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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review of Double Up by Gretchen Archer


Double Up
by Gretchen Archer (Goodreads Author)

Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Henery Press


Goodreads synopsis:

On behalf of USA TODAY bestselling author Gretchen Archer and the entire Henery Press crew, welcome aboard flight DOUBLE UP. Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job. 

Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy. 

Ever. 

Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?) 

Enjoy your flight. 


***

4 stars

Davis Way starts out the book married to Bradley and fast-forward nine months has twin babies to care for. Needless to say, she is no longer the super casino spy girl and now a full-time mommy.

The first problem that crops up is a new casino is built next door on property previously owned by the Bellissimo. They were told it was supposed to be a football stadium but there was a bit of an illusion since the entire facility was covered until it was revealed and by then it was too late. Davis blames herself for letting the construction get so far. She was distracted by her new family and let her job fall by the wayside. The new casino was built and glitzier than ever. Not to mention, it was taking all the Bellissimo’s business including most of its employees.

Davis was in a bit of a post-baby birthing fog which was finally lifted when her ex-husband’s mother shows up on her doorstep wanting to see her grandbabies. (Even though, technically, she wasn’t related to them at all.) 

The aggravation of  having Bea around knocks some sense into Davis. She is now out of her brain fogged stupor and ready to figure out how to save the Bellissimo from financial ruin.

I have to say that I really love this series world that Gretchen Archer has created. They are filled with a lot of suspense and nail-biting drama. Bea alone can give anyone a major case of stress headaches. Reading one title makes you yearn for more. I will always recommend anything from Gretchen Archer.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Review of Turkey Trot Murder by Leslie Meier


Turkey Trot Murder
by Leslie Meier (Goodreads Author)

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Kensington


Goodreads synopsis:

It’s late autumn in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and the last surviving flowers on Lucy Stone’s porch have fallen victim to the first frost of the season. But as the part-time reporter learns, this cold November morning will claim more than potted plants . . .

Besides the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day, Lucy expects the approaching holiday to be a relatively uneventful one—until she finds beautiful Alison Franklin dead and frozen in Blueberry Pond. No one knows much about Alison, except that she was the daughter of wealthy investor Ed Franklin and struggled quietly with drug addiction. Police blame her death on an accidental overdose, but Lucy can’t understand what terrible forces could lead a privileged woman to watery ruin . . . 

Alison’s funeral service is just as puzzling. Many believe Ed’s young—and very pregnant—new wife, Mireille, divided the family, leaving Alison to wither on the vine. Did Mireille truly adore her stepchild as Ed claims, or did she pit father against daughter for personal gain? 

As a state of unrest descends on Tinker’s Cove, Lucy is thrown into a full-scale investigation. Now, in a race against time, Lucy must beat the killer to the finish line—or she can forget about stuffing and cranberry sauce . . .


***

4 stars

The saying: “You never really know someone until they are gone” seems to resonate with this book. No one really seemed to know the victim well enough to make a reasonable deduction about her character traits or flaws.

The title opens with Alison Franklin going out from her morning run. When she makes the split second decision to run around Blueberry Pond, she has unknowingly sealed her fate. Little did she know there was a lot of drug activity around the pond and this fact makes many people in her life make assumptions as to why she was running there. She is approached by a woman who asks her to save her dog who had apparently fallen beneath the ice. Alison knows the ice is too thin. She doesn’t actually see said dog but she walks out anyway and of course, her fears are confirmed and she falls beneath the ice too. Not sure why this woman didn’t call the police for help but that will all wash out in the end.

Our protagonist, Lucy Stone, reporter for Tinker’s Cove local newspaper, finds the body of Alison and like any good investigator after she calls the police she calls in the story.

After the reports of Alison’s death hits the gossip grapevine, all sorts of theories as to why she died are waffled about. Everyone has a theory, even her father, who pretty much blames everyone not American in town, which is ridiculous. Most of the people he focused on were technically more American than he was.

This book was pretty good. I was able to catch the flow of the text which really speeds up how quickly I can read a book. I appreciate flow in a book. Watching the fallout from Alison’s father’s anger was kind of annoying but expected based on his assumption the Mexican drug runners had a hand in her death. Franklin’s anger and his job as a health inspector has ripple effects when a Mexican family wants to open a new restaurant in town. Franklin makes it his mission to put them out of business even though no one knows for sure if any of them or the Mexican cartel were involved. Having a mysterious killer behind it all made me evaluate everyone as I went along wondering the entire time whodunit and why.

I enjoyed this book and have already purchased a few more titles from the author. I am lucky that my local grocery store has a small offering of cozy mysteries and I pick up a few from time to time. This one was a winner for me. Kept me guessing the entire way though.


I bought this book with my own money.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Book Review: Silken Threats by Addison Fox


Silken Threats
by Addison Fox (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Harlequin (first published January 30th 2015)

Goodreads synopsis:

Everyone has secrets, and some will kill to keep them buried...

It started with a break-in. And though normally wedding dress designer Cassidy Tate could have handled it, having Tucker Buchanan's strong arms, quick wits and great dog as backup was reassuring The former army engineer turned architect was the perfect guy in an emergency--and the fact that he was willing to pick up the pieces was even more appealing.

Because it turned out it wasn't a simple robbery. Someone was after something in the shop Cassidy and her fellow bridal boutique owners shared. Now Tucker didn't want to let Cassidy out of his sight. But was that to protect her--or claim her for his own?


***

3 stars

I have been a big fan of Addison Fox books in the past which is why I chose to read this one. But it didn’t do anything for me this time.  After reading the excellent “House of Steele” series, I felt let down with this. The quality wasn’t the same.

This title didn’t capture me and pull me full force into the world of the drama. This is sad since I really liked the author’s work previously. I just couldn’t get into the flow of the text. And I know that could be all me since I have been under a lot of stress at work and the focusing aspect of my brain wasn’t always in the fullest of effect.

I love a mystery and this had a good one. This story started off with a bang… literally. And the male point of view character was there to assist and begin the story. I personally was more interested in the mystery portion of the story than the romance. So when all the kissy-face stuff started, I was turned off immediately. 

I know you are saying to yourself “why did she pick up a Harlequin book if she didn’t like romance?”I have found in the past that the books in the Romantic Suspense series are much more suspense than romance. I guess I got used to that format and took it for granted.

The basic premise of the book is that a secret held by some old-timers, one of whom owns Cassidy’s building, comes to light and puts Cassidy and her friends in danger. Tucker’s expertise and friends come in handy to assist with solving the mystery before anyone gets killed.

Overall, it was good. Decent. A solid book. I just couldn’t catch the wave of the flow of text and that was probably my own fault. I really enjoyed the mystery and would have liked to see that fleshed out a bit more.

If you love a bit more romance than mystery in a story, then this book is for you. Otherwise definitely check out her House of Steele series. You won’t come away disappointed.


I bought this book with my own money.