Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Monday, mystery, Review, romance, suspense on April 18, 2016

Uneven Exchange

Synopsis

Like fire and ice, Alexandra Callet’s life runs hot and cold. At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home and a successful interior design company. But she is in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a woman. She should be on top of the world, but instead she feels dragged down by the void in her heart. Hoping for answers, she decides a trip to Mexico might soothe her soul.

Jake Taylor only pretends to be a confirmed bachelor. Jake has been entranced by Alexandra’s determination and exotic beauty since the moment they met, but she has no idea how he feels. He considers confessing his love, but fears jeopardizing their friendship and business. He’s caught in a web of pretending he doesn’t care, and doesn’t see a way out of it. Alexandra is recruited for a dangerous mission. Following her trip to Mexico, her resemblance to a member of an assassin’s family leads Alexandra to be recruited by the DEA. Her training leaves her distracted, and her business begins to suffer. Jake notices her sudden change, and feels her slipping both personally and professionally beyond his reach.

Should he finally take the chance…before it’s too late? After all, he has nothing to lose. However, when Alexandra returns to Mexico for her mission, things go terribly wrong. Will she be able find the strength to fight and escape the peaceful haven that has now become her prison?

Or will Jake lose Alexandra forever…

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Review

This is the first book by this author I have read and it was quite enjoyable. When I first started reading it i wasn’t sure because it seemed odd that Alexandra (or anyone) would just jump in and say Yes to helping the DEA capture someone. Or if they were going to use a civilian you would think that it would take more convincing since this was not going to be a “safe” case since she would be impersonating the sister of the person they wanted to capture and bring back to the US for trial.

Part of me thinks that Alex jumped into this because of her love for her business partner and the impression that he was a ladies man and not interested in her when that was the furthest from the truth.

I felt like the story really took off in the last half of the book when Alex was impersonating Daniela and how that situation went down and was then resolved. I did like that she had no problems relying on her faith to help her through the tough spots and to give her courage in this adventure.

This was a captivating Christian Suspense book and worth reading.  We give it 4 paws up

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About the Author

S.K. DerbanBorn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban’s mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Historical, Monday, mystery, Review on April 11, 2016

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Delivering the Truth (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
New Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages

Synopsis

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps confidences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed carriage industry is threatened by the work of an arsonist, and a carriage factory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solving the mystery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mistress is also murdered, leaving her one-week-old baby without a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While struggling with being less than the perfect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver to bring two murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

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Review

This was definitely a different type of historical cozy for me as the main character is a Quaker and it took a little time to get in groove of the “thee and thy’s”. However, I enjoyed reading a book where the protagonist is a midwife and of the Quaker faith, it was interesting to learn a bit about this faith.

Now when it comes to the murders….I had no idea. I had some suspicions but those suspicions jumped from character to character as the story progressed. I don’t think I ever suspected the correct person!

Rose does have a suitor for her affections and I will be very interested to see how this plays out in future books since he is not a Quaker but has no problems with her faith. His mother may be another story!

We give the book 4 paws up and await the next installment!

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About the Author

edith maxwellAgatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife series, the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Review on March 21, 2016

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The Semester of our Discontent

The Semester of Our Discontent
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 5, 2016)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110098
E-Book ASIN: B01A7BH83S

Synopsis

English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.

More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.

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Review

An interesting twist on murder in academia.

Lila is a new professor to a very cliquish university.  The professors that have tenure make it hard on those that don’t and heaven forbid if you don’t do what they want done or study what they believe in or write on what they consider proper topics!

There are several mysteries going on but the main one is who killed the professors?  The answer is quite surprising and the character that is the murderer surprised me because it was not a main character…but then it probably shouldn’t be otherwise if you kill off or use main characters as the murderer then you don’t have a core group left!  Anyway, just a little rambling from me there.

I did like how several of the professors banded together to try and solve the mystery and managed to not get themselves into too much trouble!

We give this 4 paws up and think it could become an interesting series.

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About the Author

cynthia kuhnCynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs with Mysteristas. Visit her at cynthiakuhn.net or @cynthiakuhn.

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on March 8, 2016

Pimpernel

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title.

At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but “trying” is the operative word. It’s been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV.

If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire’s it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop.

So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?

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Review

I thought this was a fascinating book with several twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and were a bit of a surprise. I’m not going to say too much because it will give away part of it but not to worry, what I am hinting at happens fairly quickly into the book.

When introduced to Claire, I immediately thought of the show “Lie to Me” because she was very in tune with micro-expressions people make. She also reminded me of “Rainman” because of her OCD tendencies and because she could remember long streams of numbers when not on her meds.

I also liked how a small group of people took down the “bad guys” (with the help of some others…but don’t want to give away that info either!).

I really enjoyed getting to know Jack, Ren, Margo and Claire. Hopefully there will be more books featuring these characters.

We give this 4 paws up!
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SheralynAbout the Author

Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who’s been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn’t far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There’s a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another’s shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She’s a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn’t have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King’s stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on March 7, 2016

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Plateful of Murder: A Terrified Detective Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Ink Lion Books (January 8, 2016)
Print Length: 278 pages
ASIN: B01ADH8JTS

Synopsis

Private Detective Claire DeNardo is afraid of everything. Simple things like balloons, roller coasters, and hairpieces make her knees knock loud enough to be a band’s rhythm section. Unfortunately, the only job Claire can find is working for her Uncle Gino in his seedy detective agency. Until now, her cases have all been middle-aged men with trophy wives who needed watching. But Claire gets swept up in a murder case despite being afraid of conflict, bodily harm, and hurting anyone’s feelings. She enlists a jaded security guard, Ed, to help her. But when Ed is attacked and left comatose, Claire must stumble along by herself. Both the client who hired her and the handsome police detective want her off the case. When the wrong person is charged, it’s up to the terrified detective, to summon all the courage she can to find the true killer.

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Review

This sort of falls into the cozy genre…although the main character is a PI…however, not a great one since she took over the business from her boss and Uncle. She is broke and doesn’t come across as being extremely competent, so it makes her a bit desperate.

There are quite a few characters so there is no shortage of possibilities of who the killer might be. In fact, I was quite surprised when he/she was revealed, but maybe shouldn’t have been given a few things that happen in the plot line.

While Claire may not be the most competent PI, she has gumption and wants to see the case through. she also has a couple of suitors, her most recent client and the police detective. Which one will she choose?

I’m going to have to pick up the next books and see where the story goes for Claire.

We give this 4 paws up!

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About the Author

carole fowkesCarole Fowkes is the author of the cozy mystery series, “The Terrified Detective.” She has also had stories in a number of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and other similar anthologies. She’s a registered nurse and lives with her husband in Dallas, Texas.

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Posted in 4 paws, mystery, Review on March 5, 2016

what the fly saw

Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9781250048301
Hardback, 336 pages
Release Date: March 3, 2015

Synopsis

Albany, New York, January 2020

The morning after a blizzard that shut down the city, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. The minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, or the folksy Southern medium who irritates both men—one of these people may know why Novak was murdered.  Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, sort through lies and evasions to find the person who killed their “Cock Robin,” But McCabe is distracted by a political controversy involving her family, unanswered  questions from another high-profile case, and her own guilt when a young woman dies after McCabe fails to act.

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Review

This is a follow up to The Red Queen Dies and I will let you know that I think you should read that book first because part of the book carries over into this one. Not a lot and you probably wouldn’t miss out on too much by not reading TRQD first, but at least you would understand the background in some places.

I learned a few things in this book that I don’t recall from the first book – nothing earth shattering, but I don’t remember reading that Hannah was African American. It doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, but I usually like to picture the characters in my head and don’t think I did that with Hannah.

I like how the crime to be solved isn’t easy to figure out. With this installment I did not guess who the killer was like I did in the first book. I was actually a bit surprised at who it was and what led the police to solving this crime!

I did notice that there were many famous people that are dead but in her book were still alive. In fact MLK Jr was still alive until around 2010 and the MLK Jr holiday didn’t start until about that time – or at least that is my understanding.  As the author says in her Acknowledgements, her world is like a parallel universe to ours.  Plus she also explains what ORB stands for which is Our Reach Beyond and for the orb weaver spider.  Also those that post on the web are not bloggers, but threaders.

I am really liking this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. We give this 4 paws up too.

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About the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. She is the author of the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction (Greenwood, 1991). She is the co-editor (with Donna C. Hale) of Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice (Wadsworth, 1998). She is the co-author (with Alice P. Green) of “Law Never Here”: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice (Praeger, 1999). With Steven Chermak and Michelle Brown, she co-edited Media Representations of September 11 (Praeger, 2003). She and Donna C. Hale are the co-authors of Blood on Her Hands: The Social Construction of Women, Sexuality, and Murder (Wadsworth, 2004). She and Steven Chermak are the series editors of the five-volume set, Famous American Crimes and Trials (Praeger, 2004). They also co-edited the two-volume set Crimes of the Century (2007).

Frankie’s most recent non-fiction books are African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study (McFarland, 2008), nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards, winner of a Macavity award. She is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award (2010). With Alice P. Green, she is the author of Wicked Albany: Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era (The History Press, 2009) and Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City (The History Press, 2011).

Frankie’s mystery series features Southern criminal justice professor/crime historian Lizzie Stuart includes Death=s Favorite Child (Silver Dagger, 2000), A Dead Man=s Honor (Silver Dagger, 2001), Old Murders (Silver Dagger, 2003), You Should Have Died on Monday (Silver Dagger, 2007), and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave (2011). A short story, “Since You Went Away” appears in the mystery anthology, Shades of Black (2004), edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland. The Red Queen Dies (Minotaur Books/Thomas Dunne), the first book in Frankie’s near future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, featuring police detective Hannah McCabe, will be released in September 2013.

Frankie is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). She served as the 2009-2010 Executive Vice President of MWA and as the 2011-2012 President of Sisters in Crime (SinC).

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Posted in 4 paws, mystery, Review on March 4, 2016

red queen

Synopsis

Frankie Bailey introduces readers to a fabulous new protagonist and an Alice in Wonderland-infused crime in this stunning mystery, which kicks off an exciting new series set in the near future.

The year is 2019, and a drug used to treat soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder, nicknamed “Lullaby,” has hit the streets. Swallowing a little pill erases traumatic memories, but what happens to a criminal trial when the star witness takes a pill and can’t remember the crime? When two women are murdered in quick succession, biracial police detective Hannah McCabe is charged with solving the case. In spite of the advanced technology, including a city-wide surveillance program, a third woman is soon killed, and the police begin to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose. But the third victim, a Broadway actress known as “The Red Queen,” doesn’t fit the pattern set by the first two murders.

With the late September heat sizzling, Detective Hannah McCabe and her colleagues on the police force have to race to find the killer in a tangled web of clues that involve Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Fast-paced and original, this is a one-of-a-kind mystery from an extremely talented crime writer.

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Review

This is a slightly futuristic mystery (2019) and in a small way reminds of the JD Robb books – mostly in the technology aspect. Everyone has something called an ORB and while it is never described, it is like a souped up smart phone that does video calls and much more.

I thought this book was a great introduction to Detective Hannah McCabe and her life as a detective and some baggage she carries from her past that is tied to her brother. The family dynamic is interesting to say the least with her dad and brother. I think there is a love interest that is hinted at, but we don’t know much about this person other than they have a secret relationship. We do not even know their name.

The murders were interesting and what they had to go through to tie together 3 murders that did not seem to be related at all, but were. I will say that I sort of suspected someone by something that was said but I wasn’t 100% sure what the tie-in was so it was a nice surprise to have guessed the killer but not know exactly why.

I don’t read many police procedural type books, but I really enjoyed this one. We give this 4 paws up.

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About the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY).  Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture. She is the author of the Edgar-nominated Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters in Crime and Detective Fiction (Greenwood, 1991).  She is the co-editor (with Donna C. Hale) of Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice (Wadsworth, 1998).  She is the co-author (with Alice P. Green) of “Law Never Here”: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice (Praeger, 1999).  With Steven Chermak and Michelle Brown, she co-edited Media Representations of September 11 (Praeger, 2003).  She and Donna C. Hale are the co-authors of Blood on Her Hands: The Social Construction of Women, Sexuality, and Murder (Wadsworth, 2004).  She and Steven Chermak are the series editors of the five-volume set, Famous American Crimes and Trials (Praeger, 2004). They also co-edited the two-volume set Crimes of the Century (2007).

Frankie’s most recent non-fiction books are African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study (McFarland, 2008), nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards, winner of a Macavity award. She is the recipient of the George N. Dove Award (2010). With Alice P. Green, she is the author of Wicked Albany:  Lawlessness & Liquor in the Prohibition Era (The History Press, 2009) and Wicked Danville: Liquor and Lawlessness in a Southside Virginia City (The History Press, 2011).

Frankie’s mystery series features Southern criminal justice professor/crime historian Lizzie Stuart includes Death=s Favorite Child (Silver Dagger, 2000), A Dead Man=s Honor (Silver Dagger, 2001), Old Murders (Silver Dagger, 2003), You Should Have Died on Monday (Silver Dagger, 2007), and Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave (2011). A short story, “Since You Went Away” appears in the mystery anthology, Shades of Black (2004), edited by Eleanor Taylor Bland.  The Red Queen Dies (Minotaur Books/Thomas Dunne), the first book in Frankie’s near future police procedural series set in Albany, New York, featuring police detective Hannah McCabe, will be released in September 2013.

Frankie is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Mystery Writers of America (MWA).  She served as the 2009-2010 Executive Vice President of MWA and as the 2011-2012 President of Sisters in Crime (SinC).

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Monday, mystery, Review on February 29, 2016

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CITY OF GOLD

City of Gold (Matthew Connor Adventure Series Book 1)
Hardcover: 314 pages
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc (November 27, 2015)

Synopsis

Action-adventure books for the mystery lover. In this series, modern-day archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor travels the globe with his two closest friends to unearth treasure and discover legends the world has all but forgotten. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century.

Finding the Inca’s lost City of Gold would be the discovery of a lifetime. But failing could mean her death…

Archaeologist Matthew Connor and his friends Cal and Robyn are finally home after a dangerous retrieval expedition in India. While they succeeded in obtaining the priceless Pandu artifact they sought, it almost cost them their lives. Still, Matthew is ready for the next adventure. Yet when new intel surfaces indicating the possible location of the legendary City of Gold, Matthew is hesitant to embark on the quest.

Not only is the evidence questionable but it means looking for the lost city of Paititi far away from where other explorers have concentrated their efforts. As appealing as making the discovery would be, it’s just too risky. But when Cal’s girlfriend, Sophie, is abducted by Matthew’s old nemesis who is dead-set on acquiring the Pandu statue, Matthew may be forced into action. Saving Sophie’s life means either breaking into the Royal Ontario Museum to steal the relic or offering up something no one in his or her right mind can refuse–the City of Gold.

Now Matthew and his two closest friends have to find a city and a treasure that have been lost for centuries. And they only have seven days to do it. As they race against the clock, they quickly discover that the streets they seek aren’t actually paved with gold, but with blood.

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Review

This book took a bit for me to get into the story…but once it took off I was hooked! It was hard because I wanted to keep reading but my eyes were telling me it was time to go to sleep.

The book has many twists and turns and I think this could be an interesting series with Matthew, Robyn and Cal searching for lost treasures.

There is also some “romance” in the book but not much…but it does leave you wondering if more will show up in future books.

I enjoyed the hunt aspect of the book and finding the City of Gold and what they went through to find the book.

We give this 4 paws up and think it will be an interesting new series to watch.

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Excerpt

This is from chapter 4

IAN BRIDGES USUALLY TOOK PLEASURE in knowing what most others did not. In this case, he knew that the famous treasure hunter, Gideon Barnes, was none other than the mayor’s son. And it wasn’t welcome news. An interested third-party had hired Ian to get the Pandu statue back at any cost, but with it now secured behind bulletproof glass and the high-profile identity of its discoverer, the situation had escalated, leaving him with limited options for the object’s retrieval. Sadly, murder, although it was his gifted skillset, wasn’t a service required by this employer. And bribery presented too much risk and was certain to attract undesired media attention.

The crowd at the exhibit had thinned, leaving behind those who didn’t rank high enough in society to secure an invitation to the Connor mansion. Ian made his way toward the statue, his confidence building with each step. Yes, the situation certainly posed a challenge, but he had faith in his abilities. He wasn’t familiar with failing, and he wasn’t about to learn the lesson now.

The statue was enclosed in a glass cube atop a four-foot-tall pedestal. A red rope with brass hardware surrounded it, encouraging people to stand a couple feet out of its reach. The area was obviously off-limits. But he still considered stretching out to touch the glass. He’d love to smear his fingerprints all over it simply because its contents were so highly esteemed. It was treated more regally than some people were, and yet when he looked at it, he saw nothing more than an ugly man in a dress. Clearly burying an item in the sand for thousands of years transformed even worthless idols into sought-after treasures. What his employer saw in it or why it was sought after in the first place wasn’t information Ian required to do his job. Whether it was to provide bragging rights to its owner or to sell it or something else, he didn’t care.

“It’s beautiful,” a woman said. He turned in the direction of the sound and a woman in a black evening dress sidled up next to him. Her hair was a rich red and fell over her shoulders in flowing curls. Her fingers were long and adorned with rings, her wrists were slender and wrapped in silver bracelets. She also wore a silver cuff on her upper arm. Now this woman had a brand of beauty he could appreciate.

She seemed to assess him as he did her. “Where are my manners?” She positioned her purse under an arm and extended her hand. “My name is Veronica Vincent.”

“Ian.” He took her hand and was certain to make eye contact as he shook it. While some women might find the move too familiar and bold, this was the territory upon which he loved to tread. Eyes truly were the windows to the soul.

“Just Ian? Or do you have a last name, too?” Her seductive smile curved one side of her mouth slightly higher than the other. With it, her eyes narrowed marginally. Oh yes. This woman welcomed the attention and reciprocated his attraction.

“My friends just call me Ian.” He had to keep some anonymity. His line of work didn’t afford him the luxury of screwing up because he wanted to get laid.

“All right. Mysterious. I like it.” She slipped her arm through his.

They stood like that for a while, him watching her, her watching the statue.

“You think that thing is beautiful?” He’d come to learn that women found a controversial subject more entertaining than one that had him acting the yes-man.

“Absolutely.” She pried her eyes from the robed sculpture, letting them drift to meet his. “I take it you do not?” There was a small hitch in her eyebrows, and he knew he was in.

He shook his head. “Not in the least. They do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but I am starting to wonder if we’re looking at the same thing.”

She pouted. He was scoring gold here.

About the Author

Carolyn ArnoldCAROLYN ARNOLD is the international best-selling and award-winning author of the Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher, and McKinley Mystery series. She is the only author with POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.™

Carolyn was born in a small town, but that doesn’t keep her from dreaming big. And on par with her large dreams is her overactive imagination that conjures up killers and cases to solve. She currently lives in a city near Toronto with her husband and two beagles, Max and Chelsea. She is also a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on February 25, 2016

 

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Hidden Threat (Hidden Threat #1) by Sherri Hayes

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 28, 2016

Synopsis

Cali Stanton has one goal in life, being a doctor. She has spent the last two years helping the less fortunate in Africa. It’s a job she loves and intends to do for the foreseeable future. That is until she receives a call from her father saying he’s been injured and needs her back in Chicago. Less than a week later she finds herself behind her father’s desk at Stanton Enterprises, running the family business…something she never wanted to do. But how could she say no to her father when he insists that she is the only one he can trust?

Matthew Andersen and his brother, Jason, have spent the last two years managing security at Stanton Enterprises. However, someone is determined to take down the company and with it its acting CEO, Cali Stanton.

Cali and Matthew must work together to find out who is behind the threats to not only the company but to Cali herself while they fight their growing attraction for each other. Can they figure out the hidden threat before it’s too late?

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Excerpt

“Thank you for coming with me. I don’t know if I would have been able to do what you did.” Matthew smirked, trying to lighten the mood. “At least, not with the same results.”

Cali blushed and Matthew almost lost it. He wanted to touch her, to crush her body against his and kiss her within an inch of her life.

Instead, he backed toward the elevators. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She grinned and began walking to her car.

He hesitated, then shook his head and continued toward the elevator.

As he waited for the elevator to reach him, he heard an engine rev. A small smile pulled at his lips as he thought of Cali heading home.

The elevator dinged right as a squeal of tires caught his attention. He whirled around in time to see a dark blue sedan he didn’t recognize speed up the exit ramp.

His heart pounded in his chest as he took off at a full-out run.

Cali.

Read Chapter 1

Review

I don’t think I read this book before it was rewritten and content added…so have nothing to compare it to which isn’t a bad thing.

This is romantic suspense and there is definitely both of those elements in the book. I’m on the fence about how fast the romance part seemed to happen – seems like it is always so fast and so early in books. Now that isn’t to say that Cali and Matthew were in bed early on, but there was an attraction between the two from the moment they met. I think the tension between the two built for a bit before they succumbed to the passion they felt for each other.

As for the suspense portion…..who was stealing the shipments? This had to be an inside job…not to give too much away, but there are several people involved. I figured out one pretty easily….well suspected really. I was a bit surprised by some of the others involved.

All in all an enjoyable book with a few twists and turns (all good) and I really felt like the characters had some depth to them. We give it 4 paws up.

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About the Author

sherri hayesSherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn’t good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.

Nearly eight years later, Sherri is the author of eight full-length novels, and two short stories. Writing has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create.

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, romance on February 24, 2016

HopelessVows

Title: Hopeless Vows
Author: Rachael Duncan
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release date: February 22, 2016
Photographer:  Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Designer: Cover Me Darling

Synopsis

It was a modern take on an arranged marriage that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after. The rules were simple:

1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by professionals.
2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks while cameras record your every move.
3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce.

Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.

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Excerpt

The longer this experiment goes on, the more I fall for him, and the more the deceit eats at me. When I lie awake some nights, it crawls up my body, tickling my skin, reminding me that underneath, I’m a horrible human being.

Deceitful.

Cowardly.

Manipulative.

Selfish.

All negative adjectives, and all describe me.

He’ll never find out, taunts an inner voice. What’s worse is that it also tells me it’s okay to keep this from him. That the two of us can live out this fantasy unscathed and content. As delusional as my inner voice is, I find myself clinging to it like a leech, feasting on the lie.

hopeless vows teaser 2

Review

What an enjoyable book! With all the reality TV shows out there, this is not far from being a possibility – marrying someone you have never met until you meet at the altar. With The Bachelor, it isn’t too far off from becoming a possibility (or reality if you will!). I have read in the recent past a book that had a similar story line, but a little different. I did like that this book used professionals to pair people up. I don’t know if the author is going to do other books that tie to this reality TV show since it mentioned 4 couples altogether that were selected for the show.

The character Jillian has had a hard life, but you don’t find out really all the details until nearly the end..but it is the perfect time to reveal to bring tension to the story before resolution. (can’t say too much, don’t want to spoil it!)

There were a few too many F* bombs for my taste, there are other words that could have been used in their place. There are a few somewhat explicit scenes, but nothing bad..most of it is sexual tension between Jillian and Austin.

All in all a good book…and it must have been because I finished it in one night!  We give it 4 paws up

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About the Author

Rachel DuncanRachael Duncan is an Army wife to her amazing husband, Steven, and mother to their beautiful daughters, Natalie and Zoe. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and went off to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in political science. With initial plans to work in politics, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill for a House Representative. After a short time, she realized it wasn’t for her and began pursuing other careers until she started writing.

She’s author of Tackled by Love and The Lies and Truth Duet.

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Giveaway

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