Saturday, October 19, 2019

SERIES REVIEW - The Hidden Legacy Series by Ilona Andrews


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

This delightful urban fantasy series was an incredible read and this is a combined series review. What I loved about the series, especially since I do not read paranormal, is that the whole setup about magic is due to genetics that occurred due to a magic serum. 

After I was encouraged to read the series, by my fellow reviewer and friend who knows how I feel about paranormal, I was thrilled that I was able to read this and did not make me cross any lines. Instead I was able to jump into this amazing world with these fantastic people and situations and, with the bonus of listening to the first three books via audiobook, was able to step out of my life for a few hours each day as I enjoyed this series.


Title:   Burn for Me
Publisher:  Avon
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:   406
Date of Publication:  October 28, 2014
My Rating:  4.5 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/2P35prc

DESCRIPTION:

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. 

Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan's after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she's getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

MY THOUGHTS:

Burn for Me is my first excursion into the urban fantasy genre. I had to learn what this genre was and that went a long way in helping me to be able to relax and enjoy this series. It is set in an alternate universe where some have received a special serum that has given them magic powers. However it has taken time for some of them to recognize the extent of their new abilities. Nevada Baylor is the heroine of the series. She is the primary protagonist and we meet her as she is working a job as a private investigator and she has to bring in someone that is missing back to his family.

This is no simple case for Nevada. The person that she must bring back home is Prime. The Prime who is missing is the highest rate of magic user and he the skill of setting anything or anyone on fire. Connor "Mad" Rogan is also Prime and he has his own reasons for wanting to find the missing man. In so doing he kidnaps Nevada and then decides that he would like to work along with her to solve this case.

As mentioned, this is a whole new type of book for me. I have often heard the term world-building. In this series, there are a lot of things that are established. kind of like a political system, including Houses, powers, levels and things of that nature. Furthermore, it is clear that the “regular” people that live among those magic users understand that they are on their own. The authorities don’t even get involved in the dramatic situations that affect these members.

Not only is Nevada facing the situation of first being kidnapped and now rather being forced to work with Mad Rogan, she starts to recognize that she herself has powers. Once Nevada is honest with herself, it doesn’t take very long for these to develop even more fully.

What an exciting, thrilling beginning of a remarkable series! We have adventure, intrigue, magic and family drama in this book. The extra bonus is watching the relationship between Nevada and Mad Rogan develop, albeit a slow burn that sets the pace for this series.


Title:   White Hot
Publisher:  Avon
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:   389
Date of Publication:  May 30, 2017
My Rating:  4.5 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/33NTr9d

DESCRIPTION:

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

MY THOUGHTS:

As readers are moving into the second book of the series, one thing has been made clear. Nevada Baylor does indeed have special skills. She can tell when people are lying and this goes a long way for her as she does what she does best. She not only works hard at the family detective agency, and what her family they are, but she gets to work with Connor/Mad Rogan yet again. At first Nevada does not know what to think, especially she had to fight her own heart‘s desire for him, and she was fairly sure she would never see him again. That is not the case.

Mad Rogan, as we learned in the first book, is a Prime. He is the top of his game, the highest rank. And to show the extent of his ability, Nevada’s skills do not work on him. Yet the pair must work together once more as danger faces them yet again. As this happens, the fight against their feelings will soon be lost.

Beyond the exciting romance that is beginning to shine through on every page, Nevada‘s  current case (as her family owns a private detective agency) is a very serious one. A man’s wife was murdered and Nevada is working hard to find out what happened. While working on this case, alongside Mad Rogan, we learn even more about the magic system that is an integral part of this series.

Since I love romance, I found there was a delightful bonus as this series has progressed. Mad Rogan and Nevada make an amazing couple, and I loved watching their relationship develop and grow, especially since there was a definite conflict with their skills and abilities when it came to the system that exists in their world.

It should come to know surprise that I had to read book 3 immediately after finishing this story.


Title:    Wildfire
Publisher:  Avon
Format:  Audiobook
No. of Pages:   391
Date of Publication:  July 25, 2017
My Rating:  4.5 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/31AgBhS

DESCRIPTION:

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

MY THOUGHTS:

They gave up the fight. The relationship between Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan is in full bloom. Despite the progress they have made, including dealing with the politics involved in their magic system, Nevada has truly come into her own with her magical powers. Nothing is meant to be easy, however, and Nevada now has to fight someone that has come back into Mad’s life. Dealing with this woman, Rynda Sherwood, whose husband has disappeared, is only one level of stress in Nevada’s life at this time.

Nevada is trying to keep her family business afloat. This involves her feeling primarily responsible for her mother, her sister Catalina, and her cousins and each of their special gifts. They are all remarkable people and they make a wonderful set of supporting characters in this thrilling series. Nevada is a true heroine, and has proven this time and again in each book of this series. 

Just as in the first two books of this series, there is no end to the action, danger, intrigue and drama that Nevada and Mad Rogan face as they work feverishly to handle the situations they face. For readers who read this series as it was released, it may have seemed to be over. For me, however, I just discovered it, so was able to read and enjoy the novella that ended Nevada’s starring role.


Title:    Diamond Fire
Publisher:  Avon
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   160
Date of Publication:  November 6, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/33Len0p

DESCRIPTION:

Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden. 

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

MY THOUGHTS:

Nevada Baylor and Conner “Mad” Rogan are tying the not! As exciting as this was for people like myself who devoured the first three books in this series, Catalina, Nevada’s sister, steps into the limelight.

Catalina is the maid of honor. What is more is that lovers of the Hidden Legacy series are being prepared to see Catalina launched into her own series. The first book in Catalina’s trilogy is Sapphire Flames. The following two books are yet untitled.

Meanwhile, as Catalina prepares to stand by Nevada, a tiara that Nevada had hoped to wear in her wedding has disappeared. Catalina will do anything at all possible to find the missing tiara and to give her sister the best day ever. To accomplish this, Catalina must face a side of herself that she would rather keep hidden. She has her own magic skills and it is well past time for her to employ them.

This novella fits perfectly between the two series. It closes off the trilogy that features Nevada and sets readers up for Catalina’s books. The first of the three is Sapphire Flames, released in August, with two yet untitled books.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored four NYT and USAT bestselling series, the #1 NYT bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at Ilona-andrews.com.


SERIES REVIEW - The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Journey

   

In this combined post, I will be reviewing the two books in The Tattooist of Auschwitzt series by Heather Morris. This Historical Fiction series........


Title:   The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Publisher:  Harper
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   262
Date of Publication:  September 4, 2018
My Rating:  5 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/32tRv5d

DESCRIPTION:

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a T├Ątowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions. 

MY THOUGHTS:

With his very life being at stake, as well as that of his family, and all choice completely taken away from him, all led to Lale Sokolov's capture, being transported and ultimately imprisoned in more than one concentration camp. It started for Lale in April 1942, and per the norm for those suffering in concentration camps, he was assigned a number, 32407.

Lale is rather unique, however. He excels at languages and is intelligent as well as selfless. He starts to attain status in the camps. He turns this privilege into a means of helping out other prisoners. When Lale meets another prisoner, Gita, while performing a job he despises - that of tattooing their prisoner numbers on their arms - she makes an impression on him. From that moment on, with her sheer fear and terror, she touches his heart and he is determined that they will survive the camp and eventually marry.

Anyone familiar with World War II and the stories of Auschwitz have a fairly good knowledge as to how things go from here. There is trauma, tragedy, death, sorrow and more. More than once, this story brought me to tears. However, this story also gives us hope. It is this very hope that makes this story so utterly remarkable.


Title:   Cilka's Journey
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   352
Date of Publication:  October 1, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars
Purchase link:  https://amzn.to/33IybSe

DESCRIPTION:

Her beauty saved her life - and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love. 

MY THOUGHTS:

At the age of 16, Cilka is torn away from her family and is taken to an Auschwitz concentration camp. She is only saved by her beauty. Clearly noticed, she is forced to be different from the other women prisoners. Instead, she is at the beck and call of a commanding officer at the camp. Sadly, for Cilka, life has morphed into a battle for survival and she does what she can to stay alive. Furthermore, she helps the other prisoners out any chance she gets.

One day Cilka thinks she may be freed. Sadly, due to her rather forced relationship with the officer, she is banished to Siberia. Oh what further tragedy she undergoes. Reading of Cilka's experiences, which, by the way, were written based on extensive research done by the author, was heartbreaking. I not only had to put the book down a time or two, but I had to dry my own tears more than once.

Despite the horrors, Cilka proves her worth. Even at her young age, she gets an opportunity to care for the ill. Cilka was forced to grow up and quickly, not only due to her own experiences, but also  by what she witnessed on pretty much a daily basis while serving nursing duties.

This book kept me on tenterhooks. I kept thinking we would see Cilka's end. Instead, we are treated with one of the most satisfying conclusions to a story that I have read for quite a long time. Having read several World War II historical fiction stories, quite obviously I knew going in that there would be a high level of tragedy and sadness. But, as stated, the conclusion warmed my heart and Cilka will be with me for a very long time.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I was born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, a small rural town in the middle of the North Island. I had an older brother, then three more boys followed. My childhood was spent in the even smaller village of Pirongia with four generations of my family living within proximity of each other. My primary school years were spent at the local school which at that time only had a handful of classrooms. For secondary schooling I went to Te Awamutu College.

An average student, according to my reports, except for commercial subjects, shorthand and typing, and sport. I was an athlete, a swimmer, played netball and tennis. And while I loved reading, devouring the Encyclopaedia Britannica where I could escape to far-away exotic lands, attempts to make me write my own stories, failed. I was told from a very young age, I could tell a good story, and growing up in a time when children where asked to be seen not heard, was enough.

In 1971 I moved to Melbourne, Australia, to escape what I considered the claustrophobic environment of having too many extended family members around me. Soon after arriving in Melbourne I met my husband to be Steve (don’t call me Stephen) Morris and we married in 1973.

In 1975 Steve and I returned to New Zealand, living in Christchurch, South Island, a reasonable distance from my hometown and family in the North Island.

Our first son was born in 1976, another son in 1980 and our daughter in 1985.

Waking up one morning I realised I had missed out on something – the extended education I secretly craved that was not offered when I left school. I commenced a B.A. degree at Canterbury University (NZ) in 1986 before moving back to Melbourne in 1987. After a year settling our family into a much bigger city, I enrolled and completed my B.A. at Monash University in 1991. I majored in Political Science.

In 1995 I began work in the Social Work Department at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne where I stayed until 2017.

During this period, I watched our three children grow into amazing adults. I was involved in their sport and at the age of forty-five became a competitive Veteran athlete, primarily taking part in the various ‘throwing’ competitions. Shot-put, discus, javelin and my favourite, hammer throwing. I never stopped telling stories, or as my husband called them – long-winded tales.

 In 1996 I decided to follow my passion for storytelling and enrolled in The Professional Scriptwriting Course through the Australian College of Journalism.

I went on to attend many screenwriting courses, seminars and workshops in both Australia and the U.S. My workplace provided me with a wealth of heroic storylines, several of which I adapted into screenplays that now line the bottom drawer of my desk.


And then I met Lale Sokolov.


Friday, October 18, 2019

COVER REVEAL - The Business of Blood

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The Business of Blood, an all-new intriguing historical mystery from USA Today bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne, is coming November 7th and we have the gorgeous cover!


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London, 1890. Blood and death are Fiona Mahoney’s trade, and business, as they say, is booming.
Dying is the only thing people do with any regularity, and Fiona makes her indecorous living cleaning up after the corpses are carted away. Her childhood best friend, Mary, was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s been two years since Fiona scrubbed Mary’s blood from the floorboards, and London is no longer buzzing about the Ripper, but Fiona hasn’t forgotten. She hasn’t stopped searching for Jack.
When she’s called to a murder in the middle of the night, Fiona finds a victim mutilated in an eerily similar fashion to those of the Ripper, and only a few doors down from Mary’s old home. The relentless and irritatingly handsome Inspector Grayson Croft warns her away from the case. She might have listened, if she hadn’t found a clue in the blood. A clue that will lead her down a path from which there is no return.
As a killer cuts a devastating swath through London, a letter written in blood arrives at her door, and it is only then that Fiona realizes just how perilous her endeavor is. For she has drawn the attention of an obsessive evil, and is no longer the hunter, but the prey.
Fiona Mahoney is in the business of blood. But she’s not the only one.
With intriguing twists, blood-chilling discoveries, and dazzling prose, USA Today Bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne shows that a woman’s work is never done, even when is sleuthing out a serial killer.

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Pre-order the paperback today!
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2qfPPhw
Cover designed by Quirky Bird Designs


About Kerrigan
Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.
She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, and hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains.

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Connect with Kerrigan
Stay up to date with Kerrigan by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/33VpuF0


BLOG TOUR - Broken Souls


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney. I also read all of the previous books in the series. Each book will be briefly summarized before the review for this tour.


In the first book of this incredible series by Patricia Gibney, The Missing Ones, readers are introduced to Detective Lottie Parker. The case before her involves two bodies, found at different times, with a unique similarity. They each have a crude tattoo that resembles the other. No other connection can be found, so Lottie and her team must work from that first clue. As Lottie digs deep in the case, she discovers a shocking connection to her own past. The closer Lottie gets to discovering answers, danger is presented up close-and-personal. In fact, her own children, Sean, Chloe and Katie, might now be in danger. This exciting story did a fine job laying the groundwork for this thrilling series. 4 Stars

We move on to the second book in the series, The Stolen Girls, where Lottie's next case begins on her doorstep. She is approached by a young pregnant woman asking for help. She disappears, and tragically, the body of a woman is soon found, and Lottie is not only concerned that it might have been the woman at her door, but what of the young child that was with her? Sadly, this is the beginning of something horrible, as Lottie soon learns that other young women have also been killed. True to form as in Lottie's previous case, a lot happens, including the stress and drama in her personal life concerning her children and her mother. Meanwhile, Lottie is drawn to co-worker Boyd and they become closer as time moves on. This entry in the series deals with a deep subject matter and is truly a moving story. 4.5 Stars

Next we have The Lost Child, book 3. Lottie and Boyd have their hands full with three very different scenarios that begin with an old woman found brutally murdered. Her daughter has experienced horrific trauma and the murdered woman's granddaughter has disappeared. The clock is ticking and Lottie leaves no stone unturned in trying to solve these related cases. Meanwhile, by now, if readers are anything like me, have fallen in love with Lottie as this series spins forward. Lottie is far from perfect, however. She drinks too much, depends on mood stabilizers and struggles in her personal relationships with her family. Lottie and Boyd are an item by now, but the road is most certainly rocky. Lottie's past faces her again in this book, as her father's long-ago suicide is examined and secrets begin to unravel. With lots of twists and turns, this was another excellent read. 4 Stars

Book 4, No Safe Place, begins with an average funeral. It is far from that, however, when a body of a woman is found just as the casket is about to be lowered. Lottie begins her investigation immediately. As a matter of fact, there is a missing person and Lottie wonders if they are one and the same. Then two more women disappear, and there is a real concern that a serial killer is about and Lottie and her team are quite concerned that even more women will end up killed. Lottie also discovers a connection to a long-ago case, so she has to consider things from different aspects. Lottie herself soon faces danger in this fast-moving story in this series. As before, Lottie's personal issues and her home life are part of this exciting, tension-filled story. 4 Stars

I actually had the opportunity to read Tell Nobody, book 5, in June, and the review link for that title is: https://www.robinlovesreading.com/2019/06/review-tell-nobody.html. 4 Stars

We literally jump into the action from the very beginning in book 6, Final Betrayal, Lottie and her team are called to a murder scene where two female bodies are found. To her annoyance, her team members try and hold her back. When she does enter the scene of the crime, she is immediately reminded of a case from years ago that has a very eerie similarity to what is before her now. And this is why they tried to keep her away. Not only must Lottie bring the past and present together to solve the murders, she faces the terrifying fact that her two daughters, Chloe and Katie, soon disappear and she is quite naturally overwhelmed with worry for their safety. This is a hard-hitting story and was literally impossible to put down. 4.5 Stars

Please note:  I have a "thing" for series. I read as many as I can as often as I can. Therefore, I took several days and devoured these books one after another. I love the continuity that occurs with the characters and this helps me to develop a strong bond as I read. With regard to the D.I. Lottie Parker series, each book has a different case, thus readers will have no problems reading any of the stories singularly or out of order.

Now ... to the purpose of this blog post ... the Blog Tour.


DESCRIPTION:

‘She shivered, though the kitchen was warm. Icicles of foreboding trickled down her spine. With trembling hands she whipped back her hair at the nape of her neck. As she turned away from the window, she missed the shadow passing by.’

One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life.

The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked. Fiona Heffernan was also due to be married, and her body is clad in a wedding dress, a lock of her hair cut off.

The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. When she goes to break the news to Fiona’s family, she’s on the alert for anything suspicious. But then she makes a discovery that causes her blood to run cold – Fiona’s eight-year-old daughter Lily didn’t return home from her dance recital that afternoon. Terrified that Lily will be the next victim of a twisted and dangerous individual, Lottie takes the case into her own hands, risking her life when she comes face-to-face with the killer…

If you love Karin Slaughter, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine, you’ll be hooked by this heart-stopping thriller from Patricia Gibney. Broken Souls will keep you guessing until the very last page!  


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   Broken Souls
Author:  Patricia Gibney
Series:  D.I. Lottie Parker #7
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   446
Date of Publication:  October 18, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

Killings are happening and there is a common thread. D.I. Lottie Parker is trying to determine what wedding garb has to do with the bodies that are being found. Then when Lottie discovers that one of the victim's eight-year-old daughter has gone missing, she works feverishly from all angles to find the missing child while solving the murders.

As per usual in this progressive and incredibly effective series, there is a lot to offer readers. There are always the cases Lottie and her team deal with on a regular basis, but the growing pains Lottie and her children, as well as her relationship with her mother, is always a pivotal part of each story. With the crime element of the series, it is a nice bonus that Lottie and Boyd are working on their relationship. I love watching that develop, and that feels very real.

Over this series, readers have come to know Lottie, her children, Boyd and even Lottie's unlikable boss. However, this story is focused on current cases and thus could serve as a standalone. As mentioned already, I read the entire series because I absolutely love continuity.

Lottie has overcome quite a bit as the series has gone, and I loved watching her growth. I feel like I know each of primary characters, and have been strongly affected by all of the trauma they have dealt with. I am already eager for book 8.

Many thanks for Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patricia is the million-copy bestselling author of the DI Lottie Parker series. She yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime! In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from her job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations. Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and lives in the Irish midlands with her children.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

BLOG TOUR - The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street by Emma Davies.

DESCRIPTION:

Daisy Turner has worked at Buchanan’s Family Jewellers since the day she finally escaped her troubled home. With a unique talent for matching the perfect piece of jewellery to any romantic milestone, she painstakingly polishes each stunning creation every morning and safely locks them away each night, longing for the day she’ll have a love story to call her own…

But everything changes one day in December when the owner announces she is retiring. She will leave the shop to whichever of her three sons creates the perfect piece of Christmas jewellery for Daisy.

In danger of losing the job that once saved her, Daisy is catapulted out of her comfort zone as each of the brothers sweeps her off her feet to find out what her heart truly desires. Between ice-skating, starlight shopping and cosy candle-lit dinners, it’s only handsome and guarded youngest brother Kit who really seems to be listening. Because Daisy has a secret. Every night, when the shop closes, she lays out her tools in neat rows and creates sparkling designs of her own…

As Christmas Day approaches, Daisy’s growing feelings for Kit fill her with a confidence she never knew she had. But as the brothers present their elaborate gemstone masterpieces, she’s in for the shock of her life… Was Kit using her to get ahead in the competition all along? Or has he truly worked out the one thing she has always longed for?

They say all good things come in small packages, but the best things don’t need wrapping at all…

Snuggle up with this absolutely heart-warming Christmas read and find a warm spot by the fire. An unputdownable festive treat for lovers of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson.


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   The Little Shop on Silver Linings Street
Author:  Emma Davies
Genre:   Romance; Woman's Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   324
Date of Publication:  October 16, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Daisy Turner has worked at Buchanan's Family Jewelers since she was 17-years old. The job was a true blessing because at that time Daisy lost her grandmother, who had raised her after her parents died. Daisy excels at her job, but when the her boss announces her impending retirement, Daisy's future is now uncertain.

Daisy's future now lies in the hands of one of the boss's three sons. Whichever of them can create the perfect piece of jewelry for Daisy is the one who will inherit the store. Each son must spend time getting to know her, and this is something Daisy is not comfortable with.

Meanwhile, Daisy is holding a secret very close to her heart. She excels at her own craft of jewelry making. When a man enters a shop to seek out a gift for his love, Daisy begins to wonder if she herself will ever find that elusive gift. Between this stranger and Daisy's unique skills as a designer, her life starts looking up.

One of the brothers, Kit, affects her in an odd way. They have worked together for years, and Daisy had very little respect for his work ethic. All of that changes as she spends time with Kit and his brothers. Each time is a separate day, and these days really open Daisy's eyes.

I absolutely loved this story! I think what I loved most was the fact that there was no doubt that Daisy would fall for at least one of the brothers. The path that she went on was very enlightening. Very heartwarming. I absolutely loved this book and the ending was a true delight.

I adore Emma Davies! Her writing is absolutely wonderful. When I see her name, I jump on her books. I knew even before page one that I would truly be entertained. The very first book I read by her, The Little Cottage on the Hill, I thought was just perfect. This book gives me exactly that same feeling. I am eager to read her future books as well.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea. 
Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor / https://twitter.com/EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her): https://www.facebook.com/emmadaviesauthor/

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

BLOG TOUR - The Last Wife


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Last Wife by Nicola Marsh.

DESCRIPTION:

Trusting his family was her first mistake.

All Ria ever wanted was a family. Growing up alone in foster care, she imagined just how it would be. So when she fell in love with Grayson and had their daughter Shelley, she was determined to make his family love her too. She knew she’d never fit in with her glamorous sisters-in-law, or at the exclusive picture-perfect Chicago parties her mother-in-law threw, but with Grayson’s arm around her waist she tried her best to be a Parker.

Everything changed when Grayson disappeared.

Until one morning, Grayson leaves the house for work and never comes home. Left to raise Shelley alone, Ria is forced to turn to her husband’s family, to let her intimidating mother-in-law into her life, allow her to babysit Shelley, and accept her financial support. She tries to ignore the feeling that her sisters-in-law never thought she was good enough. They say they have no idea what happened to Grayson, and she tries very hard to believe them.

But Ria is about to learn that every Parker wife has secrets.

And protecting her daughter might come at a terrible price…

Utterly compelling, The Last Wife is an emotionally-charged novel about what one woman will do to survive. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Kerry Fisher and The Other Woman.


BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   The Last Wife
Author:  Nicola Marsh
Genre:   Mystery Thrillers
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   332
Date of Publication:  October 11, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

Ria Parker has no choice but to be a single mother to ten-year old Shelley. Five years ago, her husband walked out on them. Although not particularly close to her in-laws, Ria remained a part of the family because she felt it was best for Shelley. Her mother in law, May, is the matriarch and had three sons and one daughter. She has always ruled the family with an iron fist.

Ria's sisters-in-law do not treat her or Shelley well at all. Thankfully, May fawns over them, and although uncomfortable at family events, Ria does attend. Shelley loves her cousins and her grandmother, and this does please Ria. However, May has an announcement to make and this affects each and every one of them, albeit in different ways.

Beyond May's shocking announcement, Ria begins getting some difficult emails. While this happens, accidents begin happening to some family members. Ria is certain said accidents are connected to the emails she received. The drama that ensues will change everyone's life beyond what anyone could have imagined.

This was an incredibly tense book! The Last Wife reminded me of the 90's night-time soap operas. It was a very dramatic story, one that dug deep inside of a not-so-perfect family. There was someone pulling strings and was seemingly uncaring of the long-term effects on others. This intriguing story was a very good, very quick read for me, and I was rather shocked at who the manipulator was, and also the ending.


Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes feel-good fiction with a twist!

She has published 68 books with Harlequin, Amazon and indie, and sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

She currently writes women's fiction/rural romance for Harper Collins Australia Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Bookouture and contemporary romance for Harlequin Dare.

Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA's RBY, Romantic Book of the Year. 

Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for an ARRA award.

Her women's fiction novel SAVING SARA with Lake Union hit the #1 kindle romance spot on Amazon UK.

Her young adult fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won a National Readers' Choice Award for Best YA novel.

She's also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a RBY and National Readers' Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers' Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards. 

A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!

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