Saturday 26 September 2015

Death on the Range (Target Practice Mysteries #1) By Nikki Haverstock (2015)

When a competitive archer is murdered at the training facility where Di has just started working, she's thrust into the middle of an unofficial investigation before she can even settle into her new life. With her roommate Mary and a Great Dane named Moo, she begins to unravel the mystery around the death of the victim, but can they solve the case before they find themselves in the killer's sights?


A short, cosy murder mystery. 
Although the story is short at just over 100 pages, the characters are well developed and the mystery is intriguing; any longer and the story would have seemed dragged out. Death on the Range was full of humour and I particularly enjoyed Di's drunken retelling of the reasons why she filed for divorce, moved across the country and started a new job. She is an interesting, funny character and I will enjoy reading subsequent titles in the series.

True Deceptions by Veronica Forand Published by Entangled Suspense (October, 2015)

Temptation. Seduction. Pleasure. It's all part of the game...

After his partner was murdered, Simon Dunn was done with MI6. But the cold, violent world of British intelligence never lets anyone go free. Now Simon has been blackmailed into a new job...with a beautiful new partner who's going to get them both killed.

Robotics expert Cassie Watson is a newbie field agent with as much sophistication as...well, a pacifist, vegan computer nerd. Now she's abruptly thrust into the cutthroat world of espionage with a partner who is as cold as he is brutally-and brutishly-handsome.

But when their mission is betrayed from the inside, Cassie will be forced to place her life in the hands of the one man who's anything but trustworthy.

True Deceptions is the sequel to Untrue Colors also reviewed hereAlex and Henry from 'Untrue Colors' make a welcome appearance in 'True Deceptions' and we get an update on their relationship.

True Deceptions is Simon's story. An MI6 agent who suddenly finds himself on a mission with a beautiful but inept partner. Cassie is an expert in robotics and her expertise is needed for this mission, however, she has no survival skills. This infuriates Simon. His former partner was exceptionally skilled but killed during his last mission. He believes the untrained Cassie will make his current mission more dangerous and get them both killed. In the beginning of the story Simon is quite unlikeable as he doesn't treat Cassie with an ounce of respect. Despite their mutual mistrust and dislike for each other, they fall into bed together very quickly. That aspect of their relationship and character development seemed too rushed for me.
                                  The more they flirted and got to know one another, Simon became less grouchy and more likeable and Cassie, the classic damsel in distress, gained confidence. The suspense kicked up several notches as the story progressed and I couldn't put it down. Of course, the mission doesn't go according to plan and Simon and Cassie find themselves in several sticky situations. There was a lot going on with different characters making appearances and having their own murky agendas. The plot is intricately woven and I found that I needed to pay attention.  
Highly recommended to all romantic suspense fans. If you haven't read Untrue Colors I'd recommend beginning with it for full enjoyment although True Deceptions can easily be read as a stand alone novel.

I received an ARC of True Deceptions from Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

I'll Never Let You Go By Mary Burton (October 2015)



He promised to kill her. One night four years ago, Leah Carson's husband almost succeeded. Philip stabbed her twenty-three times before fleeing. The police are sure he's dead. But fear won't let Leah believe it.

AND SOMETIMESIt starts with little things. Missing keys. A flat tire. Mysterious flowers. All easily explained away if the pattern wasn't so terrifyingly familiar. Leah has a new veterinary practice and a new life with no ties to her nightmare. But Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent Alex Morgan suspects something. And when another woman's body is found, stabbed twenty-three times, Leah knows her past has found her.


As Leah and Alex untangle the horrifying truth, he watches her, ready for the perfect moment. Until death—that was the vow they made. And a killer always keeps his word…


A fantastic read. I won't be happy now until I've read every single book in Mary Burton's backlist!

Dark and thrilling, I'll Never Let You Go had me awake until late into the wee hours after reaching the end of the book and not being able to let it go. 

It is atmospheric and full of suspense. The author pulls no punches with the killing of her characters and there is a real sense of danger and terror enveloping the story. I loved that the romantic side of the plot, although evident, was placed firmly in the sidelines to allow suspense and drama to take centre stage. 

From the opening chapter I developed a liking for and attachment to Leah who had to suffer and survive domestic abuse, stalking as well as having to make a slow trek back from death's door after a horrifying attempt on her life. I inwardly cheered for her as she got her life back together and made new friends. I liked Alex as well despite his emotional detachment from people. His professionalism and genuine concern for Leah won me over fairly quickly.
The mystery and suspense unfolded with many twists and turns. I thought very early into the novel that I had a good idea of how the story would go but I was wrong! I was not expecting the twists that occurred and I was as genuinely surprised as the characters themselves at the turn of events towards the end of the novel.  

'I'll Never Let You Go'  is due to be published on the 27th of October 2015

Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for providing me with a review copy.

Travelling Seeds By Rebecca Bielawski (2015)

Product Description

BOOK 3 in the MUMMY NATURE series of children's books 

Discover how seeds travel from place to place. Our narrator excitedly tells us how she saw a pear fall from a tree in the meadow and how a cow came along and ate it. Then the seed began a journey. Where would the seed end up? Would it grow into a big tree with pears of its own? 

Using the pear and cow example we can stimulate more questions about seed dispersal and, like all the books in MUMMY NATURE series, Travelling Seeds can be used as a jumping off point for discussion of other topics such as seed germination, plant parts or how plants animals and people interact in nature. On the last page we can see more examples of ways that seeds can be spread. 

What we can learn: 
How seeds of fruit can be spread when eaten by animals or people 
Other ways that seeds can be spread: by wind, by water, by sticking to travelling creatures 
Simple ideas about germination 
The cycle of: seed > plant > flower > fruit > seed 
A cow stomach has 4 parts 

new words: 
Germination, sprout, roots, seedling 
PAGES: 24 
WORDS: 283 
LEVEL: Preschool to 6yrs 

Other books in the series: 
Meet Bacteria! 
Bees Like Flowers 

MUMMY NATURE series – nurturing children's curiosity 

Each book in the series is one mini nature lesson wrapped up in colour and rhyme. These books are intended for very young children including toddlers and will give them just a glimpse into some of the wonders of the natural world. Illustrated for maximum vibrancy and visual impact, using rhyme to engage young minds and encourage participation. Read the rhymes to your children and soon they will be reading them to you!

The narrator is a small child and keen observer who tells us in short rhyming phrases everything she thinks we should know, and all about the magical things she sees around her. Sometimes she is camouflaged in the long grass and other times she has to climb a tree to get a better look.

A lovely, colourful, rhyming picture book with an educational theme. A wonderful teaching resource for play schools and infant classrooms. 
I would recommend Travelling Seeds as a stimulus for introducing living things and the  plants and animals strand of the SESE curriculum for the junior and senior infant classes. The book provides a simple basis for a discussion about living things and how we can tell if something is living or non living. Children find it difficult to grasp the concept that plants can move but Travelling Seeds  depicts and explains this in a very simple way for children to understand.
                   When I read Travelling Seeds to a group of children they were fascinated by the information contained in the short book and they enjoyed the rhyming nature as well as the beautiful illustrations. 
Some discussion about cow dung and manure ensued after some children took exception to the word 'poop' in the story.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Rich Girl (The Saucy Girl Series #1) By Joanne Sexton (2014)

Chelsea Summerville has a stalker who is kidnapping and murdering women resembling her, just to carve them up with a message. Judged unfairly by the sociopath Chelsea fears for her life. 

The murders sting Detective Lucas Hudson's raw nerves. In order to save Chelsea they become partners, intimate partners. Lucas recalls the past, determined to prevent the mayhem unfolding, and this time to stop a killer before he loses the woman he loves. 

Chelsea is hunted, passion blurs lines, and drama ensues. Romantic suspense follows the knotted curve of love whilst she is pursued by madness. There's a fine line between love, obsession, and hate.

After reading the blurb for this book I was excited to read it as the murders sounded creepy and a bit scary.

The mystery and suspense in the novel was well done and I enjoyed trying to figure out who the murderer was. There were enough twists and turns to hold my interest and keep me guessing.
However, I didn't really warm to Chelsea and Lucas's relationship at the beginning as it felt rushed and forced. They didn't have a previous friendship or liking for one another that would have lent a bit of authenticity to their very sudden relationship. At the end of the book Lucas became a big disappointment for me. He made decisions that I didn't think were necessary and Chelsea who was a sweet character really should have made his life miserable by making him grovel big time for a second chance.

The Finn Factor By Rachel Bailey (2015)

                           The Finn Factor By Rachel Bailey                           

                           Entangled Publishing, LLC 

                           Entangled Embrace

                           New Adult, Romance 

                Publication Date 28th September 2015



It’s been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He's safe, he's convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.
Finn knows exactly why Scarlett's boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she’s brought home is nearly good enough. And he’ll be damned if he lets some loser give her “kissing lessons.” No. He’ll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can't give her. And if he doesn't put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he’ll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all...heartbreak.

A fun, romantic read that will certainly appeal to the college age set.
The story centres round two best friends who are secretly in love with each other but are too afraid of ruining their friendship to do anything about it. Scarlett tries to date but is ignorant of the fact that Finn is scaring each guy away at the first available opportunity, leaving her confused and frustrated. This made me laugh especially as there was no shortage of men wanting to date her but I wish we had seen these events taking place, rather than being referenced to, before the whole kissing lessons debacle began.
             Finn is a really nice character. He has a lot to deal with in that he is the sole guardian of two younger sisters after the death of their parents and he takes that responsibility very seriously. He also feels a responsibility towards Scarlett. Scarlett has hippies for parents and she didn't have a permanent home while growing up as they constantly moved from place to place. Living with Finn is her first experience of having the security of a real home.
           There is a lot more to this story than just Finn and Scarlett fighting their attractions for one another. Their situations are much more complex. Their background stories, while adding depth and emotion, also lends the reader to sympathise with the two characters and their fears of starting a relationship with each other. At the same time you can't help but cheer them on and yell at them to get on with it!

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Dirty Business By Julie Elizabeth Powell, Narrated by Melanie Fraser (2015)

                               Book Description.

Gavin Bloom and Alex Moore run an online magazine for an adult market; although each insists it has to be within the limits of not only the law but to their sense of decency. Gavin is on the edge of developing a revolutionary turn for that very magazine, a program that will no doubt secure the business, maybe forever.
Amidst the excitement and enjoyment of its success, however, is the mysterious and heinous murder of one of their own.
Who can have done it? And why?
And who is the woman fastened by a chain to a wall?
Follow the twists and turns and perhaps you can solve the puzzle before they do.

                 A fantastic suspense filled mystery.
The story is told from lots of different perspectives and so no one main character ever really emerges. I did however like Inspector Maplin the best and I think I would have enjoyed this book equally well if it had been told simply from his point of view along with Lily's.
He was an interesting character. He was older and so had experience and wisdom on his side. He was also smart and kind and had the added task of being a mentor to his troublesome younger colleague. The dynamic between these two very different men being partnered together to solve murders would make an interesting series of its own.
          I would certainly consider the audio edition to be a superior experience to reading the novel from print. Melanie Fraser's performance slows down the reading pace which emphasises the suspense. Through her performance, the nail biting episodes involving Lilly's kidnapping was made more intense. In reading the print version I would have simply raced through those scenes as fast as I could to find out what happens next, thus losing much of the suspense and attention to detail more evidenced in the audio version.
         I enjoyed the scenes involving Lily, particularly the episode where she attempts to escape. The suspense was nail biting. Having been with her from the beginning of the novel and experiencing her captivity along with her, I had developed an attachment and emotional connection to Lily that I didn't feel with the other characters. It wasn't clear at all, even towards the end, whether or not Lily would survive her kidnapping ordeal and so I listened to these episodes with a little bit of dread and my fingers crossed!

I'd recommend this novel and audiobook to all fans of murder mysteries.

This audio book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Eyewitness By Carolann Camillo and Phyllis Humphrey (2015)

By Carolann Camillo and Phyllis Humphrey
Publisher: Camel Press
Release Date: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1603813556

The big break Toni Abbott longed for has finally arrived. She has been cast as the soap opera villainess everyone loves to hate, and because of her, ratings are soaring. Then her lucky streak runs out. During a late-night photo session, Craig, the photographer, is shot to death. In the confusion Toni hits her head and is knocked unconscious, and when she awakes, she can’t recall what happened. If she could regain her memory, could she identify the killer? Apparently the killer thinks so, because soon after the incident, Toni hears someone breaking in to her apartment and barely escapes. Too bad the police believe she is somehow responsible for Craig’s murder. It doesn’t help that her character on the show is so convincingly nasty and conniving.
Was the target really Craig, or did the killer aim for Toni and miss? Craig was an unscrupulous womanizer. Any number of people might have wanted him dead, including a career criminal he helped convict, his business partner, his wife, and his mistress. Despite her winning personality, Toni has her share of enemies, among them an older actress jealous of her success and the show’s director, whose animosity baffles her. 
With the help of Michael Benedict, a handsome young criminal lawyer, Toni sets out to awaken her dormant memory and unmask the killer. Meanwhile the character she plays, Alexandra, is in a coma, fighting for her life. The writers will decide Alexandra’s fate, but Toni must save herself.

I loved it. A soap opera within a soap opera! A hugely entertaining read with a multitude of suspects to keep you guessing until the end. You have to pay attention as the suspect list is as long as the casting list in the book's fictional T.V. show. The characters all have suitably soap opera personalities and egos to match their lifestyle.
Sorting through professional rivalries, jealousies and threats to find the killer is an up hill struggle for Toni especially when there are very few people she can genuinely trust to help her. Luckily, Michael, her lawyer, is smart and trustworthy. He's also easy on the eye which is always a bonus in these matters.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Cover Reveal Falling for Her Enemy by Victoria James

About Falling for Her Enemy:
Release date: November 9, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
Series: Still Harbor #2

She’s falling for the one man who could destroy everything… 

Alex McAllister always dreamed of a life filled with the laughter and love of a family, but being abandoned at a young age left her wary of letting anyone in. Now that she’s settled in Still Harbor, Alex struggles between keeping her distance and the magnetic pull of the handsome stranger who claims he’s the biological father of her adopted daughter.

 Hayden Brooks never wanted to be a father. Long hours spent building his family’s real estate empire suits him just fine. But when he discovers an ex put the baby he unknowingly fathered up for adoption, his world crumbles. He tracks the child to Still Harbor with the intention of bringing her home—and comes face to face with his daughter’s stunning adoptive mother.
 The paternity test is in. And Hayden’s about to make the most shocking decision of his life, just in time for Christmas…

Find it online:

Falling for Her Enemy can be read as a standalone but also check out the first Still Harbor book, Falling for the P.I.

Find Victoria James online: