* Review * SLAY BELLS RING by Nancy Robards Thompson

* Review * SLAY BELLS RING by Nancy Robards ThompsonSlay Bells Ring by Nancy Robards Thompson
Series: The Wedding Bell Mysteries #1
Published by Tule Publishing on October 7, 2019
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four-half-stars

It's one thing to write a mystery, but when your daughter is the suspect -- you solve it.

Wedding planner Jenna Bell doesn’t panic when the groom is a no-show to the ceremony – even though he is her former high school sweetheart and this wedding is the small town's event of the year. However, when he turns up dead and she is falsely accused… well, yeah, now it’s the time to panic.

Jenna’s mother, Maddie, puts her cozy mystery writing skills to use to try to clear her daughter’s name, stepping on by-the-book Chief of Police Jackson Bradley's toes in the process. No matter how enticing he finds her, he doesn’t want this writer-turned-amateur-sleuth interfering with his murder investigation.

With nearly all of Hemlock, North Carolina, picking sides and the town's own Gossip Brigade churning out the rumors, Maddie discovers the mystery isn't very cozy when it hits this close to home.

 

This small town cozy mystery is sure to delight! SLAY BELLS RING is the first book in The Wedding Bell Mysteries series by Nancy Robard Thompson and it definitely kept me guessing right up until the end. An intriguing plot was quick to catch my attention and the delightful cast of family, friends and townsfolk had a witty charm that carried the storyline well. I’m looking forward to more in the series.

Maddie and Jenna Bell make an adorable mother/daughter team in wedding planning and mystery solving in this delightful small town gem. The wedding of the year is all they’ve been working on but when the groom and Jenna’s ex-boyfriend winds up dead, this dynamic duo will be stepping on Maddie’s suitor and chief of police Jackson’s toes to follow the clues.

four-half-stars

* Review * THE LIES WE TELL by Debra Webb

* Review * THE LIES WE TELL by Debra WebbThe Lies We Tell by Debra Webb
Series: The Undertaker's Daughter #2
Published by MIRA on September 17, 2019
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four-stars

Nothing hurts like the truth.

Doctor Rowan Dupont knows a serial killer is coming for her. Julian Addington has been waiting. Watching. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes. But what Julian doesn’t know is that Rowan is ready for him. And more than anything she wants answers. How well did the depraved killer actually know her mother? And how many lies have been spun in the years since she took her own life?

Working alongside her childhood friend Police Chief Billy Brannigan, Rowan is determined to get to the bottom of her mother’s puzzling suicide once and for all—even if it means exposing an unsettling past. It certainly seems like her family’s Victorian funeral home has borne witness to more than one dark secret, but when a recent double homicide leads to an even grislier discovery, separating the truth from the lies might be the last thing Rowan does.

 

A satisfying continuation of the hunt for a serial killer as secrets of Rowan’s past keep coming to the surface. Additional murders in town have them wondering if Julian is around every corner. I wasn’t quite as on the edge of my seat with this one as I was in the first book, but I’m still intrigued and looking forward to the conclusion!

four-stars

* Release Blast/Review * JUST ONE CHANCE by Carly Phillips

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Release Blast/Review * JUST ONE CHANCE by Carly PhillipsJust One Chance by Carly Phillips
Series: The Kingston Family #3
Published by CP Publishing on October 12, 2021
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five-stars

He thought she was the one…until she walked away. Now she’s back and he wants her more than ever.

As a former Marine, Xander Kingston’s writing keeps him sane. Bonus? His thrillers made him one of Hollywood’s most desired screenwriters—and also introduced him to a fledgling starlet who broke his heart. With his close-knit family in New York, Xander returned home and found peace. Until Sasha Keaton shows up at his Hamptons retreat. Now an A-Lister, she’s as beautiful as he remembers. And just as dangerous to his heart.

Sasha learned from watching her mother to never sacrifice her dreams for anyone—only to discover how empty life could be without the man she loved. Now cast in Xander’s latest movie, she needs his insight to play the part, but secretly hopes for a second chance.

Xander has built emotional walls to keep Sasha at a distance, but their physical attraction can’t be denied. When a stalker’s threats intensify, Xander moves Sasha into his house to keep her safe. Before long she's back in his bed and making inroads in his life.

But when the danger passes and the movie wraps, Sasha and Xander face a familiar choice—put career first or give love a fighting chance.

 

Carly Phillips always delivers on my next book boyfriend! With the third book in her Kingston Family series we get a reunion to remember from the man who has been intriguing us from afar in the first couple of books in the series. In JUST ONE CHANCE Xander is reunited with the woman who broke his heart and the sparks are flying as soon as they are within touching distance again. I loved their story and can’t wait for Dash’s next!

Xander is the epitome of a strong, silent type. The military life he led left him loving peace and solitude on his return home and it just so happens to work with his thriller writing career.

Sasha is accomplished and driven, but that life isn’t holding the draw for her these days that it once did, and regret for walking away from the life she and Xander could have shared together is a bitter pill to swallow.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys a group of close knit siblings who love hard and support each other through life day after day as each of them works towards that happily ever after.

 

 

 

 

Release Date: October 12

He thought she was the one . . . until she walked away.  Now she’s back and he wants her more than ever.

 

As a former Marine, Xander Kingston’s writing keeps him sane.  Bonus? His thrillers made him one of Hollywood’s most desired screenwriters – and also introduced him to a fledgling starlet who broke his heart. With his close-knit family in New York, Xander returned home and found peace. Until Sasha Keaton shows up at his Hamptons retreat. Now an A-Lister, she’s as beautiful as he remembers. And just as dangerous to his heart.

 

Sasha learned from watching her mother to never sacrifice her dreams for anyone—only to discover how empty life could be without the man she loved. Now cast in Xander’s latest movie, she needs his insight to play the part, but secretly hopes for a second chance.

 

Xander has built emotional walls to keep Sasha at a distance, but their physical attraction can’t be denied. When a stalker’s threats intensify, Xander moves Sasha into his house to keep her safe. Before long she’s back in his bed and making inroads in his life. 

 

But when the danger passes and the movie wraps, Sasha and Xander face a familiar choice—put career first or give love a fighting chance.

Grab Your Copy Here:
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Meet Carly Phillips

NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller, Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire. 
 
She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. 
 
The author of 50 romance novels, she has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a full time writer. 
 
Carly’s book, The Bachelor, was chosen by Kelly Ripa as a romance club pick and was the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. 
 
Carly loves social media and interacting with her readers. 
 
Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter (below) and receive TWO FREE books at www.carlyphillips.com.

 

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five-stars

* Review * HARVEST DANCE by Jennifer Faye

* Review * HARVEST DANCE by Jennifer FayeHarvest Dance by Jennifer Faye
Series: Bluestar Island #2
Published by Lazy Dazy Press on October 5, 2021
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five-stars

A single dad, who’s in over his head, and an event planner running from her past, are drawn together on charming Bluestar Island by a determined seven-year-old and her escape-artist goat.

Event planner, Charlotte “Aster” Smith, has fled the only life she has ever known. The situation has left her questioning her own judgment as she cautiously tries to create a new life for herself on Bluestar Island. Taking the job of event coordinator for the small town is a step in the right direction. The only problem is it’s currently a parttime position, but the mayor suggests with additional funding the position could transform into a full-time job. In the meantime, she needs a second job in order to stay financially afloat.

Farmer and single father, Sam Bell, is struggling to keep his aging farm from going bankrupt while raising his young daughter. And now that his daughter’s babysitter is heading off to college, he needs help. So when he finds Aster is in need of work, he thinks his problems are solved. But things aren’t always what they seem. And he can’t help wondering what Aster is keeping from him.

In the lingering rays of a Bluestar Island sunset, Sam and Aster find themselves dancing upon the sand. As they help each other heal, the possibility of a future together becomes tangible. But will the ghosts from their pasts extinguish this budding romance?

 

An emotional return to Bluestar Island! HARVEST DANCE is book two in Jennifer Faye’s delightful small town series centering around a single father and a new addition to the island. The characters are intriguing from the start, the follow through of telling their backstories and endearing them to the reader’s heart is spot on and Nikki and Dash are a delightful addition to the story that bring about smiles often. I am loving Bluestar Island!

Charlotte AKA Aster is taking a chance by settling into this cozy small town and hoping for the best. She’s sweet and sincere but the secrets she is hiding could be dangerous. I enjoyed watching her and Sam give in to what they were feeling for each other.

Sam is a sweetheart of a man. He lost the love of his life and blames so much of what he perceives as failures on himself. It’s heartwarming to see Aster help him to forgive and move forward.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys a small town with close knit residents who are always there to lend a hand to a friend in need.

five-stars

* Review * REBEL YULE by Kate Meader

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * REBEL YULE by Kate MeaderRebel Yule by Kate Meader
Series: Rookie Rebels #5.5
Published by Kate Meader LLC on October 12, 2021
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five-stars

Chicago Rebels goalie Erik gets his shot at love . . . but first he'll have to figure out what he did to offend the woman he's crushed on forever.

Casey Higgins, assistant to the Chicago Rebels owner, has a smile for everyone who comes into the front office—everyone but goalie Erik Jorgenson. And he has no idea why. For the last year, she’s refused to give him a kind word, and finally, he’s had enough. At the Rebels holiday party he’ll uncover the root of their mysterious conflict and show this woman that goalkeepers do their best work . . . on their knees.

Can a little Yuletide cheer get Erik into Casey’s good graces, warm bed, and frozen heart? Or will he fumble the puck and lose his chance? Join the Chicago Rebels this holiday season and find out if Erik is as good at saving Christmas as he is at saving goals!

 

Sweet, sassy and oh so steamy! Kate Meader is giving her fans a holiday treat with a Rookie Rebels holiday novella featuring fan fav Erik Jorgenson! He’s had his eye on Harper’s sexy assistant for a year now, but she still stares daggers at him every time he crosses her path so he decides enough is enough at the holiday party and sets out to find out why she hates him. Witty banter and a steamy connection makes for a delightful dash into the holidays for Rebels hockey fans and I couldn’t have loved it more!

five-stars

* Review * ALL THE SAUCE by Toni Aleo

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * ALL THE SAUCE by Toni AleoAll the Sauce by Toni Aleo
Series: IceCats #5
on October 12, 2021
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four-half-stars

Owen Adler has spent his whole life being half of a matched set. But when his twin brother Evan leaves hockey—and him—behind on the Carolina IceCats, Owen finds he has to skate a new path on his own.

Angie Paxton knows a lot about being on her own. She pushed Nashville, and the trauma she experienced there, to the back of her mind and started over in South Carolina. And though she’s blooming where she planted herself both academically and professionally, emotionally, she’s been struggling under the weight of her past.

Owen has had a thing for Angie since they were kids, but she would never give him the time of day. Now that they’re reconnecting as adults, they quickly find they want to spend all their days together. Angie is struggling to let go of the insecurities that plague her, but growing up Adler has made Owen an expert at getting what he wants. And for him, Angie is the only goal worth making.

 

A delectably delicious return to Carolina IceCats hockey! ALL THE SAUCE is book four in Toni Aleo’s IceCats hockey series and centers around Owen Adler and Angie Paxton. The characters were quick to hold my attention and the important issues touched on in this book made it well rounded and rewarding. Looking forward to more in the series!

Owen is a reformed playboy and a sweetheart who loves his twin bro more than just about anything in the world. They have been together through thick and thin and now that Evan is quitting hockey to improve his outlook on life, Owen has to figure out who he is without him by his side.

Angie is easy to sympathize with because she feels like the lessons life has thrown at her and her reaction to them has left her snowed under in a way she’s not having an easy time digging herself out of. She’s a real go getter when it comes to achieving her dreams, but she sees herself as less than and that withholds a lot of life from her.

I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series to anyone who enjoys a hockey setting with funny moments between the teammates as each of them finds their one and only along the way.

four-half-stars

* Review * THE SECRETS WE BURY by Debra Webb

* Review * THE SECRETS WE BURY by Debra WebbThe Secrets We Bury by Debra Webb
Series: The Undertaker's Daughter #1
Published by MIRA on April 30, 2019
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five-stars

Nothing stays buried forever…

Doctor Rowan Dupont knows death. She grew up surrounded by it in her family’s Victorian funeral home, and it’s haunted her since the day her twin sister drowned years ago. Between her mother’s subsequent suicide and the recent murder of her father, coming home to run the funeral home feels fitting—even if it leaves her vulnerable to an obsessive serial killer.

Rowan refuses to let fear keep her from honoring her family. But the more time she spends back in Winchester, Tennessee, the more she finds herself questioning what really happened that fateful summer. Had her sister’s death truly been an accident? And what pushed their mother to take her own life? The dark lake surrounding Rowan’s hometown holds as many secrets as the bodies that float in its chilling depths. But Rowan is running out of time if she’s going to uncover the truth before somebody sinks her for good.

 

High intensity intrigue with a lot of heart thrown in the mix! The first full length book in Debra Webb’s The Undertaker’s Daughter series picks up shortly after the prequel and immediately hooks a reader with the mystery that surrounds Rowan now that she’s returned home to Winchester. The story continues the hunt for the serial killer we saw revealed in the prequel while adding to our knowledge of Rowan’s past and uncovering further secrets and betrayals along the way. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a series revolving around a serial killer with smaller mysteries to solve along the way.

five-stars

* Review * BREAKING THE RULES by Kendall Ryan

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * BREAKING THE RULES by Kendall RyanBreaking the Rules by Kendall Ryan
Series: Hot Jocks #8
on October 12, 2021
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four-stars

In this much anticipated return of the hockey team you know and love, you'll see what the guys are up to now, and meet the hot new rookie on the team.
It also includes bonus material and deleted scenes from the original series

 

A short glimpse back into the Hot Jocks series! BREAKING THE RULES by Kendall Ryan has a short story with follow up of a fan favorite couple, Becca and Owen. While I loved the check in to see how life is treating them as a reader of the entire series, this novella would not feel complete to someone who didn’t read their original story. I highly recommend reading at a minimum ALL THE WAY which was book 2 in the series and Owen and Becca’s full story. The second novellaish story in this new book is a glimpse into the new rookie player on the team and was a quick and sassy read. I enjoyed it!

A check in with Becca and Owen from ALL THE WAY, plus updates on several other players and their families.

A glimpse into the life of rookie Preston and his feisty roomie Essex.

four-stars

* Review * THE BUTLER by Danielle Steel

* Review * THE BUTLER by Danielle SteelThe Butler by Danielle Steel
Published by Delacorte Press on October 5, 2021
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four-stars

Joachim von Hartmann was born and raised in Buenos Aires by his loving German mother, inseparable from his identical twin. When Joachim moves to Paris with his mother in his late teens, his twin stays behind and enters a dark world. Meanwhile, Joachim begins training to be a butler, fascinated by the precision and intense demands, and goes on to work in some of the grandest homes in England. His brother never reappears.

Olivia White has given ten years of her life to her magazine, which failed, taking all her dreams with it. A bequest from her mother allows her a year in Paris to reinvent herself. She needs help setting up a home in a charming Parisian apartment. It is then that her path and Joachim’s cross.

Joachim takes a job working for Olivia as a lark and enjoys the whimsy of a different life for a few weeks, which turn to months as the unlikely employer and employee learn they enjoy working side by side. At the same time, Joachim discovers the family history he never knew: a criminal grandfather who died in prison, the wealthy father who abandoned him, and the dangerous criminal his twin has become. While Olivia struggles to put her life back together, Joachim’s comes apart.

Stripped of their old roles, they strive to discover the truth about each other and themselves, first as employer and employee, then as friends. Their paths no longer sure, they are a man and woman who reach a place where the past doesn’t matter and only what they are living now is true.

 

This unlikely pair won me over! Danielle Steel can always be counted on to delve right into the heart of a character and with her signature ease of prose, she hooks her reader with the character’s storyline early and unravels their life right before our eyes. I highly enjoyed Joachim and Olivia!

Joachim is a gentle soul and very likable from the start. We learn the path he chose in life and watch him mature and settle into a career he loves only to have an upheaval come about that allows him to return to his homeland for the first time in multiple decades and reconnect with a past he previously only skimmed the surface of.

Olivia is at a crossroad in life and showcases her fortitude quickly when she sets out on a solitary journey of enlightenment.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a women’s fiction novel that brings two characters to a turning point in life and watches as they reevaluate and connect to prosper in something new.

four-stars

* Review * THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER by Debra Webb

* Review * THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER by Debra WebbThe Undertaker's Daughter by Debra Webb
Series: The Undertaker's Daughter #.5
Published by Pink House Press on December 27, 2018
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five-stars

Dr. Rowan DuPont and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department are hunting a serial killer. All the victims have one thing in common--they could be Rowan's twin, except her twin sister is dead.

Rowan grew up in a funeral home, surrounded by death, so her keen insights into homicide cases seldom fall short of the mark. Though growing up as the undertaker's daughter made her acutely aware of life and all its frailties, she is only human. Will her one mistake in this shocking case be her last one?

 

Debra Webb hooked me from the first page! With the prequel to her The Undertaker’s Daughter series Webb sets the stage for a manhunt for a serial killer who is knocking too close to home for Dr. Rowan DuPont’s comfort. In THE UNDERTAKER’S DAUGHTER the characters are easy to connect with, the drama is high and the set up for the story yet to come is intense. I loved every minute of it!

Rowan is a complex character with a high intensity job and a back story that makes her easy to sympathize with.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an action packed serial killer mystery. This series is a continuation from book to book, so cliffhangerish.

five-stars