Monday, November 24, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Emma Blooms at Last

Emma Blooms at Last (One Big Happy Family - Book 2) by Naomi King

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: Amish Fiction
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0451417887
ISBN-13: 978-0451417886

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Naomi King on the WEB: website, blogfacebook, goodreads

Books in the series

One Big Happy Family

1. Amanda Weds a Good Man
2. Emma Blooms at Last

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Emma Blooms at Last, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:

Romance is in the air during the fall wedding season in the Amish community of Cedar Creek. But while one loving couple prepares to tie the knot, Amanda and Wyman Brubaker’s large family faces a threat from outside their happy circle...and must learn to pull together.

Recently wed Amanda and Wyman Brubaker are thrilled that their children from previous marriages have blended together to form a strong family. But when the construction of Wyman’s new grain elevator is delayed, making the project more expensive than anticipated, Amanda’s determination to rally the kids into taking on work to improve the family’s finances comes into conflict with Wyman’s sense of responsibility as head of the household....

Meanwhile, as James Graber and Abby Lambright prepare for their long-awaited nuptials, folks gather from far and wide. Amanda’s nephew Jerome has long been smitten with James’s sister Emma and wants to seize this chance to woo her. But Emma’s been burned once and is twice shy of trusting the fun-loving, never-serious Jerome. As Emma and Jerome struggle to understand each other, and find the courage to make a leap of faith, the Brubakers face a bigger challenge than they first anticipated and begin to discover just what it means to fight...the Amish way.


Thoughts:

Naomi King takes readers back to Cedar Creek in the second book in the One Big Happy Family series, Emma Blooms at Last. Readers who have followed the Cedar Creek and One Big Happy Family series will be thrilled with this latest addition. This book not only does it tell the story of Emma, but it continues Amanda's story from the first book and incorporates other characters from the Cedar Creek series. It's the kind of book that wraps everything up in a neat little package that will leave readers a little sad that it's ending but very satisfied with the outcome.

What I liked:

Naomi King knows how to write about the Amish people and their faith. Often Amish books are very predictable because they have to follow a certain kind of format due to the faith. There are no steamy scenes or many of the usual problems and conflicts found in regular contemporary fiction. It's a whole different world and King excels at bringing it to life. She takes a story that may be too simple to be much fun reading and gives it a spin that makes it hard to put down. Readers looking for a good clean romance will love her work as well. King proves that the simple life doesn't have to be boring.

Emma has always been a bit of a tough character in the series. After reading this book I now understand that most of the awkward air she gave off in the other books was mostly due to shyness. She is painfully shy and that means she is very hard to read by the other people around her. Especially, Jerome. He really likes her but she confuses him a lot of the time. I thought that Emma gained a lot of firmness and strength in this book. She took her desire to help people and did something about it in this book and that was nice to see. I also liked the whole idea that she was "always a bridesmaid, but never a bride." That was a nice touch that added to the enjoyment of her relationship with Jerome.

I liked Jerome a lot. He was confident in himself and his faith. Even though he had, had some rough patches, he was happy with the simple Amish life in this book. He was helpful and even romantic. I loved the way he went about making sure he could spend time with Emma and he was never deterred by her standoffish attitude. He was able to see beyond her shyness and understand it. He made a very good hero for this book. Since this was his third try at a good relationship it was a good thing the third time was the charm.

One of the things I liked about this book beyond Emma and Jerome's relationship was the fact that King tied up Amanda's story line. I loved the big happy family and how they have started to mesh and get to know each other better. This book basically continues their story and adds so much to the overall arc of the entire book. A blended Amish family wasn't something I was expecting with the first book, but I really enjoyed the concept and was happy to learn more about them in this one.

Bottom Line:

If you like Amish Fiction you really can't go wrong with a book from Naomi King. She has a knack for writing about the Amish that allows the reader to see beyond the rigors of their faith and the simplicity of their lifestyle, so that they can see them as individuals and families, as just normal people and I liked that very much here. Emma was a good heroine and Jerome held up as the hero. A good heartwarming novel.

Emma Blooms at Last is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


About the Author:


A longtime resident of Jamesport, MO, home of the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, Naomi King now lives in Minnesota with her husband and border collie. She is the author of other novels set in the Amish community of Cedar Creek, including Abby Finds Her Calling and Rosemary Opens Her Heart, as well as Book One of the One Big Happy Family series: Amanda Weds a Good Man.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Emma Blooms at Last by Naomi King.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 8th.

1. Please leave a comment. What are some other Amish Fiction writers that you enjoy reading?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Heart Fire

Heart Fire (Celta HeartMate - Book 13) by Robin D. Owens

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 0425263959
ISBN-13: 978-0425263952

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Robin D. Owens on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Celta HeartMate

  1. Heart Mate
  2. Heart Thief
  3. Heart Duel
  4. Heart Choice
  5. Heart Quest
  6. Heart Dance
  7. Heart Fate
  8. Heart Change
  9. Heart Journey
10. Heart Search
11. Heart Secret
12. Heart Fortune
13. Heart Fire

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Heart Fire, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

On the planet Celta, accepting a HeartMate can be the greatest challenge in the universe… 

Antenn, an architect hired to build a cathedral in Druida City, dares not think of his HeartMate. Even though he yearns for her, he’s taken steps to ensure she will be forever unknown to him. After all, how could he, a commoner who grew up in the slums, the brother of a murderer, be worthy of any woman?

Tiana, a priestess, has her own fears about being a HeartMate. She's watched her friends struggle with such a stormy destiny. She's sure her HeartMate has never claimed her due to a terrible scandal involving her Family, and she's set aside hopes for love.

Antenn's gotten the commission of his life. The cathedral will make him famous, but more, it will last for ages and prove to others he can contribute to Celta...if the controversial structure isn't destroyed while being built. Tiana, too, is an integral part of this process, but the villain who wrecked her Family is ready with firebombs. Can they trust each other in dangerous circumstances to succeed...and to love?


Thoughts:

Robin D. Owens continues her Celta HeartMate series with Heart Fire. This is the thirteenth book in the series based on the futuristic world of Celta, where colonists from Earth have settled seeking an end to egotism and bigotry. The world building is extensive and with so many books in the series a read might feel they need to start at the beginning but Owens does a great job of catching the reader up in order for Heart Fire to be enjoyed as a stand alone. A great new book, in this long standing series.

What I liked:

This is my first Celta book and as usual when it is a long lived series I wonder if I will be able to do the review justice without knowing a lot about the background of the series. In this case, I felt that Robin D. Owens was able to clue the reader in without too much background narration. Even though it is book thirteen I had no trouble getting into the book and understanding exactly what was going on. I did however want to know more about the this amazing world that Owens has created. Which means I want to go back and read the other twelve and you will too.

The socio-political system in this book was not hard to understand. Colonist's left Earth seeking a better world. A place where tolerance was encouraged and where superiority and elitism were not. What they got was an evolving society still based on the same old prejudices and narrow mindedness. The first families become the upper echelon and everyone else is inferior. The two main characters in Heart Fire, Antenn and Tiana have skeletons and scandals in their pasts that put them at the bottom of the totem pole. I loved reading about what happened in their pasts that put them in this standing and how they have overcome so much.

The concept of the heart mate was also an easy idea to grasp. Two people who are meant for each other and destined to be together are heart mates, however it is possible to choose not to take your heart mate and that is what Antenn intends to do because he feels unworthy because of his past. Tiana believes her heart mate hasn't chosen her because of her past. It becomes this a very clouded issue for both of them, but their attraction to each other is so strong they can't deny what is going on between them. I loved watching them and developing relationship they build.

Antenn has been given the job of building an amazing cathedral for Druida City and a lot of the action and mystery of the book surround that project which both he and Tiana are a part of. I thought Owens did a fantastic job of making the romance central to the story but also leaving room for this part of the book to give readers other points of interest. It was interesting to see all of the side stories coming together that made the final moments of the book so climatic. 

Bottom Line:

I enjoyed many of the secondary characters including RatKiller, and I found myself wondering about which of these characters have already had their story told and if there was room for more. I don't think Robin D. Owens is stopping anytime soon with this one or at least I hope she isn't. A great overall concept with the heart mates and the long standing arc involving the first families. Looking forward to backtracking and seeing what I've missed.

Heart Fire is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Robin D. Owens is the RITA Award-winning author of the Celta novels including, Heart Fortune, Heart SearchHeart JourneyHeart ChangeHeart Fate, and Heart Dance. She lives in Colorado.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Heart Fire by Robin D. Owens.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 5th.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever felt unworthy or someone or something?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Spice

Spice (Sugar and Spice - Book 1) by Seressia Glass

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Heat
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0425275094
ISBN-13: 978-0425275092

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Heat)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Seressia Glass on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Spice, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:

Temptation comes in many flavors…
 
Nadia Spiceland works in the business of temptation. The confections she crafts at the Sugar and Spice Bakery and Café lure in the locals. But one customer is interested in more than just her delectable sticky buns…
 
Kane Sullivan teaches human sexuality at the nearby college, where coeds are clamoring for seats in his lectures. Nadia is reluctant to his advances, yet she also has needs. Who better to fulfill them than the man who’s referred to as “Dr. Sex” by his female students?
 
Soon Kane creates a hunger in Nadia that nothing can satiate. It weakens her, and that’s something she cannot risk. Not again. But Kane’s masterful touch might just be powerful enough to melt her heart—and free her to trust again…


Thoughts:

Seressia Glass brings readers the first book in the new Sugar and Spice erotic romance series, Spice. To say this one is steamy is probably an understatement. Glass doesn't hold anything back in this sexy romp featuring a former addict making a success of her new business and a professor of human sexuality. Readers looking for a little kink, a lot of sexual tension and exploration will find this one tantalizing. 

What I liked:

One of the things that I appreciated about this book was the way in which the heroine's former drug addiction was portrayed. Glass was able to show readers how devastating this kind of thing is without it becoming the main focus of the story. Nadia's past was just that, her past. She was able to get clean and get her life back on track and that is huge for anyone who has ever suffered the affects of addiction. It was good to see this story focus on the here and now and the fact that Nadia bet the odds and got her life back.

Nadia was a powerful heroine in this book. She not only survived addiction but was able to move forward. She had strength, fortitude and tenacity. She was in a place in her life when the story begins that lets the reader know she is ready to start dating again to have a few of her sexual needs taken care of. In my book that's a nature progression of things. And it did feel like it was time for her to pursue that part of her life again. Finding Kane was not only perfect timing, but just the right kind of relationship she thought she was looking for. Glass gives readers a heroine to cheer for, they will find themselves not only wanting her business to succeed but her relationships as well.

I enjoyed Kane. He wasn't your typical professor, that's for sure. Human sexuality is the kind of field that got him a lot of wanted and unwanted attention. He just gives off the air of mystery and the reader will feel his sexuality oozing off the pages. He didn't want a complicated relationship and he and Nadia seemed to really work. He had some kinky moments but nothing really too far out of the box. I especially liked the way he treated Nadia. He seemed to not only want to meet her sexual fantasies, but to genuinely care about who she was and what she wanted out of life. A very good hero.

The sexual aspects of the book were a bit overdone for my tastes. The language and the sexual scenes are pretty hot and spicy and unfortunately they tend to take over the book a little bit. Glass doesn't give enough time to the development of the characters and their stories outside the bedroom for the reader to really connect with them. I liked Nadia and Kane, but wasn't sure they had quite enough depth to make the story come alive. 

Bottom Line:

There is a lot of potential here. The bare bones idea of the series was good. I liked the former addiction plot line for Nadia and Kane's interesting profession. They had good chemistry but the sexual aspects of the book were a bit too overwhelming. I didn't get the character development I needed. But I think Glass definitely has a good direction to go with this series. We'll see how it goes!

Spice is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Seressia Glass is an award-winning author in contemporary, historical and paranormal romance as well as urban fantasy. She has published nine novels and eleven novellas. Seressia won aRomantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for contemporary romance and was a finalist for a Maggie Award of Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers, Emma Awards for multicultural romance, and Romance in Color Reviewer’s Choice awards.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Spice by Seressia Glass.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 4th.

1. Please leave a comment. What's your favorite confection or guilty pleasure sweet?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review and Giveaway: Lethal Letters

Lethal Letters (Books By the Bay Mystery - Book 6) by Ellery Adams

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425270831
ISBN-13: 978-0425270837

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Ellery Adams on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Books By the Bay Mysteries

1. A Killer Plot
2. A Deadly Cliche
3. The Last Word
4. Written in Stone
5. Poisoned Prose
6. Lethal Letters

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Lethal Letters, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is busy planning a delicious menu for Oyster Bay’s biggest soiree of the spring. But she’ll need to serve some justice as well after one resident gets eighty-sixed…
 
Everyone’s got their hands full in Oyster Bay, North Carolina. Aside from two upcoming weddings, there’s also the historical society’s annual fund-raiser: the Secret Garden Party and Candlelit Ball. Adding to the excitement, Olivia witnesses the discovery of a time capsule in the foundation of a local church. The historical society president hopes to display its contents at their party, but when the items are finally revealed to the public, Olivia notices one of them has vanished.
 
After a frightening find beneath the pier—the body of Ruthie Holcomb—Olivia is certain there’s a connection between the young woman’s death and the missing piece from the time capsule. With the help of her fellow Bayside Book Writers, Olivia sets out to uncover some clues and ensure a killer has no reason to celebrate…


Thoughts:

Ellery Adams fans will be thrilled with the latest Books by the Bay novel, Lethal Letters. The fun and murder center around a 100 year old time capsule found in the walls of a church. This book is a great blend of history and mystery and Adams does a fantastic job with both attention to detail and character development. Readers looking for a story that bring with it a bit of nostalgia and a good whodunit will love this one.

What I liked:

This is one of those series' that has kind of been hit or miss for me. Olivia is a very good heroine but she has been a bit hard to get to know. I feel like Adams has done a great job of showing her changes and growth and has softened her somewhat from the onset of the series. In Lethal Letters she is preparing for her upcoming nuptials with Rawlings, as well as, helping Michel with his wedding. She has become a lot easier to relate to and has really come full circle in many ways. I like her much better now and we get to see a lot of her personal life in this one, which was nice.

As always, Oyster Bay is such a wonderful setting. The coast of North Carolina has always fascinated me. There are so many small coastal towns that have a certain air about them, an atmosphere that is unmistakable and Adams is great about bringing that through in her writing. The people that live in this area are a different breed and the things they get involved in and the things that happen around them are not always predictable. I love that about this series. 

The time capsule was a great part of this book. I thought that was an ingenious idea for the theme of the book. I have always thought it would be a lot of fun to be involved in something like this. A way to leave a piece of the past behind for the next generation. Using the time capsule as a the catalyst for murder worked well in this book. The capsule contained a lot more than just memories from the past apparently and it ends up getting someone killed. Secrets, secrets and more secrets. The mystery was so much fun to unravel in this one. 

Bottom Line:

There is a lot more than just a mystery to solve in this one, as everyday life in Oyster Bay is quite busy. With two weddings in the offing and the Historical Society fundraiser. It all added together to give this book a great blend of the past and the present and Adams did a fantastic job of bringing it all to life. Loved the time capsule idea and thought it really gave this book a nice theme.

Lethal Letter is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. She is the author of the Books by the Bay Mysteries, the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries, and the Book Retreat Mysteries. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs, including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full time from her home in Virginia.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Lethal Letters by Ellery Adams.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 4th.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever participated in a time capsule? Sooo fun!

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Holiday on Ice

Holiday on Ice (Play-by-Play - Book 8.5) by Jaci Burton

Publication Date: 11/18/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
File Size: 1118 KB
ASIN: BOOISEOKLA

(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo

Jaci Burton on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Play-by-Play

   1. The Perfect Play
   2. Changing the Game
   3. Taking a Shot
   4. Playing to Win
   5. Thrown by a Curve
   6. One Sweet Ride
6.5. Holiday Games
   7. Melting the Ice
   8. Straddling the Line
8.5 Holiday on Ice

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




WARNING: This book may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

Synopsis:

Superstar hockey player Patrick “Trick” Niemeyer and dancer Stella Slovinski have picked up where they left off a year ago, resuming their hot, uncomplicated affair. Stella refuses to call it dating, or a relationship. But lately, Trick is looking for more…

Stella’s been burned before—in a relationship she never talks about—not with her family, not with her friends, and definitely not with Trick. But now it’s the holiday season and Trick is determined to give Stella his heart wrapped up in a bow. He knows Stella is the right woman for him, but he’ll have to melt the ice surrounding her heart to keep her from walking away.


Thoughts:

The Play-by-Play series by Jaci Burton continues with a short novella just in time for Christmas. Holiday on Ice is packed full of sweet romance, scorching chemistry and the spirit of the season. Burton always impresses whether it's with a quick holiday read or a full length novel. Fans of the series will love this one and want to see what happens with some new characters introduced in this one, as well as, checking in with some old favorites. If you love Hockey and steamy romance, you can't go wrong with this one!

What I liked:

Jaci Burton is one my favorite erotic romance writers. She just has a knack for knowing when to make the moment hot and steamy and when to make it romantic and sweet. Her Play-by-Play series is one of my favorites for just that reason. Her stories never seem forced or paced to quickly. Even with this shorter novella format, she still makes the flow of the story seem so natural and organic. I love the holidays and Holiday on Ice really hit the spot for me and started getting me in the Christmas mood. Seasonal books are some of my favorites and readers are sure to love this one.

I'll be the first to say that I don't usually go for sports related romances, but the Play-by-Play series is an exception to the rule. Holiday on Ice centers around Patrick "Trick" Neimeyer, a hockey player and Stella Solvinski, a dancer who has just landed a Broadway lead. They already share a past and have hooked up on several occasions before and that helps with the pacing of this story. Because they already have a foundation it did not cause the novella to take on that insta-love feeling. It made it seem natural that it was time to take their relationship to the next level. It was surprising that it was Trick's idea and not Stella's. I enjoyed the role reversal aspect of the book as well.

These two really steam up the pages when it comes to the bedroom but the best parts of the story for me were the tender moments, like decorating the Christmas tree and skating in Central Park. The chemistry between them was amazing in and out of the bedroom. With such a short format to work with Jaci Burton did a fantastic job of showing the love that was developing between these characters. They have work issues and some past hurts to work through but it's obvious to the reader from the time the reconnect that this one was meant to be.

Bottom Line:

If you are fan of the series, you can't miss this novella, it's simply wonderful. Burton once again reminds me of why I enjoy a good romance. Just enough passion and tenderness to make me warm and fuzzy. And enough Christmas spirit to make me want to sing Christmas songs and drink cocoa. I loved this one and can't wait for the next full length novel in the series!

Holiday on Ice is available NOW from your favorite ebook retailer.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!





About the Author:


Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 60 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn't on deadline, she can usually be found trying to convince her husband to remodel some room or another in their house (she blames HGTV for this). She loves gardening, sports, casinos and getting lost in a great book. She's a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you'll find in all her books.

Review and Giveaway: The Chocolate Clown Corpse

The Chocolate Clown Corpse (Chocoholic Mystery - Book 14) by JoAnna Carl

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 204
ISBN-10: 0451240677
ISBN-13: 978-0451240675

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

JoAnna Carl on the WEB: website, goodreads

Books in the series

Chocoholic Mysteries

  1. The Chocolate Cat Caper
  2. The Chocolate Bear Burglary
  3. The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up
  4. The Chocolate Puppy Puzzle
  5. The Chocolate Mouse Trap
  6. The Chocolate Bridal Bash
  7. The Chocolate Jewel Case
  8. The Chocolate Snowman Murders
  9. The Chocolate Cupid Killings
10. The Chocolate Pirate Plot
11. The Chocolate Castle Clue
12. The Chocolate Moose Motive
13. The Chocolate Book Bandit
14. The Chocolate Clown Corpse

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.



Excerpt from, The Chocolate Clown Corpse, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet for a killer on the loose—and it all started with the murder of Warner Pier’s most hated clown.... 

Everyone who knew the bozo wanted him dead. Odd, then, that a complete stranger was accused of bursting Moe Davidson’s balloons. But it’s been a month since the miserable shop owner of Clowning Around was killed, and everybody’s moving on, including Lee Woodyard. Her chocolate shop, TenHuis Chocolade, is next door to Moe’s shuttered tourist trap, and it’s giving her delicious ideas to expand. But over whose dead body?

Moe’s widow, Emma, and her two stepchildren list the property for sale, but when Lee tours the building, she finds Emma unconscious. Now Lee wonders whether Moe’s real killer is still at large and is taking care of unfinished business. Unfortunately, since the town is celebrating Clown Week, there are so many potential suspects in grease paint and floppy shoes it’s not even funny.

For Lee, protecting Emma, freeing an innocent man, and rolling out hundreds of her clown-themed chocolates is a pretty tall order. But so is staying alive long enough to find out which one of her neighbors is a killer in disguise.


Thoughts:

It's Clown Week in Warner Pier, in JoAnna Carl's latest Chocoholic mystery, The Chocolate Clown Corpse. Readers who are a-feared of clowns may find this one challenging but if they are fans of quirky cozies, this one will hit the spot. Carl's easy humor and eccentric characters are always highlights in this long lived series. Big red shoes and noses, clown costumes of all kinds and a murder or two make for a great whodunit!

What I liked:

The best part about the Chocoholic mysteries is by far the humor. JoAnna Carl must be one of those writers that sees the humor in everything, even murder. She gives her characters all sorts of ways and reasons to use humor and it doesn't come across as overdone or tedious. From Lee's strange affliction of thinking one word and saying another, to the clown theme, this one is is chalk full of funny moments that will have the reading laughing out loud. 

TenHuis Chocolate is gearing up for Clown Week in this book and the clown's abound. They are simply everywhere. I liked the idea and thought it was an eccentric theme for the book that worked. Warner Pier isn't your typical small town setting and I can totally see it's inhabitants getting into something like clown week. The characters are quirky and a little off center and that's one of the things I have always liked about the series. Not everyone is cut and dried, the characters are very layered and somewhat eclectic, makes for some off the wall themes that most writers could not pull off. Carl does it with style.

Lee finds herself with the possibility of expanding her chocolate shop, when the clown next door ends up dead. Literally, he was the local clown for all the kids parties and such. His family wants to move on and a suspect has been arrested. But Lee finds herself wondering if they've got the right man. It appears that not too many liked this particular clown, who seemed right in the middle of every political debate in town. There are plenty of suspects, most of them clown related for Lee to choose from. The mystery aspects of the story were fun to puzzle out and all of the clowns just added to the chaos. 

Bottom Line:

This is a very light hearted whodunit, with lots of great characters, an eccentric theme and more clowns than you can count. But you can always count on JoAnna Carl for a book that is entertaining, full of humor and down right scrumptious when it comes to chocolate. There was lots of chocolate trivia which is always fun, but how bout a chocolate recipe or two? Just a thought!

The Chocolate Clown Corpse is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


JoAnna Carl is the pseudonym for a multipublished author.  She spent more than twenty-five years in the newspaper business as a reporter, feature writer, editor, and columnist. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and also studied in the OU Professional Writing Program, and is the author of the Chocoholic Mystery series which includes The Chocloate Book Bandit.. She lives in Oklahoma but summers in Michigan, where the Chocoholic Mystery series is set.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Chocolate Clown Corpse by JoAnna Carl.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Make You Remember

Make You Remember (Dumont Bachelors - Book 2) by Macy Beckett

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 0451465342
ISBN-13: 978-0451465344

(Received for an honest review from Signet Eclipse)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Macy Beckett on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Dumont Bachelors

1. Make You Mine
2. Make You Remember

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Make You Remember, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

He’s about to make his own luck.

Ten years ago, Beau Dumont made the biggest mistake of his life by letting his high school sweetheart, Devyn Mauvais, slip through his fingers. Now the reformed bad boy will stop at nothing to get her back. Even if it means tricking her into taking a job on his family’s riverboat, the Belle of the Bayou.

When Devyn’s old flame offers her a stint at the boat’s day-care center, she sees it as a chance to prove she isn’t just the descendant of Louisiana’s most infamous voodoo queen. Besides, it beats leading ghost tours around New Orleans. Yet when it comes to Beau, Devyn’s all business. She won’t give the sweet-talking playboy another chance to break her heart.

But there’s no escaping temptation in such close quarters, and Beau won’t be satisfied with a few hot nights with the girl he’s always loved. As he strives to make Devyn remember the good times, will his passion and heart be enough to regain her trust? 


Thoughts:

Macy Beckett returns with the second book in the Dumont Bachelors series. This book has great Southern charm, a delightful riverboat setting and serious sexual tension. Everything a good romance should have. Beckett easily immerses the reader in Beau and Devyn's second chance love story. Despite a one hundred year old curse, these two were made for each other. Readers who are looking for a romance with passion, heart and a little voodoo thrown in for good measure will find this one irresistible. 

What I liked:

There were several things that I really enjoyed about this book. Being set on the bayou was definitely one of them. Devyn is a descendant of a voodoo queen and she uses that tie to make a living, but it isn't exactly how she wants to spend her life. I liked the whole Louisiana vibe that Beckett gives readers with this series. It is sexy, yet mysterious. The voodoo elements are not overwhelming but they certain add a certain character to the book. Beckett does a great job with descriptions from the riverboat cruise to just about everything else. Lots of Rich detail and imagery.

Devyn was an interesting heroine. She was tough and hard as nails in some ways, but she still had a vulnerability about her that was enchanting. She is guarding her heart very closely especially where Beau is concerned. He hurt her once before badly and she really hasn't gotten over it. But he is a older, more mature man now. Getting over the trust issues between them was a big obstacle. I liked the fact that Beau sort of blackmails Devyn into working with him and that through that job she learns that she has a gift for teaching and a love for it. I enjoyed watching her walls come down in this one.

Beau could have come across as a jerk, since he broke Devyn's heart in the past, but he really doesn't. Readers will probably see him like I did. He was young and made a bad decision. Now he's older, he's made something of himself and he being a responsible adult. I loved the fact that he was the one who wanted the relationship between him and Devyn to be more than just sex. It was a role reversal of sorts, because it's usually the female lead who wants to take things further and the male lead that is hesitant. I loved Beau's commitment to Devyn and finding love with her. He was a very good hero.

The Dumont family has been cursed. None of the Dumont men have any luck with women, except Marc who in the first book in the series ends up with Devyn's sister. The curse placed on the family over a hundred years can be broken and I loved watching how Beau and Devyn were able to overcome not only their issues with each other, but the curse as well. I liked the secondary characters who played such a great part in the book. Most were Dumont family members and I'm finding I like this family more with every new book in the series.

Bottom Line:

This is a good second chance romance that plays out in true bayou style. I loved the riverboat setting and the play on voodoo that is so central to the story. Devyn and Beau had genuine chemistry and steamed up the pages nicely. Beckett uses strong characters and beautiful imagery to make this book come alive.

Make You Remember is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 4 apples from my book bag!



About the Author:


Macy Beckett has lived in two countries and eleven different states, but she abandoned her nomadic lifestyle and now resides in Loveland, “The Sweetheart of Ohio,” with her husband and three spirited children. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University and resigned after nine years of teaching to write novels full-time. She is the author of the fun and sexy Dumont Bachelors series, including Make You Mine and Make You Blush.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Make You Remember by Macy Beckett.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever been on a riverboat? What did you think?

2. Please fill out the FORM.