Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Here in my Heart

In Anna De Stefano's novella spinoff from her Mimosa Lane contemporary romance series, we return to the small community of Chandlerville, Georgia. For Dru Hampton, she ran the radKIDS program and worked at the Dream Whip restaurant. She was a strong role model for her younger adoptive sister Lisa with the Dixon family. But she had issues of her own, when she was reunited with her former childhood sweetheart, Officer Brad Douglas. They were separated seven years ago and now come together again, when Brad's 91-year-old grandmother, Vivian, was dying for cancer. For Dru and Brad, they needed to work through their issues and proclaim their love for each other. For Lisa, she just wanted to fit in and be loved by everyone, when she ventured into online chat rooms and the dangers from there. If you have fallen in love with the Mimosa Lane series, you'll fall in love with Here in My Heart as well.

This was a beautiful heart-wrenching contemporary romance. This dealt with adoption, a sense of belonging, life and love, and following your heart. I loved Dru's story on how she overcame the odds to get where she was today. I loved how she started a self-defense class for kids to fight back and how she knew Brad was meant for her. I loved how they cared for Vivian and mourned her loss with a heavy heart. I loved how Brad helped her out and how he figured out his feelings for her as they worked together. I did feel a bit sad for Lisa, who wanted a little attention with a little jealousy. I did became concerned for her, when she dabbled with online chatting. I loved the small town community of Chandlerville, Georgia, and how they came together. Beautiful heart-warming with emotional drama and a sense of romance.

Ready to follow your heart? Give this one your best shot today!

Special review: Sirius about Murder from May 2008

In the second installment of the Beanie and Cruiser series from Sue Owens Wright, Sirius about Murder, Beanie and Cruiser have found themselves stuck in another mystery in South Lake Tahoe around Halloween. Some residents were up for another debate about how the land should be used--some want a dog park while the others want it to be used for expensive housing for more revenue. When Abigail Haversham, the leader of the dog park movement, was found murdered by a killer known as Sirius, it was now up to Beanie and Cruiser to help the local police investigate the murder for suspects, except for the pet psychic at the fair. They might have another quarry to interview about the land debate controversy, they hoped the real killer wouldn't be serious about making them the next victims on their list.

This was another delightful cozy from Sue Owens Wright. I love the pairing of Beanie and Cruiser in this adventurous mysteries. I loved the backdrop of South Lake Tahoe in the California-Nevada area. It was so very picturesque and visual to see the dog park protest and the fair. And to center it around Halloween was ideal as well.  For a light quick read, this one packed a lot of surprises with light humor and a good suspenseful action-packed book.

Are you serious about books? Give this one a try now!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Special review: Howling Bloody Murder from April 2005

In the cozy mystery debut from Sue Owens Wright, Howling Bloody Murder, she introduced us to a remarkable team of Elsinore "Elsie, Beanie" MacBean, a widow with an adult daughter with Washoe heritage through her blood, and her faithful basset hound, Cruiser. When she worked for the local newspaper, she reported about a grisly murder that hit her town of Lake Tahoe. Beanie and Cruiser teamed up with the local law to compare notes about all of the victims, who were all powerful businessmen, who were all up in arms about the environmental dispute about the land. Police leads to the militant tribal councils, who didn't want the local casino built there. Add some supernatural twists and Nona's detestable boyfriend to add to the mix of the plot, when it was up to Beanie and Cruiser to collar the killer before it was too late.

This was another great light cozy. I loved  Beanie and Cruiser together. They make a helluva team. You've got to lose him. I liked the backdrop of South Lake Tahoe along with the Halloween season. I loved the concept that dealt with environmental issues. I do care about them and Nona, though I disliked Nona's boyfriend. I liked Skip working with them too. There's not much here not to like or love at all. For a gentle and light reading, good dramatic action, nice mystery with a hint of humor and suspense.

Ready to howl at the moon? Go grab a copy today!

Special review: Whiteout from February 2009

In Ken Follett's Whiteout, he put the thrill back into thriller and added some medical elements. Before a Christmas blizzard in Scotland, Toni Gallo, the security director of a medical research firm had more problems that she bargained for. Twelve virus samples went missing, while one lab tech ending up bleeding. During the Whiteout, several people converged in front of a family home. Everyone inside had something to win or lose with the end results of the drug been developed to fight against the virus. That's when tempers went high and turned up the heat with jealousies and a boatload of explosive emotions, causing them to reveal family secrets,as heroes and villains emerge in the end.

This was another exhillerating thriller dealing with medical science. I loved the concept of a Scottish  winter season during the holidays. And to have a whiteout happen to trap everyone with snow and ice made it more thrilling as well. Toni Gallo was an interesting and intriguing character. I admired her and love the work she did. As for the  people at the home, that was a whole another story altogether. This would leave you speechless at the end after the gripping hook to start it off.

Don't get caught in the blizzard! Buy a copy this weekend!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Special review: The World WIthout End from April 2009

Eighteen years after the Pillars of the Earth was published, the long awaited sequel, The World Without End, continued the historical fiction saga from where it left off. Two centuries later, the same fight continued against the rich and the poor in Kingsbridge, England. The royal family and the priory were at ends for the same thing, when with a new set of characters that rule the world, they were at the crossroads with a new set of ideas in medicine, architecture, commerce and justice. At this time, this was when the fatal disease of Black Death ravaged their world for this backdrop in a fight against evil. Rich tones of historical facts of how the people lived and died with factual based knowledge on customs and cultures in this fantastic conclusion.

I continued to love the fantastic intricate details on knowing how a new generation of people lived during the Black Death Plague era.  The battle over the priory continued with new and interesting people. The backdrop of the Renaissance period was always amazing to learn about in this long book. I hated another long read and the war against the rich over the poor. Some things haven't changed. When some details were overwhelming with detail, it still made a good read with great drama, excellent action and a hint of romance.

Ready to relive a new war? Grab a copy today!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Embarking on Murder

Elsie "Beanie" MacBean and Cruiser return in the 3rd installment of the Beanie and Cruiser series in Embarking on Murder. For this adventure, it happened upon Beanie's 50th birthday on a ship. It was no way to celebrate her birthday. From there, she witnessed an argument between a couple and later become embroiled into a murder mystery of their own. While Beanie still wrote for the paper, she was also a mystery writer to boot and interviewed an English geology professor who was quite a man of mystery and a charmer. With wild rumors about a Loch Ness-like monster roaming around Lake Tahoe and a disappearance of a woman who was presumed dead by drowning. Besides a twisted love triangle between Professor Blayne and Skip, it was more than she can handle, while more lies and suspicious people collided with the truth and a deadly revelation in the end, that changes their lives forever. Cruiser was always there to protect her.

This was another fantastic Beanie and Cruiser cozy series. I do love how Beanie interacted with her daughter Nona and with Skip. I love the South Lake Tahoe location and how this took place on a cruise ship. That Crispin Blayne was a slimy person. I didn't like him as much. I wished Beanie would get together with Skip. They seemed to be perfect together. This had plenty for a good and light read to warm your hearts. Cruiser was a real cutie. Good drama, tons of action, and a light-hearted geological mystery in between to solve.

Ready to go on an adventure? Give this one a go today!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Where the rain is made

In Keta Diablo's Where the Rain is Made, she told us a fantastic story that's part historical romance, part futuristic time-travel romance as well. For Francesca "Cesca" Duvall, she lost her family in an Indian rampage and couldn't find her brother, Marshall "Marsh" Duvall. For the two siblings, they were in for a ride of their life. Cesca was abducted from a savage Indian, while Marshall was adopted by an Indian tribe to undergo their latest customs. Cesca and Meko had a heated love/hate relationship. For Meko, he was also known as Ethan Gray in the futuristic world who worked for an Indian museum and transformed himself into a raven. Their love went above and beyond the call of his duty for both of his worlds, while they went through marriage, birth of their daughter, and the deadly Indian battles from the red coats. You would really feel for Cesca throughout this beautiful romance and bring a tissue with it at the end.

This was an amazing historical Paranormal romance. I love the bridge between the two parallel words of past and future with the time travel element. I did care for Francesca and Marshall and for the Indians as well. I loved the American Indian-attributed names they winded up with. When she experienced horrible ordeals, we did, too. I loved the Indian reservation and present-day experiences through time, too, in the western part of the world. You would be taken on a magical journey with this novel.

Ready to be enchanted by this love story? Pick up a copy today!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Special review: The Pillars of the Earth from September 2008

In Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, the first book in the Pillars of the Earth series, he took us back into time of the Renaissance and Medieval Period in the 12th century. In this long book, it was jam-packed with intense history of the customs and cultures of how people lived in there. It wasn't only educational and entertaining at the same time, it set the stage of the cast of enriched characters about Tom Builder's  attempt of building the cathedral in Kingsbridge, England. It dealt with royalty and Tom's family, as we followed them throughout the years with romance, drama, intrigue, action-adventure and suspense. If you haven't seen the TV  mini-series version on Starz's, you'll be hooked in this book and read the sequel later on.

I'm a big sucker for medieval and Renaissance historical fiction. Ken Follett had did his research for this book and the sequel years later. It was so intricate and fascinating to learn about their culture, customs and to learn their way of life. I loved Tom's family and despised the royal prince. I also loved the priory too. I hated that it was so long at a 1000 pages to cram everything in for this saga. This also had some historical romance too as well. You'll be sucked into this ancient world of our past too, when you read this book!

Ready to time travel? Get ready to be intrigued in the Medieval world!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Special review: Jackdaws from April 2009

In Ken Follett's Jackdaws, he took us back to World War Two to tell us an enthralling historical fiction/romance story. During D Day, the United Kingdom had no idea when the Germans would raid their country. It was now up to Felicity "Flick" Clairet, the leader of an all French operative company to attack  against the Germans for the UK Forces. But during their head-on assault, everything went wrong. Her group was destroyed, her husband was MIA, her superiors were unsure of her, while her own self-confidence was shaken up a bit. That's when she developed a new plan of unprofessional all-female operatives for her team, which was later called the Jackdaws, and placed it into action. While she lead her new team onward and forward, that was secrets she kept to herself and haven't revealed to others, including those that were within herself.

This was a fantastic cross-blend of historical fiction and historical romance. During war-time Europe made it a picture perfect setting for this novel. I did begin to feel strong emotions for Flick and her fellow jackdaw spies. She had overcame a lot of things to accomplish that impossible mission. She was a true heroine in this novel, too. I didn't like it, when she lost her husband during the war, or when her team was defeated. With non-stop action, this would launch you right into the scenery to blend in and to join forces as well. This left a smile on my face in the end.

Ready to be recruited? Sign up with a copy today!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

KIller Cuts

In the 8th installment of the Dead-End Job Mystery series by Elaine Viets, we've found Helen working as a gopher for the stylist to the stars and regulars in Killer Cuts. While Helen prepared for her own wedding, she helped Miguel Angel with the wedding details for Honey and King Oden's wedding. A lot of drama happened at the salon, when Phoebe, one of the assistants made rude comments to his customers and flirted with the wedding guests. On Honey's wedding day, it turned out to be a nightmare, when King Oden, a blog communist about gossip ended up dead by drowning, after they said "I Do." From there, Miguel fired Phoebe and rumors spread about Miguel being a person of interest. It was up to Helen and Phil to clear his name and save his business, before it would become too late for Helen's second wedding.

I love the couple of Phil and Helen. They both get a second chance in romance. I also love the Florida location and the scenic backdrop. To have it feature a hair salon was quick and witty with some interesting characters. I didn't like King Oden or Phoebe one bit. Miguel was an interesting and unusual character as well. But he did grew on me. There were some parts that I moaned and groaned  and let out a quick breath. I always look forward for more Helen Hawthorne cozies in the series.

Ready for a trim? Grab a copy or place it on your wish list!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Special review: Deadly Safari from November 2008

In the first installment of the Jazz Jasper series by Karin McQuillen, Deadly Safari, she introduced us to Jazz Jasper, an American woman who escaped America and a painful divorce to start her own African safari as an indepedemt guide. She met Striker, a pilot, and started a relationship with him. She also made new friends there as well. But two ad reps, two wealthy businessmen and two models all gave her a headache. When two of them ended up killed mysteriously, she feared her first safari might be her last. She went on the case to solve the murders to track down a killer, may be it human or animal, and face this human predator once and for all.

This was a great introduction to the short-lived Jazz Jasper series. I loved the African location for the series, when we learn more about their customs and cultures. The scenery depicted was rich with descriptions of the landscape and animals. I did feel bad for Jazz to go through a painful divorce and needed to escape from the pain. I did think Striker was an interesting character for the pilot. I did worry about Jazz, when she was a newcomer to Africa. This was a pleasant and light read for those who needed to escape to other places. Great drama, nice storyline with a hint of romance and intrigue.

Ready to go on a safari? Hop aboard with your copy today!

Special review: Devil's Bride from March 2009

In Stephanie Laurens's historical romance debut, Devil's Bride, the first book in the Cynster series, she told us a story about the Cynster family. In the first installment, Sylvester "Devil" Cynster was caught in a compromising position with Honoria Wetherby, he shocked the world by offering her marriage. No one suspected this rake, England's most eligible bachelor, would settle down. But Honoria wasn't about to bend down to society's demands to marry him. She wanted to go on adventures and solve a Cynster murder mystery. When that was solved, she wanted to see the world. She couldn't escape the desirable heat from Devil, which only made her want to crave something more--him! Would she cave in to his pleasure and a lifelong adventure with him?

I really loved learning about Sly's wild bachelorhood and his intriguing family. I enjoyed the intriguing mystery inside the plotline to tie Honoria to Sly together. Dealing with the ton's norms back in the day, we learned how passion can sweep anyone way with the deepest of their desires.  I liked how the cousins and brothers got together in the sake of crisis and scandal.  The English countryside leaves much to be desired back then and even now.

Ready to get swept away? Check it out right now!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Wicked Little Lies

In Victoria Alexander's My Wicked Little Lies, we were introduced to a married couple who had something to hide. For two years, Evelyn Hadley-Attwater was married to her husband Adrian. Before then, she was a spy known as "Eve". When she was called on again for a special assignment of theft of missing governmental files, she kept this secret to herself. Her boss was known as "Sir" and haven't been seen in person. For Adrian, he became suspicious of Evelyn, when his jealousy went wild. That's when she punished him, when he didn't trust her. From that moment on, Adrian kept a secret of himself--he was "Sir" in the flesh, and was also called upon. Between them, the sparks fly between them and danger loomed over them and took a dangerous turn for the worse. In the end, they confessed their true feelings and revealed their secrets to one another.

I really enjoyed the concept of having a married couple as the two leading main characters, instead of two single and lonely people finding each other, as the central focus on the storyline. We rarely see that in historical romances and gives it a certain zesty appeal to it. For Evelyn and Adrian withholding secrets from one another, it really placed the tension in the plotline. I also enjoyed the subplot storyline with Max and Eve's closest friend who had a secret or two of her own. The warm interaction with Adrian's family also had made Evelyn feel real welcome to the family fold, since there was a loving group of people. Every member of his family had suffered from a major ordeal and had overcome it. It gives them a dose of personality and made them more human than others.

I was hooked on the first gripping page and was taken into a whole new world, when the past collided with the present, while the truth revealed itself in snippets. This made me gasp and sigh and held me in suspense with a presence of foreshadowing danger. In this historical romance, it showed us that not every marriage was perfect and within time, it could overcome any obstacles in its way. For Eve and Adrian to find their way back to each other's arms makes this a timeless classic of its own.

Click here if you want to buy a copy today!

Special review: True Detectives from April 2009

In Jonathan Kellerman's True Detectives,  a spinoff from the Alex Delaware mystery series, this story focused on two brothers who weren't cut from the same cloth--Moses Reed, a LAPD detective, and Aaron Fox, a former cop turned PI--and both shared a troubled family history in the line of law enforcement. But the two of them come together to work on a most disturbing cold case of Caitlin Frostig, who disappeared years ago. With the help of Milo and Alex, Moses and Aaron would crack open this case of this straight-A student's life with two men in her life and would go into the darkest crevices of the sultry glamorous Hollywood culture with many shadowy secrets and an array of sinister characters. Before someone else became a lost soul, they would get down to the root of this problem and solve this case.

This was something different from the Alex Delaware series, since they took a back seat to this mystery. I loved the California connection as well, when it focused on Aaron and Moses for a change. I did feel bad for them and for Caitlin's family, when they didn't get any solid answers back then. I loved how they worked with Alex and Milo to crack this case and get it solved, one way or another.  I cared about the characters and how they worked together to come to the same conclusion. Great drama with a twist, nice suspense, and fantastic action to turn that cold case to warm.

Check this out right away!

Monday, September 8, 2014


In the 16th edition of the Wings in the Night series, Maggie Shayne gave us an intertwining storyline of three people involved into this story. In the first half of Bloodline, we were introduced to Serena Monroe, a young mother who's baby daughter were taken away from her. In alternating POVs, we go to 21-year-old daughter Lilith, who had been raised on a Farm with other bloodliners who had the rare antigen Belladonna in their blood. That's where she met Ethan, another vampire with the rare antigen. For Serena, she searched for her daughter and wanted her safe. For Ethan who was in love with Lilith, he looked for his brother and dealt with his betrayal. And for Lilith, she found Serena, trusted Ethan, and wanted to break free from captivity. An enjoyable read!

This was an interesting paranormal romance with a twist. In a way, I did feel bad for both Lilith and Serena, who were separated for a lifetime. For Serena, I admired her fight for her daughter and joined the brethren that protected rare vampire breeds. I did became worried for Lilith, who was in over her head with the rare gene in her blood, and for her feelings for Ethan.  I liked Ethan as well and didn't like his brother. I also loved the Farm and the other scenery in the storyline.

Ready to fight against evil? Join forces with a copy today!

Special review: When Strangers Marry from July 2008

In this earlier timeless classic historical romance from Lisa Kleypas, When Strangers Marry, the first book in the Villerand series, we were taken back in time to 18th century Louisiana. We were introduced to Maximillien "Max" Villerand and Lysette Kersaint. Lysette escaped an escaped marriage to Etienne, when she went into the Bayou and met Max, a widower with two teen sons. He promised he would protect her from her fiance. She didn't care about her ruined reputation as long as she didn't marry Etienne. But Max was accused of murdering his wife, while society looked down on him. Lysette helped him get accepted into society, when sparks fly between these two strangers. The looming mystery of who killed Max's wife and Etienne's revenge is a strong theme for the plot of this classic historical romance with palpable heat for Lysette and Max.

This was the first book that got me hooked in Lisa Kleypas and historical romances in general. I loved the New Orleans setting with the swamp, too. I really did feel something for both of Max, who had felt society's criticism for something he didn't do. I also understood Lysette's predicament as well, when arranged marriages was the latest fashion back in the day. There was undeniable chemistry between them. On the first page, you will get sucked into their world and feel involved as well. I felt a real connection between them and their plights.

Get ready to take a trip back into time! Try this book this weekend!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Delicious and Suspicious

In the culinary cozy debut of Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams, the first book in the Memphis BBQ culinary series, we were introduced to a new kind of culinary cozy with delicious recipes to do at home. Aunt Pat's restaurant was owned and ran by the Taylor family. When a talent scout for the Cooking Channel arrived in Memphis, everyone embraced themselves for a sterling review from Rebecca Adrian. In actuality, everyone had a reason to despise her, when she turned down some few requests. When she turned up dead, everyone remained a suspect, including Lulu's family members. When a regular of hers ended up murdered in her own home, Lulu knew it might've been a connection to the previous murder. It was up to her to do interference and snoop around to find out what was the motive and who wanted her dead, when she dealt with Hog Heaven's Lurleen Ashton, who couldn't get her grubby hands from her son Seb. When she zeroed in the truth of the culprit, she might become the next victim on her list.

I loved the backdrop setting of Memphis Tennessee. I loved everyone of Lulu's family, except for her son Seb. He was a bit annoying. I couldn't stand Rebecca's snide attitude, either. I loved the ambiance of a family-run restaurant to deliver scrumptious and delicious BBQ food. The culinary recipes are always a plus in any culinary cozy. Great suspense and intrigue with a homey setting to boot.

Want to go for a second helping? Dig in with this culinary cozy today!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cara O'Shea's Return

In Mackenzie Crowne's Cara O'Shea's Return, she introduced us to Cara O'Shea, a petite red-haired artist who returned home for her sister's wedding. From there, she ran into a lifelong crush on Michael "Finn" Finnegan, a former NFL player, when she both bid for the same building and were in the same wedding. From there, there's a love-hate relationship between Cara, who needed Finn to help him transform that building into her artist and home. Cara also dealt with her father, who she never forgiven for breaking her heart, while Mike dealt with a divorce of his own, and his own feelings about her. Jealousy and tensions were high, when the sparks flew between them. In the end, they fell in love and needed each other.

I really enjoyed this light-hearted contemporary romance. I loved the setting of a sleepy New England Massachusetts town. I really liked Cara and her family in this story. I really loved how Michael helped out in the community and also helped Cara out. There was so much chemistry there. I loved Meggy as well. I also liked how Cara forgave her father and reached out with friendship to her step-mother. That was really moving. This made me smile and tear up deep down inside.

Ready to fall in love? Grab a copy today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Poison Pen

In Sheila Lowe's Forensic Handwriting mystery series debut, Poison Pen, she introduced us to Claudia Rose, a forensic handwriting expert, who'd gotten embroiled into a complicated murder case. It started with Lindsay Alexander, a former close friend of hers, who died suddenly and looked suspicious. From there, she teamed up with her friend Kelly and sexy detective, Joel Jovancic, when her close friend Ivan was beaten up to death and later died. The closer she dug into Lindsay's life and secrets, the more precarious her life ended up in, when she was an interesting array of suspects who wanted to see her friend dead. This was a delightful read.

I liked the California backdrop in this cozy series. I enjoyed Claudia Rose and became intrigued into her handwriting analysis career. Kelly was okay. But I didn't care for much for Lindsay and her half-brother either. He gave me the creeps and Lindsay via flashbacks gave me the creeps. I loved the chemistry between her and Joel. I did feel bad that Ivan died, when he tried to help her. For a quick read and a lightning fast pace, this was an enjoyable cozy to love on a cold day.

Ready to catch a killer? Snatch a copy now!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Special Review: When the Bough Breaks from July 2008

In Jonathan Kellerman's stellar Alex Delaware mystery series debut, When the Bough Breaks, we were introduced to Alex Delaware, a burned out psychologist. For his first case as a police consultant, it became the toughest one of them yet. When Dr. Morton Handler was killed in his own home, Alex learned what kind of psychologist he was--the devious and sick kind--when he paid for his sins. With no leads, they  had one potential witness, a seven-year-old girl named Melody Quinn. It was up for Alex to unlock the mystery behind the murder in her mind. As more sinister dark shadows took shape in her mind, Alex discovered it touched on the similar incident in his past. Later on, they discovered how this shocking connection was only the beginning and linked to a 40-year-old conspiracy and the growing evil behind it. For Alex, he needed to expose it before it claimed poor Melody Quinn.

This was a fantastic Alex Delaware mystery series debut. I loved Alex's role as a police consultant for the police as a psychologist. From the start, we do get to care about him as a whole and learn more about his personal life. I did feel for poor Melody Quinn, when someone wanted to harm her. That was insane to me. I loved the California backdrop of Los Angeles. I thought Milo Sturgis was an excellent hands-on detective to work with Alex. Great suspense, terrific writing, and a compeling storyline.

Why not give this one a go? Check it out today!