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Pearls Gone Wild by Diane Vallere

Pearls Gone Wild is another excellent installment in Vallere's Samantha Kidd series. This book takes place at Christmas while Sam is on vacation, but unfortunately murder happens once again. Sam's friend, Cat, is not only eight months pregnant but has just been abandoned by her husband. When Cat's estranged husband is found murdered, it's Sam to the rescue to find out who did it. I absolutely love the secondary characters in this series because each character really adds to the book's story line but also brings out a different side of Sam. I loved seeing Eddie, Cat, Dante, Nick, and especially Logan back in this new adventure. Vallere does a great job with using each character to further the plot but also prepare Sam for a big decision by book's end. I also liked how the book brought up the Nick/Sam/Dante triangle giving it a satisfying resolution. Pearls Gone Wild had a good mystery that grabbed the reader's attention from the very beginning and didn't let go until the end. The book had enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed the Christmas time setting. Overall Pearls Gone Wild was a great read, and I look forward to reading Sam's next adventure. Received a copy of Pearls Gone Wild from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Dirt on the Ninth Grave is another great installment in Jones' Charley Davidson series, and it proved to be just as hard to put down as the previous books in the series.  Now I was not completely caught up in the series before I jumped into book nine however this book was a good one to jump into.  Charley aka Janey has amnesia in this book so while Janey is trying to figure out her past and who she is the reader gets to go on the journey with her.  While not an ideal book to start the series because the reader wouldn't catch some of the signature themes and understand all the secondary characters, I do believe that this could be read by new readers wanting to check out the series.

 

Jones' does a great job with her development of Janey aka Charley by showing her path and growth as a character from the beginning of the book until the end when her memories return.  Charley's great sense of humor is one of the things I always enjoyed about this series, and I was pleased that Jones kept that humor with Janey.  The secondary characters in this series have always added to the appeal of this series, and I loved seeing Bob, Cookie, Reyes, Angel, etc. all staying in Janey's life while trying to let Charley remember things on her own.  The ensemble cast of characters in this series is always a delight, and these characters have helped make this series a favorite of mine.

 

The book's second and third stories are also interesting giving Janey a chance to put her PI skills to use even if she doesn't realize it.  Janey becomes involved in a mystery when she notices the strange happenings at a neighboring business.  She decides to find out what is happening there when she suspects an entire family could be in danger.  In addition to everything else, Janey also needs to deal with a dangerous personal threat when someone in her life appears to be stalking her.  Overall The Dirt on the Ninth Grave proved to be an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend.  I look forward to reading Charley's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of The Dirt on the Ninth Grave through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Grant Theft Retro by Diane Vallere

Grand Theft Retro is the newest installment in Vallere's Style and Error mystery series, and it is just as much fun and action packed as the previous books in the series that I have read.  Samantha is now at her new job working for an online fashion magazine when her boss decides that they need to make a print edition as well.  Samantha finds herself partnered with a new co-worker, and when this co-worker tries to shut Samantha out she finds herself in the middle of a complex mystery.

 

I absolutely love how Vallere combines humor with her action, suspense, and mystery.  There were some great humorous situations throughout the book that really made me laugh and helped add to the overall story.  I absolutely love the cast of secondary characters like Nick, Eddie, Detective Loncar, and even Logan the cat which also made the story better.  Samantha is well developed in the book, and I think her adventures in this story made her come to some self realizations that will be explored possibly in the future since she started to understand why she does certain things and why she reacts certain ways.  The book's main mystery is well done full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.  Overall Grand Theft Retro proved to be a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I look forward to checking out Samantha's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Grand Theft Retro from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry

Look Both Ways is the first book that I have read by Perry, and despite being the third book in Perry's Witch City series I was able to follow it very well.  I don't think that you needed to read previous books in the series to enjoy this one although I do plan on going back and catching up on them.  Lee decides to purchase a bureau from a local store that looks like one that she had as a child never imagining the adventure she would go on because of it.  When the shop owner is killed shortly after Lee's purchase, Lee finds herself embroiled in the present murder mystery as well as the mystery of who murdered the bureau's previous owner.

 

Perry does a great job at intermixing both magic and mystery in her series, and I really enjoyed the paranormal mixed in with the ordinary.  I loved how down to earth Lee was and the book does explore this side of her with her doing ordinary tasks like picking out furniture for her new home, getting a new job for the summer, and working on her new relationship with Pete.  It was the relationships that Lee shares with her aunt, Pete, her friend River, her boss, and even her cat that helped define and develop the character.  I always enjoy when a book has a great cast of secondary characters that help make the story more interesting.  I also enjoyed how the paranormal was worked in with Lee's scryer talent.  Look Both Ways had enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing while also keeping the reader's attention from beginning to end.  Overall Look Both Ways was a great read that I would most definitely recommend if you like the mix of magic and mystery.  I look forward to reading Lee's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Look Both Ways through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Death of a Bacon Heiress by Lee Hollis

I have read several books in Hollis's Hayley Powell series although not necessarily in order, and I have enjoyed each one of them including this one.  Hayley gets an exciting opportunity when she is asked to do a segment on a popular talk show which in turn leads into a new writing opportunity.  However a murder happens to Hayley's new benefactor, Olivia, before she can start her new writing job leading Hayley to try and solve this perplexing murder.

 

I really love the characters in Hollis's series especially Hayley's support system of two best friends, her brother, and her brother in law.  I enjoyed this installment because we got to see Mona and Randy taking part in Hayley's sleuthing this time, and we also got to see Hayley team up with an unlikely partner at work.  Hayley also faces some difficulties in her love life in this book as well as dealing with empty nest syndrome by having both of her kids away both of which add to the story and Hayley's journey.  The mystery is well done with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as well as some humor and drama that bring a lighter tone to the book.  Overall Death of a Bacon Heiress was an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend, and I am looking forward to checking out Hayley's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Death of a Bacon Heiress through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross

Fogged Inn is the second book that I have read in Ross's Maine Clambake mystery series, and I have to say that I enjoyed this one just as much as I enjoyed the first one.  I had read book one in this series for my mystery book club so I was happy to have the chance to enjoy another Julia adventure.  Now that tourist season is over, Julia and Chris are operating a dinner restaurant sharing space with Gus who handles the morning and afternoon diners.  When a man is found murdered in the building's freezer after Julia and Chris locked up for the night, a crazy murder mystery ensues. 

 

I really enjoy the Maine setting and descriptions in this series.  Ross does a great job at making her setting make the reader feel right at home and gives them the sense of what it is like living in her small town.  Julia finds herself getting to see a different of the side of the town she grew up in as she finds out about the group of people who were at the restaurant right before the murder happened.  Julia is a well developed character in this book continuing to feel more at ease now that she moved back home permanently, is in a serious relationship, and starting a new endeavor in the off season.  Julia and Chris face some stress in their relationship when Julia decides to find out who the killer is.  Fogged Inn has many great twists and turns keeping the reader engaged right from the beginning until the end.  Overall Fogged Inn was a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I am looking forward to checking out Ross's next book in this series.

 

Received a copy of Fogged Inn through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Estep's Dark Heart of Magic is yet another exciting read in her Black Blade series.  I have to say that I haven't read an Estep book that I haven't absolutely loved, and this book is no different.  Lila finds herself volunteered for the Tournament of Blades representing the Sinclair family, and as she faces the challenges of the tournament Lila also is trying to solve two mysteries (who is killing magical monsters and what is Victor Draconi up to).  These mysteries keep Lila on her toes as she tries to win the tournament despite the different obstacles thrown her way.

Dark Heart of Magic is a fast paced adventure that captures the reader's interest from the very beginning and never lets go.  I love how Estep combines action, adventure, suspense, drama, and mystery keeping the reader engaged anxious to see what happens next.  Lila is very well developed in this second book building upon what happened in book one by letting Lila allow the other characters in whereas before she tried to keep them at arm's length.  I liked how Lila is becoming more of a member of the Sinclair family and becoming stronger for it.  Overall Dark Heart of Magic is an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend both to young adults as well as adults because Estep is such a great storyteller.  I am looking forward to checking out Lila's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Dark Heart of Magic through NetGalley for an honest review.

Dark Debt by Chloe Neill

Dark Debt is the eleventh book in Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series, and Merit and Ethan face a threat from Ethan's past.  Merit and Ethan find themselves trying to solve two mysteries (one from Ethan's past and one current one threatening the three Houses of vampires).  Merit and her friends find themselves trying to figure out what is going on when vampires attack a human at an important event setting off a chain of events that has Merit and company scrambling for answers.

Even though this is book eleven in the series, it was actually the first book in the series that I have read.  While it took a little bit for me to catch up with the characters and story line, I found that I really enjoyed Neill's world and the story.  Merit is very well developed in this book, and I enjoyed watching her overcome an internal struggle as well as all of these outside forces as she faced something that she had taken for granted before which was her immunity to other vampires' magic.  I also really enjoyed the secondary characters especially Merit's friends Mallory and Catcher.  The book has many twists and turns keeping the reader guessing and definitely plenty of action.  Overall Dark Debt proved to be a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I enjoyed this book so much that now I want to go back and read the previous books in the series.  I am definitely looking forward to Merit's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Dark Debt through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver is the third book in Bishop's Others series, and it is just as good as the previous book in the series that I have read.  Meg and her friends find themselves facing the consequences of actions that had been taken to save the cassandra sangue from exploitation.  These consequences include Meg and others like her needing to try to adapt to this new world around them full of so much change from their previous environment and imprisonment.  Vision in Silver also introduces a second conflict as the Humans First and Last movement starts to hit close to home raising the stakes for the Others and their allies.

 

Bishop does such an amazing job with her world building in this book as well as another series that I have read by her.  She really helps bring these characters to life but also the world that they live in.  This world full of Others (vampires, shifters, etc.), the cassandra sangue, and the humans really come alive bringing the reader into this conflicted new world where Meg caused change.  Meg continues to be well developed in this book as she tries to figure out this world outside the prison environment that she lived in but also as she tries to figure out how to help others like her.  The secondary characters are also well developed, and the reader finds themselves more and more invested in these characters as the book progresses.

 

Vision in Silver is full of action, suspense, and even some mystery as Bishop builds up this conflict between humans and the Others.  The stakes continue to get higher as Meg and her friends try to change previous misconceptions.  This book sets up the next book very well making the reader anxious to see what happens next.  Overall Visions in Silver proved to be an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend.  I can't wait to see where Bishop is taking this story next.

 

Received a copy of Vision in Silver through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

While I have read several of Raybourn's short stories in her Lady Julia series, A Curious Beginning is the first full length work of hers that I have read.  A Curious Beginning was an intriguing read that captured my interest in the very beginning and never let go.  Veronica has just lost her spinster aunt and decided to resume her world travels after putting her aunt's affairs to rest.  What she didn't expect was to interrupt a burglary, nearly get kidnapped, and get rescued by a mysterious stranger with ties to her family's past.  Veronica finds herself at the center of a mystery that leads her on a strange journey full of adventure, intrigue, and suspense.

 

Raybourn does a great job at setting up a good mystery by slowly leading the reader down the journey with Veronica.  The book is full of many twists and turns but the journey is enjoyable because of all the interesting adventures along the way until Raybourn is ready to introduce the truth of Veronica's past.  Veronica is a well developed character who is definitely ahead of her time which makes her so much fun as a leading character.  The reader gets to take this journey with Veronica and gets to see how she changes as she faces each obstacle put in her path.  Stoker is also a great character and proves himself to be the perfect partner for Veronica.  The romantic tension between these two is amazing, and this book does a great job at setting up a potential relationship.  Overall A Curious Beginning proved to be an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend, and I can't wait to check out Veronica's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of A Curious Beginning through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Nemesis by Catherine Coulter

Nemesis is another exciting adventure in Coulter's FBI thriller series.  Sherlock and Savage both find themselves dealing with ruthless villains as two cases put them up against dangerous people.  Sherlock finds herself the target of a madman when she foils an attack at the airport putting not just her but her family at risk.  Savage finds himself facing a diabolical killer who uses a unique method to murder.  Two cases means double the twists and turns.

 

One thing I love about this series is the strong relationship and connection between Sherlock and Savage.  Their family while not front and center really grounds the series making the stakes higher for them both.  I liked seeing both Sherlock and Savage working their own cases with their different teams while keeping their bond strong.  The cases were both interesting, and Nemesis definitely is action packed and suspenseful keeping the reader's attention from beginning to end.  I also enjoyed the secondary characters like Cal, Kelly, and Griffin who helped to add to the book's stories.  Overall Nemesis was a great read, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

Received a copy of Nemesis through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Ghostly Murder by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Murder is the first book that I have read in this particular series although it is not the first book that I have read and enjoyed by Kappes having enjoyed one of her other series.  Despite being book four in the series, I was able to read and enjoy it without having read any of the others although now I want to go back and check the others out.  Emma Lee owns a funeral home with her sister that has been in her family for years, and currently the two sisters are having some financial difficulties with the family business.  So while Emma Lee is supposed to be working hard for paying clients she gets caught up in the murder mystery by a ghost client that only she can see.  Emma Lee is determined to discover who killed Mamie Sue and solve this murder.

 

Kappes does a great job at combining humor, mystery, the paranormal, and even some romance with A Ghostly Murder.  Emma Lee is a well developed main character, and I liked seeing her have some family/romantic conflict while she was trying to solve this mystery.  These conflicts with her sister/grandmother about the family business and with her love interest over the future of their relationship only made the stakes higher for Emma Lee and added to the book's central story.  The secondary characters are also another excellent addition making the story more enjoyable and giving the story some humor.  The book's mystery is well done with many twists and turns keeping the reader guessing.  Overall A Ghostly Murder was a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I look forward to checking out another one of Emma Lee's adventures.

 

Received a copy of A Ghostly Murder through Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.

Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Black Widow is another action packed installment in Estep's Elemental Assassin series featuring Gin Blanco.  Each book in this series seems to be better than the last and proves to be even harder to put down.  This book picks up with Gin and her friends trying to figure out what Madeline Monroe, the daughter of enemy Mab Monroe, has in store for them.  Gin and her friends are taken by surprise by Madeline's plan despite their precautions leading to an epic showdown between Gin and Madeline.

 

I love how this series continues to keep my attention and continues to surprise me despite being twelve books in.   Gin continues to be one of my favorite heroines as she seems to be constantly challenged in each book and learns something about herself as she faces down each foe.  I really enjoy the secondary characters in the book because they really add to the story and each bring out something different in Gin.  This odd little family is one of my favorite fictional families.  Estep continues to build up the suspense and action in each book making each one especially this one unable to be put down or forgotten.  

 

Overall Black Widow was an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend.  If you  love urban fantasy and haven't checked out this series yet, then please do because you are missing out on a truly great series and heroine.  I can't wait to see what Gin's next adventure brings.

 

Received a copy of Black Widow through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Southern Spirits by Angie Fox

Southern Spirits was such a fun and exciting read.  Fox does such an amazing job at combining humor, mystery, suspense, and action along with the paranormal.  Verity was such a likable character that you couldn't help but root for her as she desperately tried to save her family home.  Verity is well developed in the book, but I also liked the secondary characters that Fox introduced in the book.  All of the secondary characters really added to the story, and I really enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of Sugarland and its residents.  The book really captures the reader's attention from the very beginning, and the book proved to be very hard to put down.  Southern Spirits is full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, and I can't wait to read Verity's next adventure.  Overall Southern Spirits was a great read that I would most definitely recommend.

 

Received a copy of Southern Spirits through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon

I enjoyed a previous book in Cahoon's Tourist Trap series, and despite jumping ahead a little in the series I found this book to be another enjoyable read.  Jill is such an entertaining character, and I enjoyed seeing how she handled her latest adventure since she had to deal with Sherry, Greg's ex.  Cahoon did a great job at giving Jill inner turmoil with having to deal with Sherry as well as having her aunt involved in a situation of her own.  The book is full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.  I also really enjoy Cahoon's South Cove which is a great setting that makes the reader want to visit again and again with each adventure.  Overall Dressed to Kill was a great read that I would most definitely recommend.  I look forward to reading Jill's next adventure.

 

Received a copy of Dressed to Kill through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb

Fool's Assassin is the first book that I have read by Hobb so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.  I will admit that it took me a little bit to catch up on Fitz's past and his relationships with all of the other characters, but Hobb explains things here rather well so you don't need to have read previous works to read this one.  I found that with each chapter I became more and more invested in these characters especially Fitz and Bee.  I also liked the alternating of perspectives between the two later in the book.  The book has many twists and turns as well as introduces some interesting secondary characters to keep the reader's attention.  Overall Fool's Assassin proved to be an amazing read that I would most certainly recommend.  I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

 

Received a copy of Fool's Assassin through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.