Sunday, January 30, 2022

BLOG TOUR - The Commandant's Daughter

DESCRIPTION:

A heartbreaking novel about the incredible courage of ordinary people during the Second World War. Fans of The Alice NetworkThe Nightingale and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will never forget this powerful story of hope found in the darkest days.

1933, Berlin. Ten-year-old Hanni Foss stands by her father watching the celebrations marking Adolf Hitler as Germany’s new leader. As the torchlights fade, her safe and happy childhood changes forever as Reiner, the father she adores, is corrupted by his new position as commandant of an infamous concentration camp…

Twelve years later. As the Nazi regime crumbles, Hanni hides from her father on the outskirts of Berlin. In stolen moments, she develops the photographs she took to record the horrors of the camp – the empty food bowls and desperate faces – and vows to get justice for the innocent people she couldn’t help as a child.

But her carefully constructed new life is threatened when Hanni discovers a body hidden in a bombed-out building, and meets Freddy, the tortured young detective in charge of the case. Could the fierce emotion in his brown eyes distract Hanni from her quest for atonement?

Or will Reiner stop her himself? Because on the day she plans to deliver her damning photographs to the Allies, Hanni comes face to face with her father again. Reiner Foss has a powerful new identity and he makes it clear just how dangerous it will be to expose him. Now she faces a devastating choice, between the past which haunts her, and the chance of a future with Freddy…

BUY LINK:

MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title:   The Commandant's Daughter
Author:  Catherine Hokin
Series:  Hanni Winter #1
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:   January 28, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

From desperation to devastation, Hanni Winter is determined to expose the horrors of the war. With a father as an SS officer, she saw more than most and Hanni uses her gift as a photographer to help solve the crimes of the SS officers. Meanwhile, Hanni soon finds herself working alongside a Jewish man named Freddy. Although he lost everything in the war he became a police officer. Hanni and Freddy should be sworn enemies, especially considering her father's crimes, but Hanni works to keep her identity a secret. 

All the while, Hanni is determined to bring her father to justice, as she found his actions utterly despicable. Hanni is not sure if she is strong enough to tell Freddy who she is, who her father is, and why she is so determined in her efforts. If she does, she worries that he might not be able to forgive her for her role in the devastating war, no matter how small.

Although this historical fiction is a WWII-based story, it takes place a couple of years after the war ended, thus bringing two characters from different worlds together as they worked towards a common goal. In fact, this is the first book in a new series so I am eager to see Hanni going forward as the series continues.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don't try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.

I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I'm not at my desk you'll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.

I'd love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website https://www.catherinehokin.com/ or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @cathokin.

Friday, January 28, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Stolen Angels


DESCRIPTION:

Twisting her hands together, she bites back a sob. She only turned her back for a second, and then her daughter was gone. Every mother in town would be hugging their children tighter tonight.

Lara is baking cupcakes when her six-year-old daughter Ava runs to catch the school bus just one block away. Chasing after her, Lara sees the bus tumbling past, and waves. But Ava never turns up at school.

Detective Ellie Reeves is in a race against time to find her––in missing child cases, every second counts. Searching the small town of Crooked Creek, she finds the girl’s bunny in the local park, the toy Ava carried around everywhere. Did Ava ever get on the bus?

While Ellie works around the clock, a local reporter gets a message: There are other missing girls out there. Digging into previous cases, Ellie discovers that another girl went missing on the same day the previous year. How many more could there be?

Ellie is certain that the date means something––and that the person who sent the message is the key. But the community is up in arms, everyone worried that their daughter will be next, and blaming Ellie. The pressure is mounting, and time is running out to bring little Ava home. Can Ellie solve the toughest case of her career––and save Ava––before it’s too late?

An utterly addictive and twist-packed thriller guaranteed to get your heart racing! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.


BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title:   Stolen Angels
Author:  Rita Herron
Series:  Detective Ellie Reeves #5
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   448
Date of Publication:   January 27, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Busy and distracted, Lara Truman isn't too worried that her daughter made the school bus. It is only a block away and just this once she doesn't accompany her to the bus stop. Shockingly however, Lara discovers that Ava never made it to school, and thus did not even get on the bus. Detective Ellie Reeves is now working on Ava's case, desperate to find the little girl alive. It is near Christmas and Ellie really hopes to return Ava safely to her mother before the holidays.

As Ellie feverishly searches for little Ava someone else becomes involved. A local reporter is clued in that Ava's disappearance may not be the first in the small town of Crooked Creek. Same situation. So, Ellie realizes the cases must be connected, and even wonders if there are other similar cases of children being taken.

As Ellie starts connecting the dots, she discovers more than one sad facts involving other little girls and their mothers. No doubt these women were broken after their daughters went missing and Ellie is determined to find Ava. Ellie doesn't work alone. In fact, FBI Special Agent Derrick Fox and Ranger Cord McClain are also searching for Ava. This fast-paced story never once let up in intensity as the mystery was being solved.

One thing that kept the tension high in this story was the multiple POVs. Not only did we have Ellie's, but we have the kidnapper's and some of the other mothers and situations. This racheted up the story even more, making this fifth book in the Detective Ellie Reeves series an excellent addition to a thrilling series.

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



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today 
Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. But she didn't think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a teacher instead. Now she writes so she doesn't have to get a real job.

With over ninety books to her credit, she's penned romantic suspense, romantic comedy, and YA novels, but she especially likes writing dark romantic suspense and crime fiction set in small southern towns.

For more on Rita and her titles, visit her at www.ritaherron.com. You can also find her on Facebook/ritaherron.com and Twitter @ritaherron.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorritaherron/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ritaherron
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ritaherronauthor/

Thursday, January 27, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Nursing Her Amish Neighbor

DESCRIPTION:

Healing his physical wounds is just the beginning… 

Seeking a break from her nursing duties, Miriam Stoltzfus returns home to Lost Creek—and encounters her most difficult patient yet. Her childhood neighbor, Matthew King, is suffering after an accident left him injured and his younger brother dead. But he doesn’t want anyone’s help. Can Miriam guide him through his grief to prove he’s still the strong, confident man she remembers?

BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:
  
Title:   Nursing Her Amish Neighbor
Author:  Marta Perry
Series:  Brides of Lost Creek #6
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   December 28, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

Miriam Stoltzfus is a nurse and her newest patient is her childhood neighbor Matthew King. Not only does Matthew have physcal healing to do, emotionally he is broken as well. He suffered an accident that left him in a wheelchair but more devastatingly, left his younger brother dead. Matthew simply doesn't want help. He blames himself for his brother's death and no longer cares about himself.

What a tender story from start to finish. It was so easy to see and to understand Matthew's pain, but I loved Miriams doggedness. She was tough to be sure, but she was gentle and loving. I love how she pushed Matthew, but never once stopped being kind. 

Even though this book was part of a series I have yet to read, the emotional edge was handled so well that this story did fine on its own. I love Marta Perry's writing and how she brings the characters close to your heart, making you feel what they feel and keeps you rooting for them.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Excerpt, NURSING HER AMISH NEIGHBOR by Marta Perry

“It takes time to come back from lying in bed,” Miriam said, as if she knew his thoughts. “I’ve heard a therapist say a week of exercise for every day in bed.” She’d moved closer, and as he tried again, she put her hand on the middle of his back, pressing.

He could feel how much easier that made it to pull up. And he could also feel the shape of her palm and the warmth of her skin through the thin cotton of his nightshirt. He looked at her, feeling that awareness move between them.

“Here, let me help.” Betsy charged in, inserting herself between him and Miriam.

Jealous? He couldn’t be sure.

“That’s right.” Miriam, unruffled, moved Betsy’s hand slightly. “Good. Now don’t push. Just use your hand for a little extra support. We want his muscles to work but not strain.”

“Yah, I see. I can feel it.” Betsy sounded pleased, her antagonism slipping away.

With the two of them behind him, he couldn’t see either of their faces. But he didn’t like the idea of them ganging up on him.

“Betsy, do we have any lemonade?”

“I don’t think so. Do you want some? I can make it.” All her eagerness to please him rushed back.

“We could all use some after we finish here, ain’t so? Why don’t you make a pitcher?”

“Right away.” She hurried off.

“Don’t worry about it.” Miriam seemed amused. “She’s still your willing servant.”

“That wasn’t the idea,” he said stiffly, his temper flaring that she could read him so easily. “In case you haven’t noticed, it makes her happy to do things for me.”

“I noticed.” She looped the handles back up over the bar and pulled down a pair of stretchy bands. “As long as she’s helping you to get stronger, I don’t object.”

“Stronger.” He almost spat out the word. “Stronger for what? None of this is going to do any good. It’s useless. I can’t be the person I was.”

She seemed unaffected by his anger. “We’ll never know that if you don’t try, will we?”

He glared at her for a long moment as a thought formed in his mind. He turned it over, looking at it from all angles. Would it work?

“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I’ll make a deal with you.”

“What kind of a deal?” Miriam’s expression was cautious.

“I promise to do everything you say…to try my hardest…for a month. If I’m not much better by then, you agree to quit.”

Miriam stood very still, considering before she spoke. “I can’t speak for Tim. Just for myself.”

“Yah. Just for yourself.”

“Who’s going to decide whether or not you’re much better?” she said. “You?”

His jaw hardened. She wasn’t going to make this easy.

“No,” he said abruptly. “How about… Betsy?”

Her lips twitched. “Don’t you think Betsy has her own reasons for wanting to be rid of me?”

He raised one eyebrow, a gesture that used to attract the girls. “If you’re really making progress, you’ll have won her over by then. What’s wrong? Don’t you have any confidence in your work?”

She seemed to wince at that. After a long moment, she nodded. “All right. It’s a deal.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marta Perry realized she wanted to be a writer at age eight, when she read her first Nancy Drew novel. A lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led Marta to the books she writes now about the Amish. When she’s not writing, Marta is active in the life of her church and enjoys traveling and spending time with her three children and six beautiful grandchildren. Visit her online at www.martaperry.com.

BLOG TOUR - Opening His Holiday Heart


DESCRIPTION:

With a little boy’s help, can he let go of painful memories? 

Casey Evans wants no part in the holidays, which is a major problem for Mayor Sutton Wentworth. Sutton has her heart set on their town winning a national Christmas contest, and Casey’s refusal to decorate his coffee shop could ruin everything. Thankfully, her precious son has worked his charms on Casey. But can one little boy—and his mother—change the mind of the local grinch?

BUY LINKS:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Harlequin.com 

MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title:   Opening His Holiday Heart
Author:  Renee Ryan
Series:  Thunder Ridge #3
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   November 30, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Casey Evans is a modern-day Scrooge. Ignoring mayor’s and town request, Casey refused to decorate for his shop for Christmas. The mayor is Sutton Wentworth and he formerly broke her heart. Sutton, and her young son Toby, determined to win a magazine contest as it means a lot to her. The entire town takes Christmas very seriously - everyone except Casey. He intends for his coffee shop to stand out and does not intend on anyone changing his mind.

What happened on Casey and Sutton's past that broke them up and did that have any impact on Casey's utter dislike of the holidays? In this sweet story, we learn about their past, their common love for dogs and how Sutton's son plays a role in winning over Casey. 

This was a delightful story and I loved seeing Casey's heart thaw as well as this second chance romance finding its way. I fell in love with the small town of Thunder Ridge and even though I didn't have the opportunity to read the first two books in this series I could definitely tell it was a place I would love to visit. 

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


Please enjoy the following excerpt:

Excerpt, OPENING HIS HOLIDAY HEART by Renee Ryan

“You didn’t have to offer to help Toby. I would have figured something out. Somehow, I would have--”

“I know, Sutton. You always figure something out. It’s what you do.” The words sounded more like a criticism than a compliment.

She tried not to flinch. “Still,” she persisted, “I’m grateful and I owe you.”

They were nearly the same words she’d said to her father barely an hour ago. By the look on Casey’s face, they didn’t sit any better with him than they had with Beau Fowler.

In fact, Casey just stood there, his face going blank. “You don’t owe me anything, Sutton. Got it?” He leaned in a little closer, held her stare a beat too long. “Not one single solitary thing.”

She’d insulted him. She heard it in his voice. Saw it in the way his shoulders tensed up. “I didn’t mean to imply—”

“Sure you did. Although, I’m not surprised.” He set his jaw and pulled back from her. “You aren’t exactly gifted at accepting help from others.”

Now he’d insulted her. “Look, Casey. If you want to back out, do it now, while I have time to find someone else—”

He let out a stab of laughter. “Oh no. Uh-uh. Don’t throw your doubts back on me.”

“I wasn’t. I was simply saying there’s still time to change your mind.”

“Let’s get a few things straight, shall we? First, I never offer to do anything I don’t want to do. Second, I made a promise to a little boy and I never back out on a promise. Not. Ever. My word is solid. Golden. Unaffected by time, distance or a change in circumstances.”

Sutton sensed they weren’t talking about Toby or the Soap Box Derby anymore. Casey’s tone was too fierce, his expression too intense, his words too pointed. She thought about asking him to clarify, but he was still talking.

“And finally, I like Toby. He’s a great kid. I also like building cars. I’m good at it. Your son and I are going to have a lot of fun. It’s really that simple, Sutton. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be.”

He was right. About all of it. She was overthinking the situation. A character trait that had served her well as an attorney. But in this instance, she’d gone too far and now she felt ridiculous and defensive. Should she apologize? Maybe lighten the mood?

Definitely the latter. “Well, I guess you told me.”

“I guess I did.” He cracked a smile, the boyish one that included the infamous head tilt, and just like that the tension between them was replaced by something far more potent. “So?” he asked, eyebrows lifted. “Are we heading inside now?”

“We are.”

He opened the door. She followed him into a gorgeous foyer, unable to keep the awe off her face.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town outside Jacksonville, FL.  Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.  Renee can be contacted through her website at www.reneeryan.com

BLOG TOUR - A Proposal in Provence


DESCRIPTION:

In Donna Alward’s latest addition to the Heirs to an Empire miniseries, a life-altering secret is revealed. It all started with an escape from scandal...only to be rescued by the tycoon! PR assistant Anemone Jones loves working in Paris for the glamorous Pemberton family…until she discovers she is in fact their half sibling! When the scandal hits the tabloids, it’s her gorgeous boss, Phillippe Leroux, who sweeps her off to his idyllic home in Grasse. Phillippe’s proposal in Provence gives Annie breathing space to process her new life—and even find a place in his.

BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:
 

Title:   A Proposal in Provence
Author:  Donna Alward
Series:  Heirs to an Empire
Publisher:  Harlequin Romance
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   256
Date of Publication:   January 25, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars

Anemone Jones had few complaints about life. Actually, she was quite content in her job as a PR assistent for the Pemberton family. One of them treats her quite badly however, and that soon comes to no surprise. Annie is a half-sibling to the Pembertons. Was she their father's dirty little secret? What is she to do now that events have turned to the degree that she will soon receive her due inheritance, one that will change her future together?

Meanwhile, Phillippe Leroux soon becomes her boss and she goes to idyllic Greece to work for him. Will Annie be able to reconcile her past with her present, all while fighting the fact that she is falling for Phillippe?

What a tender story! This ended up not being a case of the sins of the father being cast on his child. While it is true that Annie never got to know her father, he never forgot about her and after his death, she not only learned about him but finds out she will be a very rich woman. What about Phillippe and the baggage he has from a previous relationship? Will this impact their growing feelings? How about her half-siblings? Where will Annie fit in? This well-rounded story was a true delight and I loved how everything came together.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Excerpt, A PROPOSAL IN PROVENCE by Donna Alward

She was still working through a mental list when Phillipe turned up a hillside street, slowing as he drove through a residential neighborhood. The homes here were nice—stone houses with tile roofs, olive and palm trees, little gardens. Annie had never seen a palm tree in person in her life. And here she was, in the south of France, so close to the Mediterranean. Sitting in a car with the handsomest man she’d ever known.

Was it wrong that a day that was so very horrible also kind of felt like a dream come true?

“Nous sommes ici,” Phillipe said, and Annie nodded as he turned up a short drive to a welcoming-looking two-story house with wood shutters the color of whiskey barrels.

He turned off the car and let out a big breath.

“Phillipe? Before we go in, I just want to say…thank you. Thank you for caring enough to want to help me. You could have just sent me a warning, but you’re a true friend.”

He took off his seat belt and turned in his seat to face her better. “If I overstep, please tell me. I can be…bossy. Single-minded.”

That didn’t sound like the man she knew, today’s activities excepted. “I will, though I won’t have to. I just want you to know that I appreciate you so much. You have always—” Her throat tightened and she took a moment to swallow, ease the knot that had formed. “You have always treated me with caring and respect.” She gave a small, secretive smile. “Maybe more than I wanted. You’re a good man, Phillipe.”

His gaze held hers and the air in the car filled with the same delicious tension that had shimmered between them last night. But then they both sat back, knowing it would only complicate matters further if they gave in to the attraction they’d done so well ignoring all day.

“Come,” he said softly, giving her the smile she found so devastating. “Meet my parents. Be at home.”

He retrieved their bags from the back seat and then they walked up the stone path together. Phillipe lifted his hand to knock but before he could, the door swung open and a woman stood there, her smile wide, the joy in her eyes unmistakable.

“Vous ĂȘtes ici!”

He laughed, put down the bags, and pulled her into his arms.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Donna lives on Canada's east coast. When she's not writing she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking, and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. While her heartwarming stories have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her favorite thing is to hear from readers! Visit her on the web at www.donnaalward.com and join her mailing list at 
http://www.DonnaAlward.com/newsletter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Her Christmas Dilemma

DESCRIPTION:

Searching for a safe haven and a new beginning.

Returning home for the holidays after an unexpected pregnancy, Clara Fisher needs a fresh start. And working as a housekeeper for Tucker Church and his teenage niece is the first step. Clara still has hard choices to make, but Tucker might be just the person to help her forget her fears. Could the path to her new future also lead to love?


MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title:   Her Christmas Dilemma
Author:  Brenda Minton
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   224 
Date of Publication:   November 30, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

Home again and pregnant. Clara's life has turned upside down and she must now find a way to deal with unexpected circumstances. Feelings of sadness are overwhelming her, but Clara must face her situation and make difficult decisions going forward. Taking a job as housekeeper for Tucker Church has a whole new set of challenges. One of those factors is that Clara is completely underqualified for the position. Also, Tucker is temporary guardian to his teenage niece and this ultimately affects Clara and her new job.

As Tucker and Clara begin working together, tender feelings slowly begin to form. Meanwhile, Clara begins to know Tucker's niece Shay and some of the struggles the teen is facing. Even though her life is still upside down Clara soon proves invaluable to both Tucker and Shay.

What a wonderfully emotional story. I loved seeing the relationship between Clara and Tucker grow and I also enjoyed both Tucker and Clara's relationship with Shay who had her own passel of problems. Compassion, kindness and friendship all begin to blend together as those very emotions slowly turn in to love. 

There were some hard hitting topics this sweet story dealt with - unplanned pregnancy, former foster child, a teen away from her parents, and more. This book by Brenda Minton did a fine job with all of these things, bringing this warm story to a wonderful conclusion.

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

Please enjoy the following excerpt:
Excerpt, HER CHRISTMAS DILEMMA by Brenda Minton

“I’ll take the job,” she said, as if they’d been discussing the job.

“I’m sorry?”

“Have you hired someone?” She glanced at her watch. “In the past fifteen minutes?”

“No, I haven’t. I…” He didn’t know what to say. This woman had secrets. She had a brokenness that scared the daylights out of him.

But she made his niece smile. For that matter, she made him smile.

“If you’d rather find someone else, I understand. I’m obviously not experienced. I’ve already admitted that I can’t cook and I’m also only here temporarily, but I could fill the spot until you find someone more suitable.”

“What made you change your mind?” he asked, glad that his niece had wandered ahead to talk to a friend.

She shrugged a shoulder and glanced around. “A lot of reasons. Shay needs someone who understands what she’s going through. I do know how much it hurts to feel abandoned by the people who should care the most. Also, I feel the need to do more than sit by myself in Nan’s boat shop. Plus, Nan fired me this morning.”

“She fired you?” He couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Yeah, she did.” Her eyes briefly twinkled. “She said I’m in her way. She likes her solitary time. She doesn’t mind my help, but she doesn’t want me to become a fixture in her shop.”

“Shay is a challenge,” he warned.

If she worked for him, could he remain impartial, not getting involved, not caring what her story might be? He doubted it. But he had to do what Shay’s parents hadn’t done: he had to put his niece first. For some reason, he thought this woman might be the right thing for Shay. For the time being.

“I need a challenge.” She smiled.

“I get weekly calls from the school. I think she thinks if she’s bad enough, her parents will ride to the rescue. They won’t.”

“I’m sorry about that. Parents aren’t always what we need them to be. Sometimes they can’t be, sometimes they choose not to be.”

It made him angry to think about his sister and brother-in-law, the choices they’d made putting them first and Shay last. Could this woman put Shay first? “She needs people who will support her but not allow her to get away with the trouble she’s causing.”

“I can be that person,” she assured him with a subtle lift of her chin. “Give me a week. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to boats.”

He grinned. “I guess we can give it a one-week trial. Can you be at the house tomorrow at six?”

“So early?”

“Second thoughts?” he asked.

“Only for a moment,” she admitted. Then they were next in line to get plates, so they spoke no more on the subject.

Tucker was generally an optimistic person, but he knew that letting Clara into his home—and his life—was going to bring an array of problems.

First and foremost, he liked her. He liked her a lot. And that was a big problem.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brenda Minton lives in the Ozarks. She's a wife, mom to three, foster mom to five and grandma to a princess.  Life is chaotic but she enjoys every minute of it with her family and a few too many dogs. When not writing she's drinking coffee on the patio, wrangling kids or escaping for an evening out  with her husband.  Visit her online at www.brendaminton.net.

BLOG TOUR - Lost Graves


DESCRIPTION:

The only sound in the forest was the wind through the branches; the only light came from the campfire. Jessie stood up, suddenly gripped by a powerful sense of dread. There was something – someone – beyond the darkness, through the trees…

When single father Joe Keenan and his young son Finbar make camp for the night in the ancient forest of Leitrim, little do they imagine their rural escape is about to turn into a nightmare. For deep in the woods they find a corpse… As the remains of dozens more victims are uncovered by police, it becomes clear this is the burial site of a serial killer who has obviously been active, unnoticed, for years.

Arrested for the murders, while his beloved son is sent into care, Joe pleads his innocence to no avail. But criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle is convinced the killer is still out there. Determined to reunite Joe and his son, Jessie’s investigation turns towards the local community. Who knows the shadowy depths of the forest well enough to hide not just one, but many bodies?

Then someone else goes missing, and the situation takes a terrifying turn: it’s clear the killer is escalating their gruesome spree. Forced to enter the woods alone to save a life, Jessie runs from a killer so skilled at hiding and so clever at hunting, it will take every ounce of her strength to make it out alive…

A gripping, nail-biting crime thriller that will have you hooked from the first page to the final line. Fans of Patricia Gibney, Lisa Gardner and Lisa Regan will not want to miss this.

BUY LINKS:

MY THOUGHTS:
 
Title:   Lost Graves
Author:  S. A. Dunphy
Series:  Boyle & Keneally #2
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle and Audiobook ARC
Narrator:  Shelly Atkinson
No. of Pages:   356
Date of Publication:   January 24, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

Jessie Boyle is a former criminal behaviorist now working with a small team that includes Seamus Keneally and young Terrie Keho, who is their tech specialist. Their boss, Dawn Wilson, pulled the team together after they solved a previous murder. 

There were many compelling factors in this book. One of them includes the Irish travellers. Also there was folklore based on a legend from long ago. While one of the travellers was accused of the murder, Jessie and Seamus did not see it that way. They had to dig deep and as they did they found much more than they bargained for. Also, there was a military edge to this story, one shrowded in secrecy. Would Jessie be able to pull together the murder, the travellers, the legend and the Ireland special forces in order to stop any further murders?

As the story began, an eleven-year-old boy named Fergus Keenan and his dog discovered bones that proved to be human. The police suspected and arrested the boy's father, Joe. Jessie, Seamus and Terrie take on this case at different ends, and one thing becomes clear at the very beginning - Joe is not responsible for the remains that were discovered. In fact, the location is in an area where more than one person had disappeared. Not likely to be a coincidence, and this is just one factor that plays into Joe's innocence. 

What of the Irish travellors, and the legendary Abartach they claim is responsible for the bodies discovered? That is not the only legend claimed. In fact, vampires are mentioned. Will Jessie and Seamus be able to seperate fact from fiction in what proves to become a race against time? Also, there are other parties involved. Not only are other travellers of note, but the secrecy of the military is at play. 

Not only did this amazing book prove considerable research, Dunphy created compelling characters, drama and tension and incredible intrigue. I loved the first book in this series, Bring Her Home, and this second book, Lost Graves, was even better. 

Truth be told, the woods are even scarier to me than they already were after reading this book. That just goes to show how intensely creative this book was written. The eerie vibe never once let up. I love the team and cannot wait to see what is next in stored for Jessie and Seamus.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shane Dunphy (S. A. Dunphy) was born in Brighton in 1973, but grew up in Ireland, where he has lived and worked for most of his life. A child protection worker for fifteen years, he is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including the number one Irish bestseller Wednesday’s Child and the Sunday Times Bestseller The Girl Who Couldn't Smile. His bestselling series of crime novels (written under the name S. A. Dunphy) feature the criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of true crime books written for Audible, has been critically acclaimed and the second title in the series, The Bad Place, is an Audible True Crime bestseller.

https://shanedunphyauthor.org/
https://www.facebook.com/shanewritesbooks
https://www.instagram.com/shanewritesbooks/
https://twitter.com/dunphyshane1