Monday, October 3, 2022

Review: Dog Days of Summer (Gone to the Dogs #2) by Kathleen Y'Barbo

About the Book
Mishaps Abound as Second Chance Ranch Struggles to Get Its Start

Grab a lap dog to cuddle and relax into a fun small-town mystery as a new dog rescue project turns into a three-ring circus of calamities in book 2 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Trina Potter, Nashville country music star, buys a ranch near her hometown in Brenham, Texas, to help her niece open a rescue facility for dogs. Her presence in town stirs up some old high school rivalries—and romance. Finding property to buy is a challenge, convincing her mother to move there with her is daunting, and navigating a string of strange accidents is perplexing. Sometimes Trina feels like she’s purchased her own three ring circus instead of a beautiful piece of land. But her first priority will be figuring out who wants Second Chance Ranch shut down before they even have the grand opening.


MY THOUGHTS

What a great followup to "Off the Chain". This can be read as a standalone, but I'd still recommend reading book one first because you'll be missing out on a wonderful story if you don't.

I love the town of Brenham and the great cast of characters. Trina was likable and, despite the fact that she's a famous country music star, relatable and down to earth. Wyatt was a total sweetheart. I couldn't help but fall for him. Mama Peach still had to be my favorite character, though. She's something else, lol!

The mystery was an intriguing one. There were a lot of pieces to it and I didn't figure out most of it until the very end. It definitely took some surprising turns.

This feel-good cozy mystery left a big smile on my face. It's sure to delight lovers of dogs and small town mysteries. I can't wait for the next book!

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

FOUR STARS

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: The Aberration of Eden Pruitt (The Eden Pruitt #2) by K.E. Ganshert

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring The Aberration of Eden Pruitt (The Eden Pruitt #2) by K.E. Ganshert


About the Book
Eden Pruitt’s parents are alive. They are safe. But not Eden. She won’t be until they hunt down the high-stakes gambler known as Mordecai. Eager for redemption, Cassian Gray won’t rest until they succeed.

Together, they follow a trail of clues that thrusts them into a dark, dangerous, twisted reality. At its center stands an enemy far more powerful than they ever imagined.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
Eighteen-year-old Eden Pruitt walked toward a set of stairs that weren't hers, away from a father that wasn't hers either. At least not in the way she'd always thought.

Friday 56
Jack had taken over Dr. Norton's living space, spreading the contents from their files across the floor along with all the images that had been taken over the years.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: To Steal a Heart (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #1) by Jen Turano

About the Book
After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.


MY THOUGHTS

It's been way too long since I've read a Jen Turano book. I was excited to finally dive into To Steal a Heart. I love the New York Gilded Age setting and nobody does it quite like Turano!

The first chapter really set the stage and had me instantly captivated. We're introduced to a lot of characters and I was afraid I'd be overwhelmed by them all, but it didn't take long before I had them all straightened out.

Gabriella was such a strong and fierce young lady. She hadn't had the easiest life, but she took it all in stride and made the best of things. I loved that about her. Nicholas was great. The chemistry between him and Gabriella was off the charts. They were so good together. I think Daphne might've been my favorite character, though. She provided a ton of laughs and I'm eager to read her story. Eunice's too. She seems to have quite a few secrets that I'm very curious to figure out.

Needless to say, this was a fantastic historical romance that I wholeheartedly recommend.

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson

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 Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson releasing October 4.

About the Book
Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.

After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation.

Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.

But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.

Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Review: My Dear Miss Dupré (American Royalty #1) by Grace Hitchcock

About the Book
Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father's unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, plans changed. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan--find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society's elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is expected to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn't expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets Cullen Dempsey, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.


MY THOUGHTS

This was so much fun! I've never been a fan of the TV shows the Bachelor and Bachelorette, but I really enjoyed this Gilded Age twist to the shows. I was hooked right from the start and couldn't get enough of it.

Willow has a tough decision to make. Some of New York's finest and most eligible men are vying for her hand in marriage. She has six months to make a decision. Who will she pick? I definitely had my favorite chosen pretty early on, but there were a couple of other guys who I really liked, too. I was on the edge of my seat wondering who she'd pick in the end.

This was a great historical romance that I'd definitely recommend. I'm so excited it's the first book in a series. I can't wait to pick up a copy of the sequel! 

FOUR STARS

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: To Steal a Heart (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #1) by Jen Turano

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring To Steal a Heart (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency #1) by Jen Turano

About the Book
After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
It was quickly becoming evident that she, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, might very well be arrested in the not-too-distant future, and all because she'd convinced herself that sneaking into a high-society costume ball would be a relatively easy feat, given her past life as a street thief.

Friday 56
Trepidation was swift when the poodle sitting beside Miss Langtry immediately curled its lips and set its beady eyes on Gabriella.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Bound by Disaster (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries #2) by Christy Barritt

About the Book
Talitha Robinson is knee-deep in renovations as she prepares to open her new bookstore when a body washes ashore on Lantern Beach. While news of the suspicious death surges across the island, a stranger comes knocking on Tali’s door, begging her to endorse his unfinished suspense novel.

Unable to dissuade the author, Tali is left holding his manuscript in her hands. But she has no idea of the peril written on its pages.

Mac MacArthur has kept his distance from Tali since they uncovered a shocking connection about their pasts. But when someone begins to act out the murderous scenes from the book, one victim at a time, Mac’s protective instincts override his decision to stay away.

As danger escalates, Mac and Tali must manage their conflicting feelings as they work together to stop this killer . . . before the last chapter is written.

Bound by Disaster is book 2 in a four-book series of cozy suspense novellas featuring Tali and Mac and set in Lantern Beach. Although the main mystery is resolved in each novel, some threads will continue throughout the entire Beach Bound Books and Beans mystery series.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

This was a great continuation of Tali and Mac's story. I love these two characters!

After the shocking revelation of a connection from their pasts, (talk about awkward!) Mac and Tali are doing their best to avoid one another. But when a killer shows up on the island and seems to be taking cues from an unpublished manuscript that Tali just received, they work together to try and stop the murderer from striking again.

The mystery was great and kept me guessing. I had my suspicions about the culprit, but there were plenty of other suspects with just as much motive.

I can't wait for the next book! I'm excited to see what mysteries Mac and Tali encounter next.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck

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 Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck releasing October 11.

About the Book
The Future Never Sleeps

In the glacial nation of Norgard, Jolan the Dream Teller serves every seeker, whether peasant or high lord. Though she loves using her gift, she struggles to navigate the corrupt and dangerous court and the jealousies of the Guildagard.

When an old man’s nightmare imparts a dire warning, Jolan realizes her entire nation is in danger. But before she can sound the alarm, she is betrayed by the guilds and sold into slavery in a rival kingdom far to the south. As a slave in a foreign land, at first Jolan can’t see beyond her singular focus: return home to warn Norgard of the coming calamity. After facing new dangers, making new friends, and forgiving old wrongs, she must fulfill the purposes the Provider has set before her.

Only then can she face a decision that could cost her the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom—all to save a people who abandoned her.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, September 19, 2022

Review: No Matter the Cost (The Epic Story of RJ and York #3) by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Her worst nightmare has happened….

RJ refuses to believe it, and until she has proof, she’s going to keep searching for answers. And most of all, for the man she loves, even if it means diving into the past he always wanted to keep secret.

The kind of secrets that could have set York free. It’ll take a trip back to Russia, to the sketchy and dark history of York’s life to find the clues to the sinister plans of a global terrorist. And the answers that might lead her to a happy ending.

Or has it? What if her happy ending is more than a dream?

If RJ hopes to save her country—and find out the truth about York—she’ll have to become the high-action, Sydney Bristow spy that she always dreamed of being. But really, does RJ really have what it takes—with, or without the man she loves—to save the world?

And if she does…what will be the cost?

The riveting conclusion to the Epic Story of RJ and York!


MY THOUGHTS

What a perfect conclusion to this thrilling series! I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

Needless to say, this is, hands down, my favorite of the series. The fast pace rarely lets up, and the plethora of intense and dangerous moments make for a breathtakingly exhilarating read. It picks up where the last one left off, so if you haven't already, be sure to start with book one. This is definitely not a standalone.

I loved going on this epic adventure with RJ and York and can't recommend it highly enough. If you're a fan of romantic suspense, you're sure to enjoy it.

4.5 STARS

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Bound by Disaster (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries #2) by Christy Barritt

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Bound by Disaster (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries #2) by Christy Barritt. I really enjoyed the first book, so I was excited that this sequel was released so quickly. I was eager to get back to these characters. 

About the Book
Talitha Robinson is knee-deep in renovations as she prepares to open her new bookstore when a body washes ashore on Lantern Beach. While news of the suspicious death surges across the island, a stranger comes knocking on Tali’s door, begging her to endorse his unfinished suspense novel.

Unable to dissuade the author, Tali is left holding his manuscript in her hands. But she has no idea of the peril written on its pages.

Mac MacArthur has kept his distance from Tali since they uncovered a shocking connection about their pasts. But when someone begins to act out the murderous scenes from the book, one victim at a time, Mac’s protective instincts override his decision to stay away.

As danger escalates, Mac and Tali must manage their conflicting feelings as they work together to stop this killer . . . before the last chapter is written.

Bound by Disaster is book 2 in a four-book series of cozy suspense novellas featuring Tali and Mac and set in Lantern Beach. Although the main mystery is resolved in each novel, some threads will continue throughout the entire Beach Bound Books and Beans mystery series.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
"I found the main character unlikable, and if I can't root for the main character, then what's the purpose of reading the rest of the story?"

Friday 56
Tali wished she had something else to keep herself occupied. But she didn't. She had way too many things on her mind - but mostly the new chapter she'd just read about the dead bookstore owner.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Vivid (The Color Theory #1) by Ashley Bustamante

About the Book
DANGER LURKS BEHIND EVERY COLOR

Ava Locke dives into the mysteries of forbidden Yellow magic and discovers a dark path filled with secrets and injustice.

When Ava Locke was five years old, she began a journey to join the Benefactors—the leaders of the magical continent of Magus. Twelve years later, she unwittingly started down the road to betray them.

On Magus where colors fuel magical abilities, yellow is banned in an effort to protect people from its mind-controlling capabilities. When a rogue Yellow magic-user named Elm escapes imprisonment Ava becomes innocently fascinated with his story. Once this mysterious Elm shows up at her school, Ava pushes her interest to the next level by helping him evade the Benefactors. Ava grows increasingly conflicted as her intrigue leads her down a dark road of secrets about her world. As she learns more about Yellow magic’s potential to control its victims, Ava now must question whether her rash decisions are all her own or if someone else is pulling the strings.


MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this book! It was an incredibly compelling read that I know I'll be thinking about for a long time. I was pretty sure I was gonna like it, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

The worldbuilding was fantastic and the magic system was very interesting. I've read a few books featuring color magic, but nothing quite like this. It was very unique, which I loved.

I never knew what to expect next. I didn't know who, or what, to trust. Who was telling the truth? Was Yellow magic really as dangerous as they said it was? What were the benefactors hiding? Why so many secrets? Who were the bad guys? I was obsessed and had to find out the answers!

This was a breath of fresh air, which might sound weird talking about a dystopian-like fantasy, but I didn't even know how much I was craving a book like this. It really hit the spot. I highly recommend it and am very much looking forward to the sequel!

FIVE STARS

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

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 Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright releasing October 11. 

About the Book
The voices of the past cannot stay silent forever.

In 1910 Michigan, Perliett Van Hilton is a self-proclaimed rural healer, leaving the local doctor convinced she practices quackery. It doesn't help that her mother is a spiritualist who regularly offers her services to connect the living with their dearly departed. But when Perliett is targeted by a superstitious killer, she must rely on both the local doctor and an intriguing newcomer for assistance.

In the present day, Molly Wasziak's life has not gone the way she dreamed. Facing depression after several miscarriages, Molly is adapting to her husband's purchase of a peculiar old farm. A search for a family tree pulls Molly deep into a century-old murder case and a web of deception, all made more mysterious by the disturbing shadows and sounds inside the farmhouse.

Perliett fights for her life, and Molly seeks renewed purpose for hers as she uncovers the records of the dead. Will their voices be heard, or will time forever silence their truths?


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh

About the Book
Can she stop herself from falling before she's too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country's resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo--the man who betrayed her best friend--will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together--if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .


MY THOUGHTS

This was another beautiful, faith-filled story from Toni Shiloh.

I really liked Iris in the previous book, and was so happy that she got her own story. She really shines here. Her compassion and empathy are on full display. I loved how she saw the best in people, even when they couldn't see it themselves. She was such an encouraging friend.

Now, Ekon, on the other hand? I didn't think there was any way I'd like him. His actions from the previous book and his snobby attitude at the beginning of this one had me cringing. But WOW! What a redemption story! I don't want to say too much, but I was in awe by the end of the story.

I enjoyed this followup story just as much as its predecessor, In Search of a Prince, which was a tall order considering how much I adored that one. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys inspiring romances.

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

FIVE STARS

Monday, September 12, 2022

Review: Stand by Me by Autumn Macarthur

About the Book
He’s big city, she’s small town. He’s a fast-paced businessman, she’s a slowed-down artist. He loves the night life, she loves the quiet life. He’s wealthy, she... well, isn’t. Can such opposites make love work?

Successful Austin CEO Isaiah Williams rarely gives himself the luxury of time off. He thrives on the buzz of making deals and signing multi-million dollar contracts. But spending the holidays in a small Oregon town with his former business partner will let him finalize the purchase of his friend’s share of their business. Plus, even better, he'll get to spend more time with the pretty local artist he met and fell for at his friend’s wedding.

Watercolor artist and cafe manager Cas Salter loves to paint the ever-changing ocean. She also loves her friends, her church, and the peace of mind she's developed since she came to live in Chapel Cove. And okay, perhaps she does love Isaiah, just a little bit. His confident charm is hard to resist, but she can’t give up the life she’s worked hard to create or the faith that means everything to her and join him in the fast lane. Life in the slow lane suits her fine.

When she reveals the reason she can’t risk moving back to the city, will he choose to stand by her? And when Isaiah is thrown into relying on God as his world crumbles, can Cas choose to stand by him?

Welcome to Chapel Cove, Oregon, where life begins at forty.

Stunning coastline, a harbor against life’s storms, and a welcoming community await in Chapel Cove. A place where those hurt by challenges, disappointments, and failures or reminded of their unfulfilled hopes and dreams can make a fresh start. And, if they’re brave enough to accept it, maybe also find a second chance at love, if only they’ll allow God to safely anchor them in their hearts’ home? Discover this small town filled with love, hope, and faith, in Chapel Cove, a series of sweet and clean standalone Christian romances. Join us in Chapel Cove today!

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed this sweet inspirational romance. It was a quick read, but was packed full of goodness.

Isaiah and Cas were complete opposites. He's an extrovert that's all about the city life, while she's an introvert who loves small town life and simple living. I liked them both a lot and was really rooting for them to find a way to work things out despite their differences.

It's always a joy visiting Chapel Cove. It's such a charming and inviting place. If you're in the mood for a sweet and heartwarming romance, this is the perfect read.

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

FOUR STARS

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Vivid (The Color Theory #1) by Ashley Bustamante

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Vivid (The Color Theory #1) by Ashley Bustamante. I was expecting a straight up fantasy here, but this has a definite dystopia-vibe to it, which I'm loving. It's SO GOOD!

About the Book
DANGER LURKS BEHIND EVERY COLOR

Ava Locke dives into the mysteries of forbidden Yellow magic and discovers a dark path filled with secrets and injustice.

When Ava Locke was five years old, she began a journey to join the Benefactors—the leaders of the magical continent of Magus. Twelve years later, she unwittingly started down the road to betray them.

On Magus where colors fuel magical abilities, yellow is banned in an effort to protect people from its mind-controlling capabilities. When a rogue Yellow magic-user named Elm escapes imprisonment Ava becomes innocently fascinated with his story. Once this mysterious Elm shows up at her school, Ava pushes her interest to the next level by helping him evade the Benefactors. Ava grows increasingly conflicted as her intrigue leads her down a dark road of secrets about her world. As she learns more about Yellow magic’s potential to control its victims, Ava now must question whether her rash decisions are all her own or if someone else is pulling the strings.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
How do you keep a Mentalist out of your head?
How do you evict them when they creep in and seize control? When the words out of your mouth no longer belong to you? When your will is torn away?

Friday 56
The contrast between last night's dinner and tonight's is painful. I can feel the weight of my emotions and everyone else's, pressing down on me and turning the taste of the food in my mouth dull and unpalatable. I can't look at Matthew, although he hasn't said a word about what transpired in the basement. Blake pokes at his food, shooting furtive glances.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair & Jenny Proctor

About the Book
I’m not sure which is worse--the lawyer handling my grandmother’s estate or the attack pelican living on the screened-in porch. Just kidding--I’ll take the pelican any day.

After graduation, I thought I’d be off to grad school, doing research on my favorite poet. Instead, I’m renovating my late grandmother’s home and posting about the process on Instagram. Talk about a detour …

But here I am. Turning Gran’s beach house into a bed and breakfast--a process that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with the grumpy lawyer living next door. It doesn’t help that the night Jake and I met, I got a little tipsy, and he had to carry me back to my hotel.

But the longer I stay on Oakley Island, the more I feel a connection to my childhood and to my grandmother. This isn’t the life I dreamed of, but dreams can change. Especially when new dreams include a future with Jake. On the outside, he might be pricklier than a puffer fish, but I catch glimpses of a delicious, cinnamon roll center.

Did I mention the tattoos he hides underneath those crisp button-down shirts? Yowza.

When I’m suddenly presented with the academic opportunity of my dreams (former dreams?), my picturesque life on Oakley starts to unravel.

A part of me wants to stay. If only a certain tattooed grump didn’t seem so determined to send me away …

Eloise and The Grump Next Door is a grumpy sunshine, closed door romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcom series follows three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. Each book will have sizzling chemistry but no spice.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

MY THOUGHTS

This was so much fun! I absolutely loved it! I haven't laughed this much while reading, probably since my last Emma St. Clair book. I hadn't read anything by Jenny Proctor before, but I'm definitely adding her backlist to my TBR pile. Her and St. Clair make such a great writing pair!

Not gonna lie, I fell hard for Jake. From the moment he stepped onto the page, I was a goner. There was just something so swoony and irresistible about the Grump. Eloise was super likable. I loved that she was so unapologetically herself. And I also liked her quirky style. And Steve the pelican? What can I say? Star of the show! LOL!

I loved Oakley Island. It had such a charming small town-vibe to it. And the residents were great too. I can't wait to visit it again! The next book can't come out soon enough. If you're a fan of sweet romcoms, this book is a must read!

4.5 STARS

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Dog Days of Summer (Gone to the Dogs #2) by Kathleen Y'Barbo

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 Dog Days of Summer (Gone to the Dogs #2) by Kathleen Y'Barbo releasing October 1. I really enjoyed the first book, Off the Chain, and have been very eager for this sequel. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and am excited to dive in very soon.

About the Book
Mishaps Abound as Second Chance Ranch Struggles to Get Its Start

Grab a lap dog to cuddle and relax into a fun small-town mystery as a new dog rescue project turns into a three-ring circus of calamities in book 2 of the Gone to the Dogs series.

Trina Potter, Nashville country music star, buys a ranch near her hometown in Brenham, Texas, to help her niece open a rescue facility for dogs. Her presence in town stirs up some old high school rivalries—and romance. Finding property to buy is a challenge, convincing her mother to move there with her is daunting, and navigating a string of strange accidents is perplexing. Sometimes Trina feels like she’s purchased her own three ring circus instead of a beautiful piece of land. But her first priority will be figuring out who wants Second Chance Ranch shut down before they even have the grand opening.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Review: Wishtress by Nadine Brandes

About the Book
Her tears grant wishes. Her next tear will end her life.

She didn’t ask to be the Wishtress.

Myrthe was born with the ability to turn her tears into wishes. But when a granted wish goes wrong, she is cursed: the next tear she sheds will kill her. She must travel to the Well to break the curse before it can claim her life—and before the king’s militairen find her. To survive the journey, Myrthe must harden her heart to keep herself from crying even a single tear.

He can stop time with a snap of his fingers.

Bastiaan’s powerful—and rare—Talent came in handy when he kidnapped the old king. Now the new king has a job for him: find the Wishtress and deliver her to the schloss. But Bastiaan needs a wish of his own. He gains Myrthe’s trust by promising to take her to the Well, but once he gets what he needs, he’ll turn her in. As long as his growing feelings for the girl with a stone heart don’t compromise him.

Their quest can end only one way: with her death.

Everyone seems to need a wish—the king, Myrthe’s cousin, the boy she thinks she loves. And they’re ready to bully, beg, and betray her for it. No one knows that to grant even one wish, Myrthe would pay with her life. And if she tells them about the curse . . . they’ll just kill her anyway.


MY THOUGHTS

"Myrthe, your past matters. It's the ink of your story. But it doesn't write your future."

Oh my goodness! I don't even know where to begin! What an absolute masterpiece! I loved this story so much! That's not really a surprise though. I've enjoyed every single one of Nadine Brandes' books, but this one might be my favorite one so far. It was such a powerful, poignant, and beautiful read.

I liked Myrthe. She made some really poor choices and didn't always think through the possible consequences of her actions, but she always meant well. Even though she faced some pretty tough circumstances, she was tenderhearted and compassionate. It was heartbreaking that most people didn't really see her, but only what she could do for them. I really felt for her. The journey she goes on from the beginning of the story to the end, the way that she grows, was inspiring to see.

Bastiaan was an all-around great guy. Yes, he made mistakes. Big ones. Disastrous ones. But he was such a steadfast, loyal, and kind guy. He was always wanting the best for everyone. Trying to right all the wrongs of the world. It was a tall order, but he faced it all with such a big heart. And I loved seeing his relationship with Runt. It was such a genuine thing, and it was obvious that he cared a great deal for the little guy.

This was not a predictable read by any means. It took turns that I never would've guessed. And that ending? I'm still processing, but the more I think about it, the more perfect it feels. I imagine I'll be contemplating it for a while yet. If you're a fan of fantasy, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's one of the best I've read this year.

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

FIVE STARS

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair & Jenny Proctor

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair & Jenny Proctor. This is such a fun and hilarious romcom! I loved every second of it!

About the Book
I’m not sure which is worse--the lawyer handling my grandmother’s estate or the attack pelican living on the screened-in porch. Just kidding--I’ll take the pelican any day.

After graduation, I thought I’d be off to grad school, doing research on my favorite poet. Instead, I’m renovating my late grandmother’s home and posting about the process on Instagram. Talk about a detour …

But here I am. Turning Gran’s beach house into a bed and breakfast--a process that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with the grumpy lawyer living next door. It doesn’t help that the night Jake and I met, I got a little tipsy, and he had to carry me back to my hotel.

But the longer I stay on Oakley Island, the more I feel a connection to my childhood and to my grandmother. This isn’t the life I dreamed of, but dreams can change. Especially when new dreams include a future with Jake. On the outside, he might be pricklier than a puffer fish, but I catch glimpses of a delicious, cinnamon roll center.

Did I mention the tattoos he hides underneath those crisp button-down shirts? Yowza.

When I’m suddenly presented with the academic opportunity of my dreams (former dreams?), my picturesque life on Oakley starts to unravel.

A part of me wants to stay. If only a certain tattooed grump didn’t seem so determined to send me away …

Eloise and The Grump Next Door is a grumpy sunshine, closed door romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcom series follows three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. Each book will have sizzling chemistry but no spice.

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
As far as birthdays go, this one isn't the worst.

Friday 56
Could this night be filled with any more embarrassment? I think I've filled my lifetime quota.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Bound by Murder (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries Book 1) by Christy Barritt

About the Book
When widow Talitha Robinson buys an old store on the boardwalk in Lantern Beach, North Carolina, she’s in for a surprise . . . or several. She plans to renovate the space and open Beach Bound Books and Beans, but never expects to find a decades-old skeleton hidden inside one of the walls.

As word of the discovery spreads across the island, strange occurrences begin to occur around her. It soon becomes clear someone still knows something about the dead person—something they don’t want discovered.

Thankfully, former police chief and current mayor Mac MacArthur seems just as eager to unravel the mystery behind the skeletal remains as Tali. But as the two bind together to solve the case, a devastating secret is revealed.

Will their newfound friendship come unglued before they find the answers to the past? Or will their blooming relationship die like the man hidden in the wall?

Bound by Murder is book 1 in a four book series of novellas. Though the main mystery is resolved, there are threads that will continue throughout the entire series.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting.

MY THOUGHTS

You have no idea how excited I was about this book. Mac is one of my favorite Lantern Beach residents and I've always wanted him to get his own story. And he finally got it! A series of short cozy mysteries! I couldn't be happier! It's sure to please other longtime fans of Barritt's Lantern Beach books, but it's also a great place for new readers to jump in.

I liked Tali and her adorable doggie Sugar. They're great additions to Lantern Beach and I'm sure, once the remodel is complete, her bookstore/coffee shop will be the new hotspot in town.

The mystery was a good one. It definitely kept me guessing with all the surprising turns it took. And while this mystery was solved, there was a bit of a shocker at the end, which makes me even more excited for the next book.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: Fallout by Carrie Stuart Parks

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 Fallout by Carrie Stuart Parks releasing September 13.

About the Book (From Amazon)
Her carefully crafted life is about to be demolished.

After a difficult childhood, Samantha Williams craves simplicity: jigsaw puzzles, lectures at the library, and the students she adores in her role as an elementary school art teacher in the dusty farming community of LaCrosse, Washington.

But when an SUV crashes into the building where she teaches, her entire world is upended. Samantha manages to keep the children safe, but her car isn’t so lucky. Oddly, her purse—with her driver’s license, credit cards, and other identification—is missing from the wreckage.

After authorities discover that the driver in the accident was shot seconds before the crash, Samantha quickly becomes entangled in increasingly strange events that have her constantly looking over her shoulder.

Samantha has long tried to forget the tragedy of her past, but the twisting connections she discovers between the murdered driver, a deadly secret government project, and an abandoned town can't be ignored. Those involved are determined to keep these secrets buried, and they’ll use any means necessary to stop Samantha’s search for truth.


What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting?

Monday, August 29, 2022

Review: I Will Find You (The Epic Story of RJ and York #2) by Susan May Warren

About the Book
The woman he loves has vanished…

When RJ Marshall said she’d be right back, York should have objected. No, he wasn’t going to let her run off to Berlin, even if it was to save a little girl.

Only problem—she’d told him this while he was unconscious. So really, it doesn’t count, and it’s not his fault that she’s gone missing. And, he didn’t know why he expected RJ not to chase danger into trouble. But now he has to find her before criminal mastermind Alan Martin tracks her down.

She’s in over her head…

RJ didn’t mean to leave York behind, but she’s on a mission to save a little girl caught in the crossfire of Martin’s terrorist plot. Now, she’ll have to find the girl and keep her safe while leaving clues for York to follow her.

But who will catch up to her first—York, or the man with a vendetta?

The gripping romantic adventure continues across Europe in this second installment of the Epic Story of RJ and York!


MY THOUGHTS

What a great continuation of The Epic Story of RJ and York! It picks up where the previous one left off and things hardly ever slow down. It's high stakes and danger and, just like the first one, impossible to put down.

The issues I had with RJ in the first book were nonexistent here. It seems like she's learned a lot from her mistakes. I loved seeing that character growth. York was great, like always. Brave, chivalrous, swoonworthy. I can't get enough of him. We're also introduced to a new character, Ziggy. She was just flat-out awesome, and I'd love to read more about her. And Roy too.

Be prepared for a cliffhanger. A mighty big one. I'm anxious to get my hands on the next book.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Bound by Murder (Beach Bound Books and Beans Mysteries Book 1) by Christy Barritt

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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Bound by Murder by Christy Barritt. This is a really fun and quick cozy mystery set in Lantern Beach, one of Barritt's most popular settings. 

About the Book
When widow Talitha Robinson buys an old store on the boardwalk in Lantern Beach, North Carolina, she’s in for a surprise . . . or several. She plans to renovate the space and open Beach Bound Books and Beans, but never expects to find a decades-old skeleton hidden inside one of the walls.

As word of the discovery spreads across the island, strange occurrences begin to occur around her. It soon becomes clear someone still knows something about the dead person—something they don’t want discovered.

Thankfully, former police chief and current mayor Mac MacArthur seems just as eager to unravel the mystery behind the skeletal remains as Tali. But as the two bind together to solve the case, a devastating secret is revealed.

Will their newfound friendship come unglued before they find the answers to the past? Or will their blooming relationship die like the man hidden in the wall?

Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
Talitha Robinson raised the sledgehammer as she stared at the man in front of her. Her muscles bristled as she prepared herself for action.

Friday 56
"In full disclosure, we found human remains inside the wall of one of those stores. It's possible the body's been there about fifteen years."
"You think I killed someone and hid them inside one of the stores?" Some of the friendliness left John's voice.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Out of the Night (The Epic Story of RJ and York #1) by Susan May Warren

About the Book
He’s not looking for trouble…

All former spy and current national security agent York Newgate wants is to propose to the woman he loves, RJ Marshall. Then they can move to Shelly, Washington, and start the calm, safe life he’s been dreaming of for over a year.

Too bad trouble doesn’t agree…

Or maybe RJ simply attracts trouble because she’s just going out for coffee when she spots a wanted, known terrorist standing in the middle of a street in Paris. At least she thinks it’s international criminal Alan Martin, the mastermind behind a plot to kill the president.

But he’s in jail, right?

Wrong. Martin has escaped, and it’s up to RJ—and York—to keep him in their sights until he can be apprehended. But chasing down Martin means following him into the darkness of whatever plot he’s cooked up now.

Will he ever outrun trouble to find his happy ending?

So much for York’s epic proposal. Now, he just wants to escape Europe with their lives.

The romantic trilogy ignites in book one of the Epic Story of RJ and York!


MY THOUGHTS

I was so excited to hang out with RJ and York again. And what a thrilling, heartstopping ride this first installment of their story was! My goodness, there were so many times where I could hardly catch my breath.

I didn't think it was possible to like York more than I already did, but it happened. He's such a likable, fierce, loyal, and good guy. To say he's been through a lot would be a vast understatement, but he's such a fighter. I only wanted the absolute best for him. I'm not gonna lie, RJ got on my very last nerve. She was so stubborn, reckless, and rushed into danger without even a thought. By the end of the story, I'd kinda lost all patience for her antics. I just wanted to shake some sense into her.

I'm thrilled that this series is releasing so quickly. It'd be awful to have to wait any longer to find out what happens to these characters next. It's nonstop action and constant danger and I'm really enjoying it so far! I'd definitely recommend reading the Montana Marshalls series before diving into this one. It might technically could be read as a standalone. There's a really good recap of what happened previously, but I think you'd still miss out on a lot if you just start here.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Aberration of Eden Pruitt (The Eden Pruitt #2) by K.E. Ganshert

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 Aberration of Eden Pruitt (The Eden Pruitt #2) by K.E. Ganshert releasing September 13. I preordered this book immediately after finishing the first one. I'm so eager to find out what happens next!


About the Book

Eden Pruitt’s parents are alive. They are safe. But not Eden. She won’t be until they hunt down the high-stakes gambler known as Mordecai. Eager for redemption, Cassian Gray won’t rest until they succeed.

Together, they follow a trail of clues that thrusts them into a dark, dangerous, twisted reality. At its center stands an enemy far more powerful than they ever imagined.


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, August 22, 2022

Review: Smoky Mountain Comfort (Smoky Mountain Romance #1) by Andrea Byrd


About the Book
Emotionally abused by her father and damaged by her past, Abigail doesn't trust anyone... even herself. Instead, she lives for her quiet, little bookstore that has become her comfort zone. But when books begin to mysteriously disappear and reappear from the shelves and her father announces an impending visit, Abigail feels helplessly alone in her turmoil. Can she find it in her heart to trust one of her most loyal customers-the unnervingly attractive police officer, Jake Callahan-to assist? Will God use her circumstances to teach her how to fully trust in Him and His plan once more?

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting.

MY THOUGHTS

This was a really sweet read. I was actually reading something else when I picked this one up on Amazon. I thought I'd just read a couple of pages and then set it aside for a while, but there was just something so endearing about this story that I couldn't help but continue it.

I really felt for Abigail. She had such a kind soul, but had to deal with some pretty harsh and unwarranted criticism. I wanted the best for her. I liked Jake a lot. He was the quintessential good guy, and I was rooting so hard for him and Abigail to end up together.

I liked the fact that there was a little mystery too. It added a nice bit of tension to an already great story. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and sweet romance. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this series.

FOUR STARS

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Out of the Night (The Epic Story of RJ and York #1) by Susan May 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. I'm also linking up with Carrie at Reading is My Superpower for First Line Friday.

This week I'm featuring Out of the Night (The Epic Story of RJ and York #1) by Susan May Warren. I'm thrilled that this series is releasing so quickly (all three are out this month!) because it'd be awful to have to wait any longer to find out what happens to these characters next. It's nonstop action and constant danger and I'm enjoying it so much!

About the Book
He’s not looking for trouble…

All former spy and current national security agent York Newgate wants is to propose to the woman he loves, RJ Marshall. Then they can move to Shelly, Washington, and start the calm, safe life he’s been dreaming of for over a year.

Too bad trouble doesn’t agree…

Or maybe RJ simply attracts trouble because she’s just going out for coffee when she spots a wanted, known terrorist standing in the middle of a street in Paris. At least she thinks it’s international criminal Alan Martin, the mastermind behind a plot to kill the president.

But he’s in jail, right?

Wrong. Martin has escaped, and it’s up to RJ—and York—to keep him in their sights until he can be apprehended. But chasing down Martin means following him into the darkness of whatever plot he’s cooked up now.

Will he ever outrun trouble to find his happy ending?

So much for York’s epic proposal. Now, he just wants to escape Europe with their lives.


Book Beginnings / First Line Friday
York wasn't a coward. Not even a little. Besides, RJ was going to say yes.

Friday 56
He was either a very dangerous, or very safe, man.
Depended on what side you were on.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Season of My Enemy (Heroines of WWII) by Naomi Musch

About the Book
“Get Your Farm in the Fight” - The Realities of WWII Come to a Wisconsin Farm

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Only last year, Fannie O’Brien was considered a beauty with a brain, and her future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. With her father’s sudden death and her brothers overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm—until eight German prisoners arrive and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Someone seems intent on causing “accidents,” and Fannie is certain the culprit is one of the two handsome older Germans—or possibly both. Can she manage the farm, keep the prisoners in line, and hold her family together through these turbulent times?

​Don’t miss these other stories:
The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander
Picture of Hope by Liz Tolsma
Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson
Mrs. Witherspoon Goes to War by Mary Davis
A Rose for the Resistance by Angela K. Couch


MY THOUGHTS

This was my first time reading anything by Naomi Musch, but it won't be my last. I really enjoyed this story.

I'm a big fan of WWII-era books, but I'm usually drawn to the ones set overseas. Very rarely do I read any set in the US. (Shame on me!) So I thought this novel was really fascinating. I didn't know anything about the fact that German POWs worked on farms here in the states. I really appreciated learning about that.

I loved getting to know the O'Brien family. They were so real and grounded, and I instantly felt like I was a part of their extended family. I really admired Fanny. After her father passed away and her brothers were drafted, she was the one who had to take over the family farm. She had to sacrifice a lot, but she did it all with grace and hardly a complaint.

I didn't know what to think of the romance, at first, but as the story progressed, it grew on me. And in the end, I was rooting for a happily ever after.

I wouldn't say this story was a fast-paced read, but it was exactly the type of slow and steadily-paced story that I needed. I recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet historical read.

FOUR STARS

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday: To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh

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 To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh releasing September 13.

About the Book
Can she stop herself from falling before she's too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country's resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo--the man who betrayed her best friend--will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together--if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .


What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?

Monday, August 15, 2022

Review: Mirror Lake (Shady Hollow #3) by Juneau Black

About the Book
The third novel in the Shady Hollow mystery series, in which Vera Vixen takes on her most challenging case yet: solving the murder of a rat who appears to still be alive.

Change is afoot in Shady Hollow, with an unusually tense election shaping up between long-serving Chief of Police Theodore Meade and Vera's beau, Deputy Orville Braun. But the political tension takes a back seat when resident eccentric Dorothy Springfield becomes convinced her beloved husband, Edward, is dead, and that the rat claiming to be him is actually a fraud.

While most of the town dismisses Dorothy's rants as nothing more than a delusion, Vera has her doubts. More than a few things don't add up in the Springfield household, but Vera will have to tread carefully, since, with Orville's attention on the election, she may be more exposed than ever.


MY THOUGHTS

I loved being back in Shady Hollow and checking in with all the town's residents. I had a lot of fun with this installment and enjoyed it almost as much as the first one. The mystery was great, quite possibly my favorite so far. Although it was fairly obvious what was really going on, the journey to confirming that truth was extremely entertaining.

I've gotta say, I was so proud of Orville for running for Police Chief. It's been abundantly clear from the very first book that he was the only one doing any police work. It was way past time for him to get the recognition he deserved, and to try to boot the current lazy, do-nothing Chief Meade to the curb.

This series is the very definition of cozy and I'm so excited that there are more mysteries to come! I can't wait to visit Shady Hollow again!  

FOUR STARS