Aug 29, 2017

Book Review: The Innkeeper's Sister




Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations

Grayson Blake always has a purpose and never a moment to lose. He's come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.

Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can't erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she's lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth, and hope.


* * * * *

When you live in a place where you have plantations that survived the Civil War and families stretch back even farther, it's almost impossible to pay homage to the present without considering the past.  I tend to avoid books that jump back and forth between times but I do have to say that Ms. Goodnight did an excellent job of interviewing the stories.  

What I really enjoyed however were the characters themselves.  Valery is broken and punishing herself.  Because of that, she isn't able to see herself as the strong and beautiful woman who just needs a bit of help which is how Grayson sees her.   Now Grayson is the total opposite of Valerie with his cell phone, spreadsheets and alarms but he can't help be be attracted to her.  Heck that attraction started when he was just a teenager and even though he hasn't seen her in years, it appears to have just grown stronger.  

Now I do recommend that my readers sit down with a glass of peach tea and help to unravel the mysteries from the past as well as discover what Valerie is hiding.  This was a very enjoyable contemporary romance with well developed characters, witty dialogue and questions.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
 

 
Aug 27, 2017

Book Review: The Coldest Fear





A killer with nothing left to lose...

Afraid or not, Detective Bobbie Gentry has a monster to confront. The pain of losing her family and nearly her life to a criminal's vile hunger is still fresh, but now the landscape is different. Now she's not alone. Now she has Nick Shade to trust. Nick treats the terror of his past with vengeance. He's dedicated his life to hunting serial killers, and he'd give up his last breath to save Bobbie. When a string of killings bloodies Savannah's elite society and causes cold cases to resurface, Bobbie is captured in a city more haunted than Nick's inescapable nightmares. And as the murderer strikes close, Nick and Bobbie will need to become even closer if they're going to survive.


* * * * *

 This time around Bobbie is drawn off of her home turf and finds herself investigating a cold case where five children suddenly disappeared.  This was a case where nothing turned up in the initial investigation yet all of a sudden four of the children's bodies were found and the fathers of the children are turned up dead.  

Nick has decided that he is going to be too much like his father because he enjoyed killing to save Bobbie's life.  Now he doesn't want her around and is on the hunt for his father.  Bobbie however is not accepting this verdict.

Talk about a stunning conclusion to a great trilogy!  While I do hope that Ms. Webb write more about Bobbie and Nick, I don't see how she can top this book.   I highly recommend that my readers who enjoy romantic suspense pick up this series.  You can't go wrong.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 21, 2017

Book Review: The Rising





In Crimson Hollow, darkness rules, and those who seek the light are eliminated.

Twenty-one-year-old fae, Isabel, is kidnapped and tortured by a half-vampire, half-fae hybrid who is part of an army raised with one goal: the enslavement and killing of all good fae and humans. During her captivity, she vows not only to escape but also to lead a rebellion against the dark army.

But when her rebellion is ambushed, she is recaptured and imprisoned until she can be brought to the treacherous Hollow Council for trial and punishment.

Isabel is sure she is going to die, until Adriel, the hybrid soldier assigned to her charge, helps her escape. Now, on the run with Adriel at her side, Isabel must stay alive long enough to reach a secret camp of hybrids who wish to stay hidden and somehow convince them to join her rebellion.

To restore peace and light to Crimson Hollow, Isabel will risk everything...including her life.

Order your copy of The Rising today and immerse yourself in a world filled with magic, suspense and romance.

The Rising is a standalone contribution to the Charmed Legacy Dark Fae Hollows collection. Stories can be read in any order.


* * * * *

There is a lot of action in this book that will keep the reader entertained.  Where I really felt that it was lacking was in character development.  For a stand alone book, I shouldn't have to read the others to get a feel about Isabel but after reading the book I don't feel as though I have more than a passing acquaintance with her.   

Ms, Coleman does a good job on world development however and I can easily see how this would be a series that readers would follow.  The dialogue is also snappy and at times amusing.

So while this was an enjoyable read, I really feel that a bit more work on the characters would make this an excellent book and would encourage me to read the rest of the books. 

***"I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.


Aug 20, 2017

Ramblings



Yay!  I am starting to get back on track again.  Managed to do a weekly post two weeks in a row.

  • Recently ran across a neat little podcast called Anytime, USA.  It's a great podcast where the hosts will randomly select a small town and then tell us the history of that town along with what makes it unique.  There's not a lot of episodes yet so now is a great time to subscribe.  
  • I really hate passive aggressive people.  Seriously folks if you have an issue just get it out so perhaps it can be resolved.  Dealing with one of those in the RHS chapter that I belong too and it really gives me insight on why she has been asked to leave three chapters already.
  • Now I know that we have some strange laws here in the US but we don't try to regulate who you are in your next life. Apparently in China, you have to have government permission to reincarnate.  I know that China is known for it's bureaucracy but that is insane.
  • There is a lot of talk about Charlottesville this week.  Now I am far from an expert but my feelings is that we need to crush out any Nazi leanings.  I have had personal experience with Neo Nazis in that when I was younger, one tried to strangle me because I didn't then or now have any issue with a person's sexuality.  I had let a guy crash on my couch for a few days and apparently he had a lot of issues with my outlook.  Since that day, I have been very against anyone that tries to force anyone into a mold and Nazis do just that.
Aug 19, 2017

Book Review: The Goddesses




The Descendants meets Single White Female in this captivating novel about a woman who moves her family to Hawaii, only to find herself wrapped up in a dangerous friendship, from the celebrated author of We Could Be Beautiful.

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy's husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana's hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she's ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her.

* * * * *

I had high hopes for this book as I do really enjoy psychological thrillers however this book never managed to catch and hold my interest.  It was well written but I found that the characters themselves lacked the depth needed for me to invest in.  

Like I said, this book is well written with no grammar or editing mistakes so others might really enjoy it.  It just wasn't for me because I have found that I really need to care what happens to a character for there to be any build up of tension.  If any of my readers pick up THE GODDESSES and feel different about the book, drop me a line.  I would love to discuss it. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 18, 2017

Book Review: A Merciful Truth




Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?


/* * * * *

I have said it before and I will save it again, I love Mercy!  She is such a unique character with her prepper background and her current profession of working for the FBI.  She is guarded in her emotions due to issues with her family when she was much younger.  For more information about her background, I highly recommend reading the first book in this series, A Merciful Death

In A MERCIFUL TRUTH, both Mercy and Truman have to face some demons from their past to solve this case.  We also get the opportunity to watch their relationship develop further.  I also really enjoyed getting to know Mercy's niece Kaylie who she is raising since her brother was killed.  

Along with the great characters, Ms. Elliot does a wonderful job of racheting up the tension to where you will be sitting on the edge of your seat.  The dialogue is witty and sometimes rather amusing for that much needed breather.  There is no explicit sex but there is violence so be forewarned if that is one of your triggers.

This series just keeps getting better and I do recommend it to any of my readers who enjoy thrillers or crime dramas.  Heck I recommend this author as I have enjoyed all of her books that I have had the chance to read.  To keep up with her books, here is a listing broken down by series.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 10, 2017

Ramblings






Yes, believe it or not, I am still alive. I have been horrible keeping up with this blog with the exception of my book reviews. I actually feel as though I have lost a couple months. And I haven't even been droning. 




Let me share some of the highlights. I actually have a lot of pics but I don't want to overload anyone so I will catch up a bit at a time. 




I have been designing at least one piece jewelry a week though I am soooo far behind on uploading pics to Year of Jewelry Project. I have been horrible about the ABS Challenges. 




After we lost Boo, we got a new puppy. I was thinking that she would keep me from missing her quite as much but she is definitely Saje's girl. Keyla is a handful especially since she doesn't get along with Pooka. 




She is growing up and will be starting puppy classes soon as she is almost five months old. She is going to be a really good dog. 




Starting to get in better shape because she needs to we walked every evening. I am having issues with tendinitis in my left elbow and shoulder. Just went through a series of steroids and it appears to help somewhat. 




I also went to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit up in Seattle. I got some good pics of that but I will share those in a different post. And I promise that I won't disappear for another couple months. 

Book Review: The Drowned Girls




He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared ...

But Detective Angie Pallorino never forgot the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victim’s foreheads.

When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?

Then the body of a drowned young woman floats up in the Gorge, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.

Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake lose some unsettling secrets about her own past . . .

How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?


* * * * *

Wow!   Detective Angie Pallorino has to be one of the most broken people that I have ever heard or read about without being one the wrong side of the law.  Instead Angie works with sex crimes and she is looking to get justice for women that have been raped, mutilated and murdered.

Detective James Maddocks has taken a step down the ladder to be able to get a job near his daughter.  His first case is a doozie and his partner is Angie.  Sparks flew between them both personally and professionally as they work to solve this crime and perhaps start putting Angie back together.

If I keep running across books this good, I will never catch up on my sleep.  Angie is a character that I found really easy to emphasize with and Maddocks is dark, dreamy and caring.  Their partnership is one that we all dream about finding.  I highly recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy reading thrillers, romantic suspense or police procedurals.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 7, 2017

Book Review: King of Clubs




Covert FBI agent Court Gentry loves his brothers, his job, and his Harley-Davidson. Once he loved a girl, too, but when she broke his heart, he put his emotions on lockdown…until she crosses his path again.

On vacation six years ago, free-spirited Lauren Montgomery fell hard for Court Gentry. She returned home happier than ever, only to descend into a spiral of abuse by her ex-husband, Stephan. When Stephan threatened to kill any man who touched her, Lauren cut Court from her life—but not from her heart.

When Lauren and Court reunite after her friend marries his brother, Court guards himself against the person who made him feel such intense passion and pain. Except the undeniable spark between them is impossible to contain and heating up fast. Six years ago, it was love. Now, it’s just lust. Keeping it merely physical is a foolproof plan…right?

When Stephan is released from prison, Lauren can’t outrun her past anymore, and Court vows to protect her. But with Lauren in imminent danger, Court must question his heart and risk his life to save the woman he never stopped loving.


* * * * *

I first fell in love with the Gentry brothers when I had the opportunity to read Alex Gentry's story Jack of Hearts. Little did I know that better was to come.  This story is about Court, the middle brother, and we finally get a chance to really get to know him and how his past intersects with his hoped for future.

This book is hot but it is more the sexual tension between Court and Lauren.  Yes there is some sex but nothing to graphic.  It is also filled with danger, love, family loyalty and witty dialogue.  All the needed ingredients for a book that will keep me up past my bedtime.

I do recommend KING OF CLUBS to any of my readers who enjoy a good romantic suspense as this one will keep you on your toes. I can hardly wait for Nate's story to come out.

 *** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Book Review: Arrowood




London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.

The Afghan War is over and a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain's position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895.

The police don't have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help: Sherlock Holmes. But in densely populated south London, where the crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.


* * * * *

I have enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories in the past so when I saw that the title character was another private investigator set in London during the same time frame I couldn't resist picking up this book.  And I have to admit that I am glad that I did but not so much because of Arrowood.

His assistant Barnett is an interesting character that does a lot of the actual investigating because of Arrowood's physical issues.  He also tends to be much more diplomatic then his boss so it's because of him that they are able to work with the police in London.  Arrowood's sister Ettie is also a spitfire who is a very intelligent and strong woman.  If she had been born today, Ettie might have taken over the world.

Their case was also very interesting with all of its twists and turns.  They were hired to investigate one thing but when something goes wrong, it becomes personal and everything becomes much more involved.

I do think that fans of Sherlock Holmes and other period mysteries will really enjoy ARROWOOD.  I know that I am looking forward to the opportunity to read the next book in the series.   In fact, I have requested this series to be added to FictFact which is a wonderful free site that notifies you when the next book is coming out in a series that you follow.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own. 
Aug 2, 2017

Sad Carpet Saga



I own my home and when we moved in, we had an aging dog that had dementia.  Kharma would forget at times that he was supposed to go outside to do his business so we had plans on replacing the carpet once he was gone.  Kharma left us last year so I made plans to get some new carpet.

When I was searching out carpets, I found once that was guaranteed to repel pet stains which would be perfect for our home as we still have other dogs.  And it happened to be sold at Lowes which is where I tend to do my home improvement purchases.  I waited until they had a sale and thought that I had scored when I found one with a free deluxe install.  This deluxe install was to include moving the furniture, pulling up the old carpet and disposing of it, and install the new carpet.  Off to Lowes I went with money in hand.

I made my purchase back in May and requested that the install be done on July 3rd since I was off on vacation at this time.  Along comes July 3rd and for some reason, the installers only sent out one guy to move heavy furniture.  Not too sure how they thought that out especially since I had paid extra because I have some large pieces of furniture.  Well I soon found out.

The installer really didn't want to work.  Once he found out what needed to be moved, he immediately said that he couldn't do the work because my house is flea infested.  Like what?  My dogs are always flea treated and I have a flea allergy to I would be the first to know if it was infested.  I did my due diligence however and flea bombed my house. And waited for an install and waited...

Now the installer wanted me to hire someone to pull the carpet.  Excuse me?!?  That was part of the deluxe install.  So I refused and demanded that they have someone come out to do the install on a weekend since I have used my vacation time for the year.  And they still haven't done so.

Moral of the story is to avoid Lowes and Emerald Installation.  I have talked and talked to Lowes management as I thought that they would make it right. Boy was I wrong. 

Book Review: All The Lies We Tell




Everyone knew Alicia Harrison’s marriage to Ilya Stern wouldn’t last. They’d grown up on a remote stretch of Quarry Street, where there were two houses, two sets of siblings, and eventually, a tangled mess of betrayal, longing, and loss. Tragedy catapulted Allie and Ilya together, but divorce—even as neighbors—has been relatively uncomplicated.

Then Ilya’s brother, Nikolai, comes home for their grandmother’s last days. He’s the guy who teased and fought with Allie, infuriated her, then fled town without a good-bye. Now Niko makes her feel something else entirely—a rush of connection and pure desire that she’s been trying to quench since one secret kiss years ago. Niko’s not sticking around. She’s not going to leave. And after all that’s happened between their families, this can’t be anything more than brief pleasure and a bad idea.

But the lies we tell ourselves can’t compete with the truths our hearts refuse to let go…


* * * * *

 Not the normal genre of books that I read but I do have to admit that I found ALL THE LIES WE TELL entrancing.  Jumping between the past and present, we are able to see just what caused Alicia, Ilya and Nikolai to become the people that they are.  

It always should have been Alicia and Niko but after he left without a word, she ended up married and divorced from Ilya.  Now Niko is back and they both have to discover whether their attraction is due to their past or does the past just deepen their current connection.

I enjoyed this book and it caused me to rethink some things that I have done in the past and how they are effecting my current life.  I do feel that any of my readers that enjoy contemporary romance will enjoy this book though it is a bit deeper then a lot of what you find in that genre.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.