Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Unexpected Duchess by Valerie Bowman

The Unexpected Duchess (Playful Brides, #1)

Book one in the Playful Brides series. Meet Lady Lucy who has a tongue that she can never keep silent much to society's dismay. She meets Lord Derek Hunt as he begins his search for his duchess. He just happens to set his sights on Lucy's friend though the friend is in love with another man making her very uninterested in his suit so she asks Lucy to help her run him off since she has no problem saying whatever comes to mind. This leads to sparks flying between the two as they battle back and forth with another in pursuit of the friend. What neither realizes is that they are really falling in love with each other though they fight it every step of the way. Excellent historical romance novel that has lots of things going on as we get to watch the relationship progress at the same time. Sparks fly constantly as the two but heads and the result is steamy and comical at the same time. I highly recommend this to fans of historical romance novels and since I really enjoyed it I give it 4/5 stars.

Death of a Country Fried Redneck by Lee Hollis

Death of a Country Fried Redneck (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #2)

Book two in the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series. I did not like this book as much as I liked the first one. It starts with Hayley being really excited that her favorite country singer is coming to town to hold two charity concerts. He will be looking to hire a chef for his stay which gives Hayley hope that she can meet him by cooking for him. She sneaks into the kitchen at the diner to cook his breakfast and though and behold while things did not work exactly as planned she still got the job. While delivering his food she is harassed by one of his road crew so the singer fires him. Things should have been fine but the guy is found dead later after being burnt up in one of the tour buses. Of course the singer has to be one of the main suspects so Hayley has to finds out what really happened to clear his name. The murder investigation follows a normal pattern which in a good world would mean that it was good but all the fan girl antics in this book turned me right off. It seemed like every other page Hayley was acting like a teenager meeting her crush which is really annoying. I was happy to hit the last page so I can move onto the next book in the series hoping that it is more like the first one then this one. I marked it as 3/5 stars on Goodreads but if I am being totally honest it is more like 2.5.

Tangled Up in Brew by Joyce Tremel

Tangled Up in Brew (Brewing Trouble, #2)

Book two in the Brewing Trouble series. We start with Max and Jake as a couple that seems to be taking it really slow so they do not ruin their friendship (think molasses I did). For this installment the two of them will be participating in the Three Rivers Brews and Burgers Festival which changes things up a little bit as they are not at the shop all of the time (though Max has to pop in constantly to keep all of the beer brewing or just to check the gauges). Max has entered the beer competition while Jake has entered the cooking part so they each play to their strengths. A last minute change in the judges places a very cranky food critic as the third and final judge. He is very unpleasant so it was not a surprise when he was the one that was murdered though it happening while he was tasting Jake's food made things a little rough. On top of that Max's dad is training a new partner who is adamant that Jake is guilty no matter what. Of course this makes Max investigate until she finally discovers what really happened keeping Jake from jail. The writing is amazing and again the little details throughout the book really ties the story all together keeping me hook until I finally ran out pages to read. Great for fans of cozy mysteries. I really enjoyed it so it gets 4/5 stars.

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel

To Brew or Not to Brew (Brewing Trouble, #1)

Book one in the Brewing Trouble series. Meet Max O'Hara as she attempts to open her own brewpub in Pittsburgh in a building the previous belonged to a very large brewery that burned down years before. In the few short weeks before she is set to open vandalism stars to occur though small and minor at first it quickly escalates all the way to murder when the best friend/chef is murdered. As the daughter of a detective Max finds she cannot help but investigate. While doing that she hires her brothers best friend to be her new chef but the catch is that she has had a crush on him since she was a teenager which leads to some tension off and on after work. As the investigation heats up so does the romance until they both finally come to head. I will admit that I would have preferred a little more development on the romance angle but I can live with it how it is if I have to though I am interested to see what happens in book two. The murder was quite good though keeping me hooked until the grand reveal later on. Overall the writing in this is great with lots of brewing details worked in so I highly recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries. I really enjoyed it so it gets 4/5 stars.

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

Spectacle (Menagerie, #2)

Book two in the Menagerie series. This books picks up about a month after the events of the last book when Delilah helped her fellow cryptids take over the menagerie to make their lives more tolerable. They think they have covered their take over quite well until one night directly after closing they are all sedated with dart guns and taken over by The Spectacle Savage which is another group that owns, displays, and essentially tortures cryptids in captivity. Delilah wakes up in a cage and has to find a way to save herself yet again in a whole new environment with technology that she has never dreamed of that controls them all. I admit this story blew my mind a little bit as each new detail came to light. This is a very in depth and detailed world where the aythor really leaves nothing to chance covering all major aspects of a situation while still keeping the reader guessing what will happen next all the way to the last page that of course gives us a cliff hanger to set up for the next book. I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy novels that contain supernatural creatures and more. I really enjoyed reading it so it gets 4/5 stars.

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco

All Signs Point to Murder (Zodiac Mystery #2)

*I received a free copy from Netgalley which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

Book two in the Zodiac Mystery series. Julia is gearing up to be a bridesmaid in her friend Geneva's wedding despite the fact that all of the astrological signs point to the wedding being a very bad idea. As the wedding gets started things start happening one after another with a missing sister of the bride (who is also a bridesmaid) before the ceremony, an unconscious wedding planner after wards, and a deadly shooting that takes place in the middle of the night. Of course this all needs to be investigated to figure out how it all fits together which is exactly what Julia sets out to do with some astrological help along the way as she compiles everyone's charts. Overall this is a really good cozy mystery that keeps the reader hooked until they find out what actually happened. Adding the astrology angle adds just the right touch of whimsy to the mix to make the story still fun even if it is all about a murder. The characters are well developed by this point and easy to get attached. I recommend this to fans of cozy mysteries and since I really enjoyed it I give it 4/5 stars.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare

 A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)

Book two in the Spindle Cove series. I fell in love with this book!! Minerva is an established spinster who demands (I know right) that Colin accompany her on a week long trip to Scotland so she can give a presentation of her geological findings to the group of bigwigs that happen to be all men. This is comical because Colin is a confirmed screw-up so the odds of the trip going smoothly are slim to none. There are plenty of mishaps along the way which just had me cracking up. The romance part had a few different elements too as Colin tried his best to not ruin Minerva on the trip (though she asked him to so). He was willing to try some other stuff though until he finally lost all willpower all together. If these parts were not different enough then we get to the very end there is yet another twist for the last little bit. Overall this is a wonderful historical romance that I highly recommend for those that get tired of the same thing happening all of the time. I loved it so much that I give it 5/5 stars.

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cesari

The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic, #1)

Book one in the Windy City Magic series. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. We get to meet Amber who is the youngest member of the Sands family that has housed some powerful witches over the years. The only problem is that Amber is a matchmaker only which seems to be a lot lower of the hierarchy of magic making her a disappointment to her powerful family members. This also gives her a huge whiny superiority complex that drove me a little crazy throughout the book. When the mayor's fiance  comes up missing his son asks Amber for help thinking her powers are more than they are. This does not stop her from investigating and she finds herself in danger along the way. I liked the mystery part of the story as it was right up my alley with supernatural bad guys and more. My issue was as I stated earlier...her constant whining which made me want to smack her a few times. Still good writing though and if you enjoy YA fantasy books that are different plus a little slower than this book may be for you. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads but I really felt it was a little closer to 2.5.

Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan

Princess Charming

Book one in the Legendary Lovers series. This is a really cute historical romance novel. We get to meet the Wilde cousins as they banded together after the deaths of both sets of their parents to face the world. Now that they are a little older they begin to think that it is time to settle down and marry as they are expected to do. Ashton is the oldest so he goes on his search first only to run across a damsel in distress, Maura, that needs his help to get her beloved stallion back. Unfortunately she is not really interested in a romance much to his dismay. Ash's sister had this grand idea that each of them will find their true love if they only follow the events of certain fairy tales. She has Cinderella in mind for Ash with Maura being his princess. I have to admit I enjoyed this story so much because the female lead was so different from most since she runs and owns her own horse breeding operation. It was quite rare for woman to do that during that time which just made me admire her so much more. This gave her a back bone and at no point did she really need a man to come to her rescue which I always think is nice. This is a must read for those that love a good historical romance so I give it 4/5 stars.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Release Day Blitz for Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

~ Release Day Blitz ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th August, 2017

Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

Read an Excerpt

“I am the Queen! This will be my throne!” The seven-year-old chirped leaping from the middle of the porch towards the broken mortar which served as a mock throne. “You will be my guard!”
“Guard?” the man pondered scratching his unkempt beard. 
“No.” He shook his head and smiled seeing her indignant eyes. “I will be the Queen’s elephant.” He beamed.
Sukratu stepped out of the house to see his daughter in action, perching herself on the tramp Loha’s back, pretending in all earnestness that he was her elephant. He smiled and was about to set out for his duty as the night guard of the King. A sudden lightning appeared in the eastern skies. Sukratu had barely walked a few paces when a deafening thunder made him instinctively turn towards home. He heaved a sigh, finding Loha shielding the girl as if he would, his own child. 
“Father, don’t go.” The girl pleaded. 
Sukratu smiled and shifted his gaze towards the sky. He saw dark clouds loom over the city. The monsoon winds had started to make their presence felt. He had to reach the palace soon. “Isn’t my little Queen brave?” He called out. 
The girl nodded. He saw the fear fade. From her eyes. From her heart. She knew she was the queen! Pride filled his heart. His mind ached to stay home but duty beckoned. Tearing his gaze away from the one he treasured the most in his life, braving the drizzle that would soon turn into a storm, he unwillingly walked towards the King’s residence. Sukratu’s house was in the third ring of the concentric structure of Vrishabhavati. In the centre, was the structure, that served as the residence of the king and as the centre of all trade activity of the city. Here no wealth or goods could change hands without the king’s knowledge and approval. The residences of the noblemen formed the two rings around it. The guards and soldiers forming the outermost circle with the citizens living around them. 
As per the protocol, Sukratu approached General Ugra’s residence quite ahead of his reporting time— an hour before the moonrise. He walked into the empty courtyard. But the rain made it impossible for him to stand there any longer. He knocked at the giant wooden door fervently. The doors creaked as a strange woman clad in a dark indigo garment opened them and glared at him with a frown on her forehead. 
General Ugra, Sukratu knew was never faithful to one woman. His superior’s romantic exploits were not his concern either. But something about the woman at the door disconcerted him. “Please let General Ugra know that…”
“He has already left for the palace!” The woman frowned before attempting to shut the door. 
“What? How ca…” Sukratu’s words hung in air as the door slammed on his face and the woman disappeared from his line of vision all of a sudden. Something did not feel right. He knocked at the door again. Firmly this time, as though seeking answers. Any change in the reporting time would have been announced the day before and he remembered that nothing of the sort had happened. His knocks went unanswered. Frowning and muttering under his breath, Sukratu hurried towards an empty cowshed three houses away from Ugra’s place hoping to catch his companions who he knew would be equally surprised. 
The first to arrive was Khela, the eighteen-year-old guard, holding a metal shield above his head. The newest addition to the King’s guard, Khela was related to General Ugra and Sukratu felt that his position in the King’s guard was largely a result of undue favours that Ugra showered upon an otherwise impudent boy. 
“Sukratu! By the great Varuna, I should have come to you earlier!” Khela hurried towards him. Pausing for breath, he added. “Our platoon has been given a relief tonight! It was a sudden decision and I personally informed all the others.”
“Relief for tonight? That happens only when…”
“Our guarding hours change from night to day!” Khela completed in a hurry. “Now, come with me.” He turned towards the western direction and the javelin he held started to sway dangerously and came close to grazing Sukratu’s arm. 
The older guard’s instincts made him dodge the cut. “Where?” Sukratu hissed, visibly annoyed, first with the fact that he was kept in dark about the change in guarding hours and then about Khela’s irreverent behaviour. “And watch who your weapon hurts, boy.”
Khela shrugged and changed the position of his weapon. “We are now going to the place.” He winked, stretching his hand in the direction. “Follow me, this is the only night we get to have some fun.”
Sukratu did not move. The place he knew implied the tavern where wine was served. “We cannot drink tonight, Khela. When do we have to report tomorrow? By sunrise?”
“You ask too many questions. The rest of us are there too!”
“That does not answer my question.” 
“Well, I don’t know, and I don’t care to. The palace is paying for the wine. Are you coming or not?” 
The last sentence sounded more like a threat than an invite. Sukratu had all the mind to give the youth a piece of his mind and storm back home. His daughter would be overjoyed to see him before she went to sleep. It gnawed at Sukratu’s heart every day to leave her under the care of Loha— the tramp who had begged him for shelter about six months ago and then became a part of his life. The girl liked him instantly and had begged Sukratu to let Loha live with them and he, despite his misgivings about the tramp’s origins and his unkempt appearance, could not refuse his only daughter. Over time, Sukratu felt grateful for Loha’s company. Now his daughter did not have to be all by herself every night. The guard’s home would have been unguarded if not for that stranger. Sukratu brushed aside these thoughts and had almost decided to go home when the thought of meeting other senior guards and clarifying the confusion struck him. He followed Khela’s lead, making no attempt to hide his displeasure. 
When they reached the tavern, Sukratu to his dismay, found many of his brothers in arms deeply drunk. “When did they reach here and when did they…”
“Quite some time before. I just forgot to tell you in advance!”
Sukratu’s eyes scrutinized the men and women of the tavern who were serving wine to the guards. There were no other citizens or travellers in the tavern. 
“Just for us, the whole night!” Khela said as if reading his thoughts, bringing him an earthen goblet. 
The older guard accepted the goblet taking his first sip with a sense of foreboding. 
“Where were you all the time, old friend?” The voice belonged to Tunga one of the senior guards in the platoon. 
The grin on his friend’s face brought a smile to Sukratu’s lips. “Tunga, what is this about the sudden change in our guarding hours?” 
“The King… that imbecile, has finally remembered that we are human too!” Tunga guffawed, emptying his goblet, waving vigorously at a woman of the tavern who obliged with a seductive wink. 
She approached them, skilfully distributing her attention between both the men, winking at Tunga and pouting her lips at Sukratu. Her brows rose at Sukratu’s filled cup. “Don’t keep the Sura nor this Sundari waiting, my love...” Serving Tunga his wine, she placed her fingers upon Sukratu’s shoulders, digging her nails into his skin for a moment locking her gaze with his and turned around swiftly, letting her light upper garment rest on his face for a fleeting moment. 
It was a wilful invitation and Sukratu knew it. His attention though was caught by the colour of the garment. The Indigo hued garment! All the women of the tavern wore clothes of the same colour. So did the woman he saw in General Ugra’s house! Was Ugra at home while the woman lied that he was at the palace? If the General and the whole platoon of the night guard were lying down drunk, who was minding the security of the King? Sukratu looked at the rest of the guards. No one seemed sober enough to talk. The only sober man Khela had disappeared!
“By the great Varuna!” Sukratu exclaimed aloud and rushed out, pushing the woman who tried to stop him away. 
He raced to the King’s residence, as fast as his legs could carry him. The huge wooden gates of the structure were closed and secured from inside. The rain lashed drowning his cries. Misgivings regarding the King’s welfare made him shudder. He had to meet General Ugra. Something told him that the General had his own reasons to send the whole platoon of guards to enjoy a drunk night. He was a guard who had sworn to protect the King with his life. The general owed him an answer. Sukratu rushed to General Ugra’s house determined to confront him. 
That, Sukratu realized was the biggest mistake of his life. 
At the gates of the general’s residence he saw a familiar figure hurrying out of his house, a heavy bundle on his shoulders. “General Ugra!” he called out, feeling relieved. 
The figure started, and the bundle fell to the ground. Sukratu came to a sudden halt as he realized it wasn’t a bundle after all, but a blood-drenched corpse. A stroke of lightning from the sky revealed the face and the very familiar greying curls. Sukratu froze for a long moment before he could speak.
 “K... King...”
Something hit him on the head even before he could utter the name. Sukratu staggered, reeling at the impact, clutching at his long sword in a vain attempt to defend the next move. 
“Finish him!” The General shout behind him. 
Before he turned around, Sukratu felt the cold metal tear into his back. Lightning struck revealing the contours of the person. Khela! The javelin stabbed him again. Thunder drowned his screams. Falling to the ground with the weapon still stuck to his back, Sukratu lifted his sword and managed to slash Khela’s palm though the latter, unlike him was vigilant and alert. Crawling away from the menacing duo, knowing very well that he could not last more than a few moments, Sukratu’s thoughts, went to his innocent daughter. She would now languish as an orphan remaining in dark about the monsters who killed her father. Or would they kill her too?
Sukratu would never know. 

About the Author:
Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.
She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

His Lordship's True Lady by Grace Burrowes

His Lordship's True Lady (True Gentlemen Book 4)

Book four in the True Gentlemen series. If you like historical romance novels than these are the books for you. Hessian is in search of a wife though after making a horrible first marriage he is looking for someone respectable to help him raise his new wards (three kids in all with one girl and two boys). He meets Lily Ferguson who at first glance meets all his requirements of respectability as well as being an heiress. He even enjoys spending time with her which is a pleasant surprise and the kisses are quite nice as well. Unfortunately Lily has a huge secret that no one knows about. When the truth starts to come out both of them begin scrambling to fix things because they have both fallen a little too close to love to give it up. I just loved the problem solving. They are able to fix  the situation to the advantage of all that matter while still keeping society in the dark at the same (this was a big deal during that time making it really necessary). Overall this is a really good romance novel that lets the two fall in love while still being historically accurate and slightly different from every other novel known to man. I like how Grace always changes things up in her books which is why I always have to get my hands on her new releases. I really enjoyed it so I give it 4/5 stars recommending it to fans of historical romances.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

Book three in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I just have to say that I pretty much love every single one of Sarah's book with this one being the same. Feyre has to go back to the Spring court in this one to deal with Tamlin and get some inside information. She keeps the fact that she is High Lady of the Night Court a secret so no one suspects. After tearing apart the court from the inside she makes her way back to Rhysand just in time for them all to have to gear up for war. Now i will admit that the middle bogs down just a little bit since it does take awhile to move all of the pieces that are needed to bring about a war with this many courts and more involved. You would think that all of them would be able to work together to save their butts but of course ti never seems to work that way. There are quite a few surprises throughout the book with a huge one towards the end that me feeling a huge range of emotions all the way until the very last page. This is a must read for fans of YA fantasy books that have incredible writing and surprise in them. Of course it gets 5/5 stars.

Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Book two in the Shadow Magic series written for grades 3-7. Welcome back to the world of Castle Gloom. Lily is still new to leadership and is being plagued by a few problems such as an abundance of undead running round (lots and lots of zombies) along with attacks by jeweled spiders. As things get harder and harder the people start blaming her for their problems because they believe that women should not perform magic, which she does, so she is cursing them. People from entire villages start to go missing and of course Thorn has to investigate along with his trusty bat sidekick. Things really come to head when the trolls decide to declare war making it imperative that Lily and Thorn find out what is really going on. Events move quick in this moving making it impossible for the reader to put it down constantly wanting to know what will be discovered on the next page. Great for kids that love fantasy novels set in made up worlds where the kids get to save the day instead of the grownups. I really enjoyed reading it so it gets 4/5 stars.

Like Father Like Daughter by Christina Morgan

Like Father Like Daughter (Flesh & Blood Trilogy #1)

*I Received a free copy from the author that I chose to voluntarily write an honest review for.

Book one in the Flesh & Blood Trilogy. Libby wakes up covered in her husband blood as he lay dead next to her having been shot. After calling 911 to report what happened she quickly finds herself as the main suspect due to the fact that she happens to be the daughter of a confessed serial killer. She becomes so stressed that at times she even thinks she may have done it without having nay memory of doing so. The cops and her own issues cause her to investigate what really happened and she finds out some nasty tidbits along the way that just seems to make matters worse. The conclusion was a little shocking but interesting none the less as I really enjoyed it. Overall this is a really good suspenseful mystery book that keeps the reader hooked and guessing until the very last page which holds a few surprise on its own. I really enjoyed reading and look forward to getting my hands on the next installment in the trilogy. I give it 4/5 stars.

Book Blitz for Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal
Indian Mythological Fiction
~ Book Blitz ~
11th August, 2017

When Satyavati, wife of Rishi Ruchik, exchanges with her mother the magic potion for bearing a child, they change not just their children’s destiny, but also the history of mankind. Born of this mix up is Vishwamitra, the son of a Kshatriya, who strives to become a Brahmarishi—the ultimate and most powerful of all Gurus.

Vishwamitra is the powerful story of a brave but stubborn, haughty yet compassionate, visionary king of Aryavarta who not only acquires material wealth through military conquests but also becomes one of the most well-known sages of all times.

Top 5 Rishis of all time:

5. BHRIGU - the father-in-law of none other than Lord Vishnu! He is famous to have tested the three gods of the Hindu Trinity to see who’s the most deserving out of them! He is the author of the famous Bhrigu Samhita also known as 'Laal Kitab' that supposedly contains information about every human being's past, present and future.

4. KASHYAP - the father of all species of life that exist including Devas, Daityas, Danavs, Manavs, Apsaras, Gandharvs, Nagas, Plants, Animals, Birds, Aquatics and many more! He gives real meaning to the thought - Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam - the World is my Family.

3. VISHWAMITRA - an ordinary human who in spite of being born as a Kshatriya reached the highest levels of spirituality and became a Brahmarishi at par with Vasishth! He is the discoverer of the famous Gayatri Mantra, and the creator of an entire constellation!
2. ATRI - another son of Brahma and one of the oldest rishis to exist. Husband of a very powerful lady Anasuya and the father of Chandrama, the Hindu Moon-god; Dattatreya, the combined Avatar of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva; and the angry rishi Durvasa.

1. VASISHTH - the son of Brahma the creator-god is number one on the list. He is the original Brahmarishi whom Indra gifted the Divine Cow Nandini. He was the Kulguru of Suryavanshis or the Solar Dynasty of kings in ancient India and mentored many famous kings like Divodas, Harishchandra and Shri Rama.

About the Author

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is described by many as a doctor by qualification, manager by profession and artist by temperament. Born in a family of doctors, he successfully completed an initial stint with the family occupation before deciding to venture into pharmaceutical management and currently pursues writing and photography as a passion.

He is the author of popular online blogs ‘Decode Hindu Mythology’ and ‘Fraternity Against Terrorism and Extremism’ and the author of books ‘Vishwamitra – The Man who dared to challenge the Gods’ and ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’

Thursday, August 10, 2017

An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1)

Book one in the Highlanders series. Annabel had lived in the abbey with the nuns since she was 7 preparing to take the veil when she was deemed ready. Suddenly her mother shows up, whisks her away with ni time to pack, and takes her home forcing her to wed. All because her older sister ran away with the stable masters son leaving the parents responsible for a marriage contract signed years ago. The groom, Ross, is okay with the switch just wanting to get back home before he is needed. The two make quite the pair as they get to know each other and figure out who they really are. Just as things are looking up for the two of them things start going bad really fast. Finally Annabel is kidnapped and the culprit comes as a pleasant surprise. The is a well written romance novel that stays historically accurate while still keeping the pace of the story. I became attached to the couple as they wooed one another throughout the pages. This is a must read for fans of historical romance novels especially those with a highland flair. I really enjoyed reading it so it gets 4/5 stars.

Floral Depravity by Beverly Allen

Floral Depravity (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #3)

Book three in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series. Things are really heating up by this point. Audrey is hired to provide the flowers as a wedding that will take place on the grounds of a medieval reenactment area. On top of that her pregnant business partner (and cousin) is ready to pop. Almost right after the vows are spoken the father of the groom drops dead. Audrey would not be concerned about this but her long lost father just happens to be at the event with no explanation for where he has been since he took off years ago. Of course she has to find out what happened, and she also just happens to get deputized during a turf war with two neighboring law enforcement offices that actually gives her some legal standing this time. This gets interesting as they try to stay in compliance with the reenactment area and keep the pregnant cousin busy at the same time. The relationship drama heats up quite nicely as well with a pleasant ending that I enjoyed. As much as I hate to say it I think this is the last book since things are wrapped up so nicely. Some smooth writing throughout with plenty of building drama to keep the reader interested n what will happen next. I really enjoyed reading it so it gets 4/5 stars.

Wifi Kicked the Bucket by Kishmi Davis

*I received a free copy from the publisher which I chose to voluntarily review.

This is kids picture book that says it was written for grades K-5. The story centers around a bunny family that finds that their wifi is out one day and they have no clue what to do with their time. Momma bunny has some ideas though and once they get started the kids have a blast. They end up outside and active which is one of the main complaints about kids today. The best part was at the end when momma bunny reveals that she is the reason the wifi was out. I have to admit that his is a very pertinent topic for today's world and I like how the author embraced it. The vocabulary is simple for younger readers yet still fun to follow along with. The illustrations are very colorful but in some spots it was almost too much. Overall this is a really cute children's picture that addresses a pertinent topic in an age appropriate manner that works great for story times! I really enjoyed reading so it gets 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

For Whom the Bluebells Toll by Beverly Allen

For Whom the Bluebell Tolls (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #2)

Book two in the Bridal Bouquet Mystery series. I fell in love with the characters in book one especially Audrey with her flower meanings being put to use. Things heat up in this book when her ex-fiance shows up with an offer for her flower shop to make the flower arrangements for reality wedding television show just when her romance with the baker is heating up. This sounds like a great idea until she meets the stars of the series and one of them turns up dead. The ex is the main suspect and while she may not to be with him right this moment she still cannot turn her back on him in his time of need. This leads to some interesting situations along the way that ties the whole thing together very well. The real killer came as a surprise which is always a good thing when it comes to mysteries. Overall this is an excellent cozy mystery that I really enjoyed reading so it gets 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen

Bloom and Doom (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1)

Book one in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series. Audrey Bloom owns her own floral shop along with her cousin and she likes to make her designs based off of the Victorian meanings behind the flowers. I have heard of messages being told with flowers before (a previous season of the television show Bones comes to mind) but have never taken the time to learn more about it. This series pretty much does part of the job for me as Audrey explains her choices throughout the book. Her childhood best friend hires her to create her wedding flowers and things are going well until the groom turns up dead being killed with what looks like a knife from the flower shop. Of course this puts pressure on Audrey and her cousin so they have to investigate to find out what actually happened. This book is just awesome. The writing is very well done flowing smoothly with enough action to keep the reader interested while still building on the plot line at the same time. The characters are easy to relate to and I might be in love with flower arranging at this point. This was a really good cozy mystery so it gets 4/5 stars.

Cat About Town by Cate Conte

Cat About Town (Cat Cafe Mystery #1)

*I received a free copy from Netgalley which I chose to voluntarily review.

Book one in a new Cat Cafe Mystery series. This book was awesome I must admit. Set in a small town in New England we get to meet Maddie as she returns home for her grandmothers illness and subsequent death. She meets an orange stray during the funeral that she eventually adopts though she tries her best not to. This new friend finds a dead body, and as one of the suspects (along with her grandfather) she finds herself having to investigate to find the truth. Along the way she keeps getting sent some really cute articles that pertain to cat cafes which sounds like an excellent idea that I personally would really enjoy. The characters are easy to relate to as well as easy to get attached to even if they are trying to solve a murder. I think the cat may be my favorite of them all. The development of the story is smooth and keeps a steady pace which I rather enjoyed to be honest. Overall it is an excellent cozy mystery making it a must read for fans of that genre. I really enjoyed it so it gets 4/5 stars and I am really looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

Given to the Sea (Given Duet, #1)

Book one in the Given duet which I assume means tow books only though I guess we will see. Meet Khosa who is the newest descendant of a trio of women that were taken and then saved by the sea making it necessary for them to be sacrifices after they give birth to there replacement. Khosa was raised by a group whose sole purpose it to make her ready for what she must do. This would drive me crazy to have to live like this. Next we get to meet the Prince who will take over the throne after his father though this is supposed to be quite some time in the future. There are also a set of twins that just happen to be the last two people alive from their race which was quite powerful I must admit. This group collides when Khosa is driven from her home running until she finds sanctuary at the palace after the Prince saves her from going to the sea early. The changing time line for them leads to quite a bit of drama, action, suspense, and plenty of magic. Essentially there is a civil war brewing which will have the effect of changing the world as the main characters know it. This is an excellent world with some incredible details. The characters are easy to get attached to and I found myself rooting for Khosa to be able to have a life. I really recommend this book for fans of YA fantasy novels. I really enjoyed it so it gets 4/5 stars.