A Christmas Date (First Comes Love, Book 3)

A Christmas Date cover

Author: Camilla Isley

Series: First Comes Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Pink Bloom Press

Pages: 231

 

Nikki is not a Christmas fan. In fact, she could be described as quite the grinch. She dreads the holidays and having to having to go home to face her family every year. It has been increasingly difficult since her younger sister has been in a serious relationship, and she has been seen as the “old maid”. This year is looking to be even worse, as Nikki just found out that her sister and her boyfriend (whom Nikki has long been in love with) are now engaged. Dreading this Christmas more than any in recent memory, she takes the advice of her assistant and decides to hire someone to play her boyfriend while she’s home. Luckily, her job gives her access to the perfect database to find her man. There’s only one thing that may pose a problem…she may have trouble separating business and feelings.

This was the first book in my foray in to the sweet, cozy, wintry, holiday reads that I told you guys in a previous post that I was wanting to read this season, and I will say that it was a good start. It had some fun, interesting characters. Some were maybe not completely fleshed out, but this was a short book, so it would have been a bit difficult to flesh out the secondaries more than they were. The story moved quickly, and it was all there. It is a great read if you’re looking for a sweet little holiday romance. This is the third in a series, but it is the first one that I read, and I didn’t feel that I was missing anything as far as the plot or storyline. If this is the type of book that you’re feeling in this season, give it a try!

It’s out now!

 

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Breakfast, Bouchy, & Murder: A Willa Friday Food & Wine Cozy Mystery (Willa Friday Culinary Cozy Mystery, Book 4)

Breakfast Boucky and Murder cover

Author: Jamie Lee Scott

Series: Willa Friday

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Novels & Coffee

Pages: 162

 

Willa Friday has sworn off amateur sleuthing. She is completely focused on her food blogging business. That is until a series of events drags her back in… While she is at a blogging convention, her assistant goes missing. He isn’t returning any calls, texts, or emails, which is completely unlike him. Willa returns home, and there is still no sign of him. Meanwhile, Hattie (her mother-in-law) and her girlfriends are all set for a fun day in San Francisco which should have nothing to do with Willa, until an urgent phone call from Hattie drags her in to yet another murder investigation. Are these events linked? What will Willa and Hattie get in to next?

This book was so much fun, guys! Of course, the main characters are already really well developed as this is the fourth book in the series. However, there are some new characters introduced that add some great depth to the story, and they are well fleshed out, as well. This is a cozy mystery, so there is nothing really dark or horrific, but there are still some great twists that the reader may not see coming. If you’ve been following the series, there are some fun reveals in this installment! If you’re a cozy mystery fan, I recommend this series to you. It has great characters and ongoing plot line (plus fun recipes!). You can jump in at this book and you would be able to pick up and not feel too terribly lost, but I would definitely recommend going back to the first book of the series, Pasta, Pinot, & Murder. Here is my review of that, if you’d like to see it: Pasta Pinot & Murder: A Food & Wine Cozy Mystery (Willa Friday, Book 1).

This is out now, and the buy link is below! Go, read, enjoy!!

Hexes and Exes (Spaghetti Romances, Book 3)

Hexes and Exes cover

Author: Jordan K. Rose

Series: Spaghetti Romances

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 74

 

Roma is just trying to get some work done in her apothecary, when in pops her cheater of an ex, Ralph Tortellani. He is the last person she wants to see, and then he has the nerve to tell her that they need each other?! In a fit of rage, she creates a small tornado that sweeps him off in to another plane. She knows that she will probably pay for that one at some point. What she couldn’t know is that this one event will lead to a cast of (unwanted and unwelcomed) characters, from her own mother to the whole Tortellani clan, showing up and bringing chaos, laughter, and most of all love.

I’ve been looking forward to new work from Jordan, and this latest installment in the Spaghetti Romance series did not disappoint! Like the previous stories, this is set in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe and continues the storyline of the Tortellani family. The world was well established in the previous two novellas and continues in this one. The character development continues to be great, as we learn more about this wacky family and new characters are introduced. If you’re an animal fan, the familiars will steal your heart! As this is the third in the series, I would recommend reading the previous two installments before this one to familiarize yourself with the backstory (plus they’re really fun and funny, as well!), but they are all novella length, and perfect for a quick read with lots of laughs!

What Makes Us Stronger (Well Paired, Book 3)

What Makes Us Stronger cover

Author: Marianne Rice

Series: Well Paired

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Star Hill Press

Pages: 312

 

Lily has built a wonderful life for herself in Crystal Cove. She has a fantastic job, great friends, and no one has asked too many questions about her past. The only thing missing is the hot guy that she would really like to land…who also happens to be to be her friend’s brother, Ty. Ty returned to Crystal Cove after his stint in the Army, and is now working as a carpenter. He has lived a pretty quiet life, without having to face any major problems, until the day that he sees smoke coming from Lily’s place. His adrenaline kicks in, and he rushes to help, only to find Lily in her thong. There is no denying that there are sparks between them, and a romance begins to blossom. Will the secrets that Lily is hiding end this budding love, or will she trust Ty enough to tell him the truth?

I don’t know how many times that I can tell you guys (but I’ll keep telling you until I find out!) how much I love Marianne Rice’s books! Like all of her books, the characters are all well developed. They really feel like someone that you know, or are friends with, or maybe just want to be friends with (or friends with benefits, whatever!). They are real, beautiful, and flawed. The imagery throughout is all great. The reader can really picture all of the beautiful scenery while reading. As I’ve said before, and will say again, if you like contemporary romance (or just want to try it) this is an author that I would recommend every time. This is the third novel in the Well Paired series, but like all of the other can be read as a standalone (but just go ahead and grab them all!).

Go! Read! Enjoy!

For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire, Book 1)

For a Muse of Fire cover

Author: Heidi Helig

Series: For a Muse of Fire

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Pages: 512

 

Jetta and her parents are shadow players, and thanks to Jetta’s powerful ability, they have become the most famous troupe in Chakrana. Jetta, you see, holds the power of blood magic. She is able to see the souls of the departed and, using her blood, bind them to her shadow puppets (or paper, leaves, people…). This allows her to control the puppets without strings. It is also forbidden under the new regime. In their war-torn country, however, their skill is the best way for them to earn money and a way to Aquatan. Rumor has it that the Mad King found a spring there that helped to cure his melheur. Jetta needs that cure… As they are on the way, they are forced to join forces with a young smuggler (Leo) who has secrets of his own, and eyes that seem to see right through to the heart of Jetta’s secrets. As they make deals with one another, and attempt to make their way forward, they must all face decisions and truths that they never imagined and wonder if they will make it out alive.

This is the first book in a new trilogy from the lovely Heidi Heilig. It is much different from The Girl From Everywhere duology, but one can definitely tell that it is Heilig’s voice in this novel. It took me a little while to write this review, because I have a lot to say, but was not really sure how to start. First, the writing is absolutely beautiful. It moves at a smooth pace, and doesn’t ever really waver. There were no really slow parts, that books of this length can sometimes suffer from. It wasn’t overly wordy, it just had a lot to say. The story itself was interwoven with sheet music, letters, excerpts from plays, maps, and other documents that truly enriched the storyline. The world building was phenomenal. The rich Asian cultural elements mixed with the French-inspired colonialism paints a vivid picture. Once that it combined with the beautifully written folklore and Heilig’s writing of this fantasy world, it is definitely hard to put down.

Now, let’s get to the characters. As it should be, this was the heart of the story. These characters, not only the leading lady but the more secondary players as well, were so well written and multi-dimensional that I truly felt for them, and felt that I knew them, by the end of the book. Jetta, is struggling. It has been confirmed as canon that she is bipolar, but if you have ever known and loved someone who is bipolar you won’t need me to tell you that. She makes these amazingly impulsive decisions while in these high, manic periods that feel so right at the time that she is making them. She is sure that they will work out, and that she is doing the only thing that can be done. She then goes in to her depressive periods that leave her tired, weary, and questioning all of the decisions that she made while in her manic state. She believed that she was seeing things clearly, but it’s like everything slows down, and she can see it all in slow motion and truly grasp what has happened and the possible consequences. Heilig allowed this to be very visible to the reader, so it truly made Jetta a more relatable character and showed the drive behind her decision-making processes. On another note, the reader may catch that Jetta appears to be drawn to several different characters at different times- it has also been confirmed as canon that she is queer, which just makes her character even more interesting and well rounded. Leo is another wonderfully complex character. I mentioned earlier that he has his own secrets (which I won’t reveal here), but he is incredibly well fleshed out, complex, and so well written. Jetta’s parents, too, have their own secrets that they are hiding, their own struggles, worries, and concerns, and are very well rounded and relatable characters. You can feel their struggles as they are attempting to make the decisions that are the smart decisions, not the easy ones.

I can easily say that this is the best book that I have read thus far this year, and it is going to be very difficult to beat. If you are a fan of wonderful, rich fantasy, please give this one a try!

 

 

The Impossible Girl

The Impossible Girl cover

Author: Lydia Kang

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Pages: 364

 

Cora Lee was born in the 19th century, and floats between the upper crust and the slums and graveyards in New York. She makes her living as a resurrectionist, meaning that she spends her nights in the graveyards (dressed as her “twin” brother) procuring freshly dead bodies with interesting afflictions for anatomists. They pay her incredibly well for doing this job. The job also allows her to stay a step ahead of those that are looking for her. She is hunted for being one of those with an interesting affliction- Cora was born with two hearts. Now there are murders happening closer and closer to her, and she doesn’t know who she can trust, because she is being hunted down by someone who wants her before she dies her natural death.

This new release from Lydia Kang was phenomenal! It was full of everything that I hoped that it would have from the description: action packed, science, medicine, history, some romance (but not enough to overtake the story), a twisty thriller, and a wonderfully strong female lead. The writing was beautiful and flowed well. The characters were very well fleshed out, and showed great growth throughout the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

It’s out today!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Impossible-Girl-Lydia-Kang/dp/1503903389/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537317904&sr=1-1&keywords=the+impossible+girl

Enticed by the Gargoyle (Stone Sentries Boston, Book 2)

Enticed cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Stone Sentries

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 180

 

Larissa, a Boston police officer, had an unfortunate encounter with some demons while on patrol. Now, she is left with more questions than answers and a friend who is in an incubus-induced coma. During the attack, Larissa was able to fight off the demons and managed to somehow shoot energy at them with her eyes. Her gargoyle lover, Roman, believes that these “gifts” come from her being a witch. Larissa, however, knows nothing about this and wants answers. To make matters worse, she is now having a vision of another supernatural threat. Is this her imagination, or a vision of things to come?

This is the second book in the Stone Sentries Boston series, and it was as fantastic as the first. Roman and Larissa are a great pairing. As always, the character development is fantastic. I have really enjoyed some of the other elements that have been brought in to this series, as it has added nicely to the world building without feeling like we are just being given a supernatural soup (you know what I’m talking about!). These are quick, fun reads, so if you are in the mood for some PNR, I recommend giving them a try. There are definitely still some questions, so I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment of Roman and Larissa’s story! Enjoy!!