Saturday, 29 December 2018

Murder in the Orchard - Betty Rowlands

Murder in the Orchard: A totally gripping cozy mystery novel (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 6)Murder in the Orchard: A totally gripping cozy mystery novel by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 6 of the Melissa Craig Mysteries and I think that each one just gets better and better. I have to admit that I polished this off in one day, not quite one sitting, but I didn't want to put it down. This time Melissa finds herself in the middle of another mystery when she is supposed to be on a writers retreat. Needless to say, she doesn't get a great deal of writing done.
As well as the small cast of suspects, we have the return of regular characters in the form of Gloria the cleaner, next door neighbour and artist Iris and boyfriend and tame policeman Ken. I have to admit that I haven't decided how I feel about the Ken and Melissa relationship. On the whole, I think that I'm in favour, but with Melissa being a bit unsure herself and the two of them continually butting heads when it comes to how involved she seems to get in these mysteries, the jury is still out.
As ever the mystery worked well and I really enjoyed it. I didn't manage to solve the whole thing this time, but I had picked up on most of the clues and got my head around quite a bit before the big reveal.
I love these classic mystery stories and can't wait to see what trouble Mel manages to find herself in the middle of in the next book. No doubt Ken will be less than impressed with her snooping around.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 27 December 2018

Footsteps in the Dark- Georgette Heyer

Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't read a mystery novel by Georgette Heyer, although I have read and loved some of her Regency Romances. The mystery novels, based on this one at least, are quite different, although the writing style, that helps make Heyer's novels so good, of course, remains.
This is a classic country house mystery, with a small cast of possible suspects and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. Compared to modern thriller and mystery novels, the plot of these type of books is quite slow, which might put some people off, but I have to admit that I've long been a fan of this classic who-done-it style.
Overall, I liked the main characters, although they are very much of their time. But what about the mystery itself. For me, a mystery has to 'work' I don't need to have been able to solve it myself, but it has to make sense when all is explained. Fortunately, in this case, everything was tied up neatly and there wasn't a sudden non-sensical conclusion. In actual fact, I'd guessed who was behind it all and what some of the other characters were up to quite a while before it was revealed. I don't think that it was completely obvious either though, which is the other danger with these type of books.
Footsteps in the Dark was a satisfying and enjoyable read. if you don't like the type of gentle mysteries from the golden age of that type of novel then this probably isn't for you. If you are a fan of a classic murder mystery, however, then I'd urge you to give this one a go.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Monday, 24 December 2018

Cover Reveal Guardian Angel

~ Cover Reveal ~
Guardian Angel by Ruchi Singh

The Man
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away. 

The Angel
Should an innocent man be allowed to die just because he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? Someone has to intervene.

About the Author:
Winner of TOI WriteIndia Season 1, Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.

Friday, 21 December 2018

The Belting Inheritance - Julian Symons

The Belting Inheritance (British Library Crime Classics)The Belting Inheritance by Julian Symons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In some ways, this book is a little different to most classic crime stories. There is a murder and a cast of possible suspects. Most of the action takes place in a country house, although there is a brief trip over to France. In addition to this part of the mystery, there is also the question of a missing member of the family returning to the family and the family not being sure if he is really who he says that he is. Of course, these two elements are linked and the answer to both mysteries is solved together.
The story is told from the point of view of a young member of the house, Christopher, who is there staying with his extended family for the holidays. He had lost his parents at the age of twelve and has been cared for by his mother's aunt, who he is now living with since then. I quite liked Christopher as a narrator, he is often very conscious of his role as storyteller, but on the whole, I think that this worked.
The pace of the story is possibly a little slow when compared to modern novels, but I think in this it works. It helps to create a sense of the past and places the novel in the post-war period that it was set. I think it was actually written a decade or so later than this.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I had figured out some of the mystery, but there were still a few surprises at the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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4Ever Series Blog Tour

the4everseriesbanner This boxed set consists of the entire 4Ever series bundle. You'll get all three novels, Imperfect Love, Secret Love and Endless Love in one. Over 1400 pages, and almost 340 000 words, hours filled with romance, betrayal, heartache and second chances.

Imperfect Love: At 24 years old, Holly Scallanger has the perfect life. Everything a girl could want; a beautiful man, a stunning home, as well as being in the midst of preparing for the wedding of her dreams. This all vanishes the night she catches her fiancé, Brandon Morgan, in bed with her worst nightmare, Donna Sinclair, just a week before Holly is set to walk down the aisle. Attempting to recover from his betrayal, Holly swears off the affections of men in order to pick up the pieces of her crumbling life. Unfortunately, meeting Jake 'Hooligan' Peters is not part of her plan. The tall, dark-haired and handsome as hell med student, sweeps Holly away from the pain of her past and reveals to her the bright future that lies ahead. That is, until she falls pregnant just as Jake begins his internship at P&E; his family's hospital. Will this love at first sight lead her to the fairytale she has always craved? Or, will she fall victim to a betrayal of the heart yet again?

Secret Love: Guarding a secret and playing with fire has never been a good combination. Four years ago, Holly Scallenger embarked on the most difficult journey of her life. As if being a single parent isn't already stressful enough, Holly also attended med-school, in hopes of heping other pregnant women in a way she wasn't helped. But things don't look so good as she has to embark on a new journey - a journey that would take her back to Boston, back to the man who broke her heart and discarded her and her babies. Sworn to never fall for him again, Holy is put to the test once more when a chance encounter reunites them.

Endless Love: Death comes to us all, but true love conquers all? For once, Holly Scallanger has it all. After more than her fair share of ups and downs, fate intervened and changed her life the day she bumped back into Jake Peters' life. Now her Now her future seems brighter than ever before. She's training at the best hospital in Zurich, she shares a love with the man of her dreams—the type of love most womenonly ever dream of—and her little girl has everything her heart desires. But fate has other plans. When an old acquaintance crashes back into Holly's life causing havoc at every turn, Holly's perfect existence falls to pieces around her. Will the couple survive the turmoil entering the lives, or will their happily ever after come to an end?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Isabella White is a USA Today Bestselling author. She started her writing career with Imperfect Love in 2015, followed two years later by Secret Love and Endless Love. When she isn't writing, she is spending her time with family and friends and her lazy bulldog Missy. You can find out more about Isabella and all her other novels on her website.



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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Murder on a Winter Afternoon - Betty Rowlands

Murder on a Winter AfternoonMurder on a Winter Afternoon by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These Mel Craig Mysteries just get better and better, I don't know if it's because I know the character a little better with each one. This book has, like the last one, a bit of an art theme going on. It's a bit of a different situation to in the previous book, but is interesting and works well all the same.
You might expect that by the third book, Mel might have been a bit more on the ball with this mystery. Mel is a mystery novelist herself, which is part of the reason that she gets involved in all of these crimes in the first place, so she should surely be able to solve things reasonably easy. In this book, she doesn't spot what I felt was fairly obvious though. I don't know if the mystery would have worked so well if she had, so I'll let her off, I was getting a little stressed and wanting to give her a shake.
One of the great things about reading a series is that you get to see the characters develop over time. In this instalment we see the development of a relationship that grew a little in the last book, I wonder if we'll see more of this in subsequent books?
The only slightly annoying thing about this series is that on the one hand, it is quintessentially English, but the book must have been prepared for the American market. There are a few too many cell phones and cookies for my liking that just detract very slightly from that British setting. Overall though, this is a great classic mystery series and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

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Wolf Tamer - Yumoyori Wilson

Wolf Tamer
Yumoyori Wilson
(Claiming My Pack #1)
Publication date: October 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
An Orphan Girl. A Group of Wolves. A Destined Fate for War.
Don’t you ever wish to find where you belong? A place where you can rest your head without worrying about being jumped or your possessions being taken from you? Not like I had much, to say the least.
A pendant, an ancient blade, and a picture of my murdered family were all I had left when I was five years old. Foster homes to homeless shelters, I never found a place of refuge. I simply didn’t belong, and everyone made it their duty to remind me of my predicament. Until I finally came across a place that felt like home.
Sacred Moon Shelter for Endangered Wolves. I’d stumbled upon the sanctuary when I was near death, but I was miraculously saved.
Since then, I’ve become a Wolf Tamer; the only one who can get close to touching the six rare breeds. When I’m with them, I feel safe and sometimes wish I could be like one of them and escape this cruel world.
But such inhumanity strikes home, a group of hunters shows up, ready to take my wolves to an unknown place or murder them in cold blood. I won’t allow them to kill the only true family I’d ever known.
My name is Harper Blake, and I vow to claim and protect my own.
Wolf Tamer is a new Wolf Shifter Reverse Harem Romance. Recommended for 18+ Audiences.

Author Bio:
Yumoyori Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario. She's a Full-time author who loves to write many different genres. On her down time, she bothers her Mom and likes to drink bubbletea while reading and playing video games.

My Review

First of all, I think that I should start by saying that this is the first in a series. Or at the very least, there is to be a follow-on book. I mention this because although the book is described as being a reverse harem romance, that doesn't really happen in this book. Instead, much of the story is building up the background that I assume will come into fruition in the second book. 

The book starts with our heroine, Harper, as a five-year-old. She has lost her family to murderers and no longer fully knows who or what she is. The book then progresses and we join Harper as she grows up at various stages and falls for her friend Ian, who just so happens to also be her other friend wolfie. 

For the most part I enjoyed reading all of this background storyline and it helped to build an understanding of who Harper is. Having said that, by the end of the book much of her past is still in darkness and it's not clear what is going to happen to her. I was interested to find out though and will be keen to read the second book in the series.


Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake

Crave the Heat (The Smokejumpers #2)Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in Marnee Blake's Smokejumpers series. I have to admit that I am a bit of a firefighter fan and stories about the elite smokejumpers that parachute into out of the way locations to deal with wildfires are always going to be something that I'm interested in.
In this second book, we learn more about Dak, who appeared as Lance's friend in the first book. Lance and Meg, who were the main characters in book one do make a small appearance in this book, although most of the story focuses around Dak and Heidi, who has just arrived in the area to investigate who has been setting fires around the area. There is a bit of a mystery/thriller dimension to this story, although I will admit that I had worked out who was setting the fires long before they did. I didn't really get to the bottom of why they were doing it, however, but then neither did any of the characters in the book.
Overall I liked both Dak and Heidi, they seemed to work well together and there was certainly chemistry between them. I'm not sure that I'm that into the dysfunctional family idea, especially seeing as that played a major part of the plot in book one and then here we are with another in book two.
This was an enjoyable read and I'd be keen to continue with more in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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My Way To You - Lyndell Williams

My way to you

Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and good at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s little sister, Regina. Intrigued by her beauty at first sight, he’s increasingly enthralled and risks his friendship with Marcus to have her in his arms.

Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into an affair knowing that she chanced angering big brother and the less tolerant of her followers. Many will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian .

As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep the world at bay.

My Review

Well, this was a story and a half. If you're expecting your bog standard, basic romance, then that isn't what you are going to get, but even so, I don't think that you'll be disappointed in this one. In many ways, the events of this book could have filled a whole series. That's not to say that the book is either overly long, or rushed, it isn't, but there's an awful lot going on.
There isn't just romance to deal with here, but race, prejudice and what happens when love runs into that. Simon and Regina have a lot to deal with, much more than many other couples have. Some of it was a surprise. I know that things are different in the US, not to say that there isn't racism in the UK or here in New Zealand, but it certainly seems that 'inter-racial' relationships are much more of a big deal in America. In fact, I will admit that of the people I know who are in one (and now I think of it, there are quite a few) I'd never really considered them to be in something different. I don't know, but I don't think that many people are that bothered about it, certainly, nothing like Simon and Regina have to deal with, it's sad that that should be the case in 2018.
I liked both Simon and Regina, although I wanted to shake them both at various points. As is often the case in romance novels, things would be much easier if they would talk more. Sometimes that would mean that there was no story left, but in this case, there would be still plenty of drama. The only thing that stopped this from being a five-star book was that very occasionally the dialogue just didn't quite seem to flow naturally. I'm possibly being a bit picky here, but that means that there's room for the next book from this author. I'll certainly be making sure that I read it.

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Fianna's Awakening - Rod C. Nieto

Fianna’s Awakening
Ron C. Nieto
(Warriors of Myth and Legend, #1)
Publication date: November 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Outcast. Betrayer. Chosen.
After five years being a Fianna, Aisling O’Malley still has to prove herself every day. The sins of the father weigh heavily on her shoulders, and no matter what she does, her fellow warriors regard her as the undeserving one. It doesn’t help that one of the four mythical treasures of Ireland has turned up under her nose, leaving her none the wiser. If by any chance the touted Spear of Lugh up for auction is indeed the legendary Spear of Victory, she needs to get her hands on it before anyone else does—and be spectacular enough about it to make the rest of the Fianna forget she almost missed the artifact in the first place.
Exile. Betrayer. Forgotten.
After spending twice as long undercover as he ever lived at home, Ronan no longer knows where he belongs to or where he’s actually exiled from. He can’t return to his people, not unless he collects the four artifacts of power the Tuatha Dé lost when they were forced to leave Ireland, and three millennia after the fact, he’s pretty sure they’re going to remain lost. Except one of those ancient treasures has landed in his lap—or could land in his lap, if he brings himself to work with the spunky young woman who wants to hire him to consult on the Spear’s authenticity.
Can two broken people learn to trust one another? And even if they can, will it be too late to save Ireland… or themselves?

Author Bio:
Ron C. Nieto is a fantasy and romance author who has been writing in her secluded fortress for the longest time. Recently, she had a talk with her cat and decided that she should share her creations, because it was selfish to hoard them all for herself.
If you would like to know more about her, please visit her website.

My Review

This book was a little different to the ones that I usually go for, in all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect. This is the first book in a series that follows Fianna Aisling O’Malley and Ronan, who appears to be an expert on Irish myth and legend at the local university, but is perhaps much more. When a legendary spear that allows the owner to be undefeated in battle turns up, they try to track it down and get hold of it, but they are not the only ones who want it.

There is a lot of world-building to be done here.  For the most part it's well done and enjoyable. I was wondering how Aisling found herself as a Fianna, but there isn't a great deal of detail. I found out, after reading the book, that there is a prequel novella that tells this story and I wish that I had read this first.

I thought that both Ronan and Aisling were interesting characters and I'd be interested to see how their story develops and plays out over time. Clearly, there is much more to learn there. Overall, it's an enjoyable read and a good start to a series. 


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Murder at the Manor Hotel - Betty Rowlands

Murder at the Manor Hotel (Melissa Craig #4)Murder at the Manor Hotel by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying these Melissa Craig mysteries. Unfortunately, I've missed out on book number three in this series, but I don't think it really matters and I can go back later. Like the previous books that I've read this is another classic murder mystery. This time with the added threat of some other criminal activity (I won't go into details, as Melissa doesn't find out about it until later in the book).
These stories are marketed as being cosy mysteries. I personally am not a fan of the term and I think in this case it sells the story a little short. Most that fall into that genre are a little more humorous and light-hearted than this. That's not to say that this is some gritty dark tale, but there's more to it than a throwaway read in my opinion.
Melissa is again involved in the thick of the action and looks to find out more. I also like the development of her relationship with some of the other characters. Her next door neighbour is as always an entertaining side character, although she doesn't have a central role in this book and the same can be said for her cleaner. There is a little more of her tame policeman friend too and I suspect that he may feature a little more in future books.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, although it doesn't really matter if you read this as a one-off or part of the series. It certainly works as a stand-alone novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

My way to you release day blitz

About the Book

Title: My Way To You Author: Lyndell Williams Genre: Romance Lawyer Simon Young is smart, confident, and adept at keeping things with women casual—until he meets his best friend Marcus’s sister, Regina. Immediately intrigued by Regina’s beauty, Simon becomes increasingly enthralled and ultimately risks his friendship to have her for himself. Social justice writer and activist Regina Kent is usually cautious and savvy. Yet, unable to resist her attraction to the handsome Simon, she plunges into a torrid affair, knowing that she chances angering big brother and her less tolerant followers, many of whom will not accept that one of their most popular pro-Black bloggers is dating an Asian man. As their clandestine romance evolves, Simon and Regina fall deeper in love. Making sure that things stay between them becomes progressively impossible, and neither knows how much longer they can keep Marcus in the dark and the world at bay.    

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer as well as a multifaceted editor, romance scholar and author. She is a managing editor and columnist for various media platforms and serves as a content editor for a select group of clients. She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series. Lyndell is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.  


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Monday, 3 December 2018

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery - Leonard r. Gribble

The Arsenal Stadium MysteryThe Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard R. Gribble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that this is the first mystery novel that is set in the world of football. You could probably write everything I know about football on a postage stamp and still leave room for a margin, which is a bit pitiful for a Brit, it being our national sport. Still, that didn't really matter when it came to reading this book. Although football and more particularly the gunners gave the scene for this story, it didn't mean that a non-football fan couldn't still enjoy it and get a lot out of it.
Like many of these classic mysteries from the golden age of the genre, the mystery revolves around a small cast of characters, many of who seem to have a motive for killing the person who meets their untimely end. As often is the case in books like this, the victim, Doyce, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, which means that not only could there be a lot of people who want to do away with him, but also you can't really mind too much that he is killed off.
I don't want to go into the various motives or do anything that might give the identity of the killer away. I will say though, that I did manage to solve the mystery, although I did think that some of the background was a little bit far fetched.
Overall, this is an enjoyable mystery read. If you like classic mysteries, even if football isn't usually your thing, I think you'll enjoy this.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

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