Our Reviews

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Monday, June 29, 2015

A perfect summer read from Mariah Stewart!

(The Chesapeake Diaries - Book 9)
Mariah Stewart
Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4767-9257-6
Women’s Fiction
June 2015

Jamie Valentine recently experienced the death of her mother and as an only child, the only family she has left is her Aunt Sis. As the author of several successful self-help books which promotes honesty in everyday life, Jamie has made a life for herself as an independent writer. She realizes that she needs to pack up and sell her family home before finishing her next book.

Her grief over her mother’s death is blindsided when she discovers she was adopted and neither parent bothered to inform her before they died. Now Jamie has a new mission; finding her adoptive parents. She also feels that her readers will liken her to a hypocrite when her whole life has just been defined as a lie. She travels to St. Dennis in Chesapeake Bay, determined to find some answers, but when she arrives, Jamie finds not everyone in that town wants to reveal its secrets.

A PERFECT summer read!

Reviewed by: Charlene McConnell
Rating: 4

Caroline LInden's newest thrilling read!

The Scandalous Series Book Three
Caroline Linden
ISBN# 978-0-06-224492-5
June 2015
Historical Romance

Readers of this series will remember Penelope and Benedict - especially how Benedict treated Sebastian Vane and courted Penelope's sister Abigail. Which is why Penelope hates Benedict. Benedict is looking for a wife to fulfill his duties as heir to the earldom. He wants a quiet, passable and calm wife, not one who is a sultry beauty that would to be too hard to tame. Fate though steps in and creates a scandal where the two must rely on each other and marry.

Penelope always liked Benedict until the unfortunate turn of events with Sebastian, and had even imagined herself in love with him. Now that she is to marry him, she resolves to at least make the best of it. Benedict too realizes what a catch he was gotten in his passionate wife. Yet as easily as it is to wish for good tidings, there is a danger lurking in a mystery surrounding Penelope's friend Olivia and Lord Clary. Even Benedict cannot presume to understand to what lengths certain people will go to make sure they get what they want.

This is easily a mix of romance, intrigue, danger and outright heated passion. Benedict and Penelope are deeply attracted to each other and once they get over their thin facade of not wanting the other, they have some pretty heated scenes. Benedict's father is a horrible person and the whole situation with Sebastian stems from it. He makes a great villain, albeit a shadowy one that looms in the dark like a spider. It was a thrilling read that I couldn't put down! The next will be even more exciting I'm sure!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

Monday, June 22, 2015

Probst's newest is Sizzling!

Searching For Series Book 4
Jennifer Probst
Gallery Books
ISBN# 978-1-4767-8009-2
May 2015
Contemporary Romance

Runaway brides are things only seen in movies, right? Not so for Genevieve MacKenzie. On her wedding day, amidst the flowers, the veil and the Vera Wang gown, she slips (ungracefully) out of a window after a sudden panic attack. Realizing she didn't love the groom, she falls into the arms of her best friend, Wolfe, who whisks her away to a secluded cabin so that she can regroup. After the noise, the commotion, and the guilt dies down, she realizes that she was losing herself and alienating her best friend the more she was with her fiance.

Wolfe has known Gen for so long, he knew something was wrong immediately. She had become distant, less talkative, making excuses to her family the more she was with David. Something wasn't right with the whole thing, and now that he has an idea of what, he will make sure she stays safe.

The more they talk, the more they realize that their friendship was a safety blanket, hiding a very powerful and deep attraction to each other. Wolfe and Gen grow closer, but they both struggle with personal issues that keep them from admitting their true feelings. When things suddenly come to a blazing climax, things just only get more complicated and confusing for them both. As Gen gets the pieces of her life back together, Wolfe has to come to terms with what happened to him and why he's so determined to keep Gen as a friend and nothing more. But it may cost him her friendship as well.

I loved this book about friends to lovers. As two people who have accepted each other at face value for years, realizing you are attracted to your best friend is somewhat daunting and scary. Wolfe has deep seeded issues that keep him from getting too serious with anyone and he does not want to hurt Gen. Gen, with the problems of her ex-fiance, slowly begins to understand how she got to where she was and where she wants to go. Watching these two face their issues and mutual attraction is all at once, heartbreaking, hopeful and downright sizzling when they do get together. I've got to say, the next in this series features a cop! I had no trouble reading this one out of order.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

JUNE 2015

                                           SUMMER READING 2015 WITH TRRC

Today's current temperature is 89 degrees with the final temp to reach 92. The humidity is high and the heated breeze just adds to that summer feeling. There is no complaints on this end however, we've waited five months to fan and use the air conditioner, welcome summer!

The wonderful thing about summer is there is no guilt when one has to take it easy, sit in the shade and pass the time with a good book.  The authors and publishers are certainly pandering to our reading desires with releases by Maya Banks, Johanna Lindsey, Mariah Stewart, Caroline Linden and a new baseball series by Jennifer Bernard featuring the men of the Kilby Catfish baseball team. That's just to start! We have additional mysteries, romantic suspense and women's fiction galore by various authors.  We are a little behind so you will continue to see May reviews posted as well as June and July.  We ask you to keep in mind, that while we will not take our usual summer hiatus this year, we still need to allow for the summer experience of outings and family vacations.  So, as the reviews are submitted, we'll post them right away. Feel free to provide comments or reading information at any time and share with us your Summer Reading activities.

Enjoy your summer and Happy Reading!


Monday, June 08, 2015

A New One by Kate Meader

A Hot in Chicago Novel
Kate Meader
Pocket Books
ISBN:   978-1-4767-8590-5
April 2015
Contemporary Romance

Kinsey Taylor a media expert, has moved from the west coast to Chicago for her physician fiancĂ©.   When he dumps her for another woman, she has already committed to another job and decides to stay.   So she is in a new city with few friends, no nearby family, and her public relations position is requiring her to rehabilitate the reputation of Chicago Engine Company 6, a firehouse populated by a group of diverse siblings, adopted as children, and fiercely loyal to each other and the Chicago Fire Department.

One of these is firefighter Luke Almeida and his most recent fight with a detective in the police department has created a public relations nightmare that requires intervention.   When she meets him and tries to work with him Kinsey is dismayed by her intense physical attraction to the dangerous and complex Luke.   Luke is not happy with her plans to rehabilitate the public’s opinion of his firehouse.   These include creating a Men on Fire calendar and staging an apology to the detective.   Luke, by the way, had a very good reason for fighting with him but that’s another book!

I have to say that it took me awhile to get through this book.   I could not read a lot of it in a single setting.   It is very emotionally complex and filled with the attraction between Kinsey and Luke.   They do a lengthy dance with each other before finally coming together.   Contributing characters include Luke’s sister and his brothers, different staff in the firehouse, and the mayor, who is Kinsey’s boss.

I’m sure there will be other books in this series and I have to say that one of the best parts was the picture of the hot firefighter on the cover!   The book delivers an erotic feast populated by interesting firefighters with angst and passion.   What more could we want in a good romance story?

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating:   3

Friday, June 05, 2015

New mystery from Elaine Viets

A Dead End Job Mystery
Elaine Viets
ISBN: 978-0-451-46631-0
May 2015

The one thing celebrity Trish Barrymore and her no account accountant husband, Mort, can agree on in their bitter divorce is shared cat custody. But when Mort is found brained by a mahogany cat tower and their pedigreed Chartreux show cat goes missing, Trish calls on husband and wife PI team Helen and Phil to find the feline filcher and bring her home. Discovering that Mort had some sly dealings within the cat circles has them going under cover to find out more information. As they get closer to the killer, the next collar on the line, may be their own.

CATNAPPED is a dual themed mystery story that keeps the reader interested as they jump from plot to plot and watch as they unfold together. A nice addition to this series, Catnapped is sure to please those who love cats, as well as a learning a little about behind the scenes at cat shows. Catnapped is entertaining, the characters are like old friends and the ending is a nice wrap up.

Reviewed by Kathy Fisher
Rating: 4

A new Deep Fried mystery!

A Deep Fried Mystery
Linda Reilly
ISBN: 978-0-425-27413-2
May 2015

Talia Marby serves up delectable deep fried fare int he heart of the rectories, but she soon discovers something is amiss in the cute shops she works among. Not all of the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up and she is refusing. But then she and Talia find Phil dead Bea becomes the prime suspect. It's up to Talia to reel in the real killer before the innocent pay.

FILET OF MURDER is a slower paced mystery story. You can almost smell the fish and chips covered in malt vinegar floating off the pages as the story unfolds. Although it is slower paced, that does not mean it is not enjoyable. The reader can sit back, explore every nook and cranny that the plot has to offer and really get to know the characters. It was an interesting read and I can't wait to see what happens next in Talia's life.

Reviewed by Kathy Fisher
Rating 3

Fast paced mystery from Carlisle!

A Bibliophile Mystery
Kate Carlisle
ISBN: 978-0-451-41599-8
May 2015

Brooklyn is thrilled to be appearing on the hit TV show This Old Attic as a rare book expert and appraiser. Her first subject is a valuable first edition copy of the children's classic THE SECRET GARDEN. After the episode airs, a man storms onto the set claiming that the owner of the book, Vera, found the book at his garage sale and he wants it back. After several violent incidents occur on the set, Brooklyn's security expert boyfriend, Derek, is shaken. Then Brooklyn finds Vera's corpse and everyone knows things have gotten out of hand.

THE BOOK STOPS HERE is a fast paced mystery that will leave the reader on the edge of their chair. With plenty of suspects and a few thugs thrown in, it's anyone's guess on who killed poor Vera. But as Brooklyn gets closer to the truth, more things begin happening. You will keep a firm grasp on this book while the plot unfolds. A great addition to this series.

Reviewed by Kathy Fisher
Rating: 4

A new sizzling romantic suspense!

Echoes of the Heart Book 2
Anna DeStefano
Montlake Romance
ISBN# 9781477829158
May 2015
Contemporary Romance

When a family emergency brings Oliver Bowman back home, he finds himself in close contact with the girl he loved and lost years ago, Selena Rosenthal. As soon as they meet up again, they are both reminded of what they had years ago before heartbreak and bad decisions cost them their love. Now, Selena is back home recovering from a bad divorce and rebuilding her life with her little girl, Camille. Oliver finds himself drawn to both of them again. He knows he has to leave and go back to his real life and job soon, yet he finds that he is unable to walk away so willingly again. Will they both be able to talk about what happened so long ago and start again, or is it too late?

This is a story about love lost and second chances. Oliver was part of the foster care system, which brought him to his current family and now he's made it his career in helping foster kids. Selena was his high school sweetheart and they were so in love, but Selena made a choice that cost them, and Oliver left. Now, we get to see how you can turn a broken heart into a new life, new decisions and the real bonds of family. I also love the foster parents and how they played a part in this story. Camille is adorable and it was nice to see things from her perspective, too. Chandlerville seems like a nice place to hang out for a while!

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4 1/2

A new western romance from Jennifer Ryan

Montana Men Series Book 2
Jennifer Ryan
ISBN# 978-0-06-233493-0
April 2015
Contemporary Romance

Gillian Tucker has done everything she could to protect her little brother from their abusive father, including a climactic moment where she pulls the trigger on him. Now her grandfather has offered her a place to call home on a Montana ranch, complete with a loving and caring family. She's still apprehensive and untrusting, even with the handsome and genuinely nice guy Blake, who is a co-owner of the ranch.

Blake fell for Gillian as soon as he saw her, but he knows how tough she's had it. Gillian should be off limits and he tries hard to stay away. He feels protective towards her and Justin and tries to help them even as he fights his feelings. The closer they get, the more he falls in love with her, and when she learns of his feelings, all bets are off. Will a new threat of danger destroy any chance of happiness the two will find together?

The abusive relationship Gillian and Justin had with their father creates a tension between them and Blake. They are wary when it comes to men and rightly so. Slowly readers get to see how their fears are put to rest and even how resilient they are in escaping their past. The chemistry is somewhat forced so I found it not quite as good as the first book. Also, with what Gillian had to go through before, the new danger thrown in seems unnecessary. Still worth picking up.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 3

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

New from Ann Stuart!

The Fire Series
Anne Stuart
Montlake Publishing
ISBN# 9781477828472
June 2015
Romantic Suspense

Studying medieval clerical architecture in Italy, Evangeline Morrissey finds herself enamored with a handsome man she meets in the old church. After a whirlwind romance, they are married and she enjoys a few days of wedded bliss. Then she is abandoned and the thief took off with her grandmothers diamond earrings. Feeling a fool, she vows not to be so naive anymore.

James Bishop 's covert operations for The Committee was in the middle of a take down of a known human trafficker when the beautiful student unknowingly walks in on their job. Now his partner wants to take her out in order to leave no witnesses. James knows the only way to protect Evangeline is to make her his wife. He did everything by the book to make sure their marriage was valid and legal in order to keep her safe. He knows he must leave her behind or risk her life even further so he makes it look like he's a common thief. Five years later he must find her again because all bets are off and she's become a target once more.

After a failed marriage (not counting the fake one she had in Italy), Evangeline is not about to fall victim again. With her attack dog that she found on campus, she's ready for anything , except for HIM to walk back into her life, taking over, threatening her and forcing her to go to Louisiana with him in her camper. Evangeline doesn't trust the crook who said he was her husband, but as they spend more and more time together, she realizes that everything is not as it seems, least of all their undeniable attraction to each other.

James knows she doesn't believe him, but that's the least of his concerns. He's got to get to Louisiana and figure out how to protect her at the same time. As the danger increases, so do the heated battles with each other. She's become tough and independent over the years as he's kept an eye on her. However, the killer is closer than he realizes and just as he figures out how important she is to him, she might be taken out.

A wonderful suspense romance that is filled with angst, passion, anger and heat. Stuart is able to mix a dash of humor in with the action to keep this unlikely romance clicking right along. James and Evangeline are two of the most unlikeliest couples, but it works in the best way. I also loved how the dog plays a key role in this as a bodyguard and a valued pet. The bad guys are really bad, and even the good guys are bad. Don't miss this exciting read!

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4 1/2