The Sheikh’s Christmas Family (Christmas with the Yared Sheikhs, #2)

The Sheikh’s Christmas Family by Leslie North

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Leslie North has written another adorable, racy, little romance!

Leslie, the critically-acclaimed author, has written more than two hundred books across forty-six series’ in the Romance, Young Adult and Suspense genres. Alluring from the very beginning, THE SHEIKH’S CHRISTMAS FAMILY is Book Two in the ‘Christmas with the Yared Sheikhs’ series. Book One is entitled ‘The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling’ and the title of the third book is ‘The Sheikh’s Christmas Lover.’

Its Christmas-time in Maatkare and Maia must make sure the Sheikh’s palace is decorated for all the holiday festivities. The decorating is the easy part. Yonas Yared, the youngest son of the family, is a bit more of a challenge. Maia knows she’s in trouble when she sees how wonderful Yonas is with her young son. Protecting her heart from the one man who makes her think naughty thoughts she shouldn’t is proving more difficult than she ever imagined.

Yonas will go crazy if he has to spend the entire holiday season with his family. He’d much rather be partying the nights away than stuck in the palace helping their new irresistible decorator. As events transpire to keep him in the palace, he’s surprised to realise he’s glad to be home and equally surprised to find that getting his serious little decorator into his bed is becoming more and more important. The problem is, once she’s there, he doesn’t want her to leave. And nothing in his life has ever scared him more.

Leslie North is very good at developing her characters where opposites attract and this novel is no exception. The meeting of carefree, party animal Yonas and Maia, who is sensible, focused and responsible, was explosive.

The storyline is easy to follow, with plenty of emotion, angst and tension. The chemistry between Maia and Yonas was electric and what was also great was the laughter and fun enjoyed within the family.

The SHEIKH’S CHRISTMAS FAMILY is an enjoyable and well-written romance with which to curl up on the sofa on a dark winter’s night or any time, really, with a mug of hot chocolate and it makes a fantastic holiday read.

{Thank you to #NetGalley, Relay Publishing and Leslie North for the free copy of this book and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

View all my reviews

Murder from Scratch: A Sally Solari Mystery

Murder from Scratch: A Sally Solari Mystery by Leslie Karst

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MURDER FROM SCRATCH is book four in the series of the Sally Solari Mysteries of which I look forward to reading more. It’s a delicious mixture of mystery, family, and irate chefs and a fun, fast and interesting read. I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, however, I don’t think that this spoilt my enjoyment of this novel. That said, there is nothing more exciting than picking up a book that is the first in a new series.

Santa Cruz restaurateur Sally Solari’s life is difficult enough at the busy Gauguin restaurant. So she’s worked up when her dad persuades her to take in Evelyn, her estranged blind cousin whose mother has just died of a drug overdose.

But Evelyn proves to be lots of fun and she’s a terrific cook. Back at the house she’d shared with her mum, Evelyn’s heightened sense of touch tells her that various objects – a bottle of cranberry juice, her grandfather’s jazz records – are out of place. She and her mum always kept things in the same place so Evelyn could find them. So she suspects that her mother’s death was neither accident nor suicide, no matter what the police believe.

The cousins’ turn detective and Sally and Evelyn are thrown into the world of male-oriented kitchens, and the cut-throat competitiveness that can flame up between chefs. With a long list of suspects in the frame, will Sally be able to find the perpetrator or end up getting burned?

Leslie Karst’s delightful writing style is well-paced and complemented by some interesting characters, some of whom were annoying but helped to make the story as good as it was. There was some romantic and spicy love entanglement, too. Written in the first-person narrative and sharing Sally’s innermost thoughts, Leslie Karst includes some wonderfully amusing moments and vivid descriptions especially of some of the food, such as fall-off-the-bone pulled pork and salmon with habanero-lime butter. An ex-lawyer, the highly organised and extremely likeable Sally demonstrated admirable sleuthing techniques and her cousin Evelyn, although with her own problems, exuded warmth and friendliness.

The book had a natural, steady pace and I was kept guessing right until the surprising reveal. Delightful and entertaining, MURDER FROM SCRATCH is a quick, light, highly recommended read for all cozy mystery fans.

{Thank you to #NetGalley, #Crookedlanebks and Leslie Karst for the free copy of #MurderFromScratch and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

View all my reviews

Before She Knew Him

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This exceptional psychological thriller from Peter Swanson (author of ‘The Kind Worth Killing’), is an absolute masterpiece!

Henrietta ‘Hen’ Mazur and her husband, Lloyd Harding, have dinner one evening with their new neighbours, Matt and Mira Dolamore, at their suburban Boston home. Following dinner, on a tour of their house, Hen notices a fencing trophy in Matt’s study that she believes was won by Dustin Miller, a college student who was murdered two years previous and who attended the high school where Matt is a history Professor. Matt claims that the trophy was bought in a sale, but Hen, who is obsessed with Dustin’s case, suspects that Matt killed Dustin. However,the next day when she visits Mira, the trophy has vanished, thereby reinforcing her suspicions. But Hen gets little support from the Police or her husband because of her history of mental health problems. An unlikely bond then develops between Hen and Matt, whose traumatic childhood adds tonnes of emotional interest to Peter Swanson’s superb narrative. Lots of twists and turns and an edge-of-your-seat plot keep the suspense in “Before She Knew Him” really high until the fulfilling and dramatic conclusion.

This brilliant psychological novel is a fabulous page-turner and a definite winner.

{Thank you to Edelweiss, HarperCollins UK/William Morrow and Peter Swanson for a free copy and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

View all my reviews

Two Months and Three Days (Sinister Romance, #1)

Two Months and Three Days by Tatiana Vedenska

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Two Months and Three Days” is an unusual combination of a romance and a detective story. It is one of the best contemporary romance books that I have read in a while.

It is the first in a trilogy of books by Tatiana Vedenska that was originally published in Russian under the pen-name of Alisa Klever. A complete best-selling contemporary romance series in Russia, the trilogy very loosely adapts ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E.L. James. For me, Tatiana Vedenska is in a league of her own with her individual style of writing, and steamy sex scenes!

This, the opening book of the #SinisterRomance series is a steamy, sensual and emotional read. It is a wonderful tale of a spoiled billionaire and an ordinary student that explores themes such as family bonds, experience and relationships, as well as happiness, belonging and naivety.

This English translation is nicely done and keeps the moments of humour and spicy sex scenes that make “Two Months and Three Days” such a fulfilling and enjoyable read.

{Thank you to NetGalley, LitHunters and Tatiana Vedenska for a free copy and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

View all my reviews

Mother's Day Mayhem (Tourist Trap Mystery Series, #6.5)

Mother’s Day Mayhem by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Mother’s Day Mayhem” by Lynn Cahoon is a lovely, short read – a perfect novella with which to settle down on the sofa on a cold and windy afternoon, along with a mug of steaming hot chocolate!

Part of best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon’s, ‘Tourist Trap Mystery’ series, this is the first story I have read and I delighted in this easy-to-read novella. Although I’m sure the books would be best read in sequence, it was easy enough to follow the story and make the connections between the different characters. I didn’t particularly have a favourite in this book though I found I could really relate to Jill Gardner, the owner of ‘Coffee, Books, and More.’

Although there was no dead body in the story, there were some fun moments and plenty of mothers and it was wonderful getting to meet all of the other characters!

This was a charming little story and I will be reading more from this series in the future.

{Thank you to #NetGalley and Kensington Books for the free copy of #MothersDayMayhem and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

View all my reviews