Friday, January 31, 2020

Novella Musings

The Test: I read this a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to decide what to think.  Maybe if it had been longer, I would have enjoyed it more.  But the longer I think about it, I am sure I would have DNF'd it.  I'm  sure the author was trying to convey a commentary on immigration  and the hoops immigrants have to go through  I hated the ending and wouldn't recommend this one. It just wasn't for me.

The Earl's Christmas Pearl:  This was a really sweet historical romance that I actually read around Christmas time.  I loved Pearl and Own together.  It was a fast love story, but one worth reading.  Pearl and Owen are an easy couple to fall in love with.

13 Hours:  This had the potential to be a great short story. I love stories about people locked in a room with no idea why they are there.  I was buying into it right up until the ending. That ruined  the entire story for me.  It was dumb and I was really happy I hadn't spent hours on this book.  Skip it.

Sh*tshow:  When I finished this one, I felt very indifferent about it.  It wasn't great and it wasn't horrible.  It was OK.  I was less interested in the political stuff than I was the other storyline about the main character and his wife.  The politics wasn't over the top or off-putting.  I was expecting it to be a lot worse.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

January DNF's

Love Hate Thing: I only got a few chapters into this book before I stopped reading.  The main character, Nandy, was over-the-top spoiled.  I also thought it was kind of weird that the reason Trice was moved to a richer neighborhood was to get away from drugs and violence.  Yet, one of the first places we see Nandy is at a party with her rich, UNDERAGE friends and drugs and alcohol are in ample supply.  Nope, not for me.

Chestnut Man:  I made it about halfway before I gave up.  Even now, I can't really tell you what was going on in this book.  It was boring and too convoluted with too many characters.   I had high hopes, but it just didn't hold my interest.

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue:  I ended up DNFing this book because I couldn't stand the main heroine.  I highly disagreed with her justification of stealing from the rich to help the poor.  Stealing from anyone, rich or not, is still stealing.  She came from a privileged background and could have started her own charity to help the poor.  I wouldn't recommend this one.

Hooked:  I was really disappointed in this book because I enjoyed the first one.  I ended up DNFing it because, again, I hated the main heroine.  She was a social media influencer and it was really over the top. I just had no patience for her antics.  I'll probably read the next one though because I want to Melissa and Cary's story.

Pursuit:  I wasn't a fan of the writing style with this book.  It was very disjointed and I was really confused as to what was going on.  It was like the author just wrote a stream of consciousness and said, "Meh, good enough." 

Silk is for Seduction:  I found this book boring.  I didn't like any of the characters.  I also wasn't buying into the romance between the hero and heroine.  They were just too different.  The Duke was going to be marrying someone else and ends up seducing the woman who offered to make her wedding trousseau.  I just found that really off putting.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Interview - The Last Real Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

Today, we have a fun interview with Caitlin Crews, author of The Last Real Cowboy.  Enjoy the interview after my thoughts on the book!

Author:Caitlin Crews
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 2020

In Cold River, sometimes forbidden love is the sweetest of them all… 

Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home to Cold River during Amanda’s first attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother’s bad-boy best friend?

Brady’s plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year—and yet, here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend’s innocent little sister is making a menace of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady’s greatest temptation be his salvation?

My thoughts:

The Last Real Cowboy is the third book in the Cold River series.  This is Brady and Amanda's story.  If you are a fan of the best friend's little sister trope, then you'll love this one.  I always like when the characters have known each other since childhood.  It makes the slide into love that much more believable.  There is an age difference between these two, but it really didn't bother me that much.  I liked their relationship and was rooting for them.  I did also like seeing the changing relationship between Brady and his brothers over the past three books.  Their ability to finally move past the awfulness of their childhood was really great to see.   The one thing that did drive me crazy was Amanda's brothers.  Their over protectiveness was a bit over the top for me.  If I was Amanda, I would have moved further away than to downtown.  But then, I have little patience for that sort of thing.  Despite that one, I definitely recommend this addition to the series. 

Enjoy our interview with author Caitlin Crews!

Kari & Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Caitlin: I don’t remember starting to write, or deciding I should… my earliest memories are of writing books—though back then I also thought I should draw pictures in them, which was less successful. I guess I’m always been in love with stories and storytelling!

Kari & Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Caitlin:  Ideas are the fun part.  They come sneaking in when I least expect it—when I overhear a conversation and fill in the details to my own satisfaction, when I think what if, when I hear a song, visit a new place, read a great story I wish I could tell differently.  And I love stories about hope and redemption and love, so I love taking all those ideas and turning them into romances.

Kari & Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Caitlin:  I write a lot as both me and my other name, Megan Crane, and the best way to keep up with all my releases is to visit my website:

What’s exciting about The Last Real Cowboy is that while Brady’s story marks the end of the Everett brothers’ stories, his heroine, Amanda Kittredge, has four big brothers whose stories are coming. The first one will be out later this year!

Kari & Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Caitlin:  I will always love Anastasia Krupnik, who helped me survive elementary school.

Kari & Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Caitlin:  A wombat— because is there anything cuter on this earth???


USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Caitlin Crews has written over one hundred books, including Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Dare, and Cold River cowboys. She’s won fans with the romance, women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels she’s written as Megan Crane (including the futuristic, dystopian Viking romance Edge series). These days her focus is on contemporary romance in all its forms, from small town heat to international glamor, cowboys to bikers to military men and beyond. She’s taught creative writing classes in places like UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, gives assorted workshops on the writing process, and attempts to make use of the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with a husband who draws comics and animation storyboards, and their menagerie of ridiculous animals.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Must Love Forever by Leigh Lennon

Author: Leigh Lennon
Publication Date: January 2020

Handsome husband—check. 
Beautiful house—check. 
Wonderful life...I could never put a check next to this. 

Through it all, I longed for a different life. With a man I had called my best friend. A man who is not my husband. 

When the unspeakable happens and I’m left alone, its Mick who is there to pick me up. 

Not everything is meant to be. 

Watching the woman who owned my heart start a life with someone else - broke me to the core.
But time goes on and I try too. 

Until one phone call changes both our lives. 

She could have been taken from me forever. Instead, a tragic accident takes away the only man I thought ever made her happy. 

When she starts over again, in my city, in my home; sharing slivers of her story with me it's then that I learn not everything is as it appears. 

None of this matters though, when I’ve been given a second chance to prove we’re meant to be.

After all, 425 Madison is the perfect place to fall in love.
Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Must Love Forever is the second book in "Season two" of 425 Madison Avenue series.  It is also by the author who wrote Must Love Coffee from the first series.  Characters from that book who up here, but it holds up well as a stand alone.    I really enjoyed this one.  Mick has made it onto my book boyfriend list.  I loved his patience with Bianca as she worked through her issues with her horrible marriage.  They had great chemistry and I know it was due to their deep and long standing friendship.  I highly recommend this one.

Copyright @ Leigh Lennon 2020

I’m asleep, or at least I’m faking sleep very well when the door creaks open. Her footsteps move closer and closer, coming around the foot of the bed, pulling the covers back. The second she does, I roll over, bringing her in close to me. But tonight, I don’t care about the beast of my erection poking into her backside. Does she not know what she does to me?

We never speak in bed. We never speak of her sleeping with me. And I’m not sure if I should break our protocol to tell her how much I want her. It goes deeper—she’s shattered, and I don’t know how to fix her, but I desperately want to.

I come as close to the olive complexion of her back as I can get, and she doesn’t wiggle out of the touch of my erection. The little tease backs her ass closer into it, and it makes me inhale long and deep, exhaling on the back of her neck. She relaxes farther into me, and I can’t resist her, not for a second longer.

I pepper kisses onto her neck, as her hand snakes back over her hip to my cock. The second her fingers make contact with it, though it’s covered by my boxers, my kisses speed up, my own fingers dipping into her low cut tank top. The same whimper she emitted earlier has returned and I push her to her back, bracing myself over her. I should say something, ask her what she wants. When our eyes connect, and we can see each other by the moonlight streaming in, she takes her finger, covering my lips, telling me there will be no talking. With a nod of her head, it’s her way of telling me this is what she wants, and I lower my face to hers, taking control of her mouth.

Her tongue scrapes at my teeth, and she playfully bites the lower part of my lip. Oh, shit, this is sexy as hell. My hands are pushing me up, as to not squish her tiny body. In one fluid motion, I roll over, bringing her with me, her body resting on mine. She’s so light, she won’t hurt me. My arms are wrapped around her, but I can’t resist exploring her whole body. My hands come to rest on her ass when I sneak my fingers between her skin and skimpy shorts.

Squeezing her pert ass, causes my erection to continue to barrel into her body. Scooting to her side, still on me, she pulls my cock through my boxers. I emit another harsh departure of air, only to suck it in again when her hand wraps around my cock, stroking it from the base to the tip.

I intend on telling her what she’s doing is right—what this is with us is perfect, but I can’t. It’s not what we do, not in the confines of my bed.

Don’t Must Love Coffee by Leigh Lennon from the first season of 425 Madison Ave.

"This book was a total feel-good romance. Gwen and Leo hit it off right from the begging and I really loved how the story is not just about them, their kids, all three of them get a bit of a spotlight and help the story move forward. Even the judge was a great addition to the story." —Amazon Reviewer

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Amazon ➝

 About Leigh
Leigh Lennon is a mother, veteran and a wife of a cancer survivor. Originally with a degree in education, she started writing as an outlet that has led to a deep passion. She lugs her computer with her as she crafts her next story. One could say she loves pretty nails, big earrings, and spiky hair. She can be found drinking coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day.

Website ➝
Facebook ➝
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Amazon ➝
BookBub ➝

Monday, January 27, 2020

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Sinful Scot by Maddison Michaels

Author: Maddison Michaels
Publisher: Entangled
Publication Date; January 27, 2020

Constance Campbell, the Duchess of Kilmaine, once believed that all she needed in life was a duke. But everything unraveled when she realized her perfect husband was a perfect monster. Now broken beyond repair, she hides her misery behind a perfect Society mask...even from her childhood friend, Alec.

Dr. Alec McGuinness reluctantly finds himself back in Scotland, and checking up on the only woman to ever get under his skin, Connie. After she spurned him many years ago, he knows his humble life as a doctor could never be enough for her. But when the Duke of Kilmaine is murdered in cold blood, with Connie sleeping right next to him in bed, Alec knows he must protect Connie at all costs from those who would frame her for the duke’s murder.

Now on the run, Connie feels a freedom she only ever dreamed about before, and an unexpected attraction to the man who is keeping her safe. But even if they can win her freedom and clear her name, could she ever open her heart up to someone again?

Order Your Copy Today!

Exclusive Excerpt:

Taking a deep breath, she turned around, only to be caught in Alec’s penetrating gaze. She’d forgotten how handsome he was. A strange combination of rugged athleticism mixed with the air of a scholar. But there was also a steadiness to him, a gentle strength, that Connie felt drawn to. This was a man who would have no need to take out his anger on anyone weaker than he. She’d never met a more honorable or honest man.
She cringed with the thought of how badly she’d once treated him. Often ignoring him at assemblies and the like, simply because he hadn’t fawned over her like the other men had.
She’d been a fool.
“Sophie sent you, then?” was all Connie could think to say. She must sound like an imbecile.
“She asked me to check on you.” He paused, staring steadily at her. “So how are you, Lady Connie?”
He was still calling her by her maiden title, and there was something so familiar about him doing so, it reminded her of a time long ago. A time she wished she could escape back to.
Unable to withstand his close scrutiny, she strode over to the hearth and closed her eyes for a second, fighting the urge to cry again. She’d thought her tears from earlier were well and truly dried up.
It would be so easy to tell Alec what had been happening. He would believe her. Probably try to save her, too. But what could he do, when up against the powerful Duke of Kilmaine, whose word was law in these parts? And though she knew Alec could defend himself in a fight, Duncan never fought fairly. Her husband had enough servants and guards around the estate to ensure that Alec would be outnumbered.

No. She couldn’t risk getting him hurt. She’d never forgive herself if he did.

Filling her lungs with a hearty breath, she turned back to face him, and once again, she plastered a serene smile on her face. “Everything is fine. Absolutely fine, in fact.”
But Alec didn’t smile back. Instead he frowned. “Don’t lie to me, Connie.” He strode across to her, until she found herself staring at the crisp white cravat covering his neck.
She gasped softly as his hand gently tilted her chin upward, until her eyes met his. Warring with the frisson of fear from having a man touch her was a giddy sensation fluttering in her stomach. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone had touched her with such tenderness. If ever, actually.
“What’s going on? And I’ll have the truth this time, please.” Alec’s voice was firm, but she could hear the concern in it. It had been so long since she’d felt that anyone cared.
“As I said before, everything is fine, Doctor McGuiness.” She carefully reached up and very deliberately pushed his hand away from under her chin. “And you take too many liberties touching me and calling me by my first name. I am a duchess now. Or have you forgotten?” Perhaps if she sounded condescending, as she’d often done in the past with him, he’d believe her, and go.
“Aye. I’m well aware of that fact.” He stepped back and bowed stiffly. “Forgive me, your grace.”
There was contempt in his voice, and Connie felt her heart sink. He would forever remember her as being a coldhearted shrew, she was sure of that. And though a part of her hated knowing he would, at least he’d be safe.
“You can tell Sophie that all is well.” She was glad her voice sounded steady, when inside she felt like she was shattering into tiny pieces. “Now if you will excuse me, I have duties to attend to.” She inclined her head at him before sweeping past him toward the door.

She extended her hand toward the doorknob when, from behind her, Alec reached over her shoulder and pressed his palm against the wood. Preventing her from opening it and leaving.
“You’re not going anywhere, duchess. At least not until you tell me what the devil is going on.”

About Maddison Michaels:

Indoctrinated into a world of dashing rogues and feisty heroines when she was a teenager, Maddison Michaels is a bestselling, award-winning Australian romance author, who loves to write sexy history with a dash of mystery! Her debut novel, THE DEVILISH DUKE, won the 2019 RWA Australia Historical Romance Book of the year. Maddison lives in Sydney with her gorgeous hubby and daughter, and always starts her day with a cup (or two) of liquid gold… coffee (just quietly, she’s addicted to the stuff)!

Connect with Maddison:

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Spotlight: Excerpt of Whiteout by Adriana Anders

Author: Adriana Anders
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 1/28/2020

With a storm coming and a killer on the loose, every step could be their last...

Angel Smith is finally ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her last day, the remote research station she's been calling home is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and irritatingly gorgeous glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives...only to realize that in a place this remote, there's nowhere left to run.

Isolated with no power, no way to contact the outside world, and a madman on their heels, Angel and Ford must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But what starts as a partnership born of necessity quickly turns into an urgent connection that burns bright and hot. They both know there's little chance of making it out alive, and yet they are determined to weather the coming storm—no matter the cost.

Purchase Links:
Amazon  B&N  Apple  Kobo  IndieBound  BAM 

They finished dinner, cleaned up, and went about getting ready for bed.
“Better take care of those feet,” he said.
A low sound of protest emerged from inside the sleeping bag, where Angel had already taken up residence. “Can it wait till the morning?”
“Frostbite’s not something to mess with. Let’s see them.” He didn’t intend to sound quite so bossy.
“I’ll do it.” Her words were slurred.
“You can barely move.” He held on to the kit, obstinate—and something else. Responsible, maybe. “I saw you limping out there. Your knee’s bugging you. Don’t deny it.”
She threw him a glare, but surprised him by complying.
He took hold of one slender foot and stripped it gently but quickly, since even in shelter, the risk of frostbite was real. It was light in his palm and mostly warm enough to alleviate his worry, though her toes were chilly. He touched each one. “Any numbness?”
She shook her head.
With great care, he peeled the bandages off, cleaned her skin, and reapplied fresh ones where needed, slipping the sock back on before starting the whole process with the other foot.
He couldn’t say exactly when it occurred to him that he held her naked foot in his hand, but once the realization popped into his head, it wouldn’t go away. Hung around like an itch he couldn’t get to.
A foot, for God’s sake. Ridiculous.
But the foot didn’t feel ridiculous right now. He gently squeezed it and expelled a harsh breath.
It felt…improper. Especially in comparison with the rest of her fully clothed body. And secret, somehow. He knew things about her now. He knew her second toe was longer than the big one, that her arches were high and elegant, her skin already roughened from two days of marching in the freezing desert air. He knew she’d put on a bright red nail polish at some point. It’d worn mostly off, but it made her toes look like candy. And he’d never craved sugar so badly.
The best course of action, now that she was all bandaged up, was to give her back her foot.
But he couldn’t.
Instead, he ran his thumb along the central curve, pressed forward beneath her toes, then down to her heel. The sounds she made were—he swallowed—obscene. A shocked gasp that urged him to look her way. He didn’t, though, because if their eyes met, he might have to stop.
And that was the last thing he wanted to do.
Another rub, deeper this time, bearing down on aching muscles. But it didn’t sound like pain when she moaned, low and guttural, and though he knew better, he let his eyes slide up her body to her face.
He froze. He’d never seen anything hotter—not on-screen or in the throes of sex or in his darkest fantasy.
Mouth open, eyes closed, cheeks flushed, everything about her screamed pleasure. Just to be sure, he stroked back and pressed again, wanting—no, needing—to know which notes this spot would play on her ever-changing face.
And she didn’t disappoint. Every feature cringed, slowly, sensually, in a magnified expression of pleasure-pain. Sweeping up to caress her toes now was sheer torture, because he was hard—shocking in this cold—and her reactions, though subtle, were more intimately real than any peepshow.
He could’ve gone on forever, rubbing, rapt, eyes glued to her face as she showed him just how good he made her feel, picturing how amazing she’d look if he were kissing her, or—
Her eyes popped open, ensnaring his in their velvet trap.
Everything went quiet, stilling as if the storm had taken a breath. Or maybe it was him going a little deaf, like when his ears needed popping in a plane. Except he could hear the things happening in this tent. Could feel and smell with overwhelming precision every fine detail blown up under a microscope.
They shared a couple hard inhale-exhales, the tension between them as palpable as the frigid temperature.
The press of his fingers lessened, his caresses slowed, until he did nothing but grasp her foot while she just as steadily held his gaze.
“That feels amazing,” she said in a bedroom whisper that he could feel deep in his bones, though it couldn’t possibly be loud enough to hear.
Her mouth closed and his attention flicked down, watching her swallow with something awfully close to hunger before sliding back up to find her eyes boring into him.

Excerpted from Whiteout by Adriana Anders. © 2020 by Andriana Anders. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the author:
Adriana Anders is the award-winning author of the Blank Canvas series. Under Her Skin, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 and winner of two 2018 Holt Medallions, has been featured in Bustle, USA Today Happy Ever After, and Book Riot. Today, she resides with her tall French husband and two small children in France, where she writes the gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

2 in 1 Review: A True Cowboy Christmas & Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: October 2018

Gray Everett has a heart of gold but that doesn't mean he believes in the magic of Christmas. He's got plenty else to worry about this holiday season, what with keeping his cattle ranch in the family and out of the hands of hungry real-estate investors looking to make a down-and-dirty deal. That, plus being a parent to his young and motherless daughter, equals a man who will not rest until he achieves his mission. Now, all Gray needs is the help of his lifelong neighbor. . .who happens to have grown into a lovely, spirited woman.

For Abby Douglas, the chance to join forces with Gray is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. Much as the down-to-earth farmer's daughter has tried to deny it, Abby's been in love with stern, smoking-hot Gray her whole life. So when Gray proposes a marriage of convenience as a way to combine land--and work together toward a common cause—Abby can't refuse. But how can she convince Gray that sometimes life offers a man a second chance for a reason. . .and that their growing trust and mutual passion may be leading to true and lasting love?

A True Cowboy Christmas is the first book in the Cold River Ranch series.  It's a sweet marriage of convenience story that will warm your heart.  This is Gray and Abby's story.  Throughout the story, I kept thinking, "You poor clueless  man" about Gray.  You can't help but love his clueless heart though. It's clear his intentions are pure, if misguided.  I was rooting for Abby to help him see that he could love her and have a happy and real marriage, not just a practical one.  Both Abby and Gray had the most horrible parents on planet earth, it's no wonder they had issues.  I definitely recommend this one.

Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: July 2019

Ty Everett ran off to the rodeo when he turned eighteen and has been riding bulls ever since…until his last fall causes partial amnesia and he must return to Cold River Ranch to figure out what comes next. But how can he pick his next move when he can’t remember how he got here in the first place—much less the beautiful woman who appears at the ranch, claims she knows him, and warms his cold heart for the first time since he woke up in the hospital?

Rodeo Queen Hannah Monroe gave up her crown for Ty Everett, and her innocence. What she wants from Ty now is a divorce. But Ty can’t remember her—or their secret wedding, or even the son she never meant to hide from him—and Hannah is torn. How can she leave the man she can’t forget and still loves despite herself? And even if she’s willing to start over, what will happen when the truth comes out?

Of the two books, this was my least favorite.  I was disappointed that, again, we have a character with bad parents.  Well, Hannah's mother wasn't that bad, but she wasn't exactly a role model for teaching her daughter to trust anyone. However, her father was not in the picture either.  This one is Ty and Hananh's story.  I wasn't a fan of the amnesia trope here.  I predicted what would happen in the end and found my eyes rolling a bit. I've never been a fan of the hidden baby trope either.  I also thought that the writing was a bit repetitive.  I kind of got tired of being reminded how crappy of a father Amos was to Ty and his brothers.  There were a few other examples of this as well.  It's not a bad addition to the story, it was just OK for me.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley
Date of publication: December 2019

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.
That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.
Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.
It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

A Madness of Sunshine was a random pick from my library.  I really didn't know much about the book going into it.  I wish I could say that I loved the mystery, but it ended up just being an OK read for me. I'll admit to being a bit bored at times while listening to the audiobook.  I almost DNF'd the book about halfway. But it did pick up a bit and I was intrigued enough to see the solution.

For me the biggest weakness of the story was the amount of characters.  I had a hard time keep everyone straight as well as how they all related to each other.  That is also why I wasn't able to figure out the solution.  There were too many people with a motive.  That resulted in a few red herrings   The story mainly follows two main characters, Anahera  and Will.  Anahera has moved back to her childhood home at the time a young woman goes missing.  Will is the police detective in charge of the case.  There is a little romance between the two, but I think the story would have been fine without it. I didn't find that it added much to the story.  

I think fans of this author will enjoy the book.  It is definitely a slow burn mystery.  If you can make it to the halfway point, the ending is worth the journey.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review: One of Us is Next by Karen McManus

Author: Karen McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2020

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it's not an app, though—it's a game.

Truth or Dare.

 the first target. If you choose not to play, it's a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it's that they can't count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon's gone, but someone's determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there's a whole new set of rules.

One of Us is Next is the sequel to One of Us is Lying.  I loved that book and was hoping this one would live up to it.  I'll start by saying that if you have not read One of Us is Lying, then do not read this book first.  It will spoil the first book for you.  It can be read as a stand alone, however, the solution to the first book is spoiled early on in this one.  I found this one  just as enjoyable as the first one.

This book follows a new cast of characters, however, some familiar faces make appearances.  As in the first book, we get the points of view from each character without going over previous territory.  I liked that because it kept the story flowing smoothly. The characters were  interesting and I felt invested in them and what would happen to them  I don't want to really talk about the plot too much because I don't want to risk giving away any key secrets.  I love this author and how well she builds suspense. I had an idea of what was going on, but my theory was way off base. I didn't call the ending!  I highly recommend this one.    Just remember..always take the dare! 

Cover Reveal: All Geek to Me by Allie York

Join us in this super nerdy cover reveal of Allie York’s upcoming release, ALL GEEK TO ME. Welcome to Words for Nerds, the best comic book shop in the south, an upcoming must-read series. Scroll for a look at the cover and don’t forget to add this single dad romance to your Goodreads shelf!

Release Date: February 13, 2020
Publisher: self-published
Series: Words for Nerds #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

I, Noralee Reynolds, lead the ultimate nerd life. I own a comic shop, have a great group of geeky friends to work with and wear a different cosplay every day. Since inheriting the family business I’ve had no time for a personal life of my own. Even if hosting a speed dating event makes me wish otherwise.

I, Wyatt Collins, lead a hectic life. As a single dad, I've only got time for two things - raising my son and being a cop. I wasn't looking to cuff myself to anyone. Then I crossed paths with a nerdy comic shop owner who made me think twice.

Things are great until a little self-doubt has Noralee wanting to run away.

Can Wyatt convince her that he can be her real-life superhero?

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About the author
Allie is a mom, wife, and dog groomer by day. At night she is posted at her laptop writing or reading in a cozy corner. She has a soft spot for gooey romance,  coffee, and anything cute and furry

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery

Author: Susan Mallery
Hardcover: 400 Pages
Publisher: MIRA; 
Publication Date: Original edition (February 11, 2020)

From the New York Times bestselling author of California Girls comes an all new original Blackberry Island novel told with Susan Mallery’s trademark humor and charm. Sisters by Choice is a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through.
Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

Enjoy this excerpt:

The distance between Valencia, California, and Blackberry Island, Washington, was about 1,130 miles, give or take, and Sophie could make the drive in two days.
She filled her car with clothes, her laptop, two boxes of re­cords she would need as she continued to deal with the after­math of the fire, along with a large tote bag overflowing with pictures, blankets, a pet bed and a few treasured catnip mice and toys. The movers would pack up everything else and deliver it in a week or so. She’d sold her condo furnished, so she would only have to deal with twenty or thirty boxes of personal things. In the meantime, she would get by with what she had. It was, in fact, her new mantra.
Temporarily shutting down CK Industries had been unexpect­edly easy. She’d hired an order fulfillment company to manage customer notification. Those who wanted to wait for replace­ment orders could do so, those who wanted their money back received a prompt refund. She’d offered to move key personnel with her to Blackberry Island and had received exactly zero tak­ers. Still too numb to be hurt by that, she’d written letters of rec­ommendation and offered generous severance packages, all the while prepaying four months of health insurance for everyone.
Her only friends in the area had been work-related and with no more work, they’d quickly faded away. In the end, there’d been no one to see her off, so several weeks after the fire, at seven on Friday morning, she fought her way to the freeway, then merged onto I5 north.
Around ten, Kristine called.
“Where are you?” her cousin asked.
“North of the Grapevine.”
“You should have let me fly down and drive up with you.”
“I’ll be fine. You have eight kids to deal with. They would die without you.”
Kristine laughed. “It’s three kids.”
“When I visit, it feels like more.”
“That’s because they’re loud.” Her humor faded. “You okay?”
“Never better.” Especially if she didn’t count her broken heart and ragged spirit.
“You’re lying.”
“I am, but that’s okay.”
Kristine sighed. “I’m glad you’re coming home. I’m worried about you.”
“I’ll be fine.”
“I think the warehouse is still for lease. I want you to see it the second you get here. This is Blackberry Island. It’s not as if we have more than one warehouse. If you don’t grab this one, you’re going to have to have your offices on the mainland, and driving there every day would be a drag.”
Sophie felt her sense of dazed sadness ease a little. “Already done.”
“I signed the lease last week.”
“Seriously?” Kristine’s voice was a shriek. “But you haven’t seen it.”
“I know, but you said it was great. Besides, you’re right. It’s not as if there are six warehouses to choose from.”
“I said it was available, but I don’t know what you need. So­phie, you signed a lease? What if you hate it?”
“Then I’ll be mad at you.” She smiled. “It’s fine. I’ll make it work. Really. Right now I just want to be home.”
“You leased a warehouse you’ve never seen. Sheesh. Next you’re going to tell me you rented a house, sight unseen.”
“Technically, I saw pictures online.”
“It’s just for a few months, while I figure things out.”
“That’s insane,” Kristine told her. “I will never understand you. Okay, focus on your driving. I can’t wait for you to get here tomorrow. The boys are very excited to see you.”
“I’m excited to see them. You have six, right?”
“Love you.”
“Love you, too.”

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About Susan Mallery

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at

Connect with Susan

Excerpt tour:
Monday, January 20th: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, January 21st: Sincerely Karen Jo
Wednesday, January 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, January 23rd: Novel Gossip
Friday, January 24th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, January 27th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, January 28th: Tar Heel Reader
Wednesday, January 29th: Living My Best Book Life
Thursday, January 30th: Jathan & Heather
Friday, January 31st: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Monday, February 3rd: Into the Hall of Books
Tuesday, February 4th: Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, February 5th: Books & Spoons
Thursday, February 6th: What is That Book About