Rain Shadow (Bluewater Bay #10) by L.A. Witt

lal rainARC review for Riptide Publishing via Netgalley.

Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell’s bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He’s done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he’s got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh’s attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott’s exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex—and too much time in each other’s company—inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.

A heart warming love story.  Not knowing what you want in life or what matters to you…until you nearly loose it all.

The storyline in this book rang bells in my own life.  What you think you want…to what you actually need.

5 stars*****

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Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery #1) by Carol J. Perry

cjp caughtShe’s not a psychic–she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it’s home. This October she’s returned to her hometown–where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives–to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she’s using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it’s starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch–especially when O’Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer–or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

I really liked this book.  The mystery starts as soon as you open the book and are drawn in and held captive.  The characters are nice and fresh, with plenty of scope to grow with the series.

5 stars*****

The Veil (The Fianna Trilogy #3) by Megan Chance

mc veilARC review for Skyscape Books via Netgalley.

Great stones crack and split. Storms will tell and the world is changed…

Seventeen-year-old Grace has found the archdruid who can teach her to use her power as the veleda—the priestess prophesied to save Ireland. But nothing is as it should be. The archdruid is a dangerous fairy, and Grace can’t learn the spells, no matter how hard she tries. Something is wrong…but what?

Meanwhile, gentleman Patrick Devlin and warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne both struggle with their love for Grace, their duty to their warring brotherhoods, and their support of Ireland. And New York City is in chaos with protests, immigrant gangs, and police crackdowns. The only hope for the future is the ancient ritual, just weeks away, in which Diarmid must take the life of the girl he loves.

Secrets, legends, and prophecies collide in an explosive finale that will save the world—or destroy it.

Unfortunately this trilogy did nothing for me.  I found the main character annoying.  All 3 books seemed to spend more time being repetitious and a lot time running around, getting nowhere and not moving the story along.

2 stars**

The Provocateur’s Payback by Paco Munoz-Botas

provARC review for Riverdale Avenue Books via Netgalley.

“‘Shit!’ His heart skipped a beat as he stopped the car. He’d almost run over a stray dog…. He couldn’t shake the lingering presence of his own dear departed dog, Trasto.”

The Provocateur’s Payback, a gay thriller of international intrigue, introduces a trio of memorable characters: Curro, disillusioned playboy who’s left the club scene behind in search of a new life purpose after losing his beloved dog; Dima, handsome martial arts champion who’s fled from goons in the Russian Mafia; and Eugenia, elegant super-model with stunning green eyes whom the witless gossips of Madrid society have long pegged as Curro’s ideal consort.

The action opens on a hot summer night, as Curro’s driving his convertible sports car, heading back to Madrid from a country house weekend. His world is turned upside down when from out of the darkness he hears a desperate plea: “Hurry, please! Quickly! Get going, they want to kill me.” Before Curro can protest, Dima’s flopped in to the passenger seat. Abandoning caution, Curro agreeably floors the gas with the mysterious stranger next to him.

The action speeds along from Curro’s apartment, where Dima finds safe haven to recover from the stab wounds he suffered that fateful night; to Madrid’s Royal Opera House, where Russian thugs stalk Dima; to a posh Madrid night spot where Dima meets Eugenia, and an instant attraction sparks between them. Curro, with his keen sense of sexual chemistry, detects a special link between them, even as he hopes that Dima might save a spark for him.

Did I find this book enjoyable…no.  I found it improbable, the characters flat and boring.  Should have been classed as fantasy!  The grammar was poor, I put that down to ‘Lost in Translation’ and bad editing.

1 Star*

The Web (The Fianna Trilogy #2) by Megan Chance

mc webARC review for Skyscape Books via Netgalley.

The Fianna, legendary Irish warriors, have been magically called from their undying sleep to aid Ireland in its rebellion against Britain. But the Fianna have awakened in New York alongside their bitter enemies, the Fomori. A prophecy demands that a Druid priestess—a veleda—must choose between these two sides. Grace is this veleda.

But being the veleda means she must sacrifice her power—and her life—to her choice. On one side are her fiancé, Patrick Devlin, and the Fomori. On the other are the Fianna—and the warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne, with whom Grace shares an undeniable connection. Patrick has promised to find a way to save her life. In three months, at the ancient ritual, Diarmid must wield the knife that kills her.

Grace doesn’t know whom to trust. As dark forces converge on the city, she struggles to discover the truth about her power. Can she change her own destiny? Can she escape the shadows of the past and reach for a future she could never have imagined?

I was hoping that this second book in the trilogy would be a vast improvement on the first…unfortunately not!

The main character Grace, still sets my teeth on edge.  Most of the book is spent running around all over the place, and going nowhere.  Did this book move the story along any further in my eyes….No!

2 stars **

Threads of Evidence (Mainely Needlepoint #2) by Lea Wait

lw threadedARC review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

It’s hard to imagine anything bad ever happening in picturesque Haven Harbor, Maine–until a famous face rolls into town and unthreads some very dark secrets. . .

Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are all too familiar with the Gardener estate. The crumbling Victorian mansion, known as “Aurora,” has been sitting vacant for nearly twenty-five years–and some say it’s haunted by the ghost of Jasmine Gardener, the teenage girl who died there in 1970 under mysterious circumstances…

Harbor Haven is abuzz with excitement when Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy Aurora and sell off its furnishings. And Angie is intrigued when Skye asks her to appraise the estate’s sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more she examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward Jasmine’s murder–and the murderer–and it’s up to her to stitch the clues together. . .

The second book in this new series.  And as good as the first.  I like seeing the characters evolve as the books go along.

5 stars*****

Drape Expectations (Caprice De Luca Mystery #4) by Karen Rose Smith

krs drapeARC review for Kensington Books via Netgalley.

These days, home stager Caprice De Luca’s calendar is a full house. Her grandmother’s health is failing, her wayward uncle is stirring the pot, and she’s torn between two equally eligible suitors. With so much drama in her personal life, Caprice is grateful to have Ace Richland, a former 80s rock star, ask her to stage his girlfriend’s house. But Alanna Goodwin is a tough customer who balks at Caprice’s ideas and all but commandeers the staging. Caprice almost isn’t surprised when the snappish Southern belle is strangled to death with a tieback from her tacky velvet drapes. But just as she draws back the curtains on the truth, Caprice realizes she may be next on a murderer’s set list…

An enjoyable mystery.  A good set of characters in a well crafted plot.  Wouldn’t mind reading the other 3 previous books in this series.

4 stars****

The Sound of Murder by Cindy Brown – An Ivy Meadows Mystery Book 2

cb soundARC review for Henery Press via Netgalley.

All Ivy Meadows wants is to be an actor. And a private investigator. Plus she’d really like a pair of clean underwear, a place to stay since her apartment burned up, and to overcome her fear of singing in public. Also, she’d really like to knock the socks off the big New York producer who’s coming to Arizona to see her in the world premiere of “The Sound of Cabaret”—featuring singing nuns and Berlin burlesque—at Desert Magic Dinner Theater.

Ivy’s cast mates come through with singing lessons, a pair of granny pants, and a housesitting gig in a retirement community. And her P.I. uncle even assigns her a real case. But all is not raindrops on roses. During her investigation, Ivy clashes with the local posse, stumbles upon a firebug and a snoring pug, and finds herself smack in the sights of a serial senior-killer.

A fun romp on and off the stage.  With nicely mapped out twists and turns…includes a snoring pug!

Published October 6th 2015 by Henery Press

4 stars****

Sight Shot by Jerusha Jones – Book 3 of the Imogene Museum Mysteries

jj sight shotARC review for Thomas & Mercer Books via Netgalley.

When asked to research old documents for a local family, Meredith Morehouse, curator of the eclectic Imogene Museum, jumps at the chance. As if she didn’t already have enough to do. She’s trying to hire a new gift shop manager while also keeping tabs on Rupert Hagg, the eccentric museum director who is remarkably blind to the wiles of a persistent, gold-digging newcomer. And she still needs to find time to see Pete Sills, the hardworking tugboat captain she’s just started dating.

Then Meredith’s research unearths hints that a decade-old suicide might not have been suicide after all. So many secrets in the small, riverside town of Platts Landing, Washington. Will someone kill again to hide the truth?

The more I read these Imogene Museum books, the more I grow to like Meredith and the madcap inhabitants of the small town of Platts Landing.

Third book in the series.

4 stars****

Second to Nun by Alice Loweecey – A Giulia Driscoll Mystery – Book 2

secondARC review for Henery Press via Netgalley.

“How much trouble can a snarky, no-nonsense ex-nun stir up while investigating a potentially haunted lighthouse? Plenty! Between a fireside arsonist, a murderous ghost, and a deadly family legend, Giulia Driscoll has her hands full. Alice Loweecey has once again crafted a delightful, sassy, smart tale that will send the hair on the back of your head skyward and keep your eyes glued to the page. I loved it!” – Jessie Chandler, Author of the Award-Winning Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series

The Other Side has hired Driscoll Investigations. The owner of Stone’s Throw Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast insists that a tarot reading told her to hire Giulia to evict the family ghost. Since the ghost is cutting gas lines and flooding cellars, Giulia and her husband Frank head to the B&B to discover the real perpetrator.

The client also has a family legend: A highwayman who stole a pile of gold. Giulia has a pile of suspects, including a psychic the client hired to conduct weekly séances. So much for romance with Frank at this getaway.

Instead, Giulia’s juggling arson, creepy clown dolls, and the psychic going all Exorcist on her. Then the ghost tries to push the client off the lighthouse and throw Giulia down three flights of stairs. It should’ve known better than to mess with an ex-nun. Giulia has connections and she’s about to use them.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), humorous murder mysteries, book club recommendations, private investigator mystery series.

Books in the Giulia Driscoll Humorous Mystery Series:

CHANGING HABITS (prequel short story) NUN TOO SOON (#1) SECOND TO NUN (#2) NUN BUT THE BRAVE (#3) July 2016

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all…

I found this book to be well written, with a good mystery, and really likeable set of main characters.

Will be getting the previous books in this series…including the Falcone & Driscoll Investigation…Force of Habit, Back in the Habit & Veiled Threat.

5 stars*****