Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . ."

My Thoughts:

Three books in and this series is going strong!  I actually think that this is my favorite book of the series yet.  There are just so many things to enjoy and because of that I read this book in less than two days.  That is almost unheard of for me!  One of the things that I enjoy most about this series is reading about Robbie's cooking while working at her restaurant Pans 'N Pancakes.  It is such fun to read about the different breakfast and lunch combinations that she comes up with.  Also, it never fails to make me super hungry while reading and usually for breakfast type foods.  I've come to realize that the majority of my favorite cozy mysteries all feature food.  I'm not sure what that says about me as a reader.  LOL!  But I do really, really enjoy the scenes where Robbie is busy working in her restaurant with all of the delicious descriptions of the food that she makes. 

I really enjoyed the mystery portion of this book as well.  The author gave the story a sort of Nancy Drew feel with a hidden tunnel and other fun secrets.  As I was a huge Nancy Drew fan in my youth, I couldn't get enough of this book because of it.  I really enjoyed the fact that the author had me guessing on the killer throughout almost the entire book.  I also really enjoyed that in this book we got to see more of Robbie's relationship with Abe.  I've been hoping for this since the very first book so consider me a happy reader.  I just really enjoyed this book (obviously) and don't have anything bad to say about it.  My only complaint is that now I have to wait for book four.  LOL!  It's so hard to wait when these books are so good.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am left so excited about this series!  I've really come to enjoy my time in South Lick, Indiana with all of these characters.  Robbie is someone that I would want to be friends with in real life and I just love all of the other secondary characters as well.  With fast-paced mysteries and that whodunnit feel I adore, I just can't seem to get enough of these books.  I would recommend these books to cozy mystery and mystery fans alike.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  My favorite of the series so far!  So good!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Sunday Post #25 (Catching Up Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

I'm back!  I took a few weeks off of posting but not actually from blogging.  Instead I've been working on writing up reviews and scheduling posts for the entire month of April.  Who is this girl?  Hahahaha!  But seriously, I always feel like I'm a step behind when it comes to blogging especially when life gets busier and busier.  So I figured I could take a few weeks off and work on getting ahead for a change.  Who knows how long it will last but it is fun to try!

Spring sports are starting back up which has been an adjustment.  Last week the kiddos were on spring break which made it all a bit easier.  They go back to school this week so the real madness will begin.  We've got soccer practices for the youngest and then my daughter has softball- both practice and hitting.  The oldest is back to lifting for football three times a week.  The youngest will also be starting up baseball any day now.  I'm still on mandatory overtime with no end in sight.  It's going to be lots of fun (and now I'm sure you can see why I'm trying to work ahead for a change).  Usually all of these practices would mean extra reading time but I'm trying to walk during them instead to get some exercise in.  I've got to work out somewhere/somehow so this is how I'm doing it.  Actually my reading has really slowed down as of late.  I'm hoping that will change though soon as my TBR pile isn't getting any smaller.

I have been reading though so let's talk about that instead.  I can't remember the last time that I shared with all of you so I'm not even going to attempt going back that far.  Instead, I'll share about what I just finished last week and am now currently reading.  I actually finished one book last week which I had been wanting to read for months:

Two Can Play by Kate Kessler -  I read and loved the first book in this series last year so this has been on my TBR list since then.  I finally got the chance to read this one and loved it as well.  It was a great follow-up and has left me so excited to get my hands on the third book.  I need to write up my thoughts on this one still but there is a good chance this will be on my top reads list this year.

I'm now currently in the middle of two books:

Hard-Hearted Highlander is my current kindle read.  I'm reading it for a TLC tour coming up in April and so far so good.  I've already read another book in this series earlier this year and really enjoyed so I have high hopes for this one.  I love that the author always seems to put the hero and heroine in impossible situations where you have no idea how everything will be able to work out.  I'm reading in print my first non-fiction book of the year Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer.  I feel like I've been reading this book forever.  It isn't even that I'm not enjoying it because I am for the most part.  I just don't always pick it up so I'm slowly working my way through it.  I'm getting towards the end so I'm going to really focus on finishing this one this week.

New Acquisitions:

I've been absolutely horrible this year when it comes to self control and buying books.  NetGalley?  Ridiculousness.  I can't possibly share about all of the books I've brought into the house since I last posted (because at this point I don't even know) so I'll share about the newest books sitting on my NetGalley shelf.  I say I'm going to work on this but really I'm doing horribly.  I need to focus on all the unread books I already have instead.

And so many, many more but we'll save that for another day.  I have no excuse for not reading when I have so many great books waiting for me. 

I'm off to focus on my laundry piles and getting ready for the week.  My son turns fourteen today so we've been busy celebrating this weekend.  Now we have a good birthday dinner and cake to look forward to tonight.  I'm eager to catch up with all of you and see what you've been reading but that may not happen until later this week.  For now, let me know what you've been up to or reading since we last talked!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Monday, March 6, 2017

March Reading Plans (2017 Edition)

Hello!  It feels like it has been awhile when maybe it really hasn't?  I've had posts scheduled so my blog hasn't been silent but I haven't actually written any posts up in a couple of weeks almost.  Responding to comments?  Nope.  What happened you might wonder?  Well, first we went out of town for the weekend with the kiddos so that was a lot of fun.  We came back though to a week of the flu- it was one kid after the other.  It wasn't fun but we seem to be all past it now for which I am very thankful.  On top of that I've been working mandatory overtime all month long and that is going to continue on through this month.  Busy, busy!  March is here though and it is already time to think about the books that I'm hoping/planning to read this month.  I've already finished my 1st book for the month and it was completely off pile.  I'm counting it as a win though since it was actually in my February pile of possibilities and off of my own shelves.  Score!  Here are the print books that I would like to read this month:

  • By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates - 1st in a cozy mystery series and one that I picked up last month when I was at a local Goodwill.  I loved the sound of it and decided I didn't want to wait long to give this series a try!
  • Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie - 3rd book in this mystery series and also from my own shelves.  I read the first two books in this series a year or two back and just adored them.  I've been meaning to continue on with this series every since so in March I'm hoping to do exactly that.  I've got really high hopes for this one!
  • The American Girl by Kate Horsley - This is actually a recent library find that I was so intrigued by.  I picked it up on a whim and read the back....and just like that I knew it was coming home with me to be read as soon as possible.  I love when I find new to me books like this!
  • Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts - Another Goodwill find that I couldn't resist bringing home with me (I've already brought a ridiculous number of books into my house in 2017 but that's another story).  I really like the sound of this one and couldn't resist adding a thriller to my pile of reads.  It sounds right up my alley!
  • Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey - This is a review copy that has been sitting on my shelves for way too long.  I keep saying that I'm finally going to get through some of these older review copies- maybe this month will be the month that I actually do just that.  It sounds intriguing!
  • Never Tell by Alafair Burke - Another aged review copy.  And I love Alafair Burke so I have no clue why I haven't read this one yet.  Obviously that needs to change and soon.  I'm really looking forward to this one as I haven't read a bad book by this author yet.  
  • The River at Night by Erica Ferencik - This was a Goodread's win that I just recently received.  I've seen some really great reviews for this thriller so I'm super excited to have the chance to read it!  I will definitely be squeezing this one in before March ends.
  • Origin in Death by J.D. Robb - Off of my own shelves and the next book (for me at least) in the In Death series.  Enough said!
I'm of course also hoping to read plenty of books on my kindle.  Here are the kindle books that I am hoping to read in March:

  • Path Into Darkness by Lisa Alber - NetGalley review copy and that cover alone had me adding this book to my TBR list.  The description had me requesting this book as fast as I could (despite the fact that I really, really don't need to be requesting books from Netgalley).  I'm really looking forward to giving this author a try!
  • The Lost Children by Helen Phifer - This author has been on my radar for awhile now so I jumped at the chance to read this one (also courtesy of NetGalley).  I love the sound of this book as well and cannot wait to give it a try.  This publisher is one of my favorites for a thrilling read so I can't wait!
  • Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London - I recently read and enjoyed Sinful Scottish Laird by this author.  This is the next book in the series and one that I'm reading for another TLC book tour that is coming up in April I believe.  I enjoyed the previous book so much that I'm really looking forward to this one!  I also am hoping to read ahead so I'm adding this book to March's TBR pile.
  • I See You by Claire Mackintosh - I have heard SO MANY great things about this author and her books.  I simply must finally see what the hype is all about!  I know next to nothing about this book other than it is a thriller and that readers are loving this author a lot.  I can't wait to give this book a try!
  • The Secrets You Keep by Kate White - I've loved this author's books in the past so I'm super excited to have her newest book on my e-reader.  She always writes page-turners and that is exactly what I'm in the mood for.  I keep saying this but I cannot wait to read this one as well!  So many books, so little time!
  • Deadly Silence by Rebecca Zanetti - This is the beginning to a new romantic suspense series.  I really don't read enough books like this so I'm really looking forward to giving this book a try.  Plus that gorgeous cover really helps!  I have high hopes as I've read a different book by this author (also a 1st in a different series) and really enjoyed it.  
  • Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington - I knew as soon as I read the description of this book that I wanted to read it.  Somehow it got pushed to the side for other books though and I'm just now adding it to my reading pile.  Also a thriller but this one sounds like it focuses more of family relationships.  I can't wait to begin!
  • When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day - 3rd book in one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  I seriously stalked NetGalley for this book because I wanted to read it so badly.  I actually just shared my thoughts on the 2nd book not that long ago and that got me even more excited for this book.  I CANNOT WAIT!
So many books here!  So many books that I really, really want to read right this minute.  2017 has been a bit of a slower reading year so far for me.  I'm already two books behind on my Goodread's goal.  Obviously I need to stay off Facebook and Litsy more which will help me not to be so distracted and give me more reading time.  I just love Litsy so much though!!  Maybe March will be the month where my reading year starts turning around.  I sure hope so because I really want to read all of these and that isn't including all of the other books that I wanted to read in the past two months that I haven't gotten to yet.  A girl has to dream, right?

What books are you hoping to read in March?  Have you read any of the books that are in my reading pile?  If you have feel free to let me know your thoughts or tell me which ones I should read next.  Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Summary from Goodreads:

"Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She’s going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime—the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn’t she know?

As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn’t want to know the whole truth?"

My Thoughts:

This may be my first book by this author but it certainly won't be my last. What I liked most about this book was how the mystery gradually built up throughout the story. This isn't your typical thriller where every page is filled with suspense and mystery. Instead this is a quieter book where the tension slowly builds up until a very strong ending. I loved the way that this book was set up with the story line flipping between the past and present. Everything is told from Lu's viewpoint and what made that an interesting choice is that Lu was so young when everything happened. So really her viewpoint is a child's viewpoint and it made me question how she remembered things. She recounted things that happened in a way that the reader was able to tell more was going on than she fully understood. It made for a very interesting read and I enjoyed every minute of it. This wasn't a book that I rushed through. Instead I took my time with it and just enjoyed the reading experience.

Although this was quieter novel, it did have some pretty intense moments by the end of it. I found myself intrigued by all of the secrets that this story seemed to contain. The Goodread's summary (I didn't include this part) compares this to To Kill a Mockingbird and I can see the similarities. Obviously this is a very different book but there were just enough things that made the comparison seem valid. Reading that comparison had me thinking about the book in a different way than I had been while reading. Don't you love when that happens? I find myself appreciating this book all over again! Although I took my time reading this one, there hit a certain point of the book where I just couldn't put it down. I found myself reading late into the night because I just needed to see how the book would end.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and am eager to read more by this author. I don't know what I expected when I picked this book up but I feel like this surpassed my expectations. I love when I find books like this where they are just a different and refreshing change of pace. This story still had a mystery too but it was much more character driven. I loved that we got the chance to really get to know these characters throughout the story. It was just a really enjoyable read and I want more books just like it. I would recommend this book to a variety of readers: mystery and suspense fans along with those readers that enjoy character driven novels. Recommended!

Bottom Line: A quiet mystery that I really enjoyed!
Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.   

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stolen by Carey Baldwin (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

Is she missing…or a murderer?

When Laura Chaucer, daughter of a U.S. senator, vanishes from her college campus, celebrated FBI profilers Special Agent Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy are called in. Thirteen years ago, Laura and her nanny disappeared from her family’s Denver home. Laura was found alive, but her nanny wasn’t so lucky… and the killer was never caught. Laura could identify him—if only she didn’t have a deep, dark hole in her memory.

Now she’s missing again. Did the troubled young woman run away or has the kidnapper returned? As women who look eerily similar to Laura’s nanny begin turning up dead, the Chaucer family psychiatrist renders a disturbing opinion: Laura is unstable, a danger to herself and others. Who knows what terrible secrets lurk in the shadowy recesses of her mind? Cassidy and Spenser must solve one of the most infamous cold cases ever to uncover the answer: Is Laura a killer, or is a monster still out there, waiting to claim another victim?

My Thoughts:

I am loving this series so much!!  I'm only two books in and it has already become a fast favorite of mine.  One of the reasons that I'm enjoying these books so much is because they are such page turners.  With both books that I've read, I'm just been able to sink into the mystery from the very first page.  These are books that I couldn't put down- and wouldn't want to even if I could.  LOL!  But seriously, I knew as soon as I read that description that I wanted to read this book.  The idea of Laura having holes in her memory on what happened to her so long ago combined with the possibility that she is dangerous herself was something that I just couldn't resist.  I'm such a sucker for books where you can't trust one of the characters.  It is one of those things that will make me want to read a book instantly.  I loved how the author used what happened so long ago and tied it into the present.  The mystery had me guessing from the very beginning which is always a good thing.  The best part though was even though I spent the majority of the book thinking that I had the killer figured out....I was completely wrong.  I've got to say how much I love when that happens.  

One of the other things that I really love about these books is the main characters of Caitlin Cassidy and Atticus Spenser.  I love that with each book (at least the ones that I've read) we get to see their relationship grow and develop.  They are a really great team and it is fun "watching" them work.  With each book I find that I'm more and more invested in their characters and their relationship.  I want to see everything work out the way that I want it too.  I like that the author isn't afraid to put their relationship to the test at times even if it makes me nervous while reading.  The ending of this book was really intense which is just the way I like it.  I found myself reading this book in a matter of days because I just didn't want to stop.  I loved the way that the story was set up from Laura's point of view at times and other times it was focused on Cassidy and Spencer's investigation.  It worked out really well and this seemed to add to the tension that was present throughout the book.  

Overall this was a really great read and I'm eager for more!  I really, really need to go back and read the first two books in this series since I've loved books three and four so much.  At least I have those two books to look forward to while I wait for the next book in this series to release.  This author and this series has definitely jumped on to my favorites list so I can't recommend them enough!  You obviously don't have to read the books in order because I sure haven't and I still love them.  I do think that parts from previous investigations and books are referred to at times but since I haven't read them yet it doesn't really affect my enjoyment.  I would recommend these books to both mystery and thriller fans alike.  Highly, highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great addition to one of my favorite mystery series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT book tour.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: February 14th 2017
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0062495542 (ISBN13: 9780062495549)
Series: Cassidy & Spenser #4
Purchase Links: Amazon ๐Ÿ”— | Barnes & Noble ๐Ÿ”— | Goodreads ๐Ÿ”—

Author Bio:

Carey BaldwinCarey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award-winning author of edgy suspense by night. She holds two doctoral degrees, one in medicine and one in psychology. She loves reading and writing stories that keep you off balance and on the edge of your seat. Carey lives in the southwestern United States with her amazing family. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and chasing wildflowers.

Catch Up With Ms. Baldwin On: Website ๐Ÿ”—GoodreadsTwitter ๐Ÿ”—, & Facebook ๐Ÿ”—!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed."

My Thoughts:

In Bitter Chill was one of those books that I anticipated for months and months prior to getting the chance to read it.  I read the above description and just couldn't help but want to start reading it.  Happily enough this book was just as good as I had hoped it would be with a chilling mystery among the pages.  There is just something about a book where the main character is missing memories that I can't get enough of.  It adds this layer of suspense to the story line in a way that almost feels like when you have an unreliable narrator.  I can't help but wonder while reading what other memories are we not being told about.  What else might come to the surface as time passes?  It is such an intriguing way to tell a story and for me it is something that I can't get enough of as a reader.  I love books like this for that reason alone!  

This book begins a series featuring DI Francis Sadler but really the major focus of this book was on Rachel herself.  Rachel is struggling to remember what happened that day when she and Sophie were abducted.  These were memories that she repressed for so long and it seems now that they might start trickling back if she tries hard enough.  I found this book to be quite the page turning read which is how I like my mysteries to be.  I didn't want to set this book down and I really couldn't read it fast enough.  I loved reading about Sadler's investigation into the abduction that happened so long ago.  It is always interesting to see a book where the focus is on a cold case and the investigation is trying to take a fresh look at it.  All of this added up to a very good read for me overall.  Then you add in one of those endings that leaves you breathlessly trying to finish- definitely a winner in my book!

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am glad that I'm finally writing up my thoughts on it.  I can go read the second book, A Deadly Thaw, without feeling guilty for not having written my review for this book.  LOL!  Seriously though, I really enjoyed this book and have been meaning to share about it every since I finished it last year.  I'm really excited to see what this author comes up with next since I enjoyed this one so much.  If you enjoy mysteries that you cannot put down, this is definitely a book to pick up!  I would highly recommend it to fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.  A book that came very close to making my top reads list for 2016!

Bottom Line:  An enjoyable mystery and series that I can't wait to read more of!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a Goodread's giveaway.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Widowed and forced to remarry in three years' time or forfeit her son's inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly and unwillingly bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy's brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart."

My Thoughts:

I am so glad that I picked this book up and finally gave this author a try!  I've got numerous books by Julia London on my TBR list but this is actually my first book by her.  It won't be my last though as I really enjoyed this book.  This series is titled The Highland Grooms series and I can honestly say that I haven't read a lot of highlander books.  Why not though?  This book had everything that I enjoy in a good historical romance including that feeling of just being swept away to another time and place.  I loved how easily I was able to immerse myself in this world where a widow is being forced to marry in order to not lose her son's inheritance.  Something that doesn't seem possible nowadays but back then was probably the norm.  Crazy!  I felt for Daisy so much because of all the struggles that she had to deal with because of this.  She couldn't trust any of the men that paid attention to her in any way without wondering if they were just trying to get at her money.  It was just sad and it was a reminder on how lucky I am.  

I haven't even talked about how much I loved the relationship that developed between Daisy and Cailean yet.  Oh goodness but I adored them together so much!  Daisy especially was a character near and dear to my heart because she was so strong willed.  She did what she wanted and didn't apologize ever for who she was.  I especially loved this about her but I also appreciated how comfortable that she was with her sexuality.  She was a widow and never pretended to be some innocent who didn't know her own wants or desires.  What a refreshing change of pace from the historical romances with virginal heroines or those who need the hero to bring about their sexual awakening.  I just liked everything about Daisy's character and then you add in a strong hero like Cailean and it equaled perfection.  I also really liked the fact that I didn't know how their happy ever after was going to happen.  The author did a really amazing job of creating realistic obstacles to their happiness- there was a point where I didn't see how it could possibly work itself all out.  The ending of this book was just perfect though and I was sad to see it end.  What a great romance and great read!

Overall, I obviously really enjoyed this book and am left ready for more.  Luckily I have the next book ready for me on my Kindle so I won't wait too long before continuing on.  I'm also lucky enough to have many more books by this author to look forward to so I'm excited about that.  This was the perfect change of pace in between the mysteries and thrillers that I've been reading.  I really loved every minute of it!  I would recommend this book to both romance and historical romance fans alike.  If strong heroines are your romance cat-nip then definitely give this book a try!

Bottom Line:  A wonderful read and I want more books just like this!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley as part of a TLC Book Tour.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Moonglow by Kristen Callihan (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .

Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy's door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .

Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .

Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.

My Thoughts:

Why did I wait so long to read this book?  I adored Firelight which is the first book in this series but then I never moved on to this one until now.  Well actually last year to be exact as this is a book that I read months back and am just now sharing my thoughts on (definitely a different discussion for a later date but my lack of blogging in 2016 is to blame).  Moonglow was just as good as I hoped that it would be overall.  Once again I found myself swept away by the romance that was brewing, this time between Daisy and Ian.  What made this book even better for me was that there was a bit of mystery involved as well.  A romance and mystery combined?  I'm so in!  I loved the relationship that developed between Daisy and Ian...but I especially liked Daisy's character.  There is just something about the female characters that Callihan writes that I can't get enough of.

What else can I tell you?  The author does an amazing job with the world that she is creating.  I loved that there is some paranormal aspects mixed in with the historical romance feel.  It is a winning combination in my opinion and different from so much out there.  My one and only complaint with this book was the ending.  This may just be my personal preference but I didn't care for the way the book ended.  I obviously can't say much more than that without spoiling anything.  I didn't hate the ending by any means but it just wasn't my favorite.  The thing is I thought about it for a really long time and I can't see how it would have worked any other way either.  So take my opinion with a grain of salt as overall the book is really great!

All in all, I found that this book cemented my love of this series!  I really, really need to try and read the third book sooner rather than later.  I love how different these books are from what's out there in the romance genre.  I also love the gorgeous covers!  I just plain really love these books and can't say enough good things about this series.  I can easily recommend to other romance readers!  And the best part is that you really don't need to have read the first book to read this one.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  Another great addition to this series that is fast becoming a favorite of mine!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crรจpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?"

My Thoughts:

Fudge and Jury is the latest installment in one of my favorite cozy mystery series! I have so been looking forward to this book and it didn't disappoint in the least.  I was so excited when I managed to snag a copy on NetGalley but I had to wait to read it just so that I could savor it.  Because we all know how impatient I am and the wait for the next book is going to feel SO long!  This book had everything that I love about this series, and I enjoyed every minute while I was reading it.  I read this series for the characters and the food period.  Both are so great and something that I just can't get enough of!  After five books now, I've come to really love the characters in this series but especially Jules.  I love that throughout the series we have watched her both struggle and grow as she tries to figure out her life and what she wants out of it.  In this book, we got the chance to see her struggle with the decision on whether or not to expand Torte.  With everything still up in the air in regards to Carlos, expanding Torte will be a major commitment to her life in Ashland.  I won't say what is decided as that would definitely be a spoiler but as always I love how real this series feels.  Jule's life isn't perfect but it comes to life in the pages of these books.  

Of course I can't share my thoughts on this book without talking about the food that is described throughout.  Every book in this series has just left me craving desserts of any and all kinds and this book was no different.  I would gain thirty plus pounds if I attempted baking all of the wonderful recipes that Jules creates throughout the books.  They all sound so delicious and it is no wonder that I'm constantly hungry while reading.  This book was particularly decadent as chocolate played such a prominent role in the Chocolate Festival that Jules is participating in.  I have a particular weakness when it comes to anything chocolate so this was right up my alley.  I could read all day long about the different types of cakes and pastries that are baked in Torte.  Yum, yum yum!  The mystery portion of this book was also intriguing.  I find that with this series that I'm sometimes less interested in the actual mystery than I am with everything else that is going on.  I guess that is what happens when you come to adore a series so much!  The actual mystery is secondary to everything else.  LOL!  It was still an intriguing story line though and I liked the way it ended as it just felt true to life.  I'm trying not to spoil anything so I won't say any more than that.

Overall this was another amazing addition to this series and one that I can highly recommend.  I cannot say enough good things about this series- each book is just so, so good!  I'm just bummed that I now have to begin the long wait for book six.  This book was worth the wait though and I'm sure that one will be as well.  With such great characters and delicious food, what else could I ask for in a cozy series like this?  For those readers who haven't tried this series yet, I do think that you could probably read this book without having read the beginning books.  The author does a great job of giving bits of the back story in each book so you could read this by itself.  I would recommend reading them all though because they are just that good.  Highly recommended to fans of mysteries and cozies alike!!

Bottom Line:  Another amazing addition to one of my favorite series.  Read it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Keeping secrets, telling lies, they require the same skill. Both become a habit, almost an addiction, that's hard to break even with the people closest to you, out of the business. For example, they say never trust a woman who tells you her age; if she can't keep that secret, she can't keep yours. I'm fifty-nine."

Brigid Quinn's experiences in hunting sexual predators for the FBI have left her with memories she wishes she didn't have and lethal skills she hopes never to need again. Having been pushed into early retirement by events she thinks she's put firmly behind her, Brigid keeps telling herself she is settling down nicely in Tucson with a wonderful new husband, Carlo, and their dogs.

But the past intervenes when a man named Floyd Lynch confesses to the worst unsolved case of Brigid's career—the disappearance and presumed murder of her young protรฉgรฉe, Jessica. Floyd knows things about that terrible night that were never made public, and offers to lead the cops to Jessica's body in return for a plea bargain.

It should finally be the end of a dark chapter in Brigid's life. Except…the new FBI agent on the case, Laura Coleman, thinks the confession is fake, and Brigid finds she cannot walk away from violence and retribution after all, no matter what the cost."

My Thoughts:

Two books in and this author has already jumped on to my must-read, favorite authors list.  I love these books!  I love this series!  This is one of those authors and series that I cannot recommend highly enough (obviously as I've already started gushing)!  And honestly, I really feel like this series is a bit underrated at least as far as I have seen in the blogging world.  Why aren't more bloggers reading and loving this series as much as I am?  I don't know other than the fact that it is fairly new with only two books so far and a third coming soon.  Maybe I should stop rambling on how much I love this series though and actually tell you what I loved about this book.  Ha!  Let's start off with the fact that I couldn't stop reading  this book.  Like I literally started reading this one and was just as hooked as I had been with Fear the Darkness.  To be clear, I read this series out of order.  Rage Against the Dying is the first book in the series and because I loved the second book so much I had to pick up this book.  This book was just as good as I had hoped it would be.  Heck I can't even seem to write clearly about this book because I loved it so much!

One of the things that I love most about this series is the main character Brigid Quinn.  She is former FBI and the things that she experienced as an agent seem to haunt her.  There is this unreliable feel to her where you are never quite sure what she is doing and why.  Or if she is being honest about everything as well.  It is quite the combination in a main character and I find it to be so compelling.  I can't stop reading because I have to see what she is going to do next.  This book was just as much of a page turner as the second book was.  I found myself reading at one of those frantic paces where you just can't stop because you NEED to know what is going to happen next.  The mystery portion was really well done....I was left guessing until the very end.  And I really can't tell you anymore than that as I don't want to spoil anything about this book.  Your just going to have to read it so you can fall in love with this series as much as I have!

Obviously I loved this one.  It made my top ten reads of 2016 easily and I'm just pining away for the third book which releases this year.  At this point I will read anything and everything that this author writes.  I just need that third book and my reading life will be complete.  LOL!  I would recommend this series and author to mystery and thriller fans alike.  I think those readers that enjoy Tana French should give this book a try.  You can read these books out of order but I really think that you should read them both as they were both that good.  Highly, highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  One of the best thrillers that I read in 2016.  Enough said.

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library.