I enjoyed All the Hidden Sins, the second in the Jake Carrington thriller series, as much as I did Ms. Lanouette's first in the series (All the Deadly Lies). As usual, her attention to detail and authenticity shines through a freshly plotted story, with well-drawn characters. Jake, I loved right from the beginning as a strong, steady, do-the-right-thing kind of guy caught between mending a broken relationship and his growing fondness for the self-destructive, addicted gambler, Kyra. Jake doesn't realize Kyra is working for kinky mob boss Phil to pay off her debts and keep her son safe until all clues point to Kyra. I chewed my fingernails during the cat and mouse game between Jake and Kyra and got goose bumps every time Kyra encountered the creepy mob boss. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a page turning read with a twist.
If you like detective stories, you’ll fall in love with the Jake Carrington series. In Book 1, All the Deadly Lies, Marian Lanouette injects realism into the everyday life of Detective Jake Carrington through her vast knowledge of how a police force functions. Jake comes with the baggage of having lost a sister in a horrific murder, and must now resolve a similar murder case while juggling several others. His relationship with his partner and a new girlfriend add touches of warmth to this fast-paced whodunit. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out who the killer was until the very end of the book. How soon will Book 2 be released?
Hope Unshackled is the continuing story of Olivia Benjamin, now widowed, who has moved into the dark world of protecting fugitive slaves from capture. As a northerner, I was appalled at Connecticut’s part in persecuting slaves and mentally cheered on Oliva and all those brave families who risked arrest and harm by harboring slaves in their homes via the Underground Railroad. For me, this story was an eye-opener filled with a mix of gripping suspense, hope, and shame for all those who felt persecuting runaways was the right thing to do. Whether or not you are a history buff, you will find this tale a page turner.
Faith Under Fire, a thought-provoking tale of love and forgiveness set in Connecticut in the 1800s, reached deep into my heart with its story of a young woman’s struggle to marry the man she loves. Olivia, the devoted daughter of the town’s minister, falls in love with the Ben, the man renovating their old servant’s quarters, while being courted by her father’s prodigy, William Tapley. As she struggles to make sense of her father’s insistence she marry her arrogant and prejudiced suitor, she is haunted by a loving spirit. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent who this spirit is and why she must make things right for Olivia. To say more would spoil the surprise revelation in this gripping novel by this well-loved author.
Don’t miss this heartwarming story. Reading LOOKING FOR LEO by Patti Cavaliere was like nestling in a cozy blanket. By dating one of every sign of the Zodiac, Jill learns what she wants in a life partner and is finally able to claim the dignity and decisiveness she needs to move on in her life. The astrological theme is a fascinating twist that made me want to learn more about the influences of the moon and the stars on our lives. She writes the role of Jill, a veterinarian, with sensitivity and feeling. I found her “patients” endearing--the bald dog, the blind cat. It’s obvious this author knows the medical aspects of a Vet clinic and loves animals. Don’t miss this heartwarming story. The author's picturesque writing flows in such a way that I hated it when it was time to put down the book.
Relax by the fire with BLESSINGS AND THE THIEF by Elaine Violette, a wonderfully crafted Regency Christmas story spiked with romance and a bit of mystery. The book instantly brings you into the moment when a sleigh load of good friends arrive in a snowstorm, excited about sharing the holiday in an inn said to be haunted by mischievous ghosts. When the host is taken ill, his nephew Damien, who can’t seem to move on with his life after his mother’s death, reluctantly fills in. But being host doesn’t seem such an unpleasant task when the lovely Tess, who has been dumped by her fiancé and has sworn off men, arrives with her aunt and uncle. Throughout tradition holiday festivities, conversations center about missing items. Who is the real thief? The ghosts? A party attendee? The developing romance between Damien and Tess warmed my heart, while the mystery piqued my curiosity. Don’t miss this fun read!
ONLY EMMA fulfills every woman’s fantasy of sailing off with a handsome yachtsman--except he has a child. A darling little girl called David—or is it Emma—who pulls at dockmaster/shopowner Lissey’s heartstrings and helps heal the hurt she’s experienced. But something’s not quite right. Emma’s father has secrets and Lissey won’t stop until she finds out what they are. At the beginning, the I felt Lissey came across as unduly snippy toward Jake, but once I understood her deep-seated reasons I accepted this facet of her personality and was pleased to see her mellow as the story progressed. All in all, RC Bonitz presents a charming romance filled with enough suspense and action to keep me turning pages, as I envisioned life on an island. Definitely, a great beach read!
I loved it! FINDING HOPE will twist your heartstrings into a tight knot while revving your adrenalin. In this beautifully crafted thriller, PJ Sharon delves into the psyche of a woman who survived anyone’s worst nightmare with the intuitiveness of a trained psychologist. Instantly, I was drawn into the story of Brinn at 19, a few years after her restoration to society after being taken from her home as a child. (Savage Cinderella). Now, barely hanging on to her new normal in a strange new world, Brinn risks destroying the delicate balance she has achieved by agreeing to assist the FBI in locating a missing child named Hope. Once the plot heated to boiling, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I can’t wait until Book 2 to read the continuing saga.
The Diary of Narcissa Dunn, a thought-provoking tale of love and forgiveness set in Connecticut in the 1800s, reached deep into my heart with its story of a young woman’s struggle to marry the man she loves. Olivia, the devoted daughter of the town’s minister, falls in love with the Ben, the man renovating their old servant’s quarters, while being courted by her father’s prodigy, William Tapley. As she struggles to make sense of her father’s insistence she marry her arrogant and prejudiced suitor, she is haunted by a loving spirit. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent who this spirit is and why she must make things right for Olivia. To say more would spoil the surprise revelation in this gripping novel by this well-loved author.
If you are looking for an entertaining and interesting vacation read, take along a copy of Merry Holly’s romance, More Than I Wished For, and follow Noelle and Chase’s journey to happily ever after. The pair meet, fall instantly in love, and marry before they really know much about each other’s lives and ambitions. That’s when the fireworks begin. Holly’s snappy dialogue and noble characters enrich a low key but page-turning plot-- a welcome relief from some of the thrillers I’ve been reading.