Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Jinxed_finalcoverReviewed by Karin

First book Down and Out in Beverly Heels

I really enjoyed this book.

This book takes Meg a bit further down the path from where she was dead broke because her ex-husband was a conman (now in prison) and she was living in her car because that was all she had.

She had had a successful TV series 20 years before where she played Jinx, complete with a magician’s hat. Now she is caught off guard to find they are reprising the show — but not with her. The young actress is surprisingly good, with an interesting voice, and a few secrets of her own. And Meg has been asked to give her lessons on how the hat was used in the old show and how it will be used in the new.

Then she goes missing.

Throw in an extremely irritating first husband; the wealthy woman who lets Meg live in her mansion (complete with paraphernalia from old movies and an old doll collection) … a young man who is talented as a film director who is filming Meg (who wants to further him in the business); a couple of detectives; an older male friend; … Jack, her lover, who is also with the FBI. He’s on a case involving sex rings, which may or may not be part of the missing actress.

And there’s a murder and attempted murder …

I didn’t see it coming (whodunit) … I suspected someone who wasn’t the one (good) …

The book was well written. I would definitely read another of her books.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

Review: Extreme Measures by Rachel Carrington

extreme measuresReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Stuart O’Malley and Arlin Murphy are found in a cell located at Attica Prison and are planning their escape. Matt Giles’ duty is to try to recapture them. Rachel also lets us know that he has a personal connection to the case.

Erin Prescott is a waitress/owner of a coffee shop. One day at work she sees her ex-husband. There is one scene where Rachel has the couple spending time together and you can just about feel the tension between the two of them.

Rachel does a great job of showing how “nasty” Stuart and Arlin are. She also knows how to build the suspense and that will have you holding your breath. It will also have you wanting to turn the page so that you can find out how everything ends. It goes to show how desperate some people can become and how it can affect the people around them. I also have to wonder the amount of research that needed to be done in order to get all the facts and situations to sound believable.

This is a book with mystery, action, and suspense that starts right from the beginning. If you’re looking for a book that has lots of romance in it, you won’t find it here. But if you want a book that has lots of suspense and then ends with the romance this book is for you. If you have read other books by Rachel this is also a book that you will want to add to that list. I also felt that this is one of those stories that would be great as a movie.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Extreme Measures

Review: No Hero by Mallory Kane

no hero mallory kaneReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: The no hero of the title here is actually the detective , Dev Gautier who strolls the streets of New Orleans in search of the woman, Rhegan Connor who he would rather not talk to at the moment as she has previously told the whole world about his shady past, putting him at odds with his superiors in the force. He is a mentor for teenagers and tries to do his best to help them have a better life than they did when they were much younger, but when they start to be killed one by one, he has to find the murderer, and the only one who can help him is the woman who spurned him.

Review: The whole point of this novel is that all the way through, Dev tries to make out he is no hero, but that just isn’t true. He’s a hero in the truest sense of the word. He helps out teens who stay at the Thibaud Johnson Centre for HomelessTeens who otherwise would have no chance at a decent life. These range from kids who have no parents to those who have a mother who has a father who beats them and generally treats them bad. Rhegan thinks she knows who the murderer is, but she will have to go a long way to proving it.

From the moment you start reading the first chapter, you realise this isn’t a run of the mill romance story at all, but more of a serious mystery written by someone who always wanted to write solely about mystery fiction. The start takes you through a grisly murder scene where a young teenager is followed by a mystery man only to have his throat slit. Once you see things from Rhegan’s and Dev’s point of view, you start very early on to see all the clues that lead to a rather cruel and ruthless murderer who bears a personal grudge against Dev. Dev and Rhegan have to work together to get some serious proof on the killer they already know is still at large.

Interesting bits: The beginning of the story, Rhegan’s constant teasing him while they are trying to work together, the DVD that is as valuable as gold dust, and how truly evil the antagonist in this novel really is.

Was it any good: Certainly, it has a solid story, and it’s romance with a serious mystery overtone to it that brings the reader into the story and takes over. I would recommend this for anyone who likes their romance crossed with another genre.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: No Hero

Review: Her Forgotten Betrayal by Anna DeStefano

Her Forgotten BetrayalReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Shaw Cassidy has been the victim of trauma due to awful events at her mansion where it is believed an assassination attempt made on her life has left her with amnesia. It doesn’t help that she is the heiress to Cassidy Global Research, as well as their CEO, as it has made her a target for every cash hungry nut around. As her life is in danger, she is being protected by an FBI agent, Cole Marinos, but he has other reasons for wanting to be around her.

Review: Two people are brought together in this story, but the real mystery is why Cole’s really there, and what had he done before, and what does he think she is guilty of. She is under doctor’s orders to look after herself, get well and get over the attack on her life but her bad nerves can’t be tossed aside as easy as she still has the nightmares from her ordeal.

Shaw has everything a woman could want, an important position at the top of a company, the respect of everyone around her, the huge mansion house and the ability to buy whatever she wants. She’s the poor little rich girl, but there is someone around who can ground her – Cole is an ordinary guy who doesn’t care that she’s filthy rich, even though he helps her with her problems, he still treats her as he would anyone else, using darlin’ a lot around her. If anyone can protect her, he will, and he cares for her more than she thinks. There is also the problem of the suspect shooter, and his or her motivation for doing it that still lurks in the back of Shaw’s mind.

Verdict: The story was shorter than it should have been, and felt rushed, but the two main characters are thrilling and exciting to read about.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Her Forgotten Betrayal

Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

Guest post by Amelia Grey, author of A Little Mischief

Good morning! I’m happy to be at Love, Romance, Passion. I always enjoy spending the day with you when I have a new book coming out. Thank you for having me.

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you found a young woman standing over a dead body in your back garden? This is what happened to my heroine in my latest book, A Little Mischief. You would call 911 and the police would be there within minutes, right? But what if you lived during the Regency? I hear some of you saying, “I’d rush to get someone from Scotland Yard to come over.” But guess what, there was no Scotland Yard. That organization wasn’t created until eighteen twenty-nine and the Regency time period ended in eighteen twenty-one.

But, London wasn’t completely left without any policing. There was a group of men called thief-takers who would try to solve petty crimes for Londoners for a fee. They had no authority to arrest anyone. These men were more like our modern day private investigators and private detectives, and according to some accounts, a great number of these men had questionable reputations themselves.

London also had a group of men called the Bow Street Runners which is considered by some historians as London’s first professional police force. These men worked for and were paid by the magistrate’s office to seek out and apprehend criminals. They could travel nationwide to search for their suspects, but they differ from our police force today because they didn’t patrol of the streets. The majority of these men were former constables and magistrates who were discharged because of term limits.

In my current re-release, A Little Mischief, it’s not to the Bow Street Runners or the thief-takers that Miss Isabella Winslowe runs to when she finds a young lady standing over a dead body with a stone cupid in her hands. Isabella takes the girl to her brother who just happens to be the recently titled Earl of Colebrooke. Here’s a short synopsis of the story.

A Little Mischief

Isabella Winslowe is finally flourishing. She is gaining respectable notoriety for her ‘Wallflower Society’ until the unthinkable happens. She finds the darkly handsome Earl of Colebrooke’s sister in the back garden with a stone cupid in her hand and a dead man at her feet. The newly titled earl is formidable in looks, personality, and reputation.  He’s not a man Isabella wants to tangle with over such a delicate situation.

Daniel Colebrooke, is juggling all that he can handle when the most alluring young lady he has ever met arrives at his door and tells him his sister never intended to kill London’s most eligible bachelor. Daniel is certain he has a beautiful madwoman in front of him.  Highly suspicious of Miss Winslowe’s story, he goes with her to the garden and finds it empty. She insists someone has stolen the body.

Daniel decides to keep an eye on Miss Winslowe to see what kind of mischief is she up to? She might tell someone else her outrageous story about his sister. If something like that got out, Gretchen’s reputation would be ruined beyond repair. But what Daniel finds is that Isabella sets his heart to racing like no woman ever has. She’s engaging and exciting in a quiet and captivating way. But Daniel can’t give into his desire for Isabella…there’s a supposedly missing dead body standing them.

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win a copy of A Little Mischief tell me, if you had been writing this story, would you have sent your heroine to the Bow Street Runners or would you have done what I did, and let the heroine go straight to the brother and let him handle it? Last day to enter: August 10, 2012

A Little Mischief won the Booksellers Best and Aspen Gold Awards when it was first published in 2003 and you can find it at your favorite online or local bookstore.

Buy: A Little Mischief

I love to hear from readers! Please email me at ameliagrey@comcast.net, follow me at Facebook.com/ameliagreybooks, or visit my website at ameliagrey.com

Buy: A Little Mischief

Review: A Gentleman Says I Do (Rogue Dynasty, Book 5) by Amelia Grey

A Gentleman Says I DoBook 5 of “The Rogues Dynasty” series

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Iverson Brentwood has come to see Sir Phillip Crisp. He’s very upset by something that Sir Phillip has written. Instead he meets Sir Phillip’s daughter, Catalina. They spend quite a bit of time talking. Iverson appears to be intimidating but Catalina’s not what he’s expecting.

Catalina goes out on a very sunny day riding the streets of London. The way Amelia describes the scene, I can picture in my mind’s eye how much Catalina is enjoying herself. It also makes me want to go and experience the streets of London myself. Amelia also shows us how Iverson got his nickname.

Iverson and Catalina are seen at a party and I would have loved to have been invited. I’ll just have to be a voyeur and watch the scene play out on the page. I also love how they are totally clueless of each other. How long before they figure it out. You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Catalina also has a mystery to solve. And guess who shows up just as she starts her adventure. This is one thing I love about Amelia’s female character in this book. Catalina is not a shrinking violet and will do anything for the people she loves.

She gets herself into a pickle that will have you laughing. You can picture it, as if you are actually there, and I love how she gets herself out of it. Someone else that will have you laughing is Catalina’s aunt, Elle. She’s a loveable lush. The Crisps also have an interesting staff. But as you read the story you will find the staff compliment Catalina and her aunt.

Iverson is a twin and it will be interesting to see what Amelia has in store for Matson. Their other brother, Brent, has his story in “Gentleman Never Tells”. These stories don’t need to be read in order but if you like Iverson’s tale you may want to read Brent’s story before Matson’s comes out. I don’t have a title right now but you can always visit her web site http://www.ameliagrey.com/ and at some point she may have some indication as to what the title is and when it will be coming out.

Poetry is mentioned quite often in Amelia’s story but actual pieces rarely appear. Catalina’s father is also a poet. I would have loved to have seen more pieces quoted – especially some of Sir Phillip’s. It would have made the story that much better. Other than that this is the perfect historical romance to fall in love with.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: A Gentleman Says “I Do”

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Review: Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, Book 1) by Cara Elliott

too wicked to wedHero: The Earl of Killingworth, Connor Linsley, is not your usual Earl of the Realm. He works for a living earning money from his gambling den and brothel that carters to men of the peerage. He hides this fact from others by pretending to be just any other high roller in the establishment. Like any alpha he keeps his heart guarded, but the fiery Alexa gets to him like no other could – when she lays claim to half of his business and refuses to give it back!

Heroine: Lady Alexa Hendrie is fierce. She tracks her brother to The Wolf’s Lair and demands of Connor his location. The price for that information is a kiss (and it will knock your socks off and Connor’s too). Later unbeknownst to her, Connor is robbed at the gaming tables and from his safe. When his pledge of half the business (which is exchanged for money from a friend) comes across her path–while she’s dressed as a man playing cards–she wins it and uses it to blackmail Connor into helping her locate her wayward brother.

Review: The story really picks up the pace when Connor gets shot and the two of them flee to Linsley Close, Connor’s abandoned estate by the coast. There they pose as newlyweds while Connor convalesces. It’s pretty funny when the housekeeper walks in on them to bring Connor sustenance. These two lovebirds have got some pretty blistering chemistry. There’s lots of kissing – the really hot kind!

I also like the other lords who are Connor’s friends: Gryff and Cam. Gryff is going to have to lay off the booze, it’s not that attractive, but his other qualities make up for it (for now). Cam is seriously hot and a thief. I want to read his book. Yum!

Favorite Quote:

“Why the devil does she feel she must take such awful risks?”

“Is that a rhetorical question,” asked Cameron. “Or do you wish for an honest answer?”

[…]

“Because she loves you. She’s willing to risk anything to win your heart.” Cameron crossed one booted leg over the other. “And you, you ungrateful cur, ought to have your teeth kicked out through your arse if you don’t appreciate what a rare and wondrous gift that is.”

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight)

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How I Came to Write a Romance

Weeping_Bride-Pembroke_SinclairGuest blog by Pembroke Sinclair, author of the Weeping Bride

I write several different genres. I’ve written Westerns, sci fi, fantasy, horror, and even nonfiction. By far, my favorite genres are sci fi, fantasy, and horror. But I don’t shy away from a challenge, and I thought I’d try my hand at romance.

I don’t write romance with a capital R. That genre is way out of my league. The amount of stories I’ve read in that genre I can count on one hand. It’s not my favorite, and those that write the genre have pretty much cornered the market. Still, it was something that interested me, and I had a story rattling around in my brain, so I thought I’d give it a try.

The first story I wrote was published in an obscure magazine, and it wasn’t very good. Then, I was asked to do one for an anthology. It was a paranormal romance with dark undertones, so I thought, “What the heck?” Hence “The Weeping Bride” was created.

Order link: http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/products/The-Weeping-Bride-by-Pembroke-Sinclair.html

Scorned at her own wedding, The Weeping Bride has vowed to make every bride from her hometown miserable until she finds her own happiness. When the groom at a friend’s wedding disappears, Melanie and Tyler must solve the mystery of the Bride to save him. Time is not on their side. Will they find him before The Weeping Bride’s revenge is satiated?

The goal of any of my writing is to figure out how people react to their surroundings, whether it be fighting zombies or zooming around space. For me, love and romance was just another setting for the characters to react to. Even though it’s not my first choice of genre, and I probably don’t do it justice, they are still fun to write!

Bio: I have had several short stories published in various places.  My story, “Sohei,” was named one of the Best Stories of 2008 by The Cynic Online Magazine.  I have novellas and a short story collection forthcoming from Musa Publishing and eTreasures Publishing.  I have two novels, Coming From Nowhere (adult, sci fi) and Life After The Undead (YA, horror), that are available from eTreasures Publishing, as well as Death to the Undead (YA, sequel to Life After The Undead), which is forthcoming.  Life After The Undead was a Top Ten Finisher in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in the YA category and the cover art category.

Under my real name, Jessica Robinson, from March 2008 to January 2011, I wrote scientific articles for Western Farmer-Stockman.  I have a nonfiction book, Life Lessons from Slasher Films, scheduled for release in July 2012 from Scarecrow Publishing (an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield).

I have my Master’s in English, and I am a freelance content editor for Musa Publishing, as well as a content and line editor for eTreasures Publishing.