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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

48 Hour Lockdown (Tactical Crime Division #1) by Carla Cassidy


48 Hour Lockdown

Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Harlequin Intrigue (first published March 5th 2020)



Goodreads synopsis: 
The Tactical Crime Division—TCD—is a specialized unit of the FBI.They handle the toughest cases in the most remote locations.

When TCD learns of a school invasion turned lockdown, every agent is ready to engage. With children in jeopardy, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But it becomes personal for hostage negotiator agent Evan Duran when he learns Annalise Taylor is one of the captives holed up with the students in a school for the gifted. He’ll need every resource available at TCD and every ounce of his expertise to turn this disastrous situation into a rescue mission—and if he succeeds, maybe reunite with the woman he never stopped loving.

***

4.5 stars

This is the first book in the Tactical Crime Division series in the Harlequin Intrigue line by Harlequin Books by Carla Cassidy.

There wasn't a lot of romance in this and it was basically police procedural/detective fiction. But I am okay with that. The romance that was there is the kind I like. It is all about the emotions about two people who at one time were not really ready to be together and how this hostage situation made them both reevaluate their relationship.

This Tactical Crime Division takes on the hardest cases and it reminds me of the dynamic that Criminal Minds had in the beginning when the tv series started. This is definitely a series I want to continue on with. This is totally in my wheelhouse! Loved it!


If you love a good romantic suspense book, definitely check this one out. Harlequin Intrigue is my guilty pleasure read.

First Hand Knowledge (Oracle Bay #2) by Amy Cissell


First Hand Knowledge 
(Oracle Bay #2)

Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published November 27th 2018 by Broken World Publishing






Goodreads synopsis: 
Welcome to Oracle Bay, the town where the local psychics were already expecting you! Once the playground of various divinities, it’s now the home of their preternaturally talented descendants.

Tourists come for the psychics, the quirky shops with punny names, and the quaint, small town vibe, but they stay for the Autumn Bazaar organized by the head of the psychics’ union, Misty Greene. Born and raised in Oracle Bay, she’s known Joseph McEwan all her life. What she doesn’t know is why the affable kid she knew in high school turned into the town crank when he took over the family goat farm.
Burdened with the weight of family secrets, Joseph struggles to maintain his life in Oracle Bay and his grumpy fa├žade. When the pressure causes Joseph to pull his crowd-pleasing goat cheeses from the Autumn Bazaar, tensions with Misty come to a head. When she confronts the cantankerous farmer about his perceived sabotage, the friction breaks with a kiss. But secrets, mistrust, a mysterious stranger, and some missing goats all conspire to keep Misty and Joseph apart. Will they be able to get over a decade of bad blood compounded by mutual distrust to find Billie Holiday, Joseph’s prize goat, or will Joseph’s desire to keep his secrets outweigh his desire for Misty? Most importantly, will everything be resolved in time for the Bazaar?

***

4.5 Stars 

This is the second book in the Oracle Bay series by Amy Cissell.

After reading book one, I found book two a bit harder to get into. For one thing, we didn’t start from where the last book left off. We retraced our steps at the beginning of this story to back before Sandy even came to town and we were introduced to Joseph the goat farmer and his relationship with Misty.  This was a bit of a mind bender for me since I was ready to move forward from the last book and not jump backward. 

In a way, I almost wish this book and the previous book would have been put together to keep the continuity of the timeline. They kept mentioning some big event in book one but I couldn’t grasp onto that since I had nothing to base these fears on.

Overall, it was a good story. Love all the gods and magical stuff littered all throughout the book. Definitely liked book one so much better. The love story was just my jam. This one didn’t speak to me as much, not sure why.


If you love a good contemporary romance, cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Not in the Cards (Oracle Bay #1) by Amy Cissell


Not in the Cards
(Oracle Bay #1)

ebook, 242 pages
Published October 25th 2018 by Broken World Publishing





Goodreads synopsis: 
Oracle Bay attracts everyone who’s a little off, particularly the descendants of the divine vacationers who used to frolic in the quaint seaside town. When a true descendent steps foot in Oracle Bay, their divine powers awaken, they receive a visit from the Psychic Union, and shenanigans ensue.

Sandy Franklin is on the run from her old life and her almost-ex-husband. The promise of cheap rent and a ready-made business, combined with the tarot cards she’d never managed to discard, make settling down to try her hand at divination sound like a reasonable solution.

When Vincent, the man who owns most of the town, shows up to announce he’s selling to stave off his own personal problems, the only thing left for Sandy and the other resident psychics to do is devise a plan to save the town using a combination of their divination skills and a little old-fashioned sleuthing.

The one thing Sandy couldn’t predict was how personal her interest in saving Vincent would get.

***

4.5 Stars 

This is the first book in the Oracle Bay series by Amy Cissell.

This series is right in my wheelhouse. I am jamming reading how the oracle bay psychics, tarot readers, crystal ball readers, palm readers, etc figure out how to keep their town from being sold out from under them.

When the big ah-ha moment comes in and you realize that Sandy is totally connected to this town in a significant way, then the story really takes off.  I feel like this is almost more contemporary love story than anything else. I was just loving every bit of it. Hated Sandy’s ex-Aaron. How she ever fell for him, I’ll never know. Definitely loving the love story between Sandy and Vincent. I heart Oracle Bay and have already started book two.


If you love a good contemporary romance, definitely check this one out.

Perils and Lace (Ghostly Fashionista Mystery #2) by Gayle Leeson


Perils and Lace

Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Grace Abraham Publishing




Goodreads synopsis: 
A murderer outwitting a quirky flapper ghost? Seams unlikely!

Budding retro fashion designer and entrepreneur Amanda Tucker is thrilled about making costumes for Winter Garden High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. But when the play’s director Sandra Kelly is poisoned, Amanda realizes there’s a murderer in their midst. She’s determined to keep herself and the students safe, so when her ghostly fashionista friend Max suggests they investigate, Amanda rolls up her sleeves and prepares to follow the deadly pattern…

***

4.5 Stars 

This is the second book in the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery by Gayle Leeson.

Amanda Tucker, sewist and fashionista along with her ghostly counterpart Max (Maxine) from the 1920’s are back with a new mystery!

Amanda and her grandfather get suckered into providing outfits and sets for the new production of Beauty and the Beast. Not long after they are asked to assist the director of the play is found murdered.

I can’t really decide what is better: Max and her ability to adjust to the technology of the twentieth century or the whodunit. I was a little disappointed that the photographer from book one wasn’t featured as strongly as he was in the previous title.  But the relationships in the building where Amanda has her business is what makes this series so great. This is definitely a series I want to continue to read., It is just so dang fun!


If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.

Hunting the Colton Fugitive (Harlequin Intrigue, The Coltons of Mustang Valley #11) by Colleen Thompson


Hunting the Colton Fugitive
(Harlequin Intrigue, The Coltons of Mustang Valley #11)

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Harlequin Romantic Suspense





Goodreads synopsis: 
Her business is finding criminals…

But can she risk falling for a fugitive?

Capturing Ace Colton is the solution to bounty hunter Sierra Madden’s troubles. The bounty will pay off the vicious loan shark whose goons are after her. Too cynical to buy Ace’s protestations of innocence, Sierra tamps down her growing attraction. But when she’s the ultimate target, she might be forced to rely on the absolute last person she should trust.

***

4.5 Stars 

This is the eleventh book in the Coltons of Mustang Valley series  in the Harlequin Intrigue line over at Harlequin Books.

I have been a bit upset about this whole “Ace is not a Colton” storyline that has been a similar theme in many of the previous books. My favorite outcome would have been that Ace is really a Colton and it’s all a mistake. I am still hoping for this to be uncovered.

Basic premise: Bounty Hunter Sierra is hired by Ace’s step mom to bring him to justice.

I enjoyed the interplay between Ace and Sierra. They both are pretty bull-headed and it was amazing that they both made it through this story alive and in one piece. Ace warmed to Sierra a lot quicker than she did to him. I guess his months on the lamb gave him something to think about and when the right person was thrown into his path, he was ready for action.

I am still loving this Colton series. Like I said above, I have my ultimate wishes. I want Ace vindicated and I want his dad to wake up and know Ace is real son!

If you love a good romantic suspense, definitely check this one out.


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.

Matcha Do About Murder (A Pebble Cove Teahouse Mystery #2) by Eryn Scott


Matcha Do About Murder

ebook
Published April 30th 2020 by Kristopherson Press




Goodreads synopsis: 
Pebble Cove is home to more than just fishermen, Victorian houses, and coastal beauty. It also harbors long running feuds and buried secrets.

When a local man drops dead after drinking a matcha tea latte, Rosemary Woodmere suspects foul play. As a witness to the murder, she's called in for questioning.

At the station she meets a new ghost and learns the town's police force has a dark past when it comes to covering up murder. She might be off the hook, but can she let the case go when she fears the police might be repeating history?

To make things even more difficult, Rosemary's life with ghosts is getting complicated. While she searches for the truth about how Asher died, Rosemary attempts to help a local spirit encountering her own difficulties with her death. And while a little ghostly help might give Rosemary a leg up in this case, will it be enough when she comes face to face with the real killer?

***

5 Stars 

This is the second book in the A Pebble Cove Teahouse mystery series by Eryn Scott. 

There is a throughline from the previous book that manifests in this one. It is concerning Asher and his quest to have Rosie find out what happened to him in death. Apparently, ghosts don’t really remember their death day too well. And when Rosie uncovers a truth she doesn’t want to reveal to her friend, she asks her mother to investigate further.

The whodunit is surrounding a man who dies in the competing tearoom run by Jolene. I like the compromise the two come up with in this book in order to make their businesses successful.

Asher does a lot of disappearances in this book too which makes me sad since he is definitely my favorite character in the series. But I understand his absences.

I can’t wait until the next book comes out.  Definitely a great new series I suggest you check out! I am obsessed with it.


If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.

Steeped in Suspicion (A Pebble Cove Teahouse Mystery #1) by Eryn Scott


Steeped in Suspicion
by Eryn Scott 

Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published April 20th 2020 by Kristopherson Press





Goodreads synopsis: 
Pebble Cove is not the sleepy coastal town Rosemary remembers from her childhood. Ghosts are everywhere, and only she can see them.

When Rosemary Woodmere inherits her estranged grandmother's Victorian teahouse, she didn't expect to also inherit a ghost named Asher from the 1920s.

Things get weirder for Rosemary.

Her grandma was supposedly murdered.
A body has washed up on the beach and the police suspect her in the man's murder.
She's trying to navigate her newfound ability to talk to ghosts.
And she doesn't even know the first thing about tea.

Rosemary's experience as a librarian hasn't prepared her to solve a murder, but everyone around her is steeped in suspicion and she has to find the truth before someone else ends up dead.

***

5 Stars 

This is the first book in the A Pebble Cove Teahouse mystery series by Eryn Scott. 

I stumbled upon this book as a Kindle recommendation. I am always on the lookout for a new series to follow and discovered that this book rang all my bells.

I totally resonated with Rosemary “Rosie” Woodmere. She had lost her grandmother and had been estranged from her for years. She was only in Pebble Cove since her grandmother had left her the house and teashop in her will. It was the appearance of Asher, a ghost from the 1920’s, who really made this book sing for me. There are long stretches when he is away from the scene as Rosie does her investigating but when he is with her, the book is so much better. I almost wish there was a way to make him a real boy so she could love him. That is the only sad part about this book. You can tell the two have a connection, but they can never do anything more than talk with each other.

Definitely a great new series I suggest you check out! I am obsessed with it.


If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.

A Book Signing To Die For by Judy Moore


A Book Signing To Die For
(Beach Reads Mystery #1)
by Judy Moore

Kindle Edition
Published May 20th 2020




Goodreads synopsis: 
Beck O’Rourke and her grandmother own Beach Reads bookstore and coffee shop, a gathering place for locals and tourists, a block off the ocean in Manatee Beach, Florida.

They live above the bookstore with Beck’s feisty younger sister, Lizzie, a lifeguard. Beck is excited to host the country’s bestselling cozy mystery writer for a book signing event until a member of the audience turns up dead later that night.

Afterward, Beck decides to pursue her lifelong dream of being a detective to try to catch the killer. The amateur sleuth finds several suspects, but the murderer isn’t happy about her interference.

Neither is the town’s handsome new police detective who has a history with Beck.


***

4.5 Stars 

This is the first book in a new series by Judy Moore. 

Many characters in this were pulled from her previous book “Somebody in the Neighborhood.” I was curious how Moore would transition this into a new series. She used the Florida setting, a sprinkling of characters from her previous book plus some other great additions.

 I have to say I am just blown away. Totally a new favorite series for me to follow. I am hooked!

Basic premise: a famous cozy mystery author comes to Beach Reads to do a talk. She isn’t quite as nice and inviting as Beck thought she might be based on her popular series. Then one of the attendees at the talk, who knew the author from years earlier, is found dead.

Beck just has to get involved since it is her deepest desire to be a detective. So she jumps in and does some investigating. I love how we have a number of family members involved in the bookshop. Just so many people for Beck to bouncer ideas off of.

The story is fast-paced, with a bookish theme that seems to be a favorite among many cozy readers. Definitely an unputdownable read for me!

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.


I received this book as a gift from the author in return for an honest review. Thank you, Judy!

A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1) by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Sprinkling of Murder

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: June 30th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation





Goodreads synopsis: 
Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she'll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she's starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she's about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .


***

4.5 Stars 

This is the first book in the A Fairy Garden mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber.

This is one of those books where you will have to suspend your disbelief in order to enjoy it.  If you believe in fairies, GREAT! If you don’t, take a few hours while you read this and believe in them. It will make this book so much easier too digest.

I have always been a fan of magic anything. So this book really speaks to me in a unique way. I don’t physically see fairies, although that would be cook, I do believe in earth spirits who work with us in magical ways even if we can’t see them.

Courtney Kelly has a love of making fairy gardens. And it only seems natural since she has her own fairy friend who spends time with her. When she is not knee deep in soil and fairy houses, she runs a tea shop. When the man who owns the pet shop next door is found dead, Courtney finds herself suspect number one.

There are actually a lot of suspects in the whodunit part of the book and that makes the discovery so much more satisfying. Then add in the fun fairy helper in training and thisw makes for a super fun book.

Totally enjoyed it and look forward to seeing more books in the future.  

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.


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.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Christmas Ranch & A Cold Creek Holiday (Cowboys of Cold Creek #6 & 13) by RaeAnne Thayne



The Christmas Ranch & A Cold Creek Holiday

Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 25th 2014 by Harlequin




Goodreads synopsis: 
A NEW Cowboys of Cold Creek story from New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne!

Hope Nichols has never felt as if she belonged anywhere except her hometown of Pine Gulch. So when she hears that her family's property, Christmas Ranch, is set to be shut down forever, a determined Hope heads home. She refuses to let anything ruin her holiday--this will be the most memorable ranch Christmas ever! And thanks to hunky former navy SEAL Rafe Santiago and his adorable nephew, she might just pull off that miracle.

Plus a heartwarming RaeAnne Thayne favorite from the Cowboys of Cold Creek series, A Cold Creek Holiday, also included in this book!

"A richly plotted story with characters that are easy to care about, this one is as emotional as it is funny."

--RT Book Reviews on A Cold Creek Holiday


***

4.5 Stars 

This is the 6th and 13th book in the Cowboys of Cold Creek by RaeAnne Thayne.

Christmas Ranch - This was a fun read and it really helped me put aside all the chaos happening in my own life to focus on the charming love story of Hope Nichols and Rafe Sanatiago. There were a lot of roadblocks keeping these two apart and for awhile I wasn’t certain they would get together. I wasn’t sure why Rafe being on the SEAL team that tried to save Hope’s father and his family was such an issue. Overall, a great read.

A Cold Creek Holiday - This one was more easily relatable to me. Emery is looking for a way to get away from her Christmas angst. She lost her mom months before one christmas and then had another loss on the next Christmas season not long  after she divorced her husband. So life hasn’t been kind to Emery. Then she makes her way to the Holiday bungalow she has rented to work on her creative sewing projects and keep her mind off the season. Here she meets Nate Cavazos. He is the uncle to two little girls who had recently lost their parents to an airplane crash. This story is just so heartwarming and classic. I loved the career they chose for the heroine and how it contrasted with all the military-ness of Nate. Just the right story of story for the Christmas holiday.


Definitely going to check out more books by RaeAnne Thayne! Good stuff!