Thursday, October 20, 2016

White Tiger by Jennifer Ashley

A woman is lured into the shadows of a dangerous manhunt...
Wanted and on the run...

 For twenty years, Kendrick, a white tiger Shifter, has been the Guardian of un-Collared Shifters who spend their lives living in secret—and in fear of being shunted into Shiftertowns. When Kendrick’s group is discovered and forced to flee, Kendrick is more desperate than ever to protect them

His only salvation was in a beautiful stranger.

In a diner in the middle of nowhere, lonely waitress Addison Price has seen a lot of unusual drifters come and go, but none has ever captivated—and intimidated—her like the imposing fugitive who wields a broadsword with incredible skill. But when he risks all to protect her, Addison’s fear turns to empathy—and empathy to desire as she learns more about her savior. Soon she’s more than willing to help the crushingly sensual white tiger and his cubs in a passionate bid for freedom. Whatever the cost.


Series: Shifters Unbound #8| Publisher: Berkley | Genre: Paranormal Romance | Source: Publisher| Rating: 4.5 Cups
Cubs! There’s cubs!!! Cute little cuddly cubs! If you couldn’t tell by my excitement, I adore cubs in PNR.
So, here’s what’s going on. Kendrick’s a white tiger shifter and guardian of the un-collared shifters. He’s on the run with his three adorable cubs and the danger that he’s running from has finally caught up with him and, unintentionally, Addison, the waitress at the diner. Now Kendrick, Addison, and the cubs are on the run searching for a place to hide out and a safe place where Kendrick can reunite his shifters.
Kendrick and Addison were such a great couple. He’s definitely an alpha, strong, protective, caring, occasionally a bit growly. He’s also a bit hesitant to start something with Addison for fear of her getting hurt. Addison really held her own. She’s strong, independent, ready and willing to protect the cubs. They were a great combination, she’s lively and he’s serious so it was fun watching them figure out their relationship.
So, there’s three cubs—two cuddly little white tigers and super serious cute little wolf cub. I loved seeing Kendrick care for and protect his cubs. And what made Kendrick even more endearing was that he loves the wolf cub just the same as his own cubs.
This one was chock-full of action. It started from the very first chapter and continued on to the very end and I loved ever edge-of-my-seat minute of it.
Overall, I loved this one. I think this one has to be my favorite Shifters Unbound novel to date. The pacing is brilliant, the characters were engaging, and the action kept me glued to the book.

Do you enjoy cubs in your paranormal romance?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal

Visiting another century.... not the summer vacation she had planned.


Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected - but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri's old house. And the Old Dears' old house, and... well, any old house.


And since the program worked so well for the Old Dears' family tree project, Abby's college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield. And Kate's fiance Ryan thinks the program has lucrative commercial potential.


Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands... well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy.


The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate's research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.


The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful - until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, "There's nothing there for you to see."


Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own - both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune


Series: History Mystery Series #3 | Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Michelle Babb | Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins | Genre: Cozy Contemporary Mystery | Source: Write Brain Books | Ratings: Performance-4 Cups  Story-2.5 Cups
Having enjoyed the first two books in the series, I was really looking forward to this one, but, sadly, this one just fell flat.
Here’s what’s going on. When Abby’s college roommate Kate shows up wanting to use the time surfing program Beautiful Houses to trace down her ancestor Ned Greenfield so she can finish her family tree, Abby and John are worried about the program falling into the wrong hands. And when they realize Abby has brought along her fiancĂ© Ryan, they start to wonder if they have probable cause to be worried. Finally giving into Abby, the two couples set off for the town of Equality and soon discover so much more than they bargained when they locate Hickory Hill.
This one was my least favorite book in the series and I had to force myself to pay attention to it.
Kate and Ryan ruined this book. He was an arrogant jerk and no matter what he did or said, Kate acted like he was the best thing since sliced bread. And I hate it when characters act like jerks are their knights in shining armour. I was so over these two before the second chapter started.
I enjoyed seeing Abby and John growing in their relationship, but once again, my enjoyment of them was overshadowed by how much Kate and Ryan annoyed me.
I really missed Merri. While she pops up occasionally, she wasn’t really a part of the plot and it took a lot away from the story. Plus, there were a strings of her story that wasn’t really tied up.
The mystery just seemed to drag on and on without much solidness behind it. Kate is searching for her ancestor but her searches and the time surfing seems to be wrong because the only Ned Greenfield she has found has been a runaway slave. Although even if she has doubts about this Ned being her Ned, the group is eager to discover Ned’s story and soon they discover he has a connection to Charlotte (book one) and her work with the underground railroad.
While I didn’t really care for the plot, Michelle Babb did an amazing job narrating. She really brings every faucet of the characters to life.
Overall, this just didn’t do it for me.

History Mystery Series
3-Every Hill and Mountain  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Audiobook Review: Death and the Brewmaster's Widow by Loretta Ross

When firefighter Randy Bogart perishes in the arson fire at an abandoned brewery known as the Brewmaster's Widow, Death Bogart and his girlfriend Wren Morgan travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to find closure. They discover that Randy left his badge behind at the firehouse before going to the brewery. But the coroner finds another badge on Randy's body, leaving Death and Wren with more questions than answers.

Desperate to know what really happened, Death and Wren begin to investigate. Their digging leads to a connection between Randy's death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves once used by 19th-century beer barons. But the Brewmaster's Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prying them loose could cost Death and Wren their lives.


Series: Auction Block Mysteries #2| Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Amanda Ronconi | Length: 7 hours 19 minutes | Genre: Cozy Contemporary Mystery | Source: Audible | Ratings: Performance-4.5 Cups  Story-4.5 Cups 

I’ve been having a really good time with The Auction House Mysteries. The characters are so unique yet realistic and the plot is riveting.
Here’s what’s going on: While Death was fighting for his life, his brother Randy lost his battling a fire at the Brewmaster’s Widow. Now Death and Wren have traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to settle his brother’s estate, although they soon discover a mystery of two badges. When Randy’s body was discovered, he was wearing a badge but upon speaking to Randy’s Captain, Death and Wren soon discover that Randy’s real badge had broken before the fire and was in the Captain’s possession. To make matters more complicated, the badge discovered on Randy’s body contains a different number than Randy’s actual badge.
So, this book was a bit heavy at times for a cozy mystery. I mean I expected it, given the fact Death was dealing with his brother’s death, but the comedic relief offered by Wren and few other characters was definitely needed.
Because this book centers around the death of Death’s brother, we learn so much more about Death. We also see him struggling a bit, feeling a bit of survivors guilt because Randy’s death, as expected, really hit him hard. We also Death acclimating to his new way of life—because of the injuries he sustained while in Afghanistan his lungs were injured so he must now realize on his brain rather than entirely on his strength to get things done.
Wren is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines. She doesn’t really fit the mold of your normal heroine and I really enjoy that. Plus, throughout this book, she wears a slingshot as a necklace and kept the rocks in her pocket, just in case they were needed. I never really know what she’s going to do next but, whatever she decides to will be entertaining.
While book one sort of had that whole instalove thing going on, this book shows their relationship growing. Death really needs someone to be there for him and help him with what he’s going through and Wren is the perfect person. She’s ready and willingly to listen to him and be there for him, but she’s also strong enough to guide him to do what’s needed.
The ex-factor—so, Death’s ex-wife does make a few appearances in the book but it’s not that drama-filled type. In fact, her appearance sort of added a bit of comic relief at one point. I’ve noticed that the ‘ex-factor’ is a bit of trend in this series but, for once, it doesn’t take away from the plot but rather allows for aspects of the main character’s personality to be revealed. If there’s going to be a popup ex in my books, this is how I want it done.
Okay, so I’m not going to say much about the mystery because I don’t want to spoil it for readers. Although I have to say, this one is one of my favorites. I had a feeling about what had happened and what was going on, and while I was correct to a degree, I was also off about the motive. There was also a few twists and turns I didn’t really see coming.
While this is the second book in the series, it would actually work as a standalone.
Once again, Amanda Ronconi brings this series to life as the narrator.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. The mystery was amazing and the characters keep getting better.

The Auction Block Mystery Series

#2—Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow

#3—Death and the Gravedigger’s Angel (out February 2017)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Sunday Post {2}Corsets and Traveling

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Hello, My Lovelies!
I hope you all are doing well!
I absolutely love October in Ohio and the weather, so far, has been perfect Fall weather. So, I decided to take the first week of this month off and get out and actually explore my surroundings.

To kick off my local ‘Destination Exploration’, I stopped at the Ohio Renaissance Festival to check out one of my favorite Scottish bands, Albannach. Not only are they amazing musicians, they’re awesome people. If they’re ever in your area, check them out—you’ll thank me for it!

So, yeah, if you follow me on Instgram, you’ll know that I decided to get into the Renaissance spirit and channel my inner Grace O'Malley and go dressed as a pirate—complete with a corset. I must applauded all of the women who rocked a corset as part of their daily life, because that thing was seriously brutal, brutal I say. I was so glad to get out of it.

I also decided to check out a few of the backroads and ended up finding a local Amish pumpkin farm with a massive windmill that had been transformed into a cornstalk tower.
My last leg of my exploration took me to Serpent Mound, or ‘America’s Stonehenge’ as it’s often called. It’s a massive coiled serpent holding an egg in its mouth. At 3feet high and 1,370 feet long, it’s the longest snake effigy in the world and there’s actually a smaller replica near Stonehenge. It was started circa 300 BC and no one has actually been able to figure out why. It’s been nearly twenty years since I visited this place, so it was nice to revisit it as an adult.

During my explorations, I managed to get through several audiobooks, reviews soon to come, and a few paperbacks.
Here’s what has happened on the blog so far in October:
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris—having loved this series, I enjoyed catching up with Aurora.
Teetotaled by Maia Chance—I was really impressed with this new-to-me cozy mystery series set in the roaring twenties and I’m looking forward to checking out the first book.
Waiting on Wednesday: The Official Poldark Coloring Book—It’s a Poldark coloring book, need I say more?
An Open Spook by E.J. Copperman—I didn’t really care for this one and I was rather disappointed considering I loved this series.
What I’m listening to: Nobody’s Baby By Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips—Not my favorite set-up, I loathe it when a woman tricks a man into getting her pregnant, but I can’t seem to stop listening because I’m itching to see what happens.
What I’m reading: Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason—ooh, this one has been interesting. Jason Getty murdered a man and buried him in his backyard but things get tricky when the landscape crew he’s hired to fix up his yard finds a skeleton Jason didn’t bury. This one has been in my TBR pile for eons and I’m so glad I finally decided to pick it up.
Have you explored your area lately?
Do you listen to audiobooks when you travel?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Audiobook Review: An Open Spook by E.J. Copperman

Haunted guesthouse owner Alison Kerby may have only recently discovered her ability to communicate with ghosts, but for her mother Loretta, it’s been a lifelong gift. As Alison prepares her Jersey Shore guesthouse for what promises to be a huge storm, Loretta helps out by tackling a different issue when the winds blow in an unexpected visitor: the ghost of Sgt. Robert Elliot. His request? Help him find the POW bracelet from the Vietnam War that bears his name. But no sooner does Elliot make his appeal than he suddenly disappears, cutting off contact, and leaving Loretta to wonder...why here? Why now? And why the vanishing act?


The answers begin to materialize when Alison’s lone remaining guest shows up unwittingly holding a clue to the case - on his wrist. A coincidence? Hardly. And Loretta has good reason to believe that the sergeant’s spirit has a secret he’s yet to share. Something he’s been holding on to for more than forty years. Something he’s dying to put to rest.


Series: Haunted Guesthouse #4.5| Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Amanda Ronconi | Length: 2 hours 32 minutes | Genre: Cozy Paranormal Contemporary Mystery | Source: Audible | Ratings: Performance 3 Cups  Story 1 Cup

When a hurricane Sandy unleashes it’s wrath on the Jersey Shore, Alison, her mother Loretta, and her daughter Liss along with her two resident ghosts, and a houseguest are trapped inside the guesthouse. They soon discover the arrival of a new ghost, Sgt. Robert Elliot, who needs their help locating a POW bracelet that has his name on it.
I really didn’t care for this one. I had trouble clicking with the last book in the series and this one went right down the drain.
It’s told from Loretta’s POV although we don’t really learn much about her other than she was against the Vietnam war when she was a teen.
The mystery isn’t really much of a mystery. It’s basically the ghost of a former sergeant who was a POW during the Vietnam War searching for the last POW bracelet with his name on it so he can pass over.
Even though the audio was only a little over two and a half hours, the book felt like it dragged on forever and I’ve just never been found of anti-war sentiments being strewn into my books. It wasn’t an in-your-face approach, but it still turns me off.
Overall, this one wasn’t my cuppa tea. And, honestly, the only reason I finished this one was because I was listening to it during a road trip and didn’t have time to change it.


 Haunted Guesthouse Series

The Thrill of the Haunt
Inspector Spector
Ghost in the Wind

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday {54}: The Official Poldark Coloring Book

 “Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I’m addicted to Poldark so I totally went all fandom girl when I found out that a coloring book based on the PBS series was coming out. I’ve got my colored pencils at the ready only if November would get here sooner!

Title: The Official Poldark Coloring Book
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: November 1st
The ultimate gift for any fan of the hit PBS series POLDARK starring Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson
Be transported to the wild beauty of Cornwall as Ross Poldark returns home after the American Revolutionary War! The Official Poldark Coloring Book gives Poldark fans the chance to enjoy the characters and setting they have come to love in a more dynamic way than ever before. With 45 images from the TV series rendered in beautiful line art just waiting to be filled with color, this coloring book provides a Poldark experience unlike any other.

What are you lovelies waiting on?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Teetotaled by Maia Chance

After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, ultimately leading them to set up shop as a Discreet Retrieval Agency, operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest.


Now they’re in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—they haven’t had a job in months and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a detox facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.” But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s red and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law.


Series: Discreet Retrieval Agency #2| Publisher: Minotaur Books| Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery | Source: MLM Media | Rating: 4 Cups
I do love a good cozy so when this was offered, I jumped at the chance to review it and I’m so glad that I did.
Here’s what’s going on. Lola and her former-cook-turned-detective-partner Berta are in need of a case to stay afloat after Lola’s husband death left her penniless and now find themselves checking into a health farm in hopes of discreetly retrieving Grace Whiddle’s journal. Although before they can retrieve the journal, Grace goes missing and her soon-to-be mother-in-law is murdered. Now Lola and Berta find themselves with a murder case to crack.
I missed book one, Come Hell or Highball, and while I was able to follow along with book, I wished I would have read the first book just to clear up some of the questions I had such as what happened between Lola and her brother-in-law and what caused the rift between her family.
The characters in this book were such fun. Lola truly embodies that roaring twenties feel and sort of reminds of an Americanized Miss Fisher. At times, she seems a bit ditzy or more focused on trivial things but she’s still likable. Berta was the more sensible of the two. She’s highly focused and sort of keeps Lola on track.
There’s a bit of a romance going on between Lola and Ralph Oliver. He’s a fellow detective so it adds a bit of competition and humor into the mix.
So, while the mystery—or rather, mysteries—were a little slow, I still found myself riveted to the page as the mysteries slowly unwound and.
Overall, I really enjoyed this cozy. It’s set in the roaring twenties so it was a bit different and I really enjoyed the fresh take on things.

The Discreet Retrieval Agency Series
1—Come Hell or Highball

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.


While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?


With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

Series: Aurora Teagarden #9 | Publisher: Minotaur Books | Release Date: October 4, 2016 | Genre: Cozy Contemporary Mystery | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Totally had a happy reader girl moment when I found out that there was going to be a new Aurora Teagarden mystery novel. And, I’m not going to lie, I totally did a happy little Snoopy dance when it arrived and read it in just a few hours.


Here’s what’s going on. Pregnant and newly married, Aurora’s life is a bit hectic at the moment so when Phillip, her half-brother, comes to her wanting to talk about something important, Aurora doesn’t have time. Although when Phillip and three other kids go missing, Aurora and Robin start their own investigation and soon uncover more than they thought they would.


It was so fun joining Aurora again. She’s always been one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines. She’s definitely one of those small but mighty types. Although, I did notice that she was a bit more laid back in regards to the investigation, which was probably due to her pregnancy, but she was still an active participant. And I loved seeing her married to Robin. They make such a great couple and it was fun watching them together.


The mystery was interesting although I figured most of it out early on although I was still intrigued to watch it unfold.

There were a few things that sort of bugged me with this book. I know she’s pregnant, but Aurora was constantly complaining she was tired. Also, she sort of kept putting down her last marriage and her deceased husband, Martin.  Another thing that bothered me, and I’m not sure I would have paid attention to it had I not re-read a few of the previous novels to refresh myself on the series, was the fact that Aurora was praising Robin for treating her with kidd gloves when she constantly complained about it when Martin did it.

Overall, while I did have a few little annoyances with this novel, I still really enjoyed it and I’m hoping that there will be another Aurora Teagarden novel.

Aurora Teagarden Series

1-Real Murders
2-A Bone to Pick
3-Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
4-The Julius House
5-Dead Over Heels
6-A Fool and His Honey
7-Last Scene Alive
8-Poppy Done to Dead
9-All the Little Liars