Sunday, 24 September 2023

The Pumpkin Spice CafΓ© (Dream Harbor, Book 1) by Laurie Gilmore (2023)


Description

The perfect grumpy x sunshine small-town cozy romance to curl up with a pumpkin spice latte this fall!

When Jeanie’s aunt gifts her the beloved Pumpkin Spice CafΓ© in the small town of Dream Harbour, Jeanie jumps at the chance for a fresh start away from her very dull desk job.

Logan is a local farmer who avoids Dream Harbour’s gossip at all costs. But Jeanie’s arrival disrupts Logan’s routine and he wants nothing to do with the irritatingly upbeat new girl, except that he finds himself inexplicably drawn to her.

Will Jeanie’s happy-go-lucky attitude win over the grumpy-but-gorgeous Logan, or has this city girl found the one person in town who won’t fall for her charm, or her pumpkin spice lattes…

The Pumpkin Spice Cafe is a cozy romantic mystery, with a grumpy x sunshine dynamic, a small-town setting and a HEA guaranteed!

                                     πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

This really is the perfect book to curl up with this autumn with its heartwarming blend of romance and humour. I laughed a lot reading this book and it really lifted my mood. I gave myself a full quiet Saturday to myself to enjoy it and it was the best thing ever.

There was a little bit of mystery for added drama but nothing too serious and it provided a legitimate reason for Jeanie and Logan to spend time together. Both of these characters were likable and their interactions were adorably cute and funny. They complemented each other well. 

The small-town community was very relatable with everyone knowing each other's business but generally friendly and looking out for one another. I'm looking forward to Hazel's story next.

I loved this book so much that I'm going to buy the print version for my bookshelf.

Buy at Amazon 

           Blackwells

Thursday, 31 August 2023

Saving the Good News Gazette by Jessie Wells (2023)


 

Zoe has a special talent for saving lost causes…but she’ll need a miracle to save herself from this mess! When her biggest advertising account cancels their contract, single mum Zoe Taylor’s Good News Gazette – Westholme’s pre-eminent feel-good news source – faces an uncertain future. Determined to save her paper, Zoe strikes a bargain with millionaire developer Daniel Lewis – he’ll help her find advertisers and in exchange, she’ll spearhead his campaign to save the Art Deco cinema from destruction. But with her boyfriend Sam no fan of her new business partner, an unexpected job offer from her old boss, and an unshakeable feeling that there’s something more between her and Daniel than there should be, Zoe’s future soon feels as uncertain as her paper’s…and she’ll be forced to make a decision that changes everything for her and her son Charlie.

                                               πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

I love it when a book leaves you wanting more and Saving the Good News Gazette did just that. Packed with humorous scenes and a community that pulls together, it makes for a charming and uplifting story.

Zoe and Daniel get to spend together in their attempt at bringing the old cinema back to life. Daniel is a total sweetheart and I am rooting for him and Zoe to eventually wind up together. They have great chemistry, he's obviously mad about her plus he has that big swanky house. 

Zoe and her group of friends and volunteers provide a lot of comic relief throughout this story making it a quick, enjoyable read. I'm itching to see what happens next as it ended in a little bit of a cliffhanger.

Saving the Good News Gazette is the sequel to The Good News Gazette.  I read and loved it as a standalone novel but I will definitely be picking up the next one in the series. I can't wait.

Jessie Wells lives with her husband and two children in Merseyside. She has always written in some form, and previously worked as a journalist on the Liverpool Echo and Sunday Mirror and as a freelancer for various national women's magazines and newspapers before moving into finance. She loves nothing more than getting lost in her imaginary worlds, which are largely filled with romance, communities bursting with character and a large dose of positivity.

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

Beneath Dark Waters (The New Orleans Series) by Karen Rose (2023)

 


High-wire suspense that keeps you riveted' Lisa Gardner

The heart-stopping new thriller in the New Orleans series, from Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose.

Assistant District Attorney Kaj Cordozo's life is thrown upside down when two masked men attempt to kidnap his son, Elijah. Given the high-profile case Kaj is working on, he's not about to take any more risks.

When Val Sorensen of Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency is assigned as Elijah's bodyguard, she realises she also has a very personal connection to the gang thought to be behind the attempted kidnap - a run in with Sixth Day cost her brother his life.

As Kaj and Val work together to prevent a second kidnap attempt, they uncover a trail of violence and deception leading back to brothers Aaron and Corey Gates. Aaron is in prison, but Corey is dangerous, at large and about to threaten everything Kaj holds dear.

Will the revelation of involvement from the other Gates brothers lead to answers, or by placing their trust in them will Kaj and Val be putting themselves in even more danger?

'Intense, complex and unforgettable' James Patterson

'Fast and furious' 
Sun


                                                    🌟🌟🌟🌟

It took me a few chapters to really connect with this book. It has a slightly different feel to it than previous Karen Rose novels. A lot of the story centres around the villain and his two young brothers. I didn't like or care much about these characters so I would have preferred to see the story unfold from Elijah's viewpoint or his dad and Val's.

Jace grew on me as the story progressed and I was rooting for him by the end.
This is quite a slow burn but the twists and turns are plenty. The last quarter of the book is completely taken over with suspense, action and drama and this was the section that I couldn't put down.

I did enjoy the book overall but it isn't my favourite from this author. Will I read the next one in the series? Absolutely.

Monday, 28 August 2023

Shattered Truths by H. Hunting ~ Spotlight~






Shattered Truths 

by Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting

Release date: August 28th



Cover Designer: Hang Le

https://www.instagram.com/byhangle/


Photographer: Michelle Lancaster 

https://www.instagram.com/lanefotograf/ 


Model: Lawrence Templar



The first time I met Winter Marks, I almost took her out with my Jeep.

To be fair, she came out of nowhere. 

I flirted with her, and she flipped me off and disappeared into the woods on her bike.

But she left me a souvenir: a single hockey skate.

Seemed to me that divine intervention shouldn’t be ignored.She was my icy Cinderella and I would be her Prince Not-So-Charming.

Winter was more than just a sassy, badass hockey-playing hottie.She’s stuck in a prison of a life. And I’m the perfect escape.

Neither of us expected to fall. 

Or for the truth to shatter us.



Amazon US → https://amzn.to/3ReSQX3

Amazon CA → https://amzn.to/3CUfDDh

Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/3ALpQz4

Amazon AU → https://amzn.to/3AGc8NQ

Amazon Universal →  https://geni.us/ShatteredTruths

Audio US https://amzn.to/3qpYMnY
Amazon US Paperback https://amzn.to/470y4mh
Amazon Universal Paperback https://geni.us/ShatteredTruthsPB
Amazon US Alternate Paperback https://amzn.to/3OG1izD
Amazon Universal Alternate Paperback https://geni.us/ShatteredTruthsAltPB



Goodreads → https://geni.us/ShatteredTruthsGR

Website → https://helenahunting.com/books/shattered-truths/


About Helena Hunting: 


NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her adorable, emotional cat, who thinks the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from emotional contemporary romance to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.



Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1y6OBB7

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helena-hunting 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69/ 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@helenahunting 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/helenahunting

Newsletter:  https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f4p1t7


Wednesday, 2 August 2023

The Girl Who Lied (Chief Maggie Riley #1) by Shannon Hollinger, Narrated by Amelia Sciandra (2023)


The woods are hiding more than Chief Maggie Riley could ever imagine. Including her own worst nightmares…

There’s a blood moon rising over the tiny Maine town of Coyote Cove. Chief Maggie Riley is driving home ahead of a storm when she comes across the body of a man, blood seeping from stab wounds into the damp forest floor. And Heather, a local teenage girl, standing terrified, a silent scream on her lips, beside him.

Maggie, a redheaded decorated former homicide detective and more than over-qualified for a two-horse-town police chief, has been hiding from her past for three years. The quiet of Coyote Cove was everything she needed after… what happened. But with this murder, the life she left behind has found her. The townspeople believe Heather—already an outcast, and an easy suspect—is the killer, but Maggie isn’t convinced. To uncover the truth, Maggie must use the skills, and contacts, of her former world, however painful that will be.

As Maggie digs into the victim’s background, she is horrified to unearth another body, this time an infamous local, as callously killed as the first. But Heather’s in custody; there’s no way she could be the culprit, and Maggie’s investigation turns to the townspeople. Who has a secret so dangerous they’d kill twice to keep it hidden?

Then Heather goes missing. The race to identify the murderer is now a race to save Heather. As the search turns to the woods, the hunt is on for the killer so skilled, so twisted, no one knows how many bodies it will take before they’re found. And whether one of those will be Heather’s…

                                                           πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

A dark and twisty murder mystery. In this opening book of the series, we are introduced to Maggie, the chief of police of a small town. She lives across the road from her boyfriend and both are hiding secrets about their past from the other. The mystery behind what they are both running from is a very intriguing subplot and one that wasn't fully revealed in this instalment. And it's something that I want to find out more about in the next book.

The murder mystery here is a tangled web as there are so many nasty oddballs in this little town who could easily be the culprit. I liked how Maggie joined all the clues together to finally understand what happened on the night she found the dead body. I found Heather to be a very interesting character and I wanted things to work out for her but I did wonder how accurate was her psychological report.

I really like how dark this mystery is and the morally grey aspect of my favourite characters. It's different and it kept me interested.

The narration of the audiobook is performed well with good voices for both male and female characters. This was a quick read that I enjoyed in one day. 

The Girl Who Lied is out now. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Death from Beyond (Bartenders Guide to Murder 4) by Sharon LinnΓ©a Narrated by Abbie Pfaff (2023)


Description

When bartender Avalon Nash dares enter the remains of Tranquility’s infamous haunted lodge, she unleashes deadly secrets waiting to come back to life.

It’s Halloween and Avalon is on the outs with her boyfriend, her cop friend and her best friend.

When she ventures into the ruins of an old lodge above the town, she uncovers evidence of murders that have haunted the locals for decades.

Then a new friend, in town for a high school reunion, vanishes and she must battle the murderous danger that continues to stalk Tranquility to this day.

Some things are called spooky for a reason. 

                                        ✴✴✴

This is the fourth in the series but the first one I've listened to or read.

The series has a good premise. Avalon is a young bartender with paranormal abilities. She can see spirits. 

The story starts off well with a mysterious visitor coming to town for a school reunion, a murder, and the haunting of the old lodge which has a dark past.

Having not read the previous books I was expecting Avalon to interact with ghosts and generally be more involved in spooky goings-on but her investigations involved the living more than anything else. The history and narrow-mindedness of the town's people concerning minorities was a central theme in this book.

I liked Avalon's friend, the cop but, I didn't like her boyfriend who seemed very self-centred and selfish.

The story held my attention for most of it but it waned near the end. The softly spoken narration made it an easy listen and I will probably look out for the next book in the series when it releases.

Death From Beyond will be published on the 11th of August 2023.

Monday, 31 July 2023

Match For the Billionaire: A Boss Romance (A Seattle CEO Novel) by Eve Madison (2023)


Mia
He's making me an offer I can't resist.

So, get this. I'm slaving away at my waitressing gig, dealing with the world's pickiest customer, when he drops a bombshell. He wants me to be his assistant. Me! I couldn't believe it!

I mean, sure, I needed the cash and some time to focus on my art. But 
seriously, working for this guy? I must be out of my mind.

He's got all the looks, like he walked straight out of a romance novel. But boy, does he have an ego the size of Mount Everest. He's the type who thinks he's always right, even when he's dead wrong.

But, against my better judgment, I'm starting to think there might be something more to him.

Could he actually be the one?

---

Derek
I'm doing everything in my power to avoid a colossal business disaster.

I made the crazy decision to hire Mia Kamaka as my assistant, and now I can't help but feel a spark of excitement. She's drop-dead gorgeous, and I want to spoil her rotten.

But let's face it, things are complicated. We're on a dangerous path, and I'm not sure if it's the right one.
Maybe there's a better way, a better match.

But what if Mia is the one who can turn my life around?

---

Match for the Billionaire is a standalone novel in the Seattle CEO series. You don't need to read the other books in the series, but hey, they're all pretty awesome too.

Warning: This book contains sizzling love scenes, saucy language, and lots of grown-up stuff.



Billionaire romances don't seem to be going anywhere and if you want a quick, light read with minimal angst then this should fit the bill.
Mia is a struggling photographer working as a waitress who catches the eye of Derek, said  billionaire.
Both Mia and Derek have backstories that are not fully explored and it left me wondering if there was a previous book I hadn't read but, this is the first in the series. 
Neither shared much of their personal history with the other either which seemed a little strange to me. However, these are minor quibbles and easily glossed over.
There are a few cute and funny scenes involving Mia and Derek, especially in the beginning where she is working in the restaurant.
The story develops quickly, if predictably when Mia goes to work for Derek. Someone at the company is leaking information to the press and it isn't long before fingers point in Mia's direction. Derek is a likable enough character for most of the book but he should have had to work harder at the end to win Mia back. Mia on the other hand should have shown some loyalty and turned down that dodgy job offer instead of dithering.
Next booking the series is Ryder's story.

An easy read, perfect for a lazy day beside the pool. 

Thursday, 27 July 2023

The Exiled by Sarah Daniels (2023) BLOG TOUR

 


Fantasy, YA, Sci Fi

Length: 496 Pages. Published by Penguin.

Blurb

Trust no one.

It is six months since the Arcadia set sail for the first time in forty years. But this wasn't the freedom the inhabitants were hoping for. Esther Crossland did what she had to do, but it has left a trail of destruction in her wake. Now the wrecked ship is abandoned. Its inhabitants are in exile, trapped in sprawling make-shift shelters made up of warehouse, tents, shipping containers.

Esther and Nik, architects of the rebellion, are on the run. Esther is in hiding, desperate to do something to help her people, and Nik seems to have abandoned all hope, on a journey taking him further and further from home. And neither of them want to face up to their true feelings about one another . . .

Not only that, there is a new villain in town. With the fall of Commander Hadley, it's left to the ruthless Admiral Janek to deal with the traitors, and her own past is beginning to catch-up with her.

Then the shaky ceasefire negotiated by General Lall, Nik's mum, falls apart. Nik and Esther find themselves in a world of betrayals and double crossings - a game of power, with no one to trust but themselves.

It's time for the final showdown.


🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Exiled is the thrilling and fast-paced sequel to The Stranded.

Again, the story is told from different points of view; Esther, Nik, Meg, and Janek. The main characters are well established after The Stranded so it was easy to jump straight back into all the action along with them. Meg and Janek are new characters and both present challenges for rebels. Alex also makes a reappearance to throw a spanner in the works.


In The Exiled, we find that the survivors of the Arcadia are camped in an area of wasteland given to them by the Federated States as a temporary measure. The camp is a grim place to live with no real accommodation. The people are entirely fenced in and the Federation have planted booby traps in the streets. The camp has no medical facilities and no access to news from the outside world.


Nik's mother is leading the rebellion to escape the camp and cross over the border to Maine where the people will be safe and looked after. To do that, she has to play the politician and put up the appearance of cooperating with the Federation. Janek has her own nefarious plan for the people in the camp and it doesn't include anyone going free, especially Nik and Esther.


As tensions escalate with assassination attempts on General Lall and Nik and an imminent attack on the camp by the Coalies it becomes a race against time to evacuate and send the cavalcade of refugees to safety.

Suspense and tension ratchet up even more in the final chapters, during the trial and the rescue attempt that looked likely to fail. I was on tenterhooks the whole time and I wasn't sure if my favourite characters were going to make it out alive.

A riveting, heart-thumping read.



Sarah Daniels is an ex-archaeologist who escaped academia and now writes stories from her home in rural Lincolnshire. Her work has been published in various online magazines and has been nominated for best British and Irish Flash Fiction and Best Small Fictions. 


http://www.sarahdanielsbooks.com


Instagram: @sarahdanielsbooks
TikTok: @sarahdanielsbooks
Twitter: @sarahdanbooks





Thanks to TheWriteReads for including me in the blog tour and to Penguin for review copies.

Thursday, 20 July 2023

The Stranded by Sarah Daniels (2022) BLOG TOUR

 

Description

*The first book in an unmissable and thrilling duology - The Hunger Games meets Station Eleven, for fans of pacey, disruptive TV, such as the Noughts and Crosses adaptation.*

A gripping near-future thriller: love triangles, betrayals and fights for freedom in a world turned upside-down . . .

Welcome to the Arcadia.

Once a luxurious cruise ship, it became a refugee camp after being driven from Europe by an apocalyptic war. Now it floats near the coastline of the Federated States - a leftover piece of a fractured USA.

For forty years, residents of the Arcadia have been prohibited from making landfall. It is a world of extreme haves and have nots, gangs and make-shift shelters.

Esther is a loyal citizen, working flat-out to have the rare chance to live a normal life as a medic on dry land. Ben is a rebel, planning something big to liberate the Arcadia once and for all.

When events throw them both together, their lives, and the lives of everyone on the ship, will change forever . . .

                           πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

The Stranded is set at the end of the 21st century after a virus has ravaged the world. Refugees have been stranded on board the luxury cruise liner Arcadia for forty years and are prohibited from going on land despite the ship being virus free. The Federated States enforce strict laws and make life on board the vessel miserable, oppressive and claustrophobic. Anybody considered to be a threat or plotting a rebellion is either executed or sent to a labour camp. But, oppressive regimes will always inspire rebellion in the hearts of those who aspire for freedom and a better life.

The story is told from the viewpoints of multiple characters and it takes a little bit of time initially to connect with each of them; to understand who they are, their roles on the ship and where their loyalties lie. Not everyone can be trusted and it is a nail-biting read making sure favourite characters survive. The story is very fast-paced with nail-bitingly tense scenes and plenty of twists and turns. 

This book will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning as you won't want to put it down. 


The Stranded and its sequel, The Exiled are available now. Amazon

Sunday, 16 July 2023

A Killing at Smuggler's Cove by Michelle Salter (2023) ~ BLOG TOUR











A Killing at Smugglers Cove. Wartime secrets, smugglers’ caves, skeletal remains. And the holiday’s only just begun...July 1923 - Iris Woodmore travels to Devon with her friends Percy Baverstock and Millicent Nightingale for her father’s wedding to Katherine Keats. But when Millicent uncovers skeletal remains hidden on the private beach of Katherine’s former home, Iris begins to suspect her future stepmother is not what she seems. The police reveal the dead man is a smuggler who went missing in 1918, and when a new murder occurs, they realise a killer is in their midst. The link between both murders is Katherine. Could Iris’s own father be in danger?

                                       πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

Compulsive reading at its best. Iris Woodmore's fourth mystery has a mix of love, jealousy, and betrayal of the kind that can only lead to murder. Iris has put it upon herself to unravel the threads of how the victim and the people of the area are connected and who had the most reason to want the victim dead.

The discovery of one murder leads to another and things start getting more tense as it is clear that a murderer is amongst them hiding in plain sight. Red herrings and clever twists made this an addictive read.

I like the fact that this book can be read as a standalone even though it's the fourth in the series. It is obviously more enjoyable to follow Iris from the beginning but there will be no confusion for any reader jumping in at this point.  

Purchase link here

Author Bio Michelle Salter 


Michelle Salter writes historical cozy crime set in Hampshire, where she lives, and is inspired by real-life events in 1920s Britain. The first book in her Iris Woodmore series, Death at Crookham Hall, draws on her interest in the aftermath of the Great War and the suffragette movement.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleSalterWriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleASalter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michellesalter_writer/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MichelleSalterNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/michelle-salter


Check out the blog tour for more reviews of A Killing at Smuggler's Cove