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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: FAR FROM DESTINED by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

FAR FROM DESTINED

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Promise Me Series, Book 3

Paperback
Expected publication: October 27th 2020

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan continues her sexy new contemporary stand-alone series with a broken heart and the shattered soul that can heal them both.

Macon Brady remembers every moment he lay on the ground, a bullet in his chest, his life bleeding out with each pulse. Yet his nightmares aren’t the only thing keeping him up at night.

Dakota Bristol left her ex with nothing but the clothes on her back and her child in her arms. She’s been hurt before and wants nothing to do with the shadows in Macon’s eyes. The problem? Her son loves him, and the more time she spends with the man, the more she’s afraid she’ll come to love him just as much.

Danger always comes back to haunt those who run. It was a lesson Dakota learned before. Now, it might be the man she refuses to fall for who makes the greatest sacrifice of all.

4 Stars 

A pact and a promise……

Macon almost lost his life helping a friend and would do it again in a heartbeat. Yet the aftermath of being shot has very much messed with his head. He finds an unconventional way of dealing with his stress. It may not be the best choice but he is trying to work out his head.  Dakota left her past with the clothes on her body and her baby on her hip, never to look back. Hard work and perseverance have allowed her to become a small business owner and provide for herself and her son. Unfortunately the past doesn’t always stay in the past and came knocking right on Dakota’s front door.

Dakota and Macon have had this like to hate, can’t figure out what their feelings are for one another dance going on for awhile. Macon has even won over the heart of her precious baby boy. Yet Dakota’s past keeps her so guarded towards men, she doesn’t want to hurt herself or her son. Were they really looking for a relationship, no not at all but some way they were able to find something meaningful and deep and let the dance they have been avoiding begin. 

Far From Destined is an emotional and heart hitting story in the Promise Me series. Macon and Dakota work so well together. I enjoyed their slow burn romance. Turning something deemed as fake into something very real. They were a team before they even realized it. The brooding veterinarian and the coffee shop momma make one emotionally entertaining read.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Witching Time by Yasmine Galenorn

Witching Time

Yasmine Galenorn

The Wild Hunt Series, Book 14

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 12th 2020 by Nightqueen Enterprises LLC
It’s Mabon and Llewellyn’s friends–Marigold and Rain–are running a harvest festival on their farm. Llewellyn and Raven open a vendor’s booth to join in the fun. But Raven soon discovers the farm has deadly past. When she encounters the spirit of a teenaged girl who was thought to have been a runaway, she quickly discovers the girl was killed. As she attempts to prove the girl was the victim of a deadly ritual gone awry, a series of terrifying paranormal events begins to occur. Raven soon realizes that the spirit of the killer is still lurking on the land, and a race is on. Raven must prove that the girl was murdered before the killer’s ghost strikes again, because he’s willing to sacrifice anyone and anything who threatens to reveal the secrets of his past.

4 Stars

The Wild Hunt is back.

Raven is all set to read cards at the annual Autumn Festival. Fun times should be had yet not all is as it seems. There’s a unsettling darkness surrounding a friends farm that puts Raven on high alert. All things are not as they seem.

Witching Time is an action packed, thrilling and dark urban fantasy. A beautifully diverse cast of characters that has someone for every type of reader. Ms. Galenorn creates a world that invigorates, captivates and almost entrance is the reader. Her take on myth, legend and lore is unique yet holds pieces of the original. Raven is one of my favorite of the Wild Hunt. She makes a few leaps and bounds within the pages of Witching Time. I loved getting to know her more intimately. One of the things I love most about The Wild Hunt books you always finish satisfied but yet you always want more of Ms. Galenorn’s creation.

Review: Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca Zanetti

Guardian’s Grace

Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protector Series, Book 12 

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 13th 2020 by Lyrical Press

Duty—or desire?

Vampire soldier Adare O’Cearbhaill’s default setting is cranky. Or irritated. Or down-right hostile. Still, as a Highlander of honor and duty he stepped up to save an enhanced and special human female by mating her—with merely a bite and a brand. The last person he wants in his life is a fragile human, yet he can’t get her out of his mind as she regains her strength before taking off for parts unknown. And when he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from hunting her down—whether she likes it or not.

There’s only one way to find out . . .

Photographer Grace Cooper has had it with vampires, demons, and the rest of an immortal world she was happier not knowing about. She also doesn’t believe she’s destined for some great battle because of an old birthmark. Forget the fact that her mate is the sexiest thing on two stubborn feet, or that her brand is fading along with her health. She’ll handle things on her own—until an old enemy reappears and she learns the only way to stay alive is to actually mate, wild sex and all, with that ripped and dangerous Adare—a powerful, captivating Highlander who demands nothing less than everything . .

4 Stars

Grace got thrown into the supernatural world to safe her life. Determined to have nothing to do with that world and way of life, Grace has kept her distance.  As iron willed and stubborn as she is, there are things she can’t control and with her life on the line again, steps back through a door that never really closed on her.

Adare is warrior alpha, one of the seven and a protector to the core.  Adare saves Grace’s life yet lost a mate.  As typical of most men it takes them a long time to be able to express their feelings and he allowed her to walk away years ago. He may have expressed what he did as a sense of duty, but deep down, in my mind, he knew she was for him.

We have a fiercely strong and protective alpha warrior and a highly independent woman who can stand her ground.  A duty may have brought them together, yet they have kept themselves apart. Five years pass and Grace finds herself in  a predicament and Adare is more than willing to do what it takes to protect her and to convince her give into the bond of matting this time.

Guardians Grace is an action packed, sizzling hot read. Ms. Zanetti gave readers a different kind of story with Adare and Grace.  These two Razzle each other up like no other. Their banter was on point. The chemistry was beyond the boiling point yet as stubborn kept them away.  Which made me want to slap them both upside the head at different point through out their story. What I can say is this- the battles are intense, the lovin’ is hot and two very strong and hardheaded people were able to find their way back to each other.

Review: More Than Protect You by Shayla Black

 

More Than Protect You 

Shayla Black

More Than Words Series, Book 6.5

1001 Dark Nights #133

Kindle Edition 152 pages
Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by 1001 Dark Nights Press

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black comes a new story in her More Than Words series…

Can I keep the gorgeous, gun-shy single mother safe—and prove I’m the man for her?

I’m Tanner Kirk—Certified firearms instructor and mixed martial arts enthusiast. When I filed for divorce at the end of an empty marriage, all I wanted was a vacation in paradise, not another woman in my life. But how can I possibly say no to Amanda Lund, a young single mom desperate to learn self-defense? Or refuse the banked desire on the guarded beauty’s face?

I can’t.

So I seduce Mandy until we’re burning up the sheets…and soon find my heart entangled with her bruised and battered one. But when a nemesis from her past tries to destroy our future by unearthing my secret, will she understand and forgive me—or give up on us forever?

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

4 Stars
Tanner doesn’t think twice when he’s asked to protect a woman and her young son. The moment he lays eyes on her he knows, deep in his soul he’s done. The man is about to sign final divorce papers, is not doing the love thing and is now caught between the need to protect her and attraction and chemistry that is pulling Amanda to him in every way.
Amanda is on the run. Trying to move on with life for herself and her son yet a threat is still right on her tail. Crossing an ocean should give her a safety net but soon realizes that’s a no go. When help is called in it tips Amanda world in a whole different way. The safety of herself and son are on the line, yet there’s an incredible pull to someone she hardly knows.
Tanner and Amanda’s story is a fast, slap you in the face, ya that just happened kind of story. On the move, tension rising, emotions blaring, Amanda and Tanner form a connection that can’t be fought or forgotten. It’s insta-love but it’s not. Their connection and chemistry found a way through the fears and secrets. Can a few days really be enough or will the secrets of the past taint the future? Tanner and Amanda is a ride but one with a happy ending.

Review: Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder

Joanne Fluke 

Hannah Swensen Series, book 26

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

 

It has been a long time since I have dipped into a Hannah Swensen novel.  I enjoyed the Christmas Cupcake Murder was a bit of a step back into time and allowed me to see these wonderful characters beginning to come into their own and getting to know them all over again. 

 

Lake Eden, Minnesota is all in gear for the festivities that come along with the Christmas season.  The baking is a foot at The Cookie Jar while a homeless man, suffering from memory loss stumbles upon Hannah’s bakery step willing to work in exchange for food. Hannah does what she does best, Offers a cozy environment, a sweet treat, something warm to drink and a bit of conversation and companionship.  Days later while inspecting a building that could possibly become an antique shop, Hannah and her mother stumble upon the same homeless man in dire straits. They spring into action getting  “John Doe” The help he needs and begin to unravel the mystery of who he is and where he’s from. 

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder was a fun and entertaining read allowing me to get reacquainted with these characters. The story shows the beginnings of the good characteristics and qualities that readers have come to love within these characters. When it came to finding John Doe’s past , It was like a needle in the haystack yet they never gave up, persisted and slowly were able to put the pieces in place. Honestly the mystery was an OK part of the story, I really loved the family drama between Hannah, her mother and her sisters, all the delectable recipes that I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free and Revisiting a small cozy town that I haven’t been to in a while. revisiting a small Coseytown that I haven’t been to in a while. If you’re looking for something pretty high on mystery this unfortunately is not going to be the right for you but if you’re a long time fan of this author and series It was one of those little treats the authors like to drop us every once in a while.

 

 

 

Review: Seduced In Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

Seduced in Ink 

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 4 

Published: September 29, 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink: Boulder series concludes with a fake relationship where the heat and emotional connection are anything but false.

The moment Madison McClard’s parents tell her that her ex is getting married, there’s no getting out of their latest scheme. One moment she’s trying to get out of their clutches. The next, they’re telling her exactly who she’ll marry to save the family name. The one thing her parents don’t count on, however: Aaron Montgomery.

Aaron Montgomery didn’t mean to lie. Still, as soon as he overheard Madison’s dilemma, the words fell out of his mouth. Now, he’s fake engaged to a woman he barely knows, who also happens to be his new brother-in-law’s cousin.

As the deception mounts, so does the attraction. They told themselves it was only a ruse, but as feelings ramp and dangers surge, this Montgomery may have just met his match.

He simply has to fight to keep her.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

 

Aaron Montgomery is too sweet and a man you totally want on your side. He can’t standby and  watch the wrong before his eyes. Madison fights a controlling mother who thinks her word is law, in every aspect of her life. When Madison’s parents step over the line, Aaron  steps in to save the day. What’s wrong with two friends pretending to be engaged. Nothing right? Unless those two people have attraction that keeps pulling at them, chemistry that makes them perfect for each other. Yet the more Pretend a couple things they do the more they realize maybe this relationship isn’t so fake after all.

 

Carrie Ann Ryan has given us readers another fantastic Montgomery for our hearts to swoon on. Aaron and Madison are great together. Sweet, funny and sexy. Seduced in Ink it totally character driven and I loved getting to know Madison and Aaron. A man that reads romance, oh YES! Madison is a strong woman and leaves her life the way she wants no matter what her parents dictate. Aaron showed her a fun and flirty side of life that she was definitely missing. Seduced in Ink has given me another new favorite Montgomery.

 

 

 

 

Review: Moments in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

 

Moments in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 3.5

ebook, 102 pages
Published September 14th 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink saga continues with a bonus romance between two strangers on a path of healing that leads to something far more.
Zia Clarkson thought she found her happily ever after, not once, but twice. Her first love is now engaged, and her second love broke more than her heart. Heart and soul bruised; she’s not looking for a relationship. Ever. Especially not with the uptight Meredith Legend who stars in her fantasies.
They promised each other one night of passion. And when the sun rises, they’ll walk away—even if they’re both lying to themselves about why.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Meredith has a great head for numbers but she feels like when it comes to love she pays bad choices. Zia thought she had found love, not once but twice and learned the hard way that love hurts you just as much as it brings happiness. Two people that have had love hurt them in the past or not looking for anything of the sort. But when an unexpected meeting and some undeniable attraction and chemistry make their presence known they both agree to one night. Ha! We all know one night is never enough. Quickly they both realize there’s more to what they’re feeling both women realize a big decision is going to have to be made.

 

I very much enjoyed Moments in Ink. Ms. Ryan hits readers with an emotional and touching tale of two women trying to heal and finding comfort, attraction and maybe even love in something neither one of them was looking for. We even get to visit with a few of our Montgomery friends making this a wonderful addition to an emotional and sexy series.