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Review: Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs

Lavender Blue Murder

Laura Childs

A Tea Shop Mystery, Book 21

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Berkley

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Theodosia was an interesting character that is thoroughly enjoyable. She has personality for days and is easily able to capture the reader’s attention. She has heart and spunk. She has a keen eye and has learned how to ask the right questions. Theodosia is not your average southern lady. And I truly love that about her. She has charm and elegance yet isn’t afraid to jump in and get dirty when she has to.

Lavender Blue Murder was a fun and entertaining mystery. From the opening pages of the shooting party, to two crazy tragedies happening within hours, to the formalities followed when serving tea, to the lavish tea parties themselves and A tea shop owner solving a murder mystery. Laura Childs has something amazing going on with this series. From the British traditions of hunting and shooting and the tea services, to the lavish descriptions of Charleston, one could easily feel like they are visiting a very different place and not reading the pages of a book.

As with any long running series a reader can expect to see bonds between characters. I loved Theodosia, Drayton and Haley. You can tell by their interactions that they go way beyond employee and boss. The friendship they Cher is a highlight of the book. They are fun characters thus making fun times. I Love that I came in at book number 21 in the series and didn’t feel like I missed anything didn’t get a recap of 20 other books in the process.

Lavender Blue Murder is my first adventure into Laura Child’s Tea Shop mysteries and will not be my last. With more than a helping of Southern charm, a well plotted mystery and a cast of characters that keep everything interesting.

ARC Review: Spun Out by Lorelei James

Spun Out

Lorelei James

Blacktop Cowboys Series, Book 10

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Berkley Books

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James returns for another wild ride in Wyoming with a new Blacktop Cowboys(R) novel.

Years in the Army equipped Bailey Masterson for many things: target shooting, rappelling off cliffs, dodging grenades. She’s lived through horrors that still give her nightmares. But nothing in Bailey’s life-or-death training prepared her for caring for the tiny terror that is five-year-old Olivia Hale. Or how to control her raging attraction to Olivia’s father, Streeter, the rugged, green-eyed cattle rancher who undermines her every move even when he stars in her dreams.

Streeter Hale has room for only two things in his life: his daughter and his job. He doesn’t date. He doesn’t get attached. Not anymore. So not only is Streeter stunned by Olivia’s improved behavior after just a few days with Bailey, he’s downright floored by his immediate attraction to the woman. But with secrets in her eyes and a body that doesn’t quit, Streeter begins to worry that Bailey Masterson might just be the one woman to heal his fractured family and broken heart.

One thing’s for sure–these two wrecked souls are spinning out of control as they desperately try not to fall in love…

 

 

 

5 Stars

 

Sexy, heartfelt and deep with that touch of humor that only Ms. James can deliver.

Bailey Masterson is one of those characters that I allowed myself to have preconceived ideas about who and what she was through previous books in the series. Holy crap was I wrong. Bailey has more layers than I could have guessed. She an incredibly strong woman yet carry many complexities that she’s really good at keeping on the down low. Returning to Muddy Gap to figure out the next step in her life while, Bailey hinds herself twisted in more ways than one with a bunch of out of control ranch kids and a green eyed cowboy that makes her heart skip a beat.

Four and a half years ago Streeter Hale’s life changed forever. Leaving for work like any other day and returning to find high school sweetheart wife committed suicide and his six month old baby girl screaming her head off. Questions, anger, sadness and grief leave a once stable man on shaky ground. Add in his wonderful brother and father that cut him out their family business. Streeter finds himself at the Split Rock Ranch, in the company of his younger brother and begins to build a new normal for his daughter and himself. In all accounts, Streeter should be broke beyond broken, but for his little girl he keeps on keeping on. When his hand full of a daughter makes a little commotion the Split Rock, Streeters blood starts to boil and not in the mad at sort.

Ms. James brings everything and more with Spun Out. Streeter and Bailey are both dealing with baggage on their shoulders but that does nothing to lessen the attraction and chemistry they are feeling. There’s nothing wrong with a summer fling, right? When the fling turns into something more, that’s where the story gets good. Bailey’s spunkiness and take charge attitude along with Streeter’s dirty mind yet almost innocent way to him, turns a lust filled fling into something more than either one was looking for. Spun Out is emotional, deep, heartfelt and sexy. Ms. James touches upon hard emotional and physical issues with class and elegance. Not leaving out any of the dirty details that make this not only entertaining, but an emotionally satisfying story as well. Giving the reader the smile or tear just where each was needed.

Being the tenth book in the Blacktop Cowboy Series, Spun Out is fresh, refreshing and right on point with what I want in my reading. Streeter and Bailey’s journey is a roller coaster ride of emotions. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, and everything in between. Spun Out totally get 5 stars from me.