Monday, 31 August 2015

The Brigadier's Runaway Bride (The Dukes of War Series #5) by Erica Ridley (2015)


Description

Miss Sarah Fairfax is having a wretched year. Her intended perished at war. His child is in her belly. To secure her future, she resigns herself to a loveless marriage. Just as she’s about to say "I do," her fiancé returns from the grave to crash the wedding... but he’s no longer the charming, carefree man she remembers. 

After being left for dead on the battlefield, Brigadier Edmund Blackpool is scarred inside and out. He fights his way home only to discover his intended before the altar with his best friend. He'll be the one to marry her, no matter what she wants! But when his new bride disappears with his child, he must reopen his wounds to win the most important battle of his life.


Another delightful installment in the Dukes of War series. I was eagerly anticipating Sarah and Edmund's story. It was well worth the wait.

I felt real sympathy for Sarah as a happy ever after for her didn't seem to be in the cards. Being unwed and pregnant, she was facing social ruin as well as the double blow of losing her beloved Edmund and the protection his name would have afforded her had they married before he left for war.
She had to make some difficult decisions and she was lucky Edmund had good friends to look out for her.

Fortunately, Edmund didn't perish as everyone had believed and he turned up in time to very dramatically and romantically stop the wedding and declare that he was going to marry her. 

Getting married was the easy bit though and only the beginning of their story. They missed out on the early days of leisurely courtship to be suddenly thrust into marriage and parenthood practically overnight. They have to find a way to get over their misgivings, guilt and insecurities in order to reconnect and find their way back to how it was between them before the war.
Humorous and heartwarming, each installment of the series is consistent in its quality of writing, research and charm.

Get your copy for the special introductory price of £1.99 on Kindle AmazonUK

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Evil Beneath by A.J. Waines


Description
There’s a body in the water - and she’s wearing your clothes… Impulsive and intrepid psychotherapist, Juliet Grey, can’t resist responding to an anonymous text message telling her to go to Hammersmith Bridge at dawn. But it isn’t simply the dead body in the water that disturbs her, it’s the way something uniquely personal to Juliet has been left on the corpse. Another obscure message - another London bridge - and Juliet finds herself caught up with a serial killer, who leaves personal mementos instead of collecting trophies. Teaming up with local detective, DCI Brad Madison, Juliet strives to find out why she has been targeted and how it’s connected to the accident that killed her brother, nineteen years ago. Can Juliet use her knowledge of the human psyche to get inside the mind of the killer, before another body is found under a bridge? And how long before Juliet herself becomes the next target?

A. J. Waines is a new author for me but after reading The Evil Beneath I will definitely be checking out her other titles.
As a fan of murder mysteries and romantic thrillers, The Evil Beneath did not disappoint. It was exciting and tense right from the beginning where Juliet gets a strange text telling her to go to Hammersmith Bridge. After finding a dead body the creepiness didn't end there as she receives more anonymous texts and the body count begins to climb. On top of this, Juliet is seeing patients in her own home which adds to the tension and danger factor. She also has an alcoholic ex-boyfriend who may or may not be connected to the murders. There was a little bit of simmering romance in the background with DCI Brad Madison playing the love interest. However, the romance was kept to a minimum in favour of pace and suspense.
Well written and addictive. This is a book I couldn't and wouldn't put down until I got to the end.

The Evil Beneath is available in paperback and ebook.
On Kindle it is currently priced £1.99 or Free to read with Kindle Unlimited.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Murder at Green Meadows: An Angie Walker Cozy Mystery #1 By Jessica Woodridge. Narrated by Laura Jennings (2015)


An Angela Walker Cozy Mystery set in Florida
Angie Walker is a few days from fulfilling a lifelong dream of being her own boss. Soon she and her best friend will open a treasure/antique business on Florida's east coast.
But as a reporter for the Tequesta Sun, she has one last assignment - interview former boss Frederick Canterly about his five-decade career as publisher of the Madera Beach Tribune.
The interview should be a piece of cake, but her former boss very inconveniently drops dead.
Police believe he's been poisoned, and detectives find an incriminating vial in Angie's purse. Now instead of opening the door to her business dream, she may open the door to a prison nightmare.
With the help of longtime friend and reporter Harry Landon, she begins a desperate search for the shrewd killer who framed her.
Canterly made enemies during his time in Madera Beach. Many people hated him, with good reason. Even Landon had an opportunity and a very good motive to kill the Madera Beach publisher.
While keeping her eye on her good friend Harry, Angie will have to shift through the evidence and find the ruthless murderer.
In doing so she will also become a target. Unless she is careful, intelligent, and ruthless, Canterly will not be the only murder victim in this small, tightly knit community.

This is an easy, entertaining listen and a great beginning to a new cozy mystery series. 
The mystery itself is engaging as there are so many suspects to choose from. Frederick Canterly was a man who had made many enemies over the years, many of whom had ample opportunity and motive to kill him. Unfortunately for Angie, the murderer decided to frame her for the crime and she is the number one suspect for much of the story. 
The drama unfolds as she and her friend Harry Landon try to piece together the final few weeks of Fredericks's life; his business dealings and personal life that could hold the key to unravelling the mystery of who poisoned him.
It's quite a straightforward murder mystery and there are no big twists and turns. It's not too difficult to guess who the culprit is but I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing with this novel and finding out in the end if I had guessed correctly. I would be happy to listen to more from the narrator, Laura Jennings, and read the next mystery in the series.
I was gifted the audio book by the author via audiobookblast.com in exchange for an honest review.

A Promise of Home (A Lake Howling Novel Book 1) by Wendy Vella (2015)





Best Selling Author Wendy Vella 
Description
When Branna O'Donnell heads back to Lake Howling, Oregon, she’s not sure what to expect. It’s a place that holds plenty of memories, both good and bad, but Branna is determined to find some peace there from the demons of her past. However, she soon realizes that living in a small town again comes with complications, and one of them is named Jake McBride.
Once the town golden boy, Dr. McBride has returned from Iraq angry and, like her, shouldering a few emotional scars. They strike sparks off each other from the outset, and Branna knows that if she gives in to the attraction between them it’s going to result in a world of pain. The problem is she's not sure how to walk away


How could I possibly fall in love with a whole fictional town and its inhabitants?! But that's exactly what happened when I picked up A Promise of Home by Wendy Vella. 

I put this book to the side for a little bit under the misguided notion that I'd be reading another 'middle of the road' sweet romance novel about second chance love with a childhood friend. The cover art didn't do much to sway me from this preconceived idea. 

Thankfully, I was very wrong! It only took a few pages to confirm in my mind that this book was great and that I was seriously hooked. Lake Howling and the people who live there were so real in my mind as I was reading that if someone suggested going for a visit I'd jet off in a flash and probably stay there for good.

Sparks fly between Branna and Jake right from the outset and their banter and sarcastic comments made this story humorous and addictive. I loved how grumpy Branna was. If the author had simply concentrated on these two characters overcoming their emotional traumas and hangups whilst getting to know each other I'd be telling you what a lovely, simple and sweet romance this is.

However, the story twists and turns so well that the romance is just one aspect. There is a whole town full of people and drama to pull you in even further. With its rich list of characters there is a real community spirit in Lake Howling and you can't help but feel part of it when they gossip and interfere in each other's lives. Jake has his buddies, Buster and Ethan, who are adorable, witty and protective of each other. Their insulting jibes and teasing made me laugh.
Branna has a smaller social circle but it soon extends as she adjusts to small town life. 
However, it is not all laughs and witty banter as behind closed doors not everyone is living a happy and quaint small town life. There is a disturbing, darker element at play.

Branna and Jake's back stories were an interesting read and I could sympathise with and understand their fears and motivations. Branna's relationship with her father added an extra element of drama and angst. 
I enjoyed the little bit of mystery and suspense that occurred towards the end of the novel. I wasn't expecting the story to veer in that direction but I was excited when it did as I love it when my favourite genres mix together.

I was sorry to get to the end of the book but delighted that the second had already been published. So at one o clock in the morning, ignoring my TBR list of books to review and happy in the knowledge I had the following day off work, I downloaded The Texan Meets His Match. By five o clock I sadly had to say bye bye to Lake Howling but I will definitely be back when book 3 is published.


I received a copy of A Promise of Home in return for an honest review.
It is free to download with Kindle Unlimited. Amazon



Description 
Annabelle Smith has never had it easy, but she's a survivor. So when her brother cleans out her bank account, she reluctantly turns to the one man she'd vowed to stay away from. Ethan Gelderman is a hot, sexy Texan, who has more numbers in his black book than most men have socks, and placing her trust in him is one of the hardest things she's ever had to do. Lake Howling is home to Ethan's closest friends, and it's also where Annabelle "firebrand" Smith lives. Sassy, beautiful and pricklier than a cactus, she's never made it a secret that she wants nothing to do with him, but he sure as hell wants something to do with her. Lord knows, it’s going to be hard to earn her trust, but Ethan’s never backed down from a challenge yet, and he soon realizes trust is just the beginning of what he wants from Annabelle. 
The second in the series delves into Ethan's background. He comes from a wealthy oil family with a very overbearing and nasty father. Ethan got out of his control as soon as he was old enough and used his own money to carve out his own successful business life. He has been friends with Jake since their time in Iraq. He is charming, rich and good looking but he also has the reputation of being a ladies man which rules him out of Annabelle's book straight away. Ethan doesn't let this deter him. They have the same circle of friends and their paths cross a lot. Annabelle always has a quip or an insult at hand for these occasions. 
It is only after when Ethan helps her out of a spot of bother that she takes the time to get to know him better. There is much more to the happy Texan persona he presents than meets the eye. 

Annabelle has a quick temper but is articulate with it and I enjoyed reading the parts where she replied with a sarcastic comment or gave Ethan's father and brother a dressing down.
The suspense in the second novel centres round Annabelle's brother who is a gambler and heroin addict. In his desperation he steals from Annabelle to pay off some of his debt with Vegas crime lords. But it isn't long before his dealings catch up with him and puts Annabelle in danger. 
A good, enjoyable read. 

Both books are available in print and digital.
The Texan Meets His Match is Free to download with Kindle Unlimited
AmazonUK

Friday, 21 August 2015

Hanover House By Brenda Novak (2015)

Kick-off to the Hanover House Chronicles by Brenda Novak


Mystery and thrillers, Romance.
Publication Date  1st September 2015

Description

Welcome to Hanover House….
Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the antisocial mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them?
After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst.
But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.
He knows what could happen if one little thing goes wrong...

This book is a 200-page prequel to WHITEOUT, Book 1 in the Hanover House Chronicles, which will be released from St. Martin's Press September 2016.



A fantastic introduction to a new series.

The romance between Evelyn and Amarok was realistic and well written. Evelyn has issues because of her past and has reservations about beginning a relationship with Amarok. She is also insecure because of the age difference between them. Evelyn is a few years older but Amorak doesn't let these obstacles deter him. The fact that someone wants her dead is a bigger problem.

The suspense in the story kept me glued until I had the book finished.
I can't wait to read the rest of the series.


I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Promise by Elizabeth Chappelle (2013). Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2015)




Lucy's perfect world came crashing down around her when she heard those four dreaded words: "I don't love you". Followed by the slamming of the door. Six months later, still in shock and denial, Lucy boarded a plane to go somewhere far away. She needed to be alone, with no memories of Paul. While in Egypt she met Sebastian Steel, whose origin was as potent as his magnetism; he was half English, half Italian, and a successful hotelier in Sharm el Sheikh and Cairo.

The narration of this story makes for very easy listening. The book can be listened to in a few hours so it is perfect for relaxing at the beach or on a journey.

The narrator portrays the emotions of the characters very well. I could feel the hurt, betrayal and loss that Lucy was feeling at the beginning of the novel. I could hear the laughter and humour in Lucy's voice as she developed a relationship with Sebastian.

I don't think I would have enjoyed this novel as much if it wasn't for Melanie Fraser's narration.
The story had potential to have so much more drama. I found the romance to be unrealistic. Getting divorced, meeting, falling in love and the inevitable Happy Ever After occurred over a few weeks on holiday. Her parents were far too happy that she got engaged to man she met on holiday while she was getting over a divorce. I'm 35 and I can imagine how my parents would react. My mother would probably chase the guy back to the airport with the sweeping brush!!

I thought the author could have extended the story and their relationship in England a bit more before they settled down. I would also have liked to know how Sebastian managed his Egyptian hotels from England and was it really the last they would hear from the duplicitous Tara? But in saying that, I enjoyed the story and would listen to it again.

This is a sweet, simple romance and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy, relaxing listen.

Audio Length 3hrs and 24mins.

I received a copy of this audio book from the narrator in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Michigan Moonlight Series by May Williams (2015)




Author- May Williams
May Williams is convinced she read every book in the public library of her hometown as a kid. They were wonderful inspiration for life as a novelist. If she’s not reading or writing, May can be found pursuing her other two passions – sewing and running. May lives happily in a little town on the shores of Lake Erie with her husband, two children, three cats, and one oversized dog.






Photographer Ian Kroft’s dream is to finish his book on fellow veterans. When his father offers him the funds he needs in exchange for persuading a family to sell their farm, it sounds simple. Then Ian meets Colette and in a flash everything changes.
Cherry Ridge Farm is home to Colette’s family — and to her animal rescue center. The slim, gorgeous veterinarian has no intention of selling. Soon Ian’s chasing after her runaway dog and laughing at her jokes, and he knows that if he lets slip his real purpose, she’ll never forgive him. Ian’s torn between his book and his new romance…all while his father is clamoring for him to seal the deal.
Colette can trust a dog to come back when she calls, but a man? Colette’s been burned more than once. Then a sweet, athletic photographer pops into her life and makes her wonder if it’s time to picture a new future.

This first novel centres around Collette and Ian. Both have their own personal issues to deal with. Collette is insecure in her romantic entanglements with men and she is also being hounded by a developer intent on buying her family's land.
Ian has a broken relationship with his father and in attempt to mend things he takes on the task of persuading Collette to sell up. If he succeeds, his father will finance his new book. However, Ian didn't count on falling in love with the lovely Collette.

A quick, sweet and light, romantic read perfect for these summer days.
I liked that Ian made choice between his father and Collette pretty quickly. He immediately realises that Collette isn't going to sell and neither should she. She lives in a beautiful place surrounded by family and friends. However, he doesn't tell her that he had an ulterior motive when he engineered their initial meeting which could ruin their burgeoning romance if she ever found out. Unfortunately, his father isn't going to take no for an answer from anyone and it's not long before Ian is in hot water.

Available to buy now


With a successful career, and his dream house under construction, the only thing missing from Adrien Peterson’s life is love. Since high school, Adrien’s heart has belonged to the irresistible Gracie Sinclair. If only he could make her see it…
Single mother Gracie’s worked hard for everything she’s got. Between her son, her nursing job, and violin playing, she’s built a life that, if not a dream, is something she can be proud of. She’s had enough lovers and family walk out on her to know not to want more. But then Adrien moves next door while his house is being built, bringing with him a tempting charm she remembers all too well. 
Adrien is determined to break down the walls around Gracie’s heart. When she reluctantly agrees to a six-week trial relationship, he has one shot to show her just what a dream love can be.

After being briefly introduced to Gracie and Adrien in Animal Prints I felt that I already knew them and couldn't wait to read their story. I wasn't disappointed. It is a story of second chance love. The couple were best friends as children but circumstances beyond their control drove them apart. Ian went away to university and graduate school. Gracie went to the city but soon ends up back home, abandoned and pregnant. Ian and Gracie have always had an attraction for each other and have gone a couple of dates over the years. Ian has loved her since they were teenagers but Gracie is very cautious. She had a tough upbringing and she now has a young son to consider. Now that Ian is working close by and building a home on the family land he put a real effort into wooing Gracie. Ian is very charming and irresistible so it isn't too long before the two of them finally get their HEA.

Police detective Gabe Sinclair sees broken laws and broken lives every day. The last thing he needs is to add to the list is a broken heart. The law he’s made for himself is never let a relationship get serious—that’s how he got burned before. So when Gabe hears the word “love” he calls it off—even though the word is coming from the lovely Sylvia O’Shea.
Sylvia dedicates herself to running her organic farm and to her hot relationship with a darkly handsome detective. When her boyfriend runs off fast as a cop in pursuit and her past comes calling, Sylvia struggles to rebuild her future, still wondering about what might have been. Months later, an investigation brings Gabe to Syliva’s farm. He can’t resist her lure and offers a no-promises relationship. But no-commitment works both ways. 
Will Gabe realize that some laws are made to be broken…before it’s too late?

This was my favourite book of the three. We were briefly introduced to Gabe and Sylvia in Snow Prints where the sparks were flying off the page.
Gabe is Gracie's brother from Snow Prints. Because of his tough childhood; being brought up and then abandoned by an abusive alcoholic mother, he has a few issues when it comes to women and relationships. He generally runs for the hills as soon as things begin to look too serious or if feelings other than lust emerge.
The story opens up with Gabe and Sylvia already broken up because Sylvia used the three little words. Events conspire to continuously throw them together however and Gabe can't run from his feelings forever. He has to face his inner demons and work at winning Sylvia back again before he loses her for good.
Gracie has a very interesting background and family. It would be interesting to see the author write a series about this family. They have a demolition company and her brothers are rowdy and protective of each other. They are constantly asking Gracie to give up her farm and come back to work with them. If her farm fails she might have to do just that. 

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($5.00Amazon Gift Card)


Excerpts
Excerpt #1
She wrapped her arms around the neck of an all white alpaca, murmuring soothing words. Her flaming hair blew against the animal’s fur, reminded him of how it looked against her pillow early in the morning after a night in her bed.
Without planning to, Gabe took a step closer and reached for her. “Syl…please…I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Her eyes met his, their expression unreadable. Before he could do anything else a radio crackled to life behind him. “Large quantity of TNT found in the building on the southwest corner of the farm. And we’ve got diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate. Looks like the tip was good. You got her, Miller?”
“Please,” Gabe pleaded with her across the inches that divided them, while ignoring the buzz of excitement that went through the assembled officers.
“Cuff her, Sinclair, or I’m going to own your badge.” Miller’s voice cut through the still air.
Gabe waited. Several seconds ticked by. Would she fight him or, worse, try to run? He wanted to say something, anything to her, but his brain wouldn’t form the words.
With a defiant look, Sylvia raised her white wrists to Gabe. He grabbed one wrist, spinning her around and snapping the cold metal on her arms, more roughly than he meant to. “Sylvia O’Shea, you’re under arrest for the possession of explosives without valid license and permits. Anything you say can and will...” He droned on, although he no longer heard what he was saying. He brushed the alpacas aside and guided Sylvia from the pen.

Excerpt #2
She turned, heading away from him, toward her kitchen. She didn’t want him to see her face. He read faces and body language well—too much time as a cop. He’d see the hurt, and she wasn’t sure how he’d react.
“I can’t make you promises,” he said from close behind her. He’d crossed the space, fast and silent. “But I like you in my life.”
Like? It was probably the best she could hope for from him, but she wasn’t sure it was enough. She loved him, and he knew it. She’d made that clear over Valentine’s dinner. But it’d been a long spring without him in her life.
So maybe “like” could do for now. Maybe.
“So what are you…suggesting?” she avoided the word “proposing,” figuring that would send him out the door again.
“We go back, try to pick up where we were…say… in January.”
She spun around. “Just like that?” Her voice was sharp. “Erase what happened after?”
He swallowed hard. “For now. But, like I said, no promises.”
She shouldn’t accept him on these terms. People who knew her would laugh that she didn’t toss him out on his ear or tell him to go to the devil, but other people didn’t live her life. She did, and she wanted him despite the fact that he might not be good for her.
She studied his face, all the tiny imperfections—the scar on his temple, creases on his forehead, scowl lines around his mouth—and remembered how much she loved him and how much she’d missed him, every little thing about him. He challenged her like no man ever had, and she couldn’t let him go. Reaching out, she grasped his head, pulled him to her, and whispered: “Okay, we’ll do this with no promises.”
Excerpt 3
When she shut off the engine, Boomer launched himself past her and out the open window. His sharp barks sounded through the night air, and Quince’s baying began inside the cottage. Sylvia stepped out of her vehicle, wiping her damp hands on the front of her cotton sundress. She could have worn her usual outfit of jeans and a sweatshirt, but sometimes dressing like a woman had some appeal. After staring at her closet for several minutes, she’d settled on a cornflower blue dress with spaghetti straps. But now, on her final approach to his place, she felt overdone, too obvious in her attempt to look feminine.
Too late to change her mind. Her dog was on the run, and a square of light flooded the porch as Gabe swung the door open. Quince bounded past him, giving Sylvia a cursory glance before chasing down Boomer.
“I brought you something,” she called, her voice quaking slightly. He crossed his arms over his bare chest, keeping his spot on the porch. Shirtless and in old, form-fitting jeans, he was sexy, cool Gabe, not the pissed off cop version she’d seen so much of lately.
“Didn’t expect to see you here,” he commented, his gravelly tones hard to distinguish among the sounds of the crickets and frogs.
“I could do with some help,” she said, climbing out and circling the truck to get the mead. As she lifted the first of two racks of wine bottles, she felt him behind her—close behind her.
“What do you have?” He poked his head over her shoulder, bringing his chin in contact with the bare skin of her neck. She gulped in air as the temperature in the cab started to rise.
“Bottles of mead from the batch we made last winter,” she said, her voice too loud in the confined space. “Since you did half the work, I figured you should get….” She trailed off, letting the softer sounds of the night fill the space around them as his lips brushed her neck.
But then, he lurched back from her abruptly.
“Step out of the way,” he said, his voice gruff, commanding, a little flustered. She flicked her eyes to his face, but the shadows were too deep to see his expression.
She moved to the side, channeling any irritation into appreciating the way his butt looked in those jeans while he leaned in to the cab to lift the racks from the truck’s floor. He hoisted them onto his shoulder and strode toward his front door. She hesitated, waiting for a word of welcome.
“You coming?” he paused, his silhouette highlighted by the light emitted from his open door. That would have to do. It wasn’t exactly mi casa su casa, but by Gabe standards, it was an invitation, and one she wasn’t letting go.

















Saturday, 15 August 2015

Everybody Talks: A Kitty James Mystery #2 (2015)

Everybody Talks (Kitty James Mystery #2)
Crestwood’s grapevine, The Beast, is fed through SPArkles Salon, much to owner Daphne Arden’s disgust. Daphne grew up in her grandmother’s beauty-parlor, after her mother Jolie, the Summer Lake wild child, disappeared mysteriously over twenty years ago. The Beast chewed on Jolie and speculated about the true identity of Daphne’s father. After surviving the fallout her entire childhood, in addition to having some crazy relatives with questionable business practices, all Daphne hopes for is quiet respectability, staying well out of the jaws of The Beast.

So much for hope. Susie Mayhew, a local woman who went missing, floats up right behind Daphne’s house, and Susie’s isn’t the only body in Summer Lake, causing the police to find a serial killer’s dumping grounds.

The Beast roars fast and loud, and Kitty James is knocking on Daphne’s door begging for a front row seat the scandal. As if that wasn’t enough? Her old high school crush, the handsome David Mitchell, starts to pursue her determinedly, causing tongues to wag a mile a minute!

As connections between a murdered ex-employee, Jolie’s disappearance, and one of Daphne’s many potential fathers is revealed, a killer will become increasingly nervous about past crimes being resurrected. A killer that will do anything, including silence Kitty and Daphne, to keep everybody from talking about the past.

*****


A superb follow up to Dragonfly. The Kitty James Mysteries are now firmly on my 'must read' shelf and I eagerly anticipate the next mystery.

I love the author's style of writing. She writes such wonderful, true to life characters. Small town life is captured so well.
The story opens in 1982 with the first killing and after that we are intermittently given glimpses into Jolie's life, her character, her actions, and interactions with the people around her.
The main story is set in the present day where Jolie's daughter, Daphne, is all grown up and trying to live a quiet, gossip free life. Living in a small town and owning a salon means that it is practically impossible to avoid gossip and scandal, especially after dead bodies turn up behind her house.
There are plenty of mysteries to solve. Who was Daphne's father? What really happened to her mother? Who is the killer and will there be more victims?

Kitty takes a back seat in this story and only plays a supporting role in solving the mystery. Daphne is a great character and through her the novel takes a lighter and more humorous tone than Kitty's in Dragonfly. Where Kitty suffers from social anxiety disorder Daphne is outgoing and sassy. She does have her own quirks though. She doesn't date locals because of the gossip mill. When you date a local the whole town has a propensity to weigh in with their opinion. This I can relate to but I'd totally break the rule for a David. 
Daphne's internal thoughts about the people around her, especially Kitty, are quite funny. She also fancies the pants off David, whom we met in Dragonfly, but she is so obsessed with avoiding gossip that she doesn't even want to be seen talking to him in public and goes to great lengths to avoid his company. Their developing relationship is cute and funny. I particularly liked the scene where she was in hospital and didn't want David to see her because she looked a scary mess. I wouldn't have to be in hospital to relate to that feeling!

The mystery is well thought out and the characters are all very engaging. I am loving this series!!

Everybody Talks is out today! AmazonUK   £3.86


An Unexpected Wish by Eileen Richards (Releasing October 2015)



Debut Author and First in a Brand New Series!DescriptionLOVE IS IN THE AIR
Anne Townsend doesn't ask for much. Plain and poor, she'd settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne's willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored—except with the one man who will never want her… 
Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family's lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?

I can't wait to read more from Eileen Richards!
An Unexpected Wish was light, cute and entertaining from beginning to end. It had everything that I enjoy in a Regency Historical - humour, romance and a little bit of suspense.

There was so much humour surrounding Anne's sudden predicament; being the centre of unwanted attention whilst simultaneously developing an attraction to Nathaniel with whom she is quite often at odds.
 I loved Nathaniel in the story. Despite his conflicting feelings about Anne and her family he is incredibly kind, protective and good natured. I enjoyed the banter between the couple and Nathaniel's little piques of jealousy added to the drama.
Anne is also a great character. She is strong willed and kind hearted but not as self assured as she could be and needs to be convinced that Nathaniel's feelings for her are real.
The sub plot of danger and a threat to Anne and her family lurking in the background added suspense and excitement to the story.

An Unexpected Wish is going directly to my 'keep and reread' shelf.

It would also make a good title to gift/recommend to your mother or aunt if they prefer their regency romances more along the lines of Georgette Heyer and less on the sensual side.

This title will be available from October 27th 2015 but I suggest you pre-order it now. AmazonUK  Currently priced at £2.39







Friday, 14 August 2015

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie Releasing March 1st 2016


Blurb

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. And it is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that she learns of her father’s liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age.

Patsy too has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist intent on a career in Europe. Heartbroken at having to decide between being William’s wife or a devoted daughter, she returns to Virginia with her father and marries a man of his choosing, raising eleven children of her own.

Yet as family secrets come to light during her father’s presidency, Patsy must again decide how much she will sacrifice to protect his reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.


Pre-Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/nl-NL/ebook/america-s-first-daughter

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Ten Readers will receive access to a Digital e-Galley at Edelweiss)


About Stephanie

STEPHANIE DRAY is a bestselling and award-nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. As STEPHANIE DRAVEN, she is a national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Stephanie’s Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



About Laura


Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America's First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.


Laura’s Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads