Roped In (Armed & Dangerous #2) by L.P. Dover

lpd roped inARC review for Red Coat PR via Netgalley.

**STANDALONE NOVEL**

Who says a wild heart can’t be tamed?

For years, I lived for the job and let it control me. Violence was all I knew. I protected, killed, and served. My name is Blake Evans, one of the best undercover cops in the country. I thought I was about to live a quiet life on my ranch in Wyoming until an old friend showed up and changed everything. He brought me her, Hadley Rivers, country music sensation and the one woman I couldn’t have. I didn’t want her but she had me completely roped in.

My job is to protect her, to keep her away from some psycho who wants her for himself. However, there’s more to her story than I was led to believe. I promised to keep her safe and I won’t back down . . . even if I have to die trying. I can’t let him have her.

***

A really enjoyable romantic suspense novel.  Great plot, storyline and characters.  The only criticism I have, was that there was too much bad language (must be showing my age! lol).

4 Stars****

 

Murder-on-Sea (Whitstable Pearl Mysteries) by Julie Wassmer

jw murder on seaARC review for Little, Brown Book Group Ltd via Netgalley.

Christmas in Whitstable. Lights shine bright in old Harbour Street. A Christmas tree stands in place outside St Alfred’s Church. Carol singers surround it. The party season begins. Christmas cards drop through letterboxes . . .

Pearl is busy with the festive season, planning a great family occasion with Dolly and son Charlie – but she’s overstretched herself by agreeing to cater a charity fundraising event at St Alfred’s. As if she didn’t have enough on her plate already…Christmas cards begin arriving around town, filled with poisonous messages. Several people approach Pearl about the cards and though she has little time to take on a new case, Pearl’s curiosity is piqued when she receives one too – commenting on her relationship with DCI Mike McGuire . . .

At the local Christmas party, Pearl and McGuire soon find themselves standing below some mistletoe, when a guest suddenly keels over. At first it’s assumed that local accountant Sue Taylor has simply drunk too much of Pearl’s excellent mulled wine but McGuire and another guest at the event, local GP Paul Masters, soon confirm Sue’s death.

Suspicions soon begin to mount – could it be that Martha, a cat lover who led a solitary life outside her work as church warden, was also a murderer and the sender of all those poison pen Christmas cards?

***

This is the first of Whitstable Pearl series that I have read…but not the last!

A well plotted and written cozy mystery.  A good set of characters.  Kept me guessing until the end!

4 Stars****

 

 

Tied Together by Z. B. Heller

zbh tied togetherARC review for CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, via Netgalley.

Ryan Keller had it all when he came out in high school; accepting parents, friends and his own credit line for J. Crew. His cocky attitude and good looks got him what he wanted, including samples off the man meat buffet. Then he found his favorite dessert, Brandon. But Brandon wasn’t sending out a rainbow vibe so Ryan was sent to the land that crushes dread, the friend zone.

Brandon Ford was buried so deep down in the closet that clothes from the seventies had a better chance of coming out. His anxieties of acting on his desires could keep a therapist entertained for hours. Even though he did his best to build his emotions out of bricks, it was no use against Ryan’s charms.
Follow Ryan and Brandon’s relationship from high school, to college and beyond to find out if they will be Tied Together.

Warning: No Anaconda Turtles have been harmed in the making of this book.

***

This is my first introduction to Z. B. Heller books…and loved it!

First loves set the bench mark for all that come after…and so many never do meet the grade.

I liked it because Z. B. Heller highlighted the different transitions of ‘coming out’.   Unfortunately many LGBT people don’t go through an easy passage like Ryan in coming out.   Many do stay in the ‘closet’ like Brandon, from fear of harm, rejection and loosing everything.

She has created a set of characters that instantly came alive from the pages…including Moxie!  And I have met a few Moxie’s in my time!

5 Stars*****

 

Mrs Hudson and the Malabar Rose (A Sherlock Holmes & Mrs Hudson Mystery 2) by Martin Davies

md malabar roseARC review for Canelo Books via Netgalley.

Dangerous magicians! Precious gems! Dastardly Plans! Sherlock Holmes is just the man…But what if Holmes isn’t the only brains at Baker Street?

As snow falls on Baker Street, the wintry city is abuzz with rumour and excitement: the Malabar Rose – a fabled and frankly enormous ruby – has been sent as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Victoria by the Marharajah of Marjoudh. An extraordinary condition is attached to the gift, though: the gem must be displayed at London’s sumptuous Blenheim Hotel to be admired by all. How can the safety of this priceless jewel be assured? The authorities wisely enlist the help of Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson… but fortunately for them, they are also on the receiving end of help from Holmes’s redoubtable housekeeper Mrs Hudson and her able assistant, Flotsam the housemaid.

The Malabar Rose isn’t the only exotic attraction stirring up excitement in the city, however. World famous magician the Great Salmanazar will be amazing the lucky few who can secure tickets at a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular. Not only that, but the world’s most beautiful woman – the glamorous, if rather risqué, fire dancer Lola Del Fuego – will be joining him on the bill.

With all this excitement and the peculiar case of a disappearance in Ealing, Mrs Hudson and Flottie have their hands full this festive season. Their investigations take in snow-shrouded streets on Christmas night, a toyshop full of wonders, a tumultuous Covent Garden as the New Year rings in and even theatre dressing rooms in Stepney. This fresh twist on classic Victorian mystery will delight fans and new readers alike.

***

Behind every great man…is a housekeeper!

Mrs. Hudson can and does show Mr. Sherlock Holmes a thing or two about solving mysteries, with the help of the maid Flotsam.

The second outing for Martin Davies ‘Mrs Hudson’ series, and he’s worked his magic again.  With a great storyline and good plotting.

An enjoyable read for any Cozy mystery lover.

4 Stars****

 

 

Lowcountry Bordello (Liz Talbot Mystery #4) by Susan M. Boyer

smb lowcountry bordelloARC review for Susan M. Boyer & Henery Press Books via Netgalley.

The Charleston streets are dressed for the holidays in sophisticated Southern style: topiaries adorned with red ribbons, garland entwined with white lights, and poinsettias potted in gold planters. The high class bordello in a stately historic home is certainly no exception. When Private Investigator Liz Talbot’s dear friend Olivia swears she saw a dead body in the parlor of this bordello, one Olivia accidentally co-owns, Liz promptly comes to her aid.

With her wedding back home on Stella Maris less than a week away, Liz must juggle one elderly madam, two ex and future in-laws, three ghosts in the bordello, four giddy bridesmaids, five lovely courtesans, six suspicious patrons…and a partridge in a pear tree as she tries to keep her bridesmaid out of jail and live to walk down the aisle.

***

Firstly, I would like to thank Susan M. Boyer for sending me this ARC via Netgalley.

Having never read any of the previous Liz Talbot mysteries I was unsure what to expect from this *new to me* series.  She had me chuckling and hooked within the first few pages. 🙂

Her plotting and characters are full, rounded and fun.   Her storyline and writing keep you turning the pages to see what happens next.

She has managed to gather another worshiper to her altar.  And I will be sharing these books with my other reading friends.

5 Stars*****

Found At the Library (Found #1) by Christi Snow

cs libraryARC review for Createspace Books via Netgalley.

His entire life, Tommy Garrett has dealt with self-doubts. He thought he’d conquered the majority of them until a chance meeting with an author brought his illiteracy to the forefront…again. Growing up with un-diagnosed dyslexia has left Tommy barely able to read, but books are his Nirvana. Now he spends his life creating art dedicated to the love of those “untouchable” items.

Robert McIntyre, Mac, is a best-selling, highly celebrated author. But his point of view has become a little bit too narrow…until Tommy opens his eyes. That chance meeting has changed everything about his world. He has no idea how to find the beautiful man he met, and offended, at the library book sale. But when he does, Tommy’s life is in crisis-mode. It’s the holidays and Mac can’t just standby when Tommy needs help, whether Tommy wants it or not.

Two artistic men. One shared passion for books.

Life is hard, and sometimes when conflict arises you have to write your own plot twist to pull yourself out of the fray.

***

This book touched me on so many different levels.   As a bibliophile and a suffer from dyslexia.  Luckily for me, mine was picked up when I was aged 11.   Reading is still a slow process for me, but audio books has made the journey much more smoother.

I loved the fact that the author has inserted a book-within-a-book (you will have to read it to find out what I mean), that keeps you gripped with the story within the story.

Christi has managed to create full fleshed characters that just leap off the page.  Just like Tommy’s art work.

So I can not wait for the next book in this series!

5 Stars*****

 

Solomon Creed (Solomon Creed #1) by Simon Toyne – A Must read!

Adobe Photoshop PDFARC review for HarperCollins Publishers via Netgalley.

WHO IS SOLOMON CREED?
The first in an electrifying new high concept series from Sunday Times bestselling author of Sanctus, Simon Toyne. Perfect for fans of Lee Child and Stephen King.

A plane crash in the Arizona desert. An explosion that sets the world on fire. A damning pact to hide an appalling secret. And one man bound to expose the truth. He is Solomon Creed. No one knows what he is capable of.

Not even him.

When Solomon Creed flees the burning wreckage of a plane in the Arizona desert, seconds before an explosion sets the world alight, he is acting on instinct alone. He has no memory of his past, and no idea what his future holds. Running towards a nearby town, one name fires in his mind – James Coronado. Somehow, Solomon knows he must save this man. But how do you save a man who is already dead?

***

So, who is Soloman Creed?

Will he find the answers in the small town of Redemption?

Read the book to find out…

This new series from Simon Toyne, is an explosive page turner from start to finish!

I really enjoyed this book.  Simon Toyne’s characters burst to life from the pages.  His plotting and storyline is seamless.

Definitely a Must Read book of the year!

5 stars*****

Forget Me Knot (A Quilting Mystery #1) by Mary Marks

mm forget knotWelcome to San Fernando Valley, California, where Martha Rose and her coterie of quilters are enjoying life on the good side of retirement—until murder pulls a stitch out of their plans…

Martha and her besties Lucy and Birdie are set to expand their Quilty Tuesdays by inviting newcomer Claire Terry into their group. Though at forty Claire’s a tad younger than their average age, her crafty reputation could perk up their patchwork proceedings, especially as they prepare for the fancy quilt show coming to town. But when they arrive at Claire’s home and find her dead inside the front door, and her exquisite, prize-winning quilts soon missing, Martha is not one to leave a mystery unraveled. Especially if she wants to stop a killer from establishing a deadly pattern…

“Mary Marks had me on pins and needles and wanting to wrap myself up in a warm quilt while reading her cozy debut!” —Lee Hollis, author of Death of a Chocoholic

“Mary Marks has stitched together a very clever plot with a cast of engaging characters in this funny, fast-paced debut mystery. I loved Martha Rose and her posse of crime-solving quilters and can’t wait to read what they’re up to next!” —Laura Levine, author of Killing Cupid.

I have to agree with both authors comments…Mary Marks has debut a well crafted mystery with engaging fun characters.  I like the fact that her main character isn’t some perky blonde, but an older woman with health issues, that just gets on with things in life.  And it has quilting to boot, what more can a quilting guy ask for…except more fabric for his stash! 😀

This is another series for my stash pile!

4 stars****

The Sans Pareil Mystery (Detective Lavender Mysteries #2) by Karen Charlton

kc sans pareilARC review for Thomas & Mercer books via Netgalley.

On a cold February night in Regency London, a dark curtain falls on the Sans Pareil Theatre following the death of April Clare, a promising young actress, whose body is found in mysterious circumstances.

Detective Stephen Lavender and his dependable deputy, Constable Woods, quickly discover that nothing is quite as it seems. As successive mysteries unfold, they soon realise that it is not only the actors from the Sans Pareil who are playing a part.

With the Napoleonic War looming dangerously across the Channel, this is a time of suspicion and treachery. Following the clues from the seedy back streets of Covent Garden up through the echelons of society, Lavender and Woods begin to fear that the case is much bigger than they’d dared imagine—and worse, that they are at risk of becoming mere players in a master criminal’s shadowy drama.

It will take all of Lavender’s skill and wit, and help from the beautiful Magdalena, to bring the mystery of the Sans Pareil Theatre to a dramatic conclusion in the final act.

The second of the Stephen Lavender mysteries.

I’m really enjoyed this second outing.

The author has created a well fleshed out set of characters, leaving plenty of room for the characters to grow as the series continues.

A well crafted mystery.

4 stars****

Death in Devon (The County Guides #2) by Ian Samson

is deth devonARC review for Fourth Estate Books via Netgalley.

CREAM TEAS! SCHOOL DINNERS! SATANIC SURFERS!

Join our heroes as they follow up a Norfolk Mystery with a bad case of … DEATH IN DEVON.

Swanton Morley, the People’s Professor, sets off for Devon to continue his history of England, The County Guides. Morley’s daughter Miriam and his assistant Stephen Sefton pack up the Lagonda for a trip to the English Riviera.

Morley has been invited to give the Founder’s Day speech at All Souls School in Rousdon. But when the trio arrive they discover that a boy has died in mysterious circumstances. Was it an accident or was it – murder?

Join Morley, Sefton and Miram on another adventure into the dark heart of 1930s England.

I had already agreed to read and review this book before I had read the first!

Sadly not much better than the first!

Swanton Morley is still not a character that you would like to meet.  He is still an irritating egg-head.  His daughter Miriam is no better than her father…irritating!  And Stephen Sefton only just gets a bit of back bone near the end of the book.

This one does just come in to the mystery category, but only after you have waded through 70% of the book!

1 star *