Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review: ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED by Victorine E. Lieske


Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family.

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding.

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan.

This is a sweet romance, appropriate for any age.


Madison is a bit impulsive and emotionally fragile, but she has good heart. She's out of a job and following the advice of a friend shows up to interview for a job that doesn't exist. Jared is looking for the person he has arranged to pretend to be his girlfriend and assumes that is Madison. He convinces her to go along with him to the family gathering with the possibility of a job later on. He then admits the job doesn't exist. She goes along with the charade to a point - afterall, she is an actress - and she needs to pay the rent.

Her attempts to get even with Jared backfire when she finds that she likes his family and doesn't want to deceive them. The ending is predictable, but there are humorous moments along the way and the story is well-written. Those looking for a light and fun romance that could be shared with teens or parents will enjoy this book. It was just what I needed in between reading mysteries.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: MURDER BY THE GLASS (A Wine Lover's Mystery Book 2) by Michele Scott


Life is sweet for Nikki Sands. She’s toasting her new job at Malveaux Estate in Napa Valley and balancing a love triangle with a neighboring winemaker and her boss, vineyard owner Derek Malveaux—the catch of the county. And tonight, Nikki will be on the arm of Napa’s golden boy at a Sonoma mansion for the wedding of the decade… 

Nikki’s friend Isabel agreed to cater the wedding—before she learned that the groom was her cheating lover. After the ceremony, Isabel asks Nikki to bring the obnoxious bride another glass of wine. But Nikki finds the new wife sprawled on the floor—murdered. Since the dear departed made enemies easily, there’s a bushel of suspects—many of them close to Nikki. Now, it’s up to her to get to the bottom of what may have been a killer bottle of wine.

Wine Pairings and Recipes included.


Nikki plays sleuth when she's the one to find the victim and many of her friends and acquaintances are potential suspects. The problem is that sometimes asking questions and such only adds to the suspicion. Scott keeps the story moving with a few twists and the advances and retreats of her two suitors. Personally, I liked Derek. The story is well-paced if not suspenceful. As an added bonus, there are recipes and wine pairings.

This is the second in the Wine Lover's Mysteries, but is the first one I've read. I had no trouble following along - definitely can be read as a stand alone. This was a good read at the end of stressful day. Of course, now I'll have to go back to MURDER UNCORKED and find out how Nikki ends up at Malveaux Estates. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review: TO KILL A LABRADOR (A Marcia Banks and Buddy Mystery Book 1) by Kassandra Lamb

Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha) likes to think of herself as a normal person, even though she has a rather abnormal vocation. She trains service dogs for combat veterans with PTSD. Then the ex-Marine owner of her first trainee is accused of murdering his wife, and Marcia gets sucked into an even more abnormal avocation–amateur sleuth.

Called in to dog-sit the Labrador service dog, Buddy, she’s outraged that his veteran owner is being presumed guilty until proven innocent. With Buddy’s help, she tries to uncover the real killer. Even after the hunky local sheriff politely tells her to butt out, Marcia keeps poking around. Until the killer finally pokes back.


he ex-Marine with PTSD and the murder of his wife set the stage for Marcia to somehow feel responsible not only for the therapy dog she trained, but for Jimmy as well. There are twists and turns and characters are not always as they seem initially. 

Marcia's curiosity and outrage at the stereotypic response to the veteran lead to some interesting interactions while working with Buddy's despondence over his change in placement, her continued training of Lacy and Max, and the surprise in her living room. Then there's the hunky local detective and Marcia's hesitancy to engage in the possibilities there.  

Well-written, with well-developed characters make for an enjoyable read on many levels. TO KILL A LABRADOR is bound to capture the interest of many.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: MENDED HEARTS (New Beginnings #2) by Mandie Tepe


How do you rebuild your life when you refuse to be a victim anymore?

Gracie Laurent had gone from happy-ever-after, with her childhood sweetheart, to a nightmare. In the blink of an eye, her world had crumbled and she’d retreated to the bosom of her family. After letting them care for her, she realized she didn’t want to be the weak person she’d become any longer. Deciding to go out on her own and start a whole new life, she rediscovered the music she’d missed and found a love she never dreamed possible . . . with someone from her past she never expected to find.

A hero at a crossroads . . . looking at an uncertain future

Luca “Sonny” Ionescu loved his life as a Navy SEAL. After being injured in Afghanistan, he’d been shipped home and was facing the biggest challenge of his life. What would he do if he weren’t able to recover enough to rejoin his SEAL team? How could he rebuild his life into one as satisfying as the one he’d been living? A phone call from a childhood friend out of the blue gives him a mission and a new purpose—a reason to focus on someone other than himself. It also leads to a brand new love and a life more fulfilling than he could have ever expected.

An old threat resurfaces putting their future at risk.
Is their love a strong enough foundation to hold up the new life they’re building?


Gracie Laurent is starting her life over, confident her ex-husband is incarcerated.  She's following her dream to be a singer. Luca's fighting to keep his dream of being a SEAL after being injured on his last mission. Little did Luca know that the sister of his best friend from high school was singing in a local bar or that she was even more beautiful than he remembered. No one knew Gracie's ex would be released. 

Both Gracie and Luca are dealing with change and stress of change. They're both fighting and support each other. This is a wonderful story that captures the tensions of families of the military and their tight knit community, as well as the protective response of family members when one of them is victimized. Well written and uplifting with enough tension to keep it going. 

This is the first one in the series I've read, but I'll be adding the others in the series to my TBR list.

Direct Link to AMAZON

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Review: SHARPE SHOOTER (Cozy Suburbs Mystery #1) by Lisa B. Thomas


Burned-out high school teacher Deena Sharpe is ready for a change. She has no idea a fifty-year-old murder case is about to turn her life upside down.
The Perry County Sheriff’s office has found a skeleton in the closet…literally. When they identify the man’s body fifty years after his disappearance, his family turns to Deena to uncover the truth about his murder. The clock begins ticking when she discovers a mysterious writer is about to implicate the victim in his latest conspiracy theory book. She must channel her inner super-sleuth to solve the puzzle and protect her family name. With the help of her off-beat brother and others from the cozy town of Maycroft, Texas, Deena takes on a quest that leads to more questions than answers. 

Sharpe Shooter is the first book in the Maycroft Mystery Series. With antique shopping, car chases, and ghosts in the night, the story will keep you guessing as you follow Deena on her quest for the truth. 


Deena didn't plan to leave her job as a high school teacher, but begins to think about journalism as an option. Unfortunately, with no experience it's hard to get a job at the local newspaper. She has the unexpected opportunity to try to get closure for Aunt Cora and write an investigative piece when her Matthew Meade's body is identified. He was murdered 50 years ago and Deena sorts through papers and contacts people he knew back then. A man, Leon Galt, thinks he knows the answer and he doesn't want any interference...

Thomas weaves a delightful story with associated twists of family members, old friends, and letters from Matthew's military service. Add to the mix conspiracy theories and the grassy knoll along with Galt's determination that Deena not find anything that will prove his story wrong. This was an enjoyable clean read. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Direct link to AMAZON  

Other books in the series:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review: ANTIQUES AND AVARICE (White Mountains Romantic Mysteries Book 1) by Jane Firebaugh


Olivia McKenna has her own antique shop in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she makes just enough to keep her Golden Retriever, Molly, stocked in treats.

But her peaceful existence is about to get turned upside down. One day, while she's out antiquing, she discovers a body in a quaint little antique store. And that leads to a fateful meeting with Josh Abrams, the stunning state trooper with the sexy blue-green eyes who's leading the investigation.

Can Olivia help Josh solve the mystery? Will their instant attraction turn into true love?


Olivia searches for antiques on her clients' wish lists and happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when an antique shop owner is murdered. She contacts the police and sparks fly when she and the state trooper meet. She ends up with the owner's cat, Sheyna, who gets along amazingly well with Molly, her golden retriever.  

Olivia feels somehow responsible, that she should have done something to stop the murderer. She decides to do a little investigating on her own. There's also something niggling at her brain but she can't remember what it is. It could be important though as someone seems to be stalking her and looking for something in her house. Josh is determined to keep her safe, but even he has secrets.

This is the first in the White Mountains Romantic Mysteries Books. Olivia and Josh are very likable and well-developed characters. Molly and Sheyna will appeal to all the pet lovers out there and have critical roles to play. Secondary characters are developed and hopefully many will continue in later books. There are twists and turns with another murder and kidnapping, but the resolution - for the murders and the romance - are satisfying.

The second book in the series, OLD CRIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES, was recently released and spotlighted last month. I think I need to add that one to my TRB list.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Review: KILLER CANNOLI (A Terrified Detective Book 2) by Carole Fowkes

You might remember that early in March I hosted Carole Fowkes and PLATEFUL OF MURDER as part of a blog tour...  Here is the second book in the series...


Private Investigator Claire DeNardo, visits her Aunt Lena's cafe, Cannoli's, and discovers a romance brewing between her aunt and a new customer. Claire's surmises that her aunt's new boyfriend is lying about his identity prove solid when he's found murdered at the cafe. Claire ignores the warning of Police Detective Brian Corrigan and delves into the dead man's life. In the process she realizes her aunt may unwittingly possess what the killer wants. And it's not her tiramisu recipe.


Claire is still working at the PI business, but this time it's personal. Her Aunt Lena is enamored with a new customer, and Claire's father is worried. Something doesn't jive. About the same time Claire determines Joe has no history, he ends up dead and somebody is looking for something and thinks Aunt Lena or Claire have it. As always, Brian tells her to leave the murder to the police, but the stakes are too high. Claire's associate Ed and nice looking Alex add to the complications. 

This is a fun weekend read in the hammock or at the beach - the plot is well developed and there are lots of twists to keep it interesting.  The downside?  I just realized the third in the series is out - BAKE ME A MURDER ...  one off the TBR list and I add another!

A Terrified Detective Series (Amazon Links)