Review: It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor, Book 7) by Jill Shalvis

it had to be youHeroine: Have you ever been broken up with by a text message? Well, Ali Winters sure has. When trying to give him a piece of her mind, she finds out her boyfriend, Teddy, has been cheating. When had they gone from being together to being roommates? Now he’s claiming she stole money from his office during a fundraising event and the whole town believes him. To top it all off, she’s about to be kicked out of her house, because the cheating louse of a boyfriend didn’t tell her the lease was up until it was too late.

Hero: Detective Lieutenant Luke Hanover returns to his hometown after a particularly nasty case with a three-ring media circus. He’s going to use the downtime to fix up his house and discovers Ali Winters naked inside. What’s going on and why is this female in his home? She’s an interloper! When she tells him what is going on, he finds himself doing the one thing he was certain he wasn’t going to do – investigate. But he can’t not help!

Review: Luke is a great alpha hero – he’s a gogetter, tough, strong, kind, and tender. He plays the role without being an overbearing blockhead in the process. Ali is also tough. For a gal that was dumped, homeless, losing a job, and about to be arrested for something she didn’t do, she kept herself pretty together. She didn’t give up even when she was feeling really down. And when it gets to be too much, Luke is there to pick her up. For two people who see the end coming before they start, they find they can’t help themselves. Then they find they are both willing to do what it takes to make it stick. Hot!

[Rating:4]

Buy: It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor)

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Review: Murder, Mayhem & Mama by Christie Craig

murder mayhem and mamaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Calie McKay is in Hopeful, Texas. She’s a teacher and her mother recently passed away. Her boyfriend, Stan, isn’t very sympathetic. Detective Brit Lowell works in the Hopeful’s Homicide Division. He’s currently working the graveyard shift.

One night Cali comes home and Stan’s not there. When she goes to sleep her mother fits prominently in her dream. You would think with the title Christie used that it might be a little dark but it has some quirky moments – not to give too much away but “I hear dead people”.

I think that this book would make a great murder mystery movie. Christie gives us the dark side of murder. We get to see how the police department works to solve the murders that have occurred. And she makes us laugh a little when we see the ghostly side of the story. We would need actors that can be serious one moment, make us laugh the next, and then talk to people they cannot see. Who would you choose to play the parts?

There was one scene that just started getting to the interesting part and then we cut to another scene. You’re left wondering “what happened, what happened!” But this is what makes a great page turner. We have to keep reading so that we can see what’s going to happen next.

Christie shows her readers how officers feel, and act, after one of their own has been killed. This hit home for me after one of our area towns had an officer that was killed in the line of duty. And as I read this story, I’m reminded how my own mother passed away several years ago. I would like to think that she’s somewhere looking after me.

One thing that I found a little predictable, probably from watching too many cop shows on TV, was how the cops believe that somehow Cali is involved with what is going on. Brit surprised me too when there were times he could be romantic. He seemed like such a jerk. You’ll love the nickname that Cali gave him.

I have read some other of Christie’s work and this is another good one. Her story flows right from the beginning. She makes us think that guardian angels are possible. It also shows that our men, and women, in blue go through a lot to protect us. If you get this read within the next couple of months, you will be ready for her blog tour that starts toward the end of August. If you visit her web site, http://www.christie-craig.com/, you will find out what book will be involved with the tour.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Murder, Mayhem and Mama

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Review: Demonically Tempted (Frostbite, Book 2) by Stacey Kennedy

DemonicallyTemptedReviewed by Susan S.

A riveting story that’s freaky-creepy good! I haven’t rooted this much for star-crossed lovers since reading Romeo and Juliet’s sonnets. Let’s hope that Kipp and Tess circumnavigate tragedy and defy all odds…soon!

Summary: Frostbite Series, Book Two Tess Jennings (heroine) is working with Memphis police detectives on a decade old cold case. Because of her “special” gifts, she’s an invaluable member of the police department. Tess can see and communicate with ghosts. Discarnates popping in on her may be a constant annoyance occurrence, but at least it’s an expected one. Now a malevolent demon? That, that’s completely unexpected!

Yes. There’s a great deal on her plate. Her ghost lover (Kipp) is missing, she needs to banish a demon, and let’s not forget- locate a girl who’s been dead for 10 years. Can Tess do all of the above? But can she do it without being…demonically possessed?

Review: I’m going to begin at the end. Those of us, who’ve read Supernaturally Kissed, are going to have a jaw-dropping reaction to book two’s ending. Talk about leading me down that garden path. Clever! Very clever. I can’t wait to see how the author plans to tie up that loose end, or if she ever will. We can only hope!

Demonically Tempted may be darker than book one, but no less wonderful. Stacey Kennedy gives me that soap opera feeling. I liked what happened this time, but oh my gosh! What’s going to happen next?

Recommendations: This novel will attract readers who loved the supernatural TV drama Medium and the show Paranormal State. It’ll call to those who walk the darker streets of paranormal romances. And if you ever saw the movie Constantine and loved it-then you really must read this novel. It includes suspense, mystery, and it’s sure to give you plenty of fear-inducing piloerections.

Disclaimer: I received this novel free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Others in the Series:

Supernaturally Kissed (Frostbite, Book One)

What’s Next?

Mystically Bound- Book Three (Fall 2012)

Book trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXL2rueMVpg

Review-O-Meter [Rating:5]

Buy: Demonically Tempted (Frostbite)

Self published, Copyright 2012, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, eBook, 167 Pages, ASIN# B007TB5ZF8, ISBN# 978-1-4763-4187-3.

Review: Accused (Pacific Coast Justice Series, Book 1) by Janice Cantore

Reviewed by Susan S.

Accused is a powerhouse of suspense!

Summary: Pacific Coast Justice Series-Book One As a law enforcement officer, C. Edwards, has always upheld the law and followed her agency’s protocols. And prior to becoming a divorcée, she was also the faithful wife. No one would categorize Carly’s life as perfect, but at least it has a semblance of stability. Now all that’s about to change!

As Carly searches for answers regarding who murdered Mayor Teresa Burke, she’ll uncover deeply protected secrets. Secrets those in power would kill to keep. With body counts rising, Carly will find herself in a race to stay alive! She never would’ve guessed it, but she’ll have to rely on the two people she’s been avoiding the most. Her ex-husband (Nick) and God.

Review: Janice Cantore is a new-to-me author. And the first thing that impressed me was the flow of the story. Everything flowed perfectly! There were no abrupt and jarring scene changes. It was one continuous smooth storytelling. Secondly, the suspense is top-notch. Furthermore, as a former police officer, Cantore’s uniform dispatch signals were accurate. As a civilian, I also found her descriptions of police procedures insightful.

Recommendations: Recommended for readers who enjoy police stories and inspirational tales of faith and hope.

What I Enjoyed:

Element: I liked the police officers’ sobriquets: Carly is Crash, Joe is Control, and Nick is Face.

Scene: There’s a scene where an officer risks his life for another. I wept copiously! I wouldn’t say I used an entire box of tissues, but it was close!

Extras: After the story there’s an author interview; that was a novel element.

Disclaimer: I requested this novel from NetGalley because of my interest in police stories.

[Rating:5]

Buy: Accused (Pacific Coast Justice)

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Copyright 2012, Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality, Romance, ISBN-13# 978-1-4143-5847-5, Pages 416.

Review: Heartwishes by Jude Deveraux

Reviewed by Susan S.

Edilean Series: Book Six

Heartwishes combines a charming setting with an intriguing plot, and then sprinkles it with a magical feel; presenting you with a comfort read you just can’t put down.

Summary: Gemma Ranford, heroine, was hired to piece together the family history for one of Edilean’s founding families-The Fraziers. Gemma relishes reading documents dating back to sixteenth century England. Perhaps working for Mrs. Frazier will help her decide on a dissertation topic.

As Ranford’s research progresses, two things will occur. She’ll uncover documents relating to a magical stone, and acknowledge her growing desire for the Frazier’s eldest son and Edilean’s sheriff, Colin. A professional thief now means to acquire the Heartwishes Stone; placing Gemma in harm’s way. But what about the repercussions of her involvement with her employer’s son? There’s the wrath of Colin’s former-maybe-current girlfriend (Jean), the possibility of being unemployed, disappointing Mrs. Frazier, losing credence with her adviser, not to mention, giving the town gossipmongers a new topic of discussion. Gemma has only one question to answer. Is love worth everything she’s risking?

Review: Heartwishes is the first novel I’ve read from the Edilean Series. I enjoyed it so much- my next course of action is to read Scarlet Nights. Would it have anything to do with the hero being a detective, and my loving novels with law enforcement officers? Don’t look at me! I’m not telling.

Because Heartwishes causes flare-ups of can’t-stop-reading-itis, I’m recommending you drink at least one heavily caffeinated drink “before” reading this novel. The most common symptom of my can’t-stop-reading-itis is the what ifs curiosity. And boy, did I suffer into the wee hours of the night. What if the antagonist finds the Heartwishes Stone? What if it really does have magical properties? What if Jean hurts Gemma in a jealous rage? Then again, what if Colin hurts Dr. Aldredge because of his own blinding jealousy? After all, the good ol’ doctor isn’t old at all. He’s gorgeous, smart, has dark black hair, blue eyes, and likes Gemma very much. All right, I’m being too polite. He’s freakin’ hot!

My Favorite Characters: Dr. Tristan Aldredge and Shamus Frazier

Why? Because Tristan is freakin’ hot. Lol. Actually, he’s also very attentive to people’s needs, is a great listener, can help you when you’re sick, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.

Colin’s youngest brother, the artist, has real depth. He’s a young man with few words and a big compassionate heart. I fell in love with him. Instantly!

Favorite Scenes:

Number 1: Colin’s dad is at home in Virginia, while his mom is in California visiting her daughter, Ariel. They find out Shamus is missing and they call Colin at the same time. One’s on the cell, the other is on the home phone. Colin places both phones together so they can scream at each other (while they pass the blame).

Number 2: When Tristan kisses Gemma in front of Colin.

Number 3: (The kitchen scene). Gemma’s in the kitchen hiding. When one by one, the Frazier men make their way into the kitchen. She gives them mashed potato lollipops. (Think what happens when you swirl a spoon into mashed potatoes.) All’s well until Mrs. Frazier discovers them and proceeds to berate them.

Others in the Series:

  1. Scarlet Nights
  2. Days of Gold
  3. Lavender Morning
  4. Promises Novella by Vook
  5. The Scent of Jasmine

Review-O-Meter [Rating:5]

Buy: Heartwishes: An Edilean Novel (Edilean Book 6)

Atria Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., Copyright 2011, Hardcover, Print Pages 363, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, ISBN-13# 978-1-4391-0800-0.

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