between teenager and adult trying to figure out who she is and what she wants in life. She knows she doesn’t wanna be like her mother. Sophia hates seeing her girls suffer and yet holds a secret of her own. She knows she must take action before it’s too late and her family falls apart. The trip of a lifetime. A tour of Italy. Each of the women agree to go but each with a different reason why.  Little did they know their lives would change so much in one short month.  

 

Through beautiful cities, amazing food, breathtaking churches, small villages and a handful of extraordinary people three women, three generations found a way to come together. To solidify a bond that was deeper than they realize they had.  Yes, there were some rocky moments and ugly words were uttered yet they each found a part of themselves through their Italian Summer journey.  Something life changing that allowed each of them to get outside of their own heads and figure out something deep within themselves. In the process it allowed a grandmother, a mother and a daughter to bond in a way that would not have seemed feasible just weeks prior. 

 

I loved Our Italian Summer.  A fantastic story of family, love and adventure.  Learning to let go and being willing to take a chance. Knowing it ok to have some fun and it’s ok to shed tears when needed. Jennifer Probst hits you in all the right spots with Our Italian Summer.  It was not just a story, but a journey that me completely rooting for these women to find their happiness. 

 

 

Review: Everspell by Donna Grant

Everspell 

Donna Grant

The Kindred Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition
Published December 21st 2020 by DL Grant, LLC

 

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant “skillfully melds history and legend” (RT Book Reviews) in a brand new series – The Kindred.

To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…

Runa is used to mysteries. Fortunately, she’s skilled at using those things to her advantage. Until some truths about her past are revealed, and her world is shaken to its very core. Now, she has her sights set on finding and saving the family she’s never known. What wasn’t in her plans is the sexy, mysterious stranger who seems to find her over and over, taking her breath every time.

All his life, Brom knew he’d eventually have to find the Varroki and take his birthright. Then a witch lays out a nearly impossible choice before him, and Brom decides to follow his heart. The beautiful and enigmatic female he’s drawn to is more than captivating. She makes him want to reveal all his secrets. But doing so could be the difference between life and death—for both of them. Especially in the battle between good and evil where all of the relics of the First Witch are in play—and everyone has a hidden agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Soulmates, secrets and magic… it’s epic! 

 

Runa is a loner. A survivor, warrior and a woman who knows how to take care of herself. Runa walks a thin line with her feet dangling on both sides of the line and holds her secrets deep. She’s someone I definitely wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of her sword but yet hope she would join in on my side of the battle. Just learning of family Runa didn’t believe she had any longer, her world is shaken just a bit. Runa is now on a mission when an unexpected man drops into her world and never leaves her mind. 

 

Brom chooses to be a loner because he doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. He dreams of a woman he has yet to meet but feels the overwhelming pull to find her. Brom hides his true nature of what he is at the moment he needs the woman he sees in his dreams. He knows he can feel something so much more and knows deep inside that he can be himself with her. There Is much more to her and them than the lady in his dreams.

 

Everspell was epic in so many ways. From the moment Runa and Brom meet to the struggle they face, together and apart, to the battles they face in the end are epic.  I knew I was walking into a well established series but let me say the world building it top notch. I feel like I was truly carried away to another world. The characters are confident and strong. Willing to fight to the end and very likable. The magical element was exciting and in your face. The romance between Runa and Brom was fast and furious but fate has a way of doing that. They fought for their lives and their passion. That is a winner in my book. I very much enjoyed Everspell. 

 

 

 

Review: Bailed Out by Rebecca Zanetti

 

Bailed Out 

Rebecca Zanetti

The Anna Albertine File, Book 2 

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 342 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2020 by RAZ INK LLC

 

The Past Never Stays Buried

Anna Albertini is settling into a routine while ignoring the fact that the blue-eyed Irishman she’d allowed into her bed has up and disappeared on her. Two weeks without a phone call is no big deal, but still. With her hottie Italian boss goofing up the prosecuting attorney’s office, she at least has something to fix. Until she appears in court, across from her sister Tessa’s dirtbag ex. Then she has a mission.

Unfortunately, Anna isn’t the only person who wants the ex put behind bars…or in the ground. Which is not a problem until she and a local cop find the ex-boyfriend deader than dead…with both her sister and Aiden standing over the body.

As a prosecuting attorney, it’s Anna’s job to build a case against Tessa and Aiden. As a sister, it’s SO her job to get Tess out of this mess. As Aiden’s…what? Lover—girlfriend—friend from the past—it’s Anna’s job to figure out who the heck he really is. She has to dig out the truth, regardless of her ambitious boss or the cranky cop trying to thwart her every move. Sometimes a woman has to take matters into her own hands, regardless of the consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars 

 

 

Anna Albertini is a laugh out loud riot.

 

Bail Out is one of those books that one you start reading you can’t put down. Picking up where Disorderly Conduct left off and find Anna thrown into predicaments, some beyond her control. When the bad boy of a man that is a forerunner in Anna’s mind and her sister are found together over the dead body of said sisters ex, the problems have just begun. The fact that Anna is a Prosecutor, has a very large family in their own way of doing things and a heart bigger than she knows what to do with, it’s just the beginning of this crazy and suspenseful tale. 

 

Anna Albertini is like a danger magnet with a cloud of chaos not too far behind. Smart, honest and a hysterical riot. I truly love Anna. Her quick wit, loyalty and big heart make Anna go to great lengths to find the truth. The thoughts that go through Anna’s head make me bust out laughing. Anna is not the type of person that is going to wait for something to get done, she will get it done.  Even if she has to put herself into the line of fire. She is a unique individual and I can’t help but wish I could truly have this woman as a friend.  

 

Wow, there is nothing I can say that’s truly going to express how much I enjoyed this book. Bailed Out is overwhelming in such a good way. The story grabs you, pulls you in and keeps you there from beginning to end. As the layers to the characters unfold it gives this story so much more. The danger and suspense one thing but the romantic side it’s quite another. Anna is a passionate person by nature and to see the chemistry explode between her and Aiden is quite sizzling. Changes happen, truths are revealed and through all the danger Anna will have everyone laughing along the way. Rebecca Zanetti rocked this one hard.

Review: From Our First by Carrie Ann Ryan

From Our First

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Promise Me Series, Book 4

ebook
Published December 8th 2020

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes her steamy contemporary stand-alone series with a secret that no one saw coming.
Nate Brady and Myra West have been keeping a secret, though not just from their group—also from each other. Getting married when they were barely adults wasn’t in the cards when they made their plans for their future. Divorcing one another amidst pain and heartbreak wasn’t either.
Years have passed, wounds have scabbed over and scarred, but their anger remains.
If the two can open themselves to the impossible, they might be able to take that second chance. Only they’ll also have to fight their fears, the lies between them, and the desire they thought long gone.
Except they aren’t alone in their secrets, and if they aren’t careful, they may just be taking them to their graves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

So many secrets and years of denial and hurt but in the end love found its way back. Nate and Myra have had this tension between them from the moment we first encountered them together. What that tension was, left this reader with many questions about the two of them. From Our First, the last book in the Promise Me series, gives us the emotional journey of Nate and Myra’s story. Married young, torn apart and harboring anger towards one another. Years have passed and their feelings towards each other are still at extreme levels. With their closest friends and family coupling off it’s near impossible for the two of them to be a part. Myra and Nate call a truce between them on behalf of their friend. As the secrets are coming to light, there is so much more than hate for Myra and Nate. They just have to be willing to make the jump. Wow! Second chances and love to hate to love. From Our First a wonderful conclusion to the Promise Me series. Nate and Myra truly truly love one another yet they had A hard journey to get there. Lots of secrets, emotions all over the place, a bit of suspense and a lot of love. These may be the two most stubborn characters. Both being so strong willed yet they prove to each other time and time again they do truly love one another.

 

Review: Whisky and Wishes by Donna Grant

 

Whisky and Wishes 

Donna Grant 

Dark KIngs Series, Book 18.5

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: December 7th 2020

Return to New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s Dark King world for a special holiday novella.

Finally free of the dangers surrounding him and the burden of pining after his mate, the King of Dragon Kings is ready for some peace—time to enjoy the woman he loves without interruption. Sure, the matter of accessing the clans across the Dragon Bridge still looms, as does the ultimate Fate of Con and his brethren. But for now, Con plans to enjoy the people he loves and celebrate the holidays with those closest to him. Why borrow from tomorrow’s problems? When the time comes to confront what’s next, they will do it. Together.

4 Stars

When the enemy is defeated we take a breath….

The King of the Dragon Kings finally finds a moment of peace that has been out of reach for so long. With no enemies knocking on the door Con and his long awaited mate Rhi. A time of talking, of love and of reflection. A meaning look at their past and plans for the future. With the holidays approaching and famil returning home, Con and Rhi give readers a deep looking into who they are with their passion, words and actions. 

Whisky and Wishes is a feel good holiday tale. A homecoming, a gathering of friends and loved ones and a glimpse of what’s to come. Donna Grant just made me love that Dragon King even more. A feel good story with a bit of emotions and heavy on the love. 

Review: Bayou Dreaming by Lexi Blake

Bayou Dreaming 

Lexi Blake 

Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 3 

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2020 by Berkley

 

New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake’s heartfelt contemporary romance set in Louisiana’s Butterfly Bayou.

Roxanne King left the big city looking for a simpler life, but after years of proving herself on a SWAT team in New York City, being deputy in a sleepy Louisiana parish is something of an adjustment. She’s settling in, but she knows she made some mistakes in the beginning–Zep Guidry being the worst of them. Zep drifts through life on his looks and Cajun charm. Roxie learned the hard way he’s not for her.

Zep is a man who knows what he wants, and what he wants is Roxie. He’s just not sure how to get her. They spent one hot night together a year before and now all the lovely deputy seems interested in doing to him is arresting him. He’s not used to a woman he can’t charm, but Roxie seems immune. He’s determined to win her back by any means necessary. Including becoming the kind of man she desires.

And when Roxie’s past comes calling, it might be the opportunity Zep needs to show Roxie that the town bad boy might just be the man of her dreams.

 

 

4.5 Stars

Lexi Blake knows how to make you fall in love.

Bayou Dreaming is a fun small town romance with all the bells and whistles. Towns folks in everyone’s business, gossip is almost like news, a few folks have lost more than a few marbles, yet everything is not as it seems.

Zep has given the town the perception that he has one way when he is really so much more than what he lets people see. One of those people you truly don’t judge a book by the cover. With a heart as big as a Bayou itself and caring kindness that will hit you from left field. The man has more passion and compassion that you could ever imagine. I was intrigued with him from the first book of the series and now I think I might actually be in love with Zep.

Roxie is new to small town life but she is making it her new home. The newest deputy to the Butterfly Bayou has a story that comes with her. It’s smart and courageous. A woman willing to stand up for herself but has a hard time giving into what she wants.

I loved Bayou Dreaming. Zep’s bad boy reputation has left a lasting impression on Deputy Roxie. I loved their playful banter. One night together changes them both. Roxie soon learns there is way more Zep than she realizes. Roxie’s use of her authority with Zep is as cute as it is funny. The two are a great match, their chemistry is incredible and their passion is pure. Bayou Dreaming is a captivating read with amazing romance, some colorful characters. Lexi Blake captures readers once again with an entertaining and intriguing story with a crazy little town that just about anything could happen, and sometimes does.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Christmas Embrace by Kym Grosso

Christmas Embrace 

Kym Grosso 

The Immortals Of New Orleans Series, Book  11

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 17th 2020

 

 

A supernatural wedding brings everyone together during the holidays. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas for Detective Sydney Willows. She finds solace in the arms of her sexy vampire but with a fragile heart, not quite mended, she’s afraid to commit to an eternity. After she rescues an abandoned child and is then forced to give him away, she’s determined to fight for the family she never knew she wanted.

Vampire Kade Issacson never expected to have a baby but soon realizes what’s been missing in his life. After he’s forced to return the abandoned wolf pup to the pack, the child’s mother is found murdered in an alley. Vowing to protect the boy, Kade fights for him, swearing he’ll never give him back again.

Determined to win Sydney’s heart and her hand, Kade plans a surprise for his reluctant detective. Convinced their souls are destined for an eternal future, will he convince her to say yes once and for all?

Falling in love. Second chances. A new nemesis arises. Find out who’s naughty and nice as the Immortals of New Orleans conjure up Christmas magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars 

 

Powerful, sexy and emotional.  

 

Christmas Embrace is a wonderful little gift for long time readers of the Immortals of New Orleans Series. Ms. Grosso has wowed this reader once again. 

 

While Christmas Embrace is focused on Sydney and Kade, it’s more like a reunion of characters we have come to love throughout the series. Sydney has hit a rough spot and Kade has figured out what he wants in life. The two are not seeing quite eye to eye at the moment.  Kade makes a plan to show Sydney just what they have and what they could be. 

 

Christmas Embrace was fantastic. What a story!! So much packed into this novella. Danger, magic and passion. An emotional and healing journey for Sydney and Kade but also a renewal of their love. A reminder of how tight the bonds of friendship are and family is more than blood.  No matter what comes for the Immortals, they will always stand their ground. Christmas Embrace is filled with holiday cheer, a few life changing events, dangerous enemies and a truly blessing of a gift. Ms. Grosso’s Immortals of New Orleans Series is paranormal romance at its best. Unique and original, with characters you can’t help but to fall in love with. Christmas Embrace satisfies your pallet but leaves you wanting more.

 

 

Review: Without a Brew by Ellie Alexander

Without a Brew

Ellie Alexander

Sloan Krause Series, Book 4

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 10th 2020 by Minotaur Books

Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into a murderous winter wonderland in another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander, Without a Brew.

It’s winter in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, which for local brewmaster Sloan Krause means lots of layers, pine and citrus-flavored craft beers, and getting the new guest rooms at Nitro into pristine condition before visitors flood in for IceFest—a local tradition filled with fireworks, ice carving, and winter games of all varieties. But Sloan and her boss Garrett quickly learn that being brewkeepers turned innkeepers may not be as idyllic as it sounded.

While one couple staying with them seems completely smitten, a flashy group arrives in the evening demanding rooms. Sloan and Garrett are less than impressed, but agree to rent to them anyway. The night takes a turn when brewery patron Liv Paxton finishes her frothy pint and, with no previous plan for an overnight stay in Leavenworth, eagerly takes Sloan up on the offer of sanctuary from the snow—until she has a strange run in with some locals and the other guests. Sloan could be imagining things, but when Liv’s room is found trashed the next morning, a hateful message painted on her car, and Liv herself is nowhere to be found, Sloan is convinced another mystery is brewing. With many of the potential suspects hunkering down under Nitro’s roof, she knows her co-workers and friends won’t be safe until she serves up the killer a hoppy pint of justice.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Without a Brew is a fun and unique cozy mystery that really makes you want to try a craft beer. Even for a non beer drinker.

Without a Brew is my first Sloan Krause and will not be my last. The Bavarian Village Ice festival is all but underway and Nitro is doing a soft open for their B&B tasting experience! Sloan and her boss Garrett learn quickly that innkeeping and beer brewing may not go hand in hand. Nitro’s soft open turns into a full house when a small group has a messed up reservation and a lone woman seek shelter from the cold. Fun in the snow and amazing beer tasting is what should be had but when a body turns up things are not as they seem. Too many suspects and a lot of unanswered questions layer this mystery. Sloan weaves her way through a trail of clues she seems compelled to follow.

Without a Brew was a fantastic cozy mystery. I really enjoyed Sloan‘s character. She’s hard-working and independent. A caring and loyal woman who has seen a hard life. Her heart has been broken by someone she loved but yet she’s picking up the pieces and trying to live on with life. She did a lot of growing in just one book and I find that thoroughly impressive on the authors part. As someone who is just picking up a book within the series and able to understand the challenges that Sloan faces and understand them like they were just introduced in this book is a higher accomplishment in my book. The mystery was interesting and impressive how it came about and with the end results were. I also thoroughly enjoyed this little town. As someone who really doesn’t like the cold or beer for that matter I found both aspects of this book to be truly Intercal parts of the story and we’re interesting to someone who has not found an interest before.

Without a Brew was a page turning mystery that was completely entertaining and thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to go back to the beginning of the series and find out all the wonderful things I’ve missed about this incredibly charming and cozy little town.

 

 

 

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.