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Friday, June 28, 2019

Hit and Run (Delilah West #3) by Maxine O'Callaghan

Hit and Run: A Delilah West Thriller

Kindle Edition, 179 pages
Published February 2nd 2015 by Brash Books (first published April 1989)

Goodreads synopsis:
Before Kinsey Millhone, before VI Warshawski, there was Delilah West, the tough-but-sensitive PI who shattered the boundaries of mystery fiction. 
“Nothing daunts Delilah West and nothing short of a bullet between her ribs can stop her for long,” Los Angeles Times 

The PI business has been hard on Delilah West over the last year. Her husband and business partner was murdered and her last case left her with a broken arm, cracked ribs, and big medical bills, forcing her to moonlight as a waitress to pay the bills. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s jogging on a rain-slicked road when a speeding Trans Am clips her and mows down an old man. But things take a bizarre turn when the driver’s mother hires Delilah to clear her teenage son of the hit & run killing that Delilah witnessed. Or did she? Nothing is what it appears to be in a twisty, deadly case, that could end with Delilah as road kill. 


4 Stars

This is the third book in the Delilah West thriller series.

Delilah West is not the PI who makes a ton of money. She is living less than paycheck to paycheck. She is barely feeding herself and working 24/7 on a job that is not making her any money. She was the witness to a hit and run. Later it is revealed that there was more to this hit and run than it seemed. The victim had been dead long before the Trans-Am ever ran over him.

The farther Delilah delves into this mystery, the more she finds herself in danger. Along the way she meets a court appointed lawyer named Matt who turns out to be not only a friend but someone she can turn to in her times of need both emotionally and physically.

I thought this was a great book. The suspense and thrills were there. It was nice to see the integrity of the good characters as they reflected against the bad guys. So refreshing. 

Since this book was first published in 1989, there are references to pay phones which are no longer a part of the current culture in the 21st Century. A revise might be in order if the author plans to keep selling this title on Kindle. But definitely worth the money. Pick it up and judge for yourself. One great read!

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.

My Dog Made Me Write This Book by Elizabeth Fensham

My Dog Made Me Write This Book

Paperback, 160 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2019 by Sourcebooks Young Readers

Goodreads synopsis:
When Eric got a dog, he thought he was getting a best friend. But his dog doesn't even consider Eric to be his second best friend. Or his third. He even likes Eric's horrible sister, Gretchen, more than he likes Eric. Eric isn't sure where this betrayal came from. Maybe his dog is resentful that Eric named him Ugly, or that Eric's Mom is the one who feeds him and walks him.

No matter the reason, it's got to change. Eric's ready to try anything and everything to get his dog to love him. Or if not love, at least show some half-hearted interest. But will Eric have what it takes to gain Ugly's affection? Or will he be in the doghouse...forever?

Discover more of Eric and Ugly's adventures in My Dog Get's a Job!


3 Stars

This is a book about a kid finally taking responsibility for the care of his dog. He thinks the dog doesn’t love him. He loves Mom best. He discovers that the more he takes care of his dog, plays with him and trains him, the more the dog comes to love him best.

Cute story. Obviously not for my age bracket but I thought it would be a great book to help young children to understand how to be responsible for their pets.

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.

Her Deadly Secrets (Wolfe Security #2) by Laura Griffin

Her Deadly Secrets

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2019 by Gallery Books

Goodreads synopsis:
Private Investigator Kira Vance spends her days navigating the intricate labyrinth of Houston’s legal world, and she knows all of its shadowy players and dark secrets.

On a seemingly normal day, she’s delivering a report to her top client when suddenly everything goes sideways and the meeting ends in a bloodbath. Twenty-four hours later, the police have no suspects but one thing is clear: a killer has Kira in his sights.

Fiercely independent, Kira doesn’t expect—or want—help from anyone, least of all an unscrupulous lawyer and his elite security team. Instead, she launches her own investigation, hoping to uncover the answers that have eluded the police. But as Kira’s hunt for clues becomes more and more perilous, she realizes that she alone may hold the key to finding a vicious murderer. And she knows she must take help wherever she can find it if she wants to stay alive.


4.5 Stars

This is the second book in the Wolfe Security series. This is a sort of male-driven romantic suspense book. I am not sure the title really fits the story, though. The synopsis only mentions the female lead but the series is called Wolfe Security so you’d think they would take a moment to mention which Wolfe Security guy this book is featuring. Book 1 in this series is titled Desperate Girls.

The story starts off as a split lead. First we get the entrance scene of Kira Vance a private investigator who witnesses the death of her colleague, Ollie and then it is quickly followed by the entrance scene of Jeremy Owens. He is coming off another job and has not had adequate sleep or even debriefed before they pull him in as a bodyguard to Kira. Then the POV moves to a more overreaching one where you see what everyone is doing only focusing on Kira or Jeremy alone here and there.

Kira is not the most agreeable client for Wolfe Security. She wants to find out what happened to Ollie and she is willing to break laws and into Ollie’s home to get clues much to Jeremy’s dismay. They get caught by the police and somehow quickly let go. But Kira dives into other not so legal means to find information. Sometimes it is helpful to the investigation and sometimes it just lands her into more trouble. But she quickly gets under Jeremy’s skin making him think about doing things with Kira that would force him to give up his protection detail. Emotional things that might end up with both of them shedding clothes and doing inappropriate things.

I thought this was overall pretty good. I enjoyed all the suspenseful aspects. Kira proved to be quite hardheaded and she made an excellent female lead. Jeremy seemed the more strong and silent type but somehow he felt almost more present in the scenes than Kira. Quite an imposing character even when he wasn’t talking. I thought that said a lot about Griffin’s writing style. It would be difficult to make and character say nothing but still be quite imposing in the scene.

The sex scene wasn’t too over the top but I think the kiss in the car was much hotter in my opinion. Pair the intensity of the situation with their burbling chemistry and a spark between them was sure to burn to an engulfing emotional fire.

Overall just an excellent read. Highly recommended.

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.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Honeymoon with Death by Vivian Conroy

Honeymoon with Death
(Murder Will Follow Book 2)

Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published June 24th 2019 by Canelo

Goodreads synopsis:
Suspenseful to the last page, HONEYMOON WITH DEATH is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder and Evil Under The Sun

After a whirlwind romance and dream wedding, the new Mrs Ramsforth is whisked away to an idyllic Greek island by her adoring husband. But as soon as they arrive at their luxurious hotel overlooking the azure sea, Damaris is struck by the feeling she’s been here before...
Puzzling over the familiarity, Damaris’ honeymoon goes from unsettling to a complete nightmare when she finds herself standing over a dead body, unable to explain how she got there.

Now only one man can save her - fellow holidaymaker and former Scotland Yard inspector Jasper. But even he starts to doubt Damaris' innocence when he discovers that it's not her first time embroiled in a murder case...


3.5 Stars

This is the second book in the Murder Will Follow series.

To me this book is an Inspector Jasper mystery because it was all about him. In the beginning it seemed like Mrs Ramsforth would be the main character but quickly we realize that although she is in the forefront of the story, Jasper is the one who holds our attention.

The mystery and all the elements of the mystery in this were top notch. It is probably the most complex mystery I have seen in a long time… worthy of Columbo and Hercule Poirot. And every thread was figured out in the end and revealed. You don’t always see that with a cozy mystery.

The main problem I had with this book were all the jumps in logic that kept happening. We weren’t following along as Jasper figured it all out. Jasper would come upon clues and just suddenly seem to know and figure out how it was all connected. I would have liked to see his process more. I needed less internal dialogue from all the secondary character and more sleuthing and discovering clues so we could enjoy figuring it out along with Jasper.

Good mystery but not great follow through. I will definitely pick up another Inspector Jasper mystery. He was my favorite part of this.

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.

Murder by the Minster by Helen Cox, Edith Beaton

Murder by the Minster
(Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries #1)
by Helen Cox (Goodreads Author), Edith Beaton

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2019 by Quercus

Goodreads synopsis:
A brand new cosy mystery series set in the picturesque city of York. For Fans of Faith Martin, Betty Rowlands and L.J. Ross.

Meet Kitt Hartley: librarian, trilby-wearer, Lady Grey tea-drinker, taker of no nonsense. . .detective?

It's a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of the Vale of York library, until detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie's ex-boyfriend Owen has been found dead - with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart - and all the evidence points to her. Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone - let alone Owen, who she adored.

Horrified that the police could have got is so wrong, Kitt decides there's only one thing to do: she's going to investigate Owen's murder herself. She's read hundreds of mystery novels - how hard can it be?

With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance of the library's eccentric regulars. Kitt summons up all her investigative powers (absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work.

She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she'd ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven't finished killing yet. . .


5 Stars

All I can say is THANK GOD this is going to be a series because I don’t think I could live long without a new Kitt and DI Halloran book coming in the future. Helen Cox is a favorite new author for me. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any new books by her.

This is basically a police procedural with cozy mystery leanings. Kitt is a librarian who is taken in for questioning for the murder of her best friend Evie’s ex-boyfriend, Owen. The mystery was pretty good and I had no idea whodunit until the end because nearly every other chapter a new suspect was introduced. The chase was thrilling, convoluted and exciting from the moment DI Halloran and his partner laid eyes on Kitt.

But my beyond favorite part of the book was the budding relationship between Kitt and DI Halloran. It was a slow build up relationship. But her friends could see Kitt peaked Halloran’s interest from the beginning even though it was his job to get to the bottom of a murder she might be involved in.

All the small moments between them is what made this so good. They are both pretty hard headed and have their own ideas about justice. Halloran follows the rules and Kitt seems to be somewhat of a rule breaker as she goes off on her own investigation even when Halloran thinks she would be safer staying out of it. That scene with the two of them by the bridge was one of the steamiest and most raw scenes I have witnessed in a long time.

I can’t wait until book two in the series comes out. I am definitely hooked.

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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake at the Cosy Kettle by Liz Eeles

A Summer Escape and Strawberry Cake 
at the Cosy Kettle

Hardcover, 274 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2019 by Bookouture

Goodreads synopsis:
The Cosy Kettle café is the perfect place to escape this summer, for fans of Cathy Bramley, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson. Guests can tuck in to fruit puddings and strawberry-studded ice cream, but for Flora, the warm summer breeze is blowing in big changes… 

When Flora finds out about her husband’s secret fling, she escapes to the one place she feels safe: her beloved café, The Cosy Kettle, in the charming village of Honeyford. Serving up cream teas to her café regulars is the perfect way to soothe her broken heart, and although she’s never lived in the area, the little community welcome her with open arms. 

She’s soon lodging with local eccentric Luna in her remote and beautiful Starlight Cottage, snuggled between rolling green hills. Luna’s handsome son Daniel lost his wife several years ago, and as Flora gets to know him, sharing walks through the blossom-scented woods, they both slowly begin to heal… and she realises that behind Daniel’s quiet exterior, there’s a passionate nature that makes her forget all about her ex-husband. 

As she settles into her new life, hosting a baking competition for the village’s summer celebration seems like a great idea… but with Daniel’s mysterious silences leading Flora to believe he’s hiding secrets, she can’t help but wonder if she can really trust him. And when the race to bake the perfect Victoria sponge stirs up old rivalries between locals, Flora starts to feel like she’s bitten off more than she can chew. 


4.5 Stars

This is the second book in the Cosy Kettle series. When I started reading I knew immediately I had been in this setting before. In book one they featured Callie and Noah’s relationship. In this book it focused on Flora, the owner of the bookshop.

This was a really sweet look at how betrayal and heartbreak can lead to new beginnings that change everything. Flora finds herself displaced when she discovers her husband of twenty years has been having a fling with the hired help. Flora flees to Honeyford where her bookshop resides and decides to put all her focus into it.

This isn’t exactly a hate to love romance but it is pretty close. Flora almost immediately insults Daniel and his son Caleb when she is in a pretty low and vulnerable mood and then ends up having to live with them both after Luna, Daniel’s mother invites her to stay at the Starlight Cottage.

Some of this story is almost like watching a trainwreck about to happen. You can see the trouble coming and wonder how they will worth through this particular mess.

I enjoyed my visit to Honeyford again. This is a sweet story that will keep you coming back for more. I wonder which resident’s story is next? Becca, perhaps?

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.

Hard Hit (Jon Reznick #6) by J.B. Turner

Hard Hit

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published April 25th 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads synopsis:
He’s fighting for justice while she fights for her life.

With his daughter lying in the hospital, struck down in a reckless hit-and-run, the only thing Jon Reznick can do is wait—and plot his revenge. Not satisfied with the slow-moving police investigation, he starts his own manhunt.

He discovers that the car belongs to a high-ranking diplomat whose interests are closely tied to those of the United States government, and this man may not be what he appears. The FBI wants Reznick to back down, but the more information Jon digs up, the more questions he finds. Was it a simple accident, or is there more to it? How many young women’s lives has this man ruined? Lauren’s life hangs in the balance, and Jon must get answers, no matter the cost—to him or the government.

With the help of a dedicated NYPD detective who has suspicions of her own, as well as FBI Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein, Jon Reznick will have to fight for his daughter while she fights for her life.


4.5 Stars

This is definitely a movie worthy thriller. I can totally see Liam Nesson or Bruce Willis in the role of Jon Redneck. This is book six in the Jon Redneck series and a new author for me.

Basic premise is that a Ukrainian diplomat ran over Reznick’s daughter who was out jogging one morning. Hit and run. But since he is a diplomat he has diplomatic immunity and won’t get in trouble for what he sees as a minor infraction. NYPD and FBI have been wanting to take this guy down for years but the State Department is being difficult. The have their own agenda and are overlooking what turns out to be a ton of bad things that would make any normal person pale in fright.

This book was quite a roller-coaster ride. Reznick has no fear about jumping into trouble and and uses every source he has to bring down the bad guys. When I got to the halfway point, I wasn’t sure how this book could be resolved. Seemed like everyone on the side of good was between a rock and a hard place.

I thought the resolution was nice and I enjoyed how they got so many of the departments together to take down not only Alexi but his grandfather who ended up working for the Natzis back in the day.

I am sure anyone who loves a good thriller would eat this book up. It is an excellent high paced action adventure with heart.

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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Arrangement Part 2 by H.M. Ward

The Arrangement 2: The Ferro Family
by H.M. Ward 

Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Published January 16th 2013 by H.M. Ward Press

Goodreads synopsis:
Volume 2 in the New York Times Bestselling Arrangement Serials

Avery's life is slipping between her fingers. Everything that she worked to achieve will be gone if she doesn't take this job. The idea of being a call girl doesn't appeal to Avery, but her first client does. Sean is too difficult to resist. The few times she's gotten close to Sean, he shuts down. This might be the opportunity to fix her finances and find love. She just has to have enough guts to go through with it.


4 Stars

This is the follow up to part one of The Arrangement. 

Avery is broke. She is in school with not much longer to go but funds are disappearing fast. Her car barely works. Then her friend brings her to meet Miss Black. She runs a high class call girl service. Avery needs the money. She can’t say no. And when she realizes her first and maybe only client might be the mysterious Sean who came to her rescue not once but twice, she’s all in.

This story starts after Sean has rejected her. She gets him to recommit to Miss Black’s terms and then Miss Black herself throws in roadblocks.

This is an ongoing series and is only a few scenes of a bigger story. This does keep you guessing and always seems to end on a cliffhanger. Still intrigued.

I purchased this book with my own money.

Don't Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

Don't Ever Tell

Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Expected publication: June 25th 2019 by Bookouture

Goodreads synopsis:
Never make a promise you can’t afford to keep… 

This is a story about Charlotte – a mother and a wife with the perfect job, the perfect life… at least, that’s how it looks from the outside. 

But behind closed doors, the marriage is breaking, and Charlotte’s husband Tris doesn’t even know how much. He has no idea what Charlotte has planned for him, who she has found, why she has hired someone to pretend to be her. But he doesn’t have long to wait to find out… 


4.5 Stars

I have to admit that I almost put this book down about halfway through. The build up just seemed to take too long and I wondered when it would get to the point. 

Nothing really of consequence happened until Charlotte’s psychologist sister, Flo heard a few sessions from a new client named Mia Justice. Charlotte had met Mia a year or so earlier and marveled at how she almost seemed like a twenty year younger version of herself. She had the same mannerisms as she did also. Looks and mannerisms. It was uncanny. Then Flo told her a secret she shouldn’t have revealed. Charlotte’s husband, Tris and Mia were having an affair. To Mia his name was Seth. She had no idea he was married. 

That is when Charlotte concocted a pretty sly plan. It was brilliant, actually. And this plot she came up with is what this book is about. You don’t discover what that is until after the halfway point. So don’t give up on this book too early. My rating is based on the latter half. It was a stunning picture of what could happen to a couple when things start to dry out in their relationship and cause their eyes to wander to more appealing options. Charlotte wanted the money fame could bring but not the fame itself. Mia wanted the fame and Tris wanted them both.

Great concept for a book. I thought that was the best part. When I realized what Charlotte had done and what Flo had revealed to her, I was shocked. The fallout of this is sad and scary. I didn’t see that coming.

I never quite understood the connection between Mia and Charlotte. I think it is assumed in the end that we will figure it out due to Mia’s last scene with her sister but I don’t know. 

This would make a great movie or tv drama. Check it out and see for yourself. It’s a roller coaster ride!

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.