Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Review - The Engagement Arrangement

Title:  The Engagement Arrangement
Author:  Jaci Burton
Series:  Boots and Bouquets #2
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Format:  Audiobook
Narrated by:  Holly Chandler
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:   June 29, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars


What do you do when you catch feelings for your fake fiancé? From New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton comes an accidentally-in-love romance sure to warm your heart.

Brenna Bellini will never get married again. She plans to live out her days as a happy, successful, single woman. When she's chosen to be a bridesmaid in her friend's wedding at the Bellini family vineyard, she's thrilled. That is, until she realizes who else is in the wedding party. Brenna's going to have to spend four days in the company of not only her ex-husband, but also her high school nemesis. She just knows the fact that she's single and alone is going to be rubbed in her face all weekend long. Well, not if Brenna can help it. She's going to find herself a fake fiancé.

Finn Nolan is thrilled to be offered the job. He's had it bad for Brenna ever since he came over from Ireland to work at the Bellini family vineyard. After falling for Brenna from afar for years, this Irish cowboy is determined to show the woman of his dreams that he is her Mr. Right.

So what does a confirmed never-getting-married-again woman do when the man of her dreams unexpectedly lands right in front of her? Because for the first time, she might not be able to walk away. This time it might be forever. 


I have been reading Jaci Burton's books for years and, whenever possible, I read what she has coming up, and that is the case with The Engagement Arrangement. Although it is the second book in a series, it read perfectly well as a standalone. However, I will be putting the first book in my TBR. Although I received the ebook for this title, I also received the audiobook, which was expertly narrated by Holly Chandler., especially when she used an Irish accent with Finn's dialogue.

Brenna and Finn are best friends who are both rather in love with each other. However, their friendship is precious to the both of them and so neither has addressed their feelings. When Brenna is invited to be a part of her friend's wedding party, she knows her ex will be there with his wife. In order to hold her head up high, Brenna feels that if she attends the wedding as an engaged woman, her ex and her friends won't make her feel so bad. So, she asks Finn to be her plus one, and to also act as her fiancé.  

Although Brenna has feelings for Finn, she is determined never to marry again. However, the more they spend time together, especially having to act as if they are in love, they both begin to feel unable to resist their strong feelings. I enjoyed the chemistry between Brenna and Finn, especially with Finn's attempts to make Brenna to see him more as a friend. This story flowed smoothly and had a wonderful ending. I hope this series will continue and if it does, I will definitely be picking up the next book.

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


I'd like to say I always wanted to be a writer, but that's not the case. First I wanted to be a teacher. When I was a kid I used to play school in my friend's basement. She had actual school desks—and index cards. I'm a list maker, so those index cards rocked my world. Then later on, I wanted to be a nurse. My other friend had a stethoscope and a medical book. I had a thing for props, okay?

But during my early teen years my cousin and I—back in the day before the internet—would exchange scripts we'd written of a popular TV show. No, I won't tell you which TV show because then you'd know how old I really am. But it was a western with two gorgeous cowboy heroes and we were each in love with one of the main characters. I'd say that was my first foray into writing, and it got me hooked.

As an adult, marriage, work and raising two sons took priority. And while I fell madly in love with reading romance, there wasn't much time to write it. It's amazing how much corporate life, soccer games, high school musicals, dinner and laundry can suck out of the average day. But I would occasionally dabble in writing, then put it aside when I got busy. Unfortunately, I was always busy.

Eventually my kids grew up and I was on my second marriage when Biker Dude (what I call my husband because of his love for his Harley Davidson) found out I used to dabble in writing and encouraged me to try again. So I did.

I sat down and wrote a romance novel, start to finish. I was so proud of it, but I didn't sell that romance. Not right away, anyway. I didn't sell the one after that, either. Or the one after that. Suffice it to say I wasn't an overnight success. But eventually I did sell a book, then another, and then another. I have an exceptionally smart agent and write for amazing editors. I'm a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, and I have you wonderful readers to thank for that.

This has been a dream come true for me, one I wanted for so many years. Writing is my full time career and something I love so much. I can't imagine a day that isn't filled with hot, sexy heroes who save the day, strong, capable heroines who don't need a man to save them, and the happily ever afters in every book.

Sometimes I even write about teachers and nurses. And hot cowboys.

I live in northeast Oklahoma with Biker Dude and our wonderful, crazy dogs. Between us we have three kids who are all grown up and living out in the wild. When I'm not writing I can usually be found in the garden, coaxing the tomatoes to grow, heading out to our local casino trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck there), or riding on the back of Biker Dude's Harley. And when I want to relax I read other authors' masterpieces or I'm parked in front of the television watching sports, reality TV or crime shows. And maybe a drama or a comedy. Okay, I really watch way too much television.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Woman in the Water


I know my sister didn’t die by accident. Does someone know our secret?

I swore I’d never go home to Brightwater. It would be safer for everyone if I stayed away.

But now my sister is dead, and I am driving down the familiar highway, watching the sunlight glimmer off the lake, with the memory of her green eyes like a knife in my heart.

I know Holly didn’t slip and drown out by the old boardwalk, surrounded by trees and dark water. She would never have gone there, if she had a choice.

Her little girls need me now. I couldn’t save Holly, but I must protect them.

Because if whoever killed Holly knows what we did all those years ago, out on the water, then I need to find them before they come after me.

But how can I, when there are still so many things I don’t know about what really happened that night?

An absolutely gripping, twisty psychological thriller about secrets between sisters that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window and The Silent Patient.


:   The Woman in the Water
Author:  Kelly Heard
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   345
Date of Publication:   July 22, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Felicity is truly saddened that her sister Holly  has been found dead. She rushes to her two nieces, as she is named their temporary guardian. Felicity feels she owes much more than to her nieces. Felicity plans on finding out what reay happened to Holly, even though the discovery will raise secrets of the past.

As things begin to eveolve in this story, it becomes clear why Felicity left and had never planned to return. The story is delievered in then and now, and it it the then part of the story that is mired deep in intrigue. Not only did events of the past surround a tragic death around a swamp, Holly's death happens near that very same area. Could what happened in the past have anything at all to do with Holly's death?

Just as determined as Felicity is to uncover hidden secrets, there is at least one person who woul rather keep things quiet. Will the strange activities suddenly happening to Felicity present even more danger to her? What of her nieces, how are they coping with their mother's death? This multi-layered story is filled with intrigue, danger, a spooky vibe and a thrilling conclusion.

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


Kelly prefers writing to most other pastimes, but you'll occasionally find her in the garden, hiking,  exploring antique shops.

For more updates, follow Kelly on Twitter: @kheardbooks


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BLOG TOUR - Guarding Colton's Child


To keep her family safe

He’ll risk everything, even his heart…

After losing his family, Dr. Stavros Makris could never imagine trusting again. So when Desiree Colton rushes her toddler, Danny, to the ER, Stavros must keep things professional with mother and son. But then a kidnapper targets Danny, and Stavros lets down his guard, forging an unbreakable bond with Desiree. As sparks fly between them, they work against the clock to protect the little boy from a criminal closing in…

Add Guarding Colton's Child to your Goodreads!

Buy Guarding Colton's Child by Lara Lacombe! | Amazon |Apple Books
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:   Guarding Colton's Child
Author:  Lara Lacombe
Series:  Coltons of Grave Gulch #5
Publisher:  Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Genre:   Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   288
Date of Publication:   May 25, 2021
My Rating:   4 Star

Dr. Stavros Markris knows true pain. However, Desiree Colton rushes into the ER with her son Danny and Stavros is the doctor that helps the young child. There is a powerful reason as to why this type of case would be very difficult for Stavros, but he still gives the child the best care possible. Meanwhile, Stavros cannot help but find himself more than drawn to Desiree. When he discovers that there is a continued kidnapping threat, Stavros steps in to offer safety and protection.

Guarding Colton's Child is the fifth book in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series. However, even though I did not have the opportunity to read the previous titles, this book did perfectly well as a standalone. The intrigue, suspense and romance was done remaarkably well. I especially loved Stavros's sitiuation and tragic past. His pain was palbable and I loved how Desiree and Danny ended up changing his life for good.

This was a very fast-paced book, as the danger was at every turn. However, due to the time that Desiree and Stavros ultimately ended up spending together allowed their mutual attaction to grow, thus offering hope and the wonderful ending. As this book ended, just enough of a tease leaves me eager to continue the series.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Guarding Colton’s Child - Excerpt

Lara Lacombe

Stavros tapped his knuckles lightly on the door in announcement and entered the room. He was greeted by the sight of a woman sitting on the gurney, rocking back and forth as she held a boy in her arms. She looked up as he entered the room, and when their eyes met, Stavros felt a little shock jolt through his body.

He knew this woman. But how?

Feeling flustered, he frowned slightly as he studied her face, wishing he’d taken a look at the chart first. “Hi, I’m Dr. Makris. What’s going on tonight?” Even though the nurse had given him a report of the pertinent information, he always liked to have his patients, or their parents, tell their story again, so he could hear the tone of their voice and see their expressions. Sometimes, the way someone moved or what they didn’t say was just as important as their symptoms.

“Danny woke up about an hour ago with a high fever,” the mother said. “I tried to get him to drink water, but he refused. The night nurse at his doctor’s office said to bring him straight here.”

Stavros heard the fear in the woman’s voice; it was clear she was scared for her baby. Empathy swelled in his chest. He remembered all too well what it had felt like to hold a feverish child, to fret and worry over every little cough or sniffle. He’d thought his medical training would give him some much-needed perspective when it came to his daughter’s health, but if anything, the opposite had happened. He’d been so aware of the worst-case scenario, of all the things that could go wrong. He’d been the one to call the pediatrician for every little thing, his wife standing in the background trying to calm him down.

“Tell me about Danny,” Stavros said. He kept his voice level and calm, and walked Danny’s mother through the questions that would help him make his diagnosis.

She didn’t hesitate to answer him, and based on her detailed responses, Stavros could tell she was an attentive mother.

“All right,” he said. “Let’s see if your little guy will let me examine him.” Stavros already had a presumptive diagnosis in mind, but he always performed a physical exam to confirm his suspicions.

The toddler’s mother gently turned her son, and Stavros got his first good look at the boy’s face. “I know you!” The words flew from his mouth before he realized he was speaking.

Her expression turned guarded. “Oh?”

Stavros realized he’d put his foot in it, but there was nothing to be done for that now. He nodded. “I…uh…I helped look for your son a few months ago, after he was taken from the hotel.”

“You did?” Stavros heard the relief in her voice, noticed the way her body relaxed now that he’d explained his reaction.

“Yeah. I joined a search party after my shift that night.”

“Oh, wow,” she replied. “That was very kind of you.

I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you. I didn’t get a chance to thank all the people who helped look for Danny.”

Stavros waved away her gratitude. He didn’t want to tell her that he’d had to do it—he’d been driven by the memories of his own daughter’s kidnapping. As soon as he’d heard another child was in the same kind of jeopardy, he hadn’t hesitated. He’d jumped in his car at the end of his shift and headed to the hotel, needing to help in some way. Logically, he knew he’d been trying to save this boy the way he hadn’t been able to save his daughter. But at the time, he’d been ruled by emotions and the desperate desire to make a difference. Finding Danny wouldn’t bring Sammy back—he’d known that. But he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he hadn’t at least tried.


Lara Lacombe is a recovering research scientist turned college professor who now spends her days writing and wrangling a toddler. She lives in Texas with her family and two entitled cats, and loves chocolate and her Crock Pot. She uses Facebook to procrastinate--stop by Lara Lacombe Books if you'd like to chat!

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Monday, July 26, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Peril on the Ranch


They’ll shield her newest charge…

no matter what the cost.

When an infant is abandoned on her ranch, foster mother Isabelle Trent will do anything for the child—even put her own life on the line. She might not know who left the little girl, but it’s clear someone’s after her and will kill to reach their target. With Isabelle’s ranch hand, Brian “Mac” McGee, at her side, can she survive long enough to protect the baby?

Add Peril on the Ranch to your Goodreads!

Buy Peril on the Ranch by Lynette Eason! | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Apple Books |  Google Play | Kobo

:   Peril on the Ranch
Author:  Lynette Eason
Publisher:  Love Inspied Suspense
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   June 29, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Isabelle Trent is a loving and caring foster mother. When an infant is abandoned at her door, Isabelle doesn't hesitate to do whatever she can for the baby girl, even though before long Isabelle continually finds herself in danger. Who is apparently trying to abduct the child, and with little care for anyone around them? 

Isabelle is not alone in her sudden battle. She has a new ranch hand, Brian "Mac" McGee, who proves time and again his protective nature and unyielding loyaty. It does not take Isabelle and Mac to realize that they are very much the same and that their new common goal can go much further for the both of them. Isabelle's unselfish nature and Mac's kind, if not altruistic nature, prove a perfect match. 

I love how Isabelle and Mac met. Isabelle's ranch was in need of repair and she had put an ad for a handyman. Mac pretty much got the job right away when he comes to her in response to an ad and immediately runs off an intruder. While Mac does intend on helping Isabelle with the ranch, quite a bit of his attention is focused on keeping her and the children safe as danger seems to be looming at every turn.

I loved this story by Lynette Eason! The danger, twists and romance were a great mix in this story, and the inclusion of faith was the cherry on top. 

Many thanks to Love Inspired Suspense and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Peril on the Ranch – Excerpt

Lynette Eason

Mac bolted from the truck just as the sun crested the horizon and spread light around the area. He raced around the side of the house to the back and skidded to a stop. The intruder the owner had mentioned had one foot inside the window and his gloved hands gripped the molding. Mac darted forward, placed his hands on the porch railing and vaulted over it. He landed on the wooden flooring with a thud and faced the frozen figure now half in and half out of the house. “Don’t do it, man,” Mac said. “Cops are on the way.”

His words seemed to send indecision sweeping through the guy. A pause Mac took advantage of. He lunged, grabbed two fistfuls of the hoodie material and pulled him away from the window. A heavy fist glanced off Mac’s cheek. He winced and jerked back, losing his grip. That gave the wiry figure the opening he needed, and he darted away from Mac to dash down the length of the porch, leap over the steps and head full-speed across the pasture. Mac pounded after him.

The guy broke through the tree line and disappeared into the woods. Mac did the same seconds later, only to stop when he realized he’d lost him. Mac turned, listening, his eyes searching. Finally, he heard the crunching of underbrush to his left and headed that way, hit a patch of mud and slid almost falling. He managed to catch his balance, but a second later, the roar of a motorcycle captured his attention. After one last push through tree limbs and vines, he found himself staring at the back of a disappearing bike. He didn’t know where the trail led, but there was no way he’d catch the guy on foot. With a sigh, he gave up the chase and retraced his steps.

When he came to the pasture beyond the tree line, he could see the woman who was, hopefully, his future boss. Isabelle Trent. She stood on the front porch, a little girl about five years old clutching Isabelle’s knee with one hand and a doll with her other. Isabelle cradled an infant in the crook of her right arm.

Dressed in jeans, boots and a long-sleeved red flannel shirt, she had her blond hair pulled into a messy ponytail. It struck him that she looked comfortable and completely in her element. If understandably shaken. Two police officers faced her. One wrote notes in a little black book while the other spoke into the radio on her shoulder. As Mac approached, Isabelle’s green eyes landed on him, and the officers turned. Mac made sure they could see his hands.

“That’s the man who came to the rescue,” Isabelle said.


Lynette Eason lives in Simpsonville, SC with her husband and two children. She is an award-winning, best-selling author who spends her days writing when she's not traveling around the country teaching at writing conferences. Lynette enjoys visits to the mountains, hanging out with family and brainstorming stories with her fellow writers. You can visit Lynette's website to find out more at or like her Facebook page at

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

BLOG TOUR - Safeguarding the Surrogate


She’d brought him his greatest joy.

Now he must save her life…

Rancher Kara Holland’s hot on the trail of a murderer who’s been killing surrogates—like she was for her ill sister. But when Kara’s trap goes terribly wrong, she’s thrust headlong into the killer’s crosshairs…along with her sister’s widower, Deputy Daniel Logan. And as she and Daniel stay one frantic step ahead of a deadly foe, the sparks igniting between them rival the danger they face.

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Buy Safeguarding the Surrogate by Delores Fossen! | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Apple Books | Google Play | Kobo

:   Safeguarding the Surrogate
Author:  Delores Fossen
Series:  Mercy Ridge Lawman #2
Publisher:  Harlequin Intrigue
Genre:   Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   171
Date of Publication:   June 29, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Kara Holland is determined to find out what is happening to surrogates. In fact, two surrogate mothers have recently been murdered. Kara has a sensitive relationship with her brother-in-law Deputy Daniel Logan. Kara had become a surrogate for Daniel and her sister Maryanne. Kara and Daniel lost Maryanne after her battle with breast cancer. Sadly, Maryanne's situation was just terrible, and she died four months before Kara gave birth to Sadie. Maryanne desperately wanted to be a mother, but she never got the chance.

Kara has no doubt that the recent murders had something to do with a local fertility clinic, and that is the very clinic she used so that she could carry Daniel and Maryanne's baby. Kara wants answers. Daniel wants her to drop it. However, she refuses and before long Daniel is right beside Kara while she searches for the truth about what happened to the two women. 

Kara is most certainly onto something. In fact, she has attracted the attention of a dangerous killer. Not only does Kara wants answers, her father Eldon Stroud hasn't accepted Maryanne's death. Another person to consider, and that is Kara's ex-boyfriend, Sean Maynard. His growing jealousy over the time Kara and Daniel are suddenly spending together is more than apparent. Then there is a rancher who is tied to a militia group. Could one of these three men be responsible for the murders and for the danger facing Kara and Daniel?

The deeper Kara and Daniel dig, the more they unearth. Meanwhile, they both have to contend with growing feelings, something that never would have happened if Maryanne hadn't passed away. Then there is the fact that Kara loves baby Sadie with every fiber of her being. If they can survive the unending threats, is there a chance that Kara, Daniel and Sadie could become a family? What about the surrogacy program? Can that thrive despite the current dangers? 

Safeguarding the Surrogate might be a quick read, but it is full of action, danger and romance. For a quick one-sitting read, certain to capture the attention of any lover of romantic suspense, then this is the book to read. Although it is the second book in the Mercy Ridge Lawmen series, it would do quite well as a stand-alone. However, for an equally enjoyable story, I definitely recommend the first book in the series, Her Child To Protect.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Safeguarding the Surrogate – Excerpt

Delores Fossen

Kara Holland stood in the darkness and waited for the killer.

With her heartbeat throbbing in her ears and her back pressed to the barn wall, she tried to listen for any sound to alert her that he was coming. Nothing. Not yet. But she’d done everything she could to lure him out and make him come after her.

And she was ready.

She had the Glock gripped in her hand, and thanks to the hours of firearms training, she knew how to use it. If that failed, if he somehow got the jump on her, she’d fall back on the hand-to-hand moves she’d also learned. Of course, those things didn’t guarantee that she would stop him, but she had to try. She was tired of living with this smothering weight of fear.

Finally, she heard something. The sound of a car engine. Then a door closing. He had finally come for her.

The next thing she heard were the footsteps, slow and cautious. They were coming straight toward her barn.

She’d purposely turned off all but the single light in the tack room, and Kara had left the door cracked just enough for a thin beam to pierce the darkness. She stayed in the shadows by a stack of hay bales, but when the killer came in the barn, she’d be able to see him.

Kara could certainly hear him.

Along with the footsteps, the hinges creaked on the barn door, and she pinpointed every bit of her focus while she lifted the Glock. And she took aim.

“Kara?” the man called out.

She groaned, mixing it with some muttered profanity, because she instantly recognized that voice. Not a killer. But Deputy Daniel Logan.

“What are you doing here?” she snapped once she could manage to speak.

“Checking on you,” Daniel snapped right back.

When he stepped into that beam of light from the tack room, she had no trouble seeing the riled expression on his face. Or the rest of him for that matter. He was wearing his usual jeans and work shirt on his tall rangy body. His Mercy Ridge deputy’s badge was clipped to his belt.

“I’m fine,” Kara assured him. Of course, that wasn’t true, and he could clearly see that. After all, she was waiting in her dark barn while holding a gun. “You can go.”

“No, I won’t.” Daniel sounded “all cop” with that one-word response. And he didn’t budge, either. In fact, he came closer, meeting her eye to eye.

“You shouldn’t have come,” Kara insisted.

“I wanted to have a look around and see for myself if the rumors were true. They are,” he added in a snarl. “What the hell are you thinking?”

“You know what I’m thinking,” she fired back.

That only caused him to release a long hard breath. No doubt one of frustration. Well, she was frustrated, too. And scared. Especially scared. Something that she’d hoped to end tonight.

“Two surrogates are dead,” Kara reminded him. Not that a reminder was necessary. Daniel knew because she’d already told him. She’d taken the news articles to him right away when she had learned about the dead women. “Both used the Willingham Fertility Clinic in San Antonio.”

Just as Kara had done. Again, no reminder was necessary for Daniel since the reason she had used the clinic and become a surrogate was to carry a baby for Daniel and his wife, Maryanne. Maryanne had also been Kara’s sister.

As it always did, just remembering Maryanne made her feel as if someone had clamped a vise around her heart. It was almost certainly even worse for Daniel. It’d been nearly two years since Maryanne had lost her battle with breast cancer, but sometimes it felt as fresh as if it’d just happened.


USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She's received the Booksellers' Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she's had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage at

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Little Island Secret


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.



:   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.


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. 

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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


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.


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


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!


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.


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

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