Chocolate Mousse Attack – book review

Chocolate Mousse Attack (Death by Chocolate)Chocolate Mousse Attack by Sally Berneathy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chocolate Mousse Attack is my first Sally Berneathy chocolate mystery, and I’m hooked. Divorced chocolatier Lindsay is awoken at 2 am by an urgent phone call from a neighbor Fred. The woman who just moved in across the street a few hours ago has sleepwalked straight into Fred’s house, wearing only a thin nightgown. Fred can’t get her out of his bedroom closet, and he needs Lindsay’s help. But when the two of them manage to get Sophie Fleming out of the closet, they discover it’s more than a little sleepwalking.

Sophie had a nightmare that Lindsay and Fred soon realize must be more than fantasy. It’s murder.

Sally Berneathy has created a very likeable amateur detective character with Lindsay, and great sidekick in Fred-the-neighbor with his old car, sober manner, and hacker’s knack for digging out secrets online. Add King Henry, the stray cat who adopted Lindsay and knows more than a feline should, and Lindsay’s boyfriend – a cop who refuses to cancel her speeding tickets – and it’s no wonder I’ve just fallen in love with Berneathy’s Death by Chocolate series.

I won’t add any spoilers, but if you like your mysteries with a touch of laughter, and a great cast of characters, you can’t do better than to check out Chocolate Mousse Attack.

View all my reviews

A Question of Fire – Book Review

A Question of FireA Question of Fire by Karen McCullough

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed Karen McCullough’s romantic suspense A Question of Fire.

Reporter Cathy Bennett knows she’s out of her element filling in for her newspaper’s society editor at a party for the city’s elite, but she certainly doesn’t expect to end the evening sitting on the grass holding a dead man’s hand. Before he was murdered by a gunshot that echoed through the night, the young man now dead on the elegant lawn gave Cathy a message for lawyer Peter Lowell.

“Danny was framed. I’ve got the proof.”

Cathy and Peter are thrown together in a quest to prove the innocence of Peter’s young client Danny, surrounded by a landscape of lies and deception, arson and murder, with just enough information to expose them to the criminal perpetrators hunting for the missing Danny.

Karen McCullough has crafted an enjoyable and suspenseful quest for the truth about the murder of a young man named Bobby, a man named Danny falsely accused of arson, a mysterious private detective, and a web of crime … and let’s not forget the romantic touch of love that makes this an especially satisfying read.

View all my reviews

Stalking Season – Book Review

Stalking SeasonStalking Season by Maryann Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Sarah Kingsly’s new partnership with Angel Johnson certainly isn’t a match made in heaven, but the two homicide cops have no choice but to work together when the corpse of a young girl from an upper-class family is found in a sleazy motel. Sarah and Angel have just begun investigating when the killer strikes again, and the two women struggle with their own differences, trying to find a balance of trust for each other and nail the killer before someone else dies.

I read Maryann Miller’s “Stalking Season” knowing it was the second book in a series, and wondering if I should read book one first. I needn’t have worried, Stalking Season caught my interest from the first page. I loved the complex realism of the personal and family issues facing Angel, and Sarah’s determination to come to terms with a past she can’t change and a partner she doesn’t understand.

High stakes, a difficult partnership, and a fight for justice – Stalking Season is an intriguing mystery with a satisfying conclusion, and a crime-fighting pair who achieve a realistic blend of conflict and mutual respect that should keep the series going. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Vanessa

View all my reviews

Reckless Promise – Book Review

Reckless PromiseReckless Promise by Jenny Andersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being labeled a beautiful bimbo drives Poppy Grayson nuts

Poppy’s a serious scientist, a genetics expert with a Ph.D. and – until recently – a tenure track position at a prestigious Boston university. But Poppy’s also an impulsive redhead, and she’s sick and tired of being the target of other women’s jealousy because of her looks.

Desperate to escape the unfair “Other Woman” crisis that lost her the best job she ever had, Poppy impulsively agrees to help a friend-of-a-friend save his marriage – and ends up stranded on a Montana ranch in an impossible situation when her client’s wife calls for help.

This feel-good romp is set on a wild Montana ranch where some great characters help – and hinder – the course of true love. Take one sexy redhead named Poppy and add a hothead cynic who thinks he’s done with love. Mix with an escalating cluster of suspicions and miscommunications. Result – a fun romance and some great scenery.

I spent an enjoyable evening reading this light romance, with the added bonus that it brought back pleasant memories of my own years living in remote places.

Thanks, Jenny Andersen, for a fun read.

Vanessa

View all my reviews

A Man for Grace – book review

A Man for Grace  (Salt Spring Island Friends Trilogy Book 3)A Man for Grace by E. C. Sheedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

E. C. Sheedy’s latest “Salt Spring Island Friends” book is a winner!

Grace is a lovely heroine, an Island girl and a delicious mix of wholesome sexiness, humor, and straight-forward wisdom. EC Sheedy drops sexy Colin Ross on Grace’s doorstep, the man who vowed he was never going to return to Salt Spring, and stirs up a hot surge of mutual lust and family baggage.

EC Sheedy specializes in blending sympathetic characters, sensuality, and very believable emotional tangles. I loved this book. Colin and his baggage-ridden family pulled at my heartstrings while the positive thread of love – and healthy lust – running through the book kept me turning pages way past my bedtime last night :).

This brand new book by E. C. Sheedy is set on Salt Spring island, one of my favorite Canadian Pacific Northwest Island destinations. I loved the authentic island setting, and especially enjoyed revisiting some of the characters from this trilogy’s Book 1 California Man, and Book 2 Man for the Morning

View all my reviews

Blazing Nights – book review

Blazing Nights (Night Games #1)Blazing Nights by Linda Barlow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this sexy romance and appreciated the author’s skillful handling of the paranormal elements.

Hero and heroine each begin this story with personal challenges they must overcome to achieve a happy ending. Kate is an actress, and very protective of her psychic mother. Daniel is both sexy and intelligent, but unfortunately for Kate, he’s also a professional psychic debunker determined to expose her mother. I loved Kate’s mother, a gracefully aging psychic with a strong thread of wisdom running through her deceptively innocent and trusting nature.

Blazing Nights is a sweet, sexy romance with a hero who looks like he might not make the grade, until love triumphs over his past baggage and he comes through for both Kate and her family. Blazing Nights is Book One of Linda Barlow’s Night Games series, and includes a free sample of the next book in the series – Wicked Nights.

Vanessa

View all my reviews

My Deja Vu Lover – book review

My Deja Vu LoverMy Deja Vu Lover by Phoebe Matthews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The first time I saw the accident was on Tuesday afternoon.” So begins MY DEJA VU LOVER, a fascinating blend of paranormal, psychological suspense, and romance.

This story drew me in slowly as hints of darkness provided an enticing foil for the innocent spirit of the heroine, April, and her three closest friends.

Were April’s visions of a woman named Silver and a mysterious man named Lawrence buried memories, or the kind of seductive delusion that led to madness? When April’s present-day life began to echo her waking dreams of Silver and Lawrence, my suspense grew to page-turning compulsion.

In MY DEJA VU LOVER, Phoebe Matthews has created a fascinating multifaceted story in which a hint of Maeve Binchy’s gentleness pulses with a touch of the psychologically dark obsession of a Barbara Vine novel.

All that, and a great ending! I’m thrilled to have discovered Phoebe Matthews, and I’ll definitely be reading more of this talented author.

Vanessa

View all my reviews

The Disappeared – book review

The Disappeared (Retrieval Artist, #1)The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I thought I’d become jaded about reading Sci-Fi, but Kristine Kathryn Rusch changed my mind with The Disappeared, first in the Retrieval Artist series.

When I spotted this book a few days ago on a promotion and saw it was the first book in Rusch’s Retrieval Artist series, I bought the eBook and started reading right away. Some years ago I’d enjoyed audio versions of one of Rusch’s Retrieval Artist short stories, and was eager to read the first book.

Wow! Rusch is a skilled, highly-readable author who is an expert in bringing characters to life on the page (eScreen?). Immediately, I was entangled in the dilemna of a woman about to Disappear from a life she loved, and the tragedy of a couple whose baby was mysteriously stolen.

I needed to discover the reason for the woman’s disappearance, the fate of the baby. I was fascinated by the world Rusch created, and the moral dilemma of good people wrestling with right and wrong in a world where the law allowed children to be stolen from their parents, where humans could unwittingly cross a line that doomed them to devastating legal consequences meted out under multi-species legal agreements.

Rusch paired a burned-out investigator with a brilliant rookie detective whose personal tragedy forces him to examine everything he believes. The author has created a masterpiece!

Now I’m ready for book 2 of the Retrieval Artist series. It’s waiting for me on my eReader.



View all my reviews

Book Review: Sinners and Saints, by Elaine Dryer

Sinners and SaintsSinners and Saints by Eileen Dreyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Digital books are wonderful. Wander into a Web site, browse through a screen or two, stumble across a title I haven’t read by an author I admire, and – presto, it’s on my ereader.

Sinners and Saints is classic Eileen Dreyer, with a plot that twists through multiple layers and secrets, and arrives breathlessly at a very satisfying ending amid a New Orleans hurricane.

This book has Eileen Dreyer’s signature on it, which is just as distinctive as Johnny Cash’s voice singing The Man in Black.  No spoilers here. For those of you who are fans of Dryer’s dark mysteries, you’ll recognize her touch in the heroine – a forensic trauma nurse; the setting, evocative and danger filled in a perfect-for-the-story stormy, darkly magical New Orleans; and a damaged hero who is darkly perfect.

Read Saints and Sinners yourself – if you like mysterious tales with memorable characters and dark twists, you’ll be glad you did!

I’m an Eileen Dreyer fan from years back. Now that I’ve finished this book, I’m about to start reading my new copy of her If Looks Could Kill. I read this shadowy, pulse-pounding Elaine Dreyer years ago, and can’t wait to revisit Dryer’s Pyrite, Missouri, and the heroine of If Looks Could Kill.

Vanessa

View all my reviews

A very enjoyable read! NO ROLE FOR A GENTLEMAN

No Role for a GentlemanNo Role for a Gentleman by Gail Whitiker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a pleasure to read!

I just finished reading friend and fellow writer Gail Whitiker’s new historical, NO ROLE FOR A GENTLEMAN. The author’s prose is beautiful and evocative, but the true beauty of her novel lies in the creation of characters with warmth, integrity, vulnerability, and a passion for life that brings them vibrantly alive.

Thank you for a warmly enjoyable visit to the past, and the companionship of Lawrence, Lady Joanna, their families, and the colorful world of Regency theatre and archeology, which is woven seamlessly and intriguingly throughout the story.

NO ROLE FOR A GENTLEMAN features characters from its predecessor, NO OCCUPATION FOR A LADY – also a very enjoyable read. No Occupation for a Lady

Vanessa

View all my reviews