Sunday, September 22, 2019

Review: Dying Breath by Heather Graham

Author: Heather Graham
Publisher: Mira 
Date of publication:  May 2017

As a teenager, Vickie Preston survived an attack by a serial killer. That was the first time she saw a ghost. Now the city of Boston is being terrorized—someone is kidnapping women and burying them alive, but cruelly leaving a glimmer of hope for the authorities by sending a clue about their location. Vickie is pulled into the investigation when her name is mentioned in one of the notes. And as a historian, she has the knowledge to help uncover the graves the killer known as the Undertaker is choosing. But she also has another, unique lead: the spirit of one of the victims is appearing to her in dreams.

Special Agent Griffin Price is on the case for the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's special unit for paranormal investigators. He feels particularly protective of Vickie, since their shared past is connected to the threat that currently surrounds them. With the killer accelerating his plans, time is running out for more victims hidden around the city. Vickie is becoming closer with Griffin, but she's getting too close to the danger, and every breath could be her last.

I took a break from this series for a couple of years because I really didn't enjoy the book that came before this one.  However, I have been trying to read some of my older TBR books and this came up on the list.  I'm glad I gave this series another chance.  Dying Breath is the 21st book in the Krewe of Hunters series.  I feel like it could definitely be read as a stand alone.  Looking ahead, it also looks like this couple, Vickie and Griffin, feature prominently in the next two books as well.  That kind of breaks the pattern of the series because usually it's a different couple every time.

I really liked this story.  As a paranormal mystery, it actually was heavier on the mystery part and lighter on the paranormal part.  Don't get me wrong, there are still ghosts, but it felt more like a good serial killer mystery.  It was a refreshing change.  Vickie and Griffin's relationship made a lot of sense.  They had a bit of a history.  I loved them together and can't wait to read the next two books.    The one thing I did miss in this book was the appearance of other team members.  The only one who shows up here is Jackson Crowe.

As a whole, I have enjoyed the Krewe of Huinter series.  There have been a couple of books that I didn't love, but I think you will find that with any long running series.  Overall, I do recommend this one as well as the series.  

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher:Putnam Juvenile
Date of publication: September 2011

Jack the Ripper is back, and he's coming for Rory next....
Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.
I'm a little late to the party when it comes to this early series by Maureen Johnson.  Autumn reviewed this back in 2011.  Enough time has passed that I think it's safe to out in my two cents.  I ended up really enjoying this book and want to finish out the series.  Rory is an American high school student who goes to a boarding school in London.  Someone begins murdering people in the area and the murders are reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. 

As I said, I really liked the book.  The characters were interesting. I really liked Rory and her attempts to fit into her new environment.  I thought the twist on the "I see dead people" trope was pretty cool.  I wasn't expecting a paranormal element to the book, so it was a nice surprise. 

I have seen reviews that compare this series to her later Truly Devious series.  I didn't really find any similarities other than they take place at a boarding school.  So, don't feel like you are going to get more of the same if you are hesitant to pick this one up.   I, for one, had a fun time reading it and I highly recommend it.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Spotlight: Excerpt of One Dark Wish by Sharon Wray

Author: Sharon Wray
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 9/24/2019

Purchase Links:

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch-perfect pacing. Fabulous!” —ALLISON BRENNAN, New York Times bestselling author

Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other—and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah—or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…


“The man bowed.” Sarah Munro hiked her straw bag higher on her shoulder and followed the officer down the Savannah Police Department’s hallway. He held a cell phone to his ear, and she yanked his arm. “And a woman died tonight.” 
                He nodded, but his deep frown, as well as his dismissive wave, told her he wasn’t too concerned about the murder. Or the fact that Sarah had found the body in the Savannah Preservation Office’s courtyard fountain. 
                Was a death in the historic district so commonplace that it didn’t warrant its own investigator? Frustrated, she followed him around the corner toward the second-floor landing when her cell phone buzzed. A text from her father. Where are you? 
                She halted near the stairs, her fingers hovering over the phone’s keyboard. She debated how much to tell him. Then again, he probably already knew. 
                She texted, I’ll be home soon. 
                Someone bumped her as they passed, and she moved closer to the vending machine that carried only rows of Coke cans. Her officer stood nearby, talking on the phone, while federal, state, and local LEOs congregated in groups around the open area. Her father had told her that the city had numerous task forces, all trying to combat the rising crime rate. She and her dad had returned to Savannah nine months ago, and in that short time, they’d both noticed the uptick in drug use and violence. 
                It’s dark. I’ll come get you, her father texted back. 
                No. Not only did she not want her father worrying about her, he wasn’t supposed to drive. I’m leaving soon. Drink your tea. 
            I hate that tea. It tastes like sh*t. 
            Despite the ache in her chest, she smiled. Yes, he hated the tea. Yet it was the only thing that helped with his recurring seizures. And if he thought that being even more cranky than usual meant she’d ease up on the herbal leaves, he was wrong. I don’t care. Drink it. 
            She glanced at her officer—who was still on his phone—and debated leaving. If the cops wanted her statement, they knew where she worked. The same place where a woman had been murdered. “I’m leaving, Officer. But I know what I saw.” 
He ignored her, and she turned toward the stairs. 
            “Sarah?” A male voice cut through the station’s din, ringing phones, and metal chairs scraping along seventy-year-old linoleum. 
            She blinked one man into focus. Tall, broad shoulders, long blond hair tied at the base of his neck, angular face, and deep, ocean-green eyes. The kind a girl could lose herself in. “Nate?” 
            Was that her breathy voice? She swallowed, and a warm flush rose from her neck to her cheeks. She wasn’t sure why, but since meeting Nate Walker yesterday, she’d felt shaky and incoherent and…restless. 
            Does he know what I did to his map? 
            “I heard what happened.” He touched her arm before shoving both hands in the front pockets of his jeans. His biker jacket stretched across his shoulders, the black leather rustling with the movement. “Are you okay?” 
            “I wasn’t hurt.” She stared at the red-and-white vending machine and blinked. Daughters of cops didn’t cry. They endured. “This is my fault, Nate. I’d asked my assistant to do some research for me. I had no idea she was staying late.” 
            “This isn’t your fault.” He leaned in closer, the scar on his cheek appearing deeper and more ragged. His pine-scented aftershave tickled her nose. “I’m sorry.” 
            She wiped her palms on her chiffon skirt, relieved he didn’t seem to realize she’d secretly photographed the seventeenth-century map he’d brought to the preservation office for her to look at. The map included the only layout she’d ever seen of the remote, colonial-era Cemetery of Lost Children on the Isle of Grace. Even though the property’s owner—and Nate himself—had both told her to stay away, she was determined to visit as soon as possible. 
                She was a terrible person. “My dad was a police chief in Boston, so unfortunately I’m used to things like this. I’d just hoped Savannah was safer.” 
                “Nate?” A man built like a wrestler with long, black, braided hair yelled from the lobby on the first floor. “We gotta go, man.” 
                Nate ignored him and kept his attention on her mouth. “I couldn’t help but overhear. What did you see?” 
                She licked her lips. “You’d never believe me.” She wasn’t sure she believed it herself. Loud voices downstairs distracted her. Two military policemen in full uniform and carrying weapons had entered the station. “That’s odd. What do you think they want?” 
                Nate took her hand and led her into a nearby alcove. “What did you see?” 
                She pressed her hands against his chest. His heart pounded, and he radiated heat like an engine revving. “What are you doing?” 
                “Nate?” The man with the braid ran up the stairs. “Time to go. Now.” 
                “Please, Sarah. Tell me. 
                The MPs were right behind Nate’s buddy. 
                “In the shadows, I saw a man bow.” 
                She heard Nate’s sharp inhale right before he kissed her, his gentle hands on her shoulders at odds with his demanding lips. His warmth wrapped her in an erotic haze and he tasted like mint and summer breezes. 
                Had she moaned? Good golly Moses. 
                “Excuse me, ma’am.” 
            Nate broke off the kiss because the man with the braid had taken his arm and dragged him down the hallway to the emergency exit, the MPs on their heels. Chills scurried along her arms, and she wrapped her sweater around herself. She touched her swollen lips, still stunned. Still tasting his peppermint mouthwash. Still inhaling his scent that reminded her of freshly cut grass and pine trees. 
            Nate glanced at her before he hit the metal exit and disappeared. The door slammed shut with a loud reverb. Apparently, he’d locked it as well. When the MPs couldn’t force it open, they turned and ran past her, one of them brushing her skirt as they headed toward the stairs. 
            What do MPs want with Nate Walker? 
            “Miss Munro?” The officer who’d been ignoring her touched her elbow. “I’m ready for your statement.” 
            She pulled away, her attention on the MPs racing out the front doors. She was a woman who sought the truth in both her professional and personal life. But tonight’s revelation was more than a cheap magazine tell-all. It was an earth-shattering event that stripped away the delusions she’d been carrying her entire adult life. One delusion in particular: when Nate’s lips had touched hers, she discovered she’d never truly understood what it meant to be kissed. 
            She nodded. She’d give her statement. Then go home to her father. But as she followed the officer into an interrogation room, she couldn’t help but wonder if she’d ever see Nate again. No. If she was being honest with herself, which she always tried to be, she wondered if she’d ever kiss Nate again. 

Excerpted from One Dark Wish by Sharon Wray. © 2019 by Sharon Wray. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the author:

Sharon Wray is a librarian/archivist who studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes stories of adventure, suspense, and love. She’s a three-time Daphne du Maurier® winner and an eight-time RWA Golden Heart® Finalist. Visit her online at Sharon lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, teenage twins, and Donut the Family Dog.

Author Website:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Review: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Author: Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Doubleday Children’s Books
Publication Date: August 29th 2013

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

The Screaming Staircase is the first the Lockwood & Co. Series/  It's a middle grade paranormal mystery that takes place in kind of a dystopian future.  Ghosts are very real and have become a real danger to England.  Children and teens can see and sense them much easier than adults.  Agencies have been formed and employ  kids to get rid of the ghosts.  Lockwood & Co. is a very small company and is run by Anthony Lockwood.  Lucy Carlyle is their newest agent.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  I don't usually read a lot of middle grade books, so I wasn't sure if I would like it.  Having said that, I know I would have loved it in middle school as well. 

 The story was fast paced, action packed and really spooky.  Exactly the right combination for a fun read.  The characters were interesting and I genuinely felt invested in their adventure..  Lucy, Lockwood and George made a great team.   The way Lockwood  was so focused at times really reminded me of  a young Sherlock Holmes character.   The world building was wonderful.  I felt like I was able to really immerse myself in this paranormal, alternate world.  I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the experience. I also got the sense that there is a lot more to learn about what is really going on and hopefully, there will be more reveals in the future.   If you have been putting off trying this series out (like I have), I do recommend moving it up on your TBR.  There are four more books in the series, so I have some catching up to do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Spotlight: Smoke in Her Eyes by Anna Belfrage

Author: Anna Belfrage
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd 
Oublication Date: March 15, 2019

Six months ago, Helle Madsen would have described herself as normal. Now she no longer knows if that terms applies, not after her entire life has been turned upside down by the reappearance of not one, but two, men from her very, very distant past.

Helle Madsen never believed in mumbo-jumbo stuff like reincarnation—until she came face to face with Jason Morris, a man who purportedly had spent fifty lives looking for her. Coping with being reunited with the lover from her ancient past was one thing. Having Sam Woolf, her vindictive nemesis from that same ancient past join the party was a bit too much. Suddenly, Helle finds herself the reluctant heroine of a far-flung, time-transcending epic story, one in which pain and loss seem to play a very big part.

This time round, Jason and Helle are determined to make it to the happily ever after. Unfortunately, Sam Woolf will stop at nothing to crush them. That ride into the golden sunset seems awfully far away at times…

Purchase Links

About Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does not exist, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours. Plus she always finds the time to try out new recipes, chase down obscure rose bushes and initiate a home renovation scheme or two.
Her most recent release, A Torch in His Heart, is a step out of her comfort zone. Having previously published historical fiction & historical romance, with this first book about Jason and Helle Anna offers a dark and titillating contemporary romance, complete with a time-slip angle and hot & steamy scenes.

Connect with Anna

Instagram tour:
Monday, September 9th: @bookclubwithbite
Monday, September 9th: @booksandchinooks
Tuesday, September 10th: @thereadingchemist
Wednesday, September 11th: @a_bookish_dream
Thursday, September 12th: @mixed_matched_socks
Thursday, September 12th: @book_hangover88
Saturday, September 14th: @novelgrounds
Sunday, September 15th: @lovelyreadergirl
Monday, September 16th: @nsiabblog
Wednesday, September 18th: @sarahs_reads

Review tour:
Monday, September 16th: What is That Book About – author guest post
Tuesday, September 17th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, September 18th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, September 20th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Monday, September 23rd: Stranded in Chaos
Wednesday, September 25th: @livingmybestbooklife
Thursday, September 26th: @barr_bookworms
Tuesday, October 1st: @myreadingchronicles
Thursday, October 3rd: @sarahandherbookshelves
Monday, October 7th: @escape_in_a_book
Wednesday, October 9th: Book Fidelity
Thursday, October 10th: Treestand Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Review: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
Date of publication: September 2019

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World's Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they've heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him---and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device---is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end---together and in love---or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

Capturing the Devil is the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.  I have to say that I am really sorry to see this series end.  I have enjoyed this journey with Audrey Rose and Thomas immensely.  This final installment was everything I would want in a series finale.  I'm not going to talk plot too much.  I don't want to spoil any of the previous three books.  In fact, I would urge anyone coming in at this stage to go back and read the first three books.  If not, you will be spoiled for the series by starting here.  It will be worth your time, I promise.

Having said that, this book takes place right after the events of the third book, Escaping from Houdini.  The entire series comes full circle as the duo hunts for a serial killer who is abducting women in Chicago.  For the reader, it may be obvious who the killer is, but is it really that obvious?  You'll have to read to find out.  Along with the mystery, the romance finally comes to a very satisfying and sigh worthy conclusion.   There is a little angst, but it only strengthened their relationship.  As I said, these are characters that I am sad to see go.  I can't recommend this series enough.  I look forward to seeing what this author has in store for us next.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

Author: Jen Turano

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers 
Publication Date: September 3, 2019

To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy’s grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

 Diamond in the Rough is a really funny and very sweet romance.  Reginald is hired to teach Poppy proper etiquette in the hopes that she will becoming a proper lady ready for New York society.  He quickly finds out he has his work cut out for him.  I absolutely adored  this book.  From the start, I loved Poppy.  She was a breath of fresh air.  I loved her ability to laugh at herself and how she threw her whole being into whatever she did.  The banter between Reginald and Poppy was a lot of fun.  Their journey to love was a joy to watch.

Along with Poppy and Reginald's romance, the rest of the story is full of great characters.  Murray was my favorite.  I loved the friendship that developed between him and Poppy.  I would have loved to see his point of view in the wooing of his love interest.  The book deals with forgiveness, family and being true to yourself. 

I didn't read the book that came before this one, but that was OK  It worked very well as a stand alone.  I do want to go back and read Flights of Fancy.  I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves clean historical romances.  I would be surprised if you weren't left smiling like I was in the end.

Purchase Links

About Jen Turano

Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at

Connect with Jen

Instagram tour:
Monday, September 9th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, September 10th: @theshybooks
Wednesday, September 11th: @southernbellereading
Thursday, September 12th: @all.the.lovely.pages
Friday, September 13th: @thereadingchemist
Saturday, September 14th: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Sunday, September 15th: @LisaBReads

Review tour:

Monday, September 16th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, September 17th: What is That Book About – excerpt
Thursday, September 19th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, September 19th: Lori’s Reading Corner – excerpt
Friday, September 20th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, September 23rd: Write Read Life
Wednesday, September 25th: Laura’s Reviews
Friday, September 27th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, September 30th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Wednesday, October 2nd: Empowermoms
Friday, October 4th: Blooming with Books
Monday, October 7th: Faery Tales are Real
Wednesday, October 9th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of the Lion Heart by Carrie Aarons

Author: Carrie Aarons
Date of publication: September 2019

He’s supposed to be the ruler of this kingdom.
The prince poised to take his rightful place on the pitch.
Instead, he plays the jester, shunning his legacy.
Only I am privy to his lion heart.

Kingston Phillips is the heir to England’s football dynasty. The offspring of two of the world’s greatest players, the expectations set on his shoulders could crush the universe. But the golden-haired Adonis chooses to live his life as a game; a series of nightclubs, brawls, pranks and different kit chasers parading through his sheets.

I’m the last woman he should chase, and I’ve told him so. My cheeky mouth and icy demeanor guard the secret no one can learn. But when the Casanova I’ve been avoiding becomes the bloke next door, he quickly begins to thaw the frost around my heart. Kingston shows me the ferocious, loyal, protective side of himself that no one else gets to witness.

I begin to realize that he’s just as damaged as I am.
That as much as I try to deny it, we’re the same.
And ... that might just be our undoing.

One-click The Lion Heart now! 

The Lion Heart is the second book in the Rogue Academy series.  It definitely can be read as a stand alone.  This book focuses on Kingston and Poppy.  It's an enemies to lovers story and one that I did end up enjoying..  I loved Poppy.  The PTSD from her trauma came across as heartbreaking and realistic.  Kingston, however, really had to grow on me.  I didn't love him in the first half of the book.  Thankfully, he redeemed himself in the second half of the book.  I felt like he had a lot of growth by the end of the book.  I loved how he dealt with Poppy once he knew her secret.  Ultimately, Poppy and Kingston are two very broken people who end up healing through love. I do recommend picking this one up.

Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as The Tenth Girl and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the love stories of her imagination, and the athleisure dress code, much better.

When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and Lab/Great Dane rescue.

Author Links

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review: Five Midnights by Ann Davila Cardinal

Author: Ann Davila Cardinal
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 2019

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shadows to see what's lurking there—murderer, or monster?

Five Midnights is a YA horror that deals with the boogeyman legend of El Cucuy.  Lupe is visiting her aunt and uncle for the summer.  Someone is murdering boys on their eighteenth birthday.  Lupe and Javier must figure it out before he is next.  

As a YA horror, I enjoyed the book.  I found the story creepy and I liked the way the legend played into the murders.  There was also a great twist that surprised me.  I also like most of the characters.  I genuinely cared about them and what happened to them. With one exception...

I really disliked Lupe.  Even in the end, Lupe wasn't any different. She aregued about everything. Look, if you are going to make a female character be a feminist, please don't make her a major bitch.  Lupe was such a jerk to almost every male in this book, even her uncle.  Every time, she blames feminism.  There is a difference between wanting to be independent and just being an asshole.  I also found it interesting that everyone kept making a big deal about Lupe being only half Puerto Rican.  It got old.

I would recommend this one for the Horror aspect alone.  If you can ignore Lupe's behavior and are a fan of YA horror, then give this one a shot.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Blog Tour: Review of The Fixer Upper by Maggie Mae Gallagher

Author: Maggie Mae Gallagher
Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: September 6th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break. 

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.
Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed.

The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser? 

The Fixer Upper is the first book in the Echo Springs Series.  This is Nate and Abby's story.  Abby inherits her great aunt's house.  She moves there to fix it up to sell and to finish her dissertation.  Nate it the town sheriff and her next door neighbor.  This is a pretty cute romance.  Nate and Abby were good together. Although, I kind of felt like they needed better communication in the beginning.  It might have saved them both a lot of angst later in the story.   I was rooting for them to get a HEA.

I liked all of the side characters, as well as the town.  They are definitely characters I would love to read more about.  I also enjoyed the mystery part.  My favorite part of the book was the journal entries from Old Man Turner.  Some of the advice that Nate decides to use with Abby was pretty comical and disastrous.  Daisies, anyone?  My only issue with the book was the amount of inner dialogue.  There was too much, especially in the middle of a conversation.  I'm not a fan of that as it breaks up the flow for me. 

I do recommend this one.  I look forward to more adventures in Echo Springs.



Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

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