Friday, October 15, 2021

Night Prey by Susan Sleeman


Malone is at her high school reunion. She has too many bad memories of high school to be there. Especially where Junior is concerned. But when Junior tells her that he has some information about her parents' death Malone is curious and goes to meet him in a separate ballroom. Just as she is about to hear the information Junior has, someone guns him down and conveniently frames Malone for the murder. Ian is at the reunion also. A crush that Malone had when she was in high school. He is now a police detective which suits his personality of being her rescuer in high school. Now Ian has to arrest Malone for murder. Can the two of them prove that Malone didn't kill Junior? Was the information that Junior wanted to share about her parents the cause of Junior's murder or was there more going on in Junior's life? 

Night Prey is the last book in the Nighthawk Security series. While Malone isn't exactly a member of the Byrd family her brother is married to one so in Peggy Byrd's mind that makes Malone family! Malone has been featured in other Nighthawk stories and it was so good to have this book dedicated to her story. I loved how once again the Veritas Center and the Nighthawk gang surround one of their own and provide their services. Both Ian and Malone had pasts that had prevented them from becoming close to anyone they ever dated. Neither of them were prepared to act on the attraction they had for each other. I liked them as a couple but I did want to have a "sit down" with them and give them a "come to Jesus" talking to! Thankfully Peggy Byrd did that to Ian and got him thinking! Night Prey also had some exciting scenes of danger and suspense and the conclusion definitely surprised me. As always the characters had spiritual lessons to learn about trusting God with their fears, doubts and insecurities. I always love to see how they ultimately run back to the Lord and get back on track. A great conclusion to a fantastic series! Bring on the next series Susan Sleeman! I can't wait to read more about the Steele family!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


This is the third book represented in the book On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior. It is in the section of temperance. If you have ever read The Great Gatsby you know that he was not in any way temperate. He lived a life of overindulgence and partying. Then he died. A sad existence for sure. I have never seen the movie and this is my first time reading the book. I found the writing a bit vague in places. I gather that was intentional. The book was published in 1925 and set in 1922. So I didn't understand some of the references. I found the party life-style led by Gatsby and his hangers-on to be vapid and a waste of time, energy and money. I never totally understood exactly how Gatsby got his money to live this life-style but I think that was the intention of the author. There were allusions to underhanded and illegal dealings as well as sexual encounters that were never detailed but assumed. This was a fairly short read and it is told from the perspective of a neighbor turned sort of friend. Not a very uplifting story, but probably a cautionary tale of too much indulgence.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon


Cate Reilly is a detective in St. Louis County. She swore after her one and only time under cover that she would never do it again. But now it seems that her boss thinks she is the only one that can go undercover as a teenaged girl at an all-girls school and find out what happened to another girl and her boyfriend. Cate is less than happy about her assignment and even more so when she meets the new Spanish teacher to the school Mr. Martinez. Zeke just happens to be the only man that Cate has ever loved. Unfortunately Zeke left her for his career 8 years ago and Cate has never trusted another man with her heart since. Zeke is undercover for his own case at the school. Will they be able to maintain a professional relationship while their two cases collide? 

Labyrinth of Lies was excellent! It was exciting from start to finish. There were so many layers to it that it kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. There was a lot of danger and a lot of romance so it definitely kept this reader interested. I loved the characters as well. Zeke and Cate were perfect together and their ability to ferret out clues and maintain their undercover status was fun to read. I admired Cate's ability to protect herself and her resourcefulness when it came time to save the day. This was a fantastic second book in the Triple Threat series and I am definitely looking forward to reading Grace's(the third Reilly sister) story. 

Check out my review of the first book in the series Point of Danger

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Murder at the Picture Show by Miranda Atchley



Lights. Camera. Murder.

On an autumn evening in New York City, amateur sleuth Fiona Clery and her partner Max Gillespie attend the picture house for the premiere of a silent film shot in their city. The night is filled with excitement and glamor…until the star of the film, Sylvie Boscombe, is murdered. Unable to sit back with a killer on the loose, Fiona pursues the case, leading her across the city, from opulent neighborhoods, to film sets, to the underground speakeasies Sylvie frequented. When a man she believes to be innocent is arrested for the murder, Fiona’s search becomes all the more urgent. Can she solve the case before it’s too late?

Meanwhile, Max gets a shocking surprise about his past that could offer answers to questions he has long held. And Fiona makes a discovery regarding her missing sister that could blow the case wide open.


When Fiona Clery sees movie starlet Sylvie Boscombe die right before her eyes at Sylvie's movie premier Fiona knows this is one case she is going to have to solve. Especially after Sylvie's co-star is accused of the murder. Fiona just knows that Vincent Trudeau is not a murderer and she is determined to prove his innocence. 

Murder at the Picture Show had several twists and turns that surprised me as I read. There are a lot of changes going on for Fiona and her friends Max, Rose and Ian. We learn a little bit more about Fiona's sister Siobhan. There is danger lurking because of Fiona's poking around into things that someone would like to be left alone. There were some exciting/dangerous scenes for Fiona that had her friends fearful for her propensity to hunt up clues. Once again Fiona proves herself adept at ferreting out the who-done-it and definitely has me interested in what comes next for her. Oh, I need to mention the cover! Isn't it absolutely lovely?! And it goes wonderfully well with the first book in the series DEADLY PEARLS, which you'll want to read first because I think it will give you some good background into the characters in this second book of the series. 

Check out my review of DEADLY PEARLS

**I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author, all opinions are my own**


Miranda Atchley is a history enthusiast and complete bookworm whose passion for books and times gone by have compelled her to write several novels, one of which was a finalist for an indie writing award. When not writing at her home in Arkansas’s Ouachita Mountains, Miranda loves getting lost in a good book, spending time with her dogs, watching period dramas, and learning about her favorite period in time, the 1920s. Visit her blog at:


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One winner will receive a Kindle download of Murder at the Picture Show. Must be 18 or older to enter.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson


Pamela, Or Virture Rewarded was written in 1740. So taking that into account I can give a little leeway to the way it was written. Relationships and women's roles in society were much different than they are now. This is the second book that is mentioned in the book On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior. A book that was gifted me by a fellow reader. My goal after reading that book was to read all of the books mentioned in it. I can tell you that authors that wrote back in the day were very wordy! AND LONG-WINDED! Pamela was over 400 pages long and I can't say that I liked it all that much. But I persevered because I really wanted to find out how it all ended. Pamela was a servant in a rich man's home. She was servant to his mother but when his mother died he became the master. He set his eyes on Pamela and tried over and over to seduce, compromise etc. Several times he even tried to force himself on her. Pamela was a young woman of 16 and determined to maintain her virtue. The master was determined to not marry so he wanted Pamela his way. Throughout the first part of the book we learn about his trickery in trying to get Pamela alone. All Pamela wants is to be sent home to her poor parents with her virtue intact. The master sends her away to her parents she thinks, but in reality he is kidnapping her and locking her away with some loyal servants of his in order to try and wear her down. Pamela tries several ways of escape but to no avail. Then the master comes and tries a different tact to win Pamela. He declares his love and that he is a changed man. So the second half of the book is their love growing for one another and their eventual nuptials. Hence Pamela is rewarded for her maintaining her virtue. I looked up the year Pamela was written because we all know that such a relationship nowadays would not be considered healthy. I had to laugh while reading a couple of times when the master's sister kept calling Pamela a hussy, and the like. Never did the man get frowned on for his behavior. And he was the one that was the hussy! Pamela maintained her purity throughout the story until they were married. Pamela's virtue entailed more than her purity, she was upright, treated all people well, kind-hearted, fair, loving etc etc. Pamela was everything that was good in a person. The master became a very loving husband to Pamela which shows he mended his ways as a young rake. But to me so far removed from the 1700's I think no thank you to the whole affair! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Secret of Emerald Cottage by Julie Lessman



She’s sweet & cozy mysteries. He’s fun & cozy flings.
Till a deadly secret reveals not-so-cozy things.

          Twenty-five-year-old Molly Stewart—ex-Navy nurse and former evidence technician for the Charleston Police Department—has been burned by love. So when her friend, Pastor Chase Griffin, begs her to move to scenic Lake Loon to be a nurse and companion for Miss Lilly, his elderly landlady, she jumps at the chance. The secluded and cozy cottage on a clear mountain lake seems the perfect place to heal from her fiancé’s betrayal as well as indulge in one of her greatest passions—cozy romance. First with reading them by the bookcase and then hopefully, if dreams come true, writing and solving them one day as an author and detective. But when Miss Lilly’s estranged great nephew shows up, it’s no mystery as to why he and Molly butt heads. Because it only takes one stolen kiss—while she’s sleeping, no less—to discover he’s an even bigger player than the ex-fiancé who broke her heart.

          When international playboy and Irish soccer star Brec McGill learns his long-lost great aunt is in a coma from a drowning accident, he rushes to her side. Not only is he anxious to reconnect with his only living relative he spent summers with as a boy, but her cottage on Lake Loon, Georgia is the perfect respite to heal from game injuries and escape a tabloid scandal. At thirty-three he’s disillusioned with the game, his fiancée, and life in general, craving nothing but a little peace and solitude to get his head on straight. But when he discovers his aunt’s cottage is not only inhabited by a crusty Aunt Lilly he hasn’t seen in years, but a pretty prude of a nurse as well, his plans take a nose-dive in the lake. Because suddenly it appears not only was Aunt Lilly’s accident no accident … but somebody out there wants to see them all dead.


Julie Lessman writing a mystery?! What?! I had my doubts that the "Kissing Queen" could pull it off, but I tell ya, there should never have been a doubt where this author is concerned! She can write y'all!! With 50% focus on romance and 50% focus on mystery The Secret of Emerald Cottage was a very entertaining/exciting read. Not only did my pulse get racing because of the steamy kissing, but a couple of suspenseful scenes had me holding my breath in anxiety, racing through the pages to find out what happens. I loved Molly and Brec as a couple. I loved Molly's desire to uphold her relationship with the Lord even through her attraction to Brec who wanted nothing to do with Him. I loved the message of "The truth shall set you free" throughout the whole book. As always, the message of redemption, forgiveness, and grace from the Father above was written throughout the story and made the characters struggles and triumphs relatable. For those that are used to Julie Lessman's romance novels I urge you not to hesitate grabbing this one! You will not be disappointed!


Want to win a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed paperback of The Secret of Emerald Cottage (or choice of Julie Lessman's books), a character named for you or a loved one (great birthday/Christmas gift!) in her next book, A Hope and a Prayer, which releases early next spring and a signed paperback of that book? Just head on over to JULIE LESSMAN’S BLOG for all the details and GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills


Shelby is just released from spending 15 years in prison for murdering her brother-in-law. Planning to start her life all over again and live peacefully Shelby moves to Valleysburg, Texas. Right from the moment she hits town things start going wrong. When a local officer sets his mind to running Shelby off she knows life is not going to be easy. Add to that FBI Agent Denton who has made it his life work to find out where Shelby may have hidden the embezzled money that disappeared when her brother-in-law was killed, has shown up in town to hopefully see Shelby slip and find the money. Shelby just wants to live her life after she has served her time. Her family no longer want anything to do with her and now someone is determined to end her life. Shelby has a secret that she is determined to take to her grave, but revealing that secret may just save her life. 

Have you ever enjoyed the first part of a book only to have the second part of it fall apart? Unfortunately for me that is what happened in this book. I really enjoyed the first part of the book and thought it had great potential, but the second half just started going awry for me. I found the relationship between Shelby and Denton rushed and unrealistic. From the get-go I couldn't stand officer Hughes and I found that the Sheriff's lack of taking him off the force after so many instances of misbehavior very annoying and against character if he cared for law and order the way he claimed. The "who-done-it" was predictable for me and had me shaking my head that it took the characters so long to figure it out. So while there was some excitement in the story, to me there were just too many things that didn't work and too many character inconsistencies to make this an enjoyable read for me. 

**I received this book for review from Netgalley. All opinions are my own**