Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review: A Christmas to Remember (anthology) by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, Marilyn Pappano

Title: A Christmas to Remember
Series: Tallgrass (and others)
Author: Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, Marilyn Pappano
Read copy: eBook
Published: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 145554776X
ISBN-13: 9781455547760

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance—especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance...

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime...

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways—until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time...

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

My rating:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Review: Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

Title: Survive the Night
Series: Rocky Mountain K9 Unit
Author: Katie Ruggle
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

He's always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he'll do more than heal her battered spirit—he'll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe's very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path—but for all his big heart, he's never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton's haunted eyes. Until he realizes he'll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there's no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth...but he'd never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah's finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It's time to take a stand.

My rating:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Title: Promise Not to Tell
Series: Cutler, Sutter & Salinas
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Berkley

A painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she’ll leave some of her secrets behind...

Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide—and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire...and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories—and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear.

My rating:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review: Twelfth Night With the Earl by Anna Bradley

Title: Twelfth Night with the Earl
Series: The Sutherland Sisters
Author: Anna Bradley
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Press

When a headstrong beauty clashes with the man she once loved, she’s determined that the spirit of Christmas will open his mind, heal his heart, and perhaps give them a reason to celebrate—for many seasons
to come...

As far as Ethan Fortescue is concerned, his family’s seat in Cornwall is only a source of torment, one that he’s managed to avoid for two years. Now that he’s the Earl of Devon however, he can close the door on his haunted past by locking up the cursed place for good. But upon arriving at Cleves Court, he is shocked to find the house aglow with Christmas celebrations, filled with music and laughter. And right at the center of the holiday madness is the infuriating—and eternally tempting—Theodosia Sheridan...

Thea has always loved the town of Cleves, especially at the holidays. As a girl, she also loved Ethan with all her heart. It’s painful to see how his brother’s tragic death has embittered him. Still, she will do anything to make sure the town thrives—even if it means going to battle with Ethan to save Cleves Court. Now she has only until Twelfth Night to make a Christmas miracle happen—by proving that his childhood home can be a source of love and wonder. But before long, she finds herself wondering if she’s trying to save the house—or its handsome master...

My rating:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: Redemption by C.J. Barry

Title: Redemption
Series: Soul
Author: C.J. Barry
Read copy: eBook
Published: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Forever Yours
ISBN: 1455577499
ISBN-13: 9781455577491

Reya Sinclair is a Redeemer of Souls. Her mission is to give Earth’s most depraved sinners a shot at redemption just before they are slated to die. Her own redemption is on the line as she fulfills her duties, leaving a trail of dead bodies in her wake. It’s all going perfectly well until one detective takes notice, possibly bringing her salvation to a halt.

Thane Driscoll is a good cop who’s seen too many bad guys get away, including the man who murdered his father. He exacts his own style of justice, even if it costs him his humanity. A string of mysterious deaths leads him to a woman who’s not quite human and might hold the key to finding his father’s killer.

When death and shadows descend, New York City becomes a battleground for the forces of light and dark. As the body count rises and sparks fly between them, Reya and Thane race to uncover a terrible truth. Can one man hell-bent on revenge and one woman determined to save her eternal soul be enough to keep the planet from spiraling into darkness?

My rating:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Review: Goodness and Light (or A Match Made at Christmas) by Patty Blount

Title: Goodness and Light (or A Match Made at Christmas)
Series: Christmas in New York
Author: Patty Blount
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: November 9, 2014
Publisher: Tule Publishing

Thirteen years ago, two teens met on the ramp to Ground Zero, on a cold and snowy day, strangers bonding in a moment of grief. The boy pressed a crystal snowflake ornament into the girl’s hand and disappeared into the crowd, unaware that his simple act of kindness saved her from the guilt that threatened to consume her.

Since losing her mom, Elena Larsen hasn’t set foot in New York City—until now. Agreeing to help her sister prepare for her baby’s birth seems like a good way to spend Christmas and Elena vows not to let the monstrous guilt that weighs on her heart ruin everything. But those plans go awry when she meets Lucas Adair, a man whose own grief and guilt just might rival her own.

When Elena discovers Lucas is the boy who gave her that crystal snowflake all those years ago, she can’t accept it as the sign Lucas believes it to be. For her, it means only one thing—even beyond the grave, her mother can never forgive Elena for breaking her heart.

For Lucas, New York is hallowed ground that he can never leave. He spends his days working in the Financial District and his evenings volunteering and it’s almost enough to help him forget what he did. Lucas knows better than to make plans with a woman who will soon be leaving, yet can’t help himself. There’s something about Elena that pulls him in. He doesn’t put much faith in signs but even he starts to believe Elena is his absolution. Now, he only has to convince her.

My rating:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: All I Want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen

Title: All I Want for Christmas
Series: Christmas in New York
Author: Jennifer Gracen
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: November 9, 2014
Publisher: Tule Publishing

Cassandra Baines almost has it all: a flourishing career as one of the youngest English Lit assistant professors at NYU, an apartment in a city she adores, and a close circle of lifelong girlfriends that are like sisters. The only thing she doesn’t have is someone special to share it with. She’s been married to her work since Sean McKinnon broke her heart seven years ago.

Musician and bar owner Sean McKinnon keeps busy—too busy for a love life. He blew it with Cassie all those years ago, and no one has held a candle to her since.

But then one fateful night, of all the people in New York City, Cassandra walks into his bar, and he’s drawn to her as strongly as ever. She wants nothing to do with him, but he’s not going to give up so easily.

Can a bit of New York Christmas magic help two people take a second chance on true love?

My rating:

Review: Christmas Light by Jolyse Barnett

Title: Christmas Light
Series: Christmas in New York
Author: Jolyse Barnett
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: November 9, 2014
Publisher: Tule Publishing

Adirondack girl-in-transition Jade Engel comes home to recharge after ending a career she never truly wanted, but soon realizes she’s in danger of also being swept off her feet by the boy-next-door, her former best friend, Ben Stephens. If only he’d stop kissing her every time she falls into his arms.

Everything local celebrity Ben Stephens ever wanted is in Starling. Then Jade comes home after an eternity away and sends his simple world into a tailspin. He’s determined to pursue her—the one girl who got away. But when their friends-with-benefits arrangement blows up in their faces, will they have the courage to put their pasts to rest in order to forge a future together?

My rating:

Review: This Christmas by Jeannie Moon

Title: This Christmas
Series: Christmas in New York
Author: Jeannie Moon
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: November 9, 2014
Publisher: Tule Publishing
ASIN: B00PG4029Y

Single mother Sabrina Gervais has built a happy life with her daughter Charlotte in their eastern Long Island hometown of Holly Point. Having Charlie meant putting some of her own dreams on hold, but Sabrina is content to surround herself with family and friends, safe from the realities of the outside world. She had enough of that when the man she loved broke her heart.

Jake Killen’s career in professional hockey has brought him many rewards on and off the ice, but returning to New York brings back a flood of memories. When he sees Sabrina again, he discovers that he didn’t just walk away from her ten years ago, but also from their unborn child.

Struggling with anger, guilt, and chemistry that’s off the chart, Sabrina and Jake wonder if they can find love again and, this Christmas, make all their wishes come true.

My rating:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major

Title: Christmas on Crimson Mountain
Series: Crimson Colorado
Author: Michelle Major
Read copy: eBook
Published: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 148800286X
ISBN-13: 9781488002861


Peace and quiet—that's all Connor Pierce wanted from the rented cabin on Crimson Mountain. Yet the caretaker turned out to be lovely April Sanders—a total distraction. As were the two little girls she was caring for. Connor's plan to forget his painful past soon detoured into giving the ladies a Christmas to remember.

Being named guardian of two motherless girls has upended April's world. Add to the mix a mysterious, brooding writer claiming he wanted to be left alone while going out of his way to bring a little joy to the girls, and she has quite the quandary. April had counted herself out of a happy ending. But maybe Santa still had a few surprises up his merry old sleeve...

My rating:

Review: Origin by Dan Brown

Title: Origin
Series: Robert Langdon
Author: Dan Brown
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Doubleday

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself...and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery...and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

My rating:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review: Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Title: Secrets in Death
Series: In Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: September 5, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ASIN: B01M716DW3

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know...

My rating:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb

Title: Echoes in Death
Series: In Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

After a party in New York, Lieutenant Eve Dallas rides home with her billionaire husband, Roarke, happy to be done with cocktails and small talk.

After another party, not far away, a woman retires to her bedroom with her husband—and walks into a brutal nightmare.

Their paths are about to collide...

When the young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—wanders in front of their car, Roarke slams on the brakes just in time, and Eve, still in glittering gown and heels, springs into action. It’s been a long night for the tired homicide cop, and it’s far from over.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”...

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked—and that he treated Daphne like a trophy wife—this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse as the first suspect. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

My rating:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

Title: Apprentice in Death
Series: In Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
ASOM: B019DHP654

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice-skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD but never one like this. A review of the security videos reveals that the victims were killed with a tactical laser rifle fired by a sniper, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the list of locations where the shooter could have set up seems endless, the number of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil...

My rating: