Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cozy Winter Books to Read!

Are you looking for a good book to read on a cold night?  I am sharing a few of my favorites with you.  I have picked some novels that are out now and a couple that will be released soon.

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston contains four lovely Amish novellas. Readers of Amish fiction and Amy Clipston will be delighted.

Amish Cooking Class - The Celebration by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  The third (and final) book in the Amish Cooking Class series.  It is a heartfelt Amish novel.  

Not a Creature was Purring by Krista Davis is the fifth A Paws and Claws Mystery.  This is an entertaining series that will delight readers especially those who adore their fur babies.

A Wedding at Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke is historical fiction novel.  It is the second book in The Mulberry Lane series.

Color Me Murder by Krista Davis which will be out on February 27.  It is first book in a delightful new cozy mystery series.

Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower is the second book
An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series.  It will be available on February 27.  

I hope you find some new novels to delight you.  I am always on the look out for new books and authors.  You can never have too many books to read!  May you have a entrancing day.  I will be back on Monday with my thoughts on No One Can Know by Lucy Kerr. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, February 16, 2018

Come a Little Closer: DCI Tom Douglas Series

February is just flying by.  Lethal in Old Lace by Duffy Brown will be published on March 13 along with Six Feet Under by Tonya Kappes.  

Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott is a DCI Tom Douglas novel.  DCI Tom Douglas is called out to Pennington Flash Country Park.  A woman has been found in a birdwatching hide.  There is no identification on her, she is very thin, no shoes or sign of a struggle.  At first glance it would appear to be suicide.  Tom, though, knows there is more to this woman’s story.  Nearby three women are in a dark kitchen.  They are thin, scared, tired and afraid.  Sharon is taking the trip her father always talked about it.  Her boyfriend, Ian wanted her to cancel and give him half the money since he is out of work.  She is honoring her father by embarking on this cruise.  The trip is not as relaxing as she expected.  A man seems to be following her and someone was in her cabin.  She returns home to an angry Ian and a puzzling problem at work.  It is a relief when a new friend offers her assistance.  DCI Douglas and his team work to unravel what happened to the woman found in the Flash.  They soon discover that she is not the first woman found this way and, undoubtedly, she will not be the last unless the police stop them. 

Come a Little Closer may be the seventh book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, but it can be read alone.  I struggled with this novel.  It is very confusing in the beginning because it jumps around.  One minute with DCI Tom Douglas, then with Sharon, then with women, then it jolts to next chapter.  It all starts to gel at the half way mark and comes together into a complete story at the end.  I thought the writing was choppy and it lacked a nice flow (slow pace too).  The dialogue was stilted (awkward).  The characters were not fully developed (lacking in details that help bring them to life).  The mystery is one that plays out and is supposed to be suspenseful.  Unfortunately, I did not feel it.  I wanted to get a hold of these women and shake them.  I cannot see anyone in this day and age being that na├»ve (unless they are under 6).  I do not want to say to much and spoil for you.   I wanted to the story to be less predictable.  The chapters that focused on Tom’s private life felt off.  They did not blend well with the rest of the book.  Be aware that this is a British novel, so it contains British slang and the words are spelled differently (British spelling). My rating for Come a Little Closer is 2 out of 5 stars (I did not like it). Come a Little Closer was not the right fit for me, but many other readers have found it thrilling.  I suggest getting a sample and see if it appeals to you.  Every individual has their own perspective.

Thank you so much for visiting today.  I will be featuring some cozy winter reads tomorrow.  See what I books I have enjoyed reading on a cool night and recommend for others.  May you have a beguiling weekend.  I will return on Monday with my review of No One Can Know by Lucy Kerr. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Where the Wild Cherries Grow: Dual-Timeline Novel by Laura Madeleine

Greetings!  Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott and Miss Mary's Daughter by Diney Costeloe are out today.  Color Me Murder by Krista Davis will be released on February 27.  It is the first book in A Pen & Ink Mystery series.  If you are a cozy mystery reader, you will want to read this one.

Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine is a historical novel that takes readers from 1969 to 1919.  In 1969 William “Bill” Perch is a solicitor’s assistant at Hillbrand and Moffat Solicitors.  Mrs. Mallory and her brother need the firm’s assistance in locating Emeline Vane.   Emeline is one of the estate’s heirs, and she has been missing for fifty years.  They are unable to sell the derelict manor house until they can prove that she is dead.  It is up to Bill to locate Emeline or proof of her death.  Bill travels to the family estate in Norfolk where he discovers an old diary of Emeline’s along with other papers.  Through Emeline’s words, Bill feels a connection with this woman from the past.  Bill knows that she disappeared at the train station in Paris and this is where he begins.  The journey to uncover Emeline’s whereabouts starts Bill on a new path and a chance for rich, full life.

Where the Wild Cherries Grow is a dual timeline novel.  The story is told from Bill and Emeline’s point-of-views in alternating chapters.  Ms. Madeleine has a nice descriptive writing style.  The pace is a little slower than I normally like, but it does go with the story.  The author provides vivid descriptions that allow the reader to visualize the scenes (brings the scenery of France alive).  The food depictions will have your mouth watering.  Emeline and Bill are well-developed characters.  I found them to be real and fit into their time periods.  I found the slang from 1969 to be entertaining (made me chuckle).  Readers experience Emeline’s journey and I can certainly understand why she took off.  Life was very different for women in 1919 especially if they were under the age of majority.  I was a little disappointed with the ending.  It felt incomplete.  An epilogue would have been a welcome addition.  I give Where the Wild Cherries Grow 4 out of 5 stars.  Where the Wild Cherries Grow is a unique tale that will keep you reading to find out what happened to Emeline.  

I appreciate your visit.  Tomorrow I will be reviewing Come a Little Closer by Rachel Abbott.  It is the seventh DCI Tom Douglas novel.  I hope that you have an amazing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Grave Issue: A Funeral Parlor Mystery

Happy Valentine's Day! Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke will be available on February 27.  It is the twenty-second book (wow) in A Hannah Swensen Mystery series.

A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell is the first installment in the A Funeral Parlor Mystery series.  Desiree Turner has returned home to Verbena, California after ten years.  Desiree was a reporter for KLVX-TV in Los Angeles until an on-air faux pas got her fired and unable to find another job in the industry.  She is now working at her families’ business Turner Family Funeral Home handling the front of the house issues that used to be done by her father before his disappearance.  Alan Brewer is brought in after being shot in the head.  There has been an ongoing dispute between the Brewer’s (Alan and his wife, Rosemarie) and their neighbor’s Lola and Kyle Hansen.  There was even an altercation at Delia Burns funeral between Lola and Rosemarie.  Kyle who has been a second father to Desiree is arrested for Alan’s murder.  Desiree knows Kyle did not harm Alan and begins probing into Alan’s death.  She soon unearths some interesting information regarding Alan.  Which of Alan’s secret got him murdered?  Desiree needs to work quickly before Kyle has to submit a change of address form with the local prison as his new address.

A Grave Issue is nicely written and has a fast pace.  I felt, though, that it was lacking in several areas.  The characters were not developed especially Desiree.  We are given scant information on Desiree who is a hard character to like.  She dives head first into the investigation and puts herself in danger several times.  It seems that Desiree has never heard of 911.  There are three different mysteries in A Grave Issue.  The murder of Alan Brewer, the disappearance of Desiree’s father and Jasmine Rodrigues’ stalker (Desiree’s best friend).  Two of these mysteries are resolved in the book and one readers are left to wonder about until the next book.  The murder occurs in first chapter (big pet peeve of mine).  I wish the author would set the stage first (especially since this is the first book in the series) and then have the murder occur.  The identity of the killer is a no brainer.  There are a limited number of suspects and a lack of sleuthing.  The focus of the book is not on Alan’s murder.  More of the story is devoted to Desiree’s missing father.  I wonder if this will be the focus of the next book or will it be in the background of the whole series.  There are a couple of love interests for Desiree.  We will have to wait and see which one strikes her fancy.  Verbena, California is a small town full of gossipy, quirky characters. I am giving A Grave Issue 3 out of 5 stars.  A Grave Issue is for those readers who prefer light-hearted humorous cozy mysteries.  The next book in A Funeral Parlor Mystery series If the Coffin Fits.  It will be released on September 11, 2018.

Thank you for reading my latest review.  Tomorrow I will be featuring Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine.  May you be blessed with a beautiful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Words From The Heart: An Amish Letters Novel

Happy Fat Tuesday!  It is the last day of Mardi Gras.  I have yet to decide what to give up for Lent (I had better come up with it quickly).  It is also book release day!  A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell, No One Can Know by Lucy Kerr, Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine, The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany, Death by a Whisker by T.C. LoTempio, Murder in Bloomsbury by D.M. Quincy and Words From the Heart by Kathleen Fuller are some of the new books out today.

Words From the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is the third An Amish Letters Novel.  Ivy Yoder has not heard from John King in a year.  She received one letter from him written right after she returned home.  He broke his promise and her heart.  Ivy must now move forward with her life and needs a something to occupy her mind.  Ivy arrives home from visiting with friends to find Noah Schlabach on her doorstep.  Noah is an auctioneer and antique specialist.  His great aunt, Cevilla Schlabach has asked that Noah and Ivy clean out her attic.  She insists that they do it together.  Noah knows Cevilla is up to something, but he is eager to see what is in the boxes.  You never know what treasure they will find.  The pair slowly go through the boxes and get to know each other during the sorting process (finding numerous doilies and old magazines).  One of the last boxes they explore contains some damaged doilies and a packet of letters written during the Korean War.  Noah and Ivy get drawn into the story of two people (Bunny and CJ) in love.  Ivy develops feelings for Noah, but she is afraid of getting her heart broken again.  Noah used to be satisfied with his work, but now he feels that something is missing.  Cevilla is certain that Noah and Ivy are meant for each other.  She has arranged for them to spend time together, but the rest is up to these two very stubborn individuals.  Will they learn from the past and embrace life? Can Ivy move forward and find love with Noah?  Will Noah give up his roaming way to settle down in Birch Creek?

Words From the Heart is a touching romantic story and my favorite book in this series.  I find it refreshing to read stories that have little to no violence, intimate scenes (just kissing), and no foul language.  I found the book to contain good writing and a nice flow which made Words From the Heart was easy to read and enjoy. Words From the Heart can be read alone, but I suggest reading all the book in An Amish Letters series.  It will familiarize you with the characters from the previous books which are present in Words From the Heart.  I appreciate the author updating readers on what has happened to the people from Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter.  I like the characters in this story especially Cevilla Schlabach.  She is a delightful older woman that is happy with her life and the choices she has made (spunky, quirky).  Many of her scenes have me smiling and chuckling (especially when she decides to attend the school board meeting of which she is not a member).  The author provides the right amount of background and detail on the main characters along with supporting cast.  Ms. Fuller even brought CJ, one of the letter writers, alive with her words.  The Christian elements are present throughout and it enhances the story.  Prayer, forgiveness, trusting God and faith are a few of the Christian themes in the book.  While the romance element is predictable, it is sweet and heartfelt.  It was lovely to watch their (Noah and Ivy) feelings grow for each other over the course of the book (while they each tried to resist).  The additional elements that Kathleen Fuller added to the story gave it depth and complexity (upcycling, items they found in the boxes, Noah’s symptoms for example).  These items made for a richer story.  Reading Words From the Heart is a satisfying way to idle away a Saturday afternoon.

I will return tomorrow with my review of A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell.  It is the first book in A Funeral Parlor Mystery series.  May you have an enchanting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Runaway Wife: Historical Novel by Rosie Clarke

Welcome!  Plum Tea Crazy by Laura Childs will be published on March 6.  It is 19th book in A Tea Shop Mystery series (my favorite cozy mystery series).  Rosie Clarke is a historical author who has written The Mulberry Lane series, The Workshop Girls series, The Downstairs Maid, Emma Trilogy, and Jessie's Promise.  Ms. Clarke writes under the pen names of Anne Herries and Cathy Sharp. You can follow Ms. Clarke on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.  You can find out more about Rosie Clarke and her books on her website.  

The Runaway Wife by Rosie Clarke takes readers back in time to just before Christmas in 1929.  Annabel Tarleton’s family lost most of their money in the recent stock market crash thanks to investments made by her deceased father.  Annabel is expected by her mother to marry a well-to-do gentleman and take her place in society like her mother and generations of women before her.  At a dance, Annabel encounters Richard Hansen.  Richard is handsome, mysterious and has a bad boy reputation which attracts Annabel.  Richard, though, states he is not the marrying type.  Annabel gets an invitation to spend time at Kendlebury Hall with her friend, Georgie Barrington.  While there Annabel meets Paul Keifer (a printer) and they spend time together.  Paul soon proposes to Annabel, but she knows her domineering and critical mother will not approve of the match.  She turns him down and returns home.  Annabel encounters Richard again at a dance where Annabel has indulged in too much champagne and she finds herself in a compromising position.  After a quick engagement, Annabel finds herself married to Richard.  She soon discovers why people warned her away from him.  One night after Richard is particularly cruel, Annabel escapes and hopes that he will not find her (and follow through on his threats).  Will Annabel ever be free of Richard? 

The Runaway Wife took me back in time to the late 1920s in England.  I found The Runaway Wife to contains good writing and nicely developed characters.  I like that were a variety of characters from the different classes (not everyone was Annabel’s social class).  Annabel is a woman who has been controlled by her mother her whole life.  She would like to pursue job opportunities, but her mother is pressuring her to marry (and take her place in society). We get to follow Annabel as she gets married and finds that she has traded her controlling mother for a domineering, abuse husband.   It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but then I was hooked.  I wanted to find out what would happen to Annabel.  There are a couple of slow spots (every book has them), but overall the pace is steady (picks up pace later in the book).  I found the story to be realistic (gritty).  The violence that Annabel suffers is described as well as other cruel acts performed by Richard.  Rosie Clarke captured the era with her descriptions of the locale, the language used by the characters, hairstyles (women cutting off their long hair) and the clothing (hemlines were on the rise).  She portrays the changing roles of women, the nightlife (drinking and dancing at nightclubs), the rich finding themselves without money (thanks to the stock market crash), life as a politician’s wife and the big estates in trouble.  One of the lessons in The Runaway Wife is about choices.  Every choice we make takes us down a path.  It is important that we learn from our mistakes, so we can make better decisions in the future.  I found the ending to be satisfying.  I like it when I find myself smiling when I finish a story.  Find yourself back in time and experiencing a wide range of emotions in Rosie Clarke’s The Runaway Wife.  For a taste of The Runaway Wife, read the excerpt below:

Annabel’s heart missed a beat as she caught sight of him across the room, her stomach clenching with nerves. She had been so sure he wouldn’t be here this evening. He seldom attended little dances like this, because he was more often in London or at Newmarket for the racing. They had met on only one other occasion and she’d felt an instant attraction, though she wasn’t certain he was interested. He’d smiled, asked her to dance, talked about his passion for racehorses, briefly mentioned the business passed on to him by his late father, and then left her to rejoin his friends.

Tall and lean, with dark hair, and an attractive face, Richard Hansen was very wealthy. Everyone knew that he was the heir to a vast manufacturing empire. His grandfather had started with some mills in the North Country but his father had expanded the business and become both wealthy and influential. Richard had been sent to the best schools and then to Oxford, where he had somehow managed to survive without being sent down despite his reputation for being wild. Perhaps because of his charm, which seemed to embrace everyone he met and sent more than one young woman’s heart on a dizzy whirl. It was a little way he had of making you feel that you were special that drew women to him, as moths to the naked flame.

Even as Annabel watched, she saw him charming an older woman who was known for her sour disposition but who now simpered and blushed as he twisted her around his little finger. Annabel watched the woman laughing like a young girl and then flushed herself as his eyes told her he’d become aware of her gaze.
‘You’re wasting your time,’ a mischievous voice said at her ear and Annabel turned to smile at her friend Georgina Barrington. Georgie was dark haired, pretty and full of fun, a year or so younger than Annabel. Wearing a short dress with fringes that sparkled as she moved, she was a true reflection of the age. Much more than a flapper, she was intelligent and full of the joy of life. ‘Ma told me to give him a wide berth, Belle. Mr Hansen is a charmer but spoiled – and some say he’s bad, though they won’t say why.’

‘What do you mean – bad?’ Annabel asked, unwilling to accept that Richard could be less than the perfect young god he appeared and yet knowing that her friend was far from malicious. ‘He seemed pleasant enough to me when we met.’
Georgie had been her best friend since they’d met two years earlier, when the Barringtons were staying with friends in Cambridge. The family visited every few months and Georgina had written to say she would be at the Munsters’ dance that evening.

‘It’s just whispers,’ Georgie said. ‘I think he probably gets drunk and does reckless things – but Ma never tells me the whole story. You know what mothers are like.’

‘Yes, I do,’ agreed Annabel with a rueful look. ‘Your mother is better than most though, Georgie. She gives you a lot of freedom. This is 1929 but I sometimes think my mother is still living in Victorian times. She hardly lets me out without a chaperone.’

‘Lady Tarleton is a little anxious for you sometimes,’ Georgie said diplomatically and glanced across the room to her own mother. ‘She wants you to make a good marriage. Priscilla says she doesn’t care who I marry as long as I am happy. That’s partly because of Jessie, I believe. She’s wonderful, Belle.’

The Runaway Wife is available for purchase on Amazon, iBooks, GooglePlay Store, and Kobo.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I will be reviewing Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller.  May you have an enchanting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, February 9, 2018

As Bright As Heaven: New Novel by Susan Meissner

Hello!  It Takes a Coven by Carol J. Perry will be published on February 27.  It is the sixth book in A Witch City Mystery seriesSusan Meissner is the author of The Shape of Mercy, Lady in Waiting, A Sound Among the Trees, A Bridge Across the Ocean, Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Fall of Marigolds.  You can find out more about Susan Meissner and her books on her website.

As Bright As Heaven is the latest novel by Susan Meissner which is set in 1918.  Pauline and Thomas Bright along with their family are relocating from Quakertown to Philadelphia.  Thomas has been offered the opportunity to work with his uncle, Fred Bright and eventually inherit the Bright Funeral Home.  Pauline is hoping it will provide a better life for their family (three daughters:  Evelyn, Willa and Maggie) and, after losing her six-month-old son, she feels that Death is near her.  A few months later, Thomas is drafted and their neighbor’s son, Jamie Sutcliff goes off to training camp.  Then the Spanish Flu arrives with a vengeance and thousands are dying.  Pauline and Maggie are taking food to those without family to assist them.  Maggie is waiting for her mother and hears a baby crying.  She finds the infant’s mother dead, and Maggie feels the baby is a replacement for the brother she lost.  The Bright family takes in the child and names him Alex.  But then Willa becomes ill with the dreaded flu and Pauline is the next to become infected.  Amidst sickness and war there is hope with little Alex.  The Bright family will need to band together during this difficult time and find a way to move forward.

As Bright As Heaven has a unique point-of-view with the Spanish Flu (instead of focusing on the war).  The POV switches between Pauline and the three daughters (told in first person).  We get to see life through each of their eyes with each person providing a unique perspective given their ages (Willa is the youngest at 6).  It does, though, disrupt the flow of the book (pulls you out of the story).   The book is nicely written, but I did find the pace a little slow during the first half of the story.  It picks up in the second half as the girls grow older.  I thought it was intriguing that Evelyn goes to medical school and is working to become a psychiatrist. This was very unusual for a woman in the 1920s.  The characters are well developed, and I appreciated the strong female characters.  The author did a good job at portraying the time period, the panic and horror of the Spanish Flu epidemic, how the war affected families, and the changing roles of women in America during the 1920s.  As Bright As Heaven has love, sorrow, hope, grief, tragedy, fear and so much more.  Get swept back in time in Susan Meisner’s latest novel As Bright As Heaven.  Readers who enjoy historical dramas will enjoy reading As Bright As Heaven.

I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Next time I will be featuring The Runaway Wife by Rosie Clarke (part of a blog tour--see banner below).  It is a historical novel that takes readers back to the 1920s in London.  I hope that you have a splendid weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Phoebe's Light: Nantucket Legacy

Good Morrow!  Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower will be released on February 27.  It is the second book in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery seriesAssaulted Caramel (first book in this series) is currently $.99 on Amazon (I do not know when the sale will end).  

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series.  On September 8, 1767 on Nantucket Island, Phoebe Starbuck, a Quaker, turns eighteen.  Her father, Barnabas Starbuck presents her with Great Mary’s journal (her great grandmother).  It passes from one generation to the next to the one who would benefit most from Great Mary’s wisdom (it is a shame that Barnabas never read it).  Phoebe is excited to see that Phineas Foulger, captain of the Fortuna, has returned to the island.  Phoebe fancies herself in love with the older widower and hopes to finally capture his attention.  After a short time, Phineas and Phoebe are wed and set sail on the Fortuna.  Phoebe has longed for adventure her whole life, but she soon discovers that life at sea does not suit her (she suffers from mal de mer).  She spends her days in her quarters with the comfort of Great Mary’s journal.  Matthew Macy and Phoebe were once betrothed to one another until Matthew turned away from God.  Matthew, though, has never stopped caring for her.  When Barnabas asks him to join the crew of the Fortuna to keep an eye on Phoebe, Matthew agrees.  Phoebe is in for a life altering journey, and she will soon need the wisdom in Great Mary’s journal and help from Matthew to aid those she loves.

Phoebe’s Light is a captivating historical novel.  It was fascinating to go back to this time period and read about life on Nantucket Island.  The author did a wonderful job at integrating the diary entries into the book.  I was afraid the entries would pull me out of the story, but it did just the opposite.  I kept wanting to know what else was in the diary and what would happen next to Phoebe.  Phoebe’s Light well-written and it has a nice steady pace with vivid descriptions of the island, people, the ships, whales and etc.  I appreciate authors whose words allow me to picture the scenes in my head as I read (just the right amount of detail).  The transitions were smooth between chapters and the diary entries.  I could tell that the author did her research for this novel especially on Mary Coffin Starbuck and the whaling industry (it is terrible how many whales were slaughtered).  She captured the speech of the Quakers and the people of this era (there is a glossary).  The story contains incredible characters that are well-developed and realistic. There are characters readers will love and others that you will dislike intensely (and hope that they get what they deserve).  I like that Ms. Fisher did the book on Quakers.  There are few fiction books that incorporate this religious sect and it was interesting to learn more about their history (how they came to America and the persecution they suffered).  The mystery element added another level to this rich story.  There is a lovely ending that will have you anxiously awaiting Minding the Light (second book in Nantucket Legacy series) which will come out on July 3.

Thank you for visiting today.  I am currently reading A Home for Hannah by Amy Lillard which will be published on February 27.   Tomorrow I will be sharing my thoughts on As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner.  May you have a excellent day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Desired in Darkness: In Darkness Series

Welcome!  A Grave Issue by Lillian Bell will be published on February 13 along with Words From the Heart by Kathleen Fuller.  I am featuring Heather Sunseri today.    She is the author of the In Darkness series, The Mindspeak series and Emerge series.  You can follow Ms. Sunseri on Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub.  

Desired in Darkness by Heather Sunseri is the fifth book in the In Darkness series.  Brooke Fairfax is engaged to Declan O’Roark, and she is looking forward to a wonderful future with him.  The only thing standing in the way of their happily-ever-after is Romeo aka Woodford Clay Harrison.  Romeo is proving to be elusive.  Brooke’s parents are throwing the couple an engagement party at their home in Virginia. Romeo strikes during the party leaving a dead body and ruined wedding dresses behind.  Brooke is determined to catch him while Romeo is set on having Brooke for himself.  Declan’s attentions get diverted when his brother arrives along with a woman from Declan’s past who will cause nothing but more grief for the engaged couple.  If he diverts his attention to take care of this problem, Declan will not be there to protect Brooke.  What will it take to catch Romeo?

Desired in Darkness is a fast-paced novel that will have you riveted to the edge of your seat.  Readers finally gets answers to the questions we have had since the first book in the series.  The revelations will amaze you.  It was nice to get to know more about Declan and his past in this installment as well as a little more about Brooke’s relationship with her mother.  Desired in Darkness is not a standalone.  The books in the In Darkness series need to be read in order.  The characters are well-developed, and they continue to evolve in each book.  They are very real in this gritty story.  I do wish the intimate scenes were not so descriptive and that there were fewer of them (just my personal feelings on the matter).  At the end of the book I was left wondering what is going to happen next.  I would love to say more, but I do not want to spoil it for you.  

If you like my reviews, please consider following my blog (via email or Google+).  Information on the right hand side of the page.  I am also on Twitter (@booklover43).  Next time I will be featuring Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher which is the first novel in the Nantucket Legacy series.  May you have a spectacular day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Fast and the Furriest: A Second Chance Cat Mystery

The Fast and the Furriest by Sofie Ryan is the fifth installment in A Second Chance Cat Mystery series.  Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance in North Harbor, Maine.  Sarah is refurbishing an item for the shop when she is approached by Erin Fellowes looking for Mac McKenzie (a part-time employee of Sarah’s).  Mac is a private man who has not shared any details of his past.  When Mac returns Sarah passes along the message from Erin.  Later that evening Mac shows up at Sarah’s house.  He was unable to find Erin and wants to tell Sarah about his past.  His wife, Leila has been in a coma for two years from a carbon monoxide leak in their home.  Mac was the main suspect and Leila’s parents sued for guardianship.  While they are talking, Detective Michelle Andrews shows up looking for Mac.  Erin Fellowes was found dead and a witness claims Mac was arguing with her before her death.  Sarah with help from Elvis (her cat) and Charlotte’s Angels goes about locating Erin’s killer and discovering what happened to Leila two years prior. 

The Fast and Furriest can be a standalone.  The necessary details are provided in the book.  I enjoyed the author’s writing style.  The Fast and Furriest is a light, entertaining cozy mystery.  The story has a good pace and great characters (Mr. P is one of my favorites).  I love Sarah’s business and her creative ideas.  I like the interactions between the characters along with the scenes between Elvis and Sarah.  The author is adept at dialogue.  The mystery is nicely constructed. Clues are provided to aid readers in identifying the culprit.  There is also misdirection that could send you down the wrong path.  I appreciated getting to know Mac in this story.  I hope we will see him again in the future books.  It will be interesting to see what develops between Sarah and Nick.  There are those cozy moments that readers love (cooking, going out, gossip, friendship, and family) as well as light-hearted humor.  I give The Fast and the Furriest 5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for a charming cozy mystery with a smart main character and an adorable cat, then you should check out The Fast and the Furriest.  The other books in A Second Chance Cat Mystery series are The Whole Cat and Caboodle, Buy A Whisker, A Whisker of Trouble and Telling Tails.

Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I will be featuring Desired in Darkness by Heather Sunseri.  May you have an enchanting day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader