A Good Day for Chardonnay – Darinda Jones

Much to my surprise and delight, St. Martin’s Press granted me a sneak peek at the next novel in the Sunshine Vicram series! (At least I hope and pray it’s planned to be a series!) 

Sunshine Vicram is the Sheriff for the small, sleepy town of Del Sol, New Mexico, where a typical day involves a complaint about ‘Doug the Flasher’ and perhaps a wayward rooster, but today is very different. As Sunshine suffers through a blind date arranged by her parents and plots their demise, she receives a call from her Deputy regarding an unwanted visitor. Calling in all the troops, she flees her date in search of a marauding raccoon. 

Meanwhile, over at the Roadhouse Bar and Grill, there’s been a stabbing, leaving one man critically injured, and Levi Ravinder, Sunshine’s longtime crush, also injured after being struck by a fleeing pick up truck. The Ravinder family is well known in the area for their criminal exploits and were also believed to be involved in Sunshine’s kidnapping many years ago – an ordeal she has very little memory of.  While Levi seems to be law abiding and has turned the Ravinders’ moonshine business into a legitimate, profitable business, Sunshine still fears the unknown – and the possibility that Levi may have been involved in her captivity, which left her pregnant. 

As Sunshine and her crew begin their investigation, Sun’s teenaged daughter Aurora is conducting her own investigation. Over the last several decades, people who have stayed at the local boarding house in Del Sol have mysteriously gone missing – those disappearances were never solved. Auri suspects that the elderly Mrs. Fairborn, who confesses to every crime in town in elaborate detail, just might be the killer.

As events heat up and a child goes missing, Del Sol is anything but sleepy, as Sun, her team, and a deputized Levi race to find the answers to the goings-on around town – in doing so, Sunshine finally finds some answers of her own…

Oh my goodness, I loved this book even more than they last one! With plenty of suspense and mayhem, yet laugh-out-load funny, this book will keep you flipping pages right to the end, and then desperately wanting more! Bring out a bottle of Chardonnay as you enjoy this incredible, 5-star read!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Gallery Books in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit Netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

The Witness ~ John Ryder

Savannah Nicoll is a young woman who has just entered the Federal Witness Protection Program after her testimony implicated a member of a well-connected family in her hometown of Houston.  Despite threats against her safety, she felt the need to do the right thing, and in doing so, has lost the only life she’s ever had. Now, as she is trying to settle into the small town of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, all she can see are the potential threats in the people she sees around her. 

While attending a fundraiser in the city, Savannah’s mother is startled when someone approaches from behind, only to whisper that her daughter will be dead by Monday. Fearful for Savannah’s safety, yet not knowing her whereabouts or how to reach her, she turns to a free-lance investigator for help. 

Kyle Roche accepts the terms offered by Savannah’s mother, and immediately sets out to find out Savannah’s location. With the assistance of a close friend and expert hacker (I was picturing Penelope from Criminal Minds for this character), he ascertains her whereabouts, and sets out to intercept her before the potential assassins do. He makes contact and gains her trust in the nick of time, and both narrowly escape Savannah’s home with their lives. Now on the run, Kyle is determined to discover who leaked her location to the killers. He also begins to realize that there is something off about Savannah and that she may have her own agenda…

This book takes off like a rocket, reminiscent of the movie ‘Speed’ and had me flipping pages well into the night just to get to the ‘whys’ of how each character behaved as the story evolved. The ending is satisfying, the action plentiful, and well it’s more than a bit far-fetched, it made for an engaging read! I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Bookouture in exchange for an objective review.

The Therapist – B.A Paris

Alice and her long-distance boyfriend Leo decide to take the plunge and move in together, and Leo has found the perfect house. A townhouse nestled in a small, gated community, close to all the London goings-on, and at a great price too! Alice will even be able to keep her country cottage that she’s so fond of.  As the duo settle into their new home, Alice impulsively decides to invite her neighbors over for drinks via the local networking site, WhatsApp. While most are friendly and welcoming, she senses that one of the women is very reserved and doesn’t understand why. 

Strange things then begin happening. Leo is awakened from sleep one night, convinced that someone was standing by the bed, looking at him. They search the home, but there’s no sign of an intruder. Alice learns accidently that one of the visitors to her home was not the neighbor he claimed to be. She is further astounded when he returns to the neighborhood days later and tells her who he is and why the interest – and what it was that happened in that very house a couple of years ago.

Horrified that Leo has kept information from her, she distances herself from the relationship, all the while becoming obsessed with the woman who lived in the house before them – a woman who happens to share her sister’s name. Who was she?  What happened to her? And what aren’t her new neighbors telling her? As Alice attempts to delve into the past, her neighbors seem very uneasy and want her to leave the past where it belongs – which makes Alice even more determined to set things right. 

But nothing is at is seems, and in trying to put the past to rest, Alice may just have re-awakened a monster…

All I can say is, wow!! I was caught right up in this novel from the first few pages, and I was just as captivated – and taken in – by the characters as Alice was. I was completely stunned by the end, and am still sitting here, saying, “Wait…what?”. I actually had to go back and read a few sections to see what I might have missed – or how I could re-interpret some passages.  An enthralling read!! My first read from B.A. Paris, but most definitely not my last! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit Netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

Nowhere To Hide – TJ Brearton

FBI Agent Shannon Ames is heading home to upstate NY from NYC to see her family, when she’s forced to make an unscheduled stop due to a raging winter storm. Finding a car on the side of the road, she finds a dead body beside it, with a bullet hole readily visible. Heading further into town hoping to call for help she stops at a gas/convenience store only to find another body and a frightened clerk, Nick, huddled in the back room of the store. 

Chloe Bixby, Nick’s girlfriend, is babysitting for a neighbors three young children when a strange vehicle drives into the yard. Unsure of who it might be, she opens the door, only for a man to force his way inside. Trying her best to protect the three children in her charge, she attempts to placate the man, who seems to be waiting…for what? 

As Shannon attempts to call in local and state police for assistance, she learns that all roads leading into and out of Long Lake are blocked, due to inclement weather and accidents, and that she’s on her own. A quick look at the video tapes in the store let Shannon know she’s looking for two men – but why did they shoot the lone shopper in the store? And where are they now? 

As Shannon works to put the pieces together, a killer is working on staying one step ahead…but she’s right on his heels and there’s nowhere to go…

This was another new discovery for me thanks to Netgalley and I was hooked from the very first page, reading it in it’s entirely today. Shannon Ames is an intelligent, likeable, no-nonsense law enforcement officer, who finds herself mired deep in secrets of a small town, but who also gives you glimpses into who she is as well. While this was my first introduction to this series, it will not be my last – I can’t wait to read more of this new (for me) series! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Inkubator Books in exchange for an objective review.