Thursday, 31 March 2022

Tough Justice ( K-9 Special Ops Book 1) by Tee O'Fallon

 


It should have been a routine investigation. Instead, DEA K-9 agent Adam "Deck" Decker watches in horror as one Denver hospital seems to be Ground Zero for overdoses of a new drug. Now Deck can only hope a certain icy, green-eyed ER doctor will help him and his canine partner track down the deadly source.

Dr. Tori Sampson has her reasons for not trusting federal agents, especially ones working for the DEA. But the rash of overdoses—including a heartbreaking case involving a teen—is alarmingly high. And the new opioid is not only extremely dangerous, it defies all the usual medical treatments. So Tori has a choice: work with the big, brawny, and annoyingly hot DEA agent...or watch more innocent people die.  

Tori's the only person who can help Deck break the case, and they'll need to trust each other, no matter how high the tension and attraction sizzling between them runs. But with every question answered, they realize there's something more behind these typical teen overdoses. There's a pattern here, and a pattern can only suggest one thing. There's a killer on the loose.




An action-packed and tense thriller. This is a quick read. The plot moves along at a speedy pace. The world-building is done very well. We instantly get a connection to Deck, the DEA agent whose sister died from an overdose at sixteen. Dr Tori's family has had a bad relationship with the DEA ever since her dad went to prison for six months for violating laws to do with his pharmacy practice even though it was for altruistic reasons. Both protagonists meet in the opening scene where Dr Tori is tasked with saving an agent's life. 

There is a good mix of action and drama at crime scenes and it highlights some of the dangers that officers and the K-9 units face. I would say that the author planted too many clues as to who the drug lord was and I had it figured out a quarter way through the book.

The romance was a nice secondary story. The two didn't like each other on sight so it was interesting to watch them mellow towards one another. 

A great start to the series.

Available now Amazon


Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Villainy in Vienna: A Fiona Figg Mystery Book 3 by Olivia Kelly (2022)

 


Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie in this entertaining historical mystery.

1917 Vienna.

File clerk turned British agent Fiona Figg is more comfortable wearing a fake mustache than a ballgown.

When a royal ball ends with a royal body in the middle of the dancefloor, Fiona trades her dancing slippers for practical oxfords and sets out to investigate.

As she tracks her nemesis, the Black Panther, from Vienna to the Austrian countryside, a hunting accident makes her rethink her loyalties.

Can Fiona prevent the Black Panther from striking again, save her own skin, and find a decent cup of tea, all before the enemy's emperor realizes she's a spy?






This is my first time reading any of the Fiona Figg mysteries and  I enjoyed this book as a standalone. I probably would have enjoyed it even more if I had read the previous books especially as Fiona's relationships with the men in her life is great fun to read. 

Fredrick Fredricks is the enemy you love to hate and I couldn't help but find him very charming and humorous, especially where Fiona is concerned. Archie didn't appear much in this book but when he did he was a charming addition too. It will be interesting to see what happens with them in New York in the next adventure.


There is more than one mystery to solve in Vienna and I found it a little confusing at times. The dognapping wasn't a particularly interesting case nor was the missing notebook but they got resolved quite quickly in the end. The actual mystery of who the spy was to prevent another murder was much better but side-swept somewhat with the other cases. I did like that the characters were based on real people and real events. 


Buy Link Amazon

Monday, 28 March 2022

Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan Book 1) by Olivia Wildenstein Narrated by Stephanie Fritz.

 


Description

I wasn't the type of girl who believed in fairytales, much less tales about faeries, but that changed the day the fae walked into my life.

Staying away from my lakeside hometown was the plan, but Mom died suddenly. Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient Native American graves in our backyard.

Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

As we made preparations for her burial, unnervingly odd and beautiful newcomers poured into my small town. A coroner with emerald eyes and black hair, much too young for the job. An arrogant blond socialite, who lived to get under my skin. And a tattooed Native man, who wasn’t supposed to be alive.

By dying, my mother had inadvertently revived an age-old feud between the fae and the tribe that hunted them.

A feud that was about to tear my world apart.


I quite liked this book overall. The fusion of fairy lore and Native American legends was quite a unique and very interesting premise. It certainly caught my attention and imagination. The world-building was good and the magic system was explained well.
The insta-love triangle that seemed to develop didn't do it for me. I couldn't see the chemistry between the characters and I would have liked to see more of Catori establish herself as a force to be reckoned with rather than a pawn of hunter and fae. Maybe she will understand her role better in the next book. I am interested enough to find out and I am looking forward to reading/listening to it.

Buy Link AmazonUK


Saturday, 26 March 2022

Lucifer's Sin (Walker Security: Lucifer's Trilogy Book 1) by Lisa Renee Jones (2022)


Description

They call him Lucifer for his wild side.

She called him the man she loved, she called him Luke. But then he proved he really is worthy of his nickname. Or so she thought. Nothing is as it seemed back then.

A man with a past. The only woman he has ever loved. Someone wants her dead. That someone is about to find out that yes, he is Lucifer when you dare to threaten his woman. Even if she doesn't call herself that now. He does. But all he ever really wanted to be was Luke—the man worthy of her love.

Book one in the Lucifer Trilogy. 



This book is fantastic. I knew after reading the first page that I was not going to get anything else done that day....and I didn't. It was a thrilling, fast-paced and action-packed read. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The romance and heat level was just right. The couple had serious chemistry and I loved that the author made the sexual tension smoulder until the last quarter of the book when they finally decided to be honest with each other and talk things through. 
It will be interesting to see what other revelations will appear about Ana's brother in the next book.
This is the first book in the trilogy but enough of the story is resolved in this first one that you don't feel like it's ending abruptly with a cliffhanger. I really can't wait to read the next book in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy provided by the publisher.

#LucifersSin is out now Amazon

Friday, 25 March 2022

Your Scarred Heart (Ladies of the Order Book 4) by Adele Clee (2022)

 



An enquiry agent hiding from her past.
When Miss Honora Wild meets her first client, she fears there has been a dreadful mistake. Having escaped from a domineering father, she shouldn’t have to work for a man suspected of murder, one whose mood matches his frightening facial scar. She shouldn’t have to venture to his clifftop castle to prove the devil is innocent of the crime. But she owes her employer a great debt and has no option but to accept the assignment.

A lord plagued by injustice.
Lord Deville, had every reason to murder his brother and almost wished he had pushed the fool off the cliff. Society sees Sylvester’s disfigurement as a sign of guilt, and he’s desperate to clear his name. He had known to expect a female agent, but devious women have been the bane of his existence, and he suspects Miss Wild is hiding a wicked secret beneath her timid facade.

Will Honora learn to see beyond Sylvester’s intimidating persona?
Will Sylvester learn to trust a woman who’s not been entirely honest?

                                                         ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



The series continues with this exciting and gothic style romantic mystery.
Lord Deville is the scarred hero who needs to find out what really happened to his brother and sister in law.  Now is assigned the task of investigating with him.  Lord Deville's estate provides a dark and gothic backdrop with dungeons, caves, storms and a whole house full of strange servants. There are plenty of questionable characters and the author does a great job of distracting you from the real culprit.  
This was an exciting and romantic read. The initial scene at the auction where Deville was trying to buy back his pianoforte put a smile on my face as did Daventry's quip at the end of the book in relation to it. 
Deville and Nora's relationship was sweet and endearing.  They are both scarred and wary but they find their soul mate in each other.
A great addition to a fantastic series.

Your Scarred Heart is available now Amazon

Sunday, 20 March 2022

A Murder in Long Island (Penelope Banks Murder Mysteries #1) by Colette Clark (2022)

 



A death in a locked room and a house full of suspects…
New York, 1925

Penelope “Pen” Banks has a knack for puzzling things out and the uncanny ability to remember everything she sees. Two talents that have helped her make ends meet, playing cards in clubs and speakeasies. Now, they might just help her discover the true cause of death for a dear old family friend.

Agnes Sterling has been found dead in her Long Island mansion. The official cause of death is ruled a suicide. After all, she was found in her locked bedroom with both the bottle of poison and a final handwritten note on the bed next to her.

Penelope is certain Agnes Sterling’s death was not by her own hand. She’s been summoned to Long Island for the reading of the will along with the other beneficiaries. While there, she plans on doing a little sleuthing to discover what really happened to Agnes.

The surprising terms of the will and a secret letter have Pen all the more certain that foul play was at hand.

A Murder in Long Island is the first book in the Penelope Banks Murder Mysteries set in 1920s New York, with a spirited heroine, witty banter, and twists and turns that will leave you guessing. Perfect for readers who enjoy the feel of a cozy mystery with the excitement and daring of Prohibition and the Jazz Age
.

                                                                  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A fantastic start to brand new series.
Penelope is a very endearing character. She is clever, resourceful and self-sufficient. She relies on herself to get by in the world and she's not against bending the rules or circumventing the law in order to do so.
This first book in the series introduces her as riches to rags character who soon finds herself flush in cash again after inheriting a fortune. The murder mystery and the other mysterious goings-on are very entertaining and I enjoyed watching Penelope puzzle it all out. The suspects were all believable. I was pretty sure who was involved in the art forgery from the beginning but I needed Penelope to figure out exactly how it was all done. 
I loved the interactions between Penelope and the Detective. Although he appears later in the novel, sparks fly between them right from the onset and it injects a lot of humour and a certain amount of frisson. I can see how the pair will make a great duo in solving crime for the rest of the series. I can't wait. 




Monday, 14 March 2022

Under the Midnight Sky by Jackie S. Steele (2022)

 



What would you do if you carried a secret so deep, you can’t remember it?

After losing her parents and memory following a tragic accident, twenty-four-year-old Anastasia Hartford is trying to rebuild her life in NYC. But when an anonymous note is left for her and news of an inheritance by an unknown relative reaches her, she decides to move to the one place that might just bring back her memories. With no recollection of her life before the accident, how can she know what really happened?

What she finds there are questions that lead to more questions, some so intriguing she can’t help but wonder if the mystery surrounding her new home is more than meets the eye. Just below the surface is waiting an unsettling truth that may set Anastasia free…or shatter her forever.

Handsome Scott Josh McMillan knows what he wants. Having fought the hardest battle in his life, he isn’t about to let anyone in. When he meets Anastasia, he knows that it’s time to break his own rules. As both struggle to come to terms with their past, could love and healing blossom where hope was once lost?

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had Under the Midnight Sky read from cover to cover within a few hours. The story was fast paced and I couldn't put it down. It ends on a cliffhanger so if that bothers you as a reader you may want to wait until all parts have been published. 
Under the Midnight Sky sets the scene brilliantly and we are introduced to a whole lot of people with mysterious pasts and hidden agendas.
Ana's past is a mystery and so are the people she meets at her newly inherited estate in Scotland, including her love interest, Josh. This adds a gothic element to the romance as I'm not too sure how trustworthy Josh is. Something about him didn't ring true and I wondered if his wife had been killed in the same accident that killed Ana's parents. Does he have an axe to grind with Ana? Did she cause the accident?
I'm sure lots will be revealed in the next instalment and possibly raise a few more questions too!



Friday, 11 March 2022

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan (2022)



Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check.

Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.

Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.

Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. As a real estate developer, he knows when he's found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door--the house with the combative and beautiful woman living in it.

With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can show you that home is always where the heart is.

“This is a novel you'll want to read over and over again.” - USA Today
 

⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is an adorable and charming contemporary romance. The scene where Noah and Grace meet for the first time is cute and really funny. The sparks are flying right from the beginning but it's not long before they are bickering, teasing and generally annoying each other to distraction.
I loved the process where they gradually became friends whilst fighting their attraction to one another. There is plenty of sexual tension and you just can't help but want everything to work out for them.
Both are dealing with family pressures and and I liked how they supported each other. The side characters were all fully developed, interesting and entertaining. 
How to Love Your Neighbor is a very sweet and charming story and definitely a book to add to your read now list.

Lady Odelia's Secret (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, #2) by Jane Steen (2022)


Do you ever really know your family?

In the 1880s a sixth daughter learns not to ask for much, even if she’s the daughter of an earl. Even if she married the richest man in her corner of Sussex. Even if she’s now a widow with a splendid Georgian mansion.

Lady Helena Whitcombe is still trying to adjust to widowhood and reconcile her family loyalties with her desires when her artist sister Odelia makes a startling suggestion. Why not make her mark on the house that’s now all hers, by commissioning a magnificent work of art from one of London’s most celebrated painters?

Lady Odelia invites Helena into the seductive world of medieval fantasies and fairy tales she has inhabited since Helena was a child. But when a shocking series of events exposes the destructive reality of a great artist’s unusual lifestyle, Helena and her lady’s maid Guttridge are called on to help—or is it to interfere?

Looming danger, the risk of scandal, and competing loyalties force Helena to re-evaluate her relationship with the sister she’s always loved the most.

What is Lady Odelia’s secret? Find out in this gripping continuation of the Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, a story that blends mystery and historical detail with Downton Abbey-style saga as the truths about Helena’s aristocratic family unfold. Read it now before the secret gets out!

                                                                 🌟🌟🌟🌟


This is a series that I feel can only continue to get better with each book as the secrets of Helena's family get slowly revealed through her investigations. Her friend and love interest, Fortier, also has a few secrets of his own.

This is not a lighthearted romp with a bit of mystery. The overall feel of the book is quite dark and the story is slow-moving but still very entertaining and difficult to put down. Helena is a widow mourning her late husband, she is still coming to terms with the revelations about her mother in the previous book, Fortier's father is dying and Odelia is being targeted by a malicious and dangerous person whilst she is having an affair with a married man. There is plenty of drama but Helena manoeuvres through it skillfully. She is very loyal to her family and no matter how much she disapproves of Odelia's lifestyle she holds steadfast in her love and faithfulness. 

Most of the story centres around Odelia's relationship with Geraint, the artist and the rivalry and disharmony this causes with all the other women in Geraint's life, including his wife. Helena's family also rally around each other when scandal breaks out and I liked seeing their family unity. It will be interesting to see what skeletons the other family members have in their closets as the series unfolds.


Lady Odelia's Secret is out now Amazon

Thursday, 10 March 2022

The Little Library on Cherry Lane by Katie Ginger (2022) BLOG TOUR



The heart-warming new novel from the author of The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse and The Perfect Christmas Gift, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Rachael Lucas and Heidi Swain.

Elsie Martin may lead a quiet life, but working in her beloved local library is enough to make her happy. After all, books have always been her armour against the world. So when the library is threatened with closure to make way for a new housing development, Elsie knows it has to be saved – and that, despite being painfully shy, she needs to lead the campaign to save it.

Jacob Yardley thinks he’s doing the right thing by building a new affordable housing development. Why shouldn’t local people be able to buy a house in the place they grew up? Having to leave his own small hometown broke his heart. Plus, people don’t really use libraries anymore, do they?

As Elsie and Jacob clash over the future of the library, sparks begin to fly. Jacob is falling back in love with books and libraries – could he possibly be falling for her too? And will Elsie be able to save the library that means so much to her?

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Katie Ginger delivers another heartwarming and charming read. This made perfect escapism for me especially now in the worrying times we are in.
The closure of Elsie's local library resonated with me as my local library closed during Covid 19 and it didn't reopen again. I could sympathise as their library provided a service beyond book borrowing and research facilities, it was a valuable social hub for the residents of Cherry Lane.
Elsie is a very endearing character. She is reserved and quiet but fiercely protective of her library and she is determined to save it. She has to come out of her shell in order to do this. Elsie and Jacob's relationship was charming. They really didn't like each other at the beginning and it was very uplifting to see them develop feelings for one another. 
The book is quite funny in places and the side characters added another layer of lighthearted banter. The sense of community and belonging is very strong in this story and you get a real sense that the library is at the heart of it. 


Check out some more reviews in the blog tour for The Little library on Cherry Lane.


#HQStories #KatieGinger #TheLittleLibraryOnCherryLane

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Under the Midnight Sky by Jackie Steele (2022)





Title: Under the Midnight Sky
Author: Jackie Steele
Release Date: March 8th, 2022
Genre: New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
220 pages, Book 1 in a series


Book Description:

What would you do if you carried a secret so deep, you can’t remember it? 


After losing her parents and memory following a tragic accident, twenty-four-year-old Anastasia Hartford is trying to rebuild her life in NYC. When an anonymous note is left for her, and news of an inheritance reaches her, she decides to move to the one place that might just bring back her memories.

What she finds there are questions that lead to more questions…some so intriguing she can’t help but wonder if the mystery surrounding her new home is more than meets the eye. Just below the surface is waiting an unsettling truth that may set Anastasia free…or shatter her forever.

Sexy and charismatic Scott Josh McMillan knows what he wants. Having fought the hardest battle in his life, he isn’t about to let anyone in. When he meets Anastasia, he knows that it’s time to break his own rules. As both struggle to come to terms with their past, could love and healing blossom where hope was once lost?

Saturday, 5 March 2022

#FollowMe For Murder (Trending Topic Mysteries, #1) by Sarah E. Burr (2022)

 



Meet 28-year-old influencer and celebrity blogger Coco Cline, who has started her own social media consulting firm in her hometown of Central Shores, Delaware. Her new clients, Sean and Olivia Chen, are ten days away from the grand opening of their specialty consignment shop when Coco stumbles across their store clerk Stacy dead behind the register.

Worried that a cloud of suspicion will ruin their chances of a successful business launch, the Chens ask Coco to work alongside the inexperienced Central Shores police force to speed up the investigation. Using her celebrity status and social media savviness, Coco realizes Stacy’s seemingly ordinary life was all an act.

Following a trail of cryptic online posts, confusing timelines, and muddied gossip, Coco and her friends discover Stacy’s questionable relationships just might be the reason for her untimely demise.

Murder is about to go viral in #FollowMe for Murder, Book One in the Trending Topic Mysteries.


I have mixed feelings about this book as there were aspects that I loved and others that I had more of a lukewarm response to. 
I liked that this is a modern and up to date twist on the traditional cozy mystery.
I've given it a solid four stars simply because I enjoyed but it was glaringly obvious from the clues given who the most likely culprits were so it didn't come as any surprise when it was all revealed. I also found the first chapter a bit of a slog to get through. I understand the whole concept of being a social media influencer so I didn't need a full chapter dedicated to explaining Coco's history in that respect.
But once I got past that the story became quite fast-paced and enjoyable. I liked the fact that she wasn't dating a police detective but I was surprised that she was so focused on why her boyfriend hadn't proposed yet. For a book set in today's real world, I felt that Coco could have been more modern in her personal life and more broad-minded. There was a lot of slut shaming going on in relation to the victim as well which I found old fashioned and eye rollingly unnecessary.
I loved the ending. It was suspenseful and humorous. Hudson really grew on me as the story unfolded as his regard for her certainly shone through despite Coco's insecurities. 
I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.


Wednesday, 2 March 2022

A Lady of Refinement by Linda Weaver Clarke

 




Seeking a Better Life: Women of Courage


Some immigrants learned about America and its opportunities from the newspaper while others heard about it from traveling missionaries. Many were seeking relief from political and religious persecution but others were just following their hearts. They didn’t know what the future would bring to them. Frances Davies, my great grandmother, was one of them.

She left her beloved homeland of Wales to live in America, the land of opportunity. Frances had attended a private school and received an education that set her apart from other young women. She was referred to as a “lady of refinement.”

Her Aunt Susan didn’t want her to leave and begged her to stay in Wales. She said that Frances would inherit her fortune if she stayed but Frances stood firm and unyielding and wanted to join her brother who had immigrated to America a few years earlier. No matter how hard Aunt Susan tried, she could not influence her niece’s decision.

When I read about my great grandmother’s experiences written by my grandmother, I was impressed with her courage. She was only seventeen when she left for America. That would take a lot of bravery. So I decided to put together a series of novellas called “Women of Courage.” I took some of my great grandmother’s experiences and gave them to a fictional character named Serenity, bringing her story to life.

A Lady of Refinement is a historical romance set in 1844. Reading is Serenity’s favorite pastime, where she can go on one adventure after another. She wonders if anyone can measure up to the heroes in her books. But the adventures soon become real after arriving in America


When Jonathan meets Serenity, an educated and courageous woman from Wales, he becomes intrigued with her and wonders how he can win her heart. Her brother gives him some advice, but Jonathan begins to question his wisdom. Should he trust his friend or is he leading him astray?

Louise Pledge, a reviewer, wrote: How I enjoy finding a book that will not let me put it down until I'm done!  This was the case with A Lady of Refinement.  Linda Weaver Clarke used a true story of her ancestors as a base, and it rang familiar to me, as my ancestors also migrated to America from England during the same time period. The main character, Serenity, is the refined lady, and it was such a delight when she bested a few arrogant males.  My favorite character, however, was Jonathan, who was very taken with Serenity.  Time will tell if he is successful at capturing her attention.

After arriving in America, Serenity found that many an adult could not read or write, so she set to work teaching an evening class especially for adults. Each night she teaches her students how to write their names so they wouldn’t have to put an X for their signature. When Jonathan joins her class, her world takes a new turn, one she didn’t expect. What was her reaction?

Author Gail Pallotta wrote: “At first she sees him as a quiet man, but when she witnesses some of his heroic actions she thinks of Ivanhoe, a character she admires in a book. Even though she’s drawn to Jonathan, she has a rule that won’t allow her to date a student, and she’s sticking to it. Jonathan’s infatuation leads him to try many approaches to get to know Serenity better, even to the extent of following her brother William’s sometimes bad advice.”

How did Jonathan react to William’s bad advice? There are some comical scenes in this story that will make you laugh out loud. Gail went on to say: “I enjoyed this sweet love story, especially Jonathan trying desperately to win over Serenity, while she hesitates to get to know him. Based on true events of the authors’ ancestors, the book takes the reader back to a gentler time when men were more chivalrous and a woman like Serenity more difficult to win over.”


This book or eBook is available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Refinement-Women-Courage-ebook/dp/B09PHZK76M

Author Links: 

Linda’s Book Blog: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com

Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com

Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com