Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: A Sleepy Hollow Kiss

A Sleepy Hollow Kiss A Sleepy Hollow Kiss by Vivien Mayfair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lane is damaged from childhood trauma and is now raising her younger brother. The childhood trauma, along with trying to be a parent, affects her personality. I get that and was able to connect with her. Sarcasm, which can be sharp, is one of the ways she protects herself. It was interesting to watch her tackle her issues.
Miles is a single dad raising a daughter. He feels he needs a mother for his daughter, no matter the personal cost.
Lane and Miles are strangers thrown together to work on the same project. Sparks fly, not always in a good way. The debate between gothic and horror plays a part here and I loved it.
There are a number of characters. Some I liked right away while others I needed to warm up to. The plot peaked my interest. The book has quite a bit packed into it. More than I thought. I thought it was going to be short and sweet. I got an entrancing mix of humor, at times on the darker side, drama, romance, family love, a few frights and a lot of Halloween. I loved it.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Review: Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster

Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster by Alathia Paris Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this take on the Titanic sinking. The author took them time to let know and care about the characters. This moved the zombie part a bit slow. Once that got going, it snowballed much in the way one expects it would. I enjoyed getting to know the characters so this worked for me.
*I received a copy of this book through BookSprout. I voluntarily read it and gave a review.*

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Review: Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy the Chantilly Adair books. I love the way thing are progressing. Chantilly and her friends become more dear to me with every book. Her friend, Thelma, has captured my heart so much so that I’m worried about losing her. She is an older character whose husband has passed on. One part of me wants them happy joined together again. The other part of me wants to keep her alive. In this book someone in Chantilly’s circle needs help. Because of my growing feelings for her friends this book felt a bit personal. I’m not going farther in. This is a quick book to read so spoilers are easy to accidentally write. You can read this story by itself. I would recommend reading them in order for maximum enjoyment.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle

Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle by Lily Webb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first book in this boxset, Broomsticks & Burials was my introduction to Lily Webb. I really like Zoe and Luna. Zoe is smart but currently unemployed and staying with her grandma. A job, though, isn’t the only thing Zoe has lost. She has lost her magic. She’s talking to her grandma when she receives the call that changes things. The next day she is off for Moon Grove and a new job! Pretty normal, right? Except Moon Grove is anything but normal. For starters, Luna, her gorgeous cat, can talk. Claude, the bus driver, appears to be a vampire. Her new boss is a werewolf. And how did she come to be petting a man’s bare stomach?
This book was incredibly fun to read! The snark had me rolling! Seriously, do not read this book at night laying next to someone trying to sleep. Particularly if they tend to be grouchy when woken by howling laughter. The characters are some of the most interesting I have met, the mystery was well done and I adored the surprises. I couldn’t wait to read book two, Spellbooks & Stakings. Would it be just as good? Luckily this is a boxset so I didn’t have to wait to find out. In this book Zoe goes to magic school! Very cool, right? I want to go, though I might not want to go through the mean girls thing again, with mean witches this time! We meet more interesting characters, there are plenty of surprises, a mystery to solve and the snark goes on. The answer to my question, would this book as good as the first is a resounding yes! Alchemy & Arson is the title of book three. I’m going to be vague again because I want to start talking up a storm. Spoiler free reviews mean a lot to me though. If I tell you everything there is no reason to read the books. This book finds Zoe getting turned down for having her grandma visit. Her friend, and one of the two council members to vote yes to the visit, Circe has spoken to her about running for Head Witch. Will she or won’t she? There is a Blood Moon rising and grandma is on the way, not knowing the council said no.
I love this series! The boxset is definitely what you want to get if your in the mood for cozy mysteries with a paranormal smorgasbord at a snark fest. Once you start this series, you won’t want to stop. Make sure you either have plenty of free time to read or you are super good at being sick when you find you need to call work for a reading day off or two.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: Death on the Range

Death on the Range Death on the Range by Nikki Haverstock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun book to listen to. I enjoyed the characters but I love snark and drama when I’m not living it. I thought the story was hilarious. I like Di and Mary but honestly, Moo steals the show. I never thought about a series location being at a range. What could go wrong at a range? An archery range at that? Murder. Murder could go wrong. The story is a fast listen and does a good job introducing the series.
The author did the narration on this. I’m not a big lover of authors narrating their books. However Nikki Haverstock did a good job. I think, because of the number of characters and the snarky drama, having a couple narrators would have been more enjoyable. But the author didn’t stumble,mumble, or bore me as others have. She was easy to listen to.
I recommend the audio version as well as the book. I had an enjoyable morning listening to it.

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Name Fresh Start

I have been away from posting here the way I want to. Neglecting this baby because life happens. I post my reviews from Goodreads. I’m looking to start again and have changed the blog name. It will still be primarily about books with other things tossed in. It is still Alaskan Book Cafe. I still live in Alaska. I still drink coffee. I still read...excessively. I changed the name as I’m trying to coordinate everything. Social media is a jungle. Please stay with me or join me during construction. I’ll still be posting about what I’m reading, thinking of reading, books I’m excited about, Alaska photos & life, coffee, movies, tv series, products I like, yarda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture.

I’m participating in Hooked on Books week long readathon that starts today. Some of my book selections are:



  
      Aunt Dimity.                          No Exit                    Witch Hunt
        
I am also participating in Castle Macabre’s Something Wicked Fall. The read-a-long is Dr Sleep! 


If you haven’t participated in an event on Castle Macabre or Seasons of Reading you should check them out. Michelle does a lot of fun things there. I’m excited for FightFall in October and Christmas Spirit in November. 

What are you reading? Any events you are participating in or hosting? Thanks for stopping by! 






Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
Review of an ARC of Battle of the Hexes by Morgana Best. I recently fell in love with a series, (His Ghoul Friday), by this author and now want to read everything she writes. I loved Battle of the Hexes. This story is set in Australia and our sleuth is Adeline Bloomwood. She lives in a town with other magical beings, unknown to the mundane residents. She has a familiar, who I adore, named Pudding. One thing I love is that the author includes an explanation of the different spellings and a list of Australian slang and terms, (some of these are so fun, I’m going to use them). I’m never lost when I read her books. The stories have to be short but don’t let that stop you. I had a fun time reading this mystery. The time flew by as I read. I want to tell you all about it. I’m dying to. But you won’t have any reason to read it if I do. I’m so hoping this isn’t the last we hear of Adeline, Pudding and some other interesting characters I’ll let you discover.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Review: Lavender & Mistletoe

Lavender & Mistletoe Lavender & Mistletoe by Donna Kauffman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I really liked Avery. I understood here. I’m not as brilliant as she is but I did identify with her in many ways. I loved her curiosity. I’m totally like that. It was exciting for me to read about a character whose mind moves along seeing everything. She isn’t so good romantically. I understand that too. It was amazing for me to read her. Ben, her love interest, was just as amazing. I love the way he understood and accepted her. It just made me sigh in bliss!
I definitely want to read more in this series.
* I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I appreciate the opportunity to read this book. The review was written honestly and voluntarily.*

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Review: Frugal Lissa Finds a Body

Frugal Lissa Finds a Body Frugal Lissa Finds a Body by Ritter Ames
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Frugal Lissa Finds A Body and I find a new series to love. Lissa is married and raising two boys alone while her husband is working overseas. She needs to make her money stretch. She blogs her tips and makes a little money from it. I love that Lissa is a real mom, flawed but loving. I love how her boys are in the story. They don’t just get mentioned at the beginning then disappear only to return at the end. She takes care of them. They have a lab who is called Honey. Delightfully, she is a true member of the family. Dad is away but yet still in the story. Her best friend is Abby. Reading this book, to me, was like being a part of Lissa’s life. I really enjoyed that. I loved the feeling I had while reading. I was truly welcomed into Lissa’s life. The finding of the body doesn’t happen on the first page. The book first gets us comfortable with the family and neighborhood. So when the body is found we are just as shocked as the characters. I think that’s a hard thing to accomplish. After all most cozy mysteries involve a body. We are expecting it. Yet we are surprised when it happens. This was when I got the delicious chill that you get when an author has written a scene flawlessly.
I never go into the book farther than this. If I did you would have no need to read it. I had an entertaining time reading this book. If it weren’t for a family emergency, I probably would have read it in one day. There are money saving tips in the story. Recipes are at the end. Now go read the book.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
Review of an ARC of Battle of the Hexes by Morgana Best. I recently fell in love with a series, (His Ghoul Friday), by this author and now want to read everything she writes. I loved Battle of the Hexes. This story is set in Australia and our sleuth is Adeline Bloomwood. She lives in a town with other magical beings, unknown to the mundane residents. She has a familiar, who I adore, named Pudding. One thing I love is that the author includes an explanation of the different spellings and a list of Australian slang and terms, (some of these are so fun, I’m going to use them). I’m never lost when I read her books. The stories have to be short but don’t let that stop you. I had a fun time reading this mystery. The time flew by as I read. I want to tell you all about it. I’m dying to. But you won’t have any reason to read it if I do. I’m so hoping this isn’t the last we hear of Adeline, Pudding and some other interesting characters I’ll let you discover.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review: She's Got Game

She's Got Game She's Got Game by Laura Heffernan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this book on Facebook. I believe it was in the Between the Chapters Book Club and they were having a chat with the author. I’m a gamer as well as a reader so this book was jumping up and down at me. I had high expectations for it and I’m happy to say that it lived up to them. I like the characters. I loved entering the gaming convention atmosphere. The author wrote that so realistically that I felt like I was there. I now am dying to go to one. It was a fun book to read. I appreciated the slower pace on romance with the mention of swipe right dating craze. I thought it was handled very well. I think this book will especially appeal to the gaming crowd.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Review: My Dead World

My Dead World My Dead World by Jacqueline Druga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book and couldn’t get into it so I set it aside. A few days later I tried again and didn’t want to put it down. I’m a mood reader and as one I sometimes need to start a book a few times. It is rarely because of the writing. In this case it definitely was just me. Once I got into the story, I was fascinated. I loved how the virus and what was happening unfolded. I thought it was pretty realistic with reactions. There were a few hard places for me. I had my heart in my throat more than once. I also felt it break more than once. I never heard of this author before coming across the story. Now I need to find more books by her. If you enjoy apocalyptic books you should give this one a try. It is one of the most interesting books I have read lately on a pandemic crisis.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review: Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Praying for Peace: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have fallen hard for this series. So much so that I will stop other books I’m reading and make them wait while I read these. In this book Chantilly is looking into two murders. One old, the other recent. I don’t go beyond saying a bit of information on the mystery because you, the reader, should uncover everything as you read. That is how I enjoy my mysteries. I like Chantilly. She feels real to me. I was a single mom. I like her friends. Most of all I enjoy her discovering her gift of seeing and talking to the dead. The author takes us at a good pace with this. If she had stated everything in the first book, I’m not sure I would have come back. The slow adjustment is what keeps me coming back. I have time between bookstore think about how things are developing. I loved her discovery that someone else has the same kind of gift. Most things that we think are only happening to us are not that unique. I enjoyed this book, the people and the mystery. I hope you read the book and enjoy it, too.

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Review: Pineapple Upside Down Murder

Pineapple Upside Down Murder Pineapple Upside Down Murder by Jodi Rath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across this series when I answered a question in a Facebook group on cooking with a cast iron skillet. I love my cast iron skillet. I make all kinds of things in it. It is older than I am. A cozy mystery that includes cast iron skillet recipe? Yes, please. I bought the book to check it out and thoroughly enjoy myself! I really like the family and friends in this small town. I don’t want to say a lot about the plot so yes a dead body is involved along with another mystery that isn’t a dead body. Are they related or separate? I did not guess the ending at all. The ending is complete but there is something that happened to Jolie that I absolutely must have the next book to see how it goes. So maybe the ending is complete but not. I don’t know. What I do know is I’m definitely getting JalapeƱo Cheddar Cornbread Murder. And this fall I’ll be on the lookout for Turkey Basted to Death, the book not dinner at my parents where my dad always says the turkey was basted to death. You know I have to get that book just for the title alone. My dad is going to crack up! I’m so looking forward to more books in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Review: Arts and Witchcrafts

Arts and Witchcrafts Arts and Witchcrafts by Morgana Best
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third and final book in a boxset, His Ghoul Friday.
I enjoy this series so much. Misty Friday is a witch. The author doesn’t make it all cutesy twitching nose, ( I love Bewitched but those of us old enough to have watched know it was cute), to make funny situations. She teaches me, in a very fun way, new things and speaks of things I already know. She keeps it interesting while keeping it comfortable and wraps it up in a an entertaining package. Every book I have read in the series has been fun to read. The mysteries are not too easy or hard and I am surprised by them. The books can be read on their own because each main mystery is solved but because there is a mystery that carries from book to book, (no major cliffhangers just something mysterious for Misty that we learn about as she does), it is best to read this in order. I find each book surprises me by being better than the previous one. A possible love interest is back. I’m enjoying that exploration so far. I really like the pacing of it. Cordelia and my favorite Aunty June are back. I liked seeing more of Cordelia in this book. I’m really kind of suspicious of Skinny. I just get a vibe from her. I’m ready for book four, Make Some Magic.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Review: The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour The Witching Hour by Morgana Best
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I am getting attached to this series. In this book Misty is in England after her Aunt Beth dies and names her in the will. Misty arrives at the house and interesting things start happening. As Misty meets the people who knew Aunt questions arise. What was her Aunt doing? Did she die naturally or not? Nope, not telling. I loved seeing familiar names and reading about them in this story. That was a surprise for me. I’m not use to that even in paranormal cozy mysteries. It was wonderful! Aunty June makes an appearance, I’m happy to report. I really like her. A new member of the family is also introduced. There are also a couple of characters that I’m wondering if they will show up again. I’m thinking they will and it will keep things interesting. I’m looking forward to more on that once they return home. I had a good time reading this book. It was interesting and fun. I’m betting you will too.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Review: Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis

Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis Assailants, Asphalt & Alibis by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book! I have enjoyed many books by Tonya Kappes since I discovered her. But this book! I have not laughed so hard while reading in awhile. I laughed until my belly ached and I had tears falling. I knew I was going to love this mystery when I heard it involved the John Swift tale. I heard that story when I was growing up. I knew if that tale was a part of the mystery, the Laundry Ladies were going hunting. I did not expect all the hilarity though. I just love this book! There are a couple of bodies because where Mae West goes a body is sure to follow. The mystery was well done. I loved the tie to another happening in the Daniel Boone Forest. That’s another thing I had known about for years so I found that very interesting. If you’re looking for a rollicking camping mystery this is your book.
It is eighth in the Campers & Criminals Series. You don’t need to read them in order as each mystery wraps up. The most fun, though, comes from reading them all.

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Review: Christmas Cocoa Murder

Christmas Cocoa Murder Christmas Cocoa Murder by Carlene O'Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review coming after the readathon.

I enjoyed this book so much! There are three stories in the book. The first story, Christmas Cocoa Murder, is set in Ireland. The words aren’t spelled incorrectly. I had no trouble with reading it but I grew up hearing, and using, most of the words. I thought the plot was original and entertaining. I love the nutcracker event. Their is a tasty cocoa recipe at the end of this book.
The second story, Christmas Cocoa and a Corpse was written by an author I enjoy, (the other two were new for me). I adore that a puppy named Cocoa was a part of this story. I quickly became engrossed in the mystery. There were also recipes after this story, including an interesting one for oatmeal, (which I happen to love so I can’t wait to try this recipe).
The third story, Death by Hot Cocoa, takes place at an Escape Room event. I was so excited to see that. I want to try one of those, but without a body. The mystery was fun.
I was looking forward to this book, and happily, it was everything I hoped it would be. Every story engaged me. I had an excellent time reading it. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers especially those who enjoy a Christmas theme.
I won a signed copy of an arc of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. No review was required. Thank you Goodreads, Kensington Publishers and Maddie Day for the giveaway.

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Review: Hummus and Homicide

Hummus and Homicide Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the first book in one of my favorite series. I totally went at this series backward. But aside from knowing that one of the suspects was in the clear, (they show up in other books), you can read this out of order. I love the characters and the setting in this series. The mystery in this one was well done. I didn’t see it coming. There are three tasty recipes included. One, of course, was for non-deadly, delicious hummus.

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Review: Mrs. Morris and the Ghost

Mrs. Morris and the Ghost Mrs. Morris and the Ghost by Traci Wilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well I was led astray. I was wrong, wrong and wrong on who did it. So, of course, I love this book! Actually, I really enjoyed much more than the mystery. Charlene Morris lost her husband and decides to make a big change in her life. She moves to Salem and opens a B&B, which turns out to be haunted. Personally I would see that as a cool thing, especially there. The Ghost was not a witch though and he needs help. This is the extra whip cream and sprinkles on the mystery. Charlene has a lot of personal growth that she needs to go through. Happily the author decided to use that in the story. So we get much more than just a mystery. I stayed up reading this even though I’m doing a readathon later today, (it is 3:40am where I live). I really wanted to finish it. I’m happy I did because I was not disappointed with the ending. Sure, I would love to say why I enjoyed it but if I did, would you need to read the book? Would you want to? Not if I tell you everything. The last thing I want to say, for those who enjoy old movies like I do, I was reminded of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, (in the way the book made me feel as the movie did). Check this book out!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Review: The Perfect Son

The Perfect Son The Perfect Son by Lauren North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will be brief because I want to talk about this book which makes it too easy to write spoilers. I actually finished a few days ago but was afraid to write the review.
Tess has lost her husband in a plane crash a few months before the story starts. When the book opens Tess is in the hospital and is sure of four things:
1. She is in the hospital
2. She has been stabbed
3. Her husband is alive
5. Her son is missing
The pain of losing a loved one is almost unbearable. Grief is overwhelming. The fight to muddle through can be too much. The author did an excellent job portraying this. I felt Tess’s pain on every page. I could imagine having conversations in my head with my husband if I was going through that. I would, I think, fight to keep his voice alive there.
This story is haunting as much as it is a thriller. It is a book I would recommend.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Review: A Tale of Mer-der

A Tale of Mer-der A Tale of Mer-der by Morgana Best
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a lot of fun for me to read. With witches, vampires, shifters and mermaids it is very much a paranormal cozy mystery. I wasn’t certain what to expect. The cover enticed me, (I think it may have been changed), though the witch on it gave it the illusion of possibly being for younger people. When I began reading I saw that it wasn’t juvenile. The story was a good one. I didn’t know who it was until right before the reveal. I think this was mostly because I was having such a good time with the story, I forgot to look for the killer. I really enjoyed Misty, Aunty June, Cordelia and even Skinny. I love the idea of working for a paranormal magazine. I think it’s a fresh idea that has loads of promising stories in it. I am definitely going to read more in this series. If you like paranormal cozy mysteries with humor thrown in, this is a book for you.

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: Ghosts are People Too A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Ghosts are People Too A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Ghosts are People Too A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I were asked what I enjoy most about this series and book, I would have to say, the real feel of it. I love Chantilly. She tries her best to be a good friend, a good mom, just a good person who sees ghosts. I like how the author is giving her time to learn and adjust to the care of the lost souls. In this book, Chantilly is still adjusting to her people skills with the dead. The hospital scene first overwhelmed me, then, with the appearance of Emma, just broke my heart while lifting it with hope.
Chantilly’s friend Gen comes for a visit and winds up a widow. The story was a an entertaining mystery. We have our friends from book one back again, still funny, caring and ready to help. Jack is back and things are strained with another murder to solve. I love how the relationship with him and Chantilly is not hurried along. Will they be friends or more? I don’t know. I’m hoping but it’s still too early to tell. The ghosts in this book were so touching. They have their own story. Even with all this going on, the mystery remains the main focus. I loved this book and I believe you will too. I call it the breakout series for this year.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review: Dying to Remember

Dying to Remember Dying to Remember by Karin Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adored this book! I chose it because I thought it would be fun to read a cozy mystery with a fairy involved. I love fairies. Happily I was right. This charming book was highly entertaining for me. I like Kate and Emily. They work well as friends, neighbors and sleuths. My favorite character, though, was Minette, the fairy. They mystery was well done. It actually involved an earlier unsolved case with a new case. I was kept guessing! I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.
I want a house fairy now!

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Review: Realtor Rub Out A Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery

Realtor Rub Out A Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery Realtor Rub Out A Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had a good time reading this mystery. I was laughing out loud so much that my other half had me reading it to him. I love the characters in this southern cozy mystery series. I’m not from Georgia, where the mystery is set, but the language used took me straight to my younger years. Talk about a series being, “comfort food,” (and look ma! No calories). This series entertains me and soothes me. It is my “comfort reading.”
In this book it is almost time for Lily and Dylan’s wedding. The wedding date become questionable, though, when Belle goes to show a property and finds a body! Will Lily be able to help Dylan solve the crime in time to get married? Or will they need to put it off? With several suspects needing to be checked out, it’s not looking good. I have to tell you, I had a difficult time deciding who did it, ( I might have even chosen wrongly).
If you like southern charm and laughter with deadly mysteries, this is your series. You can read them out of order, as each mystery wraps up, but, for the best enjoyment, I recommend reading in order. The back story continues book to book. If this interests you then check out Deal Gone Dead to get started.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: Gingerbread at Moonglow

Gingerbread at Moonglow Gingerbread at Moonglow by Deborah Garner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore this series. We return to Timberton and are embraced warmly, once again, by Mist. No matter how stressed or out of sorts I feel, reading the Moonglow Christmas books refreshes and calms me.

In this book Clare, the Professor and Michael have returned. New people are introduced, including ones who came with the people we already know and love. The staff of the Timberton Hotel are also in attendance. There is a special gingerbread house involved this year.

There is no sex, violence or harsh language in the story. There are some absolutely delicious recipes included. I read these books every year and always look forward to a new one. I most definitely recommend this book and series.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Review: Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation

Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Listening to this book was definitely different for me with all the different voices. The story of the crimes and investigations was interesting and would have kept me reading. What made this book unique for me was knowing some of the victims were telling their stories. As difficult as that was to listen to, I could not stop. They deserve to be heard. I had chills more than once and tears stained my face. I wasn’t expecting to hear from them. I appreciated the end of the book, when we got to hear an update from them.
I found the investigation to be very interesting. These crimes were committed in the seventies and eighties. DNA evidence was just beginning to be widely used. I found it fascinating to hear how genealogy played a part in discovering who the Golden State Killer was. I appreciate the law enforcement members who worked so long on this case. It was easy to feel their frustration as time went on. I didn’t know very much about this criminal. Yes, I know his name. I prefer not to use it. I found the book to be gripping. I wI’ll be recommending it to my friends who like crime books.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: The Wishing Cradle

The Wishing Cradle The Wishing Cradle by Donna Walo Clancy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely story! I’m delighted that I came across this book. It has wonderful characters along with plenty of drama and romance. It started off with domestic violence and I wasn’t certain I was ready for that. But Sophie had me hooked and the story flowed easily. The domestic violence did cause me a few twitches as I remembered my own experiences while pregnant with my oldest daughter. But the author didn’t get too graphic or violent though there were consequences. I like that she kept it real, especially with Sophie and her memories. The book held a few surprises and took some twists and turns. I absolutely adored Riley. I recommend this book especially if you are looking for something a bit dark set partially at Christmas time. I was expecting something kind of light and was delightfully surprised with a deeper story.
This is a page turner that normally would have taken me a few hours to read; I’m thinking about 4 hours max. I was being treated for severe pain though so it took much longer.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Review: A Charming Misfortune

A Charming Misfortune A Charming Misfortune by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my favorite book of the Magical Cures Series by Tonya Kappes. This series should be read in order for greatest enjoyment. I had a bit of a time getting into this series. I am happy I stayed with it as, with each book, the series improved. I enjoy the characters in Whispering Falls. June is one of my favorite characters. The town of Whispering Falls is full of magical beings. There are some quirky characters living in this town. I loved the mystery in this book. I thought the suspect was well hidden. And the ending! Something unexpected for me!
If you are not into paranormal cozy mysteries I would recommend you to check out a different series by Tonya Kappes. She is a prolific writer. Her series are fun to read, filled with interesting characters and charming towns you want to visit. If you like strange happenings that can’t be explained, Magical Cures could be your series.

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: Things You Save in a Fire

Things You Save in a Fire Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my favorite books this year. It has a few layers to it. The story of a mother seeking to make amends with a daughter she left behind when she left her marriage. The story of a female firefighter trying to make her way in a job she loves but one that is primarily male dominated. And then the story of two young firefighters finding romance. I love Cassie. She is so strong, brave and flawed. I don’t want to go into details because the story is so good, I want you to read the book. If I start talking about the things that touched me, what made me angry, what made me laugh and what made me sigh, happily, I know I will tell too much. If you have a book club, you definitely want this book on the list. There is so much to discuss! If you aren’t in a book club, read it and send me a message. I’ll discuss it with you. Or find a buddy reader. Just read this book. It is one of the most interesting books I have read this year.
I read an advanced reader’s copy that I won. My understanding is that a discussion guide will be available online. I will be looking for that. I keep a notebook just to write down my answers and thoughts. I find that entertaining. I probably should find a local book club but, as an introvert, this fits me. Put this book on your TBR and look for it’s release in August.

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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Review: The Haunting of Merci Hospital

The Haunting of Merci Hospital The Haunting of Merci Hospital by Tanya R. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This turned into a nice surprise for me. I have enjoyed ghost stories and tales of haunts since I was a child. I can remember being in the backseat with my cousins just as it was getting dark out. My aunts were in the front seat talking about all the haunted places in the holler. It was delightfully scary and goosebumps would pop upon our skin. We would be showing our arms to each other with eyes wide open when all of a sudden my aunts would start screaming and shouting for us to hide in the floor because the haunts were after us. One of the best memories from my childhood. Haha. It is what set the bar for so high for ghost stories. Consequently, I read a lot of “haunting” books but am not always entertained by them. I’m happy to say I was entertained by this one. The author told the story straight with the appropriate amount of details to the setting. There were parts that chilled me. It was a fast paced story. Definitely a good tale for a gloomy afternoon. I read this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Review: Once Upon a Crime

Once Upon a Crime Once Upon a Crime by Mona Marple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to this book on Audible. I recommend it for those who enjoy British cozy mysteries. The author paints a detailed picture of the setting. You can easily picture every scene as you listen. The narrator is excellent. She has a soothing voice and uses different voices for the characters. Listening to her reminded me very much of listening to story time at the library. I ended up listening to the entire book in one day. I was so caught up in the story I didn’t try solving it. I was enjoying listening while running it as a movie in my mind.

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Friday, June 28, 2019

Review: The Medium

The Medium The Medium by David Hatton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a truly interesting book for me. I saw it listed in a Goodreads Giveaway which I won. The synopsis intrigued me. I’m a believer who has a healthy amount of skepticism. I have gone to readers, though not psychic ones, and have been impressed by a couple. The rest either entertained me or tried to scam me. Psychics have been my dream. I would love to go to one but the ones I have come across aren’t the real deal, in my opinion. So this book hooked me even before I opened it. I wasn’t disappointed by the story. I think the author did a phenomenal job with the subject. Why only four stars since I clearly love the story? I had a hard time following the story at times. It’s not bad, (one thing for American readers, the book is set in England. The English used is not American so please keep in mind the words are not wrong, just different.), but the way the scenes changed was jarring for me. I would be totally engrossed and suddenly, with no warning, the scene shifted. It brought me out of the story every time. I wish the author had used a symbol or something to give a signal that a shift was happening. There was also a chapter that I had no idea who it was about. I still am not certain. This bothers me. I kept going though and am happy I did. I would encourage anyone finding these a bit difficult to continue reading. The story is an intriguing tale. It has so many things to think about and discuss. The psychic is only one part. Equally important is the story of betrayal between people who should care for one another. The murder mystery even pales in comparison with the story of betrayal at the this level. This book was a delightful surprise for me. I hope it will be for you too.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: Humpty Bumpkin

Humpty Bumpkin Humpty Bumpkin by Sam Cheever
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joey lost her parents in a small aircraft crash. She is out for a walk her her pit bull when she notices Caphy has something strange in her mouth. This leads into a mystery with bodies piling up.
I couldn’t put down this book. From the first page I was hooked. I think it was somewhere around the 30% mark that I was gobsmacked by the thought, “Joey is me!” Only younger, better looking and braver. Hahaha. Obviously I enjoyed the heck out of Joey and Caphy, (my Caphy is a shih tzu who could easily be convinced she is a pit bull). I enjoyed this mystery so much! I’m not always big on a romance starting out in a mystery. I feel like it really has to fit the personality of the protagonist, especially when the guy is an unknown. I feel like it was Joey’s personality to be attracted to Hal. The romance did go quick but when you’re in danger feelings tend to intensify. I’m interested to see if it slows down or remains at the fast pace. I tend to believe in love at first sight so either way works for me. I’m wondering if this is going in the direction of an investigative team. That would be fine by me. I was a fan of early mystery shows like Hart to Hart and McMillan and Wife, (anyone remember those?). The mystery is fast paced with lots of action and Caphy is a big part of the story. Make time for this one!


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Friday, June 21, 2019

Review: The Witches of Mystic Springs

The Witches of Mystic Springs The Witches of Mystic Springs by Mona Marple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had a great time reading this book! It has two narrators which can be difficult to pull off, particularly when they both are on the same side. I have read enough books with this type of narrative to know that can get confusing. Happily I can say that this time it worked. Kudos to Ms Marple for making that difficult feat appear effortlessly. I had no difficulty adjusting to the alternating narrators. The mystery was told so delightfully it was like sitting listening to two friends talk. I loved the investigation of the mystery, the clues, the scary moments. I want to say more but I’m trying to encourage you to read this cozy mystery so I don’t want to give away the twists and especially the ending. I was surprised with the discovery even though the person was on my list. The reveal is genuinely entertaining. I was torn between wanting to devour each word and wanting to slow down the telling so I could savor the moment.
This book is a part of the Mystic Springs Series but if you haven’t read the previous books, don’t despair. You can read this as a stand-alone. Beware though, once you read it, you will want to read the whole series! If you’re looking for a magically good time with a few chills, this is the paranormal cozy mystery you want.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Get Up and Ghost: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a delight to read. I loved everything about it. I haven’t read the Angela Panther series but am going to check them out. For those who know her, Angela makes an appearance in this book. I love Chantilly and really enjoyed her psychic development. It was nice to be in on that journey and I thought the author did well with her timing on the development of Chantilly’s ability. I enjoyed the mystery. I thought it was well done and it wasn’t until close to the end that I figured it out. There is quite a bit of humor in the story. I laughed out loud, possibly too hard, at some of the conversations.
I definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoy Southern mysteries, humor and ghosts. I can’t wait to read more!

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review: A Ghostly Suspect

A Ghostly Suspect A Ghostly Suspect by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is one of my favorite series. It is the seventh book in the series. I would strongly suggest you read this series from the start. It is a series that is built on the books that comes before. You can read it alone, for the mystery, but it is better to read it in order.
Emma Lee and Granny are like family to me. I love when characters feel that way. The mystery was well done with several suspects and a couple of surprises. I recommend this book and the series.
I read an uncorrected advanced e-copy of this book. This review contains my honest opinion of the book.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: Sleeping with Elvis

Sleeping with Elvis Sleeping with Elvis by Beth Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book after reading another book by the author. I was expecting a light, maybe comedic, story. Something to just pass the time. I was surprised with so much more.
I was surprised with the storyline of a young woman in an abusive relationship. I was astonished to find a character that I could relate to. I was in an abusive relationship for many years, some of those years involved me being a domestic violence liaison. I knew about the circle of violence and the reasons why one should leave. I, oddly, never felt that I was anywhere in there. What was going on at home didn’t resemble the circle. I started reading books that had DV as a theme. I was looking for me. I finally found someone who resembled me a bit. I really understood Pepper. I was excited to see a character that represented women like me and didn’t downplay it or sugarcoat it or make her a superhero. Pepper was flawed and she was caught in the web that guys like Derek cast so well. Before you start thinking this is a triggering, dramatic story, let me assure you it is not. Only one instance of physical violence was mentioned and Pepper was questioning whether or not she should mention it. I often downplayed my injuries, sometimes outright lying about them. Most of Pepper’s abuse was emotional/mental. Balancing that was Pepper’s thoughts about leaving and a vacation coming up. She had to face some fears with that, too. She meets a few men who help her in her journey to escape. I adored George. The story had dramatic times but also had fun times. Saylor was absolutely a favorite character and I think everyone wants Ty.
A lot of times, when reading books that have DV as part of the story, I have to stop and read something else, color, watch a movie, listen to music or hike. I just need breaks to breathe and soothe myself. I didn’t need that with this book. Whenever I had to put it down, I was itching to get back to it. I wished I had blocked out time to read it with no interruptions. I was hooked by flawed but courageous Pepper. I understood her weak moments. I knew why she was hesitant and easily led to believe appearances. I cheered every time she was fearless or faking it. This book that I chose just because I enjoy Elvis and I liked the author’s book Babies at Coconuts, became a story that touched me deeper than I expected. I recommend the book and hope you take the chance on reading it. If you are uncertain, ask your library to get it or borrow it through KU.

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Review: All Those Things Revealed

All Those Things Revealed All Those Things Revealed by M. Maureen O'Callaghan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

I was captivated from the beginning. I was not expecting everything to be factual so I had no problem with not being certain which parts were true and which not. I can remember as a child listening to relatives from Ireland. I grew up being afraid that I would hear the cry of a banshee. I knew who she was and what her cry meant. I heard other tales, too. I was constantly on the look out for fairy folk and knew that leprechauns were hiding whenever I saw a rainbow. I have grown older but still believe with the heart of a child. Perhaps this is the reason that I was able to fall completely under the spell of the author. I had no trouble following the storytelling. I found everyone believable, especially when you look through the lens of yesteryear. I think if you try to understand Constanza’s parents, and their reaction to a certain event, by holding to standards of today, you may believe they are falsely portrayed. It is important to remember what time period the story takes place in. Even today, though, when a person feels they failed to protect someone, sometimes you will find they shift the blame to the victim. For me, the story worked. The author did a great job transporting me to 19 century Ireland. I did not want to put the book down and when the end came, I wished for more. I know this is a book I will read again.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Review: Ghost No More

Ghost No More Ghost No More by CeeCee James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book for me to review. It’s too close to me. I hope, if the author reads this, she understands. I can say I think it was well written and has something important to say. She gives me hope. I want to read the other books in this series. If you’re reading this, your interested in the book. I encourage you to try it. It might be difficult, don’t give up. It took me awhile to really read it. I started and stopped a few times before I was able to read it all. The end was so inspiring.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

Review: The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces

The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution: Elevate Your Everyday Meals with 61 Freezer-Friendly Sauces by Elisabeth Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book makes a great gift. It has simple recipes for a variety of sauces that can turn anything into a fancy dinner. Most don’t take long to make and, best of all, they can be frozen so you always have a sauce on hand. I love that the author took the opportunity to give directions on good freezing methods. New cooks will find this especially helpful. Another very helpful section was the base tips. Pasta shape does matter when choosing a sauce. She includes tofu so this section is very helpful if you haven’t cooked with it. (In other words, I never did and was able to cook a good meal for friends who preferred it). What maillard is and the difference in maillard and caramelization is also discussed. In the appendix she gives a few recipes for flavored butter and salt. The Better Chicken Butter is definitely dressing up my turkey at Thanksgiving.
If you are experienced in cooking, you may want to borrow the book from the library to see if it brings something new for you. I’m experienced but really want this book on my shelf. If I need something quick, I can skim through it and have an idea for a meal in no time. I think that is what I enjoyed most about this cookbook..it invited me to use the sauce as the jumpstart to my ideas for meals.

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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Review: Staging is Murder

Staging is Murder Staging is Murder by Grace Topping
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book so much! I had not heard of staging houses as a job before. I have seen it often enough in looking at houses for sale. What an interesting job! I enjoyed the author’s tips at the start of each chapter too. I like Laura. Actually there are a lot of fine characters in the book. I loved Mrs Webster and hope she continues helping Laura. Nita is a true friend..the kind who helps you with a dead body. I love her as Laura’s partner. There’s a couple potential love interest, too, but that doesn’t take over the story. I enjoyed the mystery and trying to figure out the who and why. I did not completely uncover it. I am looking forward to the next book. If you are looking for a cozy mystery, don’t pass this one by.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich

Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich by Annie Boochever
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is written for YA but anyone could benefit from reading it. It tells the interesting story of the fight for equal rights in Alaska that, I believe, was important for the Lower 48 as well. I wish every school had a copy of this book for students to read.

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Review: We Are Here Forever

We Are Here Forever We Are Here Forever by Michelle Gish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won a black & white print ARC from entering the Goodreads Giveaway.

This book is based on a webcomic, (same name). I have not seen it. I enjoyed the book and the thought provoking stories. I may have enjoyed it more had I been familiar with the webcomic. If you are interested in the book you may want to check that out first. I like the art though I wish it was in color. The stories were fun and quick to read but leave a lot for you to think about. I found it to be interesting but also comforting in a children’s book way.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Review: Murder at Royale Court

Murder at Royale Court Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Cleo Mack series. I won a copy in a Goodreads Giveaway. This was my first time reading G. P. Gardner.

I have become enchanted by Fairhope, Alabama. I want to go live in Harbor Village. It took me a bit to get into this book. I’m not a car enthusiast. The story has quite a bit for a car enthusiast to enjoy. For someone like me, it has quite a bit that may turn you into wondering when the next car show is going to held near by. The story gradually gripped me, then before I realized it, it refused to let me go. I honestly did not know who did it until the reveal. I had quite a few suspects, including the killer. My list, though, was written all over and suspects were scratched out only to be added back. I really had a better time with this book than I first thought I would. I was genuinely sorry to get to the end! I became friends with many characters. I’m so curious about them. I was left hanging with a question I had regarding Patti. I like the slow burning romance with Cleo and Riley, though at times I wished she would reunite with Travis. Maybe that is for Stephanie rather than Cleo or Travis. There are many other characters that I could speak about. I’m intrigued by many. Yes this series has me hooked. When is the next book coming out?

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Review: A Sleepy Hollow Kiss

A Sleepy Hollow Kiss by Vivien Mayfair My rating: 5 of 5 stars Lane is damaged from childhood trauma and...