One Little Thing Magnolia Beach, #1.5 By Kimberly Lang ISBN: 9781101989845 Author’s Website(s): http://www.booksbykimberly.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Even though her family moved away in disgrace after her father’s affair, Sophie Cooper knows that her childhood home in Magnolia Beach is the right place to open her bed and breakfast on the water—especially if it means she can watch the handsome local walk his dog on the beach every morning…
Quinn Haslett’s greatest regret has always been exposing the affair between Sophie Cooper’s father and their high school physics teacher—not that she ever knew who spilled the beans. When he sees Sophie again, the guilt comes rushing back, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting to see if the sparks flying between them could lead to something more.
But with a such a big secret lying in wait, it’s only a matter of time before their newly ignited relationship goes up in smoke.
For such a short book, this definitely packed a lot of story! One Little Thing is a novella in the Magnolia Series by Kimberly Lang with Sophia returning to Magnolia Beach, Alabama after a 10 year absence. Sophia’s goal is to open a B & B at the old refurbished Palmer House in town and live once again in her childhood town. The story begins by definitely setting the stage for a “hot/sizzling” story:
Sophie is thinking – Magnolia Beach certainly had some great scenery.
“Sophie’s view surpassed all the ad-speak adjectives because it included the bronzed, broad shoulders and narrow hips of the man she’d privately nicknamed Studly.”
Sophia continues this daily ritual of watching “Studly” until one day as she was watching…:
“He knew. The realization hit her with a jolt. He’d seen her watching him. Damn.”
And thus, Sophia’s days of watching “Studly” are over…much to her chagrin. But alas, it turns out “Studly” is Quinn Haslett, the owner of the local paper, the Clarion. Sophia and Quinn went to school prior to her abrupt departure. Through casual meet ups; Sophia and Quinn slowly build a relationship. One of course that is built on a lie of omission (as Quinn has a secret which he is convinced will drive Sophia away). I loved the everyday interactions…going to a bar for an evening with friends (now that scene was chuckle worthy) or walking the dog.
Many trials and tribulations abound while getting the B & B up and running but as opening day approaches, Sophia is delighted that she is ahead of schedule and even contemplating preparing foods in quantities that will freeze well – for those times when she has so many guests her time will be pulled in many directions.
It was heartening to see that when Sophia and Quinn got together, they included Scoop (Quinn’s dog) as part of the dating unit :)
“Scoop, seemingly thrilled by this change in the atmosphere, bounced around them, wrapping her leash around them both at the knees.”
There were a few trying moments (i.e. when Sophia learn of Quinn’s secret) that the couple must overcome but their chemistry was undeniable. I found it interesting getting to know some of the local people in town (Tate Harris – the local vet or Molly Richards of Latte Dah, the only coffee shop in Magnolia Beach to name a couple). I hope their stories will evolve as the series continues. Helena Wheeler from book 1 of the series – Something to Prove – is back again.
I look forward to the continuation of this series. Of note, it is not necessary to read book one in the Magnolia Beach series to enjoy this story. I will wait with anticipation for book #2 – Everything at Last.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review* ...more
Guilty as Cinnamon A Spice Shop Mystery #2 By Leslie Budewitz ISBN 9780425271797 www.lesliebudewitz.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.
Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.
Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned… (from Goodreads)
Witty and at times intense, this special group of friends and wickedly plotted mystery are characteristics that Leslie Budewitz demonstrates in abundance in ‘Guilty as Cinnamon’. The second in A Spice Shop Mystery series, one could read it as a standalone and enjoy the characters and shop as the background is provided. The author’s love for the Seattle Marketplace, cozy mysteries, cooking, and spices comes through every page. The first thing I absolutely appreciated was the cast of characters in the beginning of the book; it is a huge plus for the new and returning reader.
Pepper has owned the Spice Shop in the Marketplace for 1 ½ years after purchasing it from the original owner, and her success is evident in the Marketplace relationships she enjoys and the customers who return with new customers in tow. If only it were as easy to hire, and keep, the best staff for the long haul! For it is a staff member, fired after her rude response to one customer, and divulging privileged information about his own staff to a restaurateur, that begins a steady tumbling of dominoes of deadly results.
Tamara is a top-notch young chef who is going places that her current employer, Alex Howard, wouldn’t want her to. She obtained a financial partner with an even wider local restaurant presence than Alex and planned to open her own restaurant. Tamara visited the Spice Shop to consider Pepper’s selection and pricing as a local spice and herb source, she simply hadn’t been ready yet to leave Alex’s restaurant, the First Avenue Cafe. When Alex learned from Pepper’s employee about Tamara’s plans, his characteristic temper exploded and he fired her – loudly and with threats – in front of the kitchen staff. A day later, Pepper was on her way to meet close friend Laurel for dinner and stepped into the storefront Tamara was preparing for her future. She found Tamara, who was unfortunately very dead…and no obvious cause of death. Charged in the death was Alex Howard, who pleaded with Pepper to find the real killer, who began to go to any lengths to stop her.
Pepper, her BFF/staff member Kristen, and Laurel are the kind of friends that most of us would want. They are very well defined as can be seen through their conversations, actions, and for Pepper, her thought processes that we are delightfully privy to. We see their loyalty to each other and how much they care for each other by their concern for and honesty with each other. Pepper is a hard-working woman who can still take time to walk Arf, the lovable Airedale given to her by a friend who moved away, and enjoy off-hours with her friends. She is the epitome of today’s divorced yet not bitter woman who is secure enough in who she is to not feel the need to flirt with any man who comes along and genuinely enjoys time with her female friends.
The plot is rich with as many twists and turns as the alleys in the Marketplace, one that kept this reader revising her suspect list with each new twist. It is not a fast read, as one learns about spices and their uses, Seattle, and specifically the Marketplace while watching the scenes unfold. This reader was completely stumped as it seemed that nearly every suspect was eliminated for one reason or another. The author has flawlessly executed a plot that had many twists and interrelationships I could not have anticipated. The main characters have a depth this reader also would not have anticipated in a relatively young series; I can’t wait for the next one to see how much better it will get! I highly recommend ‘Guilty as Cinnamon’ to foodies who enjoy exploring new tastes and ideas (with many recipes included), cozy mystery lovers who appreciate an exceptionally well-plotted and written novel, and those who enjoy the Pacific Northwest area. ...more
The fifth novel of heartwarming passion in the Hope series, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Play-By-Play. Perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson and Bella Andre.
Reid McCormack is back in Hope to renovate the old mercantile. Then he plans to go back to Boston, where he’s built a successful career. But beautiful florist Samantha Reasor is a distraction Reid hadn’t counted on. Samantha intends to convince Reid that Hope is where his heart has always been, and coming home might be the best choice he could ever make. (Goodreads)
Samantha Reasor owns a florist shop that she inherited from her grandmother. When her grandmother retired, Samantha took over the shop and she enjoys her job. She loves making floral arrangements for the citizens in Hope, whether it is for a happy occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, or a sad occasion, such as a funeral. She pours herself into each creation and they reflect the love that she has put into them. She is happy with her life; she has her grammy and really great friends to fill her life when she is not working. The only thing missing is that special someone to share her life with.
Reid McCormack has returned to Hope to renovate an old mercantile that has fallen in disrepair. He loves to create things and restore things to their former glory, so this is the perfect job from him. He plans on getting all the renovations completed and to then return to Boston, where he owns an architectural firm and a condo. Time spent in Hope is great, he enjoys visiting with his family and seeing old friends. But nothing will keep him from returning to Boston and the life he has made for himself there. But sometimes life gets in the way of our plans and when he spends time with Sam and gets reacquainted with her, he realizes those plans may be hard to follow through with.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. Sam is a caring honest person who will do anything to help her friends. The relationship between Sam and Grammy Claire was so heartfelt and I could have read about them all day long. They are the only family that each has and their love and commitment to each other is strong. When her grandmother gets sick, Sam is devastated and does not know how she will survive if something happens to her. My heart broke for Sam. Spending time with Reid has been good for Sam but she knows she cannot lose her heart to him because he will not be staying in Hope. But the fiercely independent self-reliant Sam finds comfort when Reid offers his support.
Reid is a great guy and he has a big heart. He enjoys being an architect and he knows that he is good at his job. The more time that he spends with Sam the more he likes her. He thinks that she is smart, sexy and one of the most giving persons he knows. He wants to help her and make life easier for her but he knows he will only be there for her for a limited time. But the closer it gets to the time he will be heading back to Boston, the harder the thought of leaving becomes. He has enjoyed being with his brothers, being back on the family ranch and he even enjoys the dog (Not My Dog) that has adopted him, although he would not admit that to anyone. I loved reading about the relationship that develops between man and dog.
I really enjoyed reading about the family interactions between the McCormack brothers. There is a lot of teasing, bickering and aggravating going on between them, but they all love each other immensely. This is the type of family that everyone should belong to, or at least know.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and much of the time I felt like I was right there watching the activities going on around me. Do not read this book when you are hungry because the descriptions of the baked goods will make you even hungrier.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted women’s contemporary romance. I would not recommend letting a young adult read this book due to some language and a lot of steaminess. I have read other books by this author and this one is my favorite. Check it out, you will not be disappointed. ...more
A Midnight Clear Last Chance By Hope Ramsay ISBN: 9781455564934 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
Dr. Tom Crawford isn’t feeling the spirit of the season when he arrives in Last Chance. Far from friends and family, he’s the odd man out in this town of gossiping, tight-knit Southerners-until he meets a sweetly sexy single mom who makes him feel welcome. Suddenly the handsome doctor is thinking he’s finally found a place to call home.
Local florist Teri Summers has her hands full of mistletoe in preparation for the holiday, yet finding someone to kiss is her last priority. But when the gorgeous new doctor makes a connection with her special needs son, Aiden, Teri finds herself wondering if she’s finally found happiness in this season of joy. For Teri and Tom, Last Chance may be their best chance at love . . .
I loved this delightful Christmas themed short story. Teri is a single mom of a little boy Aiden who has autism. She has had to cope mainly on her own and learn by trial and error what Aiden can tolerate. When he gets brought into emergency she comes face to face with the new Yankee Dr. who seems to understand what she is going through. He is handsome, caring and seems to truly want to help however when he wants to let Aiden follow his obsession with angels Teri freaks out and wants him to back off .When her family suggest that she stay home for Christmas due to Aiden’s disruptive behavior Teri is at wits end trying to find out how to give Aiden a Christmas without the color red, candles and the usual Christmas dining fare, all that she knows will bring hysterical outbursts. Living in Last Chance the matchmakers are at work and maybe a Christmas miracle can happen.
Tom has come to Last Chance on a two year program. He too had suffered in childhood having lost his leg to cancer. As a result he believes in the power of Angels. He feels that children really do have a connection to other powers. When Aiden tells him he has to be at the town’s center on Christmas Eve to meet his angel he encourages Teri to let him. When she turns him away he also gets advice from the town’s match makers to mend the situation. Maybe Last Chance will bring joy and happiness to all.
Although a romance I loved the way the author brought in the chemistry between Teri and Tom and their stories without the need for a lot of sex. This is a great book to curl up with a cup of cocoa when you have a few minutes of peace during the Christmas rush. A super stocking stuffer!...more
A Lady’s Guide to Ruin Birch Hall Romance, Book #1 By Kathleen Kimmel ISBN: 9781101986790 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
A romantic debut starring a reluctant earl and the beautiful thief who has put them both in danger—and stolen his heart…
Joan Price is a wanted woman. A thief and a fugitive from the mental hospital where she was falsely committed, she’s now on the run from her former partners in crime. But luck must be on her side—just when it seems all is doomed, she runs straight into the arms of Martin Hargrove, Earl of Fenbrook, who mistakes her for his distant cousin, Daphne.
Lord Fenbrook has no intention of marrying, and certainly doesn’t consider his notoriously scatterbrained cousin a prospect. But her flighty persona seems to hide something far more intriguing—a secret self she trusts with no one. And Martin is determined to earn that trust…
When Martin’s sister discovers Joan’s charade, they strike a bargain: Joan can remain within the safe walls of Birch Hall, as long as she doesn’t allow Martin to fall in love with her—for their flirtation would surely ruin them both. She’s convinced she poses no threat to his heart, but she’s beginning to realize that her heart may be the one in danger. Especially as he seems very set on seducing her…
I love when historical fiction gives a great period story, interesting and complex characters and a plot that keeps the reader turning pages. Kathleen Kimmel has accomplished just that in A Lady’s Guide to Ruin.
I loved the character of Joan. Joan Price has had to fight and survive all her life. When she gets mistaken for the distant cousin of the Earl of Fenbrook when on the run from her brother, luck finally seems to be going her way. Martin’s sister whom she has been charged with being a companion to, sees through her charade when Joan uses past skills to get them out of danger. Both women decide to keep the charade going with the stipend that Joan not let Martin fall in love with her. As the physical attraction is there this proves to be harder than Joan had imagined. Common sense tells her that they could never be together however her heart tells her different. When her past comes to threaten her and Martin’s family’s security, Joan must make a choice to leave, however she decides to help out the only way she knows to prove her love for Martin.
Martin knows deep inside that Daphne(Joan) is not the flighty person he remembers and he knows that she is keeping things from him. He sees Daphne change his sister from a sickly needy person into someone who wants to be a part of life again. He also knows that he cannot see a future with her since his own life is uncertain as he is not the true heir to the Earldom. Would Daphne accept him without his title? When things evolve and Daphne’s persona is revealed, Martin first of all must find the real Daphne and then see what he is to do with the impostor he knows he loves.
The story is fast moving and I enjoyed the subplot of Martin’s sister. I hope that the author’s next book will cover her story. A great read for a Sunday afternoon as the days get shorter and colder. ...more
In the latest from the national bestselling author of Trick or Deadly Treat, Phyllis Newsom returns with a festive Christmas recipe that’s to die for…
‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.
This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before its too late…
I have never read any of the books in author Livia J. Washburn’s “A Fresh-Baked Mystery” series and I am going to rectify that now. You do not have to have read any of them to easily follow and thoroughly enjoy The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer as a stand-alone read. The main character, Phyllis Newsom is enjoyable, intelligent and not your normal cozy lead. She and her friends are seniors and I love them. It is Christmas time in Weatherford, Texas and the town is in the holiday spirit. They are having their annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square. Phyllis has tried a new recipe that she knows will be a winner. She doesn’t expect them to kill anyone. So when rancher Barney McCrory falls down on the job after eating one of her cupcakes, she hopes it wasn’t food poison.
It is determined that McCrory was actually shot and in full view of the town. How could that have happened? Phyllis tries not to get involved in another murder mystery, but she gets pulled in anyway. With the help of an off color TV news crew, Phyllis and her cast of friends try to get to the bottom of things. The tabloid news gang are pretty persistent trying to get answers from her, even setting up shop outside of her home. So Phyllis decides to get them to help and it actually works out very well.
This is the perfect holiday cozy. Great characters in Phyllis and her cronies, including Sam, Carolyn and Eve. Wonderful writing and entertaining storyline and intriguing mystery. Definitely a fun read. As I said I have not read any of the others in this series, but I was pulled in so much that I am going to start from the beginning. The way Phyllis investigates and follows clues is intelligent and I really enjoyed going along with her and her friends on this mystery. The recipes are great at the back of the book. I may just have to try them for the coming Christmas season.
I would recommend The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer to anyone that enjoys a fun cozy. The mature characters really appealed to me even though I am not a senior, yet. Even if you have not read any of the other books in this series, you will be able to thoroughly enjoy this one. The setting is perfect, the characters are fun and intelligent, and the mystery is a great whodunit. I loved meeting this new cast of people and cannot wait to visit Weatherford, TX again very soon. A perfect book for a Christmas gift to a cozy lover. This is a wonderful read and a series that I am going to enjoy delving into very soon.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*
Bring the Heat Sugarland Blue, Book #5 By Jo Davis ISBN# 9780451476999 Author’s Website: http://www.jodavis.net/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
Captain Austin Rainey’s marriage has gone south, he doesn’t even live with his wife, Ashley, anymore. But she is carrying his child, the baby she didn’t even want, but was more than happy to fight him for custody on just to stick it to him. The son that Austin has waited so long is so close to being here, just four more weeks!
But all of Austin’s dreams come crashing down around him when someone attacks Ashley in the home they used to share and strangles her, with one of his own belts no less, ending both Ashley and their unborn son’s life. And, worse than anything, they were killed because of him and he wasn’t there to protect them.
Austin has a stalker bent on revenge, killing people that resemble him, or even just come in contact with him in passing. If only Austin could figure out who it is!! He’s been scouring his case files for those that he’s put in jail that may have a vendetta against him, but nothing is standing out to him.
And, as all of this is going on, after months of admiring each other from afar, Austin and the beautiful medical examiner, Laura Eden, are finally starting to give in to their feelings for one another. But can they risk a relationship when there is a madman out there bent on revenge?
I enjoyed this storyline. I enjoyed Austin and Laura and thought they were really good together. Although I found this book to be a bit predictable. I knew who the killer was early on, even though they tried to throw me off the scent a few times. I’d mull the new information over, but always came back to my original thought, and it did end up being the culprit. Even the events that happened between Austin and Laura were easy to predict. And the sheer amount of sex scenes made the book really repetitious and made it drag at times.
I still think it’s a good book, but with a little tweaking, I think it could have been even better! I do look forward to seeing more from this couple in the future.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Pouncing on Murder A Bookmobile Cat Mystery, Book #4 By Laurie Cass ISBN#9780451476548 Author’s website: www.Catmystery.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Springtime in Chilson, Michigan, means it’s librarian Minnie Hamilton’s favorite time of year: maple syrup season! But her excitement fades when her favorite syrup provider, Henry Gill, dies in a sugaring accident. It’s tough news to swallow…even if the old man wasn’t as sweet as his product.
On the bookmobile rounds with her trusty rescue cat Eddie, Minnie meets Adam, the old man’s friend, who was with him when he died. Adam is convinced Henry’s death wasn’t an accident, and fears that his own life is in danger. With the police overworked, it’s up to Minnie and Eddie to tap all their resources for clues—before Adam ends up in a sticky situation…
Pouncing on Murder is the fourth entry in the fun, animal-centric Bookmobile Cat Mystery series, and it is sure to please animal and library loving readers.
As small town Chilson, Michigan, begins to thaw for the spring, Minnie, the assistant library director, is busy with her regular library duties, planning the first ever book fair, driving the bookmobile route, moving from her aunt’s boarding house to her houseboat for the season, and trying to maintain her long distance relationship with her boyfriend Tucker. She is upset to learn that one of her bookmobile patrons, Henry, has died in what appears to be a tragic accident. When she delivers books to Adam, who is recuperating from emergency heart surgery and was present when Henry died, he shares his concerns that Henry’s death may not have been an accident and even that Adam was the intended target. Soon after, Minnie and Adam have a near hit-and-run, and Minnie begins to take Adam’s concerns seriously. What could newcomer Adam and cranky old-timer Henry have in common to incite a killer? Could the local land developer no longer take no for an answer when Henry did not want to sell his land? Is Henry’s neighbor leading Minnie down the wrong investigative path? Could someone from Adam’s past returned for revenge? Could the perpetrator be someone not even be on Minnie’s radar?
Minnie seems like someone I would be friends with and is genuine and likable. She talks to Eddie, the cat, just like I talk to my dog. The supporting characters are realistic and engaging. We should all be so fortunate to have friends and family devoted to us as are the residents of Chilson. Ms. Cass paints the lake and surrounding area in picturesque strokes, and a vacation on the water sounds divine.
I do feel that the actual murder mystery took a backseat to the other things going on in Minnie’s life, and its resolution is a bit predictable, but it is entertaining nonetheless. Minnie’s investigating seems true to life, fitting it in as she has time, and she does not come across as unbecomingly nosy.
Overall, I enjoyed Pouncing on Murder and look forward to more adventures with Minnie and Eddie. With its convincing setting, situations, and characters, it provides hours of pleasant diversion. I recommend it to fans of the series and those who like a heavy dose of Eddie the cat with plenty of books.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour* ...more
Archangel’s Enigma Guild Hunter, Book #8 By Nalini Singh ISBN# 9780425251263 Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Naasir has seen others in the Refuge find their mates and he’s decided that it’s time to find his. But Raphael is delaying those plans by sending him on a mission to find the ancient, Alexander’s sleeping place before Lijuan finds and kills him. And Raphael is saddling him with a scholar to help him, one who took a vow of celibacy, something a mate of his would never do!
Andromeda is on a race against the clock. In a few short weeks she is to return to her grandfather’s territory and take her place in his court where she must serve 500 years. Charisemnon will demand she torture people while in his service, and if she refuses will be tortured herself. She’s not sure how she will survive 500 years there and if she will be the same person when she comes out on the other side. So, she is cherishing every moment she has left as she and Naasir try to save Alexander. She’s even considering breaking her celibacy vow, but Naasir refuses to let her break her honor, he will find the Star Grimoire that will release her from her vow, even though it is believed to be a myth. His mate is worth it after all.
“Stupid Grimoire Book”
I found this book had a slow start, but once Naasir and Andromeda’s relationship started progressing the book got much more interesting. I wasn’t sure how Naasir would be in a relationship, but he proved to be pretty loyal and protective. I enjoyed finding out what he was and learning about the horrors of his past; seeing the person he became, despite of it all.
After how this book ended, I can only assume and hope the next book will finally be one about Illium … there is a lot going on with him and I can’t wait to read all about it. And, for him to get a love interest of his own!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Blood Kiss Black Dagger Legacy, Book #1 By J.R. Ward ISBN# 9780451475329 Author’s Website: http://www.jrward.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
I was so excited when this book showed up on my doorstep a week or so ago. Sealed with a kiss (or two) and came with my invitation to the training program! I was pumped and got to make some of my friends jealous for getting it early too. All perks of the job:) I couldn’t wait to tear right in and immerse myself in the Black Dagger World once again.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is finally bringing back their training program! And, this time anybody who wants to can apply, regardless of pedigree or gender. And, Paradise can’t wait to show everyone what she’s got and to prove she has what it takes to fight alongside the best of them and help her race. As long as her father doesn’t pull her from the program that is…
The Brotherhood quickly narrows the field of over 60 trainees down to just seven with their grueling tests. And, what do you know? Paradise not only makes the cut, but is the last trainee standing! Also making the cut is her friend, Peyton, and the sexy commoner that came and got an application from her at the audience house, Craeg.
Craeg and Paradise both have an instant attraction to one another, and he even bonds with her. But will it all come crashing down around them, once he finds out the truth she’s been keeping from him?
Meanwhile Butch and Marissa are having their own relationship problems. They’ve become distant as of late, neither knowing exactly how to fix it. But they come together now to try to figure out who beat the unrecognizable woman who crawled (yes CRAWLED) to Safe Place, the one that Marissa and her staff, and even her brother, where unable to save.
I really enjoyed this book! I absolutely loved the relationship between Paradise and Craeg and this book left me wanting more of them!! I found myself rushing through the Marissa and Butch scenes just so I could get to more on Craeg and Paradise!
Craeg was a commoner, losing his entire family during the raids brought him to the training program so he could learn what he needs to know and be able to avenge their deaths, especially his father who was locked out of the safe room in the home he was working at the day of the raids, left to be slaughtered. Craeg knew from the start that Paradise would be a distraction, but his brain just couldn’t override his body’s desires when it came to the blonde bombshell. He was sexy and level-headed (except when it came to members of the glymera, but who can blame him?) and I absolutely adored him.
The original Black Dagger Brotherhood series has added so many storylines into it that it can be hard to keep up, and we’re starting to see less and less focus on the main couple of each book. So it’s nice to see it scaled back down in this series. We mainly just saw Craeg and Paradise and Butch and Marissa. And the girls movie night (along with the boys’ reactions) was a hoot! I also think this series will be great for adding new blood into the brotherhood.
There wasn’t as much sex in this one as I’m used to in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, but I expect that will change in the future.
I couldn’t put this book down and I can’t wait for the next installment or to even see who the next installment is going to be about. My guess is Peyton, but time will tell.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for for supplying a free copy of this title as part of their ongoing blog tour* ...more
Claws for Alarm Nick and Nora Mysteries #2 By T.C. LoTempio ISBN 9780425270219 www.tclotempio.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
“The purrfect sleuthy duo”* is back, and this time murder hits close to home for Nora Charles and her partner Nick, a stealthy little feline gumshoe groomed to solve a shocking crime.
Since inheriting her mother’s sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder—until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey’s bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade.
Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick’s animal instinct won’t be enough to rescue Lacey from a perfectly executed framing. (from Goodreads)
When I listened to the first book in this series, ‘Meow if it’s Murder, my first reaction was that I was in love again…with Nick! After reading ‘Claws for Alarm’, I am sure it wasn’t merely infatuation…I adore this little hero, Nick (just please don’t tell my fur babies)! Nick and the woman he adopted, Nora Charles, are back – and they just couldn’t get any better than this!
Nora had been at the top of her field as an investigative reporter in Chicago when her mother passed away and left Nora her sandwich shop, Hot Bread, in Cruz, California. Nora honored her mother’s wishes and, even though she missed her former profession, she loved carrying on her mother’s tradition of quality and creativity in the shop. Could she help it if somehow she got dragged into mysteries – including the disappearance of Nick’s former owner, PI Nick Atkins?
Nick Atkins, partner in a PI firm with Oliver “Ollie” Sampson, was the mystery carried over from the first book in the series – where did he go? Nora’s spare hours were again filled with research when she saw Nick (the cat, formerly named Sherlock) with a page he had torn from the last journal of his former owner before his disappearance. Was Nick bringing her another clue from one of his open cases? Nora’s friend, FBI agent Daniel, tried to discourage her from following up but investigative reporting was in her blood…and the publisher of the local online true crime magazine, ‘Noir’, hoped for another of her fine true stories.
Unfortunately, an emergency came to Nora out of left field – her sister, Lacey was in jail – for murder? Sure, she had threatened to kill her uber-wealthy art professor in fit of anger when learning what her grade would be. Lacey just was not the kind of young woman who would follow through on it, but the police wanted the case closed and believed they had the right person. At least until Nora and Nick came on the scene.
Nick (so named by Nora due to ‘The Thin Man’ movies that she and her mother loved), of course is the star! He seemed to listen to Nora as if he understood her as she talked herself through mysteries. Not only is he the most talkative cat imaginable, he gives Nora necessary clues through one-word Scrabble tiles. Nora, her best friend Chantal (and a designer and a psychic), Ollie Sampson, the former partner of Nick Atkins, and potential gentleman friend Daniel Corleone are fun characters with depth and the ability to be serious when the occasion called for it. They are loyal, an invaluable trait. Even though Nora and Lacey had been distant for quite some time, Nora wanted to help free her from the charges, and her friends were willing to help her with the case as much as possible. Lacey added realism to their relationship when she was willing to air her resentments against Nora, who responded with surprise and sadness. To me, these scenes were pricelessly ‘real’, particularly as a younger sister in the shadow of the older sister. One thing I really enjoy about Nora is that I can be an armchair sleuth, living vicariously through her spunk and intelligence.
The story was excellently plotted and executed; at the end of the story, the only open mystery is still that of….what happened to PI Nick Atkins? The setting was both in Cruz and St. Leo, California, with enough description for one to feel part of each town without overshadowing the action. And there was action! Nick continues in his starring role, especially as action was required when Nora went out to look for answers and needed a helping paw. The suspense built, particularly as the secrets, family members, and disgruntled students stacked up. It seemed everyone hated this prof and few were sorry he was dead. I tried to figure out who the bad guy / gal could be, and finally I simply went with the flow and watched instead of trying to be Nora Jr.
This second in the ‘Nick and Nora Mystery Series’ is a worthy read, even better than the first! I highly recommend this to all who enjoy well-written cozy mysteries that are difficult to solve with a brilliant female sleuth who really could be a PI if she wanted to – as if straight from film noir days, and Nick, her partner in investigating. Absolutely five paws and a tail up for this tale! ...more
All of Me Series: Covington Cove #2 By Kelly Moran ISBN: 0425276880 (ISBN13: 9780425276884) Author’s Website: http://www.authorkellymoran.com Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
For ten months, bestselling novelist Alec Winston hasn’t been able to type a single word, and he’s coming dangerously close to breaching his publishing contract. An invitation from his brother to spend the summer in Wilmington Beach might be just the thing to blast through his writer’s block. Yet Alec discovers more than a spark of inspiration on the sunny sands. He meets an amber-eyed muse who makes him think about much more than books .
Faith Armstrong has finally gathered the courage to leave her past behind and accepted a job as a private tutor, hoping for a fresh start on the North Carolina coast. This is the home she’s always longed for—not just a place, but a state of mind. She’s felt invisible her whole life, so the host of new friends and the attention of a sexy author have her head spinning.
But Alec has a secret that could prove this isn’t the life Faith dreamed of after all . . .
I am very pleased to say that this second book, All of Me, in the Covington Cove series is just as engaging, exciting and full of good ole fashioned love as the first book in the series, Return to Me. And let us not forget….the HOT factor. That was certainly present. From the beginning, I wanted to delve into the life of Alec and as I was introduced to Faith, her life as well! It certainly bode well that I was engaged so quickly.
The writing was so descriptive that at times I felt like I was there with Faith…visualizing seeing Alex on the beach. Seeing that hunky looking writer….sigh:
“Alec wasn’t standing in the sand any longer, but she could all but feel him still in front of her. There was a quiet, humming presence about him that his novels’ back cover photos didn’t portray….”
The intercommunications between Alec and Faith when they were just starting out really hit the “sweet and cute” chord for me:
She sighed and halted. “Mia thinks something’s going on between us.” She paused, then added, “NASA doesn’t need to be informed.”
Ha. Humor. He liked that. First, time to backtrack. “What does she think is going on?” Apparently he wasn’t above playing coy either.
One eyebrow lifted as her lips twisted in the cutest Oh, please expression. “You’re a writer. Figure it out.”
Frequently passages were written that demonstrated the total “shy” part of Faith’s personality and inexperience with the opposite sex:
She looked at Alec only to find him staring at her feet. A muscle ticked in his jaw. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Forgot you said you painted your toenails. It’s a turn-on.” She looked down at her toes peeking out of her flip-flops, polished the pretty iridescent blue. A turn-on? Alec couldn’t possibly be flirting with her, could he? He really knew how to shut a girl up. Or knock her over.
Standard with love stories…there is baggage to deal with before there can be a happily ever after (we hope) and All of Me is no exception. Without giving away too much, I found Alec’s story very moving and compelling! WOW. It always amazes me when we as humans take on responsibility for actions which are truly not of our own doing…and this was captured so well in Alec’s storyline. And lest we forget, Faith has her own baggage she must attend to. The journey is hard and rocky…and a compelling read. The depth of story, along with the flirty aspects kept my interest throughout.
While this is book 2 in the series, it certainly can be read as a stand-alone title. I look forward to the continuing journey of Covington Cove….should there be more books on the horizon in this series! In the meantime, I plan to pick up another series by Ms. Moran, the first book in her Phantoms series, Ghost of a Promise.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*...more
White Colander Crime A Vintage Kitchen Mystery, Book #5 By Victoria Hamilton ISBN 9780425271407 Author Website: www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad…
Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boon boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.
Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again. (From Goodreads)
‘White Colander Crime’ blends a variety of ingredients to result in an amazing new release: mystery, suspense, the fresh bloom of romance, stirred together and sweetened with the setting of the historic Great Lakes area and the beauty of early winter. I truly enjoyed this fifth offering in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series that can be read as a standalone as easily as part of the series. It was fun to recognize the links from the previous novel, and for those who haven’t yet read it, I feel it sufficiently whets the appetite for one to read that one also, just as I want to pull the first of the series from my own TBR stacks to enjoy..
Jaymie was the first one who happened to find the scene of the crime. Police Chief Ledbetter doesn’t want citizens rooting around the clues, but he does appreciate any information he gets from Jaymie as her ideas and findings are mostly spot on. Jaymie is the food columnist at Howler, the local newspaper that Nan Goodenough edited and co-owned with her husband so Nan is very aware of how intuitively Jaymie has followed clues in the past to find out whodunit. Nan’s son is the only suspect in the murder of the young woman, but she believes he was railroaded without adequate police investigation, and asks Jaymie to help find the truth.
The characters are very well portrayed through their conversations and behaviors. Those who are returning are an eclectic mix; Valetta is Jaymie’s close friend, co-worker at the Pharmacy, and confidant. Jakob and Jocie bring delightful old world charm that compliments Jaymie’s love of all things vintage. Some of the things I admire about Jaymie are her ability to make beautiful use of so many things that others would toss out, her flexibility and delight in holding several part-time jobs, her courage, and her knack of talking with or asking questions of others to get to the truth – or simply to be a caring friend. Any woman who has a three-legged pup and a crabby cat rates very highly with me!
The author’s descriptions of this quaint setting sounds so inviting! Christmas is coming soon, as is the start of winter in Queensville, Michigan, across the St. Clair River from Johnsonville, Ontario. Dickens Days, the Christmas sailboat regatta, and the opening of the Queensville Historic Manor are fascinating events, and central to the plot.
The plot was excellent, nestling mysteries within the main mystery, including a missing woman and less than savory business ventures. This seasoned author included more than one red herring that I followed, thinking they provided valuable clues. Oopsie. The real bad guy, who I had once considered and discarded when I couldn’t identify a motive, was a surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, feeling as if I were part of the setting and at times was startled to realize that I was not in the midst of this early winter tale. I highly recommend ‘White Colander Crime’ to everyone who appreciates a well-written mystery with gorgeous regional charm, a bit of history (such as where brownies originated among other interesting facts), and the excitement of young romance. It is one of the best Christmas-themed cozy mysteries of the season, in my opinion, and a worthy read any time of year.
A MacKenzie Clan Gathering McKenzies & McBrides, Book #8.5 By Jennifer Ashley Author Website: www.jenniferashley.com ISBN: 9781101615959 Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Una
The Mackenzie clan has gathered for Hart’s birthday at the sprawling family estate in Scotland. But before the festivities can start, the house is robbed, and thieves make off with an untold fortune in rare art.
Ian Mackenzie and his brothers must do what they can to retrieve the family treasure, but Ian is distracted by a family friend who claims he might have the power to “cure” Ian of his madness forever. All the Mackenzies must draw together as courage, love, and a tantalizing mystery serve to strengthen their bond, and redefine the meaning of family.
I loved this book as Jennifer Ashley again, immerses the reader into the Scottish history while telling a really interesting and well thought out mystery. Having read another one of the McKenzie Clan stories I was delighted to meet up with characters and history I knew, however, this book really stands alone as is.
Ian McKenzie has social issues and in today’s society would likely have some sort of Autism. With the love and understanding of his wife Beth he is able to function well with routine and has developed a fierce loyalty to his wife, 3 children and immediate family. He works in the family business producing whiskey that is known throughout the land and lives at the family estate maintaining it for his brother. Ian is a methodical thinker and frequently can solve things that happen, just by knowing how and what happened having explored minute details. He also knows the way of the land which proves an asset when trying to outsmart the enemy.
As the mystery unfolds as to the robbery, the damage to the still where the brothers produce whiskey and a kidnapping, Ian knows who is responsible even though the police and his brothers doubt him. Al l Ian knows is that his family are in danger and he must protect them.
Having been tormented as a child and adult for his “madness” he turns to his wife’s deceased husbands brother when he states he has a “cure” that will help him. Ian has to decide whether he truly wants the cure knowing that his family accepts him as he is.
The mystery bonds the families together and as they solve the mystery the bond is strengthened and the love between them grows. Love, loyalty and friendship prevail.
This is a fast moving story that keeps the reader turning pages. I think anyone who likes Scottish fiction would truly love this series. I know I hope Jennifer Ashley will keep writing the McKenzie Clan stories. ...more
Mandy Stevenson left home for college even as her family was being torn apart by the loss of her brother, an Indianapolis police officer. But now, four years later, it’s time to return and face the grief and hardships she left behind.
As summer fades, Mandy finds herself in a nightmare when her mother vanishes without a trace. Faced with her father’s skepticism, Mandy turns to her godfather, head of the Missing Person Unit, for help. The police investigation quickly uncovers her mother’s secret, nefarious lifestyle–a lifestyle that may have cost her mother everything–including her life.
How much grief from personal loss and duplicity can Mandy bear? Will uncovering the most perfidious of all turn Mandy’s life to bitterness–or end it?
What drew me to Perfidy was that it was set in the Circle City of Indianapolis. I lived there for a bit and thought it might be interesting. Well it was and more so. This book reads like a crime drama on television. The reader gets to see the murder/mystery play out in all the different arenas. Main character Mandy Stevenson takes the reader along in her angst driven search for answers when her erratic mother disappears. The reader gets to sit in on police interrogations, inter office police meetings, evidence searches and all sorts of things. It is written from an interesting perspective. The story is well written, but very twisting and complex.
So much was going on in this book and had so many characters I sometimes had a hard time keeping up. That may just be me though, but still it was quite busy. Somehow thought it worked and kept things hopping. Even with all the characters, they were all well-developed and plotted. This author did a marvelous job trying to keep things connected and everything was very well played. Every character seemed to be involved with every other one in some nefarious way or another. There was all sorts of bad acts committed and some for what the person thought was a good reason. Who was the bad guys and who were the good guys is definitely up in the air for most of the book.
The earlier death of Mandy’s brother, an Indianapolis police officer, really tore her family apart. Her father is now the head of the Homicide Department but it wouldn’t matter where he worked in the police force, her mother would always blame him for the death of their son. As Mandy tries to find answers to her mother’s disappearance, she enlists the help of her uncle who heads up the Missing Persons department. This causes some issues with the men and the family conflicts play a big part in this story. The author’s handling of this is intense and well written.
Perfidy is the first in what I am sure is a truly intense series A Circle City Mystery. This installment is being put out as paperback now so it is a great time to start it. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves crime drama and those who love the crime shows on television will really enjoy it. It reads like a show or movie. It is very intense and can be a bit complicated, but the end result it well worth the work. The story is interesting and has tons and tons of twists and curves and surprises. Family drama is very important in this installment. I think fans of cozy mysteries with an edge will also enjoy it. There is so much in this book, I think it can appeal to a very wide range of readers.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*...more
Writing All Wrongs A Books by the Bay Mystery #7 By Ellery Adams ISBN#9780425270844 Elleryadamsmysteries.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.
As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else… (Goodreads)
Ellery Adams continues to impress me with her complex characters and smart mystery puzzles. Everything is right about Writing all Wrongs.
Olivia and Chief Rawlings have plans to take a belated honeymoon to Palmetto Island, NC, and then enjoy the Legends of Coastal Carolina Festival with their fellow Bayside Book Writers group. Silas Black is a writer and television producer who is headlining the festival. He is also financing the recovery of a shipwreck just off the coast. There is also a land deal in the works that has local conservationists on edge. It promises to be an action packed few days because in addition to the festival they will be “sharing the island with television people, underwater archeologists, pirate reenactors, novelists, fans of the crime genre, and [their] friends.” (page7)
Things take a strange turn when the local legends highlighted at the festival come to life and then a decidedly dangerous turn when Silas’s girlfriend Leigh turns up dead on the beach dressed as Theodosia Burr, one of the subjects of the local legends. Not only does Olivia find herself involved because she found Leigh and the local law enforcement is looking to the chief for advice, but her professor friend Emmett appears to be the prime suspect. With the help of her writer friends, they untangle a scheme tightly woven with Silas at its center.
Writing All Wrongs is the fantastic seventh entry in one of my favorite series. I really enjoy the North Carolina setting, which feels like its own character, but the finely drawn characters keep me anticipating the next installment. Ms. Adams has created a group of varied, realistic people with real problems and flaws. They have grown over the course of the series, especially Olivia, who was initially quite standoffish. I appreciate how she has overcome her troubled past and embraced her group of friends. Of course, I want Olivia and Chief to have a happy ending, but I like that they have striven to adapt to married life together and are comfortable with their own kind of normal. Also, Olivia’s struggle to accept her birth father added to the story.
The local legends are interesting in their own right, but the way they are central to the plot of the mystery made them all the more intriguing. I guessed, and second guessed, throughout the book the motivation behind Leigh’s murder and the perpetrator. The resolution was well done, and I did not see it coming until right before all was revealed. What a multifaceted ride to the end.
Writing All Wrongs will probably find a spot on my list of favorite reads of the year, and I recommend this wonderful mystery to fans of meatier cozies and the North Carolina setting....more
Stabbing in the Senate Washington Whodunit, Book #1 By Colleen J. Shogan ISBN: 9781603813310 Author website: http://www.colleenshogan.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
Life is good for Kit Marshall. She’s a staffer in D.C. for a popular senator, and she lives with an adoring beagle and a brainy boyfriend with a trust fund. Then, one morning, Kit arrives at the office early and finds her boss, Senator Langsford, impaled by a stainless steel replica of an Army attack helicopter. Panicked, she pulls the weapon out of his chest and instantly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.
Circumstances back Kit’s claim of innocence, but her photograph has gone viral, and the heat won’t be off until the killer is found. Well-loved though the senator was, suspects abound. Langsford had begun to vote with his conscience, which meant he was often at odds with his party. Not only had the senator decided to quash the ambitions of a major military contractor, but his likely successor is a congressman he trounced in the last election. Then there’s the suspiciously dry-eyed Widow Langsford.
Kit’s tabloid infamy horrifies her boyfriend’s upper-crust family, and it could destroy her career. However, she and her free-spirited friend Meg have a more pressing reason to play sleuth. The police are clueless in more ways than one, and Kit worries that the next task on the killer’s agenda will be to end her life.
Book 1 in the Washington Whodunit mystery series.
Author Colleen J. Shogan has written a wonderful whodunit and started what is bound to be a very entertaining new cozy mystery series. Stabbing in the Senate is a great first novel and a fun first in a series. Her writing style is enjoyable and easy. This is shorter than a lot of cozies, but packs a punch even so. Main character Kit Marshall is interesting and someone I would enjoy knowing. She is a staffer for D.C. Senator Langsford, a popular man on the hill that has taken a different course lately. He has been quite vocal about his changes in beliefs when it comes to voting. Especially an upcoming vote that could have huge repercussions. When Kit comes in to work a bit early to do some work, she finds her boss impaled by a model Army attack helicopter. Kit makes a big mistake as she pulls the murder weapon out hoping to give him first aid. Now her prints are on the murder weapon.
Kit has a great cast of characters surrounding her. Best of course is her waif-like coworker/best friend Meg. There is also her food motivated beagle Clarence and her intelligent boyfriend Doug who is a trust fund baby, whose family is could trace their history back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her coworkers are interesting and diverse for sure. Some she thought were not friends, but are and some she thought were friends that aren’t. Gossip on the Hill runs rampant and Kit has her face plastered in all the news. This is not going to be good for her job prospects. Kit and Meg decide they have to find the real killer before Kit is completely blackballed in politics. The two are a fun pair of friends and their exploits are entertaining.
Full of political intrigue, high stakes decision makers, twists and turns and red herrings, Stabbing in the Senate is a wonderful new cozy. The characters are entertaining and the writing is spot on for a great whodunit. I am not really a fan of politics or D.C. in particular, but the way Colleen J. Shogan presented this story drew me in and kept me excited about it. I am sure fans of politics will love this new cozy series, but those like me that don’t, will not be put off. The author somehow writes about the political word in a fresh and exciting style. Anyone that enjoys a well written classic whodunit, will love this book. It bodes well for a continuation of this series and I for one hope it does continue.
A Body To Spare Odelia Gray Mystery, Book #10 By Sue Ann Jaffarian ISBN 9780738718866 Author Website: http://www.sueannjaffarian.com/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer jerjen
Odelia Grey’s relaxing day of errands is ruined when she finds a body folded like an origami crane in the trunk of her car. And it’s not just any dead body—it’s the corpse of Zak Finch, a young man who had been kidnapped eight years earlier. But why was he put in Odelia’s car? Where has Zak been all these years?
With her name at the top of the suspect list, Odelia and her husband, Greg, are determined to find the answers. They’ll do whatever it takes, even if they have to give the slip to an arrogant FBI agent and team up with Mother, a contract killer, to uncover the truth. (Goodreads)
Odelia and her mother are at a car wash, waiting for her car to be finished, when suddenly people start screaming around her car. When she goes to see what the commotion is about, she sees that there is a dead naked man in her trunk. She has no idea who he is or how he got in there. With the help of her husband, Greg, and her brother, Clark, they figure out who the victim is. Turns out that the body is that of a young man who had been kidnapped many years ago. Odelia has no connection to the dead man, and does not know why her car was the one the body was in. When the media finds out about the identity of the mam, Odelia will find herself thrown in the the media frenzy, something she does not want to happen. It will take all of her sleuthing skills and the skills of her friends to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. I really enjoyed meeting all of them and spending time with them. I loved the fact that Odelia is a plus size older woman. So many of the heroines in the cozies I read are young, fit and gorgeous. It was so refreshing to read about someone that did not fit into that stereotypical mold. I thought it was so funny when she described how she felt after she jogged for a bit, I could relate to that completely. I could just picture her, hands on knees, bent over, gasping for air because that is exactly what I would look like. I also liked the fact that Odelia does not do things spur of the moment and put herself into unnecessary danger. That is not to say she does not find herself in a perilous situation, because she does, but it really is not her fault. I also like her husband Greg. Although he is wheelchair bound, he is still a strong person and is fully prepared to take care of Odelia and her mom. And he is not constantly telling her to stay out of things and mind her own business. Instead they work together to come up with a plan to figure the mystery out.
The mystery is well plotted and carried on throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the way a mystery from long ago was intertwined with the current mystery, I thought it was very clever. I thought I had the mystery figured out but I was only half right.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book, I felt like I was right there watching all the action going on around me. She is also very talented in writing humor into her work. There are many funny parts in the book that had me laughing out loud. Odelia’s mother is quite quirky and her antics were fun to read about. To be truthful, I would not have even cared if there was no mystery in this book because I enjoyed reading about Odelia and Greg so much.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted mystery with characters that you will love. I have not read any of the other Odelia Gray Mysteries but I plan on reading all of them. If I could give this book more than five stars I would, that is how much I enjoyed it. Do yourself a favor and check out this series, you will definitely be glad that you did.
A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany Author: Sigrid MacRae ISBN13: 9780670015832 Author website: none Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents’ intercontinental love affair. While visiting Paris in 1927, her American mother, Aimée, raised in a wealthy Connecticut family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. They marry. But the harsh reality of post-World War I Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich’s diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimée’s modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she’d left behind.
A World Elsewhere is a stirring narrative of two hostages to history and a mother’s courageous fight to save her family.
A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany is a wonderful testament to the love between a wealthy American and a royal, yet penniless Russian born Baltic German. Two more unlike people finding love is rare, keeping it going through all the trials they went through is amazing. Author Sigrid MacRae writes about her parents with everything laid open for the reader to see. The good, the bad, the unbelievable, the tragic, all is there for us to see. Sigrid was given a beautiful box when her mother, Aimee was moving to Arizona. She could not bear to open the locked box as it was filled with her parents’ letters. When she did, she was driven to find out and write their story.
Aimee is a wealthy American who has not actually had an easy life. However she writes later as she struggles “I’ve never fought for anything. Life picked me out to spoil. I sometimes wonder is she isn’t playing with me and will come with the reckoning before long.” And oh how the reckoning came. She traveled to Europe as many wealthy young women did at the time and found the love of her life. As she fell more and more in love she found herself pregnant. At the time she was prepared to stay in America and not burden her philosophical and political love Baron Heinrich Alexis Nikolai von Hoyningen-Huene. After his begging she returned to Germany and began her new life. At times I did not like Heinrich, but her love for him overrode that feeling.
Author Sigrid MacRae must have done extensive research to fill in the gaps of her parents letters. Amazing research! I was so enthralled with the look inside the general public of Germany during this horrible war, WWII. My mother lived through it in Germany and also had a dynamic mother that kept their family together. Most books written about the time only give the reader one view of things. This is a fascinating look at not just Heinrich’s service in the German military, but also the day to day life of the citizens in the midst of a war on not only the German side and French and Russian and in between. So many people have been taught that the Germans were happy to follow Hitler’s wild rampage, but this allows us to see this is not true. I was lucky enough to have my mother’s stories to learn and this book just brought what she had to go through to light in a way I could visualize and understand even more. For that alone I would have given this book 5 stars.
As the reader is drawn through this long and winding road the author intersperses the letters her parents wrote to each to each and friends. We get to see what made Heinrich who he was, what made Aimee who she became, all before they even met. As the couple get to know each other, their history is played out on the page in descriptive and exacting writing. Through failed attempts at jobs for Heinrich, worries of his family accepting her, Aimee’s money getting them through it all, this couple get to a good place in life. Then all the grumblings of war erupt. Bad luck seems to hit Aimee at every turn in her life, however even with that, somehow some way, she finds her way. She seems to land on her feet, always. Even as her world is crumbling. The things she has to go through, her home being behind Russian lines, the house she moves to being a mess, once repaired the walls filled with refugees, the dangerous journey to escape the advance of the Russian front, through all of it she seems to be one step ahead of tragedy.
I cannot believe how much research author Sigrid MacRae had to do to fill in the spaces left from her parents’ letters. It is truly dizzying. I cannot thank her enough though for writing this book. I am finally able to understand some of what my mother and her family faced during the same time. In this book, the author shows a side of WWII and Germany that is rarely shown. She gives us a view of the citizens’ struggles and their attitude as the war raged on. The fact that there were some that never believed in the war machine. And even as she gave us that side that is not so evident, she also gave us a wonderful tale of love, strength, heartache, determination and resolve. A World Elsewhere is so encompassing it is really hard to put into words. I would recommend that if you do not care for detailed history, do not read this. It will be your loss though. I am so thankful I was given the chance to read this masterful book.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest *
Only a Kiss The survivors’ club, book #6 By Mary Balogh IBSN: 9780451469687 Author’s website: http://www.marybalogh.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over….
Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.
Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.
Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?
The Survivors’ Club series is some of the best historical fiction I have ever read and Only A Kiss does not disappoint. Mary Balogh has the unique ability to not only immerse her reader into the story but keep them turning pages. I know for a fact I waited with anticipation for this story as I had read the others and was dying to find out Imogens’ story in relationship to the other 5 survivors of the Napoleonic Wars.
We find Imogen at Hardford Hall where she has meted out a life for herself devoid of feeling. She exists in a self-imposed feeling of peace and tranquility yearning for the yearly contact with her fellow survivors. Her peace and tranquility gets interrupted when Percival Hayes the new Earl of Hardford arrives unexpectedly. Although initially disliking him Imogen finds she is attracted but is hesitant when the Earl arouses feelings in her that have long been suppressed. Having witnessed her husband’s death, Percy feels there is more to the story than is being told by Imogen. When Imogen finally realizes she is in love with Percy she knows she can never have him or can she?
In a drunken state Percy makes the decision to go to Hardford Hall. There he finds he is in the company of 3 women and numerous strays. Meeting his predecessor’s sons widow he finds himself attracted to her. He opens up to Imogen about things he would never talk about in London society and finds she is a delightful cure for loneliness. But Imogen has a marble exterior which is only broken when she smiles or laughs occasionally. Percy is determined to find out what made her so cold and unfeeling. He knows that he loves her but will it be enough to break the ice?
As said before I loved this series and I do hope there will be a seventh book to give us the story of the owner of Penderiss Hall. I would love to know the story on why he took the survivors in. All of these stories can stand alone however if you have read the others, the characters flow from one book to the other. Mary Balogh is definitely one of my favorite writers and I look forward to more books by her.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review ...more
Seven Nights to Surrender Art of passion, Book #1 By Jeanette Grey IBSN: 9781455589791 Author’s website: http://www.jeanettegrey.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
By day, he’ll show her a side of Paris not found in any guidebook. By night, he’ll introduce her to a passion beyond her wildest dreams. In this sensuous story of indulgence and desire, Jeanette Grey delivers one of the most romantic reads of the year and proves why she is fast becoming a must-read star.
SEVEN NIGHTS TO SURRENDER
Kate arrives in Paris hoping to find inspiration. Instead she finds Rylan. In a swirl of stolen kisses and hot, tangled sheets, Kate is quickly swept away by the sexy stranger, longing to surrender to his expert touch. With Rylan, nothing is forbidden-except the truth.
An American ex-pat worth millions, Rylan never flaunts his fortune. Rather, he guards his identity from everyone, especially women. No strings, no commitments, no complications. But the second his lips taste Kate’s soft, sweet skin, everything changes. For the first time, Rylan has found someone to share his every want and need. Yet he knows that secrets stand between them. To keep her, he’ll need to confess the truth before it’s too late . . . even if doing so could mean losing Kate forever.
This is a sweet story about two people with pasts that have caused them both to run away to find themselves. When they find each other sparks begin to fly. Kate is inexperienced in the physical side of love and Rylan seems to be an expert. Rylan finds that Kate is the one person who he can bring out his true self and who is not swayed by his “charm and fortune”.
I found the character of Rylan really fascinating. Hurt and angry at his father’s actions he takes himself away from the family and friends and the family business and immerses himself in a world where not only does he not have to reveal himself but he does not have to form any emotional bonds. Kate changes his thinking and he realizes that he is a better person than the shallow person he has been presenting. The secrets he keeps from Kate come back to haunt him and put him in the position of losing the only person he truly wants to impress. I loved the way the author builds this awareness in Rylan and yet keeps the reader still immersed in the obvious love story.
Kate is unsure of herself or what she wants to do in the future as her art career was always downplayed as unworthy by her father and her art teachers have told her to find her ‘soul’ in her painting. When Rylan comes on scene Kate finds “love and her soul” all at once and her art begins to show it. The one thing that would fracture this scenario is a lie or secret held from her. Perhaps the romance between them was just a summer fling. Going back to the States with her art career assured but her love life in shambles Kate must find herself again.
Jeanette Grey has again given us a story that is easy to read and has good flow. The characters are complex and the reader can really engross themselves in the story. The story also makes the reader reach for the ending as it is not final. It reminded me another book I read which led the reader anticipating the second book to complete the story. The reader doesn’t have to read the next book to get closure as you can imagine the results, but the writing is good enough to want you find out if your results that you imagined are correct. Jeanette Grey in Seven Nights to Surrender has certainly got me anticipating the spring 2016 follow up story.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*...more
Callie Taylor is heartbroken learning the man she’s loved her whole life, Fenn Lockwood, is engaged! All the dreams she’s ever had of him finally noticing her as more than a kid sister type crash and burn and it rips her heart into a million pieces. Wes hates that he had to be the one to deliver the news of Fenn and Hayden’s engagement, he hates being the one that hurt Callie.
But Wes has had a thing for Callie since he first laid eyes on her and is now on a mission to seduce Callie and make her his! But he has to take it slow and give her time to heal. He ends up making a bet with her. He has 30 days to try and seduce her. If he loses and is unable to get her in his bed he gets her into art school, if she loses he gets one night of pleasure with her, although he’d rather win and have many nights of pleasure instead!
Wes sweeps Callie off to Paris, the city of love and art, to begin his seduction, but is brought back early when several expensive paintings get stolen in Long Island. Will the short time they’ve had together be enough to secure the win and a future with the beautiful cowgirl? Or will one look at Fenn undue all he’s done thus far?
I liked this book, but there are a few things about it that kind of annoyed me. First of all why would a virgin have an IUD? This is the second book in a row (different authors) that I’ve read that the virgin of the story was already on birth control and I can’t imagine why they’d waste money on something they don’t need. Also, I hated how she just accepted Wes saying he’s clean and not making him suit up, so to speak. Good thing this is fiction or it would be an STD waiting to happen! Another thing that bugged me was Wes stating he’s never brought a woman to his home, but yet has all the toys to play with them including…. a hook that comes down from the ceiling to use for his BDSM fantasies. Sorry Wes, I just don’t believe you …
Other than those few things I did really enjoy the story, although I found Callie a little too innocent for my liking and definitely too naïve to get with a dom of any caliber. I think Fenn had every right to get upset over the pairing!
But by the end of the book all my misgivings of this book had faded away because this author can really write a climatic ending. She never fails to entangle me in a fast-paced conclusion that I just can’t get enough of!
This was a good story, another BDSM lite tale, but I can’t wait for Royce’s story! I think it has the potential to blow the other three out of the water! If only it was available now …
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
The Stitching Hour (An Embroidery Mystery, #9) By Amanda Lee ISBN13: 9780451473844 Author website: http://www.gayletrent.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
In the latest mystery from the bestselling author of Wicked Stitch, the future of Marcy Singer’s embroidery shop is dangling by a thread…
Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, is one year old this October so it’s time to party in little Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Aside from the Halloween decorations and festive stitching kits and patterns, Marcy’s got all sorts of celebratory swag, including Seven-Year Stitch key rings and goodie bags.
Unfortunately, her new neighbors might spoil the revelry. An eccentric couple has opened a haunted house next door, and all that screaming will certainly scare off customers. But there’s even more to be frightened of after a local waitress is found dead on the sidewalk with mysterious markings on her neck—and one of Marcy’s key rings beneath her. With no time to hem and haw, Marcy must act fast if she hopes to restore the peace to Tallulah Falls…
I love this series. An Embroidery Mystery series is fun and truly entertaining, always. The Stitching Hour is no different. Marcy Singer has been in Tallulah Falls, Oregon for one year. Her embroidery shop Seven Year Stitch is going to have a one year anniversary party. Marcy has tons of goodies for her shoppers. And her famous costume designer mom is coming in for a visit too. Things get a bit dicey when new neighbors move in next door. They are opening a haunted house. The couple is different for sure. Eccentric and over the top. Marcy worries the screaming may hamper her sales. Then local (and unpopular) waitress Keira winds up dead in front of the haunted house with two puncture wounds on her neck. Has Tallulah Falls been invaded by vampires or did one of the huge snakes in the haunted house get out and kill her. Marcy has to find answers before more damage is done to her celebration.
It is always such a pleasure to make a trip to Tallulah Falls and visit with Marcy and the gang. The characters are wonderful and entertaining and intelligent. Of course Angus, Marcy’s Irish wolfhound, makes these books even better. Marcy is strong, independent and a fabulous friend to her circle. If I were in trouble I would feel 100 times better having her on the case. Her boyfriend Ted is a detective and it makes her interest in the case more feasible. The whole gang is so much fun and their interaction bring the reader in as one of them. Her mother Beverly is entertaining as well. Todd (one of her first love interests when moving there) gets along great with Ted and their friendship is amusing. Amanda Lee writes stellar characters that leap off the page.
The murder mystery is very well-plotted, with several people as possible suspects. From an old boyfriend, to his mother or even vampires, all could be the killer. The amusing work Marcy and her best friend Vera do to find the answers is thoroughly enjoyable. Amanda Lee’s writing style is easy, while still very intelligent. The mystery keeps the reader guessing, but does not drag them off into left field. Even the couple running the haunted house, though truly bizarre, seem believable. The murderer is a bit easy to figure out, but it still keeps you trying to find the answers, including the motive.
Amanda Lee writes the perfect cozy in all of the books in this series, however they keep getting better with each one. The Stitching Hour is the best yet. Her writing is inviting and entertaining and the characters are fabulous as well as being set in the perfect place. Even if you have not read any of the books in this series, you will have no trouble reading this one as a standalone. But why not read all of them, they are all awesome. The character interaction is great. I love visiting Tallulah Falls and hanging out with this cast. You really can’t beat ready one of Amanda Lee’s fantastic cozies. A stellar installment in an extraordinary series.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*...more
Because I Love You Forever Love, Book #6 By Jeannie Moon ISBN: 9780698405912 Author Website: www.jeanniemoon.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Una
Leah Bayard doesn’t have time for a relationship. She’s an up and coming securities attorney with one thing on her mind: her career. But when she meets Tristan Ward, the gorgeous new British CFO for her brother’s tech startup, Reliance Software, Leah decides she might have a little time in her schedule for a friends-with-benefits relationship. No strings attached, of course.
As things heat up between them, Leah gets a career changing ultimatum from her boss. He’s had it out for Tristan for years, and now he wants Leah to get inside information to help out a friend who’s investigating Reliance’s IPO. If she doesn’t help, Leah can say goodbye to not only her job, but her reputation. Now, she has to make a decision that will change the course of her life: hold on to the first real relationship she’s ever had with a man she’s come to love, or give all that up to pursue the career of her dreams.
Jeannie Moon has done it again and given the reader a great story with good flow and interesting and complex characters. She weaves her other stories in but allows each story to stand alone in their own right.
Leah an ambitious attorney is smart outspoken and leery of business romances and commitment. Burnt in the past with an office romance, she decides when she meets Tristan Wade, a CFO for her brothers firm that friendship will be what she will maintain with him in spite of the physical attraction and hot sex that is offered.
Tristan knows from the beginning that trust is what is all important to Leah. He gradually builds up her trust in him and they begin to strengthen their relationship. Everything goes well until Tristan’s past comes back to haunt him and destroys the trust Leah has in him.
Leah doesn’t like anyone making her decisions for her and when her career and relationships are threatened she has to make difficult decisions on her own. Even her loving and concerned family can’t help her.
Having a past of blowing off steam and hurting the people she loves, Leah must think long and hard on what she truly wants out of life.
Jeannie Moon has strong independent main female characters from all walks of life and handsome rich leading men who in spite of their wealth turn out to be decent caring people. She writes great stories with lovely supporting characters that I have loved from previous books; I know I am really looking forward to more Jeannie Moon stories. I hope to hear what Amy (Leah’s sister) does with her life and who her leading man will be. Maybe a Christmas release!...more
A Likely Story A Library Lover’s Mystery, Book #6 By Jenn McKinlay ISBN#9780425260746 Author’s Website: http://www.jennmckinlay.com Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person’s case involving two reclusive brothers.
NOT HIS BROTHER’S KEEPER
Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she’s determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother’s fate. (Goodreads)
I liked A Likely Story and found it to be an absorbing sixth installment in the well crafted Library Lover’s Mystery series.
Lindsey Norris is the library director in the fictional small coastal Connecticut town of Briar Creek. Just out from the coast is a series of islands, called the Thumb Islands, and Lindsey regularly travels by water taxi, piloted by her ex-boyfriend Sully, to deliver books to the reclusive Rosen brothers. When Stewart Rosen is not at his dock to meet her, Lindsey’s instinct tells her that things are not right. The brothers are not only hermits but also hoarders and have booby trapped their property to deter visitors and thieves. Lindsey and Sully literally risk life and limb to investigate. To their horror, they find Peter Rosen, who is wheelchair bound, deceased in the kitchen, murdered by what looks to be a gunshot wound, and Stewart is nowhere to be found. What on earth happened here, and is Stewart in danger or the culprit?
All of the regular cast of characters appear in this installment, and there are several subplots to round out the book. Beth, the children’s librarian, is worried about her dwindling story time audience and the competition a new children’s librarian in a neighboring town brings. Robbie, one of Lindsey’s suitors, is up to something. Sully and Lindsey are still tip toeing around each other, but you can tell they both want to rekindle their relationship (as long as Robbie does not thwart Sully’s plans). Even Ms. Cole, the cranky assistant librarian known as “the lemon” seems to be softening a bit. If anything, the members of the Crafternoon group play a smaller role this time around, but they all still have definite opinions regarding Lindsey’s personal life. There is also an appearance of some collectibles pickers and a plan by a wealthy resident who looks like she wants to buy as many of the Thumb Islands as she can.
A Likely Story gets off to an exciting start with a flooding emergency at the library followed by a booby trapped house and an explosion that leaves Chief Emma injured. It moves along at a brisk pace and is full of suspense, but there is a very limited number of suspects. Because of this, I was able to pick out the perpetrator(s) pretty much from the moment they were introduced. Usually, this would quite deter my enjoyment, but the story was entertaining enough to overlook the predictability.
I enjoy the Library Lover’s series because of the characters. They are likable and realistic, diverse in personality and actions. Beth is a favorite. Every library should be lucky enough to have such a talented children’s librarian. I also really like Sully. He is a deep, complex character, and I love that he is such a steadfast personality and that he is opening up more to Lindsey. I do wish that the love triangle would end. It has gone on far too long and is becoming tiresome.
I read for many reasons, but a main one is the prospect of being an “armchair traveler”. Briar Creek is such a cozy, beautiful place. It provides a stark contrast to my everyday land-locked Texas life, and it is a pleasure to visit a different place for a while. Ms. McKinlay does a fine job immersing the reader in an enchanting environment while keeping the atmosphere and situations for the most part realistic.
A Likely Story is an entertaining read. I recommend it to fans of a library setting and inquisitive heroines. ...more
An Old-Fashioned Christmas : Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home Author: Ellen Stimson ISBN13: 9781581573282 Author website: http://www.ellenstimson.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
With its trademark snow, piney forests, sleigh rides and woodsmoke curling out of village chimneys, New England was practically invented for the Christmas postcard. It’s got your Christmas goose and the maple syrup with which to glaze it. It’s most of the reason author Ellen Stimson made Vermont her home. Here she shares recipes that have been in her family for generations, mixes up a cocktail or two, and invites readers to make their own traditions.
An Old-Fashioned Christmas Sweet Traditions for Hearth and Home is so much more than a Christmas cookbook and memoir. It is a wonderful glimpse inside a dream Christmas that bursts with flavor, fun, family and love. You would be doing a disservice to yourself if you did not take the time to savor the heartwarming stories of author Ellen Stimson’s family traditions, adventures and festivities. This book is Christmas from the classic cover, delightful photos and on to the recipes – I could smell Christmas reading it.
After reading this fun-filled book, I am ready to pack up and move to Vermont myself. In flowing descriptive writing, the author paints a picture of an old fashioned Christmas with Vermont being the perfect setting. Their family Christmas traditions are entertaining and heart felt. I love the idea of their “Christmas Adventure”. The first week of December they take off on a trip and do fun things, together as a family. I think my favorite Christmas traditions was buying an ornament each year – one each. I so enjoyed the stories attached to the ones author Ellen Stimson shared.
The recipes are great and the majority of them do not seem too complicated. The stories included with each of them enhances the urge to make them. Winter Suppers, Cabin Food, Homespun Tastes and even Treats for Four-legged Friends are just a few of the chapters. The nut roll recipe is amazing and the stories behind it make it even more enjoyable. The addition of “Winter Adventures of Vermont” and “New England Flavors: online Retailers” makes the Vermont Dream Christmas seem even more accessible. Hey if I cannot get there, I just might be able to enjoy a taste of it at home.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And I seriously want to move in with Ellen Stimson and her family before Christmas season hits. Their love for one another and their family traditions is easily evident in the pages, writing, recipes and photos of this fun book. This is the perfect gift book, the perfect holiday read and a wonderful escape for anyone (especially a Southerner that loves and misses snow). The author and her family fully embrace the season with love and do it with laughter and fun. As the author says, “The point of this whole exercise we call Christmas is to figure out what feels fun and sweet to you and do more of that and less of anything that feels like a burden. Delight. You are going for delight”. Reading this book was a true delight!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*
Nauti Seductress Nauti, Book #10, Nauti Girls, Book #3 By Lora Leigh ISBN# 9780425256008 Author’s Website: http://www.loraleigh.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
*Beware of Spoilers*
Zoey is a tough-as-nails kind of girl, but it doesn’t stop her brother Dawg from trying to control her life and keep her safe. The slightest thing can send Dawg running her way to ruin all her fun! She couldn’t wait to get out from under her family’s roof so she can have her own independence! She now has her own place that she shares with her friend, Eli. She runs in secret bike races, but is at a disadvantage as Eli has purposefully been choking her bike’s power to stay in Dawg’s good graces, but it’s keeping her from having any chance to win!
Dawg has strategically placed men he trusts near his sisters for his weird form of matchmaking. But his plans have not worked where Zoey is concerned. In fact, Zoey ends up falling for one of his biggest enemies, Homeland Security honcho, Chatham Doogan!
“Oh my God. Oh my God,” Lyrica whispered, waving her hands in front of her face as she stared at him, eyes wide. “Dawg’s gonna have pups when he finds out about this.”
Zoey knows that Doogan isn’t a relationship kind of guy and that she can’t keep him, but has decided to enjoy the little time she does have with him, but she finds herself quickly getting attached.
Doogan has lusted for Zoey for six years, when he danced with her when he knew he shouldn’t. It about killed him to walk away, but he was married at the time and knew her family would kill him, if he took it any further than the dance. He filed for an annulment shortly after, but it never came to pass as his selfish wife and beautiful daughter were killed during her attempt to take his little girl from him, to no fault of his own.
Doogan knows that he must stay away from Zoey, but when someone abducts her and injects her with a psychoactive drug and convinces her that she not only was raped by her best friend but also killed him, he knows he has to help her. He sees her through it all and he is able to do what he can to make Zoey believe it was all a bad dream. A dream that still haunts her five years later!
Now Doogan is back in town and he can’t stay away from her. She’s in danger once again, and if he loses her, he won’t survive it!
Another great Nauti Girls book! This is a quick and easy read that I didn’t want to put down! The story was engaging and the relationship between Doogan and Zoey was scorching, at least between the sheets … or on top of them … It’s a wonder my kindle didn’t get singed in the process of reading this book!
I’m a sucker for the bad boy so I couldn’t help, but love Doogan, I especially loved Zoey’s family’s reaction to the relationship. Although, in the end, I thought they took it a lot better than I expected, especially Dawg!
We got a nice segue into the next book, which is bringing in some new characters to the story, and I can’t wait to see where Leigh takes us next!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
The Sweetheart Deal By Polly Dugan ISBN: 9780316320351 Author Website: http://www.pollydugan.com/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer jerjen
The poignant story of what happens when a woman who thinks she’s lost everything has the chance to love again.
Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident.
As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey’s feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it. (Goodreads)
This is a story that involves many facets of life. It deals with many real-life situations and issues. It is a story about friendship, love, loss, pain, life, commitment and second chances. It is about having the courage to let go of the past and grabbing the future with both hands.
Leo and Garrett have been best friends for a very long time. They have each others’ back and would do just about anything for each other. Leo decides that he cannot think of anyone better to take care of his wife and family should anything ever happen to him. He is not planning on dying anytime soon but being a firefighter, he knows that it is possible he will die in the line of duty. He gets Garrett to agree that, in the event of his death, Garrett will be there for his wife Audrey and his children and will take of them forever. When the unthinkable happens and Leo does die, Garrett must decide if he will honor the promise he made to Leo. And he has to find out if Audrey is willing to accept his help.
I like the fact that the book is written from different perspectives. Each chapter spotlights a different character: there are sections for Garrett, Audrey, and Audrey’s children. I found this to be a very effect way to follow their lives, their feelings, their struggles and their emotions.
Reading about what happened to Audrey made me stop to think about how I would feel in the same situation. How devastated I would feel, how alone I would feel and how overwhelmed I would feel. I think I would feel as though I would never overcome my grief and I would just want to give up on life. But then I would look at my children and know that I had to move on and be there for them. This is a situation that many women and men are faced with and forced to deal with on a daily basis. I think the author did a great job relaying the devastation and determination it would take to get through this.
This book explored the different types of love that exists. There is the obvious one, the love between spouses or a significant other. Most people have experienced this type of love and have first hand experience in these feelings. But there is also the love between best friends, the love that Leo and Garrett experienced. They had best friends forever and would do anything for each other. Some people may have not experienced this type of love but it does exist. And the third type of love demonstrated in this book is the love between parent and adult. In some ways, I think this is the strongest love there is.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick read. There are a lot of heartfelt emotions contained within the pages and the reader is taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride. It also challenged me to think about what my feelings would be and how I would handle things if I found myself in Audrey’s shoes. I really enjoyed the fact that this happened.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written women’s contemporary. If you like to read books that make you stop and think about how you would react, this is a book that you should read....more
It’s Only Love Green Mountain, Book #5 By Marie Force ISBN# : 9780425275504 http://marieforce.com/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer jerjen
The new Green Mountain Romance from the New York Times bestselling author of And I Love Her.
Ella Abbott has long been secretly in love with Gavin Guthrie. A few recent encounters have only added to her infatuation, especially the kiss they shared at her sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter to Ella that Gavin is in a bad place. He says there’s no hope for a future with him, that he has nothing to offer her. But all Ella cares about is the love she feels.
It’s been seven long years since Gavin lost his brother. He’d kept himself under control and moving forward until his brother’s beloved dog died and his brother’s widow re-married. Since then, he’s been drinking, fighting, and even getting arrested. It seems the only time his demons leave him alone is when Ella is around.
Gavin knows it wouldn’t be fair to drag Ella into his darkness, but when she inserts herself into his life, what choice does he have but to allow her to soothe his aching heart?
Ella has loved Gavin for as long as she can remember. Seems like she loved him even when she was a child. But she has been the little sister and Gavin did not seem to know of her feelings for him. And the way that he has acted made Ella think that he did not feel the same way. He has pushed her away and rebuffed her feelings for so long that Ella knows there is no future with him. But her head and her heart are not on the same page and she knows that she will never feel like this for any other man. She will have to continue to love him from afar.
Gavin is in a very dark place in his life. He has never fully recovered from the death of his brother. He cannot seem to let go of his feelings of anger and guilt. And when his brother’s dog, Homer, passes away, he sinks even deeper into the darkness. He begins to drink heavily and fight with everyone and becomes a person he does not like nor recognize. He has an epiphany of sorts when he sees Ella again; he realizes that his life does not seem so dark whenever he is with her. He realizes he needs her in his life to pull him back into the land of the living. He also knows that it is not fair to her but she is his lifeline. He convinces her of this fact, and although she is afraid to trust him completely with her heart, she knows she cannot deny him anything.
Ella and Gavin are both flawed and both bring baggage into the relationship. But they are characters that you can cheer for and care about and hope that they can make a relationship work. I felt like a little too much time was spent on letting the reader know how crazy they were for each other and their prior feelings, but that is just me. Other readers may enjoy reading about this page after page, but I felt it got a little too repetitive. I would have liked more time spent on seeing them living in the present, going on dates and things that normal couples would do.
Ella has a large family and whenever they get together there is a lot of bickering and bantering going on. They tease each other mercilessly but they also love each other fiercely. They have each other’s back and would do whatever is needed to help and protect those they love. I love this family portrayal and hope that most families are like this in real life. I enjoyed reading about all the family interactions.
I really enjoyed the fact that Ella’s father and grandfather were meddlesome and trying to control the lives of their loved ones. Usually it is the females in the family that do this, a mother, an aunt, or a sister. The fact that it was two male characters is quite unusual and I loved it. I could have read more about their shenanigans.
Another thing that I enjoyed is the inspirational sayings that begin each chapter. They are thought-provoking and apply to many areas in our life. I thought this was a great addition to the book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written adult contemporary romance. There is a lot of steaminess in this book so I do not feel it would be appropriate for a young adult. This is the second book that I have read in this series and I enjoyed them both.
**OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review** ...more
The Darkest Day Victor the Assassin, Book #5 By Tom Wood ISBN: 9780451473981 Author website: http://www.tomwoodbooks.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
World-class assassin Victor finds himself under fire in the new thriller from bestselling author Tom Wood
HIT THE TARGET…
While carrying out a hit on a terrorist financier, Victor finds himself the target of an assassin who proves to be just as deadly as he is. Never one to let such a thing go, Victor sets about hunting down his attacker and those who sent her. She is Raven—a freelance assassin with a dark past and hidden agenda. If Victor wants to stay alive he must find out who Raven really is and what she is truly after.
…OR BECOME THE TARGET.
Does she really want him dead, or does someone else want them to kill each other? With the stakes growing higher by the minute—as a city-wide blackout plunges Manhattan into darkness—Victor and Raven must decide who is friend and who is foe before a deadly terrorist plot threatens to consume the city and them along with it.
The Darkest Day, a thriller from author Tom Wood, is just that thrilling. Once again hit man extraordinaire Victor is on the job, doing what he does best – killing and leaving no trace. This time though everything is going wrong and someone even is trying to kill him. Victor reaches out to those he knows to find out who this female assassin is and who sent her. Raven is good, almost as good as he is. She works like he does too. Is she the enemy or is this some plot against them both?
In the latest Tom Wood thriller, the reader is pulled into the intrigue and non-stop action of assassin Victor as he not only searches for Raven herself, but also answers as to what and who was behind her attempt to kill him. In the process, as Manhattan goes black, he uncovers treachery, evil and a homegrown terrorist plot. Someone is playing Victor for all he’s worth and that just does not happen. People are not who they say they are and there is Raven. As the two lone wolf killers join forces, things go from bad to worse quickly.
Victor is a character that should not be likable or heroic, but he is. Raven is an enjoyable bad ass* woman that actually compliments him and his tactics. They are almost a good team, if there is such a thing for Victor. There is as always tons of action, gunfights, shear brute strength and in this one, even more car chases. Bodies pile up quickly as the story unfolds. And after all is said and done, a wonderful twist was just a nice cherry on top of it all.
The Darkest Day is a true thrill a minute, guns blazing, action packed novel. No rest for the wicked in this book. It is well written and suspenseful. A touch of politics is thrown in for good measure. Victor is precise and sleek and a loner in the Nth degree. If you have never read one of Tom Wood’s Victor the Assassin books, you will want to soon. This can easily be read as a stand-alone book as all of them in this series can. Any reader that enjoys a darn (*no cursing is allowed in Victor’s presence) good read will enjoy The Darkest Day. Fans of tough and intelligent main characters will want to add this one to their To Be Read list immediately. Just be sure to hang on – it is one rough and exhilarating ride.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour* ...more