Sunday, May 28, 2017

Book Review: Real Murders

Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Real Murders
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Publish Date: December 1, 1990
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side-and crime buffs. One of whom is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases.


It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal "copycat" killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.


Review: I have never picked up and actually read any of Charlaine Harris' books, even though the entire Sookie series sits on one of my bookcases.

Yeah, my TBR pile is that big.

A few weeks ago, I watched on of the made for tv movies based on the Aurora Teagarden series on Hallmark Mysteries and More, and I enjoyed it, so I wanted to see what the books were like.

Real Murders was a really unique book. Its a sort of cozy mystery, but with a little darker flair to it. Aurora is an interesting heroine. I had to remind myself that this book was published in 1990 (when I was still in high school). She's a 28 year old librarian, with a little bit of inferiority complex. So yeah, I liked her. (I definitely don't see her as Candace Cameron Bure).

Real Murders is an interesting if somewhat macabre group of people, though the group play more a part in the actual murders than in solving them in this book. Someone is targeting them and using murders that the members know about as inspiration.

I was surprised at how little actual sleuthing was done by Roe, which was another thing that set this book apart from other "cozies."

I'm not sure where Aurora falls in the mystery genre, but she's a wonderfully quirky character and there are the typical 2 guys that start vying for her attention. (Why is this always a mystery series thing?) I look forward to reading more of this series.

Rating: 4 flowers



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tasty Book Tours Excerpt Reveal: I Knew You Were Trouble


A feisty beauty must choose between winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.


I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept


New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.



PRE-ORDER TODAY!


Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.
Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.
Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.
Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.
“Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.
Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.
“Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.
He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”
“Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”
“Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.
“Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.
She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.
Coward.
It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.
Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.
She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Dont.
He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.
“Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.
Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .
“What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.
“Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”
Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.
Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.
His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.
Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”
Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.
“Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”
“Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.
Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”
“Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.
She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”
“Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”
She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”
His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”



Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 



*No Purchase Necessary*


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Same Beach, Next Year

About Same Beach, Next Year


• Hardcover: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (May 16, 2017)

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.

One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.


Purchase Links


HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: Dorothea Benton Frank brought her "A" game with "Same Beach, Next Year." Every summer I look forward to reading her latest book. They go hand and hand with the warm months.

The last few summer reads were what my high school creative writing teacher called potboilers.

"Same Beach, Next Year" has the usual formula of all Dorothea's Lowcountry books; a beautiful home at the beach, a husband that has done his wife wrong, and some quirky characters. Oh and don't forget all the characters are in that upper middle class category, where the wife works for the husband, but not really because she has to.

For some reason I just really fell in love with Eliza, Adam, Eve and Carl. It was very kitschy that Adam and Eve were high school sweethearts that still kind of have feelings for each other.

The way Adam reacted to seeing Eve again was a bit over the top, but without that connection the friendship that grew between the two families wouldn't come to pass and for all of each character's faults and flaws these were two families that really were one.

I loved Eliza more than I have any of Dorothea's heroine's thus far. She was real. She was gutsy. She was a woman I'd want to be. Her reactions to things that happened as the story progressed were very much the way I'd see myself reacting.

I love how she finally started to care about her dreams. Eliza needed to be more than a wife and mother.

The family members in this story are all fabulous. I adored Adam's dad Ted and his lady friend turned wife Clarabeth and then there was Eve's mother. OMG Eve's mother, Cookie, she is just the world's biggest troublemaker. She lives to cause trouble, and you will see her in action so many times in this book. (Cookie seriously needs her own book, so we can see how she got this way)

This is a family saga of the best kind. You have the ups and downs and some serious troubles, but in the end...its all family.

This is one for the keeper shelf.

Rating: 5 flowers




About Dorothea Benton Frank


New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: Under The Approaching Dark

Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: April 28, 2017
Matador eBook &
Paperback; 424 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
     


 Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over. After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster. In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much. When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.
"The writing is impeccable. The story has everything. Under the Approaching Dark is just perfect in every sense" - Sharon Bennett Connolly, History The Interesting Bits

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

Review: If there is an author that I trust to write beautiful historical fiction, its Anna Belfrage. The King's Greatest Enemy series focuses on Edward II and Edward III of England.

Several years back, I read a novel that revolved around Queen Isabella but nothing can compare to anything Anna has written.  Like her other novels, you will really be amazed by the attention to detail

This was a time period that I hadn't read much about until that first book and then boom! a lot of books came out.

I'm not usually a girl that gravitates to chunky novels. It has to be an author that I truly love and trust because I have a short attention span and it usually takes me longer than usual to finish them. This is not the case with Anna's novels. They pull you in.

Fabulous book!

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she's multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer - or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveler, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive… For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she's still there. Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 1 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Tuesday, May 2 Interview at Let Them Read Books Spotlight at What Is That Book About Wednesday, May 3 Review at A Book Drunkard Thursday, May 4 Review at A Holland Reads Friday, May 5 Spotlight at The Reading Queen Monday, May 8 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time Tuesday, May 9 Review at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, May 10 Review at A Bookaholic Swede Thursday, May 11 Review at Pursuing Stacie Friday, May 12 Spotlight at Passages to the Past Monday, May 15 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession Tuesday, May 16 Review at Back Porchervations Guest Post at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company Wednesday, May 17 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Thursday, May 18 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Friday, May 19 Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog Monday, May 22 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Tuesday, May 23 Review at A Chick Who Reads Review at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews Wednesday, May 24 Excerpt at Jo's Book Blog Spotlight at The Paperback Princess Thursday, May 25 Review at Broken Teepee Friday, May 26 Spotlight at Laura's Interests Sunday, May 28 Review at Bookramblings Review at Books and Benches Monday, May 29 Guest Post at Yelena Casale's Blog Tuesday, May 30 Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Giveaway

To win a copy of Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage, please enter via the Gleam form below. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Under the Appraoching Dark

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tasty Book Tours Excerpt Reveal: Black Tie Optional


The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's 
new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!


BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin's Press


The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, "a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!"

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.



Chapter One

Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.
            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?
            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips - everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.
            “Mr. Grant,” she began.
            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.
            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.” 
            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”
            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 
            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.
            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 
            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”
            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”
            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”
            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”
            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”
            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.
            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.
            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”
            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.
            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.
            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.
            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”
            “I wasn’t sure.”
            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”
            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”
            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”
            “You sound like a tourism ad.”
            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”
            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”
            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”
            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”
            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”
            “How’s that going by the way?”
            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”
            “Maybe it’s time to—”
            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”
            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”
            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”
            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”
            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”
            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.



Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it's December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.





Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Bad To The Bone


 


Linda O Johnson
Bad To The Bone
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series Midnight Ink 
(May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738746289
E-Book ASIN: B01M0SXJTR

Synopsis

Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie’s friend, Billi Matlock, doesn’t hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack. After threatening to ruin Jack’s career if he doesn’t give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.


 

Review:  Just looking at the title you have to know that this is a doggie cozy series. I'm a sucker for animal-centric series. This is book 3 in the series. I haven't read the first two, but that didn't cause me any problems. I will admit that reading this book made me want to go ahead and read the first books, because of the relationships that had developed already and the ones that formed and changed prior to the events in the book, especially the Jack and Carrie and then Jack and Billi thing.

I really liked Carrie she was a fun character and when a book is told from the first person, that character has to be fun. She is a typical cozy mystery heroine, but she's also one that cares about her job. (If you read cozies like I do, you know that a lot of these characters drop everything to solve the murder, that's not quite the case here). Carrie loves her bakery and barkery and her work at the vet clinic where her boyfriend Reed works as a vet.

The other thing that really feels different to me with this book, is how focused on the relationships Linda is. You quickly see how close Carrie is with Reed, even though they technically aren't totally committed, but there's a lot of dinner dates and some sex, though that is alluded to rather than shown, so anyone with delicate sensibilities won't be offended.

Another thing that I found unusual was the real lack of sleuthing that went on. The book was close to half over when Carrie started to look into Wanda's death. (Let me just say, Wanda is the character that most deserves to be offed in any cozy I've ever read) There was a lot of push for her to keep her nose out of things, which is expected, but the way the story was going it was pretty easy to believe that Carrie, might not investigate on her own

I liked that she wanted to find the killer because both suspects were friends, though she didn't rule them out.

I did want more from the mystery though, especially since there were so many people that had good reason to dislike the victim, including possibly a person from VimPets that Wanda, may or may not have been involved with, in her quest to get to the top. Speaking of VimPets, I really hope down the line, Carrie decides not to sell that company a recipe from her shop, I didn't get a good vibe from any of the execs we met in the story.

When the ending came around I was really surprised at who killed her, and a little bit let down. There were signs that something wasn't right with this character, but nothing that made you think, wow, they have a good reason to kill Wanda.

This was a cute mystery that will pass an afternoon easily.


linda o johnstonAbout The Author –

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.  Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries are also from Midnight Ink.
  Author Links: Webpage:  www.LindaOJohnston.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston Purchase Links: Amazon  B&N 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs