Monday, March 30, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Suspendered Sentence

Suspendered Sentence (Amish Mystery - Book 4) by Laura Bradford

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-100425273024
ISBN-13978-0425273029

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Laura Bradford on the WEB: websitefacebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Amish Mystery

1. Hearse and Buggy
2. Assaulted Pretzel
3. Shunned and Dangerous
4. Suspendered Sentence

Coverart:




Excerpt from Suspendered Sentence, courtesy of the author's website

Synopsis:

The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder…

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect…


Thoughts:

Laura Bradford returns to Heavenly, Pennsylvania in her latest Amish mystery, Suspendered Sentence. Readers who love Amish fiction won't be able to put this one down, as the skeleton of a young Amish bride is found after a fire. This story has a lot of heart and the emotions of the characters are strong and can be felt by anyone who reads it. Bradford does an excellent job with both characterization and the mystery elements of the story, but where she really shines, is in the treatment of the Amish culture and lifestyle. A great addition to the series!

There are so many things that I like about this series. As always I feel like Bradford has an empathy with for Amish people. She somehow has an understanding of who they are why they do the things they do. Mysteries are founded on motivations and the whys and wherefores of a crime and I think it essential with an Amish tale that the author can kind of get into the mind of those involved. Bradford is able to do this easily and the emotions and actions of her characters seem realistic an authentic. 

One of the things I love about the Amish community is just that, their sense of community. They protect each other, help each other and share in the joys and sorrows of all their members from young to the old. The barn raising depicted in Suspendered Sentence is something I remember from childhood and it is crucial to the story, since that is where the remains of the young Amish woman are found. That is one of those events that draws in the community, Amish or otherwise. It is a show of solidarity and unity and I think that is huge in this culture.

The mystery was poignant and very engaging. The Amish bride who died was thought to have just run away and that made it all the more mysterious. I thought Bradford did a great job of tying in the girl's diary and tying her to several of the people in heroine, Claire's life. It gave Claire the motivation to investigate. Jakob's involvement, as always, was amazing. I really like him as a character and Bradford shows even more depth to his character in each book. The clues were not easy to follow and involved more than one death, but eventually the reader will thoroughly surprised by the outcome. Claire's life is never a breeze, but she still finds time for her family and friends and is a wonderful cozy heroine. 

Bottom Line:

Laura Bradford has a knack for writing about the Amish lifestyle and culture. She is able to get to the heart of the Amish community and bring out some of the qualities and features readers may not know about them. I loved the barn raising theme and the addition of the girl's diary was a great way to get inside the head of the victim. This was my favorite of the series so far and I think readers will get a lot more out of this than just a mystery.

Suspendered Sentence is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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




About the Author:


While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is a national bestselling mystery and award-winning romance author. Her national bestselling Amish Mystery series includes Hearse and Buggy, Assaulted Pretzel, and Shunned and Dangerous. She lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, with her husband and their blended brood.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 13th.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever been to a barn raising or something similar?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review and Giveaway: Ladle to the Grave

Ladle to the Grave (Soup Lover's Mystery - Book 4) by Connie Archer

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-100425273113
ISBN-13978-0425273111

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Connie Archer on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Soup Lover's Mystery

1. A Spoonful of Murder
2. A Broth of Betrayal
3. A Roux of Revenge
4. Ladle to the Grave

Coverart:




Excerpt from Ladle to the Grave, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones… 

It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

Lucky’s sure her grandfather could not have made such a tragic mistake. But before she can clear him of suspicion, her best friend, Sophie, is diverted from planning her wedding to By the Spoonful chef Sage DuBois when she finds a dead man floating in the creek on her property. Now it’s up to Lucky to get both Sophie and Jack out of hot water before a killer stirs up more trouble…


Thoughts:

Connie Archer brings readers the fourth book in her Soup Lover's mystery series, Ladle to the Grave. In this book readers get two for the price of one, since there is more than one murder for soup restaurant owner, Lucky to solve. Readers looking for a charming small town mystery with reoccurring characters and plenty of mayhem will love this one. Archer has an eye for detail and her characters both villains and heroes are well drawn and easy to relate to. A great addition to this very popular series!

Snowflake, Vermont is the kind of New England small town I've always dreamed of living in, minus the murders that do seem to occur on occasion. Archer brings Snowflake to life with her vivid imagery and details. Readers know everything about this little town, from the details in the lives of it's citizens to the descriptions of the shops and places that make the town seem so real. Archer shows us how important the right setting can be for a mystery series.

Lucky is as always very protective of her family and her friends. In Ladle to the Grave she has to deal with suspicion being thrown on not only her grandfather, but her best friend Sophie as well. Two murder's instead of the customary one in cozy mysteries, makes the reader feel like they really get their money's worth with this one. Not only is the mystery well thought out and executed, the reader is able to discover the clues right along with Lucky. It didn't wrap up to quickly and it wasn't too apparent who the villain or villains could be. A complex but very entertaining mystery.

One of the parts that I like best in this series are the reoccurring characters. We get to learn new details in every book about Lucky and her family, her doctor boyfriend and other members of the community. In this one we get to see the planning of Sophie's wedding to the chef at Lucky's restaurant. It was fun to check in with everyone and find out what was new. Archer always makes it a good visit with old friends as well as a top notch mystery.

Bottom Line:

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. Archer's eye of detail makes the setting come alive and the people of Snowflake seem like old friends. You two mysteries wrapped up in one in this one and there's plenty going on in town to give the readers even more to like about it. A great addition to the series!

Ladle to the Grave is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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




About the Author:


Connie Archer is the author of the Soup Lover's Mystery series set in Snowflake, Vermont. Spoonful of Murder, the first in this series, is now a national bestseller. Connie was born and raised in New England and now lives on the other coast.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 13th.

1. Please leave a comment. What's the strangest cupcake flavor you have ever heard of?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review and Givaway: A Horse of a Different Killer

Horse of a Different Killer (Call of the Wilde - Book 30 by Laura Morrigan

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-100425257215
ISBN-13978-0425257210

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Laura Morrigan on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Call of the Wilde

1. Woof at the Door
2. A Tiger's Tale
3. Horse of a Different Killer

Coverart:




Excerpt from Horse of a Different Color, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

Animal behaviorist Grace Wilde’s psychic ability gives her insight into the minds of all kinds of creatures. If only humans were as easy to read…

Dead men may tell no tales, but they can screw up your life with a few phone calls. Grace’s abusive ex-brother-in-law, Anthony Ortega, needs her help—at least that’s what he said on the messages he left before his sudden death. Grace is inclined to let the matter rest in peace, but when her sister is named a suspect, Grace decides to get to the bottom of the cryptic calls.

Her only lead is Ortega’s fiancée, who believes that he had arranged to surprise her with the purchase of a Frisian gelding named Heart. The horse was being stabled at the R-n-R Ranch—but was taken in the middle of the night. Now, with her sister in trouble and a missing horse on her hands, Grace hopes the information harnessed from her psychic skills will be enough to rein in the killer…


Thoughts:

Ever wonder what your dog or cat is thinking? Laura Morrigan's heroine, Grace doesn't need to, she's an animal psychic who can communicate with her clients. Horse of a Different Killer, the latest book in the Call of the Wilde series, and readers will not only love the animal/human interactions, as well as, the mystery surrounding the death of Grace's ex-brother-in-law. If you love animals and mysteries this series has got it going on. A good addition to the series!

I always love seeing a new book in this series come out. Laura Morrigan gives the series a hint of the paranormal as the heroine can telepathically talk to animals, but she doesn't go overboard with it. If you think about it, this was a really risky idea for the author. There was the chance that Grace's abilities could come off as cheesy or unbelievable, but Morrigan is really able to ride that fine line between a good theme and a bad joke. Grace's interactions with the animals put into her path are not always informative, but they do seem necessary to the story and not what I would call filler. It wasn't just a scheme to add something new to a cozy series, it was well thought out and planned. Well done!

This time Grace's sister is fingered for the crime of killing her ex. What better reason can a sleuth have to investigate than proving a loved one's innocence. Grace and her sister are light night and day. So very different from each other, that they compliment each other. There interactions are fun to read and endearing. If I lived with my sister I would probably pull my hair out.. but these two make it work and Grace has to find the real killer to get her sister out of hot water here and it all worked well. I thought Morrigan not only gave readers a good mystery but a great story of family love as well.

Bottom Line:

The mystery in this one was strong. Morrigan had me in the dark for much of the book. I didn't figure it out as quickly as I would have liked, but that made it all the more satisfying when I did. I love Grace and her unique way of investigating. If anyone really knows what happened it's probably the furry friends who nobody thinks about. The missing horse from which the name is taken was a big part of the story, but the fainting goat... stole the show! A good addition to a unique and different series.

Horse of a different killer is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

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



About the Author:


Laura Morrigan is a Florida Native whose work at a local zoo, helping out with everything from “waste management” to teaching an elephant how to paint, served as inspiration for her Call of the Wilde Mysteries. She still lives in Florida and is working on the third book in the seires.



Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 10th.

1. Please leave a comment. If you could talk to any type of animal what would you talk to and what would you talk about?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review: My Highland Lover

My Highland Lover (Highland Hearts - Book 1) by Maeve Greyson

Publication Date: 03/24/2015
Publisher:Random House
Imprint: Loveswept
Genre: Historical Romance/Time Travel
Pages: 291 (print)
File Size: 1151 KB
ASINB00N6PD7E2

(Received for an honest review from Loveswept)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, Kobo

Maeve Greyson on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Synopsis:

Maeve Greyson unleashes a thrilling tale of magic and desire as a feisty Southern gal falls into the arms of a rough-hewn Highland chieftain.
 
As the proprietor of a homeopathic store in rural Kentucky, Trulie Sinclair knows that her neighbors think she’s strange—but they have no idea how strange she really is. Trulie was born in Scotland in the thirteenth century to a line of time-traveling Highlanders. When Trulie’s grandmother convinces her to return to their homeland, Trulie jumps back in time, right onto the powerful chest of Gray MacKenna. Just as his steely good looks send ripples through her body, their fierce attraction will send ripples through the ages.

After his parents are murdered, Gray is consumed by thoughts of revenge. As the new chieftain of the MacKenna clan, he has reason to believe that there’s a traitor in his midst, and nothing—not even the bonny lass who suddenly drops from the sky—can distract him from his single-minded pursuit of the culprit. But when Gray learns that this sassy beauty possesses gifts beyond the sparkle in her eye, he allows his gaze, and his heart, to linger. While he hunts for the murderer, Gray finds in Trulie a precious companion—and a timeless love.


Thoughts:

Maeve Greyson brings readers the first book in her new Highland Heart's historical time travel romance series, My Highland Lover. Reader's who love historical romances, but also love the paranormal will fall in love with this kind of romance. There is a little bit of time travel, a little bit of magic and even a little bit of murder. Greyson's sense of imagery and descriptive prose is wonderful. Reader's will feel as though they have been transported right along with the heroine, Trulie into 13th century Scotland. A great start to a new series!

I love Scotland, sooo much! I love the place, I love the legends. I love movies about it. But, I especially love books about it. When an author gets it right when it comes to Scotland, I feel very satisfied for them. The Highland spirit is sometimes very hard to capture on paper and I think Maeve Greyson did a wonderful job with that. From the Scottish brogue to the authentic setting and customs, Greyson proves that she did her homework. And reading it made me like Scotland even more.

Trulie isn't really a true Kentucky girl, but I did love the fact that Greyson's modern day setting was in my home state. As a heroine Trulie didn't strike a perfect cord with me, she seemed a bit reluctant to return to the 13th century but she eventually grew on me. I thought Greyson's time travel elements were unique and well drawn, not your average time machine for sure. Trulie was a good match for her Highland hero when she finally got used to the idea.

Gray was pretty amazing. I loved the way he talked, the way he acted and just about everything about him. The mystery surrounding the death of his parents added a different layer to the story and I think Greyson did gave readers more than just a romance here. Gray was a very sexy hero and the intimate moments he and Trulie share together were sultry and passionate. He was a good leader to his people and he proved he could go with the flow when a girl drops out of the sky and practically into his lap.

Bottom Line:

This was a very well written Highland romance, with the added mystery surrounding Gray's parents and the time travel elements. There was something here for a lot of different kinds of readers. Mystery, romance, paranormal elements, Greyson gives us all of them and more, even a little bit of humor coming from the matchmaking efforts of Granny and her friends. This was a great start to a new series!

My Highland Lover is available NOW from your favorite digital bookseller.

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




About the Author:


No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them. That’s Maeve Greyson’s mantra. When she’s not working at the steel mill, Greyson’s writing romances about sexy Highlanders and the women who tame them. Tucked away in a five-acre wood, Maeve listens to the wind singing through the trees and hears her characters telling their stories. Her work is proofed by her sharp-eyed dog, Jasper, and her greatest supporter is her long-suffering husband of more than thirty-five years who’s learned not to throw away any odd sticky notes filled with strange phrases.

Review: Trust the Focus

Trust the Focus (In Focus - Book 1) by Megan Erickson

Publication Date: 03/17/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: New Adult (m/m)
Pages: 219
File Size: 733 KB
ASINB00LMGLZPU

(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, Kobo

Megan Erickson on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Synopsis:

From the author of Make it Count comes the first novel in the In Focus series…

With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.


Thoughts:

Megan Erickson brings readers the first book in a new series, Trust the Focus. This is a new adult novel with a m/m lead couple. Erickson gives readers a lot to focus on in this one, from the grief of losing a parent to the confusion of not being able to meet the expectations of people around you. This is a book about discovery, exploration and figuring out who you really want to be. It also dealt with sexual orientation and figuring out what you are passionate about in life. Erickson hits it out of the park with this sultry coming of age story!

I wasn't too sure what to expect with this one. I will have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about reading a book with a m/m lead couple. I have read books where m/m relationships are secondary but not the main focus of the story and I was worried it would not be my cup of tea. I do believe that love is something we can't take for granted in life no matter we may find it. Erickson surprised me with her realistic and poignant portrayal of a young man on the brink of taking his next step in life. She made me believe in Justin's exploration of his life and his sexuality. This part of the book was very well written and very entertaining. 

Justin was such a wonderful main character. It was easy to feel not only his grief over losing his beloved father but his passion for photography. It was not just a past time for him and loved the way he honored his father's memory by scattering his ashes in the places he loved to photograph. I thought Erickson excelled with her character development. Justin came across as a young man, with a good head on his shoulders, but one who was expected to live a life he didn't believe in. Erickson really worked hard to show the way that Justin was feeling and the reader will be able to feel it as well.

Landry was a gem as well. He was one of those friends who is happy to be right there with you no matter what the circumstances are. He obviously loved Justin and his father. I liked the fact that he let Justin make his own decisions. Nothing felt forced or unnecessary. He just let him figure it out on his own and waited in the wings. I thought they made a great couple and the love scenes were scorching. Landry was a real lover and he understood that he needed to put Justin first. It was a beautiful romance. Very well done. 

Bottom Line:

Justin's problem with his mom was a hard thing. Anyone wants to make their parents proud. But Justin just did not want what she wanted for him. It was nice to see him find his courage to live the life he wanted to live. I loved his connection to his father and how much he meant to him and I loved the photography aspect of the story. But most of all the romance between Justin and Landry was sexy and heart warming. There will be tears with this one. Be prepared.

Trust the Focus is available NOW from your favorite digital bookseller.

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




About the Author:


Megan Erickson worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review and Giveaway: How to Catch a Cat

How to Catch a Cat (Cats and Curios - Book 6) by Rebecca M. Hale

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 352
ISBN-10
ISBN-13:

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Rebecca M. Hale on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Cats and Curios

1. How to Wash a Cat
2. Nine Lives Last Forever
3. How to Moon a Cat
4. How to Tail a Cat
5. How to Paint a Cat
6. How to Catch a Cat

Coverart:




Excerpt from How to Catch a Cat, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of How to Paint a Cat, there are choppy waters ahead...

A serial killer with a peculiar penchant for City Hall interns is on the loose in San Francisco, and it’s up to me—and my two cats, Rupert and Isabella—to put a stop to the spree. Unfortunately, worrying about my uncle Oscar’s failing health and assisting with the interim mayor’s America’s Cup regatta doesn’t leave me with much opportunity to chase down clues.

Could the key to apprehending the killer be found in San Francisco’s sailing history? The first European vessel to pass through the Golden Gate contained a familiar cast of human—and feline—passengers as well as an elusive killer who used a similar murder weapon. Will the past catch up to the present in time to crack the case?


Thoughts:

Rebecca M. Hale returns to her Cats and Curios series with her latest book, How to Catch a Cat. Rupert and Isabella are back with another adventure, this time centering around the sailing history of San Francisco. Hale's unique way of writing might be a little confusing for some, but she always creates a tale that is complex and satisfying and this one is no exception. The unnamed main character is trying to find a killer in her own time and one in the past, which takes the reader on a journey through time as well as through a good mystery. Readers who love this series will find this one irresistible. 

This series is a mystery within itself. The idea that the main character is never named in the series, took a little bit of getting used to. At first I found that hard to digest, but the idea has grown on me. It is a really unique concept and Hale certainly makes it work for her in this series. Readers are fascinated as much by Rupert and Isabella's "person" as they are by whatever is going on in the story. I wonder every time I read one of the books in this series, if we'll ever really find out her name. 

I loved the sailing history theme of this addition to the series. Hale always does her homework and ensures that no two books she has written are anything alike. Her themes are distinctive and often take the reader into areas they never considered before. San Francisco is obviously a sailing town. I have to wonder how much of the historical stuff that Hale gives us in this book is based on real fact. It makes me want to go beyond the book and do a little research of my own. That's a hallmark of a good author. 

Essentially, the lead character, along with her uncle and her two cats are trying to pinpoint not one but two killers, separated by time. The present day killer's nickname is the Knitting Needle Ninja due to her choice of weapon. It was a little hard to distinguish whether you were in the past or the present at times and it was one of those books you had to really think about and concentrate on. But I think that was part of the beauty of it. I didn't want a mystery I could solve easily. I wanted to work for it and Hale delivered on that aspect.

Bottom Line:

Rupert and Isabella once again steal the show. We still don't know the main characters name and Uncle Oscar is still alive unbeknownst to most of the characters in the book. This was a somewhat complicated tale that took a lot of twists and turns. I loved the sailing history. I liked the fact that you had a mystery within a mystery to solve and the way the story skipped from the past to the present. A very unique and satisfying addition to this popular series.

How to Catch a Cat is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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




About the Author:


NY Times bestselling author REBECCA M. HALE worked for almost ten years as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking time off to write her first novel, HOW TO WASH A CAT. She is now the author of nine Penguin titles and a growing list of ebooks released under her own imprint Green Vase Publishing. She writes fiction, typically in the form of quirky mysteries that reflect her travel experiences and the people she meets on her journeys.

Rebecca lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates, that is, when she's not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.




Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of How to Catch a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 9th.

1. Please leave a comment. Have you ever done any sailing? Tell us about it.

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review: Hot and Bothered

Hot and Bothered (Rough and Tumble - Book 3) by Crystal Green

Publication Date: 03/17/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: InterMix
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 260 (print)
File Size: 983 KB
ASINB00F9F0U2O

(Received for an honest review from InterMix)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, Kobo

Crystal Green on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Rough and Tumble

1. Rough and Tumble
2. Down and Dirty
3. Hot and Bothered

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




Excerpt from, Hot and Bothered, courtesy of the author's website

Synopsis:

On the dusty outskirts of Vegas, there’s a down and dirty saloon where all sorts of lethally charming—and genuinely dangerous—men carouse to seduce the women who happen to venture inside on their way to and from Sin City.

Despite the many women he’s bedded over the years, Gideon Lane has never been able to get Rochelle Burton completely out of his head. He certainly never expected to see the city girl again, now a successful author, all grown up in all the right places and asking for his protection.

After their disastrous night together, Rochelle was determined to put Gideon—and the things he made her want—far behind her. But when an obsessive fan expresses their anger over her latest book in a disturbing way, Rochelle’s overprotective cousins insist she hire the best bodyguard the Rough & Tumble saloon can offer.

Both Rochelle and Gideon intend to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when the threat to Rochelle puts them in close quarters , Gideon can’t help wanting the chance to prove that some things are better the second time around…


Thoughts:

Author Crystal Green brings readers the third book in her Rough and Tumble series, Hot and Bothered. This is a second chance romance set in and around, Sin City. Readers looking for a unique setting, intriguing characters or something to get them all hot and bothered need look no further. This book has a cowboy sort of essence about it that will make readers think of handsome heroes with big hearts and they won't be disappointed. Green develops some wonderful characters that will warm the heart and make a reader swoon now and then. A good addition to the series.

This is my first book from Crystal Green's Rough and Tumble series. I think I misinterpreted what the book was going to be about from the cover and the blurb to some extent, but that was a happy mistake. I had this notion that it was basically a western romance and it wasn't really that kind of book. It was unique for a lot of reasons. The hero isn't really a cowboy, so to speak, but a bodyguard for hire and a very good one at that. Just outside of Las Vegas there was a definite call for that kind of work. The heroine is a author, which was a nice call by the author. Readers love authors and that was nice with this one. 

Gideon was what I would call a player. He had a lot of different women and he doesn't settle down at all. But I honestly thought that was all a front to some extent. He had feelings for Rochelle a long time ago and when she left, he was afraid to get close to anyone. He uses that swagger and over confident attitude to keep real feelings away. I liked watching him come undone when he and Rochelle have to work together again. She needs protection and he is protecting kind of man. The fact that he was a bodyguard was a natural fit for the character. He made a sexy hero. 

Rochelle was an author with a fair amount of success, but she managed to ruffle a few feathers along the way and now she needs a bodyguard for her upcoming book tour. Since Gideon is one of the best she is forced to see him again and it's very quickly apparent that the sparks are still there. I liked Rochelle, she was smart and sassy and she was also lonely. I was nice to see her get a second chance with Gideon. I thought the author did a good job of coming up with a great way to put them back together again. 

Having said that, I did love the characters, but there were a few other things about the book that I didn't like as much. For me the pacing was way off. The first half of the book was slow to start and hard to read at times because it just didn't seem to be going anywhere. The lead characters danced around each other and the danger that Rochelle was facing. I felt like I had to drag the action out of the book. Somewhere around the half way mark the story started to pick up and it finished strong, but you really have to stick with it. To say this one has a slow start is probably an understatement.

I liked Gideon a lot as a character, but I did think there was a pretty big discrepancy in the kind of person the author wanted us to think he was and the kind of persons his actions were showing us in the early part of the book. I don't think you have to sleep with everyone  of the opposite sex who has a pulse to prove that you are good in bed or that you are irresistible. It is also not necessary to prove you are a real man, or whatever. I just think that was a little much for my tastes. A hero needs to be a hero and it took me a few minutes to figure that out with this one. 

Bottom Line:

I liked this book. I had a hard time getting started because of the slow beginning. I also thought there was a bit of a disconnect between who the hero was and how he presented himself. Beyond that it was a very good second chance love story. I liked watching Gideon change into that man I wanted him to be, but I think he could have been there from the beginning. Rochelle was great, but she did have a penchant for cold feet. All in all it was a good effort, just maybe not the best this author can do. I'm going to read the other books in the series to see if my opinion might be a little skewed just from this book. As always take with a grain of salt, read it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Hot and Bothered is available NOW from your favorite digital bookseller.

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



About the Author:


Crystal Green is a RITA nominated romantic fiction author. She is the author of Down & DirtyRough & Tumble, and the Vampire Babylon urban fantasy series writing as Chris Marie Green.