Book Review · Cozy Mystery · FIction · Mystery

What the Hatmaker Heard

Thank you to author Sandra Bretting and the Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the gifted copy of What the Hatmaker Heard. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

When a groom gets murdered, Louisiana hat maker Missy DuBois must look behind a veil of secrets on a former sugar plantation . . .

Bride-to-be Lorelei Honeycutt is brimming with excitement over the elaborate headpiece Missy has created for her wedding but fears she won’t be able to maintain her balance when she walks down the aisle. She’s asked Missy to assist her during the rehearsal at Honeycutt Hall, a once grand sugar plantation now used as the family’s home. Missy’s trying to keep a cool head herself, as her own wedding is coming up in three short weeks on the Riverboat Queen. But after the rehearsal, she overhears the bride and groom quarreling. The next morning, Wesley Carmichael is missing. After searching the house and grounds, Missy discovers the groom lying at the bottom of an old, unused sugar silo—and now it’s up to the mystery-solving milliner to find an unbalanced killer . . .

This is book 6 of the Missy DuBois Mystery series.

Review

This was a cute book and a great cozy mystery!! I have not read any of the other books in the Missy DuBois series, but that did not matter. Sandra Bretting did a great job of writing a story in a series, where she included enough information from previous books so that you understood completely what was happening and some of the history of Missy DuBois. Sandra Bretting’s writing is fun and lighthearted. You can’t help but keep turning the pages. Sandra’s characters are instantly likable and one can’t help but like them from page one. I will be sure to pick up more of Sandra Bretting’s books in the future!!

Rating

About the Author

I was born in Southern California, but moved to the Midwest to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism. I found my true calling when I took a creative writing class and another student assumed I’d come to Mizzou to be a novelist. (Bless you, oh stranger!)

I returned to California to freelance for the Los Angeles Times and also took every creative writing course I could get my hands on. Now I live in Texas, where I write cozy mysteries and enjoy life with my husband, daughters, and one slaphappy rescue dog.

In addition to having a wonderful agent and publishers, I’m blessed to have the very best readers in the world.

Taken from Sandra Bretting’s website: https://sandrabretting.com/index.html
Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance

Mason’s Gray

Thank you to Geri Myers Goodwin, The Review Crew, and Jones Media Publishing for the gifted copy of Mason’s Gray. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Impossible To Resist…

Rock Icon, Brody Mason, steers clear from commitment at all costs. When an unforeseen accident draws him to the new neighbor, Morgan Gray, he finds her impossible to resist. His stubborn attitude and playboy ways will not be enough to keep the barriers from faltering.

Two strangers, two completely different lives meld together. Fate or coincidence? Either way, love found them when they weren’t looking for it.

Review

I have been saying this a lot lately, however, this was my first introduction to author Geri’ Myers Goodwin. And, at the risk of repeating myself, I am very glad that I did. I can’t believe this short, but cute novel was a debut for Geri’ Myers Goodwin! There was no introduction or lead up, Geri’ Myers Goodwin just jumped right in and the story took off…and I loved it! Geri’ jumped right in with a wonderfully descriptive story with fantastic, likable characters. I could not help but like both Morgan and Brody from the first few pages and through the rest of the story. I enjoyed the storyline that Geri’ created and also enjoyed some of the unexpected, yet fun things she added to the storyline. I am sort of sad that this is Geri’ Myers Goodwin’s debut novel as I cannot wait to read more of her fantastic writing!

Rating

About the Author

GERI’ (JUR-REE) MYERS GOODWIN is an Arizona native and mother of three children and two step-children. She has dreamed of writing a romance novel for the last 20 years.

With empty nest syndrome approaching, what better time to work toward her goals? With the loving support of her devoted husband, family and friends, Geri’ has done just that. A special person once told her, “Don’t just follow your dreams … DO your dreams.”

Book Review · Book Tour · Contemporary · FIction

The Laundress

Thank you to author Barbara Sapienza, Suzy Approved Book Tours, and She Writes Press for the gifted copy of the Laundress. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old Lavinia Lavinia is burdened by her unknown heritage—but her uncle Sal, who raised her in San Francisco, has always kept silent, refusing to reveal the devastating secret of her origin. And now, following the death of his wife, he’s left for Italy. 

In the wake of her uncle’s departure, Lavinia has quit school. Now she works as a personal laundress to a diverse cast of San Francisco residents—people with stories as complicated as her own. As time progresses, through the sacred ritual of washing clothes—and with the help of a friend and her nurturing, flamenco dancing mother—Lavinia begins to recover memories of her past. Gradually, her gifts of receptivity multiply, and she communes with nature, finding messages from birds and the leaves of her garden’s fig tree. And when she recovers Raggedy, a beloved doll that accompanied her from Naples when she was four years old, she experiences a tangible connection to her own mother. 

Even as Lavinia makes these discoveries, she is busy building new relationships—discovering healing dance with her lover, a barista in a North Beach coffee shop; learning to understand Time and forgiveness with an elderly client; and even getting to know her father, a man who has never been a part of her life. Poetic and poignant, The Laundress is a coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever sought to understand where they came from in order to figure out who they’re meant to become.

Review

Barbara Sapienza is a new to me author. I must admit that when I started this book I was not a huge fan. I felt like the story was a bit jumpy and I did not understand exactly what was happening or how the synopsis related to what I was reading. While I was struggling, I decided to keep reading and give the book another chance. Maybe more pages and more details would help and maybe not and this would be a did not finish. And I must admit it did! As I continued to read the story and learn more about the life of Lavinia Lavinia and those in her life, I began to enjoy the story. For me, this story was about finding oneself. About discovering one’s past to discover one’s future. I very much enjoyed learning about Lavinia as she learned more about herself. I enjoyed learning about the relationships that she had built over the years and the ones that she built as she began to find herself. I felt for her as she experienced heartbreak and pain. Most of all I saw a little of me in her. I am so glad that I was turned on to this book…even if I did have a bit of a rough start.

Rating

About the Author

Barbara Sapienza, PhD, is a retired clinical psychologist and an alumna of San Francisco StateUniversity’s creative writing master’s program. She writes and paints, nourished by her spiritual practices of meditation, tai chi, and dance. Her family, friends, and grandchildren are her teachers. Her first novel, Anchor Out (She Writes Press, 2017) received an IPPY bronze medal for Best Regional Fiction, West Coast. Sapienza lives in Sausalito, CA, with her husband.

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Audiobook · Book Review · Contemporary · FIction

The Language of Divorce

Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours, author Leanne Treese, and Filles Vertes Publishing for the gifted copy of The Language of Divorce. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Hannah and Will Abbott define the American dream:  two kids, a home in the suburbs, and a seemingly perfect marriage.  But discontent lurks under the surface of their outwardly happy lives as each Hannah and Will suspect the other of infidelity.  When they independently consult divorce attorneys, the conflict escalates and Hannah flees with the children against a court order.  This snap decision starts a social media firestorm and, suddenly, the Abbott divorce is big news.

With family stress and legal fees rising, Will and Hannah accept an invitation to appear on a reality television show for divorcing couples.  During filming on the beautiful island of St. John, the Abbotts must decide once and for all: can their love survive their past?

Review

Reading this book was my first introduction to author Leanne Treese, and boy am I glad that I was introduced to her! In her debut novel, Leanne Treese writes a book full of heartbreak and loss as well as a book about finding one’s way through life, no matter what has been thrown at them. I listened to this book on audio and from the first minutes of this book, I was hooked! I loved every one of the characters and the story that Leanne Treese told about each of their lives. This book was so wonderfully descriptive, I genuinely felt like I was part of the book and living right alongside the characters. I cannot say enough about how good this book was! Every minute I could, I was listening to the book, and I must admit that I did not want the book to end. I wanted to know more about the characters’ lives and “what happened to them after.” I am so glad that I was introduced to Leanne Tresse and hope that she writes more books in the future!!

Rating

About the Author

Leanne lives in New Jersey with her husband of twenty-five years and their three wonderful children.  When Leanne is not cheering her kids on in their activities, she can be found running, watching 76ers basketball games, and spoiling her two beloved dogs.  Favorite locations include the Jersey shore, Martha’s Vineyard, and any place that sells books or coffee, preferably both. A passionate student, Leanne’s dream life would include going back to college and majoring in everything.

Leanne is a graduate of Lafayette College and The Dickinson School of Law.  She is a former attorney who is now lucky enough to write full-time! The Language of Divorce is her debut novel.  

Book Review · Contemporary · FIction · Women's Fiction

Lonely Road of Faith

Thank you to author Merideth Deeds and Silver Dagger Book Tours for the gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Anna Lynn finds herself barefoot and pregnant when she is forced to move back to her hometown of Sulfer Springs. While all hope seems lost, she begins to rebuild her life and her faith as she perseveres through many trials and tribulations that life throws at her.

On one fateful December night, Anna runs into Billy Denham, an old flame, who had stolen a piece of her innocent heart as a young teenager. Unaware of the demons that he faces, she allows him into her and baby Johnny’s life. Anna, nor Billy, have any idea what is in store for them after their paths cross yet again.

Review

Merideth Deeds is a new to me author and I am glad that I was introduced to her. I loved the story line that Merideth created and I really enjoyed the characters she created. For me, faith plays a large part in my life and my Granny was a huge part of my life. I connected with Anna Lynn’s character right off the bat, as these are things that are very important to her as well, and enjoyed her story of loss and trying to rebuild. I definitely identified with Anna Lynn and really liked learning about her life. I don’t want to give too much away (no spoilers here), but I thought the story line of Anna Lynn and Billy’s relationship, both when they were younger and when their paths cross again, was such a real story that people experience everyday. It was refreshing to read a story that was not tied up in a nice neat bow in the end. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more books by Merideth Deeds in the future.

Rating

About the Author

I am a native of Texas, born and raised in a small town. I graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree and from Tarleton State University in 2019 with a Master’s in English and Curriculum. I currently am a full time teacher, mother, and wife.

God has put writing on my heart in order to inspire and encourage others that are currently or have experienced similar tribulations in life. My hope is that my stories will give others hope and comfort through the trials they face throughout their lives.

My first story, Lonely Road of Faith, is inspired by real-life events and me and my husband’s broken paths that eventually led back to each other and to God.

Author Links

     

Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · Contemporary Sports Romance · FIction · Romance

Cocky Notes

Thank you to Leesa Bow for the gifted copy of Cocky Notes. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Who thought writing ‘LOSERS’ on a menu could lead to an affair of love notes?

It didn’t start out as love. How could it when I vowed never to fall in love…

Reef Burton, the sexy blue-eyed football player, and his mates are definitely not ‘Losers’ yet writing it on a menu gave me reason to smile. Only it didn’t make it to the trash.

He returns to the restaurant where I work wearing his killer smile. I wasn’t to know those squiggly lines and arrows meant something. An offensive play his football team learned at an earlier training session. Coming here discussing the team plays over coffee helps… so he says.

He’ll see what I wrote. Apart from it being awkward the next time I serve him he could also report me to my boss.

I can’t lose my job when in hindsight I need two to pay all the bills rolling in, and to care for my invalid father.

I’m thankful he kept it as our secret.

Until he left me a note.

Responding will only lead to more trouble.

So when Mr Blue Eyes-Blond Surfy-Hair gives me one of his spine tingling looks, how can I resist?

Review

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book! I have never read anything of Leesa Bow’s before, but I am so glad that I got a chance to read this book. It was AMAZING!!! From the wonderful characters to the fantastic story line, this book was absolutely the best! What I thought might be a straight forward novel, was one full of twists and turns that I did not expect…and I loved each an every one of them. I think they all make the story what it is! I cannot rave enough about how much I liked this book!! I really enjoyed that the book was set in Australia and that Leesa Bow provided a list of terms at the beginning of the book to help the reader understand the lingo. It was exciting for me to have the novel set in a place that I have always wanted to visit. While there was not too much about Australia, it made me want to travel there even more! 🙂 I am sad that I just discovered Leesa Bow, however, I am super happy that there are many more books of hers that I can enjoy! Make sure to puck up this book…you won’t regret it!!

PS: At this time, this is my FAVORITE book in all of the Cocky Hero Club books that I have read!!

Rating

This is for sure a 5+++++ star book for me!!!!!

Meet the Author

Leesa Bow is a best selling author who began her writing journey years ago when her daughter fell ill. Falling into writing for therapy Leesa now can’t imagine doing anything else. Thankful to be following her passion for romance, she is living out her own happy ever after with her husband in Brisbane, Australia.

In her spare time Leesa enjoys watching sport, having beach days with the family, catching up for coffee with girlfriends, and taking long walks.

Leesa is a member of Romance Writer’s of Australia (RWA).

Follow Leesa at:

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Email Leesa at leesa@leesabow.com

Book Review · Book Tour · Crime · Crime Thriller · Psychological Thriller · Suspense · Thriller

The Hitcher

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!!

Book Tour Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

Thank you to author Ditter Kellen for the gifted copy of this book and thank you to Silver Dagger Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this tour. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Five bodies. One serial killer. And a terrified woman’s will to survive…

Tina Duggar lives a quiet life in Bay County, Florida, working for animal control and spending time with her significant other, Investigator Mike Parker.
But a road trip with two of her closest friends takes a deadly turn after they pick up a mysterious blue-eyed hitcher…and Tina’s life is suddenly shattered.
Her fun outing turns into a bloodbath as the hitcher begins brutally slaughtering innocent girls along the interstate, forcing Tina to watch.
Saving her for last…
With her time running out and the police, the FBI, and even Mike himself desperately searching for her, Tina is forced into a terrifying game of wits with one of the most horrific serial killers Florida has seen since Bundy.
But will she survive the twisted mind of… the hitcher?

* * * * * Warning * * * * *

This book contains scenes that some might find difficult to read. Purchase with caution.

Review

I was really excited to read this book after I found out it was a psychological thriller. The synopsis sounded good and this was a never before read author, so I thought I would take a chance on the book. While this book was a good read, it was not the psychological thriller I thought it would be. For me, the storyline was good, but I was not hanging on every word trying to figure out what would happen next. I did not feel uncomfortable when I read it, nor did I check my door locks to make sure I was safe (yes, I sometimes do this if the psychological suspense is that good!). The storyline was good, I just felt like the story was predictable and there was not enough psychological suspense for me. Once the first three murders happened, I felt like I could guess the rest of the book. I am sad that this did not turn out to be the book I thought it would be, however, I am glad that I discovered a new author, Ditter Kellen. While this book did not do it for me, I still am excited to read some of her other books! Even though I did not like the way the book was written, I still encourage you to pick up the book. Everyone reads books differently, and maybe this was not the book for me, but it could be the book for you!!!

Rating

Meet the Author

Ditter Kellen is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction Novels. She loves spinning edgy, heart-pounding mysteries that will leave you guessing until the very end. That includes psychological thrillers with a touch of horror, as well as family drama laced with murder and jaw dropping scenes, some might find difficult to read.

​Ditter resides in Alabama with her husband and many unique farm animals. She adores French fries and her phone is permanently attached to her ear.

Author Links

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* * Bookbub * * Amazon * * Goodreads * *

Giveaway

Click on the Amazon Gift Card and scroll to bottom of page to enter!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Dark Romance · FIction · Romance

When Art Falls: Living in Cin

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Book Tour Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

Thank you to author Lorrain Allen for the gifted copy of this book and thank you to Silver Dagger Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this tour. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

I gave her my heart, but she broke it, so now I’ll give her my rage.

I never considered the possibility of us crossing paths again.

When our gazes connect, an internal switch clicks on.

The last words she spoke to me whisper through my mind like a mantra, causing the sleeping beast to come roaring to life with a taste for her blood.

I need her to bend to my will, so I make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Once my desire has been fed, I’ll toss her away like a piece of garbage right after I destroy her, reducing her to nothingness.

She’ll regret the day she dared to betray me.

Her debt must be repaid in pain, and I will not rest until I have my pound of flesh.

Karma is a bitch that has finally come for her, and it’s hungry for retribution.

WARNING: Readers please beware. You are not dark enough for this ride if you need a trigger warning, please disembark immediately. For those of you who are interested in feeding your greedy dark soul, buckle your seatbelts, arms and legs must remain inside at all times. Please enjoy, you will reach your final destination shortly.

This is book 2 of a duet and cannot be read as a standalone.

Review

I have been waiting for this book ever since I read the first book…I am not sure what I was expecting, but this was not it. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed this book, however, but it was not the story line I was expecting. I can’t pinpoint why, but this book left me unsettled. I love Lorrain Allen‘s writing. I love that she writes dark romance. I love the characters that she has created. In this book we saw a different side of Art, one that I think no one expected to see. We saw things that we never, ever though Art would do. We also saw a different side of Cin…one that made me like her even more than I did in the first book. While this story line was not what I expected, it is one that I overall liked. The only think that I did not like about the book was the ending and I think that is what made me unsettled. I feel like things wrapped up to quickly and with a nice pretty bow. I wish there would have been more detail and more darkness than there was. Overall, Lorrain Allen is an author that I am so, so glad that I found. This and the first book in the series was my first taste of Lorrain’s writing, and I will be sure to pick up all of her other books!

Rating

Where to Buy the Book

– – – Amazon – – – Barnes and Noble – – – Kobo – – –

About the Author

Lorrain has enjoyed writing ever since she was a child and was also part of the poetry club in middle school. She loves to get away from the world and lose herself in a book. As a young adult, she became a romance book junky and was inspired to pen her first romance by the many creative authors whose books she’s read. She wants to provide her fans with a suspenseful read that has a twist at the end. The subject matters of her books are a little controversial, but life is boring without a little controversy.

Author Links

– – – Facebook – – – Twitter – – – Instagram – – – Bookbub – – – Amazon – – – Goodreads – – –

Giveaway

Click on Amazon Gift Card and scroll to bottom of page to enter!!

Action/Adventure · Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Riled

Thank you to Heather Slade for the gifted copy of Riled. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

He’s determined to protect her.
She’s determined to tempt him.
Together, things get RILED up.

RILE
It’s a job,
Only a job.
I’m doing a favor for the Queen,
But watching over this young, sexy, and incorrigible woman is frustrating,
As she parades around half-naked without a care in the world.

My mind and body won’t agree.
But when her life is threatened,
My sixth sense kicks in.
Saving her is my only mission.
But everything about her has me all RILED up.

Kensington
Suffocating,
I’m nearly drowning in this life I’m trapped in.

But when he comes in to watch over me,
Things are definitely looking up.
He’s sexy and rugged as Hell.
Tempting him becomes my favorite hobby.

Something’s holding him back,
Something haunts him, or is it someone?
I’m determined to help him get rid of his pain,
Let go of his demons.

After all, this man’s got me all RILED up.

Review

This is the second book that I have read by Heather Slade and I am so happy that I found her as an author. I absolutely loved this book!!! Heather Slade writes a heart breakingly romantic book that has your emotions on a rollercoaster…and I loved every minute of it. Heather Slade’s characters were fantastic. I liked both Kenzie and Rile right away and grew to like them more and more as the book went on! Heather Slade has great descriptive writing, where you are able to imagine the scene that she is describing in your mind’s eye perfectly. The only “complaint” that I had is that there were so many different security people involved that I had a hard time keeping track of all of them. While minor characters compared to Kenzie and Rile, their names and jobs were mentioned a lot and it seemed as though as soon as I got a couple down, a few more would be introduced. Other than that minor dislike, the book was FANTASTIC!!!!! I can’t wait to read more by Heather Slade!

Rating

About the Author

 I write stories set in places I love with characters I’d be happy to call friends. The women in my books are self-confident, successful, and strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. And the men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever. I grew up an East Coast girl, and then spent half my life on the West Coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

Taken from Heather Slade’s Website

Action/Adventure · Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance

Undercover Agent

Thank you to Heather Slade for the gifted copy of Undercover Agent. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

Resisting a cocky undercover agent is her mission impossible…

Lynx
It was one night,
A night of pure passion and desire,
A night I will never forget.
But she walked out,
And I never stopped thinking about her.
And now, she’s back
Within reach.
And again, she’s off-limits,
Belongs to someone else,
One of my men.
Teaming up with her to take down
Those who threaten our freedoms
Seems like a perfect way to get close to her,
But there’s more at stake than ever before.

Emerson
I never forgot him.
He was—is—everything.
But the timing was off;
I had more happening in my life than I could handle.
And now, with him right there,
I can feel how much I’ve missed:
His touch, his scent, his taste.
Except, there’s more on the line
Than a love affair.
We have to keep it professional.
But can I do that when
I need so much more from this undercover agent?

Review

I recently discovered both Heather Slade and The Cocky Hero Club novels, and boy am I glad that I did!! I absolutely loved the story. The characters were awesome…equal parts sass and steam from both Lynx and Emerson, which made for a page turning story that I just could not put down. Lynx, the cocky British undercover agent and Emerson a scientist with mad skills thrust together to save the world, while trying to fight the feelings they have for each other…what could go wrong?!? While this was a romance novel, there was also action, adventure, and mystery woven in, which I really enjoyed. Heather’s writing pulled me in at page one and before I knew it, I was done with the book. I loved her descriptive writing – describing the characters and the story in a way that sucked me right in and made me feel like I was part of the story…like I was walking alongside the characters living the same things they were. This story had equal parts romance and action/adventure and I loved every minute of it! While this was the first book I read by Heather Slide, you better believe that I will be picking up many more of her books in the future (more specifically the near future)!

Rating

About the Author

I write stories set in places I love with characters I’d be happy to call friends. The women in my books are self-confident, successful, and strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. And the men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever. I grew up an East Coast girl, and then spent half my life on the West Coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

Taken from Heather Slade’s website (linked above)