Tuesday, November 24, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Dead Girl Walking


‘“911. What’s your emergency?”

“He came for her. She’s been shot,” says a desperate voice, as footsteps echo down an alley. “She’s dying.”

“Oh no, oh no, he’s coming back. Please, come quickly––” And then a click, and the drone of a dial tone.

The beautiful young woman on the stretcher could be on her honeymoon. Chestnut hair tumbles around a pretty face, rose petals tangled in the loose strands. But the bandage around her forehead tells a different tale, as Emergency Room Nurse Jessie Novak desperately battles to keep her alive. Jessie’s thoughts are racing—who shot this beautiful young woman and more importantly, why?

Ann Hart’s life hangs by a thread, and Jessie cannot bear to see this beautiful young woman die without justice being done. Being a nurse is like hunting for clues, and Jessie is sure she can find the person who hurt Ann. She also asks her friend Detective Sam Dallas for help digging into Ann’s past. But then Jessie receives a gift that sends shivers up her spine: a huge bouquet of blood-red roses, just like the ones in Ann’s hair…

As the first snowflakes start to fall, another body turns up. Jessie is sure that she’s in danger too—since the roses, someone has been watching her… Sam is reluctant to see the link but Jessie knows she must find the culprit before he strikes again. He is stalking her through the frozen streets and he doesn’t want his fun to stop. Can Jessie turn the tables on the killer, or is she just a dead girl walking?

A totally addictive mystery novel that will leave you gasping for breath and have your heart thumping! Fans of Lisa Regan, Gregg Olsen and Tess Gerritsen will be completely hooked.



:   Dead Girl Walking
Author:  Roberta Gately
Series:  Jessie Novak #1
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery/Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   307
Date of Publication:   November 24, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Jessie Novak is an emergency room nurse who goes a step further when it comes to one of her patients. A young woman is barely recovering from a gunshot and Jessie is determined to get to the bottom of things. When the woman's husband has minimal injuries, Jessie begins to question the crime that just might take this young woman's life. Beginning with her friend, Detective Sam Dallas, Jessie begins asking questions and leaving no stone unturned when it comes to solving this crime. 

Jessie stops long enough to consider her romantic prospects, including wondering whether or not she is drawn to Sam. However, danger is lurking right at Jessie's feet, especially when another person turns up dead. Can Jessie act quickly enough to solve the crimes? Furthermore, what about the suspicions Jessie had from the very start? How can she shake things up enough to find the killer, all while remaining safe from harm?

I love when I get the chance to read the first book in a new series. I enjoyed meeting Jessie and seeing how determined she was from beginning to end, even when her personal life takes surprising turns. It ought to be interesting to see what else Jessie falls into, especially when things got truly hairy the closer she got to solving the crimes at hand. This book sort of reminded me of a cozy mystery with Jessie becoming an amateur detective, but it was a bit more gritty, which gave this story a very nice edge. 

I loved Jessie as the primary protagonist and the supporting characters were great additions to what turned out to be a very good story. There were a few twists that proved very interesting and this all led to a very good conclusion. Roberta Gately is a new author to me and I look forward to reading more of her as this series continues. 

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


Roberta Gately, lives in Boston where she works as a nurse at the Boston Medical Center. It was in the ER where she developed an interest in the investigations behind the crimes and the victims she encountered. Working in a busy ER is much like being a detective—the search for answers is a methodical process, not unlike the work required to solve a murder!

Her crime series with Bookouture stars the brave and brilliant ER nurse Jessie Novak who teams up with her detective friend to solve tricky Boston murder cases. Expect addictive mysteries, breathtaking suspense and a gutsy heroine you’ll never forget. When she’s not writing or working at the hospital, Roberta enjoys reading, working out and spending time with friends and family.

She has also worked in humanitarian aid, providing medical care in some of the world’s bleakest spots ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. Her two previous novels, Lipstick in Afghanistan and The Bracelet were based upon her experiences of nursing abroad. Her memoir—Footprints in the Dust tells the true stories of some of the extraordinary people she met.

Author Social Media Links

Roberta loves hearing from readers and you can get in touch with her using the links below.

Author website: robertagately.com

Sunday, November 22, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Flirtation and Folly


Marianne Mowbrey is a responsible country rector’s daughter who longs for the novelty and excitement she reads about in novels. When her crusty Aunt Harriet agrees to give her a Season in London, Marianne vows to dazzle the world, win a husband, and never go home again. But the Londoners who determine social success are inclined to pass over plain Marianne in favor of her beautiful, reckless younger sister.

In a world of ambition, fashion, flattery, and deceit, how can Marianne stay true to her real self—when she is not even sure what that real self is?

Available on Amazon


:   Flirtation and Folly
Author:  Elizabeth Rasche
Series:  A Season in London #1
Publisher:  Quills & Quartos Publishing
Genre:   Historical Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   326
Date of Publication:  November 9, 2020 
My Rating:   3 Stars

In this delightful book by debut author Elizabeth Rasche, we get a very nice story about Marianne and the opportunity she gets for a London season. Her aunt has offered for Marianne to have a season, and this comes with all the benefits, including beautiful garb, balls and everything else. Marianne has spent years devouring romance novels and she uses vicarious ways to seek her future.

This book is a bit different from other historical romances that I have read. We do not get the male protagonist's view at all. We get everything from Marianne's point of view. Also, this is a very "sweet" romance. There is a happy ending after the conflicts presented are resolved.

With that being said, I did truly enjoy this book! I read a lot of inspirational romance so I am used to the sweet sort of story. So I did find Marianne's journey to be one of great enjoyment. Her journey was not an easy one, but she handled everything with grace. Another thing that I saw while reading this book is the fact that it is a debut novel. I think the author did a fine job getting her feet wet in one of my most enjoyable genres. 

I liked seeing Marianna decide what her future would be as her heart warmed to the man who would one day be her husband. The writing was enjoyable, the drama and the conflicts were reasonable and this makes me eager to continue this series to see who has the next story and how it will be developed. 

Many thanks to Quills & Quartos Publishing for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, November 10
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, November 11
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, November 12
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, November 13
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, November 16
Feature at I'm Into Books
Review at Probably at the Library

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Bookworlder

Wednesday, November 18
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, November 19
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, November 20
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, November 21
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 22
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Monday, November 23
Review at Jessica Belmont

Tuesday, November 24
Review at Novels Alive
Review at A Chick Who Reads


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Flirtation and Folly

About the Author

After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth Rasche taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, the ‘garden of America.’ (At least, she has only ever heard Arkansas called so.) She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), Bath, and of course, London. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect.

Elizabeth Rasche is the author of The Birthday Parties of Dragons and her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest. Flirtation & Folly is her first historical fiction novel.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

BOG TOUR - Stolen to Wear His Crown



From unworldly scientist… 

to his fearless queen!

Mina has finally achieved her dream of becoming chief scientific advisor of Cyrano, when she’s stolen from the interview room! She’s taken directly to the palace chapel, where the terms of a secret betrothal mean she must marry the king—immediately. Powerful King Zayn knows all too well monarchs can’t afford dangerous distractions like love. Yet still, he’s appalled to be wed to a complete stranger! Mina is altogether too sensitive, too scholarly, too unpolished to be queen. But that can’t stop the desire that flares each time she looks his way…

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.


Stolen to Wear His Crown
Author:  Marcella Bell
Series:  The Queen's Guard, Book 1
Publisher:  Harlequin Presents
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:  December 1, 2020 
My Rating:   3 Stars

Both Mina, a scientific advisor and King Zayn are thrust into an incomforable situation. They are about to be wed. Mina is about to become Zayn's king. Mina certainly had not choice in the matter, because one moment she achieved her dreams, and the next moment she is all but kidnapped, betrothed and now wed. Zayn knew he must marry for the sake of his kingdom, so he is prepared to accept Mina. However, one thing Zayn will not permit is love.

While Mina sought to be a part of what was going on with Zayn and his kingdom, never did she imagine to become his wife. Instead, her accomplishments and dreams are pushed aside and now she must get to know her new husband. What we see is a battle of wills of sorts, as both Mina and Zayn learn each other, and along the way, we see what kind of people they are.

Mina was not my favorite of protagonists in this type of romance. She was brilliant, not doubt, but unexperienced in a lot of ways so it was kind of odd to see her chosen as queen. Zayn wasn't all that great either, when it came to some of his actions. But, this is a fictional story of a fictional country so both Zayn and Mina did work well together as the story developed, and their connection was indeed palpable. I did enjoy watching the two of them find their way to a forever happiness,

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
STOLEN TO WEAR HIS CROWN by Marcella Bell Excerpt

Mina Aldaba smoothed her palms over her hair as she took a deep breath. The motion wouldn’t do anything against the strengsth and determination of her curls to frizz—even if there was enough moisture in her palms to give it some hold—but it felt purposeful. On the other side of the ornately carved door in front of her sat the men and women of Parliament—the people whose decision would dictate whether or not she finally kept her promise to her father.

Like her hair, she was determined and untamable. She had done everything she could, with a full heart and to the very best of her ability—and that had carried her to this side of the door, inches away from the chance to achieve everything she had ever wanted.

The rest was up to the men and women inside.

The thought set off a series of stuttering palpitations in her chest—and not the kind that could ever be confused with excitement.

This next part was up to fate. The only thing she could do was be herself, trust her knowledge, and hope that that would carry her through. Unfortunately, faith wasn’t one of her stronger virtues. She hadn’t gotten to this side of the door by wishing. She’d done it by force of will and desire, continuous studying and practice, so she would be ready to deliver when the opportunity came.

Now was that opportunity.

She could steel her spine even if she couldn’t calm her stomach.

She wore her usual black pantsuit and white blouse. Selecting one size up and choosing a square cut lent her hyper-feminine figure some much-needed gravitas. The hard lines of the design concealed any hint of curve—which she appreciated, given her very round derrière and rather Rubenesque chest. Dressing her figure for academia—or, more accurately, concealing her figure for academia—was a challenge that she hadn’t anticipated when she’d decided to become a scientist at twelve years old.

Still, one had to accept what one had.

She would never forget the day a female colleague had taken her aside about it, though.

“You’re going to have to do something about all of that.”

Her fellow doctoral candidate had spoken blithely as she’d gestured in a vague circle toward Mina’s jeans-clad rear and her breasts with a long red fingernail.

“It’s just too much,” she’d added. “You’ll never be taken seriously.”

At the time, the words had stung, but Mina was grateful for them. Her colleague had been right. The thin old uni sweatshirt she’d been wearing that day had stretched across her full chest, and her jeans had been form-fitted.

She’d looked like the student she had always been, rather than the professional academic she was becoming, and the world she’d been about to enter was cutthroat, old-fashioned, and antagonistic—especially if you happened to have been born with female anatomy.

As soon as she had transformed her attire, her work had begun to garner more attention. Her male colleagues, it appeared, had been able to focus on it, rather than her.

Thankfully, she had mastered those ropes long ago—so well, in fact, that she was now in line to reap the highest professional reward: an interview for the appointment of an adviser to the King of Cyrano.

In preparation, her dense chocolate-brown curls had been ruthlessly brushed back from her face, heavily gelled, and confined into a thick French braid. Today—a day in which when she couldn’t afford to have even a single hair out of place—she had used nearly double the amount of product to tame the springy, indomitable mass.

She had learned long ago to avoid putting her hair in a bun. Too many academics harbored sexy librarian fantasies.

The combination of the suit and the braid created a no-nonsense image—that of a serious academic. It was precisely what Mina wanted to project. Especially since she was the youngest candidate ever to sit for a parliamentary interview—and only the second woman ever nominated.

The door cracked open, and a page popped his perfectly coiffed head out.


Marcella Bell lives in the mostly-sunny wilds of Southern Oregon with her husband, children, father, and three mismatched mutts. The dry hot summers and four distinct annual seasons of the region are a far cry from the weird rainy streets of Portland, OR, where she grew up, but she wouldn’t trade her quirky mountain valley home for anyplace else on the earth. As a late bloomer and a yogini, Marcella is drawn to romance that showcases love’s incredible power to transform.

Friday, November 20, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Wife He Needs


Will this billionaire bachelor say “I do” to love? 

He desires her more than any other woman. 

The arrangement is simple: a two-week getaway, then a marriage of convenience. Until Garth Outlaw’s potential bride is a no-show. Now family pilot Regan Fairchild is sharing his bed—and he can’t get enough…even though he’s vowed never to love again. Can Regan convince him the wife he needs and the woman he desires are one and the same?


:   The Wife He Needs
Author:  Brenda Jackson
Publisher:  Harlequin Desire
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   December 15, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Garth Outlaw has just about everything he wants and needs in life - everything but a wife. So he joins a site and finds what he thinks is the perfect woman. He plans on making her his wife and, along the way, remove love as a factor. He arranges for a two-week getaway to get to know her. His pilot Regan is prepared to fly him to his destination, but Garth learns that his plans have fallen through.

As he is a workaholic, one of his friends suggests keeping his plans and asking Regan to join him. This could work, right? The only hang up? Regan Fairchild has been in love with Garth for years. Friends since childhood, her feelings for him have indeed morphed. Should she accept his offer to spend the time with him on his vacation, will she be able to hide her feelings? Better yet, will this be the time for Regan to tell Garth how she feels? Will Garth be able to see beyond their friendship and business relationship and move things to another level?

Garth and Regan begin their vacation together just fine as friends. However, the transition to more proves to be something that both of them want, not just Regan. Garth begins to notice more and more about Regan and this most definitely changes the course of their relationship. This story is filled with an even balance of emotion and heat, making this book by Brenda Jackson a delightful story.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
THE WIFE HE NEEDS by Brenda Jackson Excerpt

“So, when is the wedding, Garth?”

Garth Outlaw raised his eyes from studying his cards. Was his brother playing mind games to mess with his concentration?

“And just what wedding are you talking about?”

Garth glanced around the table and saw the smirks on the faces of all four of his brothers. Even Jess had made a trip home from the nation’s capital for a week long visit.

“Is anyone going to answer?” Garth asked.

Jess grinned as he threw out a card. “I heard it from Dad the moment I walked through the door. He claims you’ve gotten over Karen Piccard, decided to settle down and do whatever needs to be done for the benefit of the company, which includes getting a wife and making babies to guarantee the Outlaw dynasty. Those were his words, not mine.”

“We heard the same thing,” Cash said, with Sloan and Maverick nodding in agreement.

Garth didn’t say anything. Being the oldest son of Bartram “Bart” Outlaw wasn’t easy, especially when his father liked spreading information that wasn’t true. However, in this case, it was. At least partly. He was planning to do what needed to be done for the company. But he seriously doubted he would ever get over Karen. She would always have his heart.

“No wedding date has been set because I haven’t chosen a bride.”

His brother Cash sat up straight in his chair. “Are you really thinking about settling down with a wife and making babies?” he asked, as if the thought of doing such a thing was as unheard of as living in outer space.

Garth threw out some chips. “Why not? I don’t see any of you guys rushing to the altar to continue the Outlaw legacy. Not even you, Jess, and you’re the politician in the family. You of all people should be thinking about acquiring a wife.” A couple of years ago, Jess had gotten elected as a senator from Alaska.

A grin touched Jess’s lips. “No, thank you. I’m not ready to fall in love.”

Garth shrugged. “Who said anything about falling in love?”

“You’re thinking of marrying a woman you don’t love?” This question came from Sloan. 

“For me there’s no other way.”

There was no reason to explain what he meant. They knew.

“And you’ll do it because Bart says it needs to be done?”

Garth rolled his eyes at his youngest brother, Maverick, who’d been quiet up to now. “No, I’ll consider doing it because I think it’s about time I settled down. I’m thirty-eight, and dating gets old.”

“Speak for yourself,” Maverick said, grinning. “I happen to enjoy dating a lot of women.”

Garth shook his head. “And Walker got me thinking. Look how long he was a loner before he got married. If he can do it, then anyone can.”

Walker Rafferty was Garth’s best friend. A couple of years ago, Walker had met his current wife and now they were parents to twins, a boy and a girl they’d named Walker and Westlyn. Nobody thought Walker would ever remarry after losing his first wife and son in a car accident. Surprisingly, ten years later, Walker had fallen in love again. Garth was happy for Walker, and inspired to settle down, but honestly, he couldn’t see himself falling in love. He was convinced Karen was the only woman he was meant to love.

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at authorbrendajackson@gmail.com or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

BLOG TOUR - The Violinist of Auschwitz


Auschwitz, 1943: In the depths of hell, can hope rise? And can love triumph over hatred?

Based on the unforgettable true story of Alma Rosé, The Violinist of Auschwitz brings to life one of history’s most fearless, inspiring and courageous heroines. Alma’s bravery saved countless lives, bringing hope to those who had forgotten its meaning…

In Auschwitz, every day is a fight for survival. Alma is inmate 50381, the number tattooed on her skin in pale blue ink. She is cooped up with thousands of others, torn from loved ones, trapped in a maze of barbed wire. Every day people disappear, never to be seen again.

This tragic reality couldn’t be further from Alma’s previous life. An esteemed violinist, her performances left her audiences spellbound. But when the Nazis descend on Europe, none of that can save her…

When the head of the women’s camp appoints Alma as the conductor of the orchestra, performing for prisoners trudging to work as well as the highest-ranking Nazis, Alma refuses: “they can kill me but they won’t make me play”. Yet she soon realizes the power this position offers: she can provide starving girls with extra rations and save many from the clutches of death.

This is how Alma meets Miklos, a talented pianist. Surrounded by despair, they find happiness in joint rehearsals, secret notes, and concerts they give side by side––all the while praying that this will one day end. But in Auschwitz, the very air is tainted with loss, and tragedy is the only certainty… In such a hopeless place, can their love survive?

This devastatingly heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful tale proves that even in the darkest of days, love can prevail––and give you something to live for. Fans of The Choice, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Orphan Train will lose their hearts to this magnificent tale.



 The Violinist of Auschwitz
Author:  Ellie Midwood
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   356
Date of Publication:   November 18, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars

During the dark days of World War II and the ugliness of Auschwitz, there is a beacon of hope and light that comes from the strings of a violin. Alma Rosé quickly learns that she can stave off the hideousness of the gas chamber due to her musical skills. She is losing people left and right and does not know when her number will be up - literally. She makes a request, albeit seemingly odd, and that is for a violin. Talented beyond belief, getting her hands on a violin brings her an amazing opportunity.

Not only does she get to keep playing, Alma stays alive, and so do others that she trains to play in the small orchestra that was formed. She plays for both prisoners and the enemy and learns tricks along the way to thrive during the darkest of times. Reluctant at first, Alma quickly learns that her exceptional skills hold great advantage. Not only can she stay alive, but she can keep others alive as well, even getting extra food and other necessary things to survive.

I learned something while reading The Violinist of Auschwitz. I had read in other novels about the subtle differences in the different camps, and how certain skills gave the otherwise hopeless prisoners something akin to hope. In this case it was music. However, music was not the only thing that brought more to Alma's life. She meets a pianist named Miklos, and they proved to be kindred spirits. I fondly remember the gentle words that Miklos uttered to Alma and truly enjoyed their gentle love story. 

This book brought intense feelings of sadness, as is always the case when reading of this time in history. However, those feelings of sadness were well matched with the lightness that I have mentioned. That light brought beauty. Brought hope. Brought love. What a story! Even while writing this review weeks after reading this book I have a lump in my throat. This is the fourth book that I have read by Ellie Midwood and I was truly touched by reading this, just as I was with the other three books I have read by her. She writes of the darkest of times, but brings a beacon of hope in her stories. 

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


Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, The Girl from Berlin.' Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

Author Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllieMidwood
Website: http://elliemidwood.com/

BLOG TOUR - Murder In the Snow


An English Christmas has mince pies, cheerful carols, a twinkling tree… and a murder? Thank goodness Lady Swift is on the scene!

Winter, 1920. Amateur sleuth Lady Eleanor Swift is feeling festive. She is playing host to the entire village at Henley Hall for gifts, games and gingerbread. She’s also purchased perfect presents for each of her household – not forgetting the biggest bone in the butcher’s shop for her partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog – and is looking forward to celebrating her first English country Christmas.

As snowflakes fall, Eleanor is cheering on contestants in the traditional Christmas fun run in the grounds of the Hall. But tragedy strikes when one of the runners drops dead at the finish line. Dashing Detective Seldon is convinced it’s just a heart attack, but Eleanor isn’t so sure. When she finds a rather distinctive key where the man fell, Eleanor knows she’ll never rest until she finds out the truth about what happened in her own home.

Next the vicar is taken ill with what looks like poison and Eleanor starts to wonder if the two cases are linked. When someone tries to frame her by planting poisoned berries in her own kitchen, she knows speed is of the essence. But the entire village was at Henley Hall for the festivities and Eleanor has enough suspects to stuff a town full of turkeys. Can she nail the true killer and clear her name in time for Christmas?

Christmas won’t be complete without it! A festive treat for fans of Agatha Christie, TE Kinsey and Lee Strauss.



:   Murder In the Snow
Author:  Verity Bright
Series:  A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery #4
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   257
Date of Publication:   November 19, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

In typical fashion for a cozy mystery, Lady Eleanor Swift gets yet another chance to prove her excellent skills when it comes to proving that a man's recent death is due to more than natural causes. It is a busy time during the Christmas season during the winter of 1920. One of the activities at play is a race that seemingly went off without a hitch However, as the runners approach the finish line, one of them suddenly falls to the ground.

Resuscitation efforts prove futile as it immediately proves that the man that fell is indeed dead. A heart attack perhaps? Ellie highly doubts it and becomes quite determined to find the cause of death. When the local vicar falls ill with a case of apparent poison, Ellie feels that both situations are linked. Ellie refuses to back down and begins to recognize clues that prove her suspicions are correct. Time proves to be of the essence when she herself comes into the line of blame.

I loved this fourth story in the Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series. Between her faithful butler Clifford and her perfect canine companion Gladstone, Ellie proves more than adept at turning over clues when it comes to getting to the truth behind the events that have taken place. With a bevy of suspects, her efforts prove rather difficult, but the skills Ellie has learned when it comes to solving crimes work well when it comes to finding the killer, keeping her name clear and staying safe.

The Christmas season is soon to be among us, so why not grab this delightful story and settle down for what proves to be quite a cozy read. I enjoyed the twists and turns that this story took and found myself devouring this book in a single reading session. This delightful story is a great accompaniment to a wonderful series and I look forward to seeing what is next in store for Ellie, Clifford and Gladstone. 

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


Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s. 

Twitter: @brightverity

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

BLOG TOUR - What My Husband Did


A little girl has been left for dead. And now my husband is missing.

‘I can give you a lift home,’ the man says. Little Alice tightens the zip of her big red coat. She’s unsure, but the walk will be cold and dark. ‘I’m not supposed to get in a stranger’s car.’ He forces a smile. ‘I’m not a proper stranger, am I?’

I return home to our beautiful house on a chilly winter evening expecting to find my handsome husband Richard waiting for me by the fire. We’re still so in love, and he always takes care of me: buying us this home in the little village where he grew up, making sure I settled in and made friends, and treating my teenage daughter like his own. There’s a bit of gossip about our age gap, but the death of his first wife years ago was so tragic that he still gets sympathetic looks. Everyone loves Richard.

He usually comes straight back from work. But tonight, our antique clock ticks on through the dark evening, with no sign of him. Then a knock at the door shatters my perfect life. A 12-year-old-girl, Alice from the village, has been found unconscious in the field behind our house. They say she was last seen getting into Richard’s car.

Now rumours are flying. As Alice fights for her life in hospital, nobody will speak to me: and when they do it’s to ask if he didn’t hurt Alice, why hasn’t Richard come home?

I know that revealing my own darkest secret about Richard’s first wife could prove his innocence… but even if I do, he’s still missing. Is everyone right, and is my husband on the run? And will telling the truth about my past turn my own daughter against me, and tear our lives apart for good?

Fans of The Girl on the Train, I Am Watching You and Shari Lapena will adore this absolutely unputdownable read by bestselling author Kerry Wilkinson, about the dark secrets we hide to protect ourselves and the ones we love. 


:   What My Husband Did
Author:  Kerry Wilkinson
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   360   
Date of Publication:   November 17, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Two things of significant importance have taken place: a 12-year-old girl was left for dead and a man is missing. There is an apparent connection, however, as a witness As this thrilling story is told from Maddy King's first person point of view it and the man that is missing is her husband Richard. Things begin unraveling for Maddy as time slowly passes and she wonders where Richard could possibly be, and whether or not he had anything to do with what happened to the child.

Maddy has something else on her mind, and that involves Richard's past. However, I do not want to include any spoilers in this review. Suffice it to say that things indeed proved to be murky, thus a shroud of guilt soon hover's above Richard's character. Will he show himself and prove his innocence? Could what is happening prove to the undoing of a previously quite happy relationship in his marriage to Maddy? Good questions these, and this intriguing story does a fine job of revealing things layer by layer, all while a little girl lingers near death.

This fine story by Kerry Wilkinson takes some sharp turns, even introducing at least one character with nefarious motives. Whether it is gossip, or facts, I enjoyed how this story was told. I love this twist and the ones that followed, thus making this book incredibly difficult to put down. And the ending!! What a shocker. What thrilled me so much about this book is the rabbit hole I fell into and I felt myself clawing to the top while trying to discover the truth. For the author to put me in that position I think was a job well done. If the story itself did not captivate me, then the ending most certainly did. All in all, this was a very good story and it makes me happy that I got a chance to read this book.

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


Kerry Wilkinson has had No.1 crime bestsellers in the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Singapore. He has also written two top-20 thrillers in the United States. His book, Ten Birthdays, won the RNA award for Young Adult Novel of the Year in 2018 and Close To You won the International Thriller Award for best ebook in 2020.

As well as his million-selling Jessica Daniel series, Kerry has written the Silver Blackthorn trilogy - a fantasy-adventure serial for young adults - a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter, plus numerous standalone novels. He has been published around the world in more than a dozen languages.

Originally from the county of Somerset, Kerry spent way too long living in the north of England, picking up words like 'barm' and 'ginnel'.

When he's short of ideas, he rides his bike, hikes up something, or bakes cakes. When he's not, he writes it all down.

Recent and upcoming UK releases:
The Child Across The Street: 23 July 2020
What My Husband Did: 17 Nov 2020

Find out more at: 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Gentleman Jim

Join the virtual blog tour of GENTLEMAN JIM; A TALE OF ROMANCE AND REVENGE, Mimi Matthews’s highly acclaimed new historical romance novel, November 9 through December 6, 2020. Forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, interviews, spotlights, or reviews of this new Regency-era novel set in Somerset, England. 


She Couldn't Forget...

Wealthy squire's daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it's bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father's estate, Nick is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nick escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nick never returns. A decade later, he's long been presumed dead.

He Wouldn't Forgive...

After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he's on a mission to restore his family's honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn't reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She's bold and beautiful--and entirely convinced he's someone else.

As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?


"Tartly elegant. . . A vigorous, sparkling, and entertaining love story with plenty of Austen-ite wit."— Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Matthews ups the ante with a wildly suspenseful romance..."— Library Journal, starred review

"Equally passionate and powerful...Mimi Matthews proves once again that she is a master of historical fiction in Gentleman Jim."— Readers' Favorite

"Rollicking and romantic, passionate and intriguing...Regency romance does not get any better than Gentleman Jim."— Relz Reviewz 


:   Gentleman Jim
Author:  Mimi Matthews
Publisher:  Perfectly Proper Press
Genre:   Historical Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   3776
Date of Publication:   November 10, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

On the shelf. Ten years and multiple offers of marriage. Yet Margaret Honeywell remained single, and is for all intents and purposes, a spinster. She promised her heart to Nicholas Seaton when they were teens, but he has been gone for years. There is no one else that Maggie could possibly love, not even her guardian and ardent pursuer, Frederick Burton-Smythe.

A woman knows her heart. when John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare arrives on the scene after years spent away, Maggie's heart beats a familiar drum. THIS is why she waited. This is why she is alone. Her Nicholas is back. But, is he? Why is St. Clare claiming to be someone else, a man with prospects, and not the troubled Nicholas who has been long thought dead.

In a battle between love and vengeance, St. Clare has something to prove, even if looking into the beautiful eyes of Maggie brings tears to his own eyes. He has a mission, and that mission might keep them apart forever, making those ten years away ever more painful to consider.

What a great story by Mimi Matthews! I loved Maggie. Strong and determined from beginning to end, not willing to take no for an answer, no matter how steep the difficulties. I also enjoyed St. Clare, and his history ad reasonings, all the while hoping this couple could overcome the major obstacles facing them to find their forever happiness. This delightful story was an easy read, one that made my heart leap for joy and comes highly recommended. 

Many thanks to Perfectly Proper Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Fred fixed his gaze on Maggie. A muscle worked convulsively in his cheek. “I’ve never denied you anything, so long as you asked me in a polite and civil manner. Go to the dressmaker and the milliner, by all means, and have the bills sent to me. But not today. Today you’re to retire to bed. Tomorrow, if you have recovered your strength from the journey, you may go shopping. But you’re to take Bessie. I shall have a word with her before I go. She knows her duty.” 

He took his leave of them, then. Jane summoned a footman to fetch his hat and cane and show him out. As the drawing room doors closed behind him, she muttered, “How generous you are. We are both so very much obliged to you.” 

Maggie leaned back in her seat. As a girl, she’d been energized by arguments. Fueled by raised voices and heated words. Now such things only served to exhaust her. “What a colossal waste of time.” 

“Not entirely.” Jane sat down across from her in Fred’s vacated chair. “He’s given you leave to purchase as many new clothes as you like. And if he thinks I mean to take you to Grafton House for a bargain, he’s much mistaken. We shall go to Madame Clothilde, that new French modiste in Bruton Street that everyone’s raving about. Très exclusif, apparently. She only dresses the richest and most beautiful ladies in town. You’ve lost a bit of your bloom, I know, but she’ll not turn you away.” 

“How can I think of shopping? There’s still the duel to consider in the morning, and I haven’t the faintest idea what I…” Maggie closed her eyes, rubbing her forehead again. 

“A headache?” 

“No, no. Well, that is…yes, my head does ache, but I think I have an idea.” 

“To throw yourself between them?” 

“Indeed not. But it occurs to me that, if I can’t reason with Fred, the only course of action left is to try and reason with the viscount.” 

Jane stilled. “Lord St. Clare? But how can you? You haven’t even been introduced to him. And even if you had…he’s a single gentleman. You can’t simply pay him an afternoon call.” 

“Of course not. By tomorrow afternoon, it will be too late. I must go today. Or tonight, rather, for I can’t be seen paying a call on him in broad daylight.” 

“My dear, you cannot go at all. There’s your reputation to consider.” 

“I suppose I shall have to go under cover of darkness,” Maggie said, thinking aloud. “When I’m least likely to be observed.” 

“If you won’t consider your own reputation, you must at least consider mine. I’m your hostess and responsible for your—” 

“I won’t ask you to accompany me, if that’s what you’re afraid of. And I won’t involve your servants, either. I can very well take a hackney to the viscount’s residence.” Maggie hoped that would be enough to protect Jane’s good name. “Unless…Gad, he doesn’t live in bachelor rooms in St. James’s Street, does he?” 

“No. At least, I don’t think so. I’ve heard he’s staying at the Earl of Allendale’s residence. A big mausoleum of a place in Grosvenor Square.” 

“But that’s not very far from here at all.” 

“Yes, I daresay you might walk there,” Jane said dryly. 

“I know you disapprove, but you must advise me. Is St. Clare as unreasonable as Fred, do you think?” 

“I haven’t the slightest notion. We’ve never been introduced. Though I have seen him twice at the theater. He was sitting in a box with his grandfather. I must say, he didn’t look like a particularly amiable gentleman. On the other hand, I can’t conceive of anyone being as disagreeable as Fred.”  

Maggie considered this. “Well, I suppose the worst thing that can happen is he’ll laugh in my face. Or refuse to admit me altogether. It’s very likely a fool’s errand, but if there’s a chance he might call off this stupid duel, I must make the effort to see him.” 

“The worst thing that can happen…?” Jane was incredulous. “Margaret, no one knows the viscount well enough to judge his character. He’s been on the continent for ages. For all you know, he’s a rake and a libertine. A vile seducer. To go to his house alone—and at night, too—you’re practically offering yourself to him on a silver platter!” 

“I shan’t go alone,” Maggie said. “I shall take Bessie with me.”


Nov 09 Relz Reviewz (Character Spotlight) 
Nov 09 Life of Literature (Review) 
Nov 09 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review) 
Nov 10 Savvy Verse and Wit (Interview) 
Nov 10 Greenish Bookshelf (Review) 
Nov 11 Library of Clean Reads (Review) 
Nov 11 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt) 
Nov 12 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 
Nov 12 Heidi Reads (Review) 
Nov 13 Lu's Reviews (Review) 
Nov 14 The Green Mockingbird (Review) 
Nov 15 Bookish Rantings (Review) 
Nov 15 The Lit Bitch (Review) 
Nov 16 The Historical Fiction Reader (Review) 
Nov 16 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 
Nov 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Review) 
Nov 17 Robin Loves Reading (Review) 
Nov 18 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review) 
Nov 18 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt) 
Nov 19 Laura's Reviews (Review) 
Nov 20 Jorie Loves a Story (Spotlight) 
Nov 20 Foxes and Fairy Tales (Review) 
Nov 21 Gwendalyn's Books (Excerpt) 
Nov 22 Romantically Inclined Reviews (Review) 
Nov 22 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review) 
Nov 22 Vesper's Place (Spotlight) 
Nov 23 Fiction Aficionado (Review) 
Nov 23 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review) 
Nov 24 Let Them Read Books (Interview) 
Nov 25 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review) 
Nov 25 So Little Time… (Spotlight) 
Nov 27 Among the Reads (Review) 
Nov 28 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review) 
Nov 29 Book Bustle (Review) 
Nov 30 Cup of Tea with that Book Please (Review) 
Dec 01 Nurse Bookie (Review) 
Dec 02 Confessions of a Book Addict (Review) 
Dec 02 Impressions in Ink (Review) 
Dec 03 From Pemberley to Milton (Review) 
Dec 04 Relz Reviewz (Review) 
Dec 04 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review) 
Dec 05 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review) 
Dec 05 Probably at the Library (Review) 
Dec 06 The Calico Critic (Excerpt) 


USA Today
bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. Her next romance, The Siren of Sussex, will be out in 2022 from Berkley/Penguin Random House.