Category Archives: Books

Recent Release- A Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones

A Bad Day for Sunshine

Title: A Bad Day For Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram, book #1)

Genre: Mystery

Author: Darynda Jones

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, April 7, 2020

Pages: 396

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.
Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head over high heels in love…or worse?

**
First, this book is lots of fun. There is witty banter galore, suspense and danger abounds and your heart will go out to Sunshine and her teenage daughter Auri. The male characters are all swoon worthy especially Deputy Quincy, bad boy Levi and that hunky US Marshall. Female Deputy Zee is the kind of gorgeous kickass sharpshooter we all want covering our backs.

Second, this is a terrific start to a new series. We are slowly introduced to Sunshine’s background and that of side characters without a dreaded info dump. And because it is a series there are still a few unanswered questions at the end. But most questions are tied up nicely.

And last, I cannot wait for the next book. Try this one, you’re gonna love it.

 

 

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Advance Review- Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker

Lakeshire Park

Title: Lakeshire Park

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Megan Walker

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Shadow Mountain, April 7, 2020(paperback and audio)

Pages: 256

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:
Brighton, England 1820
Amelia Moore wants only one thing–to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own–without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter–and eventually playing by his rules–makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.

**

A delightful romance by a new author. I love the Country House Party trope and this one is lots of fun with Amelia doing her best to thwart Peter’s efforts on behalf of his sister. Amelia decides if she can just keep Peter occupied then Clara, her sister, and Georgiana, his sister, can each duel it out for Sir Ronald’s affections without interference. But little did Amelia suspect she might fall for the man who drove her crazy.

This is a charming, sweet romance that will bring a smile to your lips.

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Recent Release- The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

The Honey don't list

itle: The Honey Don’t List

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery Books, March 2020

Pages: 318

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

**
This is an okay read if you are big fans of these authors. I was a fan until I read this book. It is a really clumsy attempt to disguise a very famous, successful TV remodeling couple. And then to throw in a side romance between two people who don’t even seem attracted to each other. I read it all the way through and of course could not like Melly and Rusty Tripp, there was way too much of their childish antics. As for Carey and James-Jimbo-Jimbaliya I just didn’t get their attraction. These authors are really talented and this is not up to what they usually deliver. So if you are a big fan then go ahead and get this one but if you are not then maybe better wait for the next book.

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Recent Release- The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The two Lives of Lydia Bird

Title: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Author: Josie Silver

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, March 2020

Pages: 432

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

**
This is a tearjerker. Be prepared with a full tissue box at your side. It is about grief and how it envelopes a life. Lydia is so distraught she cannot sleep. Her mother talks the doctor into giving Lydia a prescription for sleeping pills. Lydia takes the pink pill and finds herself asleep and waking in another dimension where Freddie is still alive and they are living their life together. But when she awakes from the sleep she is thrust back into the grief filled life without Freddie. This back and forth plays out over the next year. Lydia makes some independent strides and finds a way to live again. What didn’t ring true was Lydia’s job. She was away for months at a time and they still kept her on. Don’t we all want jobs like that.
I recommend this book only to those who won’t be pulled under by the sadness, it is a sad but eventually uplifting read.

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Recent Release- In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

in five years

Title: In Five Years

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Rebecca Serle

Source: purchase

Publisher: Atia Books, March 2020 (also available from Audible)

Pages: 266

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.

She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.

But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.

**
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is a page turner. You will want to know what leads to that 5th year incident. Is it “real” or “fantasy”? I read this book because I read Rebecca Serle’s book THE DINNER LIST. I enjoy the way she attacks unique storylines and this book is another unique storyline. There is romance, heartbreak and everything in-between. Be sure and have a box of tissues handy. Yes, I can recommend this book with reservations, but only a few reservations.

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Recent Release- The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

The Boy From the Woods

Title: The Boy From The Woods

Genre: Thriller

Author: Harlan Coben

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Grand Central Pub., March 2020

Pages: 385

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

**
Another up-all-night read! I look forward to every Harlan Coben book and he does not disappoint. This book is full of twists and turns, surprises and me saying “I didn’t see that coming.”. This feels like the start of a series because we are left wondering about “the boy” and his past. Wilde is the perfect mysterious hero. Hester is a force to be reckoned with. I hope to see them in another book . I gave it only 4-stars because there were a couple of too convenient issues which I won’t elaborate; so no spoilers. This would make a fun Netflix series.

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Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

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Limited Time DEAL- Mimi Matthews’ The Matrimonial Advertisement

The Matrimonial Advertisement

ON AMAZON: This e-book is on sale for $.99 and if you purchase it you can add the wonderful audio book for $1.99.  So for a pay-out of $2.98 you will have a terrific audio and a terrific e-book.  Such a deal!!

THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT is the first book in the PARISH ORPHANS OF DEVON series by Mimi Matthews.  The audio book is narrated by the talented Justine Eyre.  When I read and reviewed this book I gave it  4.5-stars.  Mimi Matthews is an auto buy author for me.  Everything she writes is filled with Victorian sensibility true to the time period, is superbly constructed and is splendly entertaining.

If you would like to see all 4 of my Orphans of Devon reviews please go to the left column on my blog site and type in “Mimi Matthews” in the search box.

NOTE: If you have a Audible Escape account this audio is included for free.

 

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Review-Guilty Not Guilty by Felix Francis

Guilty not guilty

Title: Guilty Not Guilty (A Dick Francis Novel, book #9)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Author: Felix Francis

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: G.P. Putnam, Nov. 2019

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: off page

Description from Amazon:

It is said that everyone over a certain age can remember distinctly what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated, or that Princess Diana had been killed in a Paris car crash, but I, for one, could recall all too clearly where I was standing when a policeman told me that my wife had been murdered.

Bill Russell is acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick races when he confronts his worst nightmare–the violent death of his much-loved wife. But, the aftermath proves much worse when he is accused of killing her and then hounded mercilessly by the media. Losing his job and in danger of losing his home too, Bill’s life begins to unravel completely. Even his best friends turn against him, thinking him guilty of the heinous crime, despite the lack of any compelling evidence.

As Bill sets out to clear his name, he finds that proving one’s innocence isn’t easy. He believes he can track down the true culprit, but can he prove it before he becomes the murderer’s next victim? Guilty Not Guilty is a journey of greed and jealousy set against the grief of personal tragedy, with many a twist and turn along the way.

**
This is my first Felix Francis book although in the past I have enjoyed several of his late father’s books, Dick Francis. The novels of both father and son are set in the world of horse racing in England. Not so much this book although Bill Russell is a Steward for the racing authority. This is a page turner and you won’t want to sleep until you see if Bill can clear his name. Like me you will wonder how much this man can endure before giving up but he plods on never giving in or up. I did think he could have used a bit more help than good brother, Douglas. Yes, I can recommend this book highly for a fast enjoyable read.

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Recent Release Review- The Little Bookshop On The Seine by Rebecca Raisin

The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Title: The Little Bookshop On The Seine

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: HQN Books, Jan. 7, 2020

Pages: 306

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating:4

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.

**
Oh my goodness, is Sarah an immature teenager? No? Well that’s how she is written. On the other hand Ridge, the self-absorbed boyfriend is definitely portrayed true to himself. These characters are written like bad examples of Americans traveling in Europe. No longer the “Ugly American” now just the culturally obtuse American. I found it impossible to like Sarah and Ridge was not worth her time. The side characters were for the most part the bookshop employees. One was British, one American, one wealthy French. The rest of the part time workers were ignored except when they were busy trashing their boss, Sarah. She is in charge yet she lets everyone walk all over her. She has more of a workload than she can handle but does nothing to fix it. Ridge comes up with several explanations for his absence from her and although she questions their relationship she continually forgives the dirtbag. Sarah’s jaunts around Paris are designed to give the reader some atmospheric feels for the insiders Paris. But she keeps leaving the bookshop to wander alone or with a fellow employee which leaves me to wonder who is doing the work back at the shop?

I can’t recommend this book. It totally frustrated me. I did finish it but if it had been a paperback and not on my Kindle I would have thrown it across the room.

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