Friday, November 29, 2019

BLOG TOUR - Single


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Single by K. L. Slater.


DESCRIPTION:

‘I keep feeling like I’m being watched – dropping the boys off at school, choosing wine at the supermarket – but when I turn around there’s nobody there…’

When single mother Darcy’s son falls from a rope bridge at a local playground, life stands still. She clutches his small, limp body, frozen, until a pair of strong hands push her aside, and she watches as George, a local doctor, saves her son’s life.

George is a single parent too, and with his twinkling hazel eyes, easy charm, and lack of wedding band is almost too good to be true, but coffee becomes lunch, lunch becomes dinner, and soon they can’t go an evening without seeing each other. When he invites her to move into his beautiful home with its sprawling garden for her boys, Darcy doesn’t hesitate.

But as Darcy is settling in, she receives a bunch of flowers with a chilling message. George says they’re from an obsessed ex-girlfriend, Opal, and days later Opal turns up at Darcy’s son’s football match. She claims to have shocking information that could threaten George’s custody of his daughter.

Darcy doesn’t know who to trust, but she’s starting to suspect that, whatever the truth, she might have put her beloved boys into terrible danger … 

From the million-copy-bestselling author K.L. Slater this utterly gripping psychological thriller will make you gasp out loud as you race towards the unforgettable twist. If you loved The Girl on the Train and The Wife Between Us this book is for you.  


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   Single
Author:  K.L.Slater
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   383
Date of Publication:  November 25, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Darcy is so very grateful that a stranger came rushing to her aid when her son had an asthma attack. The stranger, who she soon learns is named George, is an esteemed doctor. Meanwhile Darcy's life is not going that great. She eventually begins spending time with George and he ultimately invites her and her son to move in with him and his young daughter.

Beyond her attraction to George, this invitation is a true blessing. For starters, Darcy had a tough past after she lost her husband, even allowing her in-laws to take custody of her son for a while. Although she is now taking full care of her son, the boy spends a lot of time with his grandparents and his aunt.

Meanwhile both Darcy and George are hiding dark pasts and secrets. In both cases, their pasts are front and center, and bringing danger too close and too often. Not only does Darcy have to look over her shoulder. she must now wonder whether or not she can trust George. What is more is that there is something rather sinister going on with her in-laws.

Will all of these things threaten Darcy's future? Will she and her son come away unscathed from people who do not have their best interests at heart? For a thrilling read, as in the case with the other K.L. Slater stories I have had the privilege of reading, do not hesitate to pick up your copy of Single. You will not be disappointed.

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of nine standalone psychological crime thrillers. SINGLE, her new thriller, is published November 2019.

Order of publication:
SAFE WITH ME (2016)
BLINK (2017)
LIAR (2017)
THE MISTAKE (2017)
THE VISITOR (2018)
THE SECRET (2018)
CLOSER (2018)
FINDING GRACE (2019)
THE SILENT ONES (2019)
SINGLE (2019)
THE APARTMENT - AN AUDIBLE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION (2019)

Her titles are published in eBook by Bookouture and in paperback by Sphere (UK) and Grand Central (USA).

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, 'it was a fairytale ... at the end of a very long road!'

Kim is a full-time writer. She has one daughter, two stepsons and lives with her husband in Nottingham.

Publishers: Bookouture, Sphere, Grand Central, Audible
Agent: Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson 

Author website: www.KLSlaterAuthor.com
Twitter: @KimLSlater
Facebook: KL Slater Author
Instagram: KLSlaterAuthor


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Review - Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill

Title:  Christmas at the Little Cottage on the Hill
Author:  Emma Davies
Series:  The Little Cottage Series, Book 4
Genre:  Romance / Women's Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
Date of Publication:  October 26, 2018
No. of Pages:  308
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

One twinkling winter’s night, Ruby wakes her sleeping children and escapes for a new life in the countryside. It’s a choice that will change her life beyond all recognition…

Arriving at the cosy little rental cottage as the first snow begins to fall, Ruby doesn’t regret leaving her bully of a husband for a moment, but she does feel guilty about uprooting her kids so close to Christmas. She can only wish that one day soon her son Jem will forgive her.

It’s not long before the family are settled in and drinking hot chocolate by the fire, the flames kept roaring by a neighbouring woodsman called Angus. As big as a tree, but as gentle as a dormouse, all Ruby’s instincts tell her to be wary of letting this gorgeous stranger get too close. Is that the first tingle of festive magic Ruby can feel? Or might it even be hope?

As Christmas day approaches and a blizzard sparks a power cut across the entire village, Ruby must force herself to believe in Christmas miracles again. Was she right to put her trust in Angus? With only flickering candles to guide her through the darkness, will she ever find her way back to the light?

Wrap yourself up in this utterly gorgeous festive romance, perfect for anyone who loves Heidi Swan, Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond – and Christmas!


MY THOUGHTS:

Ruby has uplifted her life, and that of her kids Jem and Darcie, by packing them all up and moving to a small town where she hopes they can all start again. As she begins to meet the warm and kind members of the town, which is lovely and is definitely ready for Christmas, they eventually wonder if Ruby could be hiding the real reason she has shown up.

Ruby does have a reason for running, as she will do anything to keep her children safe. Jem is tired of moving around and Ruby has a bit of trouble with him, so when one of the neighbors, a gentle giant named Angus begins to play a big role in her life, and especially with Jem, things start to improve. With Ruby's past, however, she must ask herself how close can she allow herself to be with Angus.

This is the fourth book in the series, and the continuity really shows because just about all of the people I have read in this series, and anyone else for that matter. I loved seeing everyone again.  For those of you who enjoy Christmas books, Emma Davies has done a great job, so this book could  easily pass as a standalone novel.

Not only do readers get to see the slow burn in the romance between Ruby and Angus, the town's members have a lot of activities to plan. So, this book does often switch off to focus on the other members of the town, people I came to love, like Maddie and Clara. I rather enjoyed those parts too. Therefore, I highly recommend this book that came out a year ago, but somehow managed to slip the bottom of my TBR and I am thrilled that I was able to finally pick it up.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to 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 or find her on Facebook.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review - Puppy Christmas

Title:  Puppy Christmas
Author:  Lucy Gilmore
Series:  Forever Home #2
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  416
Date of Publication:  September 24, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Lila Vasquez might not be the "fun one" at Puppy Promise―the service puppy training school she runs with her sisters―but she can always be counted on to gets things done. So when her latest client shows an interest in princess gowns over power suits, Lila puts aside her scruples, straps on the glittery heels, and gets to work.

If only the adorable six-year-old's father wasn't such an appealing Prince Charming.

Ford's whole life revolves around his daughter...until he meets Lila. Smart, capable, and amazing at helping Emily gain confidence with her new service puppy at her side, Lila is everything he ever wanted―but she's way out of his league. Good thing Emily and her new pup are up to the matchmaking task. This Christmas, it's all hands (and paws) on deck!




MY THOUGHTS:

Lila Vasquez met a delightful little girl that changed her life forever. Running a service puppy training school with her sisters is rewarding work for certain. However, working with children is definitely not one of her strengths. Ford Ford (yes, that is his name) has the most amazing daughter, six-year-old Emily. Due to her hearing loss, Emily is about to get a service dog, and that comes with one-on-one training. This blessing is due to a fundraiser and the dog and training lessons were offered as a prize.

Lila will be working with Emily and the dog - who Emily promptly names Jeeves von Hinklebottom the Third - all the while fighting an incredible attraction to Ford. Meanwhile, Ford not only has to fight his own attraction, but also his very torn emotional feelings. These feelings include the fact that as a single father, he is very protective as his daughter. Also, his past was rather rocky, and he often wonders whether or not he is good enough for someone as classy as Lila. Lila herself has someone in her past that is rather making a nuisance of himself.

Emily is as sharp as a tack. Lila is her "new friend". Already a special person in her life, and somehow, she is going to make her daddy happy by making Lila much more than a dog trainer. It is also the holidays, so preparations are in order. 

What a wonderful story! It is the second in the Forever Home series. The Vasquez sisters, as readers have already met them in Puppy Love, particularly Sophie, have proven that they will go over and above to make their clients happy. Placing just the perfect dog with each family is something they excel at. In this book, Puppy Christmas, Lila measures up to the task marvelously.

Not only is the book based on puppies, an adorable little girl and a very warm romance, but it is filled with humor, family and a touching happily ever after. The next book in the series, Puppy Kisses, is due for release in June.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and to Edelweiss for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Lucy Gilmore is a contemporary romance author with a love of puppies, rainbows, and happily ever afters. She began her reading (and writing) career as an English literature major and ended as a die-hard fan of romance in all forms. When she's not rolling around with her two Akitas, she can be found hiking, biking, or with her nose buried in a book.




Sunday, November 24, 2019

BLOG TOUR - The Princess Plan


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for the Princess Plan by Julia London.


DESCRIPTION:

Princes have pomp and glory—not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners

Nothing gets London's high society's tongues wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it's all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefitted from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater one in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there's nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza's contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they'll have to work together if they're going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it's the prince who'll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.


BUY LINKS:


MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   The Princess Plan
Author:  Julia London
Series:  A Royal Wedding #1
Genre:   Historical/Victorian Romance
Publisher:  HQN Books
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   384
Date of Publication:  November 26, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

Prince Sebastian of Alucia is beside himself when his secretary is murdered. When Sebastian discovers that the woman behind a gossip gazette, Eliza Tricklebank, has reported what he thinks is false information about the murder, he decides to investigate things himself.

Before he knows it, they are working alongside one another. What's more is that they previously met at a masked ball, and a connection between the pair was made, no matter how impossible that would e for Sebastian and Eliza.

As far as to why Sebastian is in England, it is to further trade agreements with his country. Furthermore, he is hoping to find a bride, one that will be a good match, thus cementing agreements that will benefit both countries. The murder has definitely thrown a wrench into these plans.

The pair spend time together when it comes to trying to find the murderer, but it should come to no surprise that they will be forced to face their growing feelings for one another. However, with Eliza being the relatively poor spinster daughter of a blind judge, she is hardly marriage material.

The Princess Plan is the delightful first story in the A Royal Wedding series. What a delight! Quite naturally, Eliza and Sebastian are perfect for one another, and it was great fun watching them seek to identify the murderer, all while stealing moments together. This enjoyable story had a delightful conclusion and I am excited for the next book in the series. A Royal Kiss and Tell, coming in May.

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


Please enjoy the following excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

London 1845
All of London has been on tenterhooks, desperate for a glimpse of Crown Prince Sebastian of Alucia during his highly anticipated visit. Windsor Castle was the scene of Her Majesty’s banquet to welcome him. Sixty-and-one-hundred guests were on hand, feted in St. George’s Hall beneath the various crests of the Order of the Garter. Two thousand pieces of silver cutlery were used, one thousand crystal glasses and goblets. The first course and main dish of lamb and potatoes were served on silver-gilded plates, followed by delicate fruits on French porcelain.
Prince Sebastian presented a large urn fashioned of green Alucian malachite to our Queen Victoria as a gift from his father the King of Alucia. The urn was festooned with delicate ropes of gold around the mouth and the neck.
The Alucian women were attired in dresses of heavy silk worn close to the body, the trains quite long and brought up and fastened with buttons to facilitate walking. Their hair was fashioned into elaborate knots worn at the nape. The Alucian gentlemen wore formal frock coats of black superfine wool that came to midcalf, as well as heavily embroidered waistcoats worn to the hip. It was reported that Crown Prince Sebastian is “rather tall and broad, with a square face and neatly trimmed beard, a full head of hair the color of tea, and eyes the color of moss,” which the discerning reader might think of as a softer shade of green. It is said he possesses a regal air owing chiefly to the many medallions and ribbons he wore befitting his rank.
Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies
The Right Honorable Justice William Tricklebank, a widower and justice of the Queen’s Bench in Her Majesty’s service, was very nearly blind, his eyesight having steadily eroded into varying and fuzzy shades of gray with age. He could no longer see so much as his hand, which was why his eldest daughter, Miss Eliza Tricklebank, read his papers to him.
Eliza had enlisted the help of Poppy, their housemaid, who was more family than servant, having come to them as an orphaned girl more than twenty years ago. Together, the two of them had anchored strings and ribbons halfway up the walls of his London townhome, and all the judge had to do was follow them with his hand to move from room to room. Among the hazards he faced was a pair of dogs that were far too enthusiastic in their wish to be of some use to him, and a cat who apparently wished him dead, judging by the number of times he put himself in the judge’s path, or leapt into his lap as he sat, or walked across the knitting the judge liked to do while his daughter read to him, or unravelled his ball of yarn without the judge’s notice.
The only other potential impediments to his health were his daughters—Eliza, a spinster, and her younger sister, Hollis, otherwise known as the Widow Honeycutt. They were often together in his home, and when they were, it seemed to him there was quite a lot of laughing at this and shrieking at that. His daughters disputed that they shrieked, and accused him of being old and easily startled. But the judge’s hearing, unlike his eyesight, was quite acute, and those two shrieked with laughter. Often.
At eight-and-twenty, Eliza was unmarried, a fact that had long baffled the judge. There had been an unfortunate and rather infamous misunderstanding with one Mr. Asher Daughton-Cress, who the judge believed was despicable, but that had been ten years ago. Eliza had once been demure and a politely deferential young lady, but she’d shed any pretense of deference when her heart was broken. In the last few years she had emerged vibrant and carefree. He would think such demeanour would recommend her to gentlemen far and wide, but apparently it did not. She’d had only one suitor since her very public scandal, a gentleman some fifteen years older than Eliza. Mr. Norris had faithfully called every day until one day he did not. When the judge had inquired, Eliza had said, “It was not love that compelled him, Pappa. I prefer my life here with you—the work is more agreeable, and I suspect not as many hours as marriage to him would require.”
His youngest, Hollis, had been tragically widowed after only two years of a marriage without issue. While she maintained her own home, she and her delightful wit were a faithful caller to his house at least once a day without fail, and sometimes as much as two or three times per day. He should like to see her remarried, but Hollis insisted she was in no rush to do so. The judge thought she rather preferred her sister’s company to that of a man.
His daughters were thick as thieves, as the saying went, and were coconspirators in something that the judge did not altogether approve of. But he was blind, and they were determined to do what they pleased no matter what he said, so he’d given up trying to talk any practical sense into them.
That questionable activity was the publication of a ladies’ gazette. Tricklebank didn’t think ladies needed a gazette, much less one having to do with frivolous subjects such as fashion, gossip and beauty. But say what he might, his daughters turned a deaf ear to him. They were unfettered in their enthusiasm for this endeavour, and if the two of them could be believed, so was all of London.
The gazette had been established by Hollis’s husband, Sir Percival Honeycutt. Except that Sir Percival had published an entirely different sort of gazette, obviously— one devoted to the latest political and financial news. Now that was a useful publication to the judge’s way of thinking.
Sir Percival’s death was the most tragic of accidents, the result of his carriage sliding off the road into a swollen river during a rain, which also saw the loss of a fine pair of grays. It was a great shock to them all, and the judge had worried about Hollis and her ability to cope with such a loss. But Hollis proved herself an indomitable spirit, and she had turned her grief into efforts to preserve her husband’s name. But as she was a young woman without a man’s education, and could not possibly comprehend the intricacies of politics or financial matters, she had turned the gazette on its head and dedicated it solely to topics that interested women, which naturally would be limited to the latest fashions and the most tantalizing on dits swirling about London’s high society. It was the judge’s impression that women had very little interest in the important matters of the world.
And yet, interestingly, the judge could not deny that Hollis’s version of the gazette was more actively sought than her husband’s had ever been. So much so that Eliza had been pressed into the service of helping her sister prepare her gazette each week. It was curious to Tricklebank that so many members of the Quality were rather desperate to be mentioned among the gazette’s pages.
Today, his daughters were in an unusually high state of excitement, for they had secured the highly sought-after invitations to the Duke of Marlborough’s masquerade ball in honor of the crown prince of Alucia. One would think the world had stopped spinning on its axis and that the heavens had parted and the seas had receded and this veritable God of All Royal Princes had shined his countenance upon London and blessed them all with his presence.
Hogwash.
Everyone knew the prince was here to strike an important trade deal with the English government in the name of King Karl. Alucia was a small European nation with impressive wealth for her size. It was perhaps best known for an ongoing dispute with the neighboring country of Wesloria—the two had a history of war and distrust as fraught as that between England and France.
The judge had read that it was the crown prince who was pushing for modernization in Alucia, and who was the impetus behind the proposed trade agreement. Prince Sebastian envisioned increasing the prosperity of Alucia by trading cotton and iron ore for manufactured goods. But according to the judge’s daughters, that was not the most important part of the trade negotiations. The important part was that the prince was also in search of a marriage bargain.
“It’s what everyone says,” Hollis had insisted to her father over supper recently “And how is it, my dear, that everyone knows what the prince intends?” the judge asked as he stroked the cat, Pris, on his lap. The cat had been named Princess when the family believed it a female. When the houseman Ben discovered that Princess was, in fact, a male, Eliza said it was too late to change the name. So they’d shortened it to Pris. “Did the prince send a letter? Announce it in the Times?”
“Caro says,” Hollis countered, as if that were quite obvious to anyone with half a brain where she got her information. “She knows everything about everyone, Pappa.”
“Aha. If Caro says it, then by all means, it must be true.”
“You must yourself admit she is rarely wrong,” Hollis had said with an indignant sniff.
Caro, or Lady Caroline Hawke, had been a lifelong friend to his daughters, and had been so often underfoot in the Tricklebank house that for many years, it seemed to the judge that he had three daughters.
Caroline was the only sibling of Lord Beckett Hawke and was also his ward. Long ago, a cholera outbreak had swept through London, and both Caro’s mother and his children’s mother had succumbed. Amelia, his wife, and Lady Hawke had been dear friends. They’d sent their children to the Hawke summer estate when Amelia had taken ill. Lady Hawke had insisted on caring for her friend and, well, in the end, they were both lost.
Lord Hawke was an up-and-coming young lord and politician, known for his progressive ideas in the House of Lords. He was rather handsome, Hollis said, a popular figure, and socially in high demand. Which meant that, by association, so was his sister. She, too, was quite comely, which made her presence all the easier to her brother’s many friends, the judge suspected.
But Caroline did seem to know everyone in London, and was constantly calling on the Tricklebank household to spout the gossip she’d gleaned in homes across Mayfair. Here was an industrious young lady—she called on three salons a day if she called on one. The judge supposed her brother scarcely need worry about putting food in their cupboards, for the two of them were dining with this four-and-twenty or that ten-and-six almost every night. It was a wonder Caroline wasn’t a plump little peach.
Perhaps she was. In truth, she was merely another shadow to the judge these days.
“And she was at Windsor and dined with the queen,” Hollis added with superiority.
“You mean Caro was in the same room but one hundred persons away from the queen,” the judge suggested. He knew how these fancy suppers went.
“Well, she was there, Pappa, and she met the Alucians, and she knows a great deal about them now. I am quite determined to discover who the prince intends to offer for and announce it in the gazette before anyone else. Can you imagine? I shall be the talk of London!”
This was precisely what Mr. Tricklebank didn’t like about the gazette. He did not want his daughters to be the talk of London.
But it was not the day for him to make this point, for his daughters were restless, moving about the house with an urgency he was not accustomed to. Today was the day of the Royal Masquerade Ball, and the sound of crisp petticoats and silk rustled around him, and the scent of perfume wafted into his nose when they passed. His daughters were waiting impatiently for Lord Hawke’s brougham to come round and fetch them. Their masks, he was given to understand, had already arrived at the Hawke House, commissioned, Eliza had breathlessly reported, from “Mrs. Cubison herself.”
He did not know who Mrs. Cubison was.
And frankly, he didn’t know how Caro had managed to finagle the invitations to a ball at Kensington Palace for his two daughters—for the good Lord knew the Tricklebanks did not have the necessary connections to achieve such a feat.
He could feel their eagerness, their anxiety in the nervous pitch of their giggling when they spoke to each other. Even Poppy seemed nervous. He supposed this was to be the ball by which all other balls in the history of mankind would forever be judged, but he was quite thankful he was too blind to attend.
When the knock at the door came, he was startled by such squealing and furious activity rushing by him that he could only surmise that the brougham had arrived and the time had come to go to the ball.


Excerpted from The Princess Plan by Julia London, Copyright © 2019 by Dinah Dinwiddle. Published by HQN Books.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub's Best Historical Novel.

SOCIAL LINKS:
http://www.julialondon.com/newsletter
http://www.facebook.com/julialondon
http://www.twitter.com/juliaflondon
http://www.instagram.com/julia_f_london

Saturday, November 23, 2019

BLOG TOUR - Snow Creek


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Snow Creek by Gregg Olsen.

DESCRIPTION:

Footprints were scattered about like fallen leaves. She looked down into the ravine, and once more her lungs filled with fear. A body, blackened and motionless lay splayed out in the bushes.

Detective Megan Carpenter is no stranger to evil. Escaping the horrors of her old life, she’s vowed never to let anyone hurt her or those she loves ever again. Joining the small police force in Jefferson County’s Port Townsend, Megan is determined to get every victim of a crime the justice they deserve.

So when Ruth Turner walks into the Sheriff’s office claiming her sister Ida Watson has been missing for over a month, Megan’s instincts tell her that she needs to do more than just file a report.

Arriving at a secluded farmhouse in the hills above Snow Creek, she finds Ida’s teenage children alone and frightened.

Then a few days later, close to the Watsons’ home, the blackened body of a woman is discovered in an abandoned pickup truck.

Megan must unravel the disturbing secrets of the isolated Snow Creek community if she is to catch the killer.

But Megan has dark secrets of her own too…

Hidden in the back of her closet is a box of tapes containing every single recording of her therapy sessions with Doctor Albright over thirteen years ago. As Megan begins to play the tapes, she’s taken straight back to her terrifying childhood, back to the time she was a kid called Rylee, fighting to survive.

Can Megan finally confront the past she’s spent years trying to block out and will listening to her own painful story help her solve the complex case she is now entangled in?

From the Number One New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author, comes an absolutely heart-stopping and completely unputdownable crime series, introducing Detective Megan Carpenter.

MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   Snow Creek
Author:  Gregg Olsen
Series:  Detective Megan Carpenter Tapes #1
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   280
Date of Publication:  November 18, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

Detective Megan Carpenter takes a special interest in her new case. A woman, acting very strangely and very reserved, reports her sister, Ruth Turner, missing. Megan goes to the woman's home and is met by the Ruth's teen children. They are are terrified, and Megan discovers that both parents are actually missing, and have been gone for several weeks.

The family lives off the grid and the parents' disappearances raises several concerns for Megan. For starters, Megan sees similarities to her own broken past. While searching for the parents, at the end of each day, Megan painfully listens to tapes from therapy sessions that helped her to recover from very tragic experiences.

Megan soon learns that there is much more than meets the eye with the disappearance of the parents. Meanwhile, there is another couple that also live off grid, and one of them has taken some very serious steps to protect her own. Megan must tie all of these things together.

Snow Creek is the first book in the Detective Megan Carpenter series. The way this book is written, readers get to see how Megan survived a horrid past and how she showed her resilience and became the strong woman she is now. This compelling story was impossible to put down. The twists and turns were many and the conclusion was truly hair-raising. I cannot wait to see what else this series has in store.

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A #1 New York Times, Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, seventeen novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel.

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington's Secretary of State for the book's contribution to Washington state history and culture.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).

Author Social Media Links:
Website: https://www.greggolsen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreggOlsenAuthor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Gregg_Olsen

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Review - Snowfall on Cedar Trail

Author:  Annie Rains
Series:  Sweetwater Springs #3
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  736
Date of Publication:  October 8, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a heartwarming holiday romance between the a small-town florist and the handsome chief of police. 

Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn't spoken a word since his father's death. 

This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.

Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father's hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy's mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father's cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger -- including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn't about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.

Includes the bonus novel Then There Was You by Miranda Liasson!

MY THOUGHTS:

Halona Locklear will do everything within her power to protect and nurture her seven-year-old son Theo. He hasn't spoken a single word since his father's death. Selective mutism is his diagnosis. Nonetheless, Theo is a responsive, delightful little boy and Halona works very hard with him.

Halona enrolls Theo in a Mentor Match program and his mentor is none other than the town's Chief of Police, Alex Baker. This is wonderful on one hand, as Theo has always responded to Alex whenever he came into Halona's store. This is a problem because Halona is very attracted to Alex, and apparently he feels the same.

Meanwhile, Alex's father was killed in a hit-and-run years ago, and Alex has decided to reopen his case. This brings grief to Halona because it might mean bringing about secrets about Halona's past. Secrets she would rather keep buried. The deeper Alex digs, the more danger is presented to not only himself, but to everyone around him, including Halona, the woman he cannot help but to feel very strongly towards. All the while, Alex and Theo begin spending time together, and thus Halona and Alex get that very same opportunity.

I so loved this story! Halona, Alex and Theo are remarkable together. The bonds of family, love and communication are blessings that really touched my heart. The other books in this series, Christmas on Mistletoe Lane and Springtime at Home Cottage were a delight as well. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek in February.

Many thanks to Forever and NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

*The previous reviews in this series are links. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today Bestselling Author, Annie Rains, is a contemporary romance author who writes small town love stories set in fictional towns on the coast of North Carolina. Raised in one of America’s largest military communities, 

Annie often features heroes who fight for their countries, while also fighting for a place to call home and a good woman to love. When Annie isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband, 3 children and dog, or reading a book by one of her favorite authors.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

REVIEW - Her Dark Heart


Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Her Dark Heart by Carla Kovach.


DESCRIPTION:

Rory is waiting at the door of the pre-school – a painted picture of his mother Susan in his small hand. But Susan isn’t going to see the picture, because she has vanished.

Susan Wheeler is a devoted mother. She would do anything for her three children. She drops them off and picks them up every single day. Until one day when Susan kisses them goodbye and then never comes to pick them up.

Susan’s mother Mary is worried. Susan is recently divorced and has been finding things hard recently, but she loves her kids – she’d never leave them.

Susan’s sister Clare is furious. It’s just like her to go missing. It’s not the first time, either. Susan has always been a troublemaker. Always seeking attention. She knows Susan has been lying to the family for years. And she knows that Susan has been sneaking out of her family home for weeks…

As the hours turn into days, even Clare becomes fearful for Susan. And, when Mary discovers Susan’s diary, she begins to uncover a dark secret from her childhood. Something no one in the family knew. When the final diary entry leads the police to a man who is discovered dead in a local park, they’re left wondering whether Susan has vanished because she is a victim. Or because she is a suspect…

An explosively compelling crime thriller from bestselling author Carla Kovach – if you love Lisa Gardner, Robert Bryndza or Clare Mackintosh, you’ll love Her Dark Heart.


BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07WZMKTB6Social
Apple Books: https://apple.co/347kkWi
Kobo: http://bit.ly/326Hsmb
Googleplay: http://bit.ly/2MJQLEP



MY THOUGHTS:

Title:   Her Dark Heart
Author:  Carla Kovach
Series:  Detective Gina Harte #5
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   349
Date of Publication:  November 19, 2019
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

When Susan, divorced mother of three, disappears, there are mixed reactions. On the one hand, her mother Mary is very concerned. Conversely, her sister Clare is perturbed and is certain that Susan's disappearance is a repeat of her past actions. 

Detective Gina Harte is on the scene, hoping to discover what happened to Susan. She makes more than one visit to the family, including Susan's ex-husband, and Mary's home. Currently, Susan's ex is caring for their two daughters, and Mary has the couple's young son. Meanwhile, Clare and her son are living at home with Mary and her husband. Tensions are definitely on the rise, especially as Clare's feelings towards Susan are made clear.

Mary has secreted some things from the police, things she found while searching her daughter's home. She unearthed Susan's diary and reluctantly shares information with Gina. Susan had been hiding secrets from her past, and the investigation leads to the body of a man somehow connected to Susan. Gina cannot help but wonder, is Susan a victim or guilty of the man's murder? Is her disappearance much more than meets the eye? 

Meanwhile, the story shifts back and forth between the search for Susan, while at the same time sharing the perspective of the guilty party, with more than one victim ending up in danger. Despite these entries, I was completely surprised as to what was eventually revealed.

What a riveting story!  The dual timelines were intriguing, especially when the mystery element became rather thrilling. Meanwhile, the family drama was compelling. And the conclusion, shocking beyond belief! This is the fifth book in the Detective Gina Harte series. Having had the opportunity to read the previous two titles, I have come to admire Gina and her work ethic. I look forward to continuing with this series.

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama 'Flame,' psychological thriller 'To Let,' crime thriller 'Whispers Beneath the Pines,' and holiday comedy, 'Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.' Carla also writes stage and screenplays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area. Her feature film 'Penny for the Guy' is being made and is set for release in 2019.

Her latest book, Her Dark Heart, has been published by Bookouture. It is the fifth book in the DI Gina Harte crime series.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CKovachAuthor
Website: https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/