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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: A Fatal Faberge by Ellery Adama and Parker Rigg

 

A Fatal Faberge

Ellery Adams 

Parker Riggs

Antiques & Collectibles Series, Book 8

185 pages

Beyond the Page (February 2, 2020)

 

 

A new book in the Antiques & Collectibles mystery series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ellery Adams and Parker Riggs!

In the world of antiques and collectibles, it helps to have a sharp eye for quality, a good ear for gossip, and a nose for murder . . .

In the grips of a cold and drab autumn, Collector’s Weekly reporter Molly Appleby is thrilled to be attending a festive black-tie fundraiser hosted by the very private Natasha Gordon, an heiress known for her charitable events and aversion to the limelight. It’s Molly first chance to see the stunning interior of the Gordon estate, but when a rare book dealer is pushed from a high window to his death, she’s confronted with a sight that’s become all too common for her. And despite the fact that the crude and pompous victim was roundly disliked by all who knew him and that any number of people may have wanted him dead, Molly agrees to look into the murder for his surviving son.

As the police go about their steady business of interviewing the dozens of people in attendance that night, Molly decides to look closer to home and begins questioning the staff and anyone else connected to the estate and the victim. More and more stories of the dead man’s troubled life and marriage begin to emerge, including a potentially lucrative deal that’s gone bust and an old Gordon family heirloom that’s gone missing—a rare jeweled Fabergé egg once owned by the Empress Alexandra of Russia.

When clues to the murderer’s identity begin to accumulate, so too do the threats to Molly, and she knows she’s getting close to the truth. But with a secret family history and an untold amount of money on the line, Molly knows she’ll need to tread carefully before she becomes the latest victim of a killer trying to cover their tracks . . .

“A wonderfully written, captivating cozy novel with likeable main characters and an interesting plot!” —Goodreads review on A Treacherous Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

A new to me series that delivered a very enjoyable cozy mystery. A Fatal Faberge is the eighth book in the Antiques and Collectible series by Parker Riggs and Ellery Adams. A murder mystery filled will twist and deception that sucks you in from the get go.

In this little Vermont town amateur sleuth Molly has given herself a reputation of being able to solve cases. She is like a cat, and curiosity gets the best of her. Sometimes even too much for her own good. She’s smart and witty with a great personality. I love the little nudges Molly‘s husband Matt, and her mother, give her to continue to get to the bottom of the mystery. Having the ear of the local detective is not a bad thing either.

A Fatal Fabergé is an engaging and enjoyable cozy read. A twisting plot that keeps you going as the secrets unhold. For a little Vermont town and an antiques writer things sure get shaken up in A Fatal Fabergé.

 

Review: In Cold Chamomile By Joy Avon

 

In Cold Chamomile 

Joy Avon

A Tea and Read Mystery, Book 3 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Just in time for the holidays, In Cold Chamomile is sure to be a cupid’s arrow aimed straight for your bookshelf.

Tea party organizer Callie Aspen learns that Cupid’s arrows can be deadly when a Valentine’s Day soiree ends in murder.

Callie Aspen can’t think of a more appropriate place to spend Valentine’s Day than her adopted hometown of Heart’s Harbor, Maine. When she’s not helping out at Book Tea, her great-aunt Iphy’s vintage tearoom, Callie’s adorning Haywood Hall with hearts and roses for the big Valentine’s event, where townspeople will fall in love with sweet treats, heartwarming music, and delightful books. But tension is brewing: The librarian argues with the expert who is on hand to appraise precious volumes. And Iphy is shocked to recognize the baritone who’s slated to sing at the event as an old acquaintance–one she’d hoped she’d never meet again. And then, when a dead body is discovered, the stirring spoon of suspicion points at the many people who had reasons to want the victim dead.

When Iphy’s old acquaintance draws the attention of Deputy Ace Falk, Callie finds herself in a spot. Ace, as usual, doesn’t want Callie involved, but how can she ignore Iphy’s anguish over the fate of a man she cares for more than she will admit? Bringing the killer to justice may endanger Callie’s budding relationship with Ace–and, quite possibly, her own life.

Callie and the Book Tea crew may think they have this case in the bag, but un-kettling truths are yet to be decanted.

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

 

Valentine’s Day brings more than hearts and roses when Callie finds herself steeping in a murder happens during a booktastic charity even.

Callie Aspen is unique in a few ways. She’s got a knack for getting things out of people yet you can tell there are times she feels guilty for digging in deeper than she should. Even drives her cop of a boyfriend batty with her sleuth thing. I personally just think he’s jealous because Callie is good at what she does. I liked how Callie would cut the conversation and excuse herself when she knew she was crossing the line yet hightailed it out of there before she did. In Cold Chamomile brings many changes in her life, along with a murder Callie can’t helped to be wrapped up in.

In Cold Chamomile is a Multi layered cozy mystery with a romance or two added in. Well develop characters with a vast array of personalities, charm and quarks that make them more relatable and fun. Joy Avon twisted and turned the plot, keeping readers guessing. While I had an idea of who, the why caught me by surprise. Callie and Iphy are a force, whether it be good or bad, these women will make you laugh. In Cold Chamomile is my first read of the A Tea and Read Mystery series and I felt like I was walking into a friend’s house for tea and entertainment. The characters definitely drive the story while the layered plot keeps pages flying.

 

 

Review: Forever Strong by Piper J. Drake

 

Forever Strong

Piper J. Drake

True Heroes Series, Book 6

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Forever

 

On the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, not all is paradise in this high-stakes, action-packed romantic suspense.

He’ll risk his life for her . . . but will he risk his heart?
Jiang Ying Yue assumed her kidnapping was random, that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all, who would want to harm her? But then her rescuer—a charismatic former soldier who takes her breath away—uncovers a traitor in her father’s organization. Now, Ying Yue realizes that she’s become a pawn in a dangerous game, and her kidnapper won’t be satisfied until she disappears for good.

Zu Anyanwu’s work with Search and Protect and his canine partner Buck have always been his first priority . . . until he’s tasked with keeping Ying Yue safe. To him, the brave and resilient investment expert is more than just another client. But with danger closing in, Zu can’t let his emotions get in the way of the most important job he’s ever had—protecting the woman he loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Ying Yue is a woman I would want as my friend. Kind, honest, willing and able. She will go above and beyond for those she cares for and will not just take an answer at face value. Ying Yue is not afraid to ask questions. Wisdom and strength are come in layers for this beautiful woman. For a woman who has been through one of the most terrifying things you could possibly imagine, she knows when to keep her witts and knows when it’s safe to break down.

 

Zu Anyanwu is a man of few words and a lot of purpose. Owner and founder of Search and Protect, Zu takes pride in his job and his ability to focus. Along with his canine partner, Buck, they put their lives on the line for the safety of others. Zu is a bit of a mystery man, purposefully to keep his head in the game at all times.

 

Piper J. Drake starts Forever Strong with a blaze of action that continues until the very last pages. Ying Yue and Zu make on fine pair. From the moment of meeting, in the most terrifying of times, a connection sparked and became something deeper in a blink of an eye. Trust was gained and gave out of fear and need, that need became a beautiful bond formed with life shattering chaos coming from all sides. Zu and Ying Yue’s  passion is tender, deep and intimate giving a softness to the harsh reality around them. Ms. Drake flawlessly combined a fast paced, high action, dangerous tale with amazing characters and a tender romance leaving this reader completely satisfied.

 

Review: Hero’s Haven by Rebecca Zanetti

Hero’s Haven
Rebecca Zanetti
Dark Protectors Series, Book 11
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Lyrical Press

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch?  But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Quade Kayrs has already suffered a lifetime of pain and torture. Completely isolated, he kept his sanity  thanks to one beautiful female, a vision with kind emerald eyes. In the end, her soft voice led him out of hell. Now, naked and alone, he’s in a strange world that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind. All he knows is Haven.  All he wants is Haven.  His final mission? To protect her from the evil hunting them both—whether she likes it or not . . .

 

 

4 Stars

 

Quade Kayrs has spent more than a few lifetimes living and dying in pure hell. The only thing that seems to keep him going are those few moments, those glimpses of a beautiful woman invading his realm.  Haven Daly thinks she’s crazy but unique is a more appropriate way to describe her. A fiercely independent woman, an amazing artist and a girl on the run.

 

Driven by visions and a pull Haven and Quade start the wheels of motion on something that makes epic look small.  Through an action packed, fast paced, dangerous story Haven and Quade build a sexual tension that practically just off the pages. The banter between these two is top notch.  Their chemistry is intense as is everything else going on in the book. The depths they easily went to for one another made every bit of craziness so worth.

 

Hero’s Haven is a true on the edge of your seat read. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading until I was done.  Strong characters and fabulous world building are just the start of why I enjoyed. The action scenes are spot on and engaging. And let’s just say those hot moments are definitely on fire. Ms. Zanetti kept Haven and Quade’s story moving yet nothing felt rushed or unnatural for the story. A true heart pounding, blood pumping read.

 

 

Review: Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett

 

Murder Ink 

Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

Victoria Square Mystery Series, Book 6 

Published December 31, 2019

Berkley Books, 304 pages

 

 

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

When a tattoo shop plans to open on Victoria Square it shakes up more than the merchants view of what business should be on the square. When the owner of said tattoo shop dies one of their own is the prime suspect.

 

Katie is the owner of Artisans Alley and Tealicious as well as president of the Victoria Square Merchants Association. She is a strong woman, not intimidated and an amazing entrepreneur.  Katie finds herself in the middle of murder, trying to help a friend, playing detective and trying not to second guess everything she sees. There were moments when I thought Katie was overreacting and other when I thought, girl you got this together.

 

Murder Ink is my first read in the Victoria Square and an enjoyable one. It did take me to be to catch up with who was who and how they all worked together but I got it. I enjoyed the mystery that kept me guessing. I’m a romance reader first and foremost so Katie and Andy’s romance and squabbles were a bonus to this read. The writing style of Lorraine Bartlett is fun and keeps the pages turning. I was able to feel like I was right at home with these characters even though this was my first read of the series.

Review: Alpha’s Promise by Rebecca Zanetti

Alpha’s Promise

Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors Series, Book 10

Lyrical Press, Published June 25, 2019

To hell and back . . .

Though he has vampire, demon, and Viking blood rushing through his veins, Ivar Kjeidsen’s soul-crushing trip to hell broke him in ways he can barely fathom.  One vow keeps the deadly immortal standing: To rescue the vampire brother who had sacrificed freedom for him.  To do that, Ivar needs the help of a brilliant physicist with wary brown eyes, fierce brilliance, and skin that’s way too soft.

Dr. Promise Williams understands the underpinnings of the universe but has never figured out the human beings inhabiting it.   Her function is to think—and not feel—until she’s touched by a vampire who’s nowhere near human. The primal hunger in his eyes awakens feelings in her that defy calculation. As she shows him the way to step between worlds, he brands her with a pleasure that could last more than a lifetime . . .

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Ivan Kjeidsen make the average person shake in their shoes. He is a vampire-demon hybrid after all. Having seen hell with his own eyes leaves Ivan not quite right. He may be damaged in ways but not broken. Ivan made a promise, that is his driving force. The man is primal and determined. Not to mention sexy and hard headed, like many of the alpha that we love. Ivan sets himself on a mission to save a friend and in turn gets blindsided by something he didn’t see coming.

Promise Williams trusts numbers and science. Facts, that can be explained and seen. It’s a matter of logic. She was raised not to feel only to think. Mathematics is her world. A very lonely kind of world.  Promise is beyond smart. Dr. Williams is an extremely talented physicist who just may hold the knowledge to be able to travel to worlds not her own. Promise is a bit quirky and takes some time to get used to, however in the end I truly enjoyed her character.  Don’t let the smarts fool you Dr. Williams has some sass and spunk.

Ms. Zanetti rocked it hard with Alpha’s Promise. Excellent world building, great story, intricate plot and deep characters. Promise and Ivan get pushed into each other’s worlds and get more than their asking for. A talent physicist teaming up with a vampire-demon hybrid who on a mission to keep a promise and protect something precious.  I very much enjoyed the banter between these two and the way the played to each other strength. They captivated this reader! Now I would like to note that I have not read every book in this series, but I was able to follow along with the overall plot of the series fairly well. I will also say I could tell I was I miss out on something but that didn’t take away from the story of Alpha’s Promise. It just makes me want to go back to the beginning of the series and learn more of this world and the interesting characters within it.

People will think I’m crazy when I say I have not read many books by Ms. Zanetti.  Yes, I know. I’m smashing myself on this one. Paranormal is what brought me into the world that is Romance reading. Ms. Zanetti checks off everything I love in a paranormal while delivering a story that keep you going until the end. Alpha’s Promise is a fantastic read that I highly recommended.

Netgalley provided an ARC for an honest review.

 

 

Review: Trouble by Avery Flynn

Trouble

Avery Flynn

Bad Boy Homecoming Series, Book

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 159 pages
 
Expected publication: June 27th 2017 by Avery Flynn

 

 

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new romance from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn.

Brains and a badass attitude. That’s all troublemaker Leah Camacho took with her when she left Catfish Creek. She’d promised herself she’d never go back, but when the invite to her tenth high school reunion arrived along with the chance to show everyone who doubted her what a success she’s made of herself, she couldn’t resist. However, when she discovers a 15-carat, stolen diamond in her rental car’s glove box, there’s only one man she can turn to for help—the same sexy, stubborn domineering man who’d smashed her heart all those years ago.

Sheriff Drew Jackson knew a long time ago that Leah Camacho was nothing but trouble and has sworn to never get caught up in her again—no matter how damn sexy she is or how badly he’d failed to forget her. But, when the woman who test drove his heart right into a concrete wall rolls into Catfish Creek with some serious bad guys on her tail, it’s up to him to keep her safe—even if that means guarding her hot bod 24/7 without giving into temptation or losing his mind.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars
Sexy, sassy and a whole lot of trouble.
Avery Flynn’s contribution to the Bad Boy Homecoming Series is the best kind of trouble.

Drew is Mr. Law and Order, Leah is the Geeky girl gone bad. Two people who have gotten under each other’s skin for years get a second chance at a high school reunion.
Personality, sassiness and hot passion are weaved together with some action and laugh out loud moments. I loved Leah. She’s bold and sassy. Even in the face of danger, she does it with her own style. I really enjoyed her. Drew made my heart beat just a bit fast. Both characters were extremely well written and I so enjoyed their tension, banter and passion.
A quickie read that will leaving you wanting some trouble of your own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARC Review: Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn

 

Souljacker

Yasmine Galenorn

Lily Bound Series, Book 1

Paperback, 292 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Diversion Books

 

 

Lily O’Connell, a succubus, owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client is murdered in her house, a patch of skin missing from his chest, she knows there’s something evil afoot. Then comes the news that the Souljacker—a tattoo-artist-turned-vampire—has escaped from an institution for criminally deranged Supernaturals. And he’s hunting and killing everyone he has ever inked.

With one of the Souljacker’s tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to help her track down the vampire before he finds her and her friends. But Lily didn’t plan to fall for Archer. And as the old tales say—a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim.

 

 

4.5 Stars

Souljacker is a fantastic beginning to what looks to be a great new urban fantasy series.

 

Lily is smart, snarky and a succubus. She’s fun and feisty. Lily runs Lily Bound. A salon that will cater to clients and in return Lily is able to feed on the chi she needs without harming.  I liked Lily. There is a uniqueness to her that I enjoyed.  Her personality shines, she cares deeply and is willing to take on the would. Lily is challenged from the first pages of the book, causing exciting and unexpected changes in her life.

 

One of things that I love about Ms. Galenorn’s work is her world building. The settle and atmosphere of the story are like a character themselves.  Rich details allow the reader to perfectly   visualize the world in which they have stepped into. Ms. Galenorn’s personal touch to myth and legend adds to a creative and unique feel to the story. Secondary characters play just as important of a role to the story as do the primary. There’s a vast array of personality and paranormal creatures to touch on everyone’s tastes.  Not to mention readers do get some pretty steamy naughtiness as an added bonus.

 

I really enjoyed Souljacker. Ms. Galenorn offers up something a bit different and thoroughly enjoyable.  The cast of characters make the story.  ghosts, satyrs, witches and vamps. That’s just the beginning. Souljacker is a fast moving read. Darker in nature with some funny moments.  If you’re looking for something a bit different in a paranormal I highly recommend Souljacker.

 

A copy of this title was provided for review.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Too Wild To Tame by Tessa Bailey

tameToo Wild To Tame

Tessa Bailey

Romancing the Clarksons series, Book 2

Paperback, 336 pages

Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Forever
(first published September 6th 2016)

Sometimes you just can’t resist playing with fire . . .

By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country’s most powerful senator, he’ll have to keep his eye on the prize. That’s easier said than done when he meets the senator’s daughter, who’s wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.

Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron’s presence reminds her of a past she’d rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it’s the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it’s because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle . . .

review
 4 Stars

Aaron is a self-proclaimed manipulator, self-assured, smooth talking politician. The man is a player. All about the one night stands, no strings attached. The less feelings involved in the matter the better.  This dirty talking, looks too good in a suit man has some deep emotion  lying behind his get lost in eyes.  Aaron is a complex man, as the layers begin to shed I realized that Aaron is a completely different man than I perceived him to be.
Grace is a very equine and quirky character. She’s the black sheep of a family in the political spotlight.  Grace suffered a horrific tragedy during her teens, that caused her to vow to live life to the fullest. To be true herself. Grace is a wild, free spirit that I came to really enjoy . Her heart is huge and she’s a bit weird. Once you get to know her, Grace grows on you, not helping but to like her.
Tessa Bailey takes readers on an emotional ride with a panty melting, dirty talking man in Too Wild to Tame.  The Clarkson’s are a complex family with vas amounts of personality. Aaron and Grace’s story is like peeling layers slowly to reveal the goods of the core.  An untimely meeting ignited chemistry between two very opposite people. The pull of passion dances with Grace and Aaron leading to some very hot and steamy scenes. I believe they balance each other in ways they are unable to do themselves. I enjoyed Too Wild to Tame and am definitely looking for to reading more of the Clarkson’s their road tripping adventures.

deana