Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

HIDDEN

Published- 9/25/18.                                             Rating:  5*

Series:  (Deep Ops #1)

Wow, I am so happy that I got a review copy on the first book of this series, because if the first book is any indication of the rest of what one can expect – this will prove to be a big hit.  The two lead characters are introduced right from the beginning where Pippa seems a bit of a recluse; and Malcolm West is suffering PTSD after being undercover for the last two years and barely escaping with his life after being stabbed and shot.  

What Malcolm didn’t realize was this quaint little house his realtor found him in an out of the way spot was next door to a fabulous looking young woman whom he sensed was in trouble.  Mal soon found out that the house and the neighbor were not random coincidences, that he’d been set up.   It seems that the ‘recluse’ was on a most wanted list from both the government and a dangerous cult leader.

The suspense and mystery of what Pippa knows, or knew and how Mal works her wanting not believe she is innocent and trying to prove it make for a thrill of a ride.  But that’s not all – wait until you meet the rest of the Deep Ops Team, including Roscoe the German Shepherd, Nari the shrink, Brigid the IT super sleuth; and a myriad of other colorful agents on this Deep Ops Team!   They are all a hoot – but a ‘deadly’ one!   Awesome book – loved every minute! 

Marilyn Rondeau

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Review: THE LADY IS DARING by Megan Frampton

LadyIsDaring

Edeilweiss – Sep 25, 2018                          The Lady is Daring    (Duke’s Daughters #3)

Book Publisher   ebook, 352 pages       Publication: September 25th 2018 by Avon

ISBN; 9780062666666                              Rating:  5*

It was easy for society to overlook Lady Ida Howlett; they found her bookish, opinionated, and off the marriage mart. But little did they know that behind a calm exterior beats the heart of an adventuress, one who, determined to discover her runaway sister’s whereabouts, steals a carriage and sets off on a daring mission. Then she discovers she’s not alone! Bennett, Lord Carson, is inside, and he refuses to leave.  And so begins one of the cutest and most adorable Regency romances I’ve read in quite a while!  Loved Lady Ida!

Lord Carson was the dependable one, the one who sacrificed for the good of the family, the one that kept his mother in good spirits while his dad carried on with his mistress and spent as much money as he could!  Sensible, kind, sweet, but persona non grata to the rest of Lady Ida’s gan Frampton family as he didn’t marry either of her two older sisters!

Their great adventure proved to be a long journey and during that time they became quite good friends who started to appreciate the quirks that made each other different.  Lady Ida knew that Lord Carson would never be serious about her, as she was not soft, blonde, amiable, and no one was going to change her.   Carson on the other hand decided quite soon that even though she was opinionated and courageous, she was also intelligent and really quite a good conversationalist and companion.  

Lord Carson’s biggest issue was trying to then convince Ida she was exactly his type!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell

Carousel Provence

Kindle Edition, 368 pages             Publication: September 18th 2018 by Berkley

ASIN:   B0782SGJRD                  Rating: 4*

Didn’t know quite what to expect from this book I received from NET GALLEY for an honest review, but honestly, it was pretty darn good!  Generally I am not too keen when the story goes back and forth from present day to the long ago past, but I will admit that this was done seamlessly and at the right times to enhance what seemed to be going on in the present.   

Cady Drake, the lead character in this book was in her own words, ‘not a likable person’.  However, I did like her determination and grit.  She didn’t have a childhood that gave her any warm fuzzy feelings of belonging or being loved.  But a friend had arranged for Cady to take on a job of securing photos of the many carousels in France and Cady was ready for something new.  

When Cady met Fabrice, the reclusive hermit type who lived at the  Chateau Clement who didn’t like people – they formed a sort of detente.  He was a bit lame from a twisted foot, and Cady could help him out.    Plus she could then stay at the chateau to research the last known carousel built by the master carver Gustave Bayol a century ago which supposedly resided somewhere in the chateau.    

Now toss in a handsome nephew and a warring family over who truly owned the Chateau and the story just got better and better!    This was a totally enjoyable read and quite interesting with characters who will make you smile, laugh and even cry.   

Marilyn Rondeau 

Review: River of Shame – By Susan Goldner-CLayton

riverOfShame

This is the third book I’ve had the extreme pleasure of reading by this newer author and if you have not read her yet you are missing out on watching ‘a star being born’! Each of her books has been amazing and all different crimes with the exception of the same general location.   And I have to say the detective who solves the mysteries is someone you’d want living next door to you  – extremely kind and humane.  

The crimes this time are “hate” and “racial” in nature.  Horrible and inhumane acts delivered to those by a group of white  supremacists that eventually lead to murders.  The twists and turns of trying to find just a thread of evidence against whoever was involved in these crimes took the detective and FBI agent on a chase where red herrings abounded.   

However, since I’ve read three of this author’s books I have learned that not all is as it seems and you will be in for one unbelievable twist you didn’t see coming. A twist that may even make you a little sad.    No spoilers from me but another super great read from the  very talented author, Susan Goldner-Clayton.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Her Name was Rose by Claire Allan

HerNamewasRose

9/4/18 – Edelweiss                            Rating 5*

Paperback, 452 pages                               Published June 28th 2018 by Avon

One thing for sure, this book had a twist ending I hadn’t seen coming.  Yes, right from the start you see that the lead character Emily has issues – rather big issues to begin with.  Her self esteem is in the cellar and she is paranoid beyond belief.  Seeing another woman killed right before her eyes was indeed traumatizing, and Emily took that moment and it started to define her life.  

Researching and discovering all she could of Rose – the woman who had died instead of her – Emily was moved by the life she had led, the beautiful home, gorgeous husband who seemed to idolize her,  the numerous friends she had, her perfect gorgeous son, and even the co-workers who loved her.  It was a life Emily coveted.  

First Emily landed Rose’s old job, and then she worked her way into becoming Rose’s husband’s friend and confidante.  But soon Emily came to understand that the perfect life she thought Rose had was not as perfect as it seemed to be.  

High suspense, and some very dark scenarios to keep you on the edge.    Great read! 

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

Maybe4You

Paperback, 320 pages                               Published August 28th 2018 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

ISBN: 9781250140029                  Series:   Whiskey and Weddings #3      Rating:  4*

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she really wants out of life. She’s fresh out of the military and back stateside where her big brother wants to take care of her as he always had since she was orphaned at 7 years of age.   Consequently he offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery his business whom he partners with three of his best friends. Unbeknownst to him Alexis has preliminarily accepted a job working for the CIA.  The new job would be starting in  3 or so months and knowing it would just be for the summer she agrees to work for the Family business  taking it on as  a challenge and a change.  After all Alexis would be accompanying her best friend and email pal Jake Cooper on a Stag Distillery cross-country promotional tour. Jake may have a playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And along the road, she is beginning to like what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agreed that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: they’re consenting adults and what happens on the road and in the RV stays on the road and in the RV!  Although ‘crap happens’  and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can this notorious playboy convince Alexis that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Absolutely a really heartfelt romance, with a best friend who thinks he doesn’t deserve the girl but wants her anyway, knowing of the love she is still holds fast to and still grieving over the finance she lost. This story definitely has a strong emotional pull and the romance and sensualness are really over the top!  Loved it.

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Sold On A Monday by Kristina McMorris

SoldMonday

Published:    8/28/18                                       Rating: 5*

Sourcebooks Landmark                                ISBN: 9781492663997

Just so tired of covering and photographing society events for his newspaper Ellis Reed drove through a town and stopped by a sign and scene that evoked memories of a dark past from his childhood.  The sign read “ 2 CHILDREN FOR SALE”.  Evidently it was the final act of a family’s struggle to feed themselves in 1931.  The great Crash, the great depression, bread lines, soup kitchens – it could have been written by so many families who couldn’t stand to see her children starve.  

Ellis took the picture bringing it back to the paper where Lillian Palmer saw it and brought it to the chief editor who wanted a story to go with it.  It was the big break Ellis Reed needed, even though the picture was never meant for publication. But then just before it was printed, it was damaged and Ellis had to go back and re-take the photo, only the original children weren’t there, so he substituted other children into the photo with disastrous results.  

Both Ellis and Lillian realize that their actions had caused a great deal of misunderstanding and grief and though there was connection to their friendship they both felt the need to try and correct the actions that had been set in motion. As the two try to mend the fractured family, they naturally find a commonality and sense of soul in each other.  

As this book was inspired by an actual article and photograph from a newspaper that stunned a nation, you’ll find this to be a powerful novel of love and redemption between two unexpected souls who found their way back to a way of life they had been missing,

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

4Funerals&Wedding

NET Galley August 7, 2018       Series:  Her Royal Spyness #12

ASIN  B077CNY4P9                   Rating:   5*

Have to say I really enjoyed FOUR FUNERALS AND A WEDDING from a series and an author I had never read before.  There were plenty of chuckles that slipped past my lips as I got further and further into this story and mystery.   Judging that this is the 12th volume in the series I can just about imagine some of the scrapes our heroine Georgie had to have gotten into based on the innuendoes mentioned of some of her past  klutziness.  Somehow if Georgie were a real person I’d definitely have to make her a BFF.

Getting back to the story, it seemed that things seem to be really going Georgies way – not only is she making plans for her long awaited wedding to the love of her life, but she has just learned that she is the heir of one of her mothers ex-husbands – Sir Hubert Anstruther .  Plus he has invited her to make her new home in his house in the country.  And so begins the main offensive of Georgie versus the household staff at Eynsley Hall who clearly do not want any interference of a Royal whose expectations are for them to serve her.   

Georgie, along with a lively plethora  of other family and friends was a delight and all the secondary characters only added to the enjoyment of the entire mystery.  Questioned  – who were these odd band of misfit servants? Why have a cook who didn’t even know how to brew a decent cup of tea?  Alas, you will have to read this marvelous tome to discover the latest foibles of Lady Georgiana! 

A total delight from start to finish!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

TheOtherWoman

For a debut novel THE OTHER WOMAN had a twist to it I never saw coming!  Thinking about it did I have my own idea on how it could have played out, well yes – but I was not the author and because of that I still think it was extremely good.  

Emily thinks Adam is perfect; so perfect that she couldn’t imagine why he took notice of her.  Basically she just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop because her self esteem couldn’t comprehend that this ever so handsome dude was paying so much attention to her.  What Emily never suspected was that in the back ground there was a sinister  ‘ other woman’  who was not about to let Emily come between her and her son!

From the moment Emily met “Pammie”  the mother, she sensed that this woman had a very deep bond with her son and knew that in spite of Pammie’s kind words, there was a sense of knowing that they were only spoken, but not felt.  Unfortunately, Adam wouldn’t believe that his mother had any ulterior motives towards Emily after he had asked her to marry him. Emily knew better but couldn’t speak a bad word against Pammie and had to walk on eggshells  to see Adam happy.

You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat thru this one from beginning until the end.  Great psychological thriller casting a tense  dysfunctional relationship between Emily, her fiancé Adam and his twisted mother Pammie.       Hold onto your seat – you won’t see the twist when it hits you like a bolt of lightening!

Marilyn Rondeau