Review: Witch Upon a Star by
Witch Upon a Star
Angela M. Sanders
Witch Way Librarian Mysteries Series, Book 4
304 pages, Kindle Edition
Expected publication May 23, 2023
Big things are happening in small-town Wilfred, Oregon! The retreat center is open for its first workshop, the local caf� is done remodeling, and librarian and witch-in-training Josie Way is hosting her sister–and a few suspicions about the new killer on the loose . . .
Josie is eager to show off Wilfred’s delights to her visiting sister, Jean–even though Josie must conceal her magic from her. In any case, Jean is excited to attend Cookie Masterson’s trademark “Ready-Set-Go!” workshop on becoming a life coach. Then there’s the grand reopening of Darla’s Caf�, where the doors are thrown open to reveal . . . a dead man, stabbed in the back. That was definitely not on the revamped menu…
Even more worrisome, the sheriff receives a report of a fresh corpse at the retreat center. Maybe murder isn’t so uncommon in Wilfred anymore, but two unfamiliar bodies within an hour certainly is! Josie’s willing to let law enforcement take the lead–after all, she’s gotten into some trouble from the hints the library’s spellbound books keep feeding her about the patrons. But when her sister receives the killer’s chilling calling card, she’ll use everything within her otherworldly powers to divine just who in town has homicide as his new slogan . . .
Witch Upon a Star is a fun and entertaining read. It was much more than I expected it to be.
Josie is a librarian and a witch in training. I love how much her powers are intertwined with books. To be able to touch a book and know if they can give you the knowledge you need within seconds. That’s a pretty nifty ability to have. The books give her a lot of advise, whether she wants it or not. In Witch Upon a Star Josie has tasked with showing her sister Jean around her, cozy little town while she’s there for a retreat, so to speak. And then to keep her safe from a killer on the loose all while keeping her witchy secrets, a secret.
A self-help promoter is doing one of their seminars and Josie‘s little town and Jean, her little sister is all about this opportunity. Although it does not look to be the best opportunity, and when murder comes hand-in-hand with what’s going on around this seminar, has Josie on full alert. Josie is trying to keep her sister safe while twist interns thrown at her within this mystery, keep her on her toes. During the course of this novel, Josie is able to build bonds with her sister and help solve a murder. I enjoyed Witch Upon a Star. It is a unique subject collaboration for a cozy mystery. I love the fact that her powers are connected through books, and that makes it even more exciting.
I look forward to going back and seeing how the series started. And to see wants to become for this witchy librarian.
Review: Harbored in Silence by Carrie Ann Ryan
Harbored in Silence
Carrie Ann Ryan
Aspen Pack Series, Book 4
Dara is a harvester death witch. She holds the power of both life and death within her hands.She has taken on the task of keeping the ward strong for the pack. Cruz is the heir of the pack. Should something happen, Cruz will step in and become Alpha of the Aspen pack. Dara and Cruz have a complicated but yet an intertwined connection. Dara saved him in a way that is technically forbidden by the Moon Goddess. Yet the Goddess put them together as each other’s potential mate.
Harbored in Silence has the Aspen pact still fighting the vampires. Dara knows her time is Wendling. Along with the help of Wynter and Wren, Dara seeks out, elastic effort to go and talk with a Coven. Only to find the coven has been destroyed. Dara knows the only way to fight vampires is with the help of the coven. The shippers and the riches have to work together to put an end to the evil that they are facing. Dora embarks on a journey to form a new coven with those who were outcasted by the previous leaders. Cruz is tasked to keep Dara safe as she gathers her friends of witches in hopes of them joining her to help take down the evil they are facing. Through this journey, Dara and Cruz both learn many things that make a big impact on who they are. With all the danger and chaos going on around them, they found a way to break down their own barriers and find that they are each other’s mate.
Harbored in Silence I believe is the beginning of a pivotal point within the storyline. We are introduced to an array of new characters, we have discovered who the enemy is and more secrets are still to be revealed.
Review: Wicked as Secrets by Shayla Black
Wicked as Secrets
Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire Series, Book 7
Matt and Madison part 1
May 16, 2023 by Shelley Bradley, LLC
He’ll do anything to protect her from danger…but it will cost her everything.
Security specialist Matt Montgomery has never forgotten—or forgiven—Madison Archer for walking away and ripping out his heart. Three years later, she crashes back into his life, terrified that her wealthy husband is trying to kill her. Matt vows to protect Madison…but there’s a price. He’ll have revenge by making her submit to his every sexual demand.
Part of a powerful, ruthless political dynasty, Madison’s soon-to-be ex has deep, dark secrets. When uncovering them nearly proves fatal, she turns to the one man she knows can protect her—the lover she’s never been able to forget. Matt’s ultimatum is both shocking and intoxicating. But if she wants to keep herself and her ailing father alive, he’s her only option.
As the danger escalates, so do Madison and Matt’s feelings. But navigating their rocky past while trying to stay one step ahead of her deadly husband proves perilous. Will their forbidden love survive the danger and give them a second chance at happiness?
**Wicked as Secrets is part of the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire romantic suspense series. Stories in this series are told in a duet of two full-length novels. Each duet can be read as a standalone. Includes strong language, sexy times, alpha male attitude, and a guaranteed happily ever after. Enjoy!**
Matt and Madison had that kind of connection that you know it’s something special. Chemistry was only the beginning. They had a connection on a level that was deeper than either one of them now. And then it just ended. Did he break her heart or did she break his period?
Fast forward a few years, and Madison finds herself in the deepest of deep trouble. On the run, and no one to trust there’s only one person that she knows can even begin to help her. Matt finds medicine outside his window and knows in an instant that she is in trouble, and he must help her.
Full disclosure for this review. This book ends in a cliffhanger.
Secrets and lies, on the run and danger just behind. Wicked as Secrets starts was so packed action and doesn’t let up. Madison and Matt begin to deal with her unresolved issues while still feeling the connection that has never burned out. With serious danger just over their shoulders, they work together with some of our favorite Shayla black characters to find a way to get Madison safe. Just when they think they have some things figured out, everything hits the fan and puts everyone in a position they would rather not be in. Madison knows everything is hanging on a person she can’t trust. Matt is about to lose his mind over something. He should be able to help control.
As a general rule, I am not a fan of cliffhanger books, but yet I love this series. Fortunately, Miss Black is kind to her readers and doesn’t make us wait too too long.
Review: Baked Offed by Maya Carrigan
A Five Ingredient Mystery Series, Booke 8
When the Deadly Desserts bake-off lives up to its name, Val and Granddad turn up the heat on a killer . . .
The Maryland Mystery Fan Fest sounds like exactly the fun getaway cafe manager Val Deniston and her grandfather could use. Granddad will even compete in a dessert competition in which contestants assume the roles of cooks to famous fictional sleuths. Playing Nero Wolfe’s gourmet cook Fritz is an exciting challenge for Granddad. A restaurant manager is playing Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet and cook Bunter. But Granddad is steamed to learn who will be playing Sherlock Holmes’s landlady, Mrs. Hudson–his nemesis Cynthia Sweet, who he believes ripped off his five-ingredient theme from his column “Codger Cook” to use in her own recipe column.
Apparently, he isn’t the only one who has beef with his not-so-sweet competitor. When she’s found dead in her room with the teakettle whistling, it’s up to Val and her grandfather to sort through the festival goers to find out who was most definitely not a fan of Cynthia Sweet . . .
What a fun, creative and unique, cozy mystery.
The Five Ingredient Mystery series is offering up Baked Offed for our reading pleasure. Café manager, Val, Denison and her grandpa are attending the Maryland mystery fan fest. Both of them are lucky enough to be taking part in events that are happening within the conference. Val will be taking part in the mystery trivia contest, and grandpa will be taking part in a dessert cooking contest based on recipes from old books. Which should be a fun event turns into a big mystery that some people aren’t even sure is actually a real event. Sometimes that’s what you get at a mystery conference. Val and Grampa put their skills to the test to figure out why a woman ended up murdered.
This was a different type of cozy mystery at that I thoroughly enjoyed. Val and her grandpa are great characters. I love how thorough they were trying to get to the bottom of the mystery that turned into a couple mysteries. I love the homage to the classic mysteries that we have all come to love. I love that what could be an insignificant clue became something that actually made a major part of the puzzle come together. There was lots of personality and charisma in the pages of Baked Offed. Also, I should mention I love it when a book is based in my home state. This was my first read in the unique series and it definitely won’t be my last.
As someone who goes to book conventions, Baked Offed give the reader all the fun of going to the book conference, minus the murder. It is a very fun experience to be able to get to spend time with the authors that you enjoy reading and partake in different fun activities with them. I really love how this book showed that experience.
Review: A Trip with Trouble by Diane Kelly
A Trip with Trouble
The Mountain Lodge Mysteries, Book 2
When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn’t be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colorful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.
The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are gorgeous. But what starts as a perfect ride turns worrisome when the tail gunner – the last rider in their group – fails to show up at the Craggy Gardens overlook. Cell phone service is spotty in the remote, mountainous area, and the group is unable to connect with their friend. Might the missing woman have simply run out of gas? Or is something far more sinister afoot?
The ladies are determined to locate their ride or die, and Misty is equally determined to help them. But will they be able to solve the mystery when the scenic route seems intent on hiding its secrets?
Diane Kelly combines the beauty of the outdoors, a cozy and comfortable lodge, and a good heaping of mystery to keep you entertained with A Trip with Trouble.
Returning to the Mountaintop Lodge is going to be a wild ride. Misty is sold out for the week. Dangerous Curves, a lady’s motorcycle group, has reserved every room in the lodge for a week. Misty can’t be more excited. Upon checking in the group of ladies seems to be nice, charismatic and genuinely a good bunch of people looking to have some fun. Misty and her assistant Brynn even get asked to accompany the group on a ride, which to my delight they did indulge in. However, things go south when one of the members does not show up at an overlook where everyone has stopped. Misty helps the ladies look for their friend and unfortunately find her dead. Was it an accident or was it foul play? Misty with the help of Brynn and her handyman Rocky, try to get to the bottom of what’s going on with this mystery
I love when I’m reading a book and a place that pops up in the story. The tail of the dragon is a fun and beautiful ride although I have never done it on a motorcycle I understand the thrill behind it. Now, with that being said, Diane Kelly knows how to bring the loveliness of the outdoors into the story. I love the fact that the majority of the story does take place outside. From fires and roasting marshmallows to fun motorcycle rides there is atmosphere all over this book. Now, there is kind of a twofold mystery within the story, and I enjoyed both of them. At one point I wondered if they were connected and was surprised when I realized the answer. The story told primarily from Misty’s point of view, but those few chapters that we get from Yeti make me laugh every single time. and I love every single one of them. Diane Kelly knows how to draw the reader into the story, keep them entertained all the while, making them laugh and enjoy the experience all in one.
Review: Live and Let Grind by Tara Lush
Live and Let Grind
A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Series, Book 3
Laid-off journalist Lana Lewis is thriving as the proprietor of Perkatory, a coffee shop on quirky Devil’s Beach island, Florida. She’s juggling a relationship with police chief Noah Garcia, enjoying the company of her best friend, Erica, and relishing the companionship of her golden Shih Tzu, Stanley. Only problem is her neighbor, Gus, who incessantly uses his leaf blower, disturbing everyone in the neighborhood. Lana has learned to tune it out, but Erica’s rage boils over and she confronts Gus.
Then Gus is found dead, killed when his leaf blower explodes. Erica immediately becomes suspect number one. But there are plenty of other candidates as well: Gus’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Honey Bailey, who thinks she’ll be written out of his will; Mickey Dotson and Doug Beck, who were scalded financially after purchasing a pirate-themed tourist cruise business from Gus; and plenty of angry neighbors who’ve had run-ins with him.
As the clock ticks down will Lana get someone to spill the beans on the killer so she can clear her friend’s name, or will Erica go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit?
Live and Let Grind takes readers back to Devil’s Beach with our favorite barista Lana Lewis and her fun yet quirky friends for another fun filled mystery adventure.
It’s no secret that I love coffee and coffee related cozy mysteries are what got me started reading the genre. I have been fortunate enough to read every book in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series. I am happy to say each one gets better as we go. Live and Let Grind has Lana and Erica rooming together, while repairs are happening on Erica‘s houseboat. Things that purgatory are fine and Stanley is as cute as ever. However things get shaken up when Lana’s neighbor, Gus is found dead. Gus has made a reputation for himself for being a nuisance amongst the neighborhood. Erica recently, having had a confrontation with Gus finds herself in the hot seat as a suspect. Lana does all she can to help clear Erica’s name and discover more suspects are popping up then she realizes.
Oh my latte. Live and Let Grind is a fun and entertaining, cozy history. With each book in the series is just getting better and better. Lana is a natural snoop, it comes with being a reporter. It’s kind of funny when she gets upset that she can’t do more than what she does. The cast of characters for the series is top notch. With a hippie father and a Goth for best friend it says it all right there. Tara Lash gives us another fast paced, caffeine infused entertaining read.
Review: Iron Ember by Donna Grant
Skye Druids Series, Book 1
Skye isn’t just an island. It’s a home. A refuge. But not to Elodie MacLean. Not anymore. Tragedy tore her world apart and then took the one thing she felt made her whole. She vowed she’d never return, but that’s exactly where she ends up. Now, surrounded by the ghosts of her past, Elodie must navigate her version of Hell and try to make peace with herself and her family. But someone or something doesn’t want her on Skye, and she finds herself attacked—and this time not by her personal demons.
Scott Ryan has a mission: uncover who has been killing Druids and why. When his quest takes him to the beautiful Isle of Skye, he doesn’t think anything could captivate him more than the land itself—until he lays eyes on the breathtaking and confident beauty his leader sent him to find. However, it’s clear that she has trust issues, and he can’t reveal his plans—at least, not yet. But he’s always been sure of his ability to sway a person, and she’s a challenge he’s more than happy to accept, especially when he finds he will do anything to protect her.
With so much history and so many secrets, victory is anything but guaranteed for the couple and their allies. And the forces at work, those who wish to rule the Scottish isle and all those who reside there, have a plan that nobody will see coming.
The Skye Druids Series has a thrilling beginning with Iron Ember.
Elodie vowed she would never come back to Skye. Reaching the lowest point she’s ever been in her life has her returning home to regroup. Steps away from rock-bottom, and with nothing left to lose, Elodie returns to her childhood home. What should be a simple task of cleaning a home to get it to sell has Elodie facing her current predicament face on, but memories of things that happened in the house, are beginning to plague her more so than normal.
Scott has two objectives on his mind. The first to figure out who is killing the Druids. The second is to find a woman who was seen in a vision to help them complete their task. Scott truly believes in his cause, as he has lost friends near and dear to him. When Scott realizes the woman he was sent to find may not be able to do what his leader wants of her he realizes he is beyond protective of her and will do whatever he can to keep her safe.
The magic, the mystery and the secrets. Iron Ember is a thrilling beginning to what I am sure is going to be another fantastic series from Donna Grant. The Druids are the target and someone wants some dead. Skye is a place of refuge and sanctuary for those that follow the Druid path. Skye also holds a lot of secrets. One comes home and the other comes seeking a powerful druid hoping to make a difference. Little did they know what they could do and be for each other. I have to admit I was a little iffy on Scott at first, but he did come around. I do think that Elodie and Scott complemented each other beautifully. I love how the magic literally hangs in the air in Skye. The Druids are literally having their world rocked, there’s a power struggle in place. I can only imagine what the struggles for the Druids are going to be and can’t wait for the romances that will come within the series.
Review: One Way Back to Me by Carrie Ann Ryan
One Way Back to Me
Carrie Ann Ryan
The Wilder Brothers Series, Book 1
One dance at a stranger’s wedding. That’s all it took for me to fall for Alexis.
And then? Disaster. Another man—her boyfriend—gets down on one knee and proposes to her.
I never thought I’d see her again.
Years later, I’m in desperate need of a wedding planner—not for myself, but for my company.
My five brothers and I need to get our new Wilder Resort off the ground, and Alexis is the only one savvy enough to help us.
But there’s the little matter that I still have it bad for her. Alexis has changed since the night we met. She’s gun shy. But there’s a spark between us that will not die. We both fight it, until we don’t.
Until history repeats itself. The same guy who took her away from me is back to do more damage. But this time he’ll have to go through me to get her.
Talk about chemistry and attraction making not one but two people stop in their tracks. A simple dance was all Eli needed to know that this beautiful stranger was the one for him. Life cut him hard with that his stranger was proposed to only minutes later.
Fast forward two years and things have changed a bit. Eli and his brothers are holding down their Resort. A band of military brothers running a resort may seem comical to some but The way I read it it was like therapy with alpha therapy to them. All recently leaving their respective services for one reason or another each one is on a very different path and finding his own way. Eli is constantly worrying as to whether he talked to his brothers into making the right choice for their futures. Finding themselves in need of a wedding planner for their resort, a blast from the past walks into Eli’s life, rekindling that spark all over again.
Alexis has been burned. Newly divorced and having her life taken from under her she is starting over. Trying to re-establish her name and reputation as a wedding planner, A friend sent her to a new resort looking for someone with her talent.
Walking into her interview at Wilder resort she lays her eyes on someone she didn’t think she’d say again. That spark of passion and chemistry once again ignites feelings all within her. Alexis sees this as a new beginning as long as the pass stays in the past.
I really enjoyed the introduction to the Wilder Brothers in One Way Back to Me. Eli and Alexis complement each other so well. They both had some baggage but I loved how they were able to work through their issues and come together as one. Eli is a workaholic but yet loyal and dedicated. Alexis is extremely sweet and amazingly talented. The two of them together are a force to be reckoned with. We meet each of the five brothers and learn that they have issues as well. With each of them just getting out of the service they are in a very different place mentally. Their actions prove that they are devoted and loyal to their family however each is holding something to themselves that we will have to wait and see unfold in future books. Carrie Ann Ryan gives us another group of brothers to get all swoony over.
Shadow Fallen by Sherrilyn (Kenyon) McQueen
Sherrilyn (Kenyon) McQueen
Dream Hunters #6
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon returns with Shadow Fallen, a brand-new entry in her Dream-Hunter series.
For centuries, Ariel has fought the forces of evil. Her task was to protect the souls of innocent mortals when they die. Captured by a powerful sorceress, she is transformed into a human who has no memory of her real life or calling.
And is plunked into the middle of the Norman invasion of England.
Cursed the moment he was born with a “demonic deformity,” Valteri wants nothing of this earth except to depart it and will do his duty to his king until then. When a strange noblewoman is brought before him, Valteri realizes he has met her before…in his dreams. When others come for her, bringing with them preternatural predators, he is faced with a destiny he had no idea was waiting. One he wants no part of.
The truth is that Valteri isn’t just a knight of William the Conqueror. He is the son of one of the deadliest powers in existence, and if he doesn’t restore Ariel to her place, she is not the only one who will be in peril. The world itself hangs in the balance, and he is the necessary key to hold back the powers of evil. But only if he can find a way to work with the woman who stands for everything in the universe he hates.
Sherrilyn is back
Fallen Shadow marks a comeback with everything that I have come to love from Sherrilyn’s writing.
In a medieval setting, the Battle of good and evil continues. Valteri has known nothing from life other than sorrow, pain and battle. Born with different color eyes made him an outcast from the beginning. Some say he was evil, others say he was a demon and some call him as a son of the devil himself. He is brother to the king and undefeated in war. A hardened man who is whispered about behind his back does nothing to change what people think of him. Knowing nothing of the good side of life, the Temptations of a beautiful woman make Valteri think quite differently than he normally does.
Ariel has been a part of the battle of good and evil for as long as she knows. Her job is to collect the souls of the dying on the battlefield for the unknown war of good and evil that’s going on. Ariel finds herself bound to the earth knowing nothing of who she is and with a curse because of the grief of a mother’s loss. Not knowing who or what she is Ariel stumbles onto the lands of a feared man but yet she embraces him. Sewing is not something Ariel knows but skill with a sword can’t be denied. Ariel is about to embark on something she’s never known but yet can’t seem to say no to.
As a long time fan I am very excited to see this wonderful author back in action. From beginning to end this book is classic Sherrilyn everything! Ariel and Valteri are perfect for each other. From the moment they met to the interactions they had there was no lack of chemistry whatsoever. I love the way they talked and interacted with each other. Whether it be funny, protective or sensual they seem so in tune to each other and just wanted the best for one another. A broken hero and a kick butt angelic woman find their happily ever after.
I know some will complain that this is not one of the big name characters that long time fans have been very patiently waiting for. However when a series is this long and has this many characters sometimes we have to be patient longer than we would like. Some wonderful bits of information are discovered within the pages Shadow Fallen And have some nice foreshadowing for one of those big names that we have been waiting for. And we even get treated with an appearance from one of the all-time favorite dark hunters. I very much enjoy the book and look forward to the things to come within the Dream Hunter/ Dark Hunter world.
Review: Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle
Coffeehouse Mystery Series, Book 19
One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide. But Clare doesn’t believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary startups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?
What fun and cozy return to the Village Blend.
Claire Cosi is trying to plan her honeymoon which is not going as wonderful as she would have expected. Just as she is debuting a new honey roasted coffee blend and highly anticipated honey cinnamon latte to her staff a swarm of bees decides to make the Village Blend their new home. Come to find out these bees belong to none other than Claire’s honey supplier and close friend of Madame. Claire takes it upon herself to go and visit the Queen bee Bea Hastings to find that someone has tried to murder her. Upon finding Mrs. Hastings’ body on her balcony, Claire has no choice but to get to the bottom of the sticky situation.
The Coffeehouse Mystery series was one of the first cozy series I dived into. From book one I was hooked. How could I not be? Mysteries and coffee. Over the years I have read many books in this series, but not all. Coming back at book nineteen was like walking back into my favorite coffee shop and not missing a beat. Honey Roasted was a fun welcome back.
Honey Roasted gives a lesson in honey, more fantastic coffee knowledge and an intricate mystery that keeps you very involved. Clare is as sharp as always when it comes to putting the clues together, even though her mind is focused on other things. She’s tenacious in her sleuthing abilities and I love that she allows a little bit of danger to fall in the game but yet really lets her sense of danger go out the window if needed. I love how she sought out advice and then acted to smooth the riffs in her relationship. The Village Blend clew is always a delight and can count on them for a laugh. I love how not only has Claire been their boss she has been their friend through this crazy coffee and mystery adventure. Honey Roasted was an engrossing read that I absolutely enjoyed.