Thursday, December 2, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson.

About the Book
In this Gothic Regency romance Rebecca fears she has developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged, her brother's murderer.

After her brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning—known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she fallen for the man she swore would pay for her brother’s death? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

Book Beginnings (From the Prologue)
1811
The Scottish Highlands
"Who's there?" My mother's haunted whisper drew me to her bedside. Sickness clung to the air around her bed as grief entombed the space.

Friday 56
I swallowed what I'd observed beyond that window like bitter medicine, and I remained silent throughout a tight-lipped dinner with Aunt Jo as well as long into the quiet hours of the night, unable to give voice to the stormy thoughts circling my mind. Only in my bedchamber, tucked away from the prying eyes of the house, did I allow the images to resurface.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks

About the Book
A woman off the grid.

Darby Graham thinks she's on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes—her first clue that something is amiss. Then when a cabin on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and problems at the ranch escalate, Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.

A town on fire.

A serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each fire. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars it’s caused her also the reason she’s trying to escape from her life.

A growing darkness.

As the shadows continue to move in, the pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. Can she trust the one man who sees her clearly?


MY THOUGHTS

This was an action-packed and suspense-filled read that had me glued to the pages. I can't believe it's the first book I've read by this author. What was I thinking taking so long to try one of her books? I'm kicking myself because I enjoyed this so much.

It seemed like anything and everything that could go wrong at the Ranch did go wrong. Were all the various 'mishaps' strokes of bad luck, or were they deliberate acts of sabotage? And if so, why? I was so invested in finding out what was really going on. I was surprised quite a few times. And I could not figure out who the guilty party was. I was pretty much suspicious of everybody, but could never actually nail down the culprit. I love it when I can be kept guessing like that.

The Ranch is close to the Yellowstone caldera, so that added an interesting element to the story. As did Darby's profession as a forensic linguist. I didn't know anything about that job beforehand, so it was fascinating reading about what all that entailed.

I highly recommend this book to suspense and mystery fans. It was so good! I'm definitely eager to read more from this author.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Between Kings (The City Between #10) by W.R. Gingell

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Between Kings (The City Between #10) by W.R. Gingell releasing December 31. I'm kinda sad that this is the last book in the series. I can't believe this is the end. I've loved this series, and the characters, so much.

About the Book
G’day. I’m Pet. Heirling. Biter of fae lords. Trouble.

I have a lot of names these days—including my own, real name. Unfortunately for me, someone else knows that name too; not to mention the names of my other heirling friends. Now those heirling friends have disappeared, stolen by the current King Behind for a fight to the death where only one contender to the throne remains.

The rules say there’s no way in and only one way out of that fight, but I’ve always preferred to work outside the rules. I just have to trust my friends to help each other stay alive long enough for me to get them out—without becoming a contender for the throne myself.

Because one thing is for sure: I am absolutely not planning on being the next King Behind.


What upcoming book are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: After All (Murphy Brothers Story #7) by Jennifer Rodewald

About the Book
One choice changed everything, setting them on a path to devastation. Is there any way to redeem what might be the worst decision either of them has ever made?

Brayden Murphy has one simple goal: to live his dream life. He’s watched his six older brothers find ultimate happiness, so why should it be any different for him? But his path to satisfaction and bliss becomes impassible rubble when his longtime girlfriend marries someone else. Brayden’s pain is eclipsed only by his resentment—until he meets Audrey Smith, a sweet, smart young woman who seems to adore him for nothing more than the fact that he’s a Murphy.

Good-girl Audrey Smith has spent her life in the long shadow of her lifelong best friend (and rival), Megan Alexander. As the daughter of the Alexanders’ hired help, Audrey has always felt insignificant, so when Megan’s soon-to-be brother-in-law arrives and turns his attention to Audrey, she is easily swept away. The Murphy boys come with an honorable reputation, and if Megan Alexander is getting a Murphy, then why shouldn’t Audrey have a Murphy of her own?

Brayden eagerly pursues the comfort of Audrey’s admiration, and despite a warning to protect her heart, Audrey falls hard and fast. All is bliss … until things between them go too far. One evening, one choice, and Brayden and Audrey land in a crisis. Marriage is the obvious solution—done in secret to protect their other secret—and when two become one, all seems well again. But then the past catches up with Brayden and is complicated by a heart-shattering event neither ever imagined.
Can their cover-up marriage survive these painful blows? Or will Brayden and Audrey separate, two broken, unreconcilable hearts who will forever regret the choices they made?

After All is a tender love story, though heartbreakingly hard at times, of redemption and second chances.

Meet the Murphy brothers! Seven boys, forging their way through life and love, gripping faith, and learning to walk with God through all things. Theirs are stories of romance, but also of redemption.


MY THOUGHTS

I loved this book so much! Every book in this series has been stellar, and this one is no different. It definitely tugged at my heartstrings and had me ugly crying on multiple occasions. The characters are faced with some serious issues. It's a bumpy road, for sure, but seeing them tackle it all with God's grace was inspiring.

Brayden is the youngest Murphy brother. He's the heartbroken wild child who's become more reckless and disenchanted with life. And with God. Not gonna lie, he wasn't very likable in the beginning. He seemed to be doing things for selfish purposes and was dragging Audrey along with him with no thought of the damage he was causing along the way. I couldn't see a way for things to work out. But anything is possible with God.

I say this every time I read a Jennifer Rodewald book, but I think it bears repeating, there's something so refreshingly authentic about the way she writes. Her characters really come to life and jump right off the page. It's real people dealing with real problems. And there's always a strong spiritual message wrapped up in there too that I appreciate so much.

I received an early copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

FIVE STARS

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks. It's really good! I can't believe it's my first book by this author. I guess better late than never, though, lol.

About the Book
A woman off the grid.

Darby Graham thinks she's on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes—her first clue that something is amiss. Then when a cabin on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and problems at the ranch escalate, Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.

A town on fire.

A serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each fire. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars it’s caused her also the reason she’s trying to escape from her life.

A growing darkness.

As the shadows continue to move in, the pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. Can she trust the one man who sees her clearly?

Book Beginnings
Targhee Falls, Idaho
"Why are those dogs barking?" I pointed across the wooden picnic table toward the two obviously upset canines yelping nearby.

Friday 56
After jamming the chair under the door, I moved around the room, closing the wooden shutters against the encroaching darkness. I felt less exposed, but not any safer.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: False Prophet (Windy Ridge Legal Thriller #4) by Rachel Dylan

About the Book
When an arsonist destroys Windy Ridge Community Church, Pastor Dan is shaken to the core. He calls on attorney Olivia Murray and her boyfriend Grant Baxter to help secure a place for worship services. Shockingly, the City of Windy Ridge denies the church’s application to use the civic center, and Olivia brings a lawsuit to protect the church’s constitutional rights.

During this already challenging time for the Windy Ridge community, an outside pastor decides to open a place of worship within the city limits. People begin flocking to the young charismatic preacher especially since Windy Ridge Community Church lost its building. Olivia worries that this new and radical approach to faith will lead people astray, but with each passing day, his popularity continues to grow.

When the police make a surprise arrest in the church arson, the battle lines are drawn across Windy Ridge. Alliances are shaken and relationships are tested like they’ve never been before. The forces of darkness are working overtime to shake the faith of the believers. Can Olivia and Grant stand up for their faith and prevail in the battle of good versus evil?


MY THOUGHTS

This book was so good. I was super excited about this new installment in one of my favorite series. It did not disappoint. It's just as good as I remember the previous ones being. It's been a few years since I read book three, but I was able to dive right back in. Didn't miss a beat at all. I loved seeing what Olivia, Grant, Pastor Dan, and Nina Marie were up to now.

The ultimate fight between good and evil is still going on in Windy Ridge. A new church has moved into town and become quite popular, all the while preaching false doctrine. It seems rather convenient that the Windy Ridge Community Church burns to the ground in an apparent arson attack and their new members start flocking to this new church. Could there be something sinister going on with this new church? Could they be behind the arson? But we can't forget about Optimism, the New Age company that's been out to get the church for years. Is the culprit an old foe or a new enemy, a wolf in sheep's clothing?

I was glued to the pages, desperate to figure out what was going on. The spiritual battles were gripping and intense. It's a very timely and important read that I highly recommend. Start with book one and you'll be hooked. This book wraps up nicely, but I really hope there are more stories to come. I love these characters and am so invested in the fight for Windy Ridge.

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver releasing December 7.

About the Book
Jane Austen meets reality TV and murder in the first installment of this quirky new cozy mystery series.

Phaedra Brighton is perfectly content with her life of lecturing college students, gossiping with her best friends, and dreaming of Mr. Darcy. As a young, respected (if somewhat peculiar) English professor, her expertise lies in all things Jane Austen--but she knows that the closest she'll ever get to being a real-life Elizabeth Bennet is in her dreams.

When Who Wants to Marry Mr. Darcy, a new reality TV show, starts filming at her best friend Charlene's estate, Phaedra is intrigued. And when the producer asks her to lend her Austenian knowledge as a consultant on the show, she's over the moon. But on the first day of filming, when Charlene's new husband is found electrocuted and Charlene herself is accused of the crime, Phaedra comes crashing back to reality.

With murder on the syllabus and her best friend in dire straits, there's no Mr. Darcy around to help Phaedra--she'll have to get to the bottom of this mystery herself.


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Review: Legend of the Storm Sneezer (The Stormwatch Diaries #1) by Kristiana Sfirlea

About the Book
Legend Seeker. Part-time Ghost Hunter. Time Traveler.

Thirteen-year-old Rose Skylar sneezed a magical storm cloud at birth, and it’s followed her around ever since. But when "Stormy" causes one too many public disasters, Rose is taken to Heartstone, an asylum for unstable magic. Its location? The heart of a haunted forest whose trees have mysteriously turned to stone.

They say the ghosts are bound to the woods … then why does Rose see them drifting outside the windows at night? And why is there a graveyard on the grounds filled with empty graves? Guided by her future selves via time traveling letters, Rose and Marek—best friend and potential figment of her imagination—must solve the mystery of the specters and the stone trees before the ghosts unleash a legendary enemy that will make their own spooks look like a couple of holey bed sheets and destroy Heartstone Asylum.

Letters from the future are piling up. Rose can’t save Heartstone herself. However, five of herselves, a magical storm cloud, and a guardian angel who might very well be imaginary? Now that’s a silver lining.

But will they find what killed the ghosts before what killed the ghosts finds them?


MY THOUGHTS

What an absolute blast! This was a charming, whimsical, all-around wonderful tale! It was so unique, like nothing I've ever read before. I never knew what to expect next. It was constantly surprising me. And it was so funny! It had me literally laughing out loud so much. But in the midst of all the laughs, there was a lot of depth and heart too. I might've even got a little teary-eyed a time or two.

The friendship between Rose and Marek was the best. They were so sweet. You couldn't ask for better, or more genuine, friends. I enjoyed this book so much and am eager to see what kind of adventures they encounter next. I highly recommend this fun middle grade fantasy.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: False Prophet (Windy Ridge Legal Thriller #4) by Rachel Dylan

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring False Prophet (Windy Ridge Legal Thriller #4) by Rachel Dylan

About the Book
When an arsonist destroys Windy Ridge Community Church, Pastor Dan is shaken to the core. He calls on attorney Olivia Murray and her boyfriend Grant Baxter to help secure a place for worship services. Shockingly, the City of Windy Ridge denies the church’s application to use the civic center, and Olivia brings a lawsuit to protect the church’s constitutional rights.

During this already challenging time for the Windy Ridge community, an outside pastor decides to open a place of worship within the city limits. People begin flocking to the young charismatic preacher especially since Windy Ridge Community Church lost its building. Olivia worries that this new and radical approach to faith will lead people astray, but with each passing day, his popularity continues to grow.

When the police make a surprise arrest in the church arson, the battle lines are drawn across Windy Ridge. Alliances are shaken and relationships are tested like they’ve never been before. The forces of darkness are working overtime to shake the faith of the believers. Can Olivia and Grant stand up for their faith and prevail in the battle of good versus evil?

Book Beginnings
"It was arson."

Friday 56
She'd about had enough. "Stop the games, Layton. You have some nerve to walk into my office and act like this was all just meant to be. No way. I did learn from you, and you taught me to lie, cheat, and steal. To always be up for subterfuge. I'm not stupid."

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Survival (Fallout #1) by Lisa Harris

About the Book
Welcome to Shadow Ridge, where Longmire meets Jericho.

A dead body. A missing suspect. A town fighting for survival.

In today’s world, law enforcement agencies across the country rely on forensic tools, DNA testing, and crime labs. But what if that technology was suddenly no longer available? No one in the small, west Texas town of Shadow Ridge knows what took down the power grid, or when it’s going to be back up, but everyone knows exactly where they were the moment it went down. And now, with no electricity, no internet, and no modern technology, the men and women responsible for keeping the town safe are going to have to learn how to fight crime all over again.

When one of the men in charge of storing food for the town of Shadow Ridge is found murdered execution style, it’s up to Jace McQuaid to find the killer. What he discovers is a group of organized raiders who are stealing supplies and selling them on the black market—and the survival of the town depends on stopping them.

Morgan Addison’s estranged brother, Ricky, shows up at her house demanding weapons and confirming her fears that he’s a part of the outlaws. Tensions are raised further when Ricky kidnaps her son to ensure his safe passage out of town. Jace must find a way to save Noah and ensure the survival of Shadow Ridge.

~Survival is book one in the new Fallout series. Each novel contains a standalone mystery, but there are overarching stories that tie together the entire series.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed this start of a new series by Lisa Harris. It has such a fascinating premise. I've read a lot of books where the grid goes down, but never one from a law enforcer's point of view. I hadn't ever really considered what it would be like to try to solve a crime if the grid were ever to go down. What a drastic change that would be! To go from having all the latest tech and gadgets to having none of that. It'd be like going back in time a couple hundred years or so. I found it so interesting watching the characters try to navigate this new reality they were thrust into.

This story takes place in the small, fictional West Texas town of Shadow Ridge. I'm a native West Texan, so it was cool to read a story that's set around here. Although, it did get kinda scary at times because everything felt so realistic. I'd get so into the story sometimes that I'd forget it was fiction, lol. I kept having to check and make sure that I still had electricity. All in all, this was a great story that I highly recommend. I can't wait for the next one.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Of Fire and Ash (The Fireborn Epic #1) by Gillian Bronte Adams

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Of Fire and Ash (The Fireborn Epic #1) by Gillian Bronte Adams releasing December 7.

About the Book
She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction.

Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people.

But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her.

With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?

Flames rage and oceans rise in this explosive first installment of The Fireborn Epic as the exiled heir, a novice priest, and a reluctant rebel wage war against a hidden power that threatens to shake the world.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, November 15, 2021

A Couple of A Villain's Ever After Reviews: Bluebeard and the Outlaw by Tara Grayce & Gothel and the Maiden Prince by W.R. Gingell

About the Book
Marriage: the ultimate heist.

Robin of the Wood spends her days robbing from the rich to feed the poor. But she and her merry band of brothers never seem to get anywhere. The more she steals, the more the evil Lord Guy "Bluebeard" taxes the villagers.

When Robin discovers that Lord Guy plans to marry yet again, she conceives a plan for a final, big score. As Guy's wife, she will have access to his wealth. The lord is notorious for killing his wives shortly after he marries them, but Robin has no plans to be dead wife number four.

The only problem is that Lord Guy is devastatingly handsome, brooding, and nothing at all what she expected. If she isn't careful, she might just find that he steals her heart before she can rob his riches.

Bluebeard and the Outlaw is one of twelve short novels in A Villain's Ever After, a collection of stand-alone stories featuring villainous twists on some of your favorite classic fairy tales. Read the series in any order for magical adventures . . . and fall in love with villains as you've never seen them before. Who said villains can't have happily-ever-afters?


MY THOUGHTS

Not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical about combining Bluebeard and Robin Hood. I couldn't see how those two stories would mesh. But, let me tell ya, it worked out perfectly! It's like they were always meant to be together. I loved it! All the “nods” to the original tales were so great. I especially enjoyed “Maid” Marion. So funny!

Robin was bold and fierce. It's like she had no fear sometimes. And while, occasionally, she'd come across as cocky, she was still so much fun to read about. I was very intrigued by Duke Guy (Bluebeard). He had such a horrible reputation, but his actions and demeanor didn't fit with that. What was going on with him? I had to find out.

This was my first book by this author, but it won't be my last. I loved this inventive take on two familiar tales. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys retellings.

4.5 STARS

___________________________________


About the Book
Deep in the forest, far from the light, a sorceress with magic of the blackest kind keeps prisoner the princess she stole away years ago. From time to time, a prince will come to challenge her, but by and large, life is peaceful for Gothel.

And that's just the way she likes it.

She's not prepared for the earnest young prince who seems more determined to talk her to death than challenge her to a duel of magic; nor, having tricked him into a battle of questions, is she expecting him to show more interest in her than the tower-bound princess.

And Gothel is certainly not prepared to give up any of her power to keep him around, though she might be prepared to answer just a few more questions...


MY THOUGHTS

I’m a big fan of Gingell, so I was eager to check out her twist on Rapunzel. I enjoyed it so much! True to her style, it’s weird, wacky, and completely lovable with fully fleshed out, multilayered characters that you can’t help but root for.

It was fun and humorous. There were many moments that had me laughing out loud. But there was also a lot of depth there, too, dealing with some serious topics.

I thought this was such a clever take on Rapunzel. It was so true to the original and yet still so unique. I guess you could say it expanded on the classic story. We got to see the familiar in a whole different light, from a whole new perspective, which really shined a whole new light on things. I really enjoyed seeing the “real” Gothel. She’s really not such a bad person after all. If you’re a fan of retellings, this one is a must-read.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Survival (Fallout #1) by Lisa Harris

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Survival (Fallout #1) by Lisa Harris. I really enjoyed it. It was interesting reading about characters trying to solve a crime after the power grid has gone down. 

About the Book
Welcome to Shadow Ridge, where Longmire meets Jericho.

A dead body. A missing suspect. A town fighting for survival.

In today’s world, law enforcement agencies across the country rely on forensic tools, DNA testing, and crime labs. But what if that technology was suddenly no longer available? No one in the small, west Texas town of Shadow Ridge knows what took down the power grid, or when it’s going to be back up, but everyone knows exactly where they were the moment it went down. And now, with no electricity, no internet, and no modern technology, the men and women responsible for keeping the town safe are going to have to learn how to fight crime all over again.

When one of the men in charge of storing food for the town of Shadow Ridge is found murdered execution style, it’s up to Jace McQuaid to find the killer. What he discovers is a group of organized raiders who are stealing supplies and selling them on the black market—and the survival of the town depends on stopping them.

Morgan Addison’s estranged brother, Ricky, shows up at her house demanding weapons and confirming her fears that he’s a part of the outlaws. Tensions are raised further when Ricky kidnaps her son to ensure his safe passage out of town. Jace must find a way to save Noah and ensure the survival of Shadow Ridge.

~Survival is book one in the new Fallout series. Each novel contains a standalone mystery, but there are overarching stories that tie together the entire series.

Book Beginnings
Garrett McQuaid looked up into the barrel of the gun and knew at that moment he was going to die. But if this was his day to die, he wasn't going down without a fight.

Friday 56
Jace leaned against the desk and studied the two boys standing in front of him. Tracking down another dead body had not been on his agenda today, but then again, had anything gone as planned recently?

 

What have you been reading lately?

Review: One Night in Tehran (Titus Ray Thriller #1) by Luana Ehrlich

About the Book
CIA operative Titus Ray is searching for answers.
Meanwhile, an assassin is searching for him.
Learning the truth . . .
Veteran CIA officer Titus Ray--on the run from the Iranian secret police--finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians in Tehran. While urging him to become a believer in Jesus Christ, they manage to smuggle Titus out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.

Dealing with the past . . .
Returning to the States, he discovers his Iranian mission failed because of political infighting within the Agency. After Titus delivers a scathing indictment against the Deputy Director of Operations, he's forced to take a year's medical leave in Oklahoma.

Facing the future . . .
Before leaving Langley, Titus learns he's been targeted by a Hezbollah assassin hired by the Iranians. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Norman, Oklahoma has ties to the man who's trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a local detective with an intriguing past, can be trusted with his secrets.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

What a fantastic thriller! I can't believe I haven't read it sooner. It's been languishing in my TBR pile for awhile and I'm kinda mad at myself for waiting this long to get around to it because it was SO GOOD! It hooked me with that very exciting beginning and didn't let me go. I was completely invested and glued to the pages.

Titus was very easy to like, so I enjoyed his first-person narration. He's a new Christian, so it was interesting to watch the beginnings of him trying to figure out how to balance his faith and his work in covert operations. I'm curious to see where this leads in future installments, which I'm super excited to dive into soon. If you're a fan of spy thrillers, I think you'll really enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Saving Mrs. Roosevelt (Heroines of WWII) by Candice Sue Patterson

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Saving Mrs. Roosevelt (Heroines of WWII) by Candice Sue Patterson releasing December 1.

About the Book
The Safety of the First Lady Rests in Shirley’s Hands

Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.

Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.

Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, November 8, 2021

Review: Christmas in Mistletoe Square: Christmas Romance Novella Collection by Pepper D. Basham, Cara C. Putman, Teresa Tysinger, & Janine Rosche

About the Book
Christmas is in the air in Kedgewick Creek, North Carolina, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Will romance find four couples in the month of December or will the pressure to keep the festivities Mistletoe Square is known for keep these couples apart? Find out in this collection of four novellas from inspirational authors Pepper Basham, Cara Putman, Janine Rosche, and Teresa Tysinger.

The Christmas Clue to Finding You by Pepper Basham
After five years away, Piper Dawson returns home to Kedgewick Creek and is pulled into a Christmas Scavenger Hunt that resurrects a heartbreak from Christmas past she’s not quite ready to mend. Will a matchmaking granny, a little Christmas magic, and a cute guy in a kilt make all the difference to her Christmas yet-to-come?

Silver Bell Secrets by Cara Putman
Growing up with dyslexia, Avery Blair didn’t love books, but the family-owned bookshop held her heart. She never expected her little business on the backside of nowhere to garner a New York City publishing house’s attention. Hunter Chase has lived an “always winter, never Christmas” existence, and spending the holidays in Christmas Town U.S.A. wasn’t exactly on his Christmas wish list, but he had no choice when his boss gave him an ultimatum. Can small town and big city discover a Christmas future that will last far beyond the page?

An Unscripted Christmas by Teresa Tysinger
Ellie and Oliver Larson face a Christmas full of uncertainty rather than festive cheer. Ellie is tired of playing a supporting role to Oliver’s passion of running the Kedgewick Creek Playhouse. Oliver can’t imagine his life without her. When things go off script, will their love story find its second act?

Dreams in Toyland by Janine Rosche
Toy shop owner Peyton Hammond knows a secret that could take down online giant Kiljoy Toyz and its owner, Joey Kiljoy. After the two adversaries spend Christmas Eve delivering gifts for charity, will the sun rise on newfound love, or will prejudice and lost dreams keep hope in the dark?


MY THOUGHTS

The Christmas Clue to Finding You by Pepper Basham
4.5 Stars

What a great opener to this collection and a wonderful introduction to the charming town of Kedgewick Creek and its residents. The characters were lovable. I really liked Piper and Gabe and Piper's matchmaking Granny. The whole idea of the Christmas Scavenger Hunt was so fun... and romantic. Though this was a quick read, it packed just as much into it as a full-length story. I enjoyed every second of it.

Fave Quote:
It was time to let go of all the hurts and embrace the hope. To forgive and live. To choose tomorrow instead of yesterday. And to keep a better watch for those heavenly clues of love on a daily basis.

Silver Bell Secrets by Cara Putman
4 Stars


This was a sweet story that I really enjoyed. I loved The Daily Press, the coffee shop/bookstore. It was such a cozy place. I'd stay there all the time if it were real. Avery and Hunter's banter was so much fun and I liked that there was just a little bit of a mystery.

An Unscripted Christmas by Teresa Tysinger
2 Stars

This story features an older couple who've been married for a longtime but are struggling and trying to rekindle their love. I can't say that I ever really connected with Ellie and Oliver, but I did enjoy getting a look behind the scenes of the theater. There was just too much telling instead of showing, a whiny unsympathetic character, and a miscommunication that led to an overly dramatic response that could've been avoided with just one simple conversation.

Dreams in Toyland by Janine Rosche
5 Stars


This was my favorite story of the collection. It's my first time reading anything from this author, but it certainly won't be the last. It was so heartwarming, so sweet, so much fun. I had a big smile on my face throughout pretty much the whole thing. The toy shop element was a lot of fun and added a bit of whimsy to the story. And I loved Joey. He was such an awesome guy, I couldn't help but fall for him. All in all, this was a stellar story and the perfect ending to this great collection.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: One Night in Tehran (Titus Ray Thriller #1) by Luana Ehrlich

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring One Night in Tehran (Titus Ray Thriller #1) by Luana Ehrlich. This book has been on my TBR list for YEARS. I'm kinda mad at myself for taking so long to read it because it's SO GOOD! 

About the Book
CIA operative Titus Ray is searching for answers.
Meanwhile, an assassin is searching for him.
Learning the truth . . .
Veteran CIA officer Titus Ray--on the run from the Iranian secret police--finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians in Tehran. While urging him to become a believer in Jesus Christ, they manage to smuggle Titus out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.

Dealing with the past . . .
Returning to the States, he discovers his Iranian mission failed because of political infighting within the Agency. After Titus delivers a scathing indictment against the Deputy Director of Operations, he's forced to take a year's medical leave in Oklahoma.

Facing the future . . .
Before leaving Langley, Titus learns he's been targeted by a Hezbollah assassin hired by the Iranians. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Norman, Oklahoma has ties to the man who's trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a local detective with an intriguing past, can be trusted with his secrets.

Book Beginnings
In far northwest Iran, a few minutes after clearing the city limits of Tabriz, Rahim maneuvered his vehicle on a rutted side road.

Friday 56
The storm had intensified with lots of lightning and earsplitting thunder. Whether it was the storm or Wassermann's absence, I began to grow increasingly anxious. However, out of sheer habit, I spent the next five minutes wiping down the room for fingerprints.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: A Place Of Magic by Merrie Destefano

About the Book
Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls.

Dangerous fae hunt in the nearby woods.


The Prey...

Maddie MacFaddin (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent a blissful childhood summer in Ticonderoga Falls. That’s where she wants to be when her adult life is falling apart. The nearby forest holds many memories, some joyous, some only half-remembered. But she doesn’t remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the legend that keeps the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the magnificent creature who saved her life as a child, or that his kind preys upon humanity.

The Monster...

Ash, a Darkling fae, has been trapped in Ticonderoga Falls for a century—ever since his wife’s tragic death. Now, his own curse holds him captive. As penance, he’s required to hold a Hunt once a year. Then, hungry fae will descend upon the small village to harvest the dreams of the inhabitants.

The Hunt...

There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do, now and then, despite Ash's efforts to keep them safe. Then he realizes Maddie is the prey his unwanted guests are after. But, try as he might, this time he’s not strong enough to protect her. The entire village is in danger.

Soon the Hunt will begin. And no human will be safe.
......

Please note: This is a re-release of Feast: Harvest Of Dreams. The book has been rewritten since its 2011 release.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting.

MY THOUGHTS

This atmospheric, spooky tale is the perfect Fall read. It completely captivated me from the beginning, but I became even more enthralled as the story kept unfolding. I couldn't get enough of it.

I was lucky enough to read the prequel novella (which I loved, by the way) before diving into this book, and I feel like that helped me get a better grasp of this world and the Darkling fae. The Darkling fae were incredibly fascinating creatures. You could say they're a bit like vampires, having to be invited into a house before they can enter. But instead of feasting on blood, they feed on dreams instead. They can also shapeshift into anything they want. Seriously, it seemed like the options were limitless as to what they could disguise themselves as.

I had a wonderful time reading this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark urban fantasy.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Recorder by Cathy McCrumb

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Recorder by Cathy McCrumb releasing November 9.

About the Book
The Consortium is All. But Recorder Can No Longer Obey.

Recorder has no family, no friends, and no name. Donated to the Consortium before birth, her sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing for displays of bias.

Suddenly cut off from controlling technology, Recorder tastes what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.

With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, Recorder's time is running out.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, November 1, 2021

Review: A Wagon Train Weekend (Back Inn Time #1) by Stephenia H. McGee

About the Book
It was just one night at a Victorian B&B. Until they woke up in 1857.

Collette Donaldson never should have taken her boyfriend to her cousin’s wedding. Or introduced him to her parents. After a disastrous weekend, all she wants is to get back home and sort out the mess that had once been their relationship. A heartbreaking fight, a flat tire, and an inconvenient storm force her and Seth to stay the night at a quaint bed and breakfast. But when Collette finds an antique photograph of herself, circumstances quickly shift from weird to unimaginable.

Seth Stone was ready to propose. Now he isn’t sure if he and Collette even have a relationship. People he'd never want to be his in-laws, an irritable girlfriend, and now he has to spend the night in a creepy old Victorian inn. He should have never wondered how things could possibly get worse. When they wake up stranded on a wagon train in 1857, Seth is determined to get home. But the only way to get out of the past is to face the problems stealing their future.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

What an absolute delight! This story was a ton of fun and a nice change from what I've been reading lately. I love a good time travel story and this one was so well done. I've always been curious about what it would be like to go back in time, to experience history. (Just for a little while, though. I'm too fond of modern conveniences to want to stay for very long, lol.) And this book does a great job of imagining that.

A young couple struggling in their relationship are thrust back to 1857 to the Oregon Trail. They're so far out of their comfort zone, but this new adventure could be just what they need to work through their problems.

This was a quick read that I greatly enjoyed. I felt like I was there with the characters, experiencing everything right alongside them. I didn't want to say goodbye when I reached the end.

Favorite Quote:
Even if she hurt. Even if she felt discouraged, she could still trust and be thankful. A person didn’t have to be glad about God’s decision in order to trust Him. She could be both painfully disappointed her prayers hadn’t turned out like she’d wanted, and yet still trust that God had her best interest in mind.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: A Place Of Magic by Merrie Destefano

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring A Place Of Magic by Merrie Destefano. It's the perfect read for this time of year. Slightly spooky with a bit of a gothic-vibe to it. Loved it! 

About the Book
Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls.

Dangerous fae hunt in the nearby woods.

The Prey...

Maddie MacFaddin (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent a blissful childhood summer in Ticonderoga Falls. That’s where she wants to be when her adult life is falling apart. The nearby forest holds many memories, some joyous, some only half-remembered. But she doesn’t remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the legend that keeps the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the magnificent creature who saved her life as a child, or that his kind preys upon humanity.

The Monster...

Ash, a Darkling fae, has been trapped in Ticonderoga Falls for a century—ever since his wife’s tragic death. Now, his own curse holds him captive. As penance, he’s required to hold a Hunt once a year. Then, hungry fae will descend upon the small village to harvest the dreams of the inhabitants.

The Hunt...

There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do, now and then, despite Ash's efforts to keep them safe. Then he realizes Maddie is the prey his unwanted guests are after. But, try as he might, this time he’s not strong enough to protect her. The entire village is in danger.

Soon the Hunt will begin. And no human will be safe.

Note: This is a re-release of Feast: Harvest Of Dreams. The book has been rewritten since its 2011 release.

Book Beginnings
Madeline MacFaddin was just a girl - bony, pale-skinned and wild - when Ash stumbled upon her in the woods.

Friday 56
She slammed the door shut. Then she leaned against it, terrified that she was going mad. What was she doing? She had no evidence that the monsters in the woods had been real. Maybe she really had stumbled through deadly nightshade, like the vet said. She closed her eyes and prayed that she would hear Ash's footsteps thudding down the stairs as he walked away.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Blood from a Stone (The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #5) by David James Warren

About the Book
He fled the future with blood on his hands. Now, he’ll do anything to stop a killer.

Tragedy has yet again taken from Detective Rembrandt Stone everything he loves. Now, he has one last chance to get things right and stop a killer he’s been hunting across four timelines. Instead, he gets tangled in a petty crime that just might cost him his once chance at justice.

With two murders to stop, and thirty-eight lives still in the balance, Rembrandt must play his hand against time just right if he wants to win his future… Play it wrong and his life will stay shattered beyond repair.

What sacrifices will he have to make to come home to his wife and daughter?

The stakes have never been higher in the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat fifth story of the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.


MY THOUGHTS

Blood from a Stone was another fantastic installment in this series. And like I've said before, each book just gets better and better. This is the best one yet. I've become so invested in Rem and Eve's lives, hoping, wishing, praying that everything will work out in the end.

The stakes have never been higher for Rem. This is his last chance to get things right, to fix the past, and create a future he can live with. And, my goodness, what a surprising journey to the past this was! So many twists and turns I didn't see coming and an ending that has me clamoring for the next book.

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: The King of Koraha (Archives of the Invisible Sword #3) by Maria V. Snyder

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring The King of Koraha (Archives of the Invisible Sword #3) by Maria V. Snyder releasing November 22. I'm really hoping that this conclusion to the series will be as good as book one, The Eyes of Tamburah. Book two, The City of Zirdai, was just kinda meh for me, but that seems to happen with a lot of book twos. I wonder why that is? Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how this series concludes.

About the Book
Hard on the heels of trouble in Zirdai city, Shyla Sun-Kissed and Rendor are ordered to report to the King of Koraha - a summons that is deadly to ignore. The King holds the key to Koraha's existence, but a formidable new enemy threatens Koraha's very survival and the King desperately needs Shyla and Rendor's help.

Wielding a terrifying and unknown magical power that can convert opponents into devoted soldiers, the mysterious army is hellbent on usurping the crown. Shyla and Rendor are tasked with discovering who in the seven hells these insurgents are. And what their real endgame is.

Trekking through the punishing conditions across the searing surface of Koraha, and facing numerous unseen foes and untold danger, they must follow the clues to uncover the truth before it's too late. The fate of the King and all the citizens of Koraha rests in their hands...


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Monday, October 25, 2021

Review: The Sultan and the Storyteller (A Villain's Ever After #2) by Lichelle Slater

The Sultan and the Storyteller (A Villain's Ever After #2) by Lichelle Slater 

Every day for more than a month, the Sultan has picked a new woman to be his bride. The very next day, she's dead, which starts the whole cycle all over again. When her best friend is chosen as the Sultan's next wife, Shahira bravely takes her place. Though magic is outlawed, she plans on using her storytelling powers to get to the bottom of what's really going on with the Sultan's murdered brides and hopefully find a way to not become the next victim.

I'm not familiar with the original tale this was based on (though I did see a few nods to Aladdin here and there), so this was new and exciting for me. I absolutely loved it! It sucked me right in and transported me to Zunbar. It was so vivid and enchanting! I couldn't get enough of it.

The mystery surrounding the Sultan's wives had me so intrigued. I had to find out what was really happening to them. Was the Sultan really murdering them? If so, why? If not him, then who? And for what purpose? I was so invested.

I genuinely enjoyed this enchanting tale. And I was so excited to learn that it's a prequel for a new series! I'm definitely gonna be checking that out.

FOUR STARS

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Blood from a Stone (The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #5) by David James Warren

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

He fled the future with blood on his hands. Now, he’ll do anything to stop a killer.

Tragedy has yet again taken from Detective Rembrandt Stone everything he loves. Now, he has one last chance to get things right and stop a killer he’s been hunting across four timelines. Instead, he gets tangled in a petty crime that just might cost him his once chance at justice.

With two murders to stop, and thirty-eight lives still in the balance, Rembrandt must play his hand against time just right if he wants to win his future… Play it wrong and his life will stay shattered beyond repair.

What sacrifices will he have to make to come home to his wife and daughter?

The stakes have never been higher in the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat fifth story of the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.

Book Beginnings
This is not my world.
Not my life.
Not my time.

Friday 56
I take a breath, remembering suddenly how he tried to drown me twenty-three years from now. And, with that memory come the words he spoke. "You've been dogging me for twenty years for a crime I didn't commit?"

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer

About the Book
It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind.

Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.

But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.

However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn't the only operation underway.


MY THOUGHTS

I'm kinda at a loss about what to say because I'm still reeling from that ending! What a shocker! It completely blew my mind and sorta threw me for a loop. I haven't been that surprised in a long time. I want to reread the book immediately to see if I can pick up on some of the clues I obviously missed.

I loved the writing style and will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author. It was intense, exciting, and filled with so many surprising twists. A page-turner, for sure. I don't really read much military sci-fi, but I think that needs to change because I enjoyed this one so much. I highly recommend it.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Gilded by Marissa Meyer releasing November 2.

About the Book
Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author, returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller's daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda's outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn't meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: Jane Austen Investigates: The Burglar's Ball by Julia Golding

About the Book
Nancy Drew. Enola Holmes. Sally Lockhart. Move over girls, it’s Jane's time!

Join young budding detective Jane Austen in her second investigation to uncover a devious diamond thief at the glitziest, most scandalous ball of the year! Inspired by Sense and Sensibility.

‘No one who had ever seen Jane Austen in her infancy would suppose her to be born to solve crimes. From her early love of sugar plums, and cleverness in hiding her expeditions into the pantry, her mother declared her far more likely to commit them. However, as Jane would counter, there was no better person to identify the culprit than the thief turned thief-catcher.’

When the headmistress invites her past favourite pupil to attend their end of term ball, Cassandra brings her younger sister, Jane, along too. Cassandra plunges into the feverish excitement of preparing for the biggest event of the year – the dresses, the dances and the boys expected from the neighbouring school.

Feeling rather excluded, sharp-witted Jane unearths the reason for the fuss – the headteacher wants to impress a rich family returned from India as the school is at risk of going bankrupt. Jane also befriends the dancing master’s assistant, a former slave, called Brandon, who is as quick to notice things as she. At the ball, a diamond necklace is stolen from a locked room and they are propelled into a race to uncover the burglar and save Brandon from gaol.

With the ever-present Austen spirit, Jane with notebook in hand, boldly overcomes the obstacles to finding the truth.

Perfect for readers aged 9-109, and for fans of Katherine Woodfine and Lucy Worsley.


MY THOUGHTS

This was a delightfully fun mystery! I loved the first book in this series, so I was ecstatic to have a new mystery to solve alongside young Jane.

This time, Jane's trying to catch a thief who stole a diamond necklace at the summer ball at her old school. The mystery was perplexing and kept me guessing. I had strong suspicions about who the culprit might be, but there were plenty of viable suspects that had me questioning my initial thoughts, plus a surprising twist or two, added to the mix.

This witty and fun mystery is sure to appeal to readers of all ages. I had such a great time reading it and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries.

I received an early copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Operation Grendel by Daniel Schwabauer, a really great military sci-fi. This isn't one of my normal genres, but I really enjoyed it. 

About the Book
It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind.

Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.

But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.

However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn't the only operation underway.

Book Beginnings
Like every journalist, I lie for a living.

Friday 56
In my mind Ivy stood next to my recliner with her hands folded. I couldn't actually see her, of course, but I could feel her there, waiting.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Scales and Sensibility (Regency Dragons) by Stephanie Burgis

About the Book
Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless - but surprisingly sweet - fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures.

However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her.

A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies.


MY THOUGHTS

I had so much fun reading this book! It had me laughing, and completely engaged, from the very first line. The world-building was fantastic. I mean, come on, the Regency era with dragons? How cool is that? I was totally invested and couldn't read fast enough.

Elinor, the practical young lady, and Sir Jessamyn, the always nervous and easily frightened but lovable dragon, were the perfect pair. They were both so likable and easy to root for. Elinor found herself in quite a predicament, but I thought she handled things as well as she could. I don't think I would've done as well if I found myself in that situation. Though I did wonder how in the world she was gonna get out of the mess. I will say it was fun watching her try.

Benedict had a real charm about him. I liked him instantly. It was obvious from the moment he first walked onto the page what a good guy he was. He was in a rough spot moneywise, and while I didn't exactly like what he was doing to try to remedy that, I understood his great desire to provide for the people he cared about, and marrying a wealthy young lady was a common thing to do back in that time. But, really, could he have picked a more detestable lady than Penelope to try to woo? My goodness, she was an absolute terror! I was hoping he'd come to his senses about her quickly.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you're a fan of historical fantasy, it's a must read! I'm very much looking forward to reading about Elinor's sisters in future books.

I received an advanced copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

4.5 STARS

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday: Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep releasing November 1.

About the Book
Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.

Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?