My guilty pleasures, these books!!

Blood & Lace – Trinity Scott

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Chloe Sterling, a reporter who is presently suspended from work due to her less than ethical tactics, has arrived in California to visit her twin sister, Eden. But Eden is nowhere to be found, and when the local police department seem less than interested in Eden’s disappearance, she turns to FBI Special Agent Gage Pierce for help.

Gage is immersed in his own work, but he feels an instant attraction to Chloe, and that attraction is reciprocated. As Gage investigates Eden’s employer, Provocative, Inc, he also learns that Eden had a side job, producing risqué podcasts from home, for an organization called Red Light Productions. Chloe, not about to sit idle, follows Gage and attempts some research on her own, landing on the radar of Eden’s abductor.

With the help of some non-law enforcement friends in high places, Gage and Chloe immerse themselves in Eden’s life and activities in attempts to re-trace her steps. As they unknowingly close in on a killer, they play right into his hands, and the killer closes in as well…

This book sucked me in with the first paragraph, and I read it cover to cover in a few short hours! A great read, with intrigue in spades, and just enough hot romance to keep readers engrossed and wanting more. I hope to see this crew of unorthodox investigators in future novels!! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!!

The High Tide Club

The High Tide Club – Mary Kay Andrews

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Josephine Bettendorf Warrick is an old reclusive heiress who resides in her pink mansion on the family owned island of Talisa, off the Georgia mainland. Home to her family for generations, the 99 year old Josephine is determined to see that the island falls into the rightful hands of her descendants, and not the state of Georgia, which wants the island to create a state park. Seemingly out of the blue, she contacts local attorney Brooke Trappnell to assist her in this endeavor.

The book vacillates between past and present – and the reader is introduced to ‘The High Tide Club’, a small group of girls who became fast friends in the early 1940’s, and together have kept a secret for their entire lives. Estranged over the years, Josephine asks Brooke to summon the women, or their descendants, to the island, so that she can make amends, as Josephine wants to deed her island to them.

But, before the will is signed, Josephine is found dead, and the makings of a legal battle appear to develop, as distant relatives appear and attempt to make a claim. But Brooke and the group of women she’s assembled research the past, and make some startling discoveries about Josephine, her friends and the events of 1941 which created an unbreakable bond for these four women…

This was a very enjoyable read, with the story being told in both past and present times, and the reader only learns of the challenges, sacrifices and heartache the women faced as the novel culminates with some twists you won’t see coming! A great rainy day read!

A superb read!!

What The Valley Knows – Heather Christie

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Molly Hanover is the new kid – forced to relocate to a new town during the summer before her senior year of high school, she is alone in her new surroundings, and very lonely. She takes herself out of the house to the park to read, where a chance encounter with a few of the local football players leads to an invite to a party, where she meets Wade.

Wade, football star and hometown hero, is close to being kicked off the team due to his poor grades in class. Forced to see a tutor, he is delighted to discover his tutor is none other than Molly, and the two fall hard and fast for one another.

Meanwhile, Ann, Molly’s Mom, wants nothing but the best for her daughter. Widowed at a young age, she has struggled to provide for Molly. When her employer, Peter, an attorney, offers her a small home, at a super low rental, she jumps at the chance to provide Molly with a stable environment, a decision that proves to be costly.

Then one night, a few drinks, a windy road, and a secret waiting to be shared, become the recipe for a catastrophic accident will change everything for these two teens. But can they find their way back to one another?

This is a fabulous story! It grabbed me right from the beginning, sucked me in, and kept me awake far into the night! The characters are realistic, believable, the writing superb, and the memories provoked of my own high school days were many…a ‘must read’!! I look forward to more from this author!!

Great new series!!

Wrath – E. H. Reinhard

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

The story starts with a young woman who is embroiled in an illicit affair, which has since been discovered by her husband of only a year, Chris. As Chris sits in his van and watches his wife depart the home of her lover, something inside Chris just snaps, and he begins a bloody rampage, avenging himself against all who have wronged him.

Lieutenant Nash Harrington catches the first murder. A man, stabbed to death in the doorway to his own home, for seemingly no reason, and no evidence left behind. Then a dead prostitute is found. And then a neighbor discovers Chris’ cheating wife is dead, and quickly becomes a victim himself.

With the body count mounting, and Chris now on the run, the Nash and his team must figure out the common factor in all the killings, and prevent the killer from finishing his agenda – killing all of the women who he perceives as having wronged him – including Nash’s girlfriend Amy…

I very much enjoyed this book, and I can see Nash Harrington evolving into the likes of John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport, or Roger Stelljes’ Mac McRyan. Great read, and I look forward to purchasing the next two books in the series to read ASAP!!

Gone Daddy Gone – Cheryl Bradshaw

Gone Daddy Gone – Cheryl Bradshaw

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

College student Shelby McCoy is walking along a snowy park path, when she senses someone is behind her. She makes a panicked attempt to call her father, who doesn’t answer the phone, before an arm wraps around her neck and she is shot in the back and left to die. Beneath her body, a playing card, the ‘ten of hearts’, is found.

Private Investigator Sloane Monroe is with Shelby’s father, Police Chief Cade McCoy, when he receives word that his daughter has been killed. In the midst of attempting a marriage proposal to Sloane, he drops what he’s doing and the couple heads to Utah, to learn what they can of the investigation. Shortly thereafter, Cade, too, is shot, and a ‘jack of hearts’ card is left at the scene.

As Cade fights for his life, Sloane and Utah law enforcement attempt to solve the killings, but clues dry up, and potential suspects are alibied. Then a third attempt takes place, and Sloane begins to suspect, it may not be Cade for whom the shooter is revenging a wrong, but Sloane herself. But whom? And why?

Detectives review Sloane’s old case files, looking for answers, when yet another person goes missing, this one also near and dear to Sloane’s heart. But will she find the answers in time??

The book captures your interest in the first few paragraphs and will keep you engrossed until the very last page! I read this cover to cover in one sitting as it was just too good to put down! I have read all the Sloane Monroe novels, and I eagerly await more! Great, easy read!!

Heaven Adjacent

Heaven Adjacent – Catherine Ryan Hyde

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Roseanna is the central character in this novel and she begins the story three months after she makes a profound change in her life, presumably brought on by the stress of a high level legal job and he death of her colleague and friend Alice. Instead of heading to work one day, she calls in sick for a ‘mental health day’, gets in her car and sets out on a one-way trip – not knowing where she’s going, but knowing that she doesn’t want to come back.

Where she winds up is a small town in New York State, where she chances across a run-down small cottage on a beautiful piece of property, which is listed for sale. Enchanted by the quaintness and solitude of it all, she makes an impulse purchase of the property, and settles in. No phone, no cell signal, no disruptions – perfect. Until she discovers a pair of squatters on her property…

Then, a reporter appears from the New York Times, wanting to chronicle Roseanna’s decision to walk away from a high powered legal career, inadvertently leading her estranged son, and litigious colleagues to her door.

Other colorful characters also appear, both human and otherwise, adding chaos to Rosie’s otherwise quiet life. The discovery of massive amounts of salvaged metal junk leads Roseanna to a new hobby – sculpting, the results of which generate ire with the local townspeople.

This is a sweet story of loss, isolation, introspection, and the real meaning of family, and what we really need, as strangers learn to live together and love, and old strained relationships are mended.

This was a nice, quick read, and I enjoyed it, despite it not being my usual genre of books. While I realize the theme of the story was centered on Roseanna’s flight, and re-discovery of herself, I would have enjoyed a bit more character development on the squatters – how they came to be where they were, etc. The addition of squatters ‘Buzzy’ and ‘Earnest’ really made the book for me!

Available for purchase on 6/19/2018

Lincoln Rhyme is back!!

The Cutting Edge – Jeffrey Deaver

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I was fortunate to receive this novel as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are back in another complex mystery – this one involving the diamond industry. This novel opens as a young couple are arriving at a quiet Midtown New York building to see a reticent jeweler/diamond cutter, who has created the perfect engagement ring for them. All of a sudden, an armed assailant enters the suite, and both the couple and the artisan are found dead moments later by a young associate, Vimal, who narrowly escapes being mortally wounded himself.

Soon, Lincoln Rhyme and his investigative crew are asked to assist with the Diamond District murders, and Amelia’s first run of the grid at the crime scene leaves her with more questions than answers. Then another murder attempt takes place, by an assailant seemingly fixed on the diamonds that the women are wearing, and their relationship to mother Earth.

From there the novel gains complexity, as Lincoln is asked to consult for the defense for a known Mexican cartel leader, whose team of attorneys feel that he is being set up and that Lincoln can help prove their case. Meanwhile a local geological project is creating dissention, and a series of mini earthquakes and gas leaks begin to plague the city.

Are these all separate incidents? Or are they all somehow related? Lincoln, Amelia and his criminalist team seek answers as ‘Unsub 47’ continues to elude them, Vimal goes on the run, and danger lurks ever closer to home, culminating in an ending that you’ll never see coming!!

Jeffrey Deaver is a master storyteller, and his latest does not disappoint!! Fabulous read, as always!!! And a great lesson in the diamond industry, carats, and cutting as well!!

Due out 4/10/2017