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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

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When I Was You by Amber Garza | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778361046

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

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I Thought…

There are two women named Kelly Medina living in the town of Folsom. The older Kelly is married to Rafael who is a Professor and they have a son, Aaron, aged 19 and at college. One day she takes a call from the paediatrician’s office about her son’s appointment. It soon becomes apparent that an error has been made and the two Kelly Medinas have been mixed up. But the older Kelly, with time on her hands now that Aaron has left home, decides to turn up for the younger Kelly’s appointment and the two women’s stories follow.

I devoured When I Was You and I flew through its pages, fully immersed in the obsessiveness of the older Kelly Medina and her fixation on the young mother and her baby, Sullivan. Her determination to befriend baby Sullivan’s mother and wriggle her way into their lives was shocking, but believable. With Amber Garza‘s excellent execution, the frequent surprises, alongside an extremely chilling atmosphere, events really turned disturbing in the second half. Written with precisely the right amount of drive resulting in a powerful, and engaging tale, When I Was You was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the first novel I have read by Amber Garza and I am excited to see what she compiles next. For me, a fabulous, standout novel.

 A special thank you to MIRA Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase at:  HarlequinIndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million / TargetWalmart / Google / iBooks / Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525836749

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

You’re not alone. Someone’s waiting. Someone’s watching…Someone’s listening.

 In SOMEONE’S LISTENING (Graydon House Books; July 28; $16.99) Dr. Faith Finley has everything she’s ever wanted: she’s a renowned psychologist, a radio personality—host of the wildly popular “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”—and a soon-to-be bestselling author. She’s young, beautiful, and married to the perfect man, Liam.

Of course Liam was at Faith’s book launch with her. But after her car crashes on the way home and she’s pulled from the wreckage, nobody can confirm that Liam was with her at the party. The police claim she was alone in car, and they don’t believe her when she says otherwise. Perhaps that’s understandable, given the horrible thing Faith was accused of doing a few weeks ago.

 And then the notes start arriving—the ones literally ripped from the pages of Faith’s own self-help book on leaving an abusive relationship. Ones like “Secure your new home. Consider new window and door locks, an alarm system, and steel doors…”

Where is Liam? Is his disappearance connected to the scandal that ruined Faith’s life? Who is sending the notes? Faith’s very life will depend on finding the answers.

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I Thought…

Someone’s Listening is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to Faith Finley, a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening. One icy winter’s night she is travelling home from a book launch party, then wakes up in hospital having been in a car crash. Happily married Faith asks for her husband Liam, but he appears to have vanished… into thin air. The police aren’t listening to Faith’s concerns, but then she starts receiving threatening messages.

This compelling début had me hooked from the very first paragraph, and Faith made a very good, if unreliable protagonist. In this chaotic whirl of lies and duplicity, the abundant wicked twists and turns kept me guessing from the start. The complex characters and arresting dialogue helped to make Someone’s Listening a riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Seraphina Nova Glass as she probed ever deeper into the psyches of her characters, creating some fascinating, though alarmingly troubled souls. I read it in one day and was left dumbfounded after the astounding, fast-paced conclusion. Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.

 A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Karen Hamilton’s latest novel The Last Wife and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525831744

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

In Karen Hamilton’s shocking thriller, THE LAST WIFE (Graydon House, July 7, $17.99) Marie Langham is distraught when her childhood friend, Nina, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before Nina passes away, she asks Marie to look out for her familyher son, daughter, and husband, Stuart. Marie would do anything for Nina, so of course, she agrees.

Following Nina’s death, Marie gradually finds herself drawn into her friend’s lifeher family, her large house in the countryside. But when Camilla, a mutual friend from their old art-college days, suddenly reappears, Marie begins to suspect that she has a hidden agenda. Then, Marie discovers that Nina had long suppressed secrets about a holiday in Ibiza the women took ten years previously when Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing after a tragic accident and was later found dead.

Marie used to envy Nina’s beautiful life, but now the cards are up in the air and she begins to realize that nothing is what it seemed. As long-buried secrets start surfacing, Marie must figure out what’s true and who she can trust before the consequences of Nina’s dark secrets destroy her.

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I Thought…

Best friends Nina and Marie are inseparable until Nina dies from a terminal illness. In her final days she asks Marie to make sure her children, Emily and Felix, are looked after and Marie is only too happy to oblige. But how well did Nina really know Marie and what lengths is Marie prepared to go to in order to achieve her goals?

This was a really twisted psychological thriller, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Marie was perfectly portrayed by Karen Hamilton as the ultimate unreliable and creepy character, and I questioned her integrity from the opening chapters. As she barrelled her way into Nina’s life I was given a powerful sense of exactly how manipulating Marie was prepared to be.

Narrator Marie, along with pretty much the whole of the adult cast, was not particularly affable and, in my opinion, was practically insane as well as being quite the scheming manipulator. As the story progressed I found myself pondering about the agendas and mind games of some of the others, particularly Nina’s husband, Stuart, not to mention Camilla, the friend of Marie and Nina from their University days who suddenly arrives from Canada. As secrets constantly kept bubbling up to the surface and occurrences clearly weren’t as they had first appeared, I began to feel that Marie at least deserved some benefit of doubt, even if I was on tenterhooks wondering what she was going to do next, most of the time.

With buckets of tension, a myriad of twists and different avenues keeps the reader on their toes, building up to an interesting and enthralling conclusion.  

The Last Wife is a dark, dubious and chilling family drama with some great characters, and plenty of oomph!

 
A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, NetGalley and Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Perfect Girlfriend.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

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Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Kimberly Belle’s latest novel Stranger in the Lake and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

On Sale Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Park Row

ISBN: 978-0778309819

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological

My rating: 5/5

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Book Summary

When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

I Thought…

Charlotte (Charlie), has recently married Paul Keller, a former widow and feels extremely happy in her surroundings. Paul is wealthy and the couple live in a gorgeous home overlooking Lake Crosby, North Carolina. The minted owner of Keller Architecture, Paul is a highly respected magnate and entrepreneur whereas Charlotte, a twenty-something gas station attendant, grew up in a caravan home, and often took charge of her younger brother, Chet when her mother was absent. Charlotte ignored all the rumours when she was swept off her feet by Paul. After all, despite her being a strong swimmer, the death of Paul’s first wife, Katherine, by drowning was deemed to be an accident. But when a second woman also drowns, in exactly the same spot under Paul’s jetty, secrets begin to surface…

 The story switches seamlessly between two timelines, the present and 1999, when Paul and friends Jax Edwards and Micah Hunt are spending their summer partying before leaving for college. The scenes from the present are mostly centred on the investigation that ensues. Stranger in the Lake has a thrilling premise and it is doubtlessly a spine-tingling story, while I regularly found myself pondering who to trust.

 With its comfortable pacing, the icing on the cake for me in this exhilarating tale was the incredible atmospheric setting. The lake was truly a malevolent presence throughout the proceedings. Kimberly Belle did a sterling job of exploring the motivation behind human weakness and imperfection, and I liked those aspects of the story detailing Charlotte’s bond with Sam Kincaid (Charlotte’s policeman friend), though I think more could have been made of this.

If you’ve enjoyed Kimberly Belle‘s previous books, or if novels with oodles of secrets, lies, misdirection and surprises dripping from the pages give you a buzz, then look no further than Stranger in the Lake!

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionAmazon / IndieBound / Bookshop   

Until Next Time, 

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This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Park Row Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Heather Gudenkauf’s latest novel This Is How I Lied and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

PUBLISHER: Park Row Books

PUBLICATION DATE: May 12th, 2020

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Book Summary

With the eccentricity of Fargo and the intensity of Sadie, THIS IS HOW I LIED by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books; May 12, 2020; $17.99) is a timely and gripping thriller about careless violence we can inflict on those we love, and the lengths we will go to make it right, even 25 years later.

Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend’s murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox’s case to rest.

Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There’s Nola, Eve’s little sister who’s always been a little… off; Nick, Eve’s ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie’s husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve’s last day than he’s letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve. 

I Thought…

 Having read another of Heather Gudenkauf‘s novels, Before She Was Found, I was thrilled to be able to read this one, too. Even if I hadn’t, the premise of this was novel was pretty exciting to me, as a keen crime fiction reader.

Twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, aged 16, was murdered and her body found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve’s sister, Nola. The case was never solved and now, further evidence has come to light. Maggie is now married, has worked hard at her job and has become Grotto PD detective Maggie Kennedy-O’Keefe. Heavily pregnant and soon to give birth, she is decides to take up the cold case…

Right from the start, I was completely absorbed by the suspense and the intriguing story-line. Heather Gudenkauf effortlessly brings to life many interesting characters in this pacy and gripping crime thriller, as well as delving into the motives and thoughts of each of them. Deadly menace and dangerous secrets are uncovered and the author is in complete control as she brilliantly manoeuvres this tale, blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, crime and justice. Heather Gudenkauf’s skilled writing made this appear effortless, keeping the story flowing so that I was never bored. With many twists and turns, I was totally engaged all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion.

Overall, Heather Gudenkauf‘s special way with the narrative made this compelling tale quite distinct, resulting in This Is How I Lied being a very worthwhile read. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should really read this book! I will certainly be looking out for more of this talented author’s work in the future.

A special thank you to Park Row Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Meet the Author:

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many books, including The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden. Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running.

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble / HarlequinBooks-A-MillionAmazonPowell’s   

Until Next Time, 

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The Third to Die by Allison Brennan | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for The Third to Die by Allison Brennan today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of The Third to Die to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Published: February 4th 2020 by Mira Books
ISBN: 9780778309444
Genres: fiction, thriller, suspense                                 
Rating: 5 stars

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Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author and gifted storyteller Allison Brennan’s new standalone thriller features a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer.

Brennan’s novel will launch a book-a-year series featuring a fabulous cast of recurring characters. It’s the story of a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer; and the bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for the future books in the series.

Detective Kara Quinn is visiting her hometown of Liberty Lake, Washington, after being placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, when she comes upon the mutilated body of a young nurse during an early morning jog. The manner of death is clearly ritualistic; she calls it in. Meanwhile back in DC, special agent in charge Mattias Costa is meticulously staffing his newly-minted Mobile Response Team. One of his first recruits is the brilliant FBI forensic psychologist Catherine Jones. When word reaches Matt that the Washington state murder appears to be the work of the Triple Killer–it will be the first case for the MRT. Jones has done the only profile on this serial killer, but she is reluctant to join the unit, still shaken by the death of her sister a year ago under circumstances for which she holds herself responsible. But only she holds the key to understanding the killer’s obsessive pattern–three murder victims, three deep slashes a piece, each three days apart, each series beginning on a March 3rd–3/3, then a three-year hiatus before he strikes again.

This time they have a chance to stop him before he claims another victim strikes, but only if they can figure out who he is and where is is hiding.

I Thought…

Golly, what an impressive read this little gem turned out to be!

The Third to Die is the first book in a new series by Allison Brennan centring on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team. This newly formed part of the FBI consists of highly specialised agents who are top in their field, be it forensics, crime scene specialists or investigators. They are operational primarily in rural areas and this is their first case.

A serial killer has resurfaced whose preferred method of attack is to kill on March 3rd, 6th or 9th, every three years. Enter FBI special agent Mathias (Matt) Costa who has been advised that a body of a young nurse has been found in Liberty Lake and the murder fits the profile of the compulsive so-called ‘Triple Killer’.

Detective Kara Quinn, on enforced leave from the LAPD and out jogging in her hometown, made the gruesome discovery and offers her help in solving the case, which Matt readily accepts.

This story is zhooshed up by the addition of Kara who is a curious character, and fiercely independent with a strong sense of justice. The chemistry between her Matt is electric and they also share mutual respect for one another. The reader is privy to glimpses of ambitious Matt’s past involving his reluctant profiler, Catherine Jones. Not all is explained, but it involves a prior case that led to the death of Catherine’s sister. Matt himself is shrewd and makes a marvellous leader.

The mystery element in The Third to Die is magnificent and totally engaging, although not particularly offbeat. The tight time-frame keeps the plot rolling, with no opportunity to become mired in tediousness. The procedural aspects are solid with the exasperation of the team, hampered by bureaucracy, coming through winningly.

The Third to Die is wonderfully written in a style I relish and I’m in my reading element when a percipient perpetrator emerges to challenge a talented, super-smart team. This is a great start to what is sure to be a stellar series.

I enjoyed The Third to Die so much that I’m reading the books from Brennan’s other series’ and cannot wait for her next in this one.

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, Allison Brennan for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers, has had multiple nominations and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a five-time RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense. Allison believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids. Allison and her family live in Arizona. Visit her at allisonbrennan.com

Social Links: Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram//Goodreads

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Books-A-Million //Amazon //  IndieBound // Applebooks // Google Play

Until Next Time, 

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Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the holiday blog tour for Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison today! My thanks to Harlequin Publishing for the invitation to join. I was gifted a copy of Good Girls Lie to read in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Info and Rating

Published: December 30th 2019 by Mira Books
ISBN: 9780778330776                                                                                     
Genres: psychological, thriller, mystery, suspense                                 
Rating: 5 stars

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Book Summary

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.

I Thought…

This psychological thriller by J. T. Ellison is not short on surprises, as well as having more than its fair share of suspense and tension!

 In Good Girls Lie, my second foray into the depths of J. T. Ellison’s explosive writing, the author uses an effective style of storytelling to unveil the narrative. Told from multiple viewpoints and with a whirlwind speed, pivotal anecdotes about the leading characters are revealed.

 The narrative delves into the psyche of Ash Carr, who the reader learns, is a tortured young woman having witnessed the death of both of her parents and is now on a scholarship at the elite Goode Academy where each girl is almost certainly guaranteed a place. Set in Marchburg, Virginia, secret societies exist enabling the girls to bond, though what lies beneath the surface is a nightmare of bullying as the hierarchy of students is clear from the outset. Dean Ford Julianne Westhaven turns a blind eye as she believes she is keeping old traditions alive.

 Ghost stories of murders, eerie passageways, locked hallways, and a deadly staircase all have their place, giving the school a really creepy vibe.

 Good Girls Lie will delight if you like your thrillers menacing and fast-paced. This was a fabulous, dramatic and twisty story, and I can’t wait to see what J. T. Ellison does next!

Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin - MIRA and the author, J. T. Ellison for the complimentary copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

Meet the Author:

JT Ellison Author Photo credit Krista Lee Photography - vertical

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens. Connect with J. T. on her Website//Facebook//Twitter//Instagram

Purchase at Barnes & Noble  //  Kobo  //  Books-A-Million // Amazon  //  Indiebound

Until Next Time, 

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Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Brewed Awakening

Brewed Awakening: A Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle

Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Berkley (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0451488873
ISBN-13: 978-0451488879
Digital ASIN: B07GQHK51D

From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the “fun and gripping” (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she’s been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she’s back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn’s crushing distress, Clare doesn’t remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.

Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare’s elegant employer–and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as “The Ladies Who Brunch”–invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare’s memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

I Thought…

This is the first book I have read in this mystery series and I was happy to dive straight in. I can’t believe this is the 18th book in a wonderful series and I’ve never come across it before now. Cleo Coyle did an excellent job of making this story fresh and new while giving me plenty of detail to be able to jump right in even at this late stage. I was sold from the very beginning, with its solid characters, great writing and a marvellous mystery that provided a good sprinkling of clues to satisfy even the most painstaking and diligent armchair detective.

In this instalment, expert sleuth Clare is suffering from memory loss and everyone believes this is due to a tragic event. She had been meeting with hotel heiress/owner, Annette Brewster, to taste wedding cakes. After the tasting, both women disappeared. While Clare has been found, Annette is still missing …. But Clare’s missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. As evidence mounts that she set the woman up, is Clare really a victim or merely acting like one?

The author, Cleo Coyle, has drawn a lot of great characters in this fabulous cozy mystery. I particularly liked the coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi who worked in Village Blend, the local landmark coffeeshop. Other characters – her detective fiance and her ex-husband – all have their own personalities and add to the richness of the plot. This series is like a coffeeshop that serves a fabulous cup of white chocolate mocha latte …. I will keep coming back now that I have discovered it!

There was a large number of characters in Brewed Awakening but I think I just about managed to keep track of all of them without being overwhelmed! Apart from Clare herself who is suffering from memory loss, from the elegant Madame and the caring and inventive Mike Quinn, her fiance, to conniving ex-husband Matteo Allegro, there’s someone for everyone to relate to.

The Village Blend and New York City are a spectacular setting for the story. The author’s descriptions create a visual masterpiece for readers to enjoy. I could smell the coffee, the rich blends, along with delicious baked treats too. However, whilst the Village Blend makes for a superb backdrop, I liked that that the mystery and keeping Clare safe took me on something of a journey, to New York and New Jersey, and further up the coast.

Another of my favourite aspects of this novel was the transparency and fluidity of the writing. The details of the plot were very well executed and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on. The author did a brilliant job of balancing the story-line and various events jumbled matters up somewhat, making figuring out the identity of the perpetrator more challenging.

With no disappointments, wonderful characters, an intriguing mystery, and just the right blend of humour and romance, this was such an entertaining story with many exciting moments. I am looking forward to returning to the Village Blend with Clare on a future occasion and reading the earlier books in the series, too! I’ve already bagged two books in the series for those evenings when I feel like a little brain candy.

Cleo Coyle is the pen name for writer duo Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini. They also write the Haunted Bookshop cozy series under the name Alice Kimberly.

So entertaining and engaging, Brewed Awakening is definitely well worth the time invested.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Great Escapes Book Tours at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle – Alice Alfonsi and Marc Cerasini

CLEO COYLE is the pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini.  CLEO COYLE grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After earning scholarships to study writing at Carnegie Mellon and American Universities, she began her career as a cub reporter for The New York Times. Now an author of popular fiction and New York Times bestselling media tie-in writer, Cleo lives and works in New York City, where she collaborates with her husband (also a bestselling author) to pen the Coffeehouse Mysteries for Penguin. Together Cleo and her husband also write the Haunted Bookshop Mysteries under the name Alice Kimberly. When not haunting coffeehouses, hunting ghosts, or rescuing stray cats, Cleo and Marc are bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Disney, Fox, Imagine, and MGM. In their spare time, they cook like crazy and drink a lot of java. You can learn more about Cleo, her husband, and the books they write by visiting www.CoffeehouseMystery.com.

You can also follow Cleo on:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest – Bookbub – Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon     B&N     Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 2 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT 

December 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW  

December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  

December 7 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

December 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 12 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

December 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Ruff Drafts – REVIEW

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Featured

Death By Library by Rebecca M. Douglass | Blog Tour | Giveaway 

@RebeccaMDouglass @GreatEscapesBookTours #DeathByLibrary

Death By Library (Pismawallops PTA Mysteries)
by Rebecca M. Douglass

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Death By Library by Rebecca M. Douglass today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About Death by Library 

Death By Library (Pismawallops PTA Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Independently Published (December 6, 2019)
Number of Pages ~ 280
ASIN: B07XFBJW3B

The library can save your life… can it kill you, too?

JJ has a new job at the library, which ought to make her happy. But with all those books to shelve, the PTA to run, and a 16-year-old son to raise, there’s never enough time to spend with her sweetheart, police chief Ron Karlson. That’s especially true with Thanksgiving on the horizon and her mother coming to visit, not to mention the PTA’s Holiday Bazaar looming ahead.

When things turn deadly in the library stacks, JJ needs some answers fast, before she loses her job—or her life. She’s determined to learn everything about the victim, and for once the library doesn’t hold all the answers. JJ and Kitty may have to face the ultimate peril: a visit to Mrs. Halsey, the oldest—and crankiest—person on the island.

I Thought…

Book four in this cozy serial by Rebecca M. Douglass is not short on surprises, with JJ McGregor and the Pismawallops PTA back in action!

Set on Pismawallops Island, one of the many picturesque islands that make up the Puget Sound in Washington State, forty-two-year old JJ has a part-time job as a library page – a general dogsbody who sorts and shelves books. Vice president of Orcaville High school PTA, JJ is also halfway through writing a murder mystery. Hard-up, and newly divorced, JJ is kept extremely busy with her new job, a sixteen-year-old son, Brian, and a budding relationship with her new sweetheart, hunky police chief Ron Karlson. With Thanksgiving on the horizon and her mother coming to visit, she also has the PTA’s Holiday Bazaar looming.

The PTA must exert itself post-haste when a crotchety member of the school board, Bud Fingal, threatens plans to build a much-needed swimming pool on Pismawallops island. Investigative reporter, Jolene Smethers, who writes for the ‘Weekly Wave’ is also opposed to the building of the pool, as the land on which it’s proposed to be constructed belongs to her family, and not to the board president, Bud Fingal, who donated it to the Orcaville High school district. It seems that Fingal’s grandfather stole it from Jolene’s Great-Grandma dating back to the 1920’s, and if the school district wants the land then they should purchase it from Jolene’s Grandma.

Following a stormy night, Fingal and Jolene are seen arguing outside the library. Then, just before Thanksgiving, while the library is full, there is a mini earthquake and a body is found in the mele and wreckage of broken glass and misplaced books. The dead body, killed by falling tomes, is Jolene. But was it an accident as a result of the quake or was she murdered? And why do the intrepid two, JJ and Kitty, need to visit the foxy and feared Mrs Halsey, the most senior, crabbiest and most irascible inhabitant of the island?

Ron warns JJ off getting involved in the case however, the reader is taken on a thrilling journey whilst she and her best friend Kitty, another PTA volunteer, try to solve the mystery.

The story is told from JJ’s point of view, a feisty, brave, reckless, irrational, redhead with a temper to boot. She used to be married to Allen, likes running, and is in love with, and full of desire for solid, dependable and capable Ron. He wants to them to move in together, but JJ isn’t ready. She has a penchant for espresso brownies, but any brownie will do, especially when Ron is buying.

Rebecca’s writing style is punchy, sleek and enticing and I adored the glorious helping of saucy romance she artfully weaves into the story. The island is full of well-drawn and fully-rounded characters, and of course, all of them have a reason to loathe the victim. Even though there were so many, I managed not to feel overwhelmed! There was a huge list of potential suspects to choose from, to keep even the most ardent of armchair detectives entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s depiction of the close relationship between JJ and her only child, Brian, as well as her great friendship with Kitty. Rebecca M. Douglass’ portrayal of the gossipy, close-knit community of Pismawallops island was first-class and by the time I finished ‘Death By Library’, it was apparent that I’d underestimated how dark and dangerous the islands can be.

This was enthralling, classic whodunit with great dollops of humour thrown in and a fabulous finale. It was my first novel by this superb author, and I know it won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to reading the first book in this series ‘Death By Ice Cream’ as well as books two and three.

‘Death By Library’ brings no disappointments, is very highly recommended, and is well worth five stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Great Escapes Book Tours at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Rebecca M. Douglass

After a lifetime of reading, and a decade or more of slinging books at the library and herding cats with the PTA, Rebecca began to turn her experiences into books of her own, publishing her first in 2012. That failed to quiet the voices in her head, but seemed to entertain a number of readers, so she wrote some more, which generated still more voices. Despite the unlimited distractions provided by raising sons to the point of leaving home (and preparing to move without forwarding address if necessary to retain that empty nest), not to mention the mountains that keep calling (very hard to resist the urging of something the size of the Sierra Nevada), she has managed to pen a total of 9 books so far.

For those who enjoy murder and mayhem with a sense of humor, Rebecca’s Pismawallops PTA mysteries (Death By Ice Cream and Death By TromboneDeath By Adverb, and Death By Library) provide insights into what PTA moms are really like. If you prefer tall tales and even less of a grip on reality, visit Skunk Corners in The Ninja Librarian and the sequels Return to Skunk Corners and The Problem of Peggy. For those who’ve always thought that fantasy was a bit too high-minded, a stumble through rescues and escapes with Halitor the Hero, possibly the most hapless hero to ever run in fear from any and all fair maidens, should set you straight.

Why does Rebecca write so many different kinds of books (there’s even an alphabet picture book in the mix!)? We could argue that it’s because she has a rich lifetime of experience that requires expression in—squirrel!

Author Links: Amazon / Smashwords / Facebook 

Goodreads / Twitter / Blog

Purchase Links – Amazon – Apple Books – Smashwords  Kobo  – B&N

There is a Rafflecopter Giveaway for this tour. Please click below to enter and good luck!

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 6 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 10 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

December 10 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Jemima Pett, Author – REVIEW

December 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

December 13 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

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