Mystery & Suspense Category

Miss Demeanor Suspense Series: P.I. I Love You, Bare, Choreographed Crime, Golden Ribbons

 Miss Demeanor Suspense Series

Four female cops are tired of not being promoted and the lack of excitement that comes from being an officer in a small town.  After they meet online in a group called “Lady Cops” they decide to start a private investigation business called “Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency” in Seattle.  In this series we follow four strong women as they fight drug rings, murderers, kidnappers and sex rings in the Emerald City.

P.I. I Love You by Joanne Jaytanie

River Nightingale just watched another promotion pass her up.  She’s closed more cases than anybody in her town, only to watch a man with half the experience who works the least amount of anyone take the job.  Enough is enough and when the possibility of joining her new friends as a private investigator in Seattle becomes a reality she calls her uncle, pulls a few strings, and makes the move to The City of Flowers.  With their new business up and running a new client comes in asking for help with finding who murdered his parents and tracking down a long lost half sister that had been secretly adopted.  Unfortunately for River, tracking down the murderer means working with bossy and prideful Homicide Detective, Gage Hamlin and reopening his case.  He hates nosy private investigators and she hates smug arrogant policeman that look down their noses at woman cops.  They need to put their differences aside and work together to solve the cases, because it seems like someone else is on their heels ready to do whatever it takes, even kill a cop, in order to hide the truth.  This is an amazing story, the suspense dripped from each page and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.  This is the first time I’ve read a book from Joanne Jaytanie, and I loved it!

BARE by Angela Ford

Shay Brooks has found that she’s hit that invisible glass ceiling, especially because she’s a female cop in a small town and not taken seriously by her partners.  Agreeing to start up the “Miss Demeanor Private Detective Agency” with her friends in Seattle, she is excited to kiss her town good bye.  Her first case has her taking an undercover job as a waitress in a gentleman’s club, where she’s trying to “save” the client’s daughter from the club’s owner.  Once inside BARE, Shay finds out not everyone is who they say they are.  I enjoyed Shay’s story and was impressed with the strong characters that were portrayed in a short amount of time.  Angela did a great job setting the scene and creating a plot that was suspenseful from the beginning.

Choreographed Crime by Jackie Marilla

When Maile Kuhiwinui decided to leave Hawaii, she didn’t realize how homesick she would be.  It seemed like a great idea at the time, join a group of female officers, and become a private investigator in Seattle, leaving behind the small town cop mentality in her review mirror.  However, she feels like she’s not being productive as she sits back and watches the other women close their cases.  Trying to get rid of her homesickness by comforting herself with food from back home, Maile meets Kalama Haleamau and realizes that Seattle might not be so bad.  However, when a murder case is brought to Maile, she finds that Kalama is right in the middle of it and he might just be a suspect.  This was not my favorite story in the book.  Maile seemed very weak and didn’t seem have to have the mentality of a cop.  She cried a lot and it frustrated me, I was happy to see this story over.  I feel like Maile is the weak link in the series.

Golden Ribbons by Lauren Marie

Cassie Holmes is spunky and tough, she doesn’t take no for an answer and she isn’t scared to tell a complete stranger- who she lovingly refers to as “Sasquatch”- to take a hike.  As tough as she is, she has a soft spot for the client who has taken what money she has to secure the aid of the private investigator.  The client’s daughter, Cami, is a fourteen year old girl who ran away and has found herself victim of a child prostitution ring, and it’s up to Cassie and Sasquatch, aka Jack Donovan to help Cami and the other girls find safety.  I like Cassie, she was my favorite character, and she is sassy and has a no-nonsense personality.  She knows what has to be done and doesn’t stop to question it.  I enjoyed Lauren Marie’s writing and will be reading more of her books in the future.

I did love this series, although I could have been happier without reading Maile’s story.  The women in this story must step aside and learn to let a man help them even after they have played hardball with the men back in their small towns.  This is about taking a big jump and changing your life when you find yourself in a rut. I will read more from Joanne Jaytanie, Angela Ford, and Lauren Marie.

*I bought this series to be a part of the Magic Books Promotions*

*This contains Adult Content*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Storm: Western Hearts Series

Storm

Independent, stubborn and hardworking are the words that come to mind when you start describing Storm. She’s going to need all those characteristics if she’s going to keep her ranch and not lose it to the bank. Already behind on last year’s payments, Storm is going to have to beg the bank for an extension after she’s fallen victim to the cattle rustling that has been affecting all the ranchers around her. When things couldn’t seem to get any worse, she’s given the news that her ranch hand has been died in a car accident, but new evidence shows that it may not have not been an accident at all. Without a choice but to bite back pride, she must turn to her neighbor Dak-who also suffers from the same characteristics that Storm does. Dak must get past his judgmental tendencies and reach out to the woman who might just find him happiness again.

The author did a great job writing and describing the country side and the beautiful art that Storm created. However, I was a little hung up on how stubborn Storm was and how judgmental Dak was towards Storm. It really made me mad how far wrong Dak was and how he thought it was necessary to tattle tale. Storm was so stubborn that she really kept getting the wrong ideas and turning everything against those trying to help her. The two were so aggravating that I just want to yell at them to get over it and move on. That being my only dislike of the book, it was an easy read and was entertaining.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReview

Jane Blond International Spy

Jane Blond

Jane Blond, not to be confused with James Bond, isn’t your typical every day run of the mill teenager. Sure, she’s a fourteen year old girl trying to survive high school and all the petty drama that goes along with it. On top of the high school scene her dad’s in jail, her mom’s dating again, and she has an uncle who she suspects is a spy. However, she’s different then the other students, when her crush is kidnapped she doesn’t sit on the sidelines, she jumps right in and puts herself right in the middle of danger and does everything she can to save him. When the kidnapper’s plot starts to unravel and it’s clear that the President is in jeopardy, she knows that she can protect him and she’ll not let anyone stand in her way even when the bullets start flying.

This was a great book found in children’s literature, and I believe that children and teens will love it. Jane Blond is very likable and a modern day teenager hero. However, the author did such a great job writing it, that I loved it and I’m thirty-two. There was suspense, mystery, and a little crush that gives a little childhood romance. It’s very clean and I think my children would love it.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Fatal Exchange (A Christy Spy Novel Book 3)

Fatal Exchange

Christy Hadden is an extremely talented spy, and at 19 she has to be good. There are people that would love to see her fail and she needs to prove that she is very capable of her job. Christy is on assignment in Paris, and her next mission seems easy enough-grab a flash drive with damaging information on a high ranking public official and keeps the informant safe. However, things go from bad to worse after Christy grabbed the flash drive. Before she can even react the flash drive is taken from her and she gives chase, leaving her informant behind and he’s killed. Christy needs to earn back the respect of her director, and decides to go undercover as a pickpocket. After she hits the streets she begins to realize that Paris is full of thieves and nobody is safe as the streets are overrun by several pickpocket rings.

If you can get past the fact that such an accomplished spy is only 19, it’s a very good book. It’s full of action and suspense, and there is a little bit of romance towards the end of the novel. I haven’t read the other books in this series, but this book can be read on its own. I didn’t feel like I’ve lost anything in the story by not reading the previous books. I have read other books by Cindy M. Hogan and I really enjoy her as an author. I wouldn’t mind reading the other books in the series and get to see more of Christy in action. I didn’t give it a perfect rating because it was hard for me to imagine that the way the department was set up, as believable. For the director to totally disregard information that was continually being given to her, especially when it had to do with the safety of a whole team, frustrated me and didn’t seem real at all. To have so much anger and hate between an agent and her shadow, makes you think that there should have been some psychological testing going on, and you would want your agents to trust those that are working with them. It is a fictional novel, so I’m not extremely put out when it doesn’t seem realistic, but other than a few small things, the book was good.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReview

 

Walk Through Fire (Chaos)

Walk Through Fire

Since Millie Cross split up with the love her life, Logan “High” Judd, she has been living life from day to day. She’s set up a successful business and has created a beautiful home.  Every day is the same old thing and she’s content with her life and she won’t complain.  Maybe she’ll even venture out and take a Pilates class to add to her non-existent excitement.  Anyone that knew Millie would be surprised how different her life was before Logan and how it is now, because Logan was in a biker gang and it wasn’t just any gang, it was Chaos.  Millie lived for the excitement and the cut off shorts, tank tops, and parties.  Now Millie lived for her job and her name brand sweaters, sexy boots, and pencil skirts.  On her way home, Millie’s predictable life changed and it changed big, because when she stopped for food the sound of a very distinct male voice brought memories from 20 years ago flooding back with a vengeance, High was standing in line in front of her talking to someone on the phone about kids and finding a new home.  High was back, and he had kids. It was too much for Millie, she couldn’t leave fast enough.

In the safety of her walls Millie decided that enough time had passed and she needed to apologize to High for leaving him so many years ago, but with people like High and his brothers in Chaos, it wasn’t going to be that easy.  When Millie found High, the reunion was anything but pleasant, all the hate and anger that High had built up over two decades came spilling out, and he wasn’t about to let Millie leave without knowing how much she had hurt him.  Life had changed them both, and Millie would never be able to tell High the real reason she left him, the real reason that she had walked through fire for him.  Unless Logan would drop the hate and open up to her, which he wasn’t about to let happen, he would never open back up to her and the heart ache that was sure to follow.  If the boys in Chaos had a choice, they would do whatever it took to protect High.  It was up to the women in the gang, they knew what was best for the couple, and they just had to make the boys see it.

At first when I started reading, I had to adjust to the author’s writing and I had to get familiar with Millie.  This can be said for a lot of books, you have to get in the mood and know who your characters are.  However, that being said, as I read I began to get to know Millie I felt so bad for her, she was hurting and High wouldn’t give her the time of day.  Kristen Ashley knew how to hook me, and I couldn’t put the book down.  It was hot and heavy between Millie and High, they both know what they are doing in the bedroom. There were times when I did stumble over some of the dialogue whenever the Chaos brotherhood was in the picture, because it was more biker talk, something this woman isn’t used to.  I loved how the women all banded together with a mission and were out to reunite the two lovers.  High was so rough and mean in the beginning I wanted him to drown in a lake, but as time healed old wounds he was a teddy bear to Millie. Kristen did great job writing and there were several lines that caught my attention and I loved and even stopped to read to my husband.  Even though the book was extremely hot and steamy, there was a lot of truth that was spoken and can be used when trying to make things work in a relationship.  I haven’t stopped talking to my friends about this book; because it’s such a great read I want them to enjoy it as well.  I’ll be reading more from Kristen in the future, that’s for sure.

*I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

*Contains Sexual Content and Adult Language*

Rating: Review Review Review Review Review

A Tale of Three Cities

A Tale of Three Cities

Kristy fled New York City, escaping the abusive clutches of her husband and leaving an innocent man (well at least he’s innocent of kidnapping her) in prison–it’s hard to feel sorry for a man that is the leader of a mafia, and no one is going to shed a tear when he just happens to be convicted of her fake kidnapping. With millions to help her create a new identity; she starts a life on a huge estate in Scotland as Penny. She lives there with the man of her dreams, her lover, her soul mate and companion: Z. They live peacefully enjoying their life together, learning to step out of their comfort zones and whisper their love for each other. However, their peaceful life is about to be turned upside down and their love is about to be challenged. Melissa Chisholm is a bit of romantic and could use a little help in the money department. When she sees an ad offering $1 Million dollar reward for any information leading to the discovery of a missing wife, Melissa can’t help but interfere. She wants nothing more than to help a grieving husband find his beautiful wife, collecting the money would just be a bonus. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that true nature of Penny’s husband, Michael Bradley, until it’s too late. Penny and Z must work together to secure their safety and the life they have made for themselves in Scotland, can they do this without losing the love they have for each other?

I didn’t read the first novel, Greater Expectations, but I was not lost when I started reading A Tale of Three Cities, it can easily stand on its own. The author did an amazing job building the characters and each of them has their own strong identity, they are all important to the novel. The suspense that is perceptible in each page keeps you turning pages as quickly as you can read them. Many of the characters are not who they say they are the twist and turns that leave you guessing just add to the excitement. Alexander McCabe does an amazing job tying everything together and has an amazing talent for writing a complicated story line that is still easy to follow.

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*
*Contains Adult Language and Sexual Content*

 

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

 

Kate Unmasked (Code of Silence Book 1)

Kate Unmasked

There aren’t very many teenagers like Kate Hamilton. Kate is an amazing high school student, getting A’s in all her classes and hanging out with the “good” crowd. Kate stays out of trouble and always listens to her parents, well usually; there is that little fact about a boyfriend her parents don’t know about. However, Kate isn’t content with her life quite yet; she is adopted and she wants nothing more than to know who her birth parents are. She’s invested her life savings into solving this mystery, only to come up disappointed time and time again. Kate is not a stranger to disappointment so when she receives news from the private investigator she’s hired, stating that they’ve come up empty; she is ready to give up hope, but an accidental discovery in the attic gets Kate and her star-struck best friend, Ellie, curious enough to start the search all over. It’s obvious now, that her parents have been keeping secrets from her and now it’s time for Kate to start keeping her own secrets. Loaded with just enough information to send her packing to New Jersey, Kate and Ellie team up on an adventure that was best left buried deep in the attic walls.

Cindy M. Hogan knows how to keep a reader guessing. Many twists kept me on the edge of my seat, I kept wondering if poor Kate was going to survive the streets or beaches of New Jersey. Ellie and her family were enough of a distraction that gave humor to a horrible situation; I just had to shake my head at their antics. In this Teen/Young Adult book, you can find humor, mystery, suspense, drama, murder, and romance. Definitely a book that I would recommend to a teen or an adult, it can be enjoyed by both age groups. The writing was smooth and transitions were flawless, I never felt lost and was able to sit back, put my feet up, drink my hot chocolate, and enjoy a very good book. Thank you Cindy M. Hogan for helping me escape into a world of intrigue.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: Review

 

 

A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Hallow’s Eve

All Hallows' Eve Collection

Of Ghosts and Gardens by Sarah M. Eden

Enid Pryce took pride in the fact that she was undeniably Welsh; she lived in Brecknockshire, Wales with her little family.  Her home not only came with a beautifully garden, but a ghost who took great care in making sure to let would be thieves know, “You must not take what is not yours.”  Dafydd Gam, the family ghost had known to wander the garden, making sure no one would take the flowers.  After being away from home, Enid want to verify that she was indeed home and the best way to do that was to make sure that her ghost was still there, she set out to steal from the garden.  Instead of getting herself a visit from a ghost, she met Burke Kennard.  Burke, a scholar was researching the 15th-century Welsh Revolt, and who better to ask than the man who lived during that time, Dafydd Gam.  Burke and Enid set out to try to lure the ghost to visit them to learn about the revolt, but instead they learned that not everyone is who they say they are, and the same can be said about a certain ghost.  As the mystery revolving around Dafydd grows, so do the feelings between Enid and Burke.

Sarah created a lighthearted story with two characters that knew what they wanted out of life; however, being so determined to stick with their present course, they needed the help of a friendly neighborhood ghost to help them take a much-needed detour to a path of love.  This was a very cute story that I found entertaining. Sarah does a great job on creating characters and plots in a very short time.  The dialogue between Enid and Burke was complete with humor and quick wit. I really enjoy when I story has you smiling or laughing aloud.  I have always enjoyed books by Sarah M. Eden, and once again, she has come through with a great read.

It’s You by Annette Lyon

Orphaned when she was one, Anna Brierley, was taken in and raised by her grandparents in Idaho.  Traveling to live with her aunt and uncle after their death, Anna’s welcoming event was a funeral, not exactly her choice of entertainment.  However, this funeral was unlike any other that Anna had ever attended, there was a woman that seemed to recognize her, but she was unlike any other woman that she had ever seen or met.  The lady in white with one long braid called for attention and it seemed no one else had witnessed her at the cemetery, which isn’t too big of a surprise since she was the spirit of a woman coming to make things right.  Wondering if she was delusional, Anna tried to bury the incident, she carried on with life.  Not wanting to be a big burden to her aunt or uncle, Anna decided to earn her keep by taking on odd jobs, since the local schools felt like her small town education wasn’t good enough for their likes.  Her first odd job consisted of taking on cleaning out a church closet of a departed woman’s items.  Through this assignment, Anna was shocked to find a surprising discovery.  In order to find the cause for the young woman’s visit, Anna gets to know a local young man, Charlie Beck, who also has been in contact with the woman in white.  Between the two of them, they might be able to help the young woman feel at peace.

In a shorter version this story is about an older woman passing on, feeling wrapped up in guilt, and because of this, she is unable to go in peace.  She feels like she must make amends to those that she has hurt, unfortunately, she is not able to make things right with the people she hurt, but fate has brought the next generation to her doorstep.  I didn’t enjoy this story as much because it seemed too short and I felt disconnected from the characters, and I never felt like it pulled me in.  I don’t believe the story line could have held its own had it been lengthened into a full novel, it just didn’t have the makings of a great story.

Sophia’s Curse by Heather B. Moore

Every five years, on All Hallows Eve, a member of the Rousseau household or the Belrose household would die.  This curse was shared by these two households, and had been placed upon them by a scorned vindictive woman claiming to have secretly married Belrose Sr., and she stated that she should inherit the land, in response  her and her claims had been turned away.  Joan’s mother died giving birth on that cursed night.  Blinded by pain and anger Monsieur Rudolph Belrose, Joan’s father, had her sent to a nearby abbey to be raised by the nuns.  Joan loved to be creative and had an imagination, but most of all she enjoyed sneaking into the grove of trees and watch the magnificent, and good-looking Simon Rousseau.  It was just a matter of time before she would be caught.  Simon and Joan had no idea how life would change for them in the short period after they met.  All Hallows Eve was upon them, and it looked like Joan’s father was to be the next victim.  Was it really a curse, or was there something less superstitious and more evil at play?

Sophia’s Curse contained all the elements of a great book: romance, mystery, suspense, and murder.  The romance between Simon and Joan was quick yet it was strong and enjoyable.  Heather B. Moore was able to tie up all the loose ends in a tidy little bow, and left nothing to question.  It kept me on the edge on my seat; I will definitely be looking for more books by her in the future.

The Sirens’ Song by Lisa Mangum

Widower and Dr., Oliver, is on his way to Greece aboard a cruise liner as the lead physician.  Still wearing the ring and grieving after the death of his beloved wife, Cate, Oliver is just moving through life as if he is in a daydream.  An unfortunate event sends his wedding ring into the churning waters and not long after, he finds himself sharing the same fate.  A trio of sirens steals him away, pulling him from the clutches of the dark sea intent on stealing his memories and pain, not aware that behind his memories was love and happiness.  Willing to give up his memories for one last chance to see his cherished wife, Oliver relives the most precious times with Cate.

Lisa did a great job of capturing Oliver’s pain as well as his deep love for his wife, Cate. Delving into a character’s pain is not easy, but Lisa puts to paper a beautiful romance between husband and his wife.  Even though Cate has passed on, I felt like I was given the opportunity to witness their marriage and see their relationship from the beginning to the end.  You cannot help but ache for Oliver and his loss, but you are so happy when he gets to give his final good bye to the woman he loves so much.  Lisa Magnum wrote a beautiful love story.

The Man of Her Dreams by Jordan McCollum

Alexandra Steen, homicide detective, has a unique yet troubling gift: she sees murders before they happen.  The troubling part, she’s unable to stop them and she’s unable to use this information in, she is left with collecting evidence that leads to the guilty verdict.  The story starts out like any other dream for Alex, the killer attacks and slays his victim.  Alex is not about to let this happen, not again!  With everything she has, she speeds to the spot of the soon to be crime, only to find out that she is too late…or is she.  The last victim was spared and Alex is surprised to find that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s sister.  However, the dreams don’t stop.  It’s only a matter of time that Alex determines that Nick is the intended target, after encountering him after all these years, she realizes that she still loves him and she’ll do everything in her power to make this dream not come true.  Nick and Alex have a lot to forgive and forget if they are to move forward in their lives and keep Nick safe.

This thriller keeps you on your edge of you seat wondering who the killer is and when he will strike.   Alex is very head strong, where Nick is laid back and non-confrontational.  It’s a challenge to watch these two hit heads and struggle with their differences.  Jordan McCollum did a great job creating their characters, bringing them to life.  They have the same struggles that a normal couple has and they need to work through this in order to be a couple again.  In a short period, Jordan did an amazing job pulling me in, working out the differences, and building a suspenseful plot and wrapping it all up in the end.

The Ghost of Millhouse Mansion by Elana Johnson

Naomi was amazing at what she did, she knew her job, and she loved it.  She had the amazing talent of not only renovating antiques but she also was known for interior decorating skills.  Right now, the biggest dream of hers involved a huge beautiful mansion, not just any mansion, but the Millhouse Mansion.  It begged for her touch, and she found herself imagining the hardwood floors, the fixtures, and the mantle over the fireplace.  However, the owner didn’t seem to have any desire to step foot in the place, much less bring it back to its former glory.  Yet today of all days seemed to be Naomi’s lucky day.  The owner, Colt Jennings walked into her office needing a renovation that happened to be located in the mansion.  Naomi was living her dream.  The mansion is everything that Naomi hopes for, instantly she’s taking notes and envisioning what she could do to fix this place up, but soon, she realizes that her and Colt are not alone.  In addition, someone, or something, is trying to get their attention.  Colt has his own demons to deal with and the ghosts that seem to hang around the old place aren’t helping his cheerful disposition.  Naomi and Colt must figure out the mystery surrounding the spirits lingering around, or someone was going to get hurt.

Elana Johnson did a great job introducing twist and turns in the plot.  She even gets an A for the spook factor.  I definitely didn’t see the surprise at the end coming; I really enjoyed this Halloween story.  Makes me curious what other books Elana has written and what surprises she has in store for them.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Rating: Review

 

Not Without You (Silver Creek Book 1)

Not Without You

It takes me a little longer to come up with a decent review after I read a book that irritates me the whole time I’m reading it. It makes me sad when I find an author that writes really well, knows how to keep the reader engaged with a great plot and strong characters, only to ruin it by pushing her beliefs or her lifestyle through a character. I spent so much time being annoyed with Lisa and her strong “tree-hugging” ways that I seriously wanted to put the book. Fortunately, McIntyre “Walsh” was a strong enough character that he seemed to make up for Lisa. I usually do a summary than give a review of the book, but I’m just too annoyed to do that. Lisa, a grad student out to save the boreal toads, is being chased by a murderer while she has been injured in a fall and all she can ever think about is not leaving a “human footprint” behind on the land, heaven forbid she uses a few live branches to create a bed in her shelter, and oh my goodness she better not eat meat even if her body really needs it, oops there’s a bear that might eat them, but we can’t shoot it because it’s nature, and while we’re at it don’t shoot the murderous creep chasing us because that’s so bad. Seriously? I’m sorry, but this book was ridiculous. I probably won’t find myself reaching for another book by this author because when I pick up a book, I want to enjoy it not feel like I’m being preached to. If I want to be preached to I’ll pick up my bible.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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