Saturday, June 30, 2018

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Murder Made To Order

Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)

by Lena Gregory

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 19, 2018)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104666
Digital ASIN: B075WBZH6L

To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder . . .
New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

Review: This is the first Breakfast Cafe mystery that I've read. Its the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone, as you can with most.

Gia is a fun character and her dog, Thor is an absolute hoot. When the city council member that is adamant that her cafe is against zoning codes and won't budge is found murdered, Gia knows she has to do something or she may have to move back to NY, and she's not completely sure she doesn't want to do that. Gia is scared of everything! Granted gators, snakes and tornadoes aren't anything to take lightly, but she does seem to go into high fraidy cat mode an awful lot.

There was an interesting inter connecting mystery between the murder of her friend Savannah's mother years ago and what's going on with the murder of the council member and the zoning for her cafe which was once a bar. Learning the history of the cafe and its past owners really makes this story interesting, especially when you start to connect all the pieces.

Gia is really a good person and through the help of townspeople she starts to get more front and center with her cafe.  By the end of the book, its easy to see that she's going to be more at home in Florida.

This was a cute, quick mystery that kept me turning the pages.

I'm definitely going back to read the first book.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

Purchase Links


    June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

    June 20 – Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW

    June 20 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

    June 21 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

    June 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

    June 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

    June 22 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

    June 22 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

    June 23 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

    June 23 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

    June 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

    June 24 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

    June 25 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST

    June 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

    June 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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    June 28 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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    June 29 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

    June 29 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

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    July 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

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    Thursday, June 28, 2018

    TLC Book Tours Book Review: Matchmaking For Beginners

    About Matchmaking for Beginners

    Hardcover: 370 pages
    Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 1, 2018)
    Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
    When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
    And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

    Review: I have one of Maddie's other books on my TBR pile, and now I have incentive to read it, because Matchmaking For Beginners was such a funny, fun, smart read.

    This is a book that gets you laughing from the first chapter. The characters are quirky. Blix automatically wins your heart and so will Marnie.

    I love stories that give you the warm fuzzy feelings and this is one of those stories. It fills you up with emotion and just makes you feel good for having read it.

    If you were looking for the typical chicklit type book, this is not it. Its light but not overly fluffy.

    I highly recommend this book.

    Rating: 4 flowers

    About Maddie Dawson

    Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today she lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of five previous novels: The Survivor’s Guide to Family HappinessThe Opposite of MaybeThe Stuff That Never HappenedKissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal.

    Connect with Maddie

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Pre-Order Blitz: Make Me Crave

    Have you Pre-ordered MAKE ME CRAVE Yet?

    In MAKE ME CRAVE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company.

    Pre-order MAKE ME CRAVE and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist!

    Title: Make Me Crave
    Author: Katee Robert
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Release Date: July 1, 2018
    Publisher: Harlequin Dare
    Series: Make Me
    Page Count: 144 pages
    Format: Digital
    ASIN: B0779DL61K


    “I crave you…”

    Can their hunger be satisfied? 

    Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company. He expects a challenge—but not their immediate intense attraction. After an accidental one-night stand they agree to put business aside—for now. The island lulls them into a heated sexual journey…but what happens to their opposing interests when they return from paradise?

    “Dare is Harlequin’s hottest line yet. Every book should come with a free fan. I dare you to try them!”

    —Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author

    Available at: 

    Praise for Make Me Crave
    “Make me Crave by Katee Robert is such an amazing and captivating read that you will not put it down. Sexy, fiesty, hotness, chemistry, laughter and love Make me Crave is a must read for all book lovers. This is hands down in my opinion the best book that I have ever read by Katee Roberts.”—Goodreads review
    “Wow! I can't emphasize enough how much I loved Make Me Crave (Make Me #2). It has sass, steam and great characters with loads of chemistry. Katee Robert is definitely an author on my ‘must read’ list.”—Goodreads review
    “Hello Adonis! Roman is just...yeah. I mean, sex on a stick with a good heart (despite his past misdeeds), and a more than capable brain! Allie is his perfect match and their time together sets the pages on fire while making you root for them to get more than just the pleasure they find from each other on the island! A great book!”—Goodreads review

    Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist!

    Make Me Crave Excerpt
    Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

    Tomorrow would be soon enough for them to go exploring and try out the stand-up paddleboards Allie had eyed when she’d checked out the beach.
    Her face heated at the fact she’d been caught topless sunbathing. Whoever that guy was, he’d been far off enough that she couldn’t clearly see his face. Those shoulders, though… Allie shivered. Even at a distance, she’d seen the cut of his muscles and how purposefully he’d maneuvered the kayak through the turquoise waters. The island must have already gone to her head, because she’d spent a truly insane moment hoping he’d come to shore so she could get a better look at him.
    Maybe more than a better look.
    Allie laughed at her fanciful thoughts. Vacation hookups were all well and good, but if that was what she’d wanted, she’d chosen the wrong place to go. Isolation and relaxation were the name of the game on West Island, which was exactly what she’d craved when she let Becka talk her into booking the trip. It was the exact opposite of New York and her life there.
    But now she found herself wondering if maybe something slightly more chaotic would have been a better choice. The sun and sea had soaked into her blood and the heady feeling had her convinced anything was possible. It was only a week. The perfect length of time for a fling…
    If she wasn’t on a private island in the middle of the ocean without a single man in sight.
    She bypassed the little golf cart that was one of the main forms of transportation here. It felt good to walk after being cooped up on the plane and then lying prone while she sunned herself. She usually taught at least one class a day at Transcend—more if she needed to cover someone else’s schedule—so being inactive wasn’t natural for her. It was only a mile or two to the restaurant and the day had started to cool as the sun reached for the horizon. It’d be downright pleasant tonight.
    She’d make sure to wake early and attend one of the yoga classes offered, and the rest of the day would be filled with activities that would keep restlessness from setting in. There was even scuba diving available, though Allie wasn’t sure she was feeling that adventurous. Snorkeling? Sure. Going deeper with only a tank and a few tubes between her and drowning? That would take a whole lot more convincing.
    The path was cleared and well maintained to allow the carts to drive without problems, so she let her mind wander as she fell into a natural stride that ate up the distance without tiring her out. Every once in a while, the path would branch off in different directions, some heading toward other villas, some heading deeper inland. There was a small selection of hiking trails that offered tours of the history of the island.
    She made it to the restaurant easily, and found it practically deserted. Allie paused in the doorway, wondering if she’d misunderstood the woman who’d checked them in. Maybe it was closed?
    “Looks like it’s just you and me.”
    She jumped and spun around. The man stood a respectable distance away, but his sheer size ate up the space and made her feel closed in. She froze. I’d recognize those shoulders anywhere. Confirming her suspicion, his gaze slid over her body as if he was reminding himself of what she looked like with nothing but what she’d worn on the beach. She tried to swallow past her suddenly dry throat. “You.”
    “Me.” He finally looked her in the face, and she rocked back on her heels. The man was an Adonis. There was no other way to describe his blond perfection, from his hazel eyes to the square jaw to the cleft in his chin to the body that just wouldn’t quit. He might be wearing a shirt now, but the button-down did nothing to hide his muscle definition.
    He held out a wide hand with equally perfect square fingers. “Let me buy you a drink?”
    “We’re at an all-inclusive resort.”
    His lips twitched, eyes twinkling. “Have a drink with me.”
    Oh, he was good. Charm practically colored the air between them, and she had the inexplicable impulse to close the distance and stroke a finger along his jawline. To flick that cleft chin with her tongue.
    Allie gave herself a shake. “Since we’re the only ones here, it’d be silly to sit apart.”
    The look he gave her said he saw right through the excuse, and why not when it was pathetically flimsy? The truth was that this man was magnetic and she suspected she’d be drawn to him even in a room full of people. He waved a hand at the empty place. “Lady’s choice.”
    “How magnanimous of you.”
    “I try.”
    She laughed and headed for the table in the middle of the small patio. There were half a dozen tables, and she picked a spot that put her back to the building and presented the best view of the ocean through a carefully curated gap in the foliage.
    He eyed the view and then the chair on the other side of the table, and then he picked it up and set it adjacent to hers so they were sitting on a diagonal,  rather than directly across from each other. “Nice view.”
    She turned to agree—and found him staring at her.
    Allie wasn’t falsely modest. Life was too short to play games with body shaming and pretending she didn’t have access to a mirror. She was pretty—beautiful when she put some effort into it—but she’d given up being skinny or petite after the agony of high school, and she wasn’t athletically built like some of the women at her gym. Sure, she had muscle beneath her softness, and she could keep up with the best of them in her spin classes, but she loved food just as much as she loved to sweat, and her curves reflected that. Some guys had a problem with that, though she didn’t keep them around as soon as comments like “Should you really be eating that?” started.
    This guy looked at her like he wanted to put her on the table and feast on her for dinner.
    The desire stoked the flame inside her that had kindled the second she saw him. She leaned forward, checking his left hand. No ring. No tan lines, either. “What brings you to West Island?”
    “It’s paradise, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to come here to get away from it all?”
    That wasn’t quite an answer, but she was distracted by the intoxicating way his mouth moved when he spoke. Get ahold of yourself, Allie. Youre in danger of panting for him. She took a quick drink of water that did nothing to quell the heat rising with each minute she sat next to him.
    Luckily, a waiter appeared to save her from saying something truly embarrassing. He outlined the menu for the night and took their drink orders, then disappeared as quickly as he’d come.
    They were in the middle of one of the most beautiful places Allie had ever seen, and she couldn’t manage to tear her gaze away from this stranger. She licked her lips, every muscle in her body tensing when he followed the movement. She opened her mouth, but before she could speak, he took her hand, running his thumb over her knuckles.
    The touch was innocent enough, but she felt that light movement in places that were most definitely not innocent. She didn’t have to look down to know her nipples now pressed against the thin fabric of her sundress.
    His smile was slow and sinful and promised things she never would have had the gall to ask for. “This is going to sound unforgivably forward, but what do you say we get out of here and go back to my villa?”
    It was crazy. More than crazy. She didn’t even know his name, and she sure as hell didn’t know anything more pertinent about him.
    But there on the softly lit patio with the tropical scent of some flower she didn’t recognize and the soft shushing sound of the tide coming in, she didn’t feel like Allie, gym owner and mother hen, the responsible one who could never afford to do anything out of line or make a misstep because too many lives depended on her.
    Here, she was just Allie, a woman. A woman who desperately wanted the man staring at her mouth as if he was doing everything in his power to keep from kissing her right then and there. She licked her lips again, secretly delighting in the way a muscle in his jaw jumped. “Yes.”
    “Yes, let’s get out of here.”

    About Katee Robert
    New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension."  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. 

    Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Instagram

    Release Week Spotlight: The Gambler Wages Her Baron

    When happily ever after is the name of the game, gamblers must risk it all in this emotional conclusion to Christina McKnight’s bestselling Craven House series.
    Out June 26th – Regency Romance, The Gambler Wages Her Baron by Christina McKnight.
    Follow the tour and enter to #win one of three print copies of The Thief Steals Her Earl

     Embed code: a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Title: The Gambler Wages Her Baron
    Series: Craven House
    Author: Christina McKnight
    Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
    Release Date: June 26, 2018


    Payton Samuels has always known she wants more out of life than being the youngest daughter of the ton’s most disreputable family. While her siblings are content to bet their future happiness on marriage, Payton learned early on from her mother that love is fleeting and leads only to disappointment. She’s got a different plan: she’ll work as a governess for Baron Ashford’s children, but only long enough to win her fortune at one of his infamous masked gaming parties. When she loses big, Payton sees her chance at an independent life go up in flames—until Lord Ashford surprises her by paying her debts.


    Since the tragic death of his wife, Damon Kinder, Lord Ashford, has been a man made of ice. His determination to never be hurt by love again runs so deep that he can’t even connect with his children. When they quickly take to Payton, he thinks he’s found a solution: she’ll give them the affection and support he can’t. As he spends more time around Payton, his heart begins to defrost, and he can’t stop thinking about the captivating governess.

    But every seasoned gambler knows that eventually, luck runs out. Can two souls so burned by past loves forge a new future together?

    Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

    More from the Craven House series:

    The Thief Steals Her Earl – JUST 99CENTS!!

    The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis

    The Madam Catches Her Duke

    Author Bio: USA TODAY Bestselling Author Christina McKnight writes emotional and intricate Regency Romance with rebellious women and maverick heroes. 

    Her books combine romance and mystery, exploring themes of redemption and forgiveness. When not writing she enjoys coffee, wine, traveling the world, and watching television.

    You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

    Follow the tour and enter to #win one of three print copies of The Thief Steals Her Earl

    Give Me Books Promotions Book Review: Nerdgasm

    Title: Nerdgasm
    Series: Naughty Nerds #0.5
    Author: Kimberly Reese
    Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
    Release Date: June 28, 2018


    nerdgasm (noun): an emotional climax at the peak of intense (sometimes sexual) excitement, characterized by a deep attraction to nerdy things and/or people.

    My stutter makes it easy to become the center of attention for all the wrong reasons, so I try hard to stay out of the spotlight.
    But when Addison Mitchell breezes into the class I TA for, she turns my world upside down, shaking me out of my comfort zone.
    Confident and bold, her wandering hands set my body on fire.
    She sees the real me, and she’s still interested.
    I’m completely out of my element, yet I’ve never felt more alive.
    Fingers crossed we're not a one-off fling.
    I have a lot to learn, but I’m willing to make this work.
    I’m going to give her more than a nerdgasm.
    I’m going to give her my heart. 

    Purchase Links

    AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

    Free in Kindle Unlimited

    Author Bio

    Kimberly Reese published her first novel in 2017 and has since been hard at work writing more steamy stories. She grew up in a military family and is currently working on her tan in Arizona. When she isn't writing, you can catch her reading, traveling, resisting the urge to adopt more dogs, or spending time with family.

    Author Links

    Review: I've never read anything by Kimberly Reese before, but oh this book was great. Theo is a nerdy boy who stutters, but he's so lovable. The first sections of the book as you see him as a child will tug hard at your heartstrings.

    Enter college and Addy and Zing!  OK Addy brings a whole lot of Zing with her.

    Also can I say its great to see a man on the less experienced side.  Cos really why are women always virgins? huh?

    Theo is absolutely precious with his nerdiness and shyness. I love how Addy starts to bring him slowly out of his shell. I also love that she has some of the same interests, because girls can like Marvel movies etc.

    There's a scene about midway through the book with Theo is asking Cohen, the professor he's a TA for, that is brilliant. Its a scene that will stick with you, because its hilarious and spot on. Cohen is sexy in his own right, and I wouldn't mind seeing him get his own book.

    The scenes with Addy and Theo are beyond steamy.  There relationship develops nicely too, even when things take a wrong turn.

    This was such a fabulous read. Its one of my few forays into the world of new adult fiction and its really a fun, spicy and sweet read!

    Rating: 5 flowers


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