Thursday, April 16, 2015

BE AFRAID by Mary Burton



Sequel to COVER YOUR EYES
Zebra
May 2015
978-1-4201-3213-7
Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Mystery
Paperback ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
4 Hearts




On leave from her job in the Boston Police Department, Forensic Artist Jenna Thompson returns to Nashville to think on where she wants to go in her career and try to figure out the hazy memories that surround her even as closure in that is not even close. Detective Rick Morgan is a man determined to solve a baffling crime and he needs Jenna’s help. With murders piling up, it will take the combined help of Jenna as well as Rick to bring justice to the victims as well as closing a case that dates far back to the time of Jenna Thompson’s childhood. The question is can they catch a killer before they strike next?

I got to admit I loved the first book, Cover Your Eyes, and I found BE AFRAID a worthy sequel to enjoy. The pace is fast; writing top notch and the storyline twists and turns as it weaves a spell around you. Ms. Burton delivers a wild ride from start to finish and as the reader is drawn deeper into this author’s web, they will be surprised as I was who was the murderer and just how much Jenna’s memories will help Rick close the latest string of murders.

We met Rick Morgan in Cover Your Eyes as well as his siblings (Deke, Alex and Georgia). This time we find Rick as well as his retired police dog, Tracker, back in the field as they try to get a handle on a string of murders that cause Rick a major headache even as he is drawn to the forensic artist Jenna Thompson. I loved seeing Rick in th e spotlight as well as Jenna making him learn to live again. Both characters are drawn to one another even as they dance around their attraction. The sparks fly fast and furious between them even as the dead bodies start to pile up, with no end in sight. With the right amount of toughness and vulnerability, Ms. Burton delivers two strong characters who compliment one another. I loved that both Jenna and Rick were independent yet vulnerable. They had issues from their past even as their future looked murky at best. The secondary characters were just as intriguing as well as diverse. All the characters were well written and enjoyable to read.

BE AFRAID left me reeling from start to finish with an ending that had my jaw dropping in shock and I, for one, can not wait to see who is next in the Morgan siblings to find them in the crossfire while trying to navigate murder and relationships. I give Ms. Burton kudos for creating a great series and one I am eager to continue to read. I am now looking to see just what else this author has in her backlist to read while I await the next Morgan book to devour.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

COVER YOUR EYES by Mary Burton



Zebra
October 28th, 2014
978-1-4201-3211-3
Romantic Suspense, Mystery/Thriller
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Library
4 Hearts



Rachel Wainwright is determined to give justice to those who were denied it. A defense lawyer and public defender, she finds herself defending the man put away for the murder of Annie Dawson thirty years before. As she tries to get DNA tested, she comes up against detective Deke Morgan, whose father was one of the lead detectives on that case. As these two butt heads, another murder takes place and as Deke and now Rachel race against the clock, the murders continue. Is this the work of a madman who took the last thirty years off or is it a copycat?

I got to admit, COVER YOUR EYES is a fast paced, edge of your seat thrill ride from start to finish. I was glued to the pages as I raced alongside Deke and Rachel as they figured out clues, trying to stay ahead of a killer who was always one step ahead of them. Ms. Burton does a great job in capturing the heart of the story and that was the relationships between the characters as well as the mystery surrounding the death of Annie Dawson. With the right amount of tension, twists and turns and more, this author delivers a spine-tingling story to keep you glued to the pages till the very end. What really made this different from other crime books was the setting of Nashville. Most books are set out in NYC, LA or other more cosmopolitan places and Ms. Burton delivers a series introduction set in the heart of country music, which intrigued me to no end. I loved how she used this unique setting to backdrop the story/series and give the reader something new to enjoy.

As this was my first book by this author, I found her writing to be tight, storyline fast pace and the characters really enjoyable. We get to meet the Morgan siblings- Deke, Georgia, Alex and Rick. The siblings have quite a lot of issues between them and I enjoyed finding out about them as well as how they related to one another as well as other characters in the book. The author does a great job in creating complex, diverse characters and as we get to know the core group, the reader is drawn into their spell even as a murderer delivers more and more terror. I got to admit Deke and Rachel grew on me. Deke can be an ass but when he saw that Rachel was hurt his softness for her came out. It was such a delight to see this big macho man fall for the spitfire that was Rachel. Rachel is a lawyer and her road to the law was filled with a past that made her who she became. Falling in love with Deke Morgan was not on her list of things to do. These two should have been oil and water but they meshed perfectly together. I loved how they sparred with one another then found a common ground to tread upon. The author does a great job in capturing their strengths as well as their vulnerabilities. The secondary characters are intriguing and I am looking forward t o seeing if they pop up in future books set around the Morgan siblings.

The ending I got to warn you is explosive as the author throws a few twists that left my jaw dropping and me flipping the pages quickly to see where it would go. I was shocked to find out who the murderer was and I am thinking you will be as well. If you enjoy and edge of your seat ride in your books, then try COVER YOUR EYES and get ready to succumb to the world that Mary Burton created. I am eager to see where she goes with this series in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement



Sunday, April 12, 2015

ONE WISH by Robyn Carr



A Thunder Point Novel
Mira
February 24th, 2015
978-0-7783-1772-2
Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)
Obtained by Publisher
4 Hearts




Grace Dillon was once a champion figure skater until she walked away from it all, leaving her past behind as she forged forward to a new life, a life not filled with the ruthlessness  and competition of the sport. Now living in Thunder Point, she runs a thriving flower shop and she is quite proud of the life she created.

High School teacher Troy Headley is determined to show Grace that she needs some excitement in her life, she finds herself drawn to him even as she enjoys all the fun they have together. But when Grace’s past comes back to haunt her, can Troy find a way to show Grace that she is more than a friend with benefits even as love finds a way to steal these two daredevils hearts in the process?

I got to hand it to author Robyn Carr, when she comes out with a Thunder Point novel I always wonder who would be next to find love and happiness.  In her new novel set in this picturesque little town, the readers get the chance to see locals Troy and Grace find their way to one another. I enjoy finding out more about past couples as well as seeing some surprise appearances as well in ONE WISH. This time we find out just who Grace Dillon was once upon a time while finding out that falling in love was not part of her plans for a new life sans figure skating. The characters are what make this series so enjoyable in my opinion. They are diverse, complicated and just about as real as you can get. I swore I wanted to go visit Thunder Point and just enjoy the quiet little town with its diverse residents. This author’s writing is tight, delivering a fast paced storyline with a few twists to keep the reader intrigued as well as flipping the pages to see what happens next.

ONE WISH is truly a great read in her Thunder Point series and one that I keep enjoying regardless if it’s my first time to the place or a return visit. The characters are what draw me to this series. They are multi-dimensional and diverse plus quite enjoyable as well. I could see myself walking to the diner or maybe getting flowers from Grace’s shop one afternoon as I took in all that makes Thunder Point so amazing. The characters are really life-like and that is what I think sets Ms. Carr apart from other authors. Her characters are ones you might live next to you or shop/dine in on occasion. This is an author who knows how to let her characters take the lead and let them tell the story.

We met Grace and Troy in past Thunder Point novels and I was thrilled to see them finally getting a happy ending of their own. Grace has secrets from a past she doesn’t talk about but after the hectic life she had growing up, the pressure to perform, compete and win, Grace is determined to live a life of her choosing. Grace is a delight. She is independent, enjoys her and has a nice set of friends. What she didn’t anticipate was finding herself falling for her self-professed ‘fun coach’ Troy Headley. Troy challenges her on all levels and it helps that he is easy on the eyes as well. He was a perfect foil to Grace and one to shake up her safe and predictable world. The sparks flew fast and furious between these two from the moment they decided to be friends with benefits and yet even I could see that these two were meant to be together. The author does a great job in capturing the vulnerabilities of Grace and Troy as well as their strengths. The characters fairly jump off the page and into your living room. The secondary characters continue to charm me and give a hint into their lives even as some new characters turn up that I am really hoping show up in future books.

ONE WISH is truly a great story to curl up with on a lazy afternoon and while to he world moves on, take a visit to this sleepy little town and find out just what makes this series such a delight for many readers. Now I can not wait for the next book in the series to get here as you get a hint of who may be next in cupid’s sight.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement



Saturday, April 11, 2015

SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY by Christina A Burke and Elizabeth Ashby




Publisher:    Gemma Halliday Publishing  
Published:   March 20, 2015
ISBN:     978-1508651734
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Ebook
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com

FOUR HEARTS

Alex Jordan is living her own personal dream as the owner of Finials and Facades Renovation and Restoration Services.  Not the most common endeavour for a young woman, but Alex is loving her career as a contractor flipping houses.  But not just any houses.  Her penchant is for Victorians, otherwise known as Painted Ladies.  All is going pretty well until she purchases the stately Marlton House. Just as she wins the auction on the property, local snob and real estate mogul Jack Condor rushes in claiming he has rights to the property.  Alex stands firm and keeps her winning bid but before she can start on her renovations there is a bit of a disruption.  Well not really a disruption as much as a really bad find—a dead body in the bathtub.  If it had been natural causes it wouldn’t have been such a mess – in more ways than one.  Oh no, he was shot.  With no evidence, rhyme of reason for his death the house is put off limits while the police investigate.  Not such great news for Alex’s timetable.

Just when she thinks things cannot get any worse, out for a walk the next day, she stumbles on yet another body.  Fortunately this time it isn’t a dead body but a rather hot looking blond haired, blue eyed male with no memory of how he ended up in Danger Cove.  Out of the goodness of her heart—and never ending desire to match make Alex with a viable young man, Alex’s grandmother Janiece invites the man they’re calling John (as in Doe) to stay with them.  But all with John is not quite what it seems…is he a victim or a killer himself?

Meanwhile Alex’s friend, George, has let her know he’s like to be a little more than just friends.  While he has faithfully provided flowers from his shop on a weekly basis to Janiece, he is much more than he seems.  The question is, much more of what?  What is he hiding behind his immaculate style of dress and penchant for being there whenever Alex turns around? 

THE SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY is the first book in the new Danger Cove series.  What is so fun about this series is that each of the books is being written by a different pairing of authors.  THE SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY is co-authored by Christina A Burke and Elizabeth Ashby.  These ladies do a wonderful job of giving readers a seamless transition from one author to the other.  You really cannot tell where one started and the other ended. 

The town of Danger Cove is depicted as one of those wonderful Pacific Northwest treasures where there are quaint shops and a bit reserved yet still friendly people.  Readers are introduced to a few of the local businesses in book 1 and I have to say the eateries had me wanting to take a trip there myself.

Victorians, or painted ladies, often have their own little secrets and SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY certainly unveils a few. Setting a book in a Victorian not only puts the story in a nice venue, it opens up the door for some great mystery possibilities.

The characters are a fun lot – I have to admit Smitty the parrot, was one of my favorites.  At first George came across as an older gentleman and a few times I wondered if he was gay – I had a bit of a time picturing him while at the same time John was very easy to imagine.

In looking at the website it looks like future heroes and heroines take center stage, but  hope to see more of Alex as the series continues.  She’s just a great character to read that I’d like to see where she does from here.

This is definitely a fun series you do not want to miss.

If you are looking for an action packed thrill ride with a great mystery, WOMAN WITH A MYSTERY is definitely one to put on the top of your TBR.


This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

Meet the Resident Authors of Danger Cove



Welcome to the first residents of Danger Cove – otherwise known as by Elizabeth Ashby and Christina A. Burke

Ladies, thank you for taking the time to talk with us at Love Romances and More Reviews about not only your new release, SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY, but about Danger Cove!



First, let’s find out a little bit about you. 

Elizabeth, from your bio at www.gemmahalliday.com it mentions that you love books and cats.  Since cats view us as staff, when did Sherlock have you join HIS staff?

We’ve been together for ages. Sherlock is sensitive about his age so I won’t say exactly how long ;)

In SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY we meet Smitty, the parrot.  He’s quite the character.  How did he come about?

Christina:
My maiden name is Parrott pronounced like the bird, and my grandmother has a huge collection of parrot paraphernalia. Somehow the thought just came to me when I was trying to come up with a family pet for Alex and her grandmother.

Will Smitty be meeting up with any cats and in particular, any based on some of your own feline, Sherlock’s, antics?

Elizabeth: Smitty doesn’t play well with other animals so I’m not sure that would be a good idea :)



Christina, what led you to the Danger Cove literary limits and co-writing with Elizabeth?

I’ve been writing for Gemma Halliday Publishing since I started my Queenie Baby series in 2013. When Gemma offered me the opportunity to write for the Danger Cove series I was thrilled.

Kudos to you both in your writing of SECRETS OF THE PAINTED LADY – the transition from one of you to the other in writing was seamless.  It was very much the same, entertaining, voice throughout.  How did that come about for you? 

It was surprisingly easy! Like we were one mind.

Was this the first time you worked together?
Yes, but definitely not the last.



Elizabeth, you co-author the first six books in the series.  Does anything stand about for you in working with several different authors in the same series?

It keeps you on your toes! I tend to adjust my writing style to that of my partner to keep the voice and continuity.

How did the idea of setting a series in Danger Cove come about?
For legal purposes I have to say that everything I write about Danger Cove is fictional.  But let's just say, the town has been an "inspiration" for lots of plot lines. 

There is a fun map of the town at  http://www.gemmahalliday.com/Danger_Cove/explore/be?  Despite the cute little Victorians or Painted Ladies we see there I was immediately drawn to the lighthouse.  Is it haunted?

In Danger Cove, it’s a safe bet.

What do the characters think the best part of living in Danger Cove is?

Elizabeth: There’s never a dull moment!

If you could be a character in SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY, who would it be?
Christina: I would be Alex. She has a super cool job.

Elizabeth: Definitely Smitty!

 


Simple yes or no question – we don’t want to give away any spoilers – but did you know who the killer was when you first started writing SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY? 

No

Have you ever flipped a house or know anyone who has done so?

Christina: Yes, and it was a disaster!

The next book in the series, MURDER AND MAI TAIS is due out in April and Sibel Hodge is your co-author.  What was the most fun about working with Sibel?

She has a very different voice from Christina, so it was really interesting seeing her take on Danger Cove. 

The blurb talks about two intriguing …. Professions … a black widow and an English underwater archaeologist.  Is there a story behind that story?

Elizabeth: In my youth, I might have done a little treasure hunting myself in the waters around Danger Cove. 

What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time? 

Christina: Singing with my musician husband, Jim.

Elizabeth: Gardening is my passion.


If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?

Christina: Jane Austen. And I don’t think I’d be able to eat because I’d be too busy talking.

Elizabeth: Agatha Christie, and we would have tea together.

You’ve gotten the call, a Hollywood producer is going to bring the SECRET OF THE PAINTED LADY to the big screen.  Who do you cast in the major roles?

Christina: Hmmm . . . We based George’s character off of Remington Steele but the age difference between Pierce Brosnan and George wouldn’t work. Perhaps Jake Gyllenhaal would be a good match.

For Alex, definitely Emmy Rossum from the TV show Shameless.

Are you working on any other mysteries besides the Danger Cove series at this time?

Christina: I’m working on the 4th book of my Queenie Baby series titled "Queenie Baby: On the Town."

Elizabeth: I’m still hard at work on the Danger Cove series.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for having us!

Thank you for taking some time with us today!