Thursday, July 22, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Little Island Secret



DESCRIPTION:

At the bottom of the meadow is a tiny crescent of beach, and beyond it the wild grey sea. I’ve pictured this view in my head so many times, and now I’m here, I know it will change everything. The whitewashed cottage with a peeling green painted door to my right must be his house…

When Abby steps off the ferry and onto the tiny island of Kinlossay, she squeezes her daughter’s hand and prays this trip will be the escape they both so desperately need. For now, at least, Beth is safe from the bullies making her life a misery, and perhaps Abby might find out more about the mysterious man behind the letters she’s been receiving…

Cameron first got in touch to see if Abby’s shop stocked his favourite book. And has written every day since to tell her of his life on his rugged little island, where buttercups dance on rolling fields and the sky never stops moving. The weekend he once came to visit her - singing with Beth in the kitchen, kissing Abby’s lips so tenderly - is a memory she will treasure forever. But then, one day, the messages stopped. Abby received the heartbreaking news that Cameron had passed away.

As she watches her daughter run laughing along the windswept beaches he described so perfectly, Abby wonders if this goodbye trip could also be a new beginning. But then she sees a face across the street that she recognises instantly, and her heart shatters. If Cameron is dead, who is this man? What devastating secrets has this little island been keeping? The truth will change Abby and her daughter’s life forever – but only if they let it…

Lose yourself on the wild shores of a remote island in this absolutely gripping and heart-wrenching story about holding on to hope and the incredible things we do for love. Filled with secrets and surprises, fans of Debbie Macomber, Rosanna Ley and Sheila O’Flanagan will adore this stunning and totally uplifting page-turner.

BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:

Title
:   The Little Island Secret
Author:  Emma Davies
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   161
Date of Publication:  July 21, 2021 
My Rating:   5 Stars

Abby and her eleven-year-old daughter Beth are taking a much needed vacation on the island of Kinlossay. This break will help both Abby and Beth. For Abby, she had fallen in love with Cameron, mostly by letters, although Cameron did visit once and this visit emblazoned a place on Abby's heart. After not hearing from Cameron for a time, Abby was devastated to learn that he had died. Going to Cameron's home will hopefully give Abby the closure she needs. With regard to Beth, she has been continually bullied, and getting away will no doubt prove helpful for her.

Abby sees Beth really happy for the first time while spending a lot of time on the beach. Back at home, Abby has been worried about her bookstore and some of the financial issues that have come up. So, both she and Beth are able to put their worries aside for awhile. However, one day while on the beach Abby sees a man who looks exactly like Cameron. Her heart stops. She once kissed this man. It is Cameron, right? But, no, Cameron is dead. Who is this man and why did he once visit her and Beth, claiming that he was Cameron?

There are a lot of secrets that need explaining, and while trying to stave off further heartbreak, Abby is determined to sort everything out. Meanwhile, she is worried for their future once they return home. There are a lot of questions. Of that there is no doubt. Who is the handsome stranger that knows things only Abby and Cameron knew? While The Little Island Secret is a women's fiction, there were threads of romance throughout the story. In fact, I had no doubt that there would be a happily ever after. But, love is love. The heart is the heart. How could Abby have loved Cameron so desperately when there is someone that just might be her future?

What a journey! I am a true romantic and I just had to keeping tapping my Kindle to see how all of these conflicts could be resolved. Well, Emma Davies did not disappoint. She never does. She penned a clever story that combined hope and love in such a way that truly touched my heart. 

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. 

Author Social Media Links:
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, July 21, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Missing in the Desert

 

Today's blog tour is for Missing in the Desert by Dana Mentink, the second book in the Desert Justice series. I am also including the review for Framed in Death Valley.


Title:   Framed in Death Valley
Author:  Dana Mentink
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
Genre:   Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   March 9, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

A killer who will stop at nothing...

Framed for a murder he didn't commit, firefighter Beckett Duke gave up on everything--including his marriage to spirited Laney Holland. That is, until Laney's life is threatened. Knowing the real killer is still at large, Beckett now has one purpose: protecting the woman he loves...and their unborn child. But sometimes an innocent man's second chance comes with a deadly price.

From Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.


MY THOUGHTS:

Recently released from jail while awaiting trial for murder - which in fact, he was framed for - firefighteer Beckett Duke rushes to the aid of his wife Laney Holland when her life is threatened. Married barely a month before Beckett found the body of Pauline Sanderson, Beckett is more than stressed. Laney has something to tell Beckett, and with this news is determined that he stay out of her life as much as possible - she is pregnant. Their marriage is over and Laney does not want that to change. However, if Beckett wasn't already concerned for Laney's safety, the fact that she is carrying his child changes everything.

Laney never once doubted Beckett's innocence, but when Beckett gave up on their marriage after being framed, so did she. However, will their current circumstances be enough to give them a second chance? There is something signficant in Laney's case. She was told she'd never be able to get pregnant. She really feels blessed and is more than prepared to raise their child on her own.

However, they are both still in love. Can they overcome their obstacles and try again? Then there is the fact of Beckett being framed. There is someone that places both Laney and Beckett in danger. Thus, this story is filled with action, twists and turns, as well as emotion. Framed in Death Valley is an exciting book in the Desert Justice series by Dana Mentink. I went right on and read the next book in the series and am looking forward to each and every story as the series continues.


**Featured Blog Tour Post**



Title:  Missing in the Desert
Author:  Dana Mentink
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
Genre:   Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   July 27, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Five years ago, her sister disappeared…

Now someone is coming for her.

Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.


Buy Missing in the Desert by Dana Mentink!




MY THOUGHTS:

I love series! In Missing in the Desert, the second book in a six-book series by Dana Mentink, I really loved the first book in this series, Framed in Death Valley, and went right on to read this book.   

Mara Castillo's sister Corinne disappeared five years ago, and due to a specific piece of evidence, is assumed dead. When Mara receives a strange one-word text - Marbles - which is her childhood nickname, Mara finds that her hopes are raised. Who but Corinne knew that Mara's nickname was Marbles? Mara gets together with her brother's best friend Levi Duke in order to track down that mysterious text - and hopefully her sister. Levi proves to be a good protector for Mara as someone is not too keen on her looking for answers when it comes to Corinne's disappearance.

What a thrilling story - answers regarding Corinne, the danger that faces Mara at every turn, the brewing romance between Mara and Levi, and hope. Yes, hope that Mara is determined to hold onto. Factor in cute pets, such as Banjo the dog and Tiny the kitten, and of course a Rabbit, and this story proved absolutely wonderful. I also enjoyed the emotional edge in this story, especially after Mara's brother Seth was injured. Levi's sensitivity and concern for Seth's future was really nice. This extended to the fact that Levi and Seth had recently purchased a ranch together, and this has an impact on Levi's future. This is where Levi's selflessness shined.

As things turned out, the text Mara recived was only the first clue, and again, this kept Mara hopeful. This story also had an emotional edge that captured my attention from beginning to end. Factor in faith as a basis for not giving up and this book definitely proved a winner for me. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. 
 
Many thanks to Love Inspired Suspense and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Missing in the Desert - Excerpt

Dana Mentink


Levi Duke let the engine idle and rubbed his temple. Another headache, courtesy of the wreck. The headaches were probably temporary, the doctors said. He sighed. Yes, the car accident four months before had left him with a scar, but worse yet, his hospital ti

me made him miss out on a perfect horse to add to his herd. That was the real pain of it.

“Not this time,” he said. “We’re gonna have ourselves a new mare, ’Jo.”

Banjo, the sizable mutt with a chunk missing from one ear, sprawled in his passenger seat and licked the knee of Levi’s jeans. The dog slithered his way under Levi’s palm until he got the ear rub he was looking for. Mission accomplished, he flopped over and presented his belly, long legs taking up more than his fair share of the room. His fleas and the mud were gone now, thanks to a bath that had been a struggle of epic proportions, his leg wound treated, too. His ribs were not quite as prominent as the day Levi had found him panting and half-dead in a dry creek bed. The dog had introduced himself with eyes desperate for help and the faintest of tail wags. Who could say no to that?

The cell phone chimed.

“We’re just driving past the Funeral Mountains.” Mara’s voice was cool, in spite of the faint Southern drawl. Never could hide her feelings. She was upset with him for inviting her brother, Seth, to partner with him in purchasing the Rocking Horse Ranch. Maybe she had a right to be. A busted-up old ranch just outside Death Valley National Park, a place so hot it was nearly uninhabitable four months of the year? Not exactly a surefire moneymaker. But it wasn’t really about the money—not for him, anyway. He was surprised Mara had even agreed to accompany Seth to meet the mare. Maybe Mara was softening to the idea? Not likely.

“Be careful,” he said. “Road’s steep. I’ll meet you at the farm and introduce you to Cookie. She’s a sweetheart.” Offered for sale by a local, the mare would be a perfect fit for their current herd of eleven if co-owner Seth approved. They needed more horses pronto to meet the tourist demands for the November Camp Town Days Festival the following week.

There was a pause. “All right.”

He forced cheer into his voice to counteract her lack of enthusiasm. “Laney and Beckett are having a barbecue at the Hotsprings. They asked me to invite you both.” His cousin Beckett’s hotel was making a slow recovery after the set of killings that had resulted in Beckett’s false imprisonment and a threat to Laney’s life. It was easier to forget those days now, as the couple prepared for the spring birth of their first child.

Mara queried her brother and returned her attention to the phone. “Seth says he’d love to go, but I have some business to work on.”

Business? Mara helped run her parents’ furniture store in Henderson, Nevada, some two hundred miles away. Odd that she’d have business here in podunk Furnace Falls. It wasn’t his nature to pry. Then again, she might just be making an excuse to stay far away from him. He blew out a silent breath. Horses were so much easier to read than people, especially women, most especially Mara Castillo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dana Mentink is a national bestselling author. She has been honored to win two Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion, and a Reviewer's Choice award. She's authored more than thirty novels to date for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and Harlequin Heartwarming. Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her at www.danamentink.com

Connect with the Author

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

BLOG TOUR and Series Review - Trouble in Big Timber


In today's blog post, the featured review is Trouble in Big Timber, the fifth book in the Cardwell Ranch: Montana Legacy series by B. J. Daniels. These romantic suspense books are from the Harlequin's Intrigue line. However, this post includes reviews for each previous title in the series.

 

Title
:   Steel Resolve
Author:  B.J. Daniels
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   June 18, 2019
My Rating:   3 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Sometimes you can go home againIt's just not always safe...

Mary Cardwell Savage never meant to send that letter to her ex, Chase Steele. How could she know her words would bring the gorgeous cowboy back to Big Sky, Montana--with an unstable and dangerous stalker following close behind? Now Chase wants to prove that their love deserves a second chance. And this time, nothing will keep him from his heart's desire...not even a killer. 

MY THOUGHTS:

In a moment of introspection and weakness, Mary Cardwell Savage wrote an intense letter to her ex Chase Steele. Mary's well-meaning Aunt Stacy actually mailed the letter to him. Chase had actually been at odds and ends in his life. The letter from Mary was all he needed to drop everything and to head back to Big Sky, Montana, with every intent on telling her that he never stopped loving her. Chase is eager to start their lives over again. 

However, after a little too much to drink one night, Chase got caught up with a woman named Fiona. She is now in Big Sky and calls herself Lucy Carson in what proves to be a case of fatal attraction. If she can't have Chase, no one can, especially Mary.

Mary and Chase's relationship happened years before, but Chase broke Mary's heart. He left town sometime after they finished college. Mary spent years wondering why Chase left. Now that he is back can she bury her pain and give him a seocnd chance? What about Lucy Carson and her dangerous activities that just might ruin any chance that Mary and Chase could have towards a happy future? Then there is the fact that just before Chase showed up Mary had agreed to begin dating one of the town's deputies named Dillon Ramsey. Not only must Mary decide who she wants to date, what about Dillon? Will he simply step aside?

Steel Resolve gets this series a great jump start, introducing a new generation while bringing back some characters from the Cardwell Ranch series from years ago, most notably Mary's parents, her father Marshal Hud Savage and mother Dana. 

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

 - - - - - 

Title
:   Iron Will
Author:  B.J. Daniels
Format:  Kindle 
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   July 16, 2019
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Are a dead woman’s secrets

enough to kill for…?

Hank Savage has always believed his old girlfriend was murdered. Now he’s come home to Cardwell Ranch and, with the help of PI Frankie Brewster, is determined to find the killer. Trying to keep their feelings at bay, Hank and Frankie quickly learn that every lead reveals a life steeped in secrets—and danger. And that someone from Hank’s past will do anything to keep the truth from being revealed. 


MY THOUGHTS:
 
Hank Savage lost his girlfriend Naomi to suicide three years before, and he left Big Sky, Montana. However, Hank never believed she killed herself, even though they had a bad argument before her death. Hank is back in town and this time he is more than determined to find out what happend to Naomi. He brings someone with him, however. She is a PI named Francesca "Frankie" Brewster and Hank has hired her to find out what happened to Naomi. As Hank's father is the Marshal and it was in part to Naomi's death ther Hank left, he brings Frankie in as his girlfriend, keeping their investigation as a secret.

As Hank's relationship with his parents is strained, particularly with his father Hud, he and Frankie need to act like they are in love. However, everyone around them, especially Dana, Hank's mother, can see something is off about Hank's new "girlfriend". Meanwhile, the more time Hank and Frankie spend together unearthing secrets and clues, the more they find themselves quite drawn to each other. Will Hank be able to get past the hurts of his past and find a chance at love with Frankie?

 - - - - - 

**This review was previously published on this blog on June 4, 2020**

Title
:   Ambush Before Sunrise
Author:  B. J. Daniels
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   May 19, 2029
My Rating:   5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Saddle up for a wild ride deep into New York Times bestselling author B.J. Daniels' Montana.

He's riding straight into danger.

Wrangler Angus Savage has come to Wyoming to help Jinx McCallahan get her cattle to high country. He's signed on for the dangerous drive, eager to reconnect with the woman he knew when they were kids. Now in the wilderness the no-nonsense cowboy and the strong-willed rancher must navigate the trail's many hazards--like her treacherous ex who wants her back...or dead.
\
MY THOUGHTS:

It should be just another cattle drive for JoRay "Jinx" McCallahan. Not only does Jinx need a couple more hands for the drive, she must contend with her soon-to-be ex-husband T.D.Sharp. Not only is Jinx divorcing T.D., she has a restraining order on him. Well, as far as he is concerned, that is just another piece of paper. Jinx is his and he has no problem trying to prove that to her.

There is a small part of him that wants the money that would come his way if he got the ranch that Jinx owns, but the bigger part of him wants her back. He still loves her and wants her to give him another chance. Meanwhile there is a love triangle of sorts. Patty Conroe is in love with T.D. and Jinx is in the way. To extend this story of unrequited love, there is Wyatt Hanson, T.D.'s best friend, and he is in love with Patty.

The catalyst in all of these "love" feelings - Jinx She is in the way with T.D. and Patty, and Wyatt is there to catch Patty should T.D. get out of the way. Sound confusing? It really isn't, as characters and motives becomes all too clear in the first two chapters. These chapters lay the groundwork for jealousy, deviousness, revenge and danger.

Meanwhile Angus Savage is a wrangler hired by Jinx for the cattle drive. They knew one another as kids, and Angus is more than drawn to Jinx now. The drive is full of peril, but it soon becomes apparent that Jinx and Angus are drawn to one another. This comes as a surprise to Jinx after all she is dealing with when it comes to T.D.

What a fast-paced story! Not because it is less than 300 pages, but due to the intensity when it comes to T.D.'s dark side and Patty's manipulative plans when it comes to Jinx. B.J. Daniels is a name I see quite often so I rather surprised myself after realizing this is the first book I've read by her. When another of her books came to NetGalley I snatched that one up as I loved this book and the crafty style of writing Daniels employed. I don't read westerns often, but this book, with romance and suspense, proved to be a fantastic read.

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

Title
:   Double Action Jeopardy
Author:  B.J. Daniels
Format:  Kindle 
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   June 16, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

Join New York Times bestselling author B.J. Daniels at Cardwell Ranch for nonstop suspense in Big Sky country.

A relentless marshal. A rogue detective. A bargain they may not live long enough to regret.

When Montana deputy marshal Brick Savage asks homicide detective Maureen Mortensen to help him find the person who destroyed her family, she quickly accepts his offer. But as the stakes rise and they get closer to the truth more horrible than they ever expected, can they find the murderer before they become targets?


MY THOUGHTS:

Brick Savage is on restricted duty as deputy marshal in the town of Big Sky, Montana, and his father, Hud Savage, the town's marshal, is his boss. Brick had recently been shot and while mostly recovered physically, his father insists that Brick get a mental health release before being restured to full duty. 

One night while driving Brick is sure that he almost hits a woman wrapped only in a sheet. Brick pulls over and soon finds the woman, who is apparently terrified. Who is she? Why is she out there in a sheet? His father's search discovers that the Jane Doe Brick nearly hit is named Natalie Berkshire, who is noted in the news as an infant killer. Her case is quite complicated, and it becomes even more so as they discover what led to her almost being hit by Brick.

Is Natalie an infant killer? What led to her being on the road only in a sheet at the time? Although Brick is not on full duty he is determined to find answers, much to the consternation of his father. But Brick cannot let it go. Brick is not the only one involved. There is Maureen "Mo Mortensen, a suspended homicide cop utterly determined to bring Natalie to justice. Can Brick and Mo work together to unravel disturbing details about Natalie, especially when it becomes evident that Mo has a very personal stake in what is going on?

The drama gets quite intense, and this brings Mo into the forefront for a big part of this story, as she has more questions than answers. All the while both Mo and Brick find themselves quite drawn to one another, despite the tragic and serious nature of their investigation. So this book brings in drama, intrigue, danger and romance. There are also secrets that are revealed, and all of this works towards bringing the truth to light. What a thrilling addition to a fabulous series by B.J. Daniels!

 - - - - - 

**Featured Blog Tour review**



Title
:   Trouble in Big Timber
Author:  B.J. Daniels
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   May 25, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

He’s back at Cardwell Ranch

to find a killer.

Ford Cardwell is shocked when his college crush calls him out of the blue—even more so when he hears a gunshot. But when he joins forces with medical examiner Henrietta “Hitch” Rogers, she makes him wonder if the random call was a setup—not a murder. Together, they’ll need to discover the truth, but looking into the case will put them in the sights of a killer.


Add Trouble in Big Timber to your Goodreads!

Buy Trouble in Big Timber by B.J. Daniels!
Harlequin.com | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

MY THOUGHTS:


Ford Cardwell jumps right into action when he gets a desperate call from his college crush, Rachel Westlake Collinwood. Shockingly, Ford hears a gunshot while on the phone with her. Rachel lives on a ranch near Big Timber and Ford is determined to help her. Meanwhile, medical examiner Henrietta "Hitch" Rogers is on the case and it is her job to find out what really happened when that gunshot took place. Rachel Collinwood shot her husband. Was it self-defense? Was it murder? It is Hitch's job to find those answers. From the very start, however, Hitch gets a bad feeling about Rachel.

As the investigation takes off running Ford gets involved. One of the very first questions is why did Rachel call him and not 911? What is more is since Ford and Rachel had not seen each other in years why in fact did she call him? Also, can Ford use their past relationship to help Rachel? Soon Ford and Hitch join forces to uncover the truth, even though it means that Ford has to deal with why he actually had not seen Rachel for years.

What a thrilling story from beginning to end! There is some sensitivity, especially when Ford and Rachel's past is explored, why she married Humphrey Collinwood and then ended up shooting him. Also, there were things being said about Humphrey and layers of secrets and perhaps lies have to be exposed in order to get to the truth. All the while, Ford and Hitch soon find themselves in danger. Then there is the sexual attraction neither can deny. Can they even explore that with the uncertainty involved?  

Also, this book touches on something very serious. Ford had recently left the military and is coping with PTSD. In fact, it is so bad that he literally was about to drive his car off of a cliff when he got that phone call from Rachel. Ultimately, she saved his life. Ford hopes to do the same for her. But, as time goes on, things are not adding up. So, Ford has to explore that, all while exploring the growing feelings between him and Hitch. This was a fabulous read from beginning to end and I literally could not put his book down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Cold Case at Cardwell Ranch.

Many thanks to Harlequin Intrigue and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
 
Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Trouble in Big Timber – Excerpt

B.J. Daniels

Ford shifted into Park and, hands shaking, pulled out his still-ringing phone. As he did, he had a stray thought. How rare it used to be to get cell phone coverage here in the Gallatin Canyon, of all places. Only a few years ago the call wouldn’t have gone through.

Without checking to see who was calling, he answered it, his hand shaking as he did. He’d come so close to going over the cliff. Until the call had saved him.

“Hello?” He could hear noises in the background. “Hello?” He let out a bitter chuckle. A robocall had saved him at the last moment? he thought.

But his laughter died as he heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from his phone. “Hello?” he yelled. “Who is this?” The scream was followed by a woman’s desperate pleas.

“No, please, don’t hurt me anymore.” Another scream and the sound of breaking glass.

“Hello?” He was yelling, frantic, having no idea who was on the other end of the call—just that she was in trouble. Had the woman meant to call 9ll? Maybe it was a pocket dial and she hadn’t meant to call anyone—let alone a stranger.

“Tell me where you are!” he yelled into the phone, but his voice was drowned out by another scream, this one filled with pure terror—and pain. He knew both too well.

The sound of something hard hitting soft flesh was followed by a choking sound. Choking on blood? The woman was being attacked. By an intruder? Or someone she knew? He’d never felt more helpless as he listened to more breaking glass and the woman’s screams.

“No! Please, Humphrey, you’re going to kill me! Please. Stay back. Don’t make me…” The gunshot sounded deafening—even on the phone. Then there was no sound at all coming from his cell.

Ford stared down at the phone in his hand, shock shuddering through him. The woman on the other end of the line had called the man Humphrey. His already pounding heart thumped against his ribs, making his chest ache. It couldn’t be. He stared at the name that had come up on his phone. No. He tried to call the number back. It went straight to voice mail. Someone must have found the phone and shut it off. Or declined the call.

His heart was pounding. For a moment, he was too stunned to move, almost to breathe, at what he’d just heard, what he’d been unable to stop. Rachel. The call was from his former college roommate’s wife, Rachel Westlake—now Mrs. Humphrey Collinwood.

He’d only recently added her number to his contact list after she’d sent him a friend request on social media and they’d exchanged cell phone numbers.

His pulse pounded so loud that he couldn’t hear himself think. Fumbling in his fear and panic, he hit 911.

It couldn’t be true. He knew Humphrey. They’d been roommates most of their time in college. His former friend wouldn’t hurt anyone. Humphrey idolized Rachel. But from what he’d heard on the call…

Outside the pickup, the wind howled in the pines. A gust blew dirt over the cliff and into the abyss, reminding him how close he’d come to making that same descent. The only thing that had stopped him was the phone call. Or would he have hit the brakes on his own? He would never know.

The 911 operator came on the line. “What is the nature of your emergency?”

“I think I just heard someone being attacked and possibly killed on what I suspect was a pocket dial.” His voice broke. “Her name is Rachel Westlake. Sorry, it’s Collinwood now.” He listened as the dispatcher asked him a question. “No, I don’t know where she lives exactly. A ranch north of Big Timber. That’s all I know. We only recently reconnected. That’s how she had my number. Please, you have to find her. She might still be…alive.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author B.J. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and three springer spaniels. When not writing, she quilts, boats and plays tennis. Contact her at www.bjdaniels.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/BJ-Daniels/127936587217837 or on twitter at bjdanielsauthor.

Connect with the Author
Website: https://www.bjdaniels.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100058056520669
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/b.j.daniels/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bjdanielsauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/188611.B_J_Daniels

Monday, July 19, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Building a Surprise Family


DESCRIPTION:

An instant family…

Is life-changing!

Pregnant construction supervisor Jo Bertoletti doesn’t need anyone’s help…or another heartbreak. So she’s putting handsome, kindhearted firefighter Ozzy Lakeman firmly into the friend zone. After all, she’s just passing through Butterfly Harbor, and her life is too complicated for a summer romance. But Ozzy feels an immediate connection. Can he convince the woman of his dreams to take a chance on building a forever family with him?

Add Building a Surprise Family to your Goodreads!

Buy Building a Surprise Family by Anna J. Stewart
Harlequin.com | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Apple Books |  Google Play | Kobo


MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title
:   Building a Surprise Family
Author:  Anna J. Stewart
Series:   Butterfly Harbor #10
Publisher:  Harlequin Heartwarming
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   368
Date of Publication:   July 27, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Ozzy Lakeman is as honorable as they come. At first he was a policeman in the small town of Butterfly Harbor, but he felt he had so much more to offer so he became a firefighter. Ozzy's kind and considerate nature goes a step further when Jo Bertoletti arrives in town to supervise a construction project. Her preganancy brings out Ozzy's protective nature, especially when he learns that she is alone and will soon be a single parent. Jo needs this current job in order to put some money away for the time she will need away from work when she has the baby.

However, there are issues on the site and this ratchets up Ozzy's concern for Jo and he is determined to help her in any way that he can. It doesn't take Ozzy long for him to realize that he not only wants to be Jo's friend, but so much more. In fact, he can easily see them all becoming a family. What about Jo? Can she continue to resist the connection that blooms between her and Ozzy? Would she be wishng too much to dream for something permanent with him?

Despite events that happen at the construction site, the pull of community is powerful and this no doubt goes a long way helping Jo to decide on her future. Also, there is something very special about Ozzy and in this story we see how he deals with baggage that might keep him from finding true love, and this is where Jo comes in with her own issues and proves to be perfect for him.

No doubt the entire Butterfly Harbor series was just as endearing as this book, Building a Surprise Family. I did not get a chance to read the previous books in the series, and this book did just fine as a standalone. However, the author does note that Ozzy appeared in the first and just about every book in the series thus far and in this book he finally got his chance for a HEA. I am excited for the next book in the series.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Building a Surprise Family | Excerpt

Anna J. Stewart

The truck’s engine suddenly went silent. Ozzy walked over to greet the driver. “That is a thing of beauty,” he said as the door opened and the driver dropped to the ground in front of him.

Every thought he had disappeared straight out of his head.

Tall, curvy and with sun-streaked blond hair knotted into a messy pile on top of her head, Butterfly Harbor’s latest arrival faced Ozzy with a wide, welcoming smile on her round face. Beneath the barely-there sunlight of the May morning, her skin seemed to glisten in the chilly air. She had light brown eyes, almost amber with flecks of gold that sparkled when she smiled. She wore snug jeans that accentuated everything a man like him enjoyed, sneakers that looked as if they’d been worn into the ground and a snug short-sleeved turquoise T-shirt that displayed a surprisingly round stomach.

The new foreman was a woman?

A pregnant forewoman?

“Didn’t realize there’d be a welcoming committee.” The woman closed the truck door and stepped up to him. “I know I wasn’t expected until next week, but I wanted to get a jump on settling in. I’m Jo Bertoletti. You are not Mayor Hamilton.” She gestured to Ozzy’s T-shirt with the BHFD logo on the front peeking out of his jacket.

“Ah, no, ma’am.” Ozzy shook her offered hand. Her skin felt rough and calloused, proving she was someone who was used to getting her hands dirty. Beneath that observation, a dull buzz shifted through his system. “I’m Ozzy Lakeman. I was in the diner when you drove down Monarch Lane. Just thought I’d come up and be the first to see what was happening here.” His own smile widened as something oddly definitive dinged. “I guess that makes me the welcoming committee.”

“I appreciate that, Ozzy Lakeman of the BHFD.” She beamed at him before her expression shifted into a knowing one. “Judging by the look on your face, I’m betting you weren’t expecting someone…like me.”

“I…uh.” There had to be a way to answer that without sounding like a complete sexist or jerk. “Like you?”

Jo snickered. “Don’t worry, Ozzy. Not the first time I’ve seen that reaction when I arrive on a site. And it’s not because of the little bun I’m baking in here. Bun in the oven. That’s such a weird phrase. Although come to think about it, I have spent my fair share of time waiting for my sourdough starter to develop.”

Ozzy could only nod. His ears were buzzing and his heart did an odd little skip and jolted in a manner he’d never felt anytime he’d swiped right.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today
and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating sweet to sexy pulse-pounding romances for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural addiction and an overly affectionate cat named Snickers.

Connect with the Author
Website: https://www.authorannastewart.com/#
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnaJStewart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajstewartwriter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annajstewart/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8475995.Anna_J_Stewart

Sunday, July 18, 2021

BLOG TOUR - One Left Behind


DESCRIPTION
:

Music and loud voices echo through the woods surrounding her. Wiping her tears, she hears the rustle of leaves close by. Footsteps. She has no time to scream before a hand covers her mouth and her entire world goes black.

In a patch of forest on the outskirts of a small town, five teenage school friends prepare to spend a night away from home. Carrying their tents and sleeping bags, they laugh and joke as they make their way into the darkest part of the woods, away from prying eyes. But as the sun rises the following morning, only four are left alive.

Devastated, Leah’s friends all swear they didn’t see or hear anything. Her best friend sobs as she recounts what she remembers from that night – dancing, roasting marshmallows, sipping warm cans of beer by the fire – but is it grief, or is she hiding something? What happened to Naomi in the hour that no one can account for? And what troubled past lies behind the perfect manners of the boy who organised the trip, and who is prepared to lie to keep it buried?

As the cracks in their stories grow, it’s clear one of them is lying, and one of them is next…

Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Cara Hunter and Clare Mackintosh, One Left Behind is a thrilling crime novel that will have you hooked from the very first page!

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B094JXGTC6cover
Apple: http://ow.ly/YrWh50EJDqZ
Kobo: http://ow.ly/QthD50EJDlx
Google: http://ow.ly/W8Ez50EJDwr

Audible:
UK: zpr.io/98N6wfDbiJgL
US: zpr.io/2diGSZPZegZF

https://soundcloud.com/bookouture/one-left-behind-by-carla-kovach-narrated-by-alison-campbell


MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title
:   One Left Behind
Author:  Carla Kovach
Series:  Detective Gina Harte #9
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   356
Date of Publication:   July 15, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

DI Gina Harte has been called to a very difficult crime scene. Several teens snuck out to the woods. Five went out. Four came back. One was murdered. As Gina and her team begin the investigation they soon learn that kids camping in the woods is nothing new in the small town. In fact, Gina can imagine several suspects, and they include the other teens and a local shop owner.

Meanwhile, Gina is facing quite a dilemma. This involves the death of her husband years ago. Gina has been forced to hide certain facts about his death and someone is threatening to expose those secrets. She is in a relationship with DCI Chris Briggs and he knows of Gina's secrets and someone knows that as well.

However, Gina is forced to push that to the back of her mind and focus on the girl's death. As Gina begins her investigation, she discovers a previous party and that at least one other teen was not present at the most recent one. Someone is hiding something, and it might be more than the kids at the party.

As this is going on, at least a couple of the kids receive threatening messages. There is also a man who had a prior conviction and he also becomes a suspect. Due to what is going on, this sensitive story goes beyond the mystery and delves into abuse, dependence and control, all while Gina's situation is never far from her mind. One Left Behind is a thrilling addition to a series that I have been enjoying almost since the very beginning. 

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


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carla Kovach is a crime and horror author from Worcestershire. Her most popular work, the DI Gina Harte series is published by Bookouture. As well as books, she also writes stage and screenplays.

Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ckovachauthor?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carla_kovach/
Website: https://griffbuck.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7771329.Carla_Kovach