Murder at Morningside is a smart and engaging cozy mystery from Sandra Bretting. Set in the south, the mannerisms and phrases used are excellently carMurder at Morningside is a smart and engaging cozy mystery from Sandra Bretting. Set in the south, the mannerisms and phrases used are excellently carried out. I was born in Michigan but half of my roots are in the south. Therefore, many of the sayings uttered by not only the protagonist, Missy, but the entire ensemble, are quite familiar to me. I enjoyed the familiarity of them as I read through the book.
The plot itself was nicely executed and pretty solid. I enjoyed the multiple threads involving the murder, the fiance's secrets, the father's unscrupulousness, the chef, and among others. There are many twists, turns, viable suspects, and diversions along the way. The author did a great job concealing the real suspect(s) and the reasons why the murder was committed.
The only issue I have concerns when Missy was found breaking and entering a home that clearly wasn't hers. Regardless of the outcome of the book, the lack of any sort of discipline, even as simple as a lecture and warning, was a glaring problem. No one really questioned why Missy was where she was at or brought up the many reasons why the evidence she found could be considered inadmissible since it didn't go through the proper channels. Then again, what do I know about crime scene or potential evidence procedures.
I really enjoyed the book. So much, in fact, that I read it in just over a day. I love the connection between Missy and her best friend, the talented Ambrose. There is a definite connection between them that I hope is explored in future books. Missy and Ambrose clearly care for one another and make a great team. Ambrose creates gowns and Missy creates wedding veils. Together they rule the most prestigious of southern belle weddings.
I cannot wait to see where Sandra Bretting takes us next in the adventures of Missy and Ambrose!
Review copy courtesy of the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own....more
Frostfellows begins right where Moondancers ends - this series must be read in order!
There will be Book 1 spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Josh is aliveFrostfellows begins right where Moondancers ends - this series must be read in order!
There will be Book 1 spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Josh is alive, all because of quick thinking on Lara's part. Unfortunately, he can't hide the fact that Lara's plan makes her mother, Eudora's, evil idea null and void - and boy will she be mad when she finds out. It's very noticeable, too, that Lara's plan to bring Josh back from death brought back a very different boy. Will the Josh that Lara once knew come back or will their link as soulmates be severed forever?
Also, the Lycorian situation is escalating. Mud is being slung. Lives threatened. People are missing. Josh has a form of amnesia. You name it, and it happens....to Josh or around Josh. Poor guy, he just can't catch a break.
Frostfellows is a well-paced and unique paranormal adventure. It's a mature young adult (15+ y/o) story told from Josh's point of view. No overly sappy or emotional, E. Van Lowe have woven a tale of love, loss, romance, and, of course, evil. There is a fair amount of realism within the book. The characters seemed more like real people and less like one-dimensional creations within the author's mind. The character development is done well and the world building is excellent.
The tale is engaging and will pull in the reader. I felt like I was in the story and got to know each character individually. Josh's character is a typical teenager that finds himself at the crossroads of being a kid and maturing into make decisions to protect his family and Lara. Lara is a nice character on the opposite side of the line than her mother. She does, however, cross the line a few times in Frostfellows.
The only real complaint is the overuse of "I didn't see that one coming" and "landmine." Fortunately the story is well written and interesting, keeping me focused on that instead of those words/phrases. The plot was pretty solid and we receive a bit more background about the feud between the two different groups of paranormal. I enjoyed Frostgfellows and look forward to Book 3.
ARC review copy courtesy of the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
So I Married a Werewolf is the third novel in Kristin Miller's Seattle Wolf Pack series and it is just a superb as the first two books. For a refresheSo I Married a Werewolf is the third novel in Kristin Miller's Seattle Wolf Pack series and it is just a superb as the first two books. For a refresher, the author combines the normal werewolf/bonded mate scenario but with a twist. The female bonded mates are call Luminaries. It is assumed that each would only comes across one Luminary in their lifetime - if they manage to find one at all.
Unlike the first two books in the series that took a normal, everyday human and transformed her into the object of lust and desire for a local werewolf, this book pairs a female werewolf (who was bitten) with a male werewolf (born as such). Faith and Carter aren't your typical mates - they are joined together, each with a goal in mind. Faith needs to help out her brother with college and Carter needs a mate in order to secure a promotion.
Faith and Carter are fantastically written main characters. Their unconventional marriage arrangement might be handy in certain aspects of their lives but it takes a toll on both of them, especially Faith, emotionally. In fact, the emotionally driven passages in this book have been written realistically so I suggest you have tissues handy. I feel bad for Faith because she loves Carter but doesn't feel like she turns his head the way a skinny woman would. There are so many times that conversations between her and Carter go haywire and you can't help but feel her self-esteem drop another notch.
The attraction between Carter and Faith is there but when you have a man insisting that he only gets one Luminary, it takes him a long time to realize just what he has with Faith. Carter is determined to keeps things all business because he doesn't want to ruin their friendship. The road to their happily-ever-after is not straight or smooth.
So I Married a Werewolf is a wonderful book. It has extremely tender moments but is full of action, drama, and suspense. I was drawn in from the very beginning and my interest never waned. Both Faith and Carter are likable and it's easy to relate to them. I highly recommend the entire Seattle Wolf Pack series!
Review copy provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
Life is good for Julia Bonatti. She has a thriving astrology career plus she writes a column for the local paper. After her response to a submitted quLife is good for Julia Bonatti. She has a thriving astrology career plus she writes a column for the local paper. After her response to a submitted question involving the cynicism of a cult leader, his practices, and the religion as a whole, Julie finds her world crumbling. Seeking solace and safety, she temporarily stays in the estate of a wealthy pair of elderly ladies, Evandra and Eunice, who are currently under the care of their niece, Dorothy. Things really begin to heat up when Evandra starts displaying odd behavior and Eunice leaves home to join up with the cult leader at his compound.
Honestly, I wasn't really sure about The Madness of Mercury at the beginning. Yes, I read the synopsis and I knew the book would involve astrology to some degree but I wasn't prepare for the amount that was used in the book. As someone who isn't really interested in astrology, I didn't really have anything in common with Julia, it was hard to relate to her. However, as the story progressed, I was able to push the astrology parts aside and focus on the characters and the plot.
The multi-faceted story line kept me engaged and interested. The goings on within the sisters' estate, along with the threats from the cult that invaded San Francisco, will have the reader pushing on with anticipation. The character development and world building was done well and nothing was lacking. The mystery wasn't easily solvable and I found that the couple people I thought could be responsible were not, so the author did a great job building up the mystery without giving anything away early.
Lovers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this first book in the Zodiac Mystery series.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
The Cassie Scot series and the additional books that are set in this world are some of my very favorites books to read. They are full of action, dramaThe Cassie Scot series and the additional books that are set in this world are some of my very favorites books to read. They are full of action, drama, and romance and each books stays with the reader long after reading "The End" and closing the book. The romances within the series don't come easily and Kaitlin's Tale is no different in that regard.
All Kaitlin wants is to be loved. When she discovers that she's pregnant after a one-night-stand, she tries to make a go at it with the father, Jason, a vampire hunter. Shortly after Jay's birth, Jason ends up joining forces with the vampires by becoming one. Attempting to do what's best for Jay, Kaitlin decides to move to Jason's "nest" in hopes that they could become the family she's always wanted. Only, her life, and the life of her young son are in grave danger. It seems that Xavier, Jason's sire, has plans for Jay and even more sinister ones for Kaitlin.
In another attempt to do what's best, since moving in with a coven of vampires wasn't such a great idea, Kaitlin flees and heads to the Hunters Guild - and soon discovers that wasn't such a hot idea either. One consolation is that there's a familiar face - Matthew Blair - from the town she's from. Except, Matthew isn't exactly an ally. Kaitlin's not sure what he is but she hopes that he can rescue her and Jay from the clutches of a mad leader that has plans for Jay that are even more sinister than the ones the vampires have.
As with the 4 books in the Cassie Scot series, plus the first book set in the world of Cassie Scot, the dialogue, character development, and writing style of Kaitlin's Tale is well done. The content and plot in the book is fresh and unique. I was pulled into the world of Cassie Scot from day one with its smart heroine and strong hero and it continues with with story of Kaitlin and Matthew.
The undertones of the story are filled with unrealized, sometimes pushed aside, or feelings of undeserved love. Kaitlin and Matthew started off in a bad place, since Kaitlin is still upset at Matthew for things that he did with and to Cassie in previous books in the series. Being together in the compound allows Kaitlin and Matthew to air some things, including a dark secret that Kaitlin has been harboring for a very long time. I enjoyed the development of their story and the end left me happy and satisfied with where things were.
The author writes characters that have deep layers and are emotional. They are believable and easy to love. The novel was written with feeling and realistic emotions - all of which can be felt by the reader. You won't be disappointed with the newest addition to the Cassie Scot world!
Review copy courtesy of the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more