Review: Pre-Meditated Murder by Tracy Weber

PreMeditatedMurder

PRE-MEDITATED MURDER is the fifth book in Tracy Weber’s Downward Dog Mystery series. I haven’t read the earlier books but suggest that you read it in order if spoilers are an issue. In fact, the entire plot of PRE-MEDITATED MURDER hinges around a huge spoiler for the relationship between the main character, Kate Davidson, and her boyfriend, Michael.

Kate is expecting Michael to pop the marriage question to her at the expensive birthday dinner he has arranged for her. After all, her best friend, Rene, saw him exiting a jewelry store with a purchase in hand shortly before the big night. Unfortunately, their entire relationship is about to come into question as Kate will have to use all of her yoga calming skills once she finds out Michael has a secret… he’s already married and his estranged wife is demanding a huge sum of money for the divorce! Things only worsen when Kate and Michael try to work things out with Gabriella and she turns up dead, murdered with Michael being the primary suspect. Can Kate uncover who Gabriella’s murderer is? And will their relationship survive?

Admittedly, it’s hard to get thrown into the middle of a crisis in a relationship with characters you haven’t met previously and appreciate the emotional struggle they are undergoing. Tracy Weber, however, does a marvelous job at drawing readers into the heart of the dilemma.  Kate’s emotional anguish is palpable from the opening pages as we watch her excitement turn into horror when she realizes Michael has been lying to her.

And oh, how can I not mention Bella, the slightly neurotic German Shephard with separation anxiety? I loved her antics, from her hatred of beards to her protectiveness of the overexuberant toddler she meets. I want to read more of the Downward Dog Mystery series if only to see more of Bella!

PRE-MEDITATED MURDER is easily recommended for cozy mystery readers, particularly if you love animals.

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Review: Whiskey Secrets

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan

Dare Collins, former cop turned bartender is working on getting his act together and the last thing he wants is to become attracted to the family’s new innkeeper. The Inn is above his bar and restaurant so he finds himself working with the city girl with new ideas and legs a mile long.

Kenzie Owens, divorced from her abusive husband, goes to Whiskey, Pa. to start a new life. She didn’t plan to fall in love with the aggravating bartender or his family. But their world is hard to resist. It is unfortunate that her past viciously finds her and threatens everything that she has come to hold dear.

Wow – what an amazing beginning to a new series. Author Carrie Ann Ryan has a way of spinning a story that makes you feel as if you are a part of her make-believe world and never want to leave it. The Collins family are awesome, they are there for one another either an ear to listen, a pat on the back or a punch in the face … whichever is needed. There are a lot of things that are complicating both of their lives and Ms. Ryan, deals with each problem in a concise way that adds to the realistic feel of this couple.

Whiskey Secrets is filled with love, sweet and very steamy, family being helpful and/or a pain, real life situations, danger and drama all adding up to form a book that will thrill you.

Review: Moon Bound

By Donna Grant

Werewolf Kane LaRue’s family has been battling Delphine, a voodoo priestess who has her mind set on ruling the world, for years. Now things have changes as his brothers, and a number of cousins, have mates. He is single so he takes it upon himself to rid the world of one evil voodoo priestess.

Elise is a veterinarian who after surviving a horrifying event in her past has settled in the bayou. She is living a simple life caring for animals in the area. How could she ever imagine that one night would change her life once again? In an attempt to rescue a very large black dog she comes face to face with the sexiest man she had ever met. This “man” brings out things she just isn’t comfortable with but knows that just that quickly her heart is very much involved.

MOON BOUND is the amazing finale of this series. I am a big fan of author Donna Grant, fell for her Warriors and her Dragon Kings a long time ago, but this is the first LaRue book I have had the opportunity to get my hands on. Moon Bound is Kane LaRue’s story and wow … is it action packed, with just the right touch of romance. I loved Elise, right away and knew that if anyone could, Kane would help her see that she still was a woman who deserved to be loved. Kane is a protector, who is willing to do whatever he must to protect his family, to protect the people he loves even commit the biggest sacrifice … his life. I can’t say much more as it could be construed as spoilers and I hate to do that to anyone. Suffice it to say love wins and evil loses.

Review: Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

Romancing the Scot

Kindle Edition, 284 pages                                           ASIN  B0746MLYFZ

Published November 14th 2017 by Swerve           Series   The Pennington Family #1

Rating:  5*

Grace Ware is an enemy of the English crown along with her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. On top of that, her mother, was an exiled Scottish Jacobite. On a the way to deliver a new message to the wife of Napolean’s brother things went terribly wrong.  Her father and his footmen slain and Grace was in the run for her life. While running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she hid in a crate never realizing that said crate would then be sealed moved aboard a ship.Grace’s luck went from bad to worse when the crate was delivered to the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, and a hero of the Napoleonic wars—is also a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen her mystery.

***  This was an absolutely terrific read with an amazing adventure and truly sensual romance.  Grace had spent her entire life caring for her father after her mother’s passing.  Bad enough to have seen her father’s murdered bloody body but when trying to escape she had the misfits to hide in a crate, which was then sealed and loaded onto a ship without food or water for five days.  When Hugh Pennington discovered her half dead body it was no wonder she wasn’t forthcoming with information about herself.  After the many days it took for her to recover, she discovered she was in the home of a man who had every reason to detest her for her father’s actions during the war.

However, there was even more hurdles to overcome when both began to feel the passion that seemed to be brewing in each others hearts and to realize someone  out there was still looking to capture and/or kill Grace for the secrets she was carrying without knowing herself what they were.

Truly a great read and one I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Someone to Wed

Series:  Westcott #3            Rating: 5*                          Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

Publish:  November 7th 2017 by Berkley                   ISBN13: 9780399586064

Wren!  What a refreshing and delightful protagonist she turned out to be!  Wren had literally been a recluse for letting a purple birthmark on the left side of her face dictate her future.   But a year after her beloved adoptive parents passed,  Wren decided she wanted more out of her life and being fabulously wealthy and independent decide she would ‘buy’ herself a husband. Doing her homework, to find a man who would wed her and let her continue on as before she made a list of four prospective men she would interview.

When Alexander Westcott became the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford. However, he dutifully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life knowing it would take years to bring the estate back to life.

Being a business woman who ran a highly successful glassworks factory, Wren initially began in a very brusque manner stating the obvious to Alexander of his lack of coin in his circumstances of inheriting a pile of stones and estate he couldn’t possibly afford.  Then went on to explain that he might consider wedding her whereby, she could “with her ample supply of cash” help him refurbish the estate.  Alas, Alex was astounded at her bad taste in bringing up such a personal matter which was in bad taste to ever discuss upon just meeting someone.

***  The first thing I must say is when I start a novel by Mary Balogh, I get that “Ahhhhhh….” feeling just knowing that when I get to the last page, I will experience that very same feeling of contentment and relaxation.  In SOMEONE TO WED I had already read the first two books in this series so was more than ready in anticipating this third book, though I hadn’t  come across anyone like Wren before.

Obviously, both protagonists had a lot to work out between them before any romance could ever be developed.  Both had issues – Wren with letting her birthmark define her life; and Alex with his abject horror to discover that he just might be the type of person who would marry for money?    Alex finally agreed to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. Naturally, neither was prepared for the desire that overwhelmed them both when Wren finally lifted the veils that hid the secrets of her past.

Marilyn Rondeau

Inked Memories by Carrie Ann Ryan

Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko

INKED MEMORIES is a perfect wrap-up for the Denver Montgomery Ink saga with the final brother getting his HEA. The series has had all the things I love in books: characters that are believable, sweet and steamy romance, family, snarky conversations intermixed with much needed (whether wanted or not) advice, touches of danger that help draw the characters together and, of course, the happily ever after everyone is looking for. Needless to say INKED MEMORIES gives all this with, maybe, just a bit of sadness that it is ending.

I have to admit that, at first, I did have a little trouble with this couple, as she was Wes’ brother’s “friend with benefits” before he met his true love and moved on. This sort of put a bit of “ick” to the story but I put it aside and moved to read it as Wes and Jillian’s story. I am so glad I did. As I read I got a much better understanding of all the where’s and why’s that had them both acting the way they did. As the book progressed, I really liked them, and wanted them to be together.

I always love to revisit past characters and watch as the families mingle with their barbs back and forth, the children who have come along and seeing the satisfaction that they have all found love. I really hope Ms. Ryan will give us a few more looks at this family in future offerings.

Review: Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve Greyson

Sadies Highlander

Published: September 12th 2017 by Loveswept                           Rating:   5*

ASIN:    B01MZ18FVS          Series:   Highland Protector #1

I have loved Maeve Greyson’s Highland books since I first discovered her Highland Hearts series and now, I am so lucky to starting Book #1 of her Highland Hearts series and just by reading the first book SADIE’S HIGHLANDER – I can tell that this is going to be just as engaging, funny and sensual as her prior series.

Alec MacDara and his brothers and family traveled forward in time to be the protectors of the sacred Heartstone.  They are now owners and operators of a theme park called Highland Life and Legends.  As the chairman of this enterprise, Alec has been keeping the real castle and it’s treasures separate, while fending off a plethora of requests to film on the grounds.  However after some very charming letters from a production assistant, he agrees to a meeting.  At first, the minute he meets the CEO of the company he realizes what a mistake he’s made, but then he notices her assistant.  The woman with lush curves who is so down to earth he almost forgets his name!

Sadie Williams is the sister to the owner of the motion picture company who has for years kept Sadie in the lowliest of positions while Sadie waits for her sisters promise of one day becoming a writer.   However Sadie was shocked when Alec agreed to allow the picture company upon one condition! Sadie would have to live in the castle and report to Alec every day of the company’s progress. Sadie agrees but wonders why Alec looks at her as if he was waiting to gobble her up!  Knowing she was a bit on the chubby side and having always been told by her sister she was ugly, Sadie didn’t know what to think of the hunky Highlander who thought she was beautiful!

Fabulous, funny and sexy – couldn’t ask for more and Maeve Greyson delivers in spades!!!

Marilyn Rondeau

 

Review: The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

Stolen Marriage

NET GALLEY – October 3, 2017

Date: October 3, 2017                           Print Length: 384 pages

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press            Rating: 5*

I have read many books by Diane Chamberlain and have been moved by each and every one.  In THE STOLEN MARRIAGE she has written a very compelling and, for me, and emotional story set during the 1940’s polio epidemic and the discrimination still held in the South between the whites and folks of color.

The setting for the majority of the book is in Hickory, NC when a young engaged Italian woman made a mistake that changed her life.  Tess DeMillo’s life had been mapped out for years, she was on her way to becoming a nurse and her fiancé, the boy next door, was on his way to becoming a doctor.  Unfortunately, a brief trip to Washington DC, and too many cocktails led Tess to sacrifice the virginity she was saving.

Pregnant with nowhere to go, Tess knew she needed financial help and approached the man who was the father of her child.  Instead of monetary help he asked her to marry him but Tess discovered the handsome man, with a gorgeous home and wealthy beyond her wildest dreams was kind but had no interest in consummation of the marriage.   In a difficult situation and wanting something for herself, Tess finishes her nursing degree and goes on to become a nurse for the NC’s Emergency Infantile Hospital, which was built and staffed in just 3 days.

Even though I am late in writing the review, I finished this book in record time as the story was not something one could let go of.  Ms. Chamberlain continues to write the books that take you away to another place and time – just what I look for and another WOW book others must discover!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Wrong Kind of Compatible

Cassie Howard is a hard working data analyst and the last thing she needs is the new analyst, Drew Kerrigan, who has come in and started taking credit for work she has done. Part of the problem is that sometimes things that come into her head just pop right out of her mouth. And some of the things she is thinking about Drew shouldn’t be said out loud.

Drew Kerrigan has always found computers easier to understand than people. But the undercover F.B.I. agent never expected to find his suspect to be gorgeous and sexy. Now he has to work hard on ferreting out the truth or lose his heart.

THE WRONG KIND OF COMPATIBLE is a cute, steamy, sexy and fun read. Author Kadie Scott gives a good look at nerd world of analysts and computers, but in a way that we who are not so savvy can understand. Cassie and Drew are an amazingly perfect couple, but of course, things had to get a little sideways for them. After her mom and his friend talked to them separately they finally managed to work toward finding the truth. Then his grand announcement that he loved her in front of her co-workers was very dramatic and would have garnered applause anywhere. Loved the secondary characters, who seemed like everyday people you would find in any office and even the bad guys came out as a bit of a surprise.