Monthly Archives: June 2017

Alibis Can Be Murder by Connie Shelton

Alibis can be Murder (Charlie Parker #17)Alibis can be Murder by Connie Shelton

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Charlie Parker #17
Publication Date: 6/4/17

Connie Shelton creates warm, very relatable characters in this series and you come to care about them as friends. You love spending time with them and sharing their adventures. Shelton’s descriptions of Albuquerque and New Mexico pull you right in and make you feel like you are seeing that mountain or hiking down that trail. These books are all excellently written.

We learn a bit more about Charlie’s history after her parents died. There are several flashback paragraphs that go back to those years after she was orphaned and was living with an elderly neighbor. I love how ‘gram’ dealt with the teenage Charlie who was, of course, straining to free herself from her bonds. Then, you see the two of them fifteen years later and they are as close and loving as a real grandmother and grandchild.

The relationship between Drake and Charlie is really special. He is a man who isn’t threatened by a strong woman and is happy to let her be herself. Yes, he worries for her safety at times, but then she worries for his as well. He isn’t over protective and doesn’t try to tell her what to do. They have a really great partnership.

Charlie owns RJP Investigations with her brother Ron. Ron is a licensed private investigator and Charlie is a CPA who takes care of their books (as well as the books for Drake’s helicopter business). Although Charlie isn’t supposed to be an investigator, she often gets sucked into Ron’s cases for one reason or another.

We have two cases this time – one involves a retired football quarterback and the other involves Charlie’s young neighbor that she used to babysit. The football player’s case has Ron trying to track down a very valuable Superbowl ring. In that one, you have infidelity, disrespect, and a swindler that is way over the top. The neighbor’s case has Charlie trying to assure that both of her young twin neighbors are well. Gram is sure that there is a problem because she hasn’t seen the once inseparable twins together in months. Charlie thinks the girl may just have run away and the twin is covering for her – but – she is young and Charlie wants to assure she is safe. In that one, you have disinterested parents, bullying, sexting and many other unsavory things.

I hope you’ll read this story and enjoy it as much as I have. I would really suggest that you read the books in order because you will come to know and understand all of the characters so much better if you do. You could read this one as a stand-alone book and enjoy it, but having all of that background just adds to the enjoyment.

Fearless By Lynne Connolly

Fearless (Those Scandalous Shaws)Fearless by Lynne Connolly

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Those Scandalous Shaws
Publication Date: 8/22/17

Connolly has added a great follow-up series to her ‘The Emperors Of London’ series. This first book in the series is a wonderful lead-in to the series. It is action packed and leaves you wondering where it will head next.

Plots within plots, villains you didn’t expect, twists and turns and lots of passion – it sucks you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.

Lord Valentinian Shaw’s reputation exceeds his exploits – although those exploits are many. As one of several sons of a Marquess he is under no pressure to marry and produce an heir, so he’s in no hurry to give up his freedom and marry. He’s restless, unsettled and is constantly moving from adventure to adventure. However, he has been more settled over the last two years because he has found an outlet for his restless spirit – he, his brother, and their cousin have been pursuing financial ventures that are exciting and interesting.

Lady Charlotte Engles has been engaged to Val for two very long years. She suspects he will never be ready to marry and if they do marry, she is sure he won’t be faithful. She NEEDS to marry in order to get out from under her cruel father’s thumb and to provide for her younger sister. When she receives an offer from someone else, someone she feels is infinitely suitable, she asks Val if he would please release her from their engagement.

When Lady Charlotte asks Val to release her from their engagement, it unexpectedly leads to a kiss and a budding desire to keep her. However, he does reluctantly agree. Then, he gets to know her better and better and finds he is beginning to love her. He’ll live up to his agreement though – as long as the new suitor is worthy.

Val and his twin brother Darius begin to investigate and they find that the suitor isn’t just unworthy, he’s unsavory and debauched to the highest degree. Val cannot let Charlotte marry this man, but he cannot tell her the truth either. So, he does the only thing he can do – he refuses to end the marriage contract and doesn’t give her an explanation.

I won’t provide a blow-by-blow description of the entire plot, but you should know that it is a wonderful, exciting read and you will love watching Val and Charlotte find love and understanding. Val grows and matures so much through this book that you will hardly recognize him at the end. Coming to know all of the abuse Charlotte and her sisters have had to live with throughout their lives will keep you in tears.

The last twenty percent of the book will have you on pins and needles. I won’t describe it, but to tell you that it is suspenseful and gut-wrenching is putting it lightly.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

Books Releasing 06/27/17

Several great books we’ve reviewed are releasing today, so we thought we’d share a recap of those with you! Here is a quick list of the books releasing today:

Courting the Corporal
No Perfect Magic
Three Weeks With a Princess
Murder on Black Swan Lane
Duke with Benefits
The Highland Commander

Scroll down for links to our reviews


Courting the Corporal by Heather McCorkle

Link to Review:

No Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book Five


No Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book Five by Patricia Rice

Link to Review:

Three Weeks with a Princess (The Improper Princesses, #2)


Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Link to Review:

Murder on Black Swan Lane (Quill Mystery, #1)


Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

Link to Review:

Duke with Benefits (Studies in Scandal #2)


Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

Link to Review:

The Highland Commander (Lords of the Highlands #2)The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

Link to Review:

Too Scot To Handle by Grace Burrowes

Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides, #2)Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Windham Brides #2
Publication Date: 7/25/17

I absolutely LOVE Grace Burrowes’ world. Yes, she has basically populated her own world. She has several series with dozens of books and in any given book, you might encounter characters from any of her other books or series. If you think about it, this just makes sense. After all, they are all existing in the same basic time and place so why wouldn’t they know or know of each other. I really like that she does that.

The Windham’s all believe in marriage for love, and so far most of them have found it. This Windham series features the nieces of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. So far, one of them has found love and marriage and this book features the next one to do so – Anwen Windham.

Anwen is the youngest of four sisters and she is really feeling constrained. Because she was ill and almost died when she was young, everyone treats her as if she is an invalid. She isn’t. She’s actually healthier than most of the others. But, in deference to them, she presents a false front to the world. Meek and mild isn’t anywhere close to an accurate description of Anwen, but it is the face she displays. At least, it is the face she displays to everyone except Colin MacHugh. With him, she feels comfortable and free enough to express her true self.

Lord Colin MacHugh is a very uncomfortable Scot thrown into the midst of the ton. He didn’t ask to be among the aristocracy and really doesn’t want to be there. He’d prefer to be home in Scotland tending to his distilleries. However, his brother is a newly minted Duke and as the heir presumptive Colin must make his bows to society. He’d have an easier time of it if his brother were there, but he has married Anwen’s sister and they are off on their honeymoon.

I really like the way the love and trust grew between Anwen and Colin. It only moved forward and grew with no backward movement or distrust when events occurred that could have made one distrust the other. The immediate response was ‘I know he/she didn’t do that’ and there was no convincing them otherwise. That isn’t something you see very often in a romance book.

I won’t give you a rehash of the story because that would spoil your read. You can see the gist of the story by reading the book blurb. Just know that Colin was the target of a very nasty and cunning individual who was supposed to be his friend.

I’m giving it 4-stars because I just didn’t like what happened with the villains of the story. Yes, I understand this is the Regency period and that the aristocracy is immune to most prosecutions and that scandal is to be avoided at all costs. However, Colin, Anwen, and the Windhams are some pretty shrewd, crafty and inventive folks themselves and I think they could have come up with something better as punishment.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

View all my reviews

Mists and Moonrise by Various Authors

Mists and Moonrise: The Reluctant Brides CollectionMists and Moonrise: The Reluctant Brides Collection by Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Madeline Martin, Laurel O’Donnell, Catherine Kean and Elizabeth Rose

Release Date: 06/20/17

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice collection of never before published novellas, they are all based on the legend of the ill-fated lovers Kael & Aelwen. While all the stories are rooted in the legend, they are not connected and are all easily read as stand alone titles.

Lady of the Moon, Kathryn Le Veque – 4.5 stars. This is the story of Samarra & Rhodes. When Rhodes refuses to marry the woman his father has chosen for him, his father hires Samarra to abduct him and deliver him to the cave in St. Agnes. His father believes that if Rhodes touches the wall with his betrothed, he will fall in love with her and willingly marry. This was a story of “insta-love”, but it is very well done and surprisingly believable. The story moves at a fast pace, has a lot of action, a little steam and an ironic twist.

Laird of Darkness, Eliza Knight – 5 stars. This is the story of Rosamond and Tierney. Rosamond’s father has abandoned her in the cave at St. Agnes to punish her for rumors at court (which are actually about her twin sister). Tierney has been held prisoner at the tower of London for the last ten years, he was branded a traitor when he saved the Bruce’s life in battle. He has finally been released and is returning to Scotland to reclaim his lands and title when he finds Rosamond in the cave. Tierney rescues Rosamond and on the journey back to Scotland, they share a kiss that leads to a misunderstanding. Once resolved, the decide to marry. They return to Scotland, marry and declare their love before Tierney must leave on a mission for the Bruce. This was one of my favorite novellas in the book, it is fast paced, well written, very steamy, had a believable love story and best of all – Eliza Knight says that this is just the beginning of their story, that she will be following this up with a full length novel later this year (Yay!!)

The Highlander’s Untamed Lady, Madeline Martin – 5 Stars. This is the story of Diana & Evander. Evander’s people are starving so he accepts a bride from England sight unseen as her father has offered him an outrageous dowry to marry her. Diana has been imprisoned by her father for refusing to marry, she manages to escape only to be chased by Evander. He catches up with her in the cave at St. Agnes and tells her that they are to marry and return to Scotland. She of course refuses, leaving Evander no choice but to drug her (and her two pet wolves). They travel back to Scotland and Diana begins to realize how wrong she was about Evander. They marry as soon as they reach his castle, but Diana is not ready to share all her secrets with Evander and tries to keep him at arms length, but the more she gets to know him, the more she admires him. Once Diana admits to herself, that she is in love with him, she takes the ultimate leap of faith and shares her darkest secret. Evander is all you could want in a hero – I loved him! It seems like these two are destined for a HEA, when an unexpected twist threatens to tear them apart. This was my favorite novella – it is well written, emotional, steamy and has a really sweet ending.

Bravest of them All, Laurel O’Donnell – 3.5 Stars. This is the story of Luke and Nessa. Luke has known Nessa for most of her life, they grew up together and Luke is betrothed to Nessa’s older (spoiled/vain) sister Melwyn. Luke has been in France with the girls father for years fighting in the war, their father was struck down and Luke is returning with him to England. They arrive to find that Nessa has been abducted – the villain mistook her for her sister. Luke immediately sets out to rescue her, but his party is betrayed and ambushed. He manages to escape with Nessa, but their story is far from over. Luke is injured when the traitor catches up to them and they must run for their lives. The more time they spend together, the more they realize that they love each other. Once they reach her father’s castle, Nessa has decided that she cannot betray her sister and tells her father that she does not love Luke. This leads to a misunderstanding that almost costs them the love of a lifetime. While I found the story entertaining and well rounded, it did wrap up a bit too quickly and ended abruptly. It was well written and had a lot of action, but there was no steam at all and the heroine comes across as a martyr.

That Knight by the Sea, Catherine Kean – 3.5 stars. This is the story of Garret and Adaline (Addy). Six years ago Garret and Addy were in love, but Garret was sent away. Six years later, Addy believes Garret is dead and is on the verge of being married to a man she detests. Garret is a mercenary and has survived the last 6 years by his sword, when the man who helped him gain his knighthood requests that he abduct Addy, he immediately refuses, the lord then blackmails Garret into compliance. Garret still loves Addy, but he does not believe he is worthy of her because of his part. When he abducts her, she does not recognize him, but it does not take her long to figure out who he is. She begs him to release her, but he refuses – until he learns that he has been double crossed. He tries to get Addy away, but she escapes him and all hell breaks loose. It doesn’t look good for our lovers, but help comes from an unexpected source. This novella had a lot of potential, but there were a lot of typos and some inconsistencies that dimished the story for me.

Pirate in the Mist Elizabeth Rose – 2.5 stars. This is the story of Brody and Gwen. Brody is the captain of a pirate ship, his crew has mutinied and forced him overboard. He swims to a deserted island and spends a week building a raft. He is picked up by a passing fishing boat, only to go overboard again while rescuing the captain’s daughter, Gwen. They find the raft (?) and make it to shore, where they enter the cave in St. Agnes. They touch the wall and immediately fall in love – at least Gwen does. They leave the cave and head to an inn, where miraculously Brody’s long lost friend is the owner. Gwen learns some awful truths about her family and Brody wants to protect her. He decides that he is also falling in love with her and wants them to marry. This story was just too short to do it justice – it seemed rushed and totally unbelievable. If it was longer and the author had time to build up the story and develop a stronger relationship between Gwen and Brody, I think it could have been at 4 star read.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and for the price, you can’t go wrong – I happily recommend this book

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an ARC provided to by the author*

Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Dangerous Minds (Knight and Moon, #2)Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Knight and Moon #2
Publication Date: 6/20/17

When I’m ready for smiles, giggles, and guffaws encased in an intriguing mystery, Janet Evanovich is my go-to author. Just picture sitting on your sofa listening to or reading this book and you just burst out laughing and your spouse looks at you like you have suddenly gone nuts. That is the way it is through this entire book. The characters are busy investigating a very serious mystery and you are sitting there with a huge smile on your face. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, then you’ll love this one as well.

Emerson Knight, gazillionaire, takes eccentric to a whole new level. He’s brilliant and loves solving impossible, improbable puzzles. So, a whole island going missing and megalomaniacs seeking world domination and/or destruction are right down his alley. Oh, and by the way, add that he is romance cover gorgeous and charming as well!

Riley Moon has multiple degrees from Harvard and she can also shoot, rope and ride with the best of them. She’s strong and resourceful – and attractive as well. Riley works for Emerson Knight because he caused her to lose her last job – and he pays her REALLY well. She always has really good intentions, but somehow she always gets caught up in the force of nature that is Emerson Knight and can’t manage to escape.

Emerson once studied under Wayan Bagus who is a monk, so when he shows up at Emerson’s home asking for help because his island has disappeared, Emerson dives right in and investigates. The investigation takes us to Yellowstone and Hawaii and includes a secret government organization bent on ruling the world.

I hope you’ll give this book a try because I think you will like it.

View all my reviews

Books Releasing June 20, 2017

Several great books we’ve reviewed are releasing today, so we thought we’d share a recap of those with you! Here is a quick list of the books releasing today:

The Pleasures of Passion
Say Yes To The Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set
Seducing Mr. Sykes
The Confessions Of A Dangerous Lord
Leave It To Cleaver – Releases 6/23/2017

Scroll down for links to our reviews:

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors, #4)The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

Our Review:



Say Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box SetSay Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding Box Set by Lecia Cornwall

Our Review:


Seducing Mr. Sykes (Cotswold Confidential)Seducing Mr. Sykes by Maggie Robinson

Our Review:


Confessions of a Dangerous Lord (Rescued from Ruin Book 7)Confessions of a Dangerous Lord by Elisa Braden

Our Review:


Leave It to Cleaver (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6)Leave It to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Our Review:

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