8/10

#BlogTour #BookReview
Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy
@VivWrites @HQDigitalUK

Synopsis:

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.


Book Rating: 8/10

Mysterious, atmospheric, and delightfully entertaining!

In this latest novel by Conroy, Fatal Masquerade, Lady Alkmene Callender finds herself immersed in a clue-like murder mystery, complete with a country estate, class tension, secrets, half-truths, a knife, a boathouse, and of course an enigmatic, handsome sidekick.

The writing style is light and descriptive. The setting and mood are vivid and superbly authentic. The characters, including the intelligent, independent heroine, are well-developed, complex, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced whodunit full of amateur sleuthing, red herrings, suspects, deduction, and a little romance.

Fatal Masquerade is the fourth book in the Lady Alkmene Mystery series, and if you love cozy mysteries, this novel will not disappoint. It is a quick, easy, fun read that is truly a lovely, refreshing change in a time when we seem to be inundated with psychological thrillers.

 

 

Thank you to Vivian Conroy and HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Vivian Conroy follow her on Twitter at: @VivWrites

#BookReview
Slap Shot by Kelly Jamieson
@KellyJamieson @readloveswept

Synopsis:

My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.
 
After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.
 
So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.
 
Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.


Book Rating: 8/10

Steamy, heartfelt, and deliciously sexy!

Slap Shot, the fifth book in the Aces Hockey series, is a sporty, contemporary romance featuring Max a tough, honest, hockey player who is struggling to come to grips with not only the grief he continues to feel over the loss of his wife but the guilt associated with potentially moving on.

The writing is clear and emotive. The characters are genuine, believable and charming. And the plot is an impassioned tale filled with sizzling tension, scorching chemistry, poignant moments, hilarious innuendoes, flirty banter, and a swoon-worthy ending.

What more can I say, when it comes to writing entertaining, enjoyable novels about hunky hotshots who fall hard Jamieson is one of the best and Slap Shot with its heart, humour, heat, and hockey is no exception.

 

About the Author:

 

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season!

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Loveswept, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available October 17, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Kelly Jamieson, visit her website at: kellyjamieson.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KellyJamieson

 

#BookReview
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
@sarahbailey1982 @GrandCentralPub

Synopsis:

In a suspense thriller to rival Paula Hawkins and Tana French, a detective with secrets of her own hunts the killer of a woman who was the glamorous star of their high school.

Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.


Book Rating: 8/10

Menacing, unsettling, and intense!

In this debut novel, The Dark Lake, Bailey transports us to Smithson, Australia a small town where gossip and deception run rampant, emotions run high, and solving the murder of the beloved local high school teacher may unearth more skeletons in the closet than anyone could have imagined.

The prose is dark and eerie. The characters, including the scarred Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock, are flawed, complicated, and self-involved. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a suspenseful thrill ride filled with familial drama, jealousy, obsession, grief, revenge, infidelity, secrets, and murder.

The Dark Lake is truly a well-written, gritty, absorbing story that highlights that rage and resentment fostered over many years can have devastating consequences.

About the Author:

 

Sarah Bailey was born in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived all her life and currently resides with her two young sons. She has a degree in journalism and has a career in advertising. She is currently a partner at creative agency, Mr Smith. The Dark Lake is her first novel.

 

 

 

Thank you to Netgalley, especially Grand Central Publishing, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Sarah Bailey visit her website at: sarahbaileyauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @sarahbailey1982

#BookReview & #BlogTour
The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas
@Authoright

Synopsis:

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.


Book Rating: 8/10

Tragic, mysterious, and heartbreaking!

The Watcher is a moving tale that picks up where “Fifteen Words” left off, taking us back into the Portner household where the physical and psychological horrors of war still resonate, and the process of survival and healing remains a daily struggle.

The prose is somber and descriptive. The characters are wounded, secretive, and raw. And the plot is a poignant ride about life, loss, family dynamics, PTSD, suspicion, desperation, deception, jealousy, grief, and murder.

Overall, The Watcher is a well-written followup for Jephcott Thomas that does an exceptional job of highlighting the importance of trust, honesty, support, and intimacy in moving forward and rebuilding what’s been lost.

About the Author

monkika-jephcott-thomas

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published. For more information on Jephcott Thomas visit her website at: monika-jephcott-thomas.com

 Thank you to Authoright for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

#BookReview
Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
@jamieraintree @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

Yes is such a little word…

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?

For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a future together. But when Cooper makes a startling confession of his own, can Dylan find the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.


Book Rating: 8/10

Emotional, vivid, and relatable!

Perfectly Undone is an engaging tale that takes us into the life of Dr. Dylan Michels, a woman who finds herself quickly unraveling as she tries to not only live with the responsibility and guilt she secretly harbours, but also balance a successful career, intimate relationship, and familial obligations.

The writing is descriptive and genuine. The characters are diligent, compulsive, and tenacious. And the plot is an intriguing tale full of heartache, loss, grief, betrayal, infidelity, relationship dynamics, family, romance, and love.

Overall, I think, Perfectly Undone is a fantastic debut for Raintree that does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of forgiving one’s self, moving on, and living life to the fullest.

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Jamie Raintree visit her website at: jamieraintree.com/for-writers/

or follow her on Twitter at: @jamieraintree

#BookReview
Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
@elinhilderbrand @littlebrown

The Official Synopsis:

Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn.

It’s been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that’s about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they’ve experienced in years. And Bart’s safe return isn’t the family’s only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she’s finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love–and some of the things we endure–about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.


Book Rating: 8/10

Affecting, heartwarming, and romantic!

Winter Solstice is a sweet, unexpected surprise that gives us one last chance to check in with the Quinns and savour their special moments, new loves, old loves, and heartbreaking losses.

The prose is clean and crisp. The characters are lovable, engaging, and genuine. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, love, family, acceptance, loss, sorrow, friendship, growing up, growing old, and moving on.

Winter Solstice is ultimately an emotional ending to a charming series that will make you laugh, make you smile, and at times even make you cry. A true wintry delight!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for some of the other novels in the Winter Street Series, be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Little, Brown and Company, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

For more information on Elin Hilderbrand, visit her website at: elinhilderbrand.net

or follow her on twitter at: @elinhilderbrand

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani
@DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins has spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart. Clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor, a young girl named Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob, the guy who’s proof that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.


Book Rating: 8/10

Mystical, heartwarming, and deliciously suspenseful!

The Divine Heart is a compelling, coming-of-age mystery about friendship, family, transplants, mental illness, first loves, and teen drama all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

The characters are young, strong, and adventurous. The prose is clear, crisp and precise. And the plot has just the right amount of tension, angst, danger, emotion, and excitement to keep you intrigued right until the very end.

Overall, I think The Divine Heart will really appeal to teens and young adults, and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic, I found it unique, heartfelt, and completely satisfying.

About the Author:

Danielle R. Mani is a fan of the paranormal in both print and film. In her first book, The Divine One, Ms. Mani combines supernatural fiction with the everyday dramas of young adulthood. Her newest YA paranormal novel, The Divine Heart, is scheduled to be released later this year. Ms. Mani holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in communications. She is currently a doctoral student studying parapsychology. She resides in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, two dogs, and two rescue cats.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

For more information on Danielle R. Mani, visit her website at: daniellermani.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @DanielleRMani

#BookReview
The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
@KateMoretti1 @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alecia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.


Book Rating: 8/10

Ominous, haunting, and gritty!

In this latest novel by Moretti, she transports us to Mt. Oanoke, Pennsylvania, a small town that suddenly finds itself turned upside down not only by a sudden infestation of dead birds, but a teacher-student scandal that will test the limits of marriages, friendships, and community alliances.

The prose is chilling and eerie. The characters are multi-layered, damaged, and self-involved. And the plot told from multiple perspectives is ultimately a suspenseful ride riddled with poverty, familial drama, jealousy, obsession, abuse, love, infidelity, social strife, emerging sexuality, peer pressure, bullying, and murder.

The Blackbird Season is a dark, disturbing, compelling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat right from the very start to the unexpected ending you won’t see coming. And even though I didn’t find the characters to be the most endearing the overall pace, mood, and atmosphere of this story still makes it a good one.

 

About the Author

Photograph (c) PR Photography

 

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids.

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Kate Moretti visit her website at: katemoretti.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KateMoretti1

#BookReview
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


Book Rating: 8/10

Mysterious, unpredictable, and sinister!

The Bakersville Dozen is a young adult novel that takes us to the small town of Bakersville, Ohio where five popular, senior girls have one-by-one gone missing after being featured in a libelous video with eight of their peers.

The characters are nervous, bold, and at times impetuous. The writing is edgy and taut. And the plot is filled with an abundance of teenage drama, secrets, danger, jealousy, murder, red herrings, tension, and romance.

Overall, The Bakersville Dozen is a well-paced, suspenseful YA whodunit that reminds me of those classic 90s teen thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer that had you thinking “why would you do that?” while you simultaneously gripped the edge of your seat. It’s captivating, entertaining and has an ending you definitely won’t see coming.

If you haven’t had a chance already to check out my review for A Million Times Goodnight by McBride you can find it here:

 

About the Author:

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Kristina McBride, visit her website at: kristinamcbride.com

or follow her on twitter at: @McBrideKristina

#BookReview
Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry
@SarinaBowen @MayberrySarah @ninabocci

Synopsis:

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full-time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…


Book Rating: 8/10

Witty, charming, and delightfully refreshing!

Temporary is a passionate tale that takes us into the lives of two main characters. Grace, a young temp who is hardworking, resilient and focused on creating a better life for herself and her sister; and Callan, a sexy, Aussie playboy who may just prove he’s much more loyal, honourable, and grounded than his reputation leads you to perceive.

The prose is humorous and fluid. The main characters are genuine, endearing, and supportive. And the plot sweeps you away into a modern fairytale filled with familial drama, palpable tension, sizzling chemistry, rags, riches, loss, heartbreak, romance, and of course true love.

Temporary is a light, fun, thoroughly entertaining novel with great characterization, snappy dialogue and a happy-ever-after ending that will make you swoon. I have yet to pick up a book by Sarina Bowen that I didn’t enjoy, and this new collaboration with Mayberry is nothing short of magic.

Thank you to Nina Bocci, Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Temporary is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                         

For more information on Sarina Bowen, visit her website at: sarinabowen.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @SarinaBowen

For more information on Sarah Mayberry, visit her website at: sarahmayberry.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MayberrySarah

 

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