An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry

An Echo of Murder (William Monk, #23)An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: William Monk #23
Publication Date: 9/19/17

William Monk just keeps on getting better. In many series that have run this long, the stories become repetitive and predictable, but not so with this series. Each new book is exciting and interesting and you never know where it will lead because it is always filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing right up until the end.

Monk is called out early in the morning to a warehouse near the river. The crime is a grisly murder that has some resemblance to it being ritualistic. The victim is an immigrant from Hungary who was well respected and well liked within his community. Who would want to kill him?

After a week or more of investigation there are no leads and Monk is worn totally out. Then, another early morning call and yet another grisly murder – of a well-liked Hungarian immigrant. Then, they just keep coming – all respectable, well-liked men of the Hungarian immigrant community. Is it somebody with a vendetta against Hungarians? Immigrants? Or are they just random? Monk is sure they are all the work of the same killer because they are all identical.

Hester, Monk’s wife, gets involved because of a very old friend that she thought had died 16 years earlier. Is that old friend the madman killing Hungarians? Surely not – he’s a sweet gentle man. Hester and Monk’s ward (for lack of a better word) also becomes involved in the case because he has befriended and come to admire Fitz, Hester’s old friend.

Did Fitz commit the murders? If not, who did and can they prove any of it? You’ll just have to read it to see because I don’t want to tell too much and spoil the story for you.

I’m already looking forward to Monk #24.

“I requested and received this e-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.”

Hell Hath No Fury by Annabelle Anders

Hell Hath No FuryHell Hath No Fury by Annabelle Anders

Series: Devilish Debutantes, #1

Release Date: July 17, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars

I am going to go with a 3.5 star rating – rounded up.

As far as debut novels go, this was one of the better ones that I have read. The author has a nice writing style, the book flows nicely and her characters were likable and her plot was believable. HOWEVER, the book has adultery and anyone who follows my reviews knows this is a problem for me. Now with this book, not all is as it seems, but that doesn’t change the fact that Cecily engaged in an affair with Stephen while she was Flavion’s wife.

I really can’t go too much into the plot without totally ruining the book for you – but suffice it to say – the book has a lot of twists and turns, a poorly used heroine, a noble hero, a whacko mistress, a self-centered, immature, selfish husband, a mangy mutt, good friends, steamy love scenes (that I didn’t enjoy because of the aforementioned adultery, but probably would have loved otherwise), snakes (both literally and figuratively), dips in the Serpentine, sword fights, some amusing moments and some heartbreaking moments and FINALLY a HEA that didn’t seem like it could ever be.

I will definitely be looking for this author’s future work and would have no problem recommending this book – as I said, all is not as it seems!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for this book that was provided to me by the author*

Murder in Shadow by Anne Cleeland

Murder in Shadow (New Scotland Yard/Doyle and Acton, #6)Murder in Shadow by Anne Cleeland

Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: New Scotland Yard/Doyle and Acton #5
Publication Date: 8/27/17

Another exciting addition to the Acton and Doyle series. The characters keep growing and evolving with each new book and the stories just keep getting better and better. This book will keep you up all night because you just can’t put it down for wondering what will happen next and what Acton is up to – because you just know he is up to something.

I love that this author is so adept at showing Acton’s darkness and Doyle’s sunny, bright light. Yes, Acton is dark, controlling and manipulative, yet he truly loves Doyle and does all he can to care for and protect her.

The story starts with Doyle being forced to be the lead on a murder case because both Acton and Williams are mysteriously ‘otherwise occupied’. What are they doing? What giant game of chess does Acton have going and will he survive it? There are so very many clues and so much confusion surrounding the case that Doyle just can’t make any headway. What will she do? Can she actually solve the case on her own?

There are so many twists and turns that you’ll just have to read the story for yourself to see what happens. I can tell you that it is intriguing, interesting, exciting and just plain riveting! I highly recommend it for a great read.

“I requested and received this e-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.”

About Anne Cleeland:
She holds a degree in English from UCLA as well as a law degree from Pepperdine University. She worked as a research attorney for federal and state court judges, a legal writer in private practice, and a guest lecturer at several universities. She is currently at work on her next Acton and Doyle Scotland Yard mystery. She lives in California and has four children.



Enigma by Catherine Coulter

Enigma (FBI Thriller, #21)Enigma by Catherine Coulter

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: FBI Thriller #21
Publication Date: 9/12/17

Be prepared for drama and action as the FBI’s CAU division deals with a medical megalomaniac and a mastermind killer who shows no mercy. The twenty-first book in the series is just as strong, thrilling, suspenseful and intriguing as the first twenty. These villains aren’t quite as twisted as some of them have been, but they still provide you with a shiver down the spine. Coulter chose not to use Savich’s ‘special’ gift in this book and I wonder if she’s decided to move away from that angle.

I love that you almost always get multiple cases in one book and this one has two. Both are interesting, but very different and the agents involved are also different and interesting.

Case 1 provides the name for the book – Enigma. When Dillon Savich’s friend, Dr. Janice Hudson, calls him to hurry over because she thinks her friend and neighbor is in trouble, he finds a mad man holding the neighbor hostage. The man has the neighbor, Kara Moody, duct taped to a chair and he’s raving about saving her from ‘them’ and screaming that he is an enigma. The madman ends up in a coma and Kara goes into labor. When Kara’s baby is stolen from the hospital and an attempt is made on the madman’s life the FBI goes into high gear trying to find the baby and figure out the connection between the madman, Kara and the baby. The answer will intrigue and astound you.

Case 2 has agents Cam Wittier and Jack Cabot tracking down an escaped robber and murderer, Liam Hennessey, aka Manta Ray. The escape was perfectly planned and executed, but how could the prisoner have possibly coordinated such a plan when he’d had no visitors except his lawyer? The answer to that leads you to blackmail at the highest levels of government as well as murder and intrigue. Hennessey escapes into a forest in Kentucky and then escapes the forest by helicopter. There must be someone rich and powerful helping Hennessey, but who can it be and why would they be interested in helping a robber and murderer escape?

Weaving back and forth between the two storylines, multiple intriguing characters and diverse locations will keep you turning pages as fast as you can to see what happens next. It is definitely a must read!

“I requested and received this e-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.”

About Catherine Coulter:
Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of over 75 books. Her hugely popular FBI thrillers include The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh House, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, Tail Spin, Knockout, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, Power Play and Nemesis. She has a new international thriller series — A Brit in the FBI — co-written with JT Ellison. These include The Final Cut, The Lost Key and The End Game. Also now available is the first in her novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall.



The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell

The Scotsman Who Saved Me (Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1)The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen, #1

Release Date: September 26, 2017

This was a good start to a new series, it has all the elements needed to make it an exciting and interesting read. It has likable characters combined with an unusual setting and a steamy love story – what’s not to like?

Iain MacEnroy is the oldest of the seven MacEnroy brothers, they are a family of displaced Scots that moved to America when their Laird’s wife threw them off their land. The incident has given the brothers a deep hatred/distrust for the gentry. They fled to America hoping to start a new life, but on the way to Arkansas Territory, their parents where killed and Iain was left to raise the brothers. Through hard work and sheer determination, they have succeeded in building a home and establishing themselves. Iain meets Emily Stanton when he comes upon her burning home and finds the bodies of her sister and brother in law. They bury the dead and realize that there were others in the house and follow the trail of blood to Emily and her young nephew.

Emily Stanton is on the run for her life and the life of her three year old nephew – she is the granddaughter of a Duke and by an unusual condition bestowed by Queen Elizabeth, the dukedom may be passed the son of daughter, making Neddy (the nephew) the heir to the duke. However, a distant cousin is determined to get rid of Emily and her nephew to ensure he inherits – he has already killed her parents and several other family members that tried to protect Emily and her sister, forcing them to flee England. But it seems that Albert has found them. Emily’s sister begged her to take Neddy and run when the attack began, the attack that killed them and left Emily grievously wounded. When Iain finds her, she knows that her family is dead and she has no place to go. When she passes out, Iain makes the decision to take them back to his home, even knowing that she is English.

Emily slowly heals and is grateful to the MacEnroy’s, she is not sure what will become of her and Neddy, but she feels safe for the first time in years. Iain knows there is more to Emily’s story than she is telling and he is torn between his growing attraction and admiration of her with his distain for the English/gentry. As they grow closer, Iain runs hot and cold with her, but when her life is threaten again, he does not hesitate to protect her.

The story is non-stop from the first page to the last, but it is on the violent side (the villain is relentless) and personally I found the final confrontation with the villain a bit underwhelming. I loved all the characters, the love scenes where steamy, the story flowed well and it focused entirely on Iain and Emily (vs. using this book to set up the series). It is an action-packed, emotional read that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next.

I would happily recommend this book and look forward to reading the other brother’s stories.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*

Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry, #1)Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

Series: Made to Marry, #1

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I love Ms. Hawkins writing style – funny and light one page and then deep and emotional the next. This book was no exception, Connor and Theodora aka Thea are very likable leads with an undeniable chemistry. Their banter was vastly amusing but there was a lot of deep emotion as well.

Connor must marry, his sister has just passed away and has stipulated that if the three brothers do not marry within 3 months, their inheritance will be given to the Campbell’s – their greatest enemy! None of the three really need the money, but they will be damned if they let the Campbell’s have it!

Connor has the perfect woman in mind for his bride – his best friend’s sister, Theodora. They have been friends for ages and she would be the perfect wife for him. She would be no hardship to live with and even less to leave behind when he goes to sea. Thinking she will jump at the chance to marry him, he takes his time setting out for her home. When he finally arrives he learns that Thea is not home – she has eloped! Determined to retrieve his bride, Connor follows them.

Thea is having a really bad day and is wondering if she has made the biggest mistake of her life by eloping with Lance. She is not in love with him, but he will give her a stable home and a family, which is what she longs for after years of moving with her family from one diplomatic post to another. But now sitting in an inn in the middle of nowhere, banged up from a carriage mishap and drenched from being tossed into a ditch – she is rethinking her decision. And to make matters worse – the only man she has ever loved has just walked into the inn. When Connor enters the room, her heart leaps and she has to remind herself that she cannot love him anymore – so imagine her shock when Connor announces that he has decided to marry her!

The tale that follows is a delightful road trip romance of sorts – with Connor scheming to win his lady and Thea neatly deflecting him.

I really enjoyed the story, it is well written and covers just about the entire emotional spectrum – but it did kind of stall a little in the middle, but once you get past the 65% mark, the story gets its second wind and takes off without stopping until the very last page! With an entertaining cast of secondary characters, some passionate kisses and a couple of warmish love scenes this was a delight to read.

I would be happy to recommend this book and look forward to the rest of the series!

* I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

When The Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

RELEASE PARTY! Please join the Facebook release party on 8/29 from 7pm EST – 10pm EST. There will be all kinds of contests, guest authors stopping by, and other fun things. See you there! 

When the Scoundrel Sins (Capturing the Carlisles, #2)When the Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Capturing the Carlisles #2
Publication Date: 08/29/17

Harrington’s excellent writing coupled with sizzling chemistry and a bit of humor make for a great read – even while you want to shake both the hero and heroine until their teeth rattle.

Our heroine is Annabelle Green. Her father is a convicted thief and her mother was a housekeeper. She knew brutality and deprivation before her mother passed away and she became the ‘ward’ of Lord and Lady Ainsley when she was still very young. You’ll find out how that came about toward the end of the book. She was raised as a lady – except she wasn’t one. Lord and Lady Ainsley decided she should have a London season and hoped for a great match and they couldn’t understand why she was basically shunned. Well DUH! She was the low-born daughter of a thief – what did they expect. So, of course, there was a scandal at her very first ball. It wasn’t her fault – but it was a scandal nonetheless. In order to protect her, Lord Ainsley left the estate she had always lived on to her in his will – but she had to marry by her 25th birthday in order to inherit. Annabelle doesn’t want to marry but the will seems to be unbreakable, so it is either marry or lose the home she loves.

Quinn Carlisle is the third son of a Duke and his parents were a love match. He has vowed to never fall in love because he saw how his mother suffered after his father died in an accident. I do have to say that Quinn is not my favorite hero. I thought he came across as very selfish, self-centered and uncaring. Quinn doesn’t see any way he can stand on his own and be respected for who he is and what he has accomplished without leaving England, so he is on his way to America. He has totally forgotten that he caused the scandal that ruined Annabelle – and never even saw it as his fault (see selfish, self-centered and uncaring comment above).

Lady Ainsley has raised Annabelle since she was a small child and loves her like a daughter. Quinn is Lady Ainsley’s nephew, so he and Annabelle were around each other a lot as children. Lady Ainsley decides that Quinn needs to help find Annabelle a husband before her birthday since he is the one who caused the scandal in the first place.

I hope you will give this book a try. I think you’ll like it – even though you’ll want to give both the hero and heroine a good spanking before you are through reading it. That is just the mark of a writer and plot that pulls you into the story – if they weren’t good, you wouldn’t feel anything.

“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.”

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