Sunday, January 12, 2020

WHISPER OF BONES by Melinda Leigh

Widow’s Island Book 3
Montlake Romance
October 22nd, 2019
Contemporary, Novella, Crime, Mystery, Police Procedural, Small Town Mystery
E-ARC via Netgalley
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley
3 Hearts

Dark secrets abound as a body washes up on the island’s state park beach and for Deputy Tessa Black, another murder has occurred and it’s a race against the clock to find out what happened as well as who the killer is…before they set their sights on Tessa.

I was mixed about starting the third book in the Widow’s Island series after the meh I got reading books one and two. I gave book three, WHISPER OF BONES, a chance and it was interesting if a tad bit short. What hampers these stories is the length of it. The resolution seems to pat with the page count, and I found it not as satisfying as I would have liked after finishing this quick read. Melinda Leigh is an author I highly enjoy, and she keeps the suspense up in her second Widow’s Island story (the other books are written by author Kendra Drake) and I enjoyed Tessa Black immensely. The story is enjoyable if a bit rushed. I found myself already figuring out things by midway and was a tad disappointed that the author couldn’t keep the suspense going longer but overall it is a good quick read if you are looking for a thriller to pass a few hours away with. I enjoyed reading more about the characters we met in books one and two (Close to the Bone and A Bone to Pick). I am going to try to see where the authors go in these and hope that they will eventually go longer in length to keep the suspense moving.

In WHISPER OF BONES, Tessa Black has another murder on her hands-on Widow’s Island and the victim is one who had a ton of enemies. The key is to see which enemy was the one who killed them. With a killer determined not to be caught, arson and more, Tessa needs all her wits to keep one step ahead of a killer and to bring justice to the victim. I really enjoyed Tessa in this book. She was capable, strong and quite enjoyable. It took a little bit to warm up to her and I enjoyed reading about her family and love life to break apart the mystery a little.  The characters are enjoyable and intriguing if at times a little flat just due to the novella length of the series. I look forward to seeing where the author(s) go in this series now that the third book kept my attention better than the first two.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

I SEE YOU by Mary Burton

A Criminal Profiler Novel Book 2
Montlake Publishing
October 8th,. 2019
Romantic Suspense, Mystery/Thriller, Crime
E-ARC by Netgalley
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley
4 Hearts

FBI Special Agent Zoe Spencer has a gift of revealing who the people are behind the skeletal remains through sculpture. The process is scientific but also intimate and sensitive to the degree that Zoe always gets attached to the people she is identifies and tries to get justice for. When she gets some remains that go back to a decade old cold case, she finds herself into a case that has more victims than they imagined. As Zoe travels to the victim’s hometown and finds herself enmeshed in a case that will bring danger to her door. Time’s running out and it’s up to Zoe and her on/off lover, homicide detective William Vaughn to bring the killer to justice…if they can stay alive to do that.

Wow is all I can say about the latest thriller from Mary Burton. Filled with twists and turns you don’t see coming, the author does an amazing job in capturing the reader’s attention right off the bat. I SEE YOU is an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish and I was glued to the pages along side William and Zoe as they raced against the clock for a killer determined to keep them from catching them. The action started right off the bat and I loved how the author kept the reader in the dark about the case as Zoe and William got deeper into it, making those twists that showed up all more intriguing and surprising. The author does a great job in capturing the suspense of the case and the characters at center of said cold case kept me guessing till the very end.

I SEE YOU is one that is multilayered and will keep the reader glued to the edge of their seats till the very twisty end. I loved how the author kept me in the dark on who the killer was and why. I found it to be quite a surprise and one I sure did not see coming. The characters were intriguing, multilayered and complex. I liked knowing more about Zoe’s job in the FBI and found it fascinating to see how the process comes about. The author does a great job in keeping the reader guessing and I, for one, can’t wait to see where the author goes next in the series. The cold case is interesting and intriguing as all the players made themselves known and kept me flipping the pages to see what would happen next.

If you enjoy a complex thriller with intriguing characters, then grab this author’s newest book, I SEE YOU, second in the Criminal Profilers series. Each book is a standalone, so you don’t really have to read book one, Hide and Seek, to get the sense of the series at all.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE by The Team at Avon Books

Publisher:     Avon
Published:    July 9, 2019
ISBN:      978-0062899279
Genre:     Non-fiction
Format:    Paperback from publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


What a super resource!  The editors and several authors from Avon books have put together a journal type workbook for writing what they say is a romance, however much of the information, suggestions and exercises can be used for virtually any genre.  Written for both new as well as established authors HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE takes the writer from the initial concept of the story to the flourish of “the end” as well as how to gracefully lead into the next book of what could be a series. 

Newbie authors have good story ideas but can get bogged down with needless details.  There are suggestions for what to do about that as well as exercises to get past them.  Conversely, established author can hit a period of writer’s block and just not know where to go with their story.

The exercises are quick and to the point and engage the writer’s imagination. 

Interspersed with the suggestions and exercises are supportive statements from a number of successful Avon authors.  Their own personal tips are included as well.  HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE is a welcome addition to any writer’s library and one to keep by your writing area when you need a quick tip or inspiration to move forward with your story. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

SKY’S THE LIMIT by Mychael Black

Publisher: Changeling Press
Date Published: March 2019
Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

 Obtained via publisher
Rating: 3 Hearts

When Kelly lands a dream job of cataloging Dregan’s books he does not think his life will change all that much but to his surprise the changes he experiences are life altering. Soon the books aren’t the only thing that grab Kelly’s interest. Dregan draws him just as much as his love for books but what will happen when Kelly learns the truth about Dregan? Can Kelly take a chance on his attraction, even if lives are at stake or will Dregan’s true nature scare him away?

Dregan and Kelly’s story is a sweet read. The two men are taken by surprise by the intense emotions that they are feeling for each other. Dregan has never felt like this before and he does not know what to do. When Kelly finds out the truth about Dregan he must make some hard choices and find out just how far he is willing to go for love. I enjoyed seeing their attractions grow and turn into something deeper. It was nice to see the two work and fight for their love. As the two work to figure out where they stand Dregan must also deal with his brother and the mess he has gotten himself into.
Their book is a fast paced and interesting story, but I would have liked to see a bit more world and character building to give the story a bit more depth. It was nice to see the inner workings of the dragon world and their matches making this was an interesting addition to this series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A SACRED MAGIC by Yasmine Galenorn

A Wild Hunt Novel, Book 9 in Series
Nightqueen Enterprises
October 14th, 2019
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Action Adventure Romance
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by self-purchase
5 Hearts

Ember and the Wild Hunt are facing the Tuathan Brotherhood and Ember herself is finding that she will be in the front lines in the final battle with this terrorist group. When Brighid calls in her favor, Ember finds herself on a journey in the world of the Annwn to find a weapon that will turn the tide into the favor of the Wild Hunt and forever break the hold Nuanda, Leader of the Tuathan Brotherhood has on the group. But the journey Ember must take is fraught with peril, danger and more in an ancient, mystical forest. Ember not only has to battle the darkness that inhabits the forest but also the demons that continue to haunt her to this day. The question is can she find the fabled Brighid’s Flame and put the end of the Tuathan Brotherhood? For if she falls, the Brotherhood will destroy the balance between the Fae Courts and the world.

Wow, Wow, Wow is all I can say in the next installment of the Wild Hunt series from one of my favorite authors, Yasmine Galenorn. She weaves a story that will rock your socks off and leave you guessing right up to the end when the climatic ending comes to head. The series is best read in order to get the full scope of the why the characters got to this point and there is a few twists that just blew me away. I won’t get into them as I don’t want to spoil the surprises for those who haven’t read it yet. What I love about this author is that her stories are so well written, filled with multidimensional characters that just blow me away with their continued growth within the series. Her characters and the world building this author is known for make it one of the best series of the author’s that I have fallen in love with bar her famed Otherworld series which ended early this year after over 20 books. The Wild Hunt series is newer series that just rocks with a set of characters that will leave you wanting to meet them and storylines that really grab you right from the beginning. Each book in the series just capitalizes on past books and I love how the author weaves these storylines together into a larger plot that is slowly making its way to the readers in little bits here and there. A SACRED MAGIC reveals some interesting plot twists that were hinted in a past book or two ago and went into a little bit more detail about what may happen in future books. I know I am not the only one of this author’s fans to say, ‘MORE! MORE!’.

A SACRED MAGIC was read in one sitting and I was lost within the story of Ember, Hearne and the gang of the Wild Hunt. I loved every bit of the story and fell more in love with the group even more as they faced their toughest foe yet. The author weaves a perfect Autumn spell around the reader with A SACRED MAGIC and I, for one, am eager to see where the next book, The Eternal Return (out in December 2019) will lead the Wild Hunt next and just what the revelations from A SACRED MAGIC will lead to next.

If you are looking for a sexy, action packed paranormal series to devour, then I cannot recommend Yasmine Galenorn’s books enough to people. They are fun, entertaining and quite possibly very addicting. I can’t wait to see where the author goes next for her readers to gobble up.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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Sunday, November 3, 2019


Publisher:      Berkley
Published:      October 8, 2019
ISBN:      978-1984804105
Genre:     Cozy Mystery
Format:    Hard cover from publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Hayley Burke has landed her dream job as the new curator of the famed Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. On top of having her dream job, Hayley has the opportunity to have her own apartment in the late Lady Fowling’s home, Middlebank.  What is not to love in a grand old house surrounded by some of the world’s best known books – first editions at that!  As part of her mission to bring a fresh look to Lady Fowling’s work and home she allows a group of would-be writers to meet weekly in the library.  Life, being what it is, has a few flies in the ointment, or at least in Middlebank. 

First of all, there are the would be writers.  Agatha Christie fans one and all, but they are bent on writing not just fan fiction, but not exactly your usual fan fiction.  No…well-loved characters taking part in a zombie apocalypse just doesn’t fit with Christie or Lady’s Fowling.  And then there is Hayley’s co-tenant, Mrs. Woolgar who consistently finds new ways to keep Haley from her mission and to succeed in her job. 

Despite their disparate personalities Hayley and Mrs. Woolgar are forced to join forces when one of the writer’s group ends up dead in the library.

I was drawn to the premise of Marty Wingate’s BODIES IN THE LIBRARY, the first book in her new First Edition Library Series—a house dedicated to not only Agatha Christie, but to a host of Golden Age mystery writers. The idea of Middlebank with the apartments for both Hayley and Mrs. Woolgar set the stage for some interesting activities in this and future books. 

I never really warmed up to Hayley as a character.  It could have been the wobbly venture into the love triangle cozy mysteries seem to devolve into these days.  She came across like a bit of a doormat constantly giving into the absent boyfriend with his robot.  She just went along with whatever was happening with her. 

Mrs. Woolgar is your classic “gothic housekeeper”.  While this is a cozy mystery and not a gothic, Mrs. Woolgar’s character was actually likeable in the sense that she was a character you love to dislike. The character reminded me of the Cloris Leachman housekeeper in Young Frankenstein and I enjoyed her scenes.

Except for Val I didn’t care much for any of the other characters. 

Speaking of the love triangle.  A few years ago either the cozy authors on the whole or publishers decided to add these annoying love triangles to cozy mysteries.  They aren’t ménages.  If I want to read a romance I’ll pick up a romance.  I read cozies for the quirky situations and characters and having those love triangles just takes away from the story.  BODIES IN THE LIBRARY would have stood on its own just fine without the absentee boyfriend showing up for a quick lay and then going about his business.  And for Hayley not to call him on it was just wrong. 

The other thing that is annoying me in cozies these days is the push to be inclusive of all the Title VII categories.  I’m all for inclusion.  I think it’s important in these days to try to include as many diverse groups as possible.  But when diverse populations are put in just to look inclusive and not move the story along it annoys me.  Hayley deciding that two of the characters are gay and should be a couple did nothing to move the story along and seemed to basically be there to look inclusive. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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