Sunday, July 30, 2017

Deadly Valentine

Deadly Valentine (Valentine Mystery #1)
by Jenna Harte

I met this author at a book signing this spring. I have to admit after chatting with her a few minutes and looking over her books the valentine series caught my eye with interesting titles and covers I was hooked and wanted to know more. I bought the series and decided this weekend I would read the first one. I did not know what to expect since I had not read any of her work. At first I found the book a little confusing thinking that Jack was her ex fiancé which is not the case and is gone into later on in the book. What the author brings to the table is a delightful intriguing murder mystery with a little romance. I had a hard time working out who the killer was and had to chuckle when I find out. What you will find between these pages is conflict, trust issues, old pain, new pain, sadness, sorrow, and a death, mystery of who did it and who is still trying to kill people. The plot is built around a powerful family, one deceitful member, a friend along with an ex and some old friends that pull you into their mixed up life of hate, love and deceit.

The author has no trouble holding your interest and keeping you entertained with some drama, a little excitement and a thrill or two. There is danger all around with everyone pointing fingers but they all seem to be pointing at poor Jack who has no idea why he was invited to the party. Even I have to admit with the things he did it didn’t look good for him. At first Jack comes across as the over powering man but it doesn’t take long to find he is really a sweet heart that just isn’t sure of his self when it comes to one women.  Tess doesn’t want much out of life just a good one with only men friends, she has had enough of the happy ever after to last her a life time. She is sweet but no dummy after living through the mess she did she knows what she wants and is making a good life for herself. In walks Jack to mess with her mind which puts men against men with a delightful love triangle. The story is mostly built around the murder mystery and why with just the right touch of romance.

I really liked the conflict, confusion and the many people who had a reason to kill Asa. It does seem the man knows how to make enemies even with his own family. There are two mysteries in this book one of who did the killing and one of a lady and her child. I found this story intriguing until the very end, I really had trouble putting it down and stayed up late at night.   I thought it was well written, very interesting, the characters are lively, there is some humor which makes you smile along. This is just a cozy delightful read. I do plan on reading it again.

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"Written with precision and care, this intriguing romance/murder mystery is a fun read that will keep readers guessing until the very end." - Publisher's Weekly

Tess Madison walked away from her two-timing fiancĂ©, a multi-million dollar trust fund and a cushy corporate law job to pursue the single life indulging in chocolate and fancy French underwear. But her newly reordered life comes unraveled when she reluctantly accepts an invitation to a dinner party and stumbles upon the host’s dead body. Now Tess is in the middle of a murder investigation pitting her wannabe-boyfriend police detective against Jack Valentine, a man from her past with blue-green eyes and sinful smile that causes her to rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Tess has many reasons to avoid Jack including the fact that he’s the prime suspect in murder. But Tess doesn’t believe Jack’s the murderer and with an honest attempt to keep her hormones in check, she agrees to represent him. With Jack’s help, she uncovers a 30-year-old secret someone is killing to keep hidden and discovers sensual delights that don’t include chocolate or French underwear. But when her professional and personal relationship with Jack threatens to ruin her career and end her life, Tess has to decide if Jack, is worth the risk.

Deadly Valentine is the first in the Valentine Mystery series featuring Tess Madison a chocolate and French underwear connoisseur and Jack Valentine, her handsome, environmentalist love interest.

This is a full-length 103,000 word novel of mystery and romance, including mild sex scenes.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Deadly Arrangement

Deadly Arrangement

Written by: Michelle Lynn Brown
Narrated by: Leonor A Woodworth
Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-27-17
Publisher: Michelle Lynn Brown

This is a story that takes you by surprise from the plot to the emotions of the characters. There is mystery of Bethany sister’s death, her marriage and everything in between. About half way through you most likely will work out some of it but other parts are a bit surprising.  I did wonder just what her grandmother’s true plan was in making the will the way she did. What a really sad story of love, betrayal, trust that is heartbreaking and the man who tried his best to right a wrong. With the opening you will not know who to trust or who to believe. There is murder, lies and deceit spun in a plot that so many people still face today. A story that will break your heart, keep you on the edge, make you wonder just what the mystery is. Was Bethany’s sister killed if so by whom or was it an accident. The plot thickens with the story of two people who have to marry so one can get their inheritance and the other covering up a deadly secrete. Innocent lives are taken why other might deserve what they got.

Ms. Woodworth’s really brought this story to live for me as she pulled me in using emotion filled with sorrow, anger, hurt and pain along with excitement, danger and thrills. I had no trouble picturing the events as they unfold. There is one part where the woman is on the cliff that really came alive in my mind. Her character voices are wonderful as she held me spellbound from the caring sad Walker who is hiding something to Bethany who wants answers. Her tones are right on the mark keeping the listener on the edge waiting for the next shoe to drop. There are no volume changes, no background noise or any repeating of words. If any breaks were taken I could not tell. Her male voices were just as good as her female voices, you have no trouble knowing who is talking and just what they are feeling. Her character voices are just great as well as her normal voice is very pleasant and easy to listen to. The narrator really pulls you into the mystery, the love one man might or might not have had for his wife. You can feel the uneasiness of the characters as they work through the emotions of loss, facing the outcome and the heart break of the past. Ms. Woodworth’s has no trouble pulling of this very emotional listen that captivates you and holds your attention.

I am a little unsure of why the grandmother thought by giving everything to Walker who Bethany believes killed her sister would bring Bethany peace. As the story opens we know someone is dead we are pretty sure it was murder as well as who we think it might be, there is a cover up but we don’t know why. As the story unfolds it is one we can relate to for most of us the issues have touched us in some way. The plot has a wonderful mixture of mystery, murder, who did it and why that keeps the reader hooked. The question is who do you trust and how many lives will be lost before answers are given. I have mixed feeling on Walker at first I didn’t know how to take him he is a cool customer but at the same time very caring. I am unsure how he thought he could give peace to Bethany by marrying her. Their romance moves pretty fast maybe a little too fast for me. I do believe out of the two sisters Bethany is the better match for him. I have to wonder if he married the first sister out of feeling sorry for her. Life isn’t as we see it or even think it might have been. Be prepared for some surprises that will break your heart.

It all comes down to a good plot that leaves me with mixed feeling on a few issues. Did I enjoy it oh yes I did. The narrator really adds a lot to it. I do believe I enjoyed it more listening to although reading it was good as well. What an emotional spin that tips your world upside down. I think this is one I would enjoy listening to again.

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He murdered her sister - and now she's planning on marrying him?
Bethany Petersen is the rightful heir to the Petersen Estate, but her grandmother's will states otherwise. Instead, it will go to Walker Keane, the murderer of her sister. The only way she can get control of the estate is through marriage to Walker. The idea is absurd to Bethany, and she assumes he will think so, too. Instead of trying to help her find a way around her grandmother's stipulation, he asks her to marry him.
So she hatches a plan to not only to get her inheritance back, but once and for all prove that her sister was murdered by Walker. She agrees to his deal. Marriage, even if it is in name only, and then after one year, they will split the inheritance. The ruse of marriage will give her access to the information she needs to prove his guilt.
However, Bethany quickly finds out her plan isn't as simple as she thought. As the truth begins to unfold, so do her feelings for Walker.
Will buried secrets reveal his innocence, or confirm her suspicions that she's gotten herself into a deadly arrangement?

Shadow of Deceit

Shadow of Deceit: Shadow Series, Book 2

Written by: Barbara Goss

Narrated by: Tom Jordan

Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins

Series: The Shadow Series (Goss), Book 2

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date:06-26-17

Publisher: Barbara A. Goss

I really loved the plot and the story it really pulls you in to the mystery of Julia who she really is, why does she needs a rich man and who is Billy? She went from almost predator preying on a rich man to this really sweet shy unsure woman. I really wanted to say would the real Julia stand up.  That really throw me I was expecting her to come back as this really sassy lady who took control when she same back as the shy sweet little thing. I am not saying this is bad it just throw me and maybe me wonder if when she hit her head it may have changed her personality.

Mr. Jordan with his very talented voice blow me out of the ballpark from his tones to his deep sexy male voice and his sweet females that are sassy, sweet and just darling. His performance is outstanding as he pulls deep inside to bring out the emotion each character is feeling bring to life a very emotional story of deceit, family love and play games with people’s emotions to save the one thing that is important to one family. If any breaks where taken I could not tell, there are no background noises, no volume change nor any repeating of words. It is a very clean and clear audio that the narrator brings to life pulling on your heartstrings. You have no trouble knowing who is talking and just what they are feeling. You can hear the anger, excitement, and sorrow in his tones as he gives a compelling performance. This is the second audio of his I have listened to, it was just as wonderful as the first.

I thought this was a very meaningful story that really hooks you. There is a powerful message not only of God but of forgiveness which doesn’t always mean you forget this is very true to our normal life. It made me really wonder can you really forgive if you can’t forget. How can you forgive if the past deed keeps going through your mind? I really liked how religion was bought into it but isn’t the big part of the story. It is a story of deception it maybe for a good cause but it still is dishonest. I really think Caleb would have given the money had Julia been upfront in her defense she had no way of knowing that. The author really makes one think how far and what will you do to save a person you love. The only issue I had was the about face Julia did for me it just wasn’t smooth. She wasn’t evil and she didn’t come across as a spoiled brat just somewhere in between one minute she is so big, a little overpowering, she comes across as a user out to get what she can and the next she was shy unsure of herself. Besides that I thought it was a great story with a powerful message and one that makes us step back and think about how we deal with issues.

From the first book Caleb stole my heart wanting a family so much but with his disability making him feel that he would never find a woman. I really thought he was going to turn to someone else but there is a twist in the story which gets a little complicated. All in all it was a very enjoyable listen full of heartbreak, lies, but the important part here is learning to forgive, forget and get past so love can grow. It is learning to trust someone who let you down, if you can get past that than you can work out anything.

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Love! Julia Croft never thought she would actually fall in love with the man she set out to mislead. Surely he would forgive her if he knew the truth. Could he be so cold-hearted as to not see what her brother meant to her? Would he see that it was a matter of life and death that brought her to this deceitfulness?
Deceived! How could Caleb Armstrong, have allowed himself to be drawn into being enticed by a woman who merely used him? Now that he knew her ruse, he could easily rid himself of Julia Croft and her brother Miles. Surely there was a woman somewhere who could overlook his gimp leg. The most plaguing problem would be - could his heart ever forget her?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Honor Bound

Honor Bound (The Montana Hamiltons #6)
by B.J. Daniels

What an ending to a great series. We now know all about Sarah and the big plans for The Prophecy along with Buck and if he will become the new President. This is the last of the series as well as the last story of the 6 daughters. There are stories inside of stories as we touch base with all the characters and what is happening to them. Ainsley is the good daughter she does nothing wrong always doing what is expected of her. That is about to change with danger near and a stalker stalking her, her life is about to change. Sawyer is called in to help protect Ainsley the only thing is she doesn’t know why he is there. Their coming together is exciting along with the trails they will have to go through before we find out if it might be love for these two.

Honor Bound is an exciting read that really pulls you in through the danger, stalker, ex’s, a mother that has been missing for 20 years, a father that is so much in love with her he can’t see straight and The Prophecy that wants something from him. As Sarah finally gets her memory back of her past and her passionate ex lover and the effect it will have on her family along with the race to become the first lady. An exciting read that is full of broken promises, heart break, new love, old loves and the adventure they go on why trying to keep people alive.

When I first picked up the first book in this series I had not a clue where the author would take this. With the ending I was very much surprised at the turn of events. What a wonderful ending with such passion and thrills. Sawyer has his work cut out for him not only in keeping Ainsley save but to make her understand why he did what he did. It is touch and go with many people in their way. You will also find out what happens to Cassidy and Jack. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to hear more of their story and how they finally make it all work out. The author does touch on this but I would love to have seen it all play out. Yes it is the ending of the series that I didn’t want to end. I feel there is so much more to tell of this family and hate to say good bye to them. It is a series I will be rereading again and most likely will listen on audio. I loved the touching plot, the sorrow, love, getting to know each character. What really hooked me was the sub plot about Sarah, her past, her future and just how it all plays out. I loved the adventure, danger, thrills and even a few chilling moments that just about stopped my heart. There is no doubt I was hooked from the first page until the last. I hope everyone will enjoy this thrilling exciting read as much as I have.

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Protecting her life will mean betraying her trust 
Ainsley Hamilton has always been the responsible one of the family. As the oldest daughter of presidential candidate Buckmaster Hamilton, she's also a potential target. For months she's sensed someone following her. When an expedition to scout locations for a commercial takes a terrifying turn, she's rescued by a natural-born cowboy who tempts the good girl to finally let loose.
Sawyer Nash knows just how reckless it is to fall for someone he's gone undercover to protect. Yet masquerading as an extra on set, he starts to see beneath Ainsley's controlled facade. And with the election—and a killer—drawing closer, Sawyer stands to lose not just his job and his life but the woman for whom he'd gladly risk both.