RumorsTitle:  Rumors
Series: 1 of 2 parts (at least)
Author:  A. C. Arthur
Genre:  Mystery
Published:  December 30, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Her death tore them apart. Will solving her murder bring them back together?

Best friends Landy, Tenile, Nicole, Nathan, Justin, and Kareem were the golden children of Tanner University. Their paths were set: doctors, lawyers, business moguls, they were going to light the world on fire. Then, two weeks before graduation, Landy was murdered—and Nathan was blamed. Though he was never charged, vicious rumors drove him from town, and the circle of friends broke.

Ten years later, Nathan is back in Tanner, determined to clear his name. He’s asking questions no one wants answered, and soon rumors threaten to divide the community once more. Everyone in this small town is keeping big secrets—especially Landy’s old friends—and someone is willing to kill to keep their darkest deeds buried. . . .

This is a new edition of the previously self-published title Within The Shadows.

Read on for my thoughts on Rumors.  No true spoilers, promise.

Violets & ViolenceTitle:  Violets & Violence
Series:
Author:  Morgan Parker
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Published:  December 15, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Violet has magical talent. She can levitate, walk through glass, and be in two places at one time. What happens when Violet discovers true magic in the arms of a new man?

Luke Kemble enjoys the luxury of having Violet, all of her magic and all of her beauty, all to himself. What happens to Luke’s illusion of reality when he and the love of his life are threatened by another man, a dangerous one that holds grudges and anger?

Carter Borden never fully recovered from the heartbreak of his ex-wife leaving him. What happens to a damaged man who begins to believe in magic once again?

Follow two men — Luke and Carter — as they learn the one truth about Violet’s magic (that it’s an only an illusion) and the one truth about her love (that it’s not)

Read on for my thoughts on Violets & Violence.  No true spoilers, promise.

I’m not even going to send you to the next page.  I cannot truly review this one without giving away important (In My Opinion) spoilers.  So let’s cover the very basics.

Violet is an amazing magician.  She is magical on the stage.  One night during a show an audience member joins her on the stage.  The rest, as they say is history – or the story.  The story is told through the viewpoints of the two men in Violet’s life.  Luke, not only her manager, but her love, her only love for a long time.  Carter, still reeling from a divorce, he is broken but stating to mend as Violet’s love rushes through his life.  Was illusion only for the stage or did it flow over into Violet’s personal life as well?

Reading Violets & Violence was like peeling an onion, layer after layer until you finally reach the core.  I honestly cannot say more or I will give away key parts of their story.

If you love mysteries and thrillers – you won’t be disappointed.  If you love romance – there is plenty of steamy loving going on.  If you love trying to figure out a magician’s secrets – I dare you to figure out the finish.

It’s a 4 outta 5 rating for me.  I really enjoyed this one.  It was a slow, detailed builder of a story.  Even now, I’m still not sure I know all of Violet’s magic tricks.  Read it for yourself – I think you’ll find a wonderful love story at the middle of a mystery.

*I received an e-ARC of Violets & Violence from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

A Christmas Wedding Desert KingsTitle:  A Christmas Wedding
Series:  Desert Kings (novella)
Author:  Jennifer Lewis
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  December 9, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

In A Christmas Wedding, Sam Al Kilanjar attempts to negotiate her first holiday season in a country with different customs, a big fat Ubarite wedding and the arrival of her drama-loving family, all without losing her mind—or her beloved, who is called away to deal with a crisis on the eve of their wedding.

Veronica Baxter is excited about her wedding to Zadir Al Kilanjar, but worries that her estranged parents will ruin everything.

Can they find Christmas miracles among the madness and enjoy the weddings they’ve dreamed of?

Read on for my thoughts on  A Christmas Wedding (Desert Kings).  No true spoilers, promise.

I’m not even going to attempt to set up a teaser introduction to this review.  You have everything you need for the basics in the Story Blurb.  🙂

This novella was such a fun read.  I laughed until tears flowed – and that doesn’t happen often.  Try bringing Christmas traditions to a country that has none – add in a stress-out Queen who turns into a Bride-zilla or a Christmas-zilla, if you will – a bride’s parents who aren’t speaking to each other – a groom who refuses to not see his intended before the wedding – an eruption of butterflies – goats running rampant and two happily ever after couples finally united in an American style wedding.

Oh come on – how can you not chuckle just reading that?  😉

Please, please I beg you – when you need a good, fun, charming love story no matter the time of the year – when you just need to smile and laugh for a bit in a drudge of a day… turn to A Christmas Wedding (Desert Kings) and simply enjoy.  Then find the other books in the series and enjoy even more.

I have to give this one 5 outta 5 – it made me laugh and feel good and if that doesn’t deserve the highest rating, I don’t know what does.   This one goes in my Christmas reading collection because I intend to enjoy it again next year and beyond.

*I received an e-ARC of A Christmas Wedding (Desert Kings)  from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

 

A Matchmaker's ChristmasTitle:  A Matchmaker’s Christmas
Series:
Author:  Donna Lea Simpson
Genre:  Historical Romance, Christmas
Published:  December 17, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Twenty years ago, Beatrice Copland committed a reckless and foolish act of deceit that she’s certain ruined the life of a man she’d fallen in love with and led to his wife’s death. Now serving as companion to the stern Lady Bournaud, she leads a quiet life and attends to her duties as a kind of penance. But Lady Bournaud, trying to make amends for her own selfish ways, is opening her country estate to a few select guests for the holidays—including the man Beatrice wronged so many years ago.

Sir David Chappell spent nearly two decades coming to terms with the haunting memory of his wife’s death. When he receives an invitation to Lady Bournaud’s for the Christmas season, he’s reluctant to go at first, but he’s sure the time away in Yorkshire will be a welcome change from London. Once there, he’s immediately captivated by the youthful beauty and genuine compassion of the lady’s companion, Beatrice Copland—all the while sensing that he’s met her before.

Even as David pursues her and Beatrice realizes she’s still powerfully attracted to the man, she must gently rebuff his advances for fear that her damning secret will come to light and reopen his old wounds. And while Lady Bournaud watches, happily scheming to make matches for all her guests, it may take more than a Christmas miracle for David to free Beatrice’s conscience, and her heart, at last.

Read on for my thoughts on A Matchmaker’s Christmas.  No true spoilers, promise.

The ConfessionalTitle:  The Confessional
Series:
Author:  Reiny Pierson
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Published:  January 6, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Sarah Tazewell, a cerebral, highly intuitive woman, knew from an early age that she was psychic. When she and her husband David buy a confessional booth from The Governor’s Antiques in Mechanicsville, VA and convert it into a phone booth for their Queen Anne Victorian, Sarah senses a presence in the confessional. Later, the voices become only one voice: that of a murderer that rapes and strangles his victims. Though consumed with fear and anxiety, Sarah refuses to be a victim and sets out on a journey to learn more about the confessional. Sarah’s antagonist is a brilliant, charismatic sexual psychopath who conforms to a ritual of murder and confession. The confessional in the 100-year-old church where he confessed was an integral part of the ritual. When he comes to confess after another murder, he finds “his” confessional gone and begins a frantic search to find it.

Read on for my thoughts on The Confessional.  No true spoilers, promise.

Waiting on Wednesday“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m waiting for the next installment of an unusual mystery series.  The Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series follows the life, times and animals in need of a particular human’s intervention.  Think of The Ghostwhisper tv series – now consider that you are able to “talk” to animals, interact on an intelligent, conversational level … then you have an idea of what the Pru Marlowe murder mysteries novels are about.  Murder is never a snap to solve but when you have the purr-fect eye witness playing beside the dead body why not use what you’ve got?  If you can psychically talk to the animals – why not ask what they know?

Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon is due out on March 3, 2015.

I have admitted before that I’m a sucker for covers – and that cover looks exactly like my Leia (see her picture below) when she was an itty-bitty kitten.  Now she’s a 30 pound huge ball of fluff, but the blue eyes – yeah, a cover to touch my heart.  🙂

 

 

Kittens Can KillThe dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind –with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will.

Pru’s special sensory talents and sensitivity to animals that caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires add further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed with money running out. There’s that needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels? But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?

 

This is one of my cats – a Ragdoll called Leia.  We often call her a “puppy-cat” because she loves to roll over and get her belly scratched.  Now Leia and I have conversations – she meows and I answer.  I have No Clue what she is saying but she is enthusiastic about whatever her point is.  I certainly wish I could talk to the animals too.   Or maybe I don’t really want to know….  *snicker*

Leia 03

Leia 01

teaser tuesdayOne of the fun parts of taking part in blog hops (aside from getting to visit new to me blogs) is finding great ways to interact with other book lovers.  This is one:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Get over yourself.  And get out of those clothes.”

Ian winced.  Since she put it that way.

“And concentrate.  Picture a wolf in your head,” Sara repeated.

~Of Shadow & Stone by Michelle Muto

Want to read more about this Tease?  Click “Read More” for the cover blurb & the link to my review of it.  🙂

What A Lady RequiresTitle:  What A Lady Requires
Series:  The Eton Boys Trilogy (book 3)
Author:  Ashlyn Macnamara
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.

Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.

Read on for my thoughts on What A Lady Requires.  No true spoilers, promise.

What A Devilish Duke DesiresTitle:  What A Devilish Duke Desires
Series:  The Sinful Scoundrels (book 3)
Author:  Vicky Dreiling
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS

Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle’s title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it’s all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.

LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?

Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome—not to mention wealthy—duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man’s trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry’s scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn’t change it first.

Read on for my thoughts on What A Devilish Duke Desires.  No true spoilers, promise.

Of Shadow & StoneTitle:  Of Shadow & Stone
Series:
Author:  Michelle Muto
Genre:  Paranormal
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Gargoyles were created centuries ago to protect mankind, but something went horribly wrong. Now only the sentinel—a mortal chosen to control the stone beasts—stands between them and their human prey.

When the latest sentinel is killed, Kate Mercer is destined to take his place. But Kate has enough going on in her life—like a skyrocketing film career, a delusional ex-boyfriend, and a crazed stalker who will stop at nothing to get to her. But the powers that be have decided, and Kate is transported to Shadow Wood, a mysterious castle that serves as a sanctuary for the supernatural. Although beautiful, Shadow Wood is no safe place for a mere mortal. Yet Kate is drawn not only to the gargoyles but also to Ian McGuire, a charming novelist who might be in the greatest danger of all.

As Kate decides whether to accept the most perilous role of her life, she discovers there are more secrets than answers within the castle’s walls. Her survival and Ian’s depend on her ability to master the gargoyles before time runs out. Is fate really cast in stone?

Read on for my thoughts on Of Shadow & Stone.

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