And All The Phases Of The Moon – Judy Reene Singer

And All The Phases Of The Moon – Judy Reene Singer

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

Aila Cordeiro is a young widow, living alone on the shores of Cape Cod sound, as she runs her fathers little general store and tries to pick up the pieces of her life. After losing both her husband and father in a storm at sea, along with caring for a mother with Alzheimers who’s now in a home, she finds comfort in the familiar routine of the business, and she measures her life by the steady waxing and waning phases of the moon.

When an injured, emaciated dog starts following her, and eventually finds it’s way into her heart and home – in spite of herself, Aila starts to feel again… Then she meets Sam Ahmadi, a Navy war veteran, wrapped up in blankets, sleeping on the pier of her beach. The nephew of a local townswoman, Sam and Aila find a shared comfort and understanding in one another’s painful experiences.

Then, out of the blue, a chance encounter, lead to false accusations surrounding Aila & Sam and those she cares about – pitting neighbors and community against those she loves.

An appealing story about love, loss, healing, secrets, and learning to love again. This book was a sweet surprise for me and had me turning the pages in anticipation of what was coming next. I read it in one sitting and didn’t want it to end!!

A Merciful Silence – Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Silence – Kendra Elliott

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

Mercy Kilpatrick is back for more, as this time, on a rainy Oregon eve, a police officer out checking mountainous roads for washouts, discovers instead a human skull in a washed out culvert. As the site is assessed by the team, a total of 5 skulls are found, some of them children, reminding investigators of some similar murders years ago, where the lone survivor was an injured child.

Meanwhile, Truman Daly pulls over a young teenager, who claims to be a sovereign citizen, alerting Truman to the fact that there may be more of those ‘citizens’ operating in the area. While assisting in breaking up a bar fight, Truman finds another “sovereign’ citizen in one of the fighters , although the Moody brothers, Ryan and Clint pass it off as a joke.

And so starts off Mercy’s latest adventure as she and Truman work to identify the culvert victims, and link past and present cases together. A search for the lone survivor of the murders years ago, leads the team to a young woman, who has just relocated back to the Oregon area, which has Mercy wondering if the events are all connected somehow, and a jailhouse interview with the convicted killer of the earlier cases has Mercy wondering if the wrong man is behind bars. Truman also gets more than he bargained for as he attempts to prosecute young Joshua for forgery and distribution of ‘sovereign’ identification materials. To say more would definitely adding spoilers!

For those who love mystery/adventures stores, please don’t pass by Kendra Elliot, or this series. This was a great read, with non-stop action, great characters, twists that you won’t see coming, and I promise you will NOT want to put it down! This is the fourth book in the Mercy series (all can be read as stand-alone novels) – I am hopeful that there will be many more to come!! Fabulous!!

Jar Of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

Jar Of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

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

This is one of those books that you just cannot stop reading because you HAVE to get to the end – yet you don’t want it to ever end – it’s THAT good!!

Georgina Shaw, Angela Wong & Kaiser Brody were best friends in high school. Angela was the beautiful one, the ‘queen’ of the high school, popular, and a star cheerleader. Georgina, ‘Geo’ to her friends, beautiful in her own right, but often hidden behind Angela’s glamour, was always at her side, and Kaiser, young, struggling with his own adolescence, was an unlikely, but well-loved addition to the trio.

One fateful day, after a daily excursion to the local convenience store for a beverage purchase, the trio meets Calvin James – an older guy, 21 to their 16, and he seemingly only has eyes for Geo, much to Angela’s chagrin. Despite her misgivings, Geo & Calvin become a couple…

This novel opens with Georgina ‘Geo’ Shaw testifying in a trial about her complicity in the death of her friend Angela Wong, who died at the hands of Geo’s then boyfriend, Calvin James, 14 years ago. Calvin has been identified as the Sweetbay Strangler, charged, and now sentenced to 4 consecutive life sentences for the murders. Georgina is sentenced to five years in nearby Hazelwood Correctional Institute – all after Angela’s body was recently unearthed in nearby woods. Shortly thereafter, Calvin escapes from prison, and the murders begin again – but THIS time they’re a little different…

As Geo settles into prison life, her present situation, along with the past stories of Angela, Kaiser & Calvin are told in snippets as Georgina drifts between her past and how she came to be here in the present in this situation. There are multiple complex layers to each individual, and those layers are slowly unwrapped, chapter by chapter, as the story continues. You’ll think you know what’s coming, but you don’t…not until it does…

A brilliant MUST read! But be sure you have plenty of time ahead of you because you will not want to put this book down!! It I could give it 6 stars, I would!! Fabulous!!

The Last Thing I Saw – Alex Sinclair

The Last Thing I Saw – Alex Sinclair

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

This story revolves around Darren and Emma Turner, along with their son Jayden – in the opening prologue, Emma is holding a gun in trembling hands, and pointing it towards her husband, wondering how things had come to this point.

The novel then segues into life ‘before’ – an idyllic life that the three shared, while Darren runs what appears to be a thriving construction business. They live in an upper middle-class home and appear to be the typical family. Then, a construction worker is hurt on the job – and files a lawsuit. Then strange things begin happening – the family feels as if they’re being stalked, presumably by a member of the injured workers family. The police offer little support.

Then, you learn about things ‘after’. Emma is in a psychiatric facility, with no idea as to why, and what might have happened to place her there. She’s puzzled and hurt by the fact that her family won’t come and visit her. As she receives psychotherapy in attempts to piece together the events that lead to her hospitalization, she struggles with the advances and hatred of a corrupt orderly in the hospital.

The novel continues in this vein, switching between ‘before’ and after in the narrative as you learn about the sequence of events that lead up to the moment described in the prologue, and you see Emma’s slow recovery as she attempts to regain her memory of the events of that horrific night, with the storylines culminating into a showdown you won’t see coming, and with a protagonist that will shock you!!

I very much enjoyed this book! Had work not gotten in the way, I would have read it in one siting, because I did not want to put it down. Each chapter reveals a bit more and pulls you in deeper, and you keep flipping those pages, wanting – no – needing to know what happens next. A great read!! I look forward to reading more from this author!!

Second Chances – Rachel Cullen

Second Chances – Rachel Cullen

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

Set in Manhattan and suburbs, this is the story of four different women who are trying to make their way in a crazy world. We first meet Michelle, who in a moment of anger/despair, walks out on her husband and children, for reasons not yet known to us, and isolates herself in a small apartment. We then meet Danielle, a newly divorced and now single Mom to a newborn, who’s father wants nothing to do with her. She’s all alone and frantically trying to manage a screaming baby. We meet Sabrina, Danielle’s friend, who works in a sales venue, which has her traveling frequently, having one-night stands with men, who seems to shy away from any commitment, but suddenly finds herself in a compromising situation that threatens everything. Then we meet Megan, daughter of Danielle’s ex-husband; she’s 15 years old, and struggling with the autocratic ways of her father.

As the novel progresses, these women’s lives all merge – each chapter detailing a different character and her story, as each individual struggles with betrayal, hope, self-confidence, and self-worth, as they make the most of their situations and attempt to find their happy-ever-after’s.

I truly enjoyed this book! It is a sweet story, one suitable for the beach or rainy day, with thoroughly engrossing characters, scenarios and situations that we can all likely relate to! A wonderful read!! Thank you Ms. Cullen! I loved Second Chances!!

One Last Breath – Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush

One Last Breath – Jackson & Bush

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

I LOVE when sisters Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush team up to write a book!
Aurora ‘Rory’ Abernathy & Liam Bastian seemed to be star crossed lovers. Married quietly after a mere month together, Liam’s mother, initially outraged at her son’s choice, now insists on a ‘real’ wedding, fitting of the family’s stature as a premier Portland, Oregon family. As Rory anxiously awaits her step-brother for her walk down the aisle, she’s accosted by a stranger who threatens her and her unborn baby – a baby she’s not yet told anyone about. After getting the upper hand on her would-be murderer, she flees the wedding venue in a panic. Shortly thereafter, gunshots ring out, with multiple people from the wedding injured, including the groom.

Five years later, Rory, living under an assumed name, has raised her child alone, and provides for her best as she can, working as a barista in a coffeehouse. But, lately, she’s had the strange sensation that she’s being followed. Then, while manning the drive-thru, she hears Liam’s voice through the speaker, and sees his image in the camera – and flees for safety with her daughter.

But Liam is not to be denied, and eventually he finds Rory. But as the past comes alive to haunt them as strange things start to happen – vandalism to Bastian construction projects, murder of a former suspect and the murder of a woman who looks suspiciously like Rory…

I enjoy anything these two create, and this latest novel is no exception! Full of twists and turns, and loaded with action, all hurtling to a climax you won’t see coming!! Fabulous read!!

Jack Frost – Christopher Greyson

Jack Frost – Christopher Greyson

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

Jack Stratton is a former police officer, turned private investigator, who takes a case for an insurance agency after an untimely death on the set of a reality survivor show. While the death was termed accidental, the crew of the show have been receiving death threats, and Jack is to go in undercover to evaluate the situation.

The television show is presently filming atop a snow-capped mountain, with a gondola as the only transportation to the top. Alice, Jack’s fiancée and investigative partner, will stay behind, albeit unwillingly, and research records, crew background checks and raw footage from the shows filming.

As Jack transports to the mountain top, he sees a sign – the Iroquois’ sign for death, carved into the mountainside. One atop, he becomes the crews newest ‘gofer’, as his undercover role. As he begins to meet and assess the crew and contestants, malicious things begin to happen. A contestant is disqualified, and after a show of temper, goes missing.

Numerous incidents begin to occur, hampering and narrowly missing injuring cast and crew. As tension mounts, Jack desperately searches for a killer, Alice makes her own discoveries to identify a killer, and a monstrous snowstorm changes course and heads in their direction…

I’ve been an avid reader for years and I cannot believe that I’ve never discovered Christopher Greyson and his Jack Stratton series! I read this all in one sitting and stayed up late into the night to finish it! Non-stop action, adventure, intrigue and of course mystery! This book has it all! Fabulous read!!

My next goal now is to read the rest of the Jack Stratton series! Mr. Greyson, you have a new fan!!