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Review: Butterfly Bayou by Lexi Blake

Butterfly Bayou 
Lexi Blake 
Butterfly Bayou Series, Book 1 
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Berkley

New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is back with an all-new heartwarming, small-town contemporary romance series set against the spicy southern backdrop of Louisiana’s Butterfly Bayou.

Life in Dallas took a tragic turn for nurse practitioner Lila Daley. In need of a fresh start, she retreats to Papillon, Louisiana, a tiny town on the bayou. Sure she’s greeted by a gator, finds herself in the middle of golf cart wars, and unwittingly adopts a scruffy dog, but Lila remains undaunted. She’s focused on running the town’s medical clinic, but fitting into the quirky community is harder than she imagined.

As a single dad, Sheriff Armie LaVigne embraces routine. But there is nothing routine about the town’s newest resident. Lila is a gorgeous fish out of water and he’s ready to catch her. In fact, in no time at all, Armie knows Lila is the woman for him and he plans to win her heart. But when the past threatens their happiness, Armie will have to decide if he has the courage to trust Lila enough to find a true happily ever after

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

 

Lexi Blake just rocked my reading world with Butterfly Bayou.

Lila has moved to the small town of Papillon, Louisiana(also known as butterfly bayou) to restart her life after a tragic Incident. She learns fast that small town folk do not like change and for her to take over the clinic in more than just ownership she has to earn the respect of the locals. Her big city ways may prove to be a bit much. Lila comes off a bit gruff at the beginning yet as we get to know her we learned that she takes her job more than seriously and is willing to put it all on the line for the safety and care of other. She’s as loyal and deep as they come. Even those moments when she may seem high and mighty, Lila is truly one of those really really good people.

Armie is the town sheriff and a single father who is dedicated to his daughter in every way. Armie’s I wonderful man who is kind and gentle yet strong and stern when he needs to be. He too, has some tragedy in his past that keeps the guilt right in front of his face. His guilt makes him look at things differently or not always see what’s right in front of his face. Like most men he is stubborn but truly his heart is in the right place.

Butterfly Bayou was just what I needed in my reading world. This small town is filled with colorful characters with a lot of personality and pizzazz. Ms. Blake touches on a many different issues that may not be pretty yet does it with a grace and elegance. We see Lila at her lowest of lows, fight through it and find a partner worth fighting for. Armie and Lila see things very differently yet when they figured out how to communicate with each other they learn the things aren’t always as they perceived. Butterfly Bayou is A fantastic beginning to what I’m sure is going to be an emotional and heartwarming series. I would like to add and I absolutely loved the scene at the end where the readers learn how Butterfly Bayou got its name.

Review: Sun Broken by Yasmine Galenorn

Sun Broken 

Yasmine Galenorn

Wild Hunt Series, Book 11

Kindle Edition, 273 pages

Expected publication: April 27th 2020 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC

 

Life isn’t easy when you bear the mark of the Silver Stag…

Typhon, the Father of Dragons, is rising, and in his wake so are throngs of the departed. Amid the fallout, a serial killer emerges, targeting necromancers, psychics, and anyone dealing with the dead. Ember and the Wild Hunt head out on the trail of the killer, only to find themselves drawn into the dark underbelly of the Vampire Nation as they try to prevent the assassin from striking again. But the killer’s far more dangerous than anyone predicted, and now he’s got his sights set on his next target—Raven BoneTalker. Can Ember and Herne keep her safe, or will the killer slide beneath their radar and claim Raven as his next victim? 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Yasmine Galenorn grabs the reader’s attention with a fast paced story embedded with legend, lore, magic and mayhem with her own unique twist. Sun Broken is the latest tale of the exciting Wild Hunt series.

So much happens within the pages of Sun Broken, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. Chaos is on the rise as a series of murders involving victims who practice some form of death magic. The Wild Hunt crew find themselves dab smack in the middle of one of the most dangerous places they could possibly be to put an end to this craziness. When one of their own becomes the next target, The Wild Hunt team comes full force. While the world around Ember is changing and preparing for what is to come, she is embracing both sides of her heritage. She is finding who she is and what she is truly capable of.

Sun Broken is highly entertaining and a fast read. Ms. Galenorn weaves a fantastic read.

 

 

Review: Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay

 

Pumpkin Spice Peril

Jenn McKinlay

A Cupcake Bakery Mystery, Book 12

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by Berkley Books

In the twelfth Cupcake Bakery Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay, the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew follows the clever crumb trail of a killer who’s anything but cookie-cutter.

Life is all sugar and spice for the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakers–Melanie Cooper is engaged to the delectable Joe DeLaura, Angie Harper and her husband Tate are savoring married life, and the bakery is bustling with happy customers. Until one of their most valued cupcake connoisseurs ends up dead.

Local glass artist and cupcake lover Rene Fischer-Klein has always suffered from a wide variety of health issues. In an effort to cheer her up, her doting husband, Peter, brings her a four-pack of her favorite cupcakes every week. But when the police discover that Rene has been poisoned, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that the last things she ate were the bakery’s signature pumpkin spice cupcakes! With their lives and bakery at stake, it’s up to Mel and Angie to find out who poisoned their artist friend and why, before their future is frosted for good.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Pumpkin Spice Peril is an entertaining and light read that brings out the laughs.

Mel’s life is surrounded by sweetness on so many levels. She has a bakery that produces the best cupcakes in town, her best friend and business owner is happily married and Mel herself is riding the wave to the happiness that is wedded bliss. Life just may be on the verge of perfect for our lovely cupcake baker.

Mel’s cake goes flat when her good friend and client, Rene is in a state unlike she’s ever seen before and becomes a victim of murder. Now Who could think the delectable goodness that is cupcakes or their maker could be anyway responsible for this tragedy has lost her mind.
Mel and her gang at Fairy Tale Cupcakes bake up a few laughs while a few of them find themselves asking questions, causing questions or chasing after answers. Mel has once again found her way smack in the middle of a murder investigation and no lack of sweetness will slow her down to figure out the who and why.

Jenn McKinlay’s Pumpkin Spice Peril is like walking into your local neighborhood bakery and visiting with friends that you’ve known forever. Even if you’ve just met them. Ms. McKinlay gives readers wonderful characters blooming with personality and charm, in a fun, warm and welcome setting. Pumpkin Spice Peril is a light hearted read yet the plot is solid and will make you think. Not to mention if you don’t want a cupcake by chapter 3 you probably don’t like sweets. I have not read this entire series and the titles that I have read were in no sense of order whatsoever, Pumpkin Spice Peril is a treat for the new reader or those that have been following for a while.

 

 

Review: Sugar and Vice by Eve Calder

 

Sugar and Vice 

Eve Calder 

A Cookie House Mystery, Book 2 

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

In Eve Calder’s Sugar and Vice, things are heating up at the Cookie House when star pastry chef and amateur sleuth Kate McGuire finds herself in the midst of a shocking murder mystery.

OUT OF THE OVEN
Lately, Kate has a lot on her dessert plate. She’s launching a cookie-of-the-day challenge in the heart of Coral Cay, providing sweet treats for the reception of the town’s handsome new veterinarian—not to mention dealing with tourists in town for a pirate festival and the surprise arrival of her former fiancé, Evan, who seems determined to win her back.

AND INTO THE FIRE
And if that’s not enough, a skeleton has been found—in the backyard behind her best friend Maxi’s floral shop. Kate knows Maxi could never hurt a fly. Maybe the remains belong to Sir George Bly, a long-dead pirate whose name has become urban legend—until now? It’s time for Kate to use every trick in the recipe book to prove Maxi’s innocence, and find the truth about the skeleton, before the last of the cookies crumble…

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Cookies, pirates and a dead body….. oh my. Sugar and Vice is the highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable second book of the Cookie House Mystery series.

 

The town of Coral Cay is in full preparation for the annual pirate festival. Kate and Maxi, along with our furry friend Oliver, uncover a body that has been buried in the flower shop yard. When the body found is dressed like a pirate, it is if the town’s local legend is more than just a legend. However things are not that easy and now Maxi is a suspect of a murder that she couldn’t have possibly committed. Kate breaks out new cookies and sets her nose to the ground to prove her friend’s innocence, discover the identity of the murdered person and get some answers surrounding the town’s local history.

 

I absolutely adored Sugar and Vice. Kate is an amazing lead character with tons of personality. Her ability to seek out your favorite cookie without asking is truly a talent. She is friendly and has a charming personality that allows her to befriend people easily and has an excellent way of getting things out of people that others might not normally be able to. The Cookie House is a wonderful setting that is welcome and warm. Even if Sam is a little rough around the edges. The town of Coral Cay is like a mini paradise and the residence within the town adds so much to the story.

 

Eve Calder weaves a mystery unlike anyone I have read before. The way she twists her plot and keeps the reader guessing at who done it,  is pretty exceptional. From the personalities of the characters to the amazing cookies that Kate is constantly baking to the way she sets little clues that one doesn’t think are clues until the end when all the discoveries are made.   Sugar and Vice is an excellent follow-up to the first book in the series, Then There Were Crumbs. Ms.Calder truly has something special with her Cookie House Mystery series.

 

Review: Dante’s Circle Reborn by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

Dante’s Circle Reborn

Carrie Ann Ryan  

Dante’s Circle Series, Book 8

Paperback
Expected publication: April 14th 2020

 

 

NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan returns to her bestselling Dante’s Circle series with a collection of four never before published and highly anticipated romances.

FALLEN FOR ALPHAS

Liam and Alec watched their Pack fall from grace and fought with tooth and claw to make it rise from the ashes again for the Alpha. Once from rival families and now true packmates, they’ve fought their attraction for longer than they should have. Now, as they leave the den in search of a rogue wolf, they’ll finally have a chance to entice their wolves—if they can overcome their struggles and survive what lurks in the darkness.

AT LAST SIGHT

Jonah assumed he’d seen everything there was to see throughout his long life. He battled dragons, lions, and anything else that came across his path. Now, it’s his job to protect the cubs under his care—something far more dangerous than anyone ever counted on. But when he comes to face to face with Dante’s sexy new bartender, everything changes. From his first look into those silver eyes, he was lost. But they’re eyes that can kill if the world isn’t careful, and some want them for their own.

BLOOD’S FIRST KISS

Calypso’s position as a representative on the Conclave for all mermaids is in jeopardy if she can’t uncover the true lineage of a mysterious stranger. Especially since his mere presence seems to rock the already shaky foundation of their people.

Micha knows exactly what he is: the one supernatural being that everyone claims cannot exist. And he’s been searching eons for his mate. Now that he’s found her, all bets are off. But he must keep his past a secret, no matter the consequences.

REAPER’S SONG

He remembers his death. Even remembers parts of his life. But as a newly made reaper, he must do the one thing he knows he cannot: reap his soul mate. No matter that she can see death coming.

 

 

4 Stars

The first book I read from Carrie Ann Ryan was Dust of My Wings, the first book of the Dante’s Circle Series so that makes Dante’s Circle Reborn an extra special treat for me. I loved being able to visit this world again.

Four short stories with some of my favorite secondary characters that you always wondered what if or what happened. Falling for Alphas finds Liam and Alex still with their heads not letting them have what their hearts want. Seeing these two finally get it together was outstanding. And that gift they receive is just two precious for words. At Last Sight was probably my favorite. Jonah and Poppy complement each other so well. They both have known struggle in the past yet they are able to work together as a team almost flawlessly. This was a great story of love and loyalty. Bloods First Kiss brings a unique pairing of paranormal creatures. Caly and Misha know how to bring out the big guns. Epic battles and intense romance fill the pages of their tail. Reaper’s Song for me, it was the most emotional story of the four. Ashen, oh my goodness, how could she just not feel for him. Get ready for the feels.

The collection of short stories within Dante’s Circle Reborn are a wonderful addition to the series. For those that have read the series you will smile a good bit and just maybe get a few ah ha moments.

 

Review: Wicked Ever After by Shayla Black

 

Wicked Ever After 

Shayla Black

Wicked & Devoted Series, Book 2 

342 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Shelley Bradley, LLC

 

 

 

The exciting conclusion of One-Mile and Brea’s story!

He’s dangerous. She’s his—even if he scares her. But once he unravels her secrets, he’ll risk everything to claim her for good.

Sniper Pierce “One-Mile” Walker nearly had everything he ever wanted—until a fateful mission stripped it all away. Now an outcast, he’s forced to watch the off-limits beauty who stole his heart slip through his fingers. Left with nothing but revenge, he’s determined to defeat evil and win her back. But when he learns she’s planning a future without him, he vows he’ll break every rule and defy all odds to make her his again—forever.

Brea Bell was always a good girl…until Pierce Walker. Despite everyone’s warnings, she gave the rough warrior her body—and her heart. When she receives news that shatters her world, he devastates her by walking away. Terrified of losing all she’s ever known, Brea tucks away her dreams and commits to a “safe” future. Then Pierce appears in the dead of night, challenging and seducing her. Brea isn’t sure she can trust him…but she also can’t say no.

Angry and betrayed, he leaves to pursue vengeance, while her sins are exposed to the world, forcing her to fight painful battles. Can Brea and Pierce conquer the dangers that threaten their happily ever after…or will fate wrench them apart forever?

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 Wicked Ever After is the intense and emotional conclusion to Brea and One-Mile’s epic story.

Picking up right where Wicked As Sin left off. One-Mile drops a bomb of information then has to leave for a mission. Brea’s life is changing faster than she can blink. Emotions are high, life is intense and just when they think it may be leveling out another wave hits full force. I don’t think there could be two more opposite people then Brea and One-Mile. Yet they find a way to balance each other out perfectly. While both of them lead a life of service they do it from very opposite sides. One gives and the other takes yet they both try to make life for others a better place.

Brea finds herself within the pages of Wicked Ever After. I love that she found her voice, learned how to use it and was able to stand up for herself. One-Mile is an amazing gentleman disguised as someone who didn’t give a care in the world. Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side, but it just proves the perceptions and assumptions are not always fact.

Shayla Black continues to amaze me with the depth of emotion and The varying levels of intimacy that she gives us within her amazing stories. I am not a fan of duet type books and I really don’t care for cliffhangers. I have to give Ms. Black credit for not letting us readers hanging for too long and making the second part of the book just as engaging if not more than the first. Brea and One-Mile Have an intricate story that’s like an insane roller coaster ride. One minute you’re excited and the next your heart is about to jump out of your chest. The ride they take us one is not easy but we’ll worth it in the end.

 

Review: The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton

 

The Stolen Letter

Paige Shelton

Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Book 5

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton returns with the next installment of The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, The Stolen Letter

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

It’s not too often that you can find a book that encompasses many interests wrapped into one. Ms. Shelton gives us past and present queens, a rich dose of history, a bookstore filled with the unexpected and a mystery that will keep you on your toes. The Stolen Letter is an intricate story with a mystery within a mystery that was very much enjoyable.

Delaney Nichols it’s a very interesting character. I love the passion that she shows for her job. You can tell that it’s more than just a job for her, it’s a part of who she is. She’s smart, witty, a little bit nosy and doesn’t seem to know how to back down. She stands up for what she believes and then she cares about. I love the bookish Voices that pop into her head just when she needs to lead in the right direction. She’s still adjusting to being newly married yet her husband, Tom, is very supportive in all manners of what she does.
Delaney, along with the cast of characters that the series, and this book contain sure to give you laughs while trying to figure out the mystery of it all.

The Stolen Letter was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Ms. Shelton weaves a good plot but you can tell this is truly a character driven story. I love how she mixed history into this modern day story. I personally am a huge fan of paranormal and I loved that little touch added into the story. As I am just coming into the series at this book I found it easy to fall into place within The Cracked Spine(Love that name for a book shop by the way) and the colorful and charismatic people who work and frequent the shop. There are essentially two stories that intertwined within the pages of The Stolen Letter And a lot going on all at the same time yet every bit of it was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to going back and reading some of the earlier books in the series just because I enjoyed this one so much.

 

Review: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

A Bad Day for Sunshine

Darynda Jones

Sunshine Vicram Series, Book 1

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff–an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Whether it be contemporary or paranormal, Darynda Jones knows how to engage her readers, entertain them and have them laughing before they even know what’s going on with the story. A Bad Day for Sunshine is a fantastic beginning to what I am sure will be another winning series for Ms. Jones.

When anything and everything can possibly go wrong on your first day of your new job…….

Sunshine Vicram is my new favorite female lead character. She’s sassy and smart with a job she didn’t even apply for. I love that her mind wanders and she still harbors a crush on the one she shouldn’t. The love for her family shines through all that she does. Her strength and confidence are something truly remarkable. Sunshine’s dedication to her job is a whole different level of loyalty. Sun’s daughter, Auri shares the narrative of this story as well and you can’t help but to fall in love with them both. I love the relationship that the mother and daughter share. You don’t realize what a big part of the book it is until you realize it is.

A Bad Day for Sunshine is a laugh out loud, jaw dropping, gasping, suspenseful yet endearing read. Ms. Jones gives her reader nothing short of pure entertainment with this newest title. If you enjoyed the Charlie Davison series, you will love Sunshine too.

 

 

ARC Review: Pivot

Pivot

Kat Martin 
Alexandra Ivy 
Rebecca Zanetti 

Deep Ops #2.5

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 1st 2020 by Zebra Books (first published March 31st 2020)
As girls, they bonded over broken homes and growing up in foster care.
As women, they’re fighting for their lives, and loves, once more . . .

 

MERI
When Meriwether Jones takes her young daughter and runs from trouble in L.A., that trouble follows. By the time Meri reaches Spokane, she’s out of gas, money, and ideas. Luckily, ex-cop Ian Brodie hires her to help him with his father’s farmhouse, and they seem like the answer to each other’s prayers. But Meri is keeping a dangerous secret—and Ian is in danger of losing his heart . . .

 

MELANIE
That secret explodes when Melanie Cassidy spots two men trying to kidnap a young boy she tutors and responds by ramming them with her car. The last thing she expects is for the man she once loved, Detective Gray Hawkins, to appear and rescue them both. Now she has no choice but to trust him as they investigate the truth about a conspiracy of dirty, drug trafficking cops—and the truth about their relationship . . .

 

MICHELLE
After a rough youth, Michelle Peach was finally content in Portland—until two men broke into her home, threatened her, and sent her mentally unstable mom on a blackmail spree that Michelle has to stop. The last person Michelle wants to see is her ex, Evan Boldon, a former marine turned sheriff. But Evan misses the woman who walked away instead of letting him help years ago. This time he’s not asking permission; he’s going to put a stop to the trouble stalking Michelle and her friends—and win her heart for good.

(

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

What an amazing collection of stories. Anthologies are a great way to introduce readers to new authors and for those that are already fans get an extra treat with a short story. Each author brings their all with their story.

Each story is intense and suspenseful, yet sexy and romantic.

Against the Heart -Kat Martin

This may be my favorite of the three stories. A single mom on the run with her daughter and A son trying to help his father put his life back together. This one is sweet and tender, it hits the heart just right.

Shaken – Rebecca Zanetti

Whether it be a full length novel or a novella Ms. Zanetti knows how to catch the reader’s attention. Evan and Michelle rocked the pages hard. I love that they had a past and that made their chemistry so much more. Shaken in my opinion, was the hottest of the three stories.

Echoes of the Past – Alexandra Ivy

Ms. Ivy focuses a little more on the suspense and a little less on the romance. However she still gives us an intriguing and adventurous story.

Although each story does tie in with one another you do not have to read all of them to be able to enjoy them. However I highly recommend that you do as they do complete a story that is highly enjoyable.

 

ARC Review: Four Love by Jayne Rylon

Four Love 

Jayne Rylon 

Ever and Always Duet, Book 2 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Happy Endings Publishing

Holly has never been more scared in her life. She’s hoping that the bad guys attempting to bank off her realize—like she has—that her temporary husband doesn’t care for her as anything more than a way to cash in on his inheritance and amuse his roommates in the process.

Even if she makes it out alive, she won’t ever be whole. Not unless Trent, Lorenzo, and Owen suddenly decide that the stakes in the game they were playing are a lot steeper than can be paid for with money.

This time, they’re gambling everything on love.

Four Love is the conclusion of the Ever & Always Duet, and should be read following Four Money.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Jayne Rylon brought it all with the conclusion to the Ever and Always duet, Four Love.

Falling was the easy part, now comes the hard. Holly, Trent, Lorenzo and Owen have the attraction, chemistry and passion but figuring out all the feeling has some knots twisted and lingering doubt. Four Love is a journey in trust and discovery. A path that could be the brightest of blessings or the road paved in ruin. They may be a unit but they are still individuals within their group. With their new found emotions, navigating the waters is unfamiliar territory yet is a force they can’t seem to contend with. Owen, Lorenzo, Trent and Holly found a way to turn a crazy mess into something bigger than imagined.

Jayne Rylon concludes the Ever and Always duet, Four Love with a fast paced, draw you in, super hot and emotional read.