Tag Archives: mystery thriller

On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A woman fearing her husband may be cheating, she turns to a friend who lost her son the year before, and together they hope to catch the husband in the act. However, this plan turns down a dark and deadly road as more secrets are unearthed that neither of them could have imagined in author Seraphina Nova Glass’s “On a Quiet Street”.

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The Synopsis

A simple arrangement. A web of deceit with shocking consequences.

Welcome to Brighton Hills: an exclusive, gated community set against the stunning backdrop of the Oregon coast. Home to doctors, lawyers, judges–all the most upstanding members of society. Nothing ever goes wrong here. Right?

Cora’s husband, Finn, is a cheater. She knows it; she just needs to prove it. She’s tired of being the nagging, suspicious wife who analyzes her husband’s every move. She needs to catch him in the act. And what better way to do that than to set him up for a fall?

Paige has nothing to lose. After she lost her only child in a hit-and-run last year, her life fell apart: her marriage has imploded, she finds herself screaming at baristas and mail carriers, and she’s so convinced Caleb’s death wasn’t an accident that she’s secretly spying on all everyone in Brighton Hills so she can find the murderer. So it’s easy for her to entrap Finn and prove what kind of man he really is.

But Paige and Cora are about to discover far more than a cheating husband. What starts as a little agreement between friends sets into motion a series of events neither of them could have ever predicted, and that exposes the deep fault lines in Brighton Hills. Especially concerning their mysterious new neighbor, Georgia, a beautiful recluse who has deep, dark secrets of her own…

The Review

The author continues to do a phenomenal job of pushing the domestic thriller genre to its limits and beyond in the best way possible! The world-building and character growth early on in the book did a great job of layering the mystery of both the fidelity of Cora’s marriage to her husband and the circumstances of Paige’s son and his untimely demise. The shocking twists and turns that this small community takes on, as well as the secrets that these households harbor, really add both an engaging plotline and yet an eerily realistic touch to the narrative, as the shocking developments are not necessarily out of the realm of possibility in this day and age, making this even more of a haunting read. 

For, as a longtime fan of mystery reads, the suspense aspect of this mystery thriller and the theme that it explores were the biggest draws for me. The exploration of this multi-layered mystery and how each character’s struggles early on in the novel inadvertently stack up against one another’s until all three protagonists and narrators of this novel find themselves coming together. The theme of toxic masculinity and how it impacts marriages and relationships was a major theme throughout the novel. Often seen in our world, men will go to extreme lengths to be dismissive of women, mansplain to women things they already have an understanding of, and manipulate the women in their lives to fulfill their own personal needs. This toxic behavior is explored in several of the characters’ lives, and the shocking twists that toxicity takes add to the depth of character development and the mystery that unravels as a result of those developments.

The Verdict

Haunting, shocking, and entertaining, author Seraphina Nova Glass’s “On A Quiet Street” is a must-read novel of 2022 and one of the top domestic thrillers of the year. The chilling twists this narrative takes and the emotional pull of these characters’ struggles will have readers on the edge of their seats as the climactic second half of this novel takes off! This is one of the best authors to come through in this genre in years and I cannot wait to read more of her work. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she teaches film studies and playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and she’s also a screenwriter and award-winning playwright. Seraphina has traveled the world using theatre and film as a teaching tool, living in South Africa, Guam and Kenya as a volunteer teacher, AIDS relief worker, and documentary filmmaker.

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Here is an excerpt from “On a Quiet Street”

ONE

Paige

Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marvels at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother’s Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they’d plant it in the yard and they’d always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?

She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she’s going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She’s interrupted by the kid who de-livers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.

“Are you a fucking psychopath?” Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.

“What the hell is wrong with you, lady?” he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.

“What’s wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don’t you watch what the fuck you’re doing?”

His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he’s out of reach. “Little monster!” she yells after him.

Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn’t answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher’s head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it’s bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.

“I’m not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I’m back here.” She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poi-son oak on their way.

“Morning, Mrs. Moretti,” one of the officers says. It’s the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?

“We received a complaint,” he says.

“Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?” Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.

“You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on.”

“Oh, I did no such thing,” she snaps.

Hernandez sits across from Paige. “You wanna tell us what d id happen, then?”

“Are you planning on arresting me if I don’t?” she asks, and the two officers give each other a silent look she can’t read.

“His parents don’t want to press charges so…”

Paige doesn’t say anything. They don’t have to tell her it’s because they pity her.

“But, Paige,” Miller says, “we can’t keep coming out here for this sort of thing.”

“Good,” Paige says firmly. “Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who killed my son.” Hernandez stands.

“Again, you know we aren’t the detectives on the—” But before Hernandez can finish, Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.

“And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?”

Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble something to one another and make their way out. She can’t restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it’s as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can’t be her real life. She still can’t accept that.

The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma’am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn’t know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn’t let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.

She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he’d fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it’s life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.

She didn’t stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn’t watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more nor mal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should he have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?

And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn’t know? Did he have friends she didn’t know about? He’d told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren’t they?

As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.

He doesn’t mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.

He doesn’t speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, “Who wants a pocket cookie?” and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.

This is how it’s been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.

Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn’t respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn’t stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti’s, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.

Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she’s taking care of herself and the house isn’t falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn’t make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.

She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn’t need to lie and say she’s bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She’s sure of it. It’s a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don’t live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn’t an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb’s body, but it wasn’t fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the po-lice won’t prove homicide, she’s going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.

She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.

“What’s the latest?” is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don’t really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, “Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn’t driven his Mercedes in months.” She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn’t appear to be following.

“Okay,” he says, filling in the word ostrich.

“So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there’s a dent in his bumper.”

“You broke in?” he asks, concerned. She knows the How-ells have five vehicles, and the dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won’t let it go.

“Yes, and it’s a good thing I did. I’m gonna go back and take photos. See if the police can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person.” She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. “You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell.”

“It’s worth a shot,” he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won’t waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.

“I’m looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too,” he says, and Paige knows it’s a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn’t bite.

“Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone,” she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.

“The ivy is looking robust,” he comments after a few minutes of silence.

“You think it’s hurting the foundation?” she asks.

“Nah,” he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.

When Paige hears the sound of Grant’s motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she’ll come to Moretti’s with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she’ll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they’ll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They’ll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.

Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.

Excerpted from On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2022 by Seraphina Nova Glass. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

One Of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The owner of a local beauty salon and spa must put her knowledge and relationships with a group of women to the test to help the police capture the culprit behind a gruesome murder in author Jeneva Rose’s “One Of Us Is Dead”. 

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The Synopsis 

The highly anticipated new thriller from the bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage.

Opulence. Sex. Betrayal … Sometimes friendship can be deadly.

Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.

Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …

Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …

Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …

Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?

Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly. 

The Review

This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read so far this year. The dialogue and multiple POVs of this read have driven forward a mystery that feels both authentic and surprising all at once. The ways in which these women interact with one another, and the choice to focus solely on the women’s POV and leave the male characters as wildcards was an inspired and satisfying choice for the story. Getting the chance to see the shocking twists and turns not only in the story, but in the shocking bonds these characters form with one another was such a great hook for readers to get invested in the narrative. 

Honestly, this is one of the first books in years in which I was totally surprised by the book’s ending. I love stories like this that make me guess the killer’s identity early on, only to change my opinion several times over the course of the narrative. I had thought I’d figured out the twist until the final few pages when everything flipped on top of its head. What helped this mystery was the identity of the victim, which was kept hidden until the final few chapters of the book. Not knowing this kept the motivations and agendas presented from each of these characters’ POVs so captivating that the real identity of both victim and killer will leave readers reeling. 

The Verdict

Haunting, entertaining, and yet charming in its writing and delivery, author Jeneva Rose’s “One of Us Is Dead” is a must-read novel of 2022, and one of my top picks for the best thriller of 2022. The descriptive nature of the author’s writing style really painted an image of these characters and this small-town setting to life perfectly, and the twists and turns will keep readers hanging off of the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today and be on the lookout for more amazing books from this up-and-coming author!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeneva Rose is the Amazon Charts, Apple Books, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage and One of Us is Dead. Her works has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned for film/tv. Originally from Wisconsin, she currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Drew, and her English bulldog, Winston.

https://www.jenevarose.com/

Lure: Jesse & Hawk by W.L. Hawkin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A wounded doctor and a vegan nature photographer find their paths crossing as the dangers of a missing persons’ case suddenly become a murder investigation years later, and must learn not only to survive together against two nefarious figures but learn if they can hold onto the growing feelings they have for one another in author W.L. Hawkin’s “Lure: Jesse & Hawk”.

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The Synopsis

Hawk is a wounded doctor bent on losing himself on the Chippewa reservation.

Jesse’s a vegan nature photographer trying to find herself on that same wild land.

When Hawk shoots the deer Jesse’s photographing, passions flare. Then Jesse hears that Hawk’s friend is dying and sets off alone on horseback to warn him. He deserves the chance to say goodbye she never had.

BUT DANGER LURKS EVERYWHERE NEAR THE SMALL MIDWESTERN TOWN OF LURE RIVER.

Jesse’s just discovered the twenty-year-old bones of a missing Indigenous girl in her shed and drawn the unwanted attention of two local men.

CAN JESSE FIND HAWK BEFORE THEY FIND HER?

Ruby Little Bear’s tragic tale weaves through the narrative, reminding us that ONE MOMENT CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.

The Review

This was the absolute best combination of romance and suspense. The wildness of the two protagonists’ tense and heated romance mirrored the equally wild landscape they found themselves in. The complex backstories that have brought each of them to the emotional place they meet each other in will captivate readers and bring the wellspring of tears that these emotional romances often have. 

The rich mystery and suspense surrounding the thriller aspect of this narrative were so engaging to read. The striking backstory of this small town and the tragedy that has been kept in the shadows for two decades highlights the small-town atmosphere that keeps these mysteries lasting as long as they often do, both in fiction and reality itself. The back and forth look into who is responsible for the missing young woman and the complex relationship between the town and the indigenous people who have been so badly affected by this senseless death will have readers glued to the pages as each chapter unravels the intricacies of this mystery.

The Verdict

Haunting, thoughtful, and passionate, author W.L. Hawkin’s “Lure: Jesse & Hawk” is a must-read romantic thriller of 2022! A truly entertaining and captivating story of love lost, love found, and the lengths we are willing to go to in order to keep the past hidden, the author did an incredible job of finding a harmonious chord between the narrative and dynamic character development that cannot be matched. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

W. L. Hawkin writes myth, magic, and mayhem designed to inspire and entertain. Described as “intoxicating, lush, magically-edgy, page-turners,” her Hollystone Mysteries series features a coven of witches who solve murders using their wits and ritual magic with a little help from the gods. Wendy is also a published blogger, book reviewer, Indie publisher, and poet, with a background in Indigenous Studies and English literature. She loves myth and magic, so when she’s not writing, she’s studying Druidry, shamanism, and mediumship. Although she is an introvert, in each book, her characters go on a journey where she has traveled herself.

She defies genre by writing character-driven fast-paced mysteries and thrillers that involve fantastical characters. See her four book series: To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, and To Kill a King.

@authoranthonyavina

Check out my #bookreview of author W.L. Hawkins’s #Lure a brand new adult #mysteryromance novel! #booktok #bookworm

♬ Mysterious – Andreas Scherren

Ten Days Gone (An A.L. McKittridge Novel) by Beverly Long Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two detectives must race against the clock as a serial killer closes in on their next victim in author Beverly Long’s “Ten Days Gone”, the first book in the A.L. McKittridge Series. 

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The Synopsis

They know exactly when he’ll strike… They just have to find him first.

In all their years working for the Baywood police department, detectives A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan have never seen anything like it. Four women dead in forty days, each killed ten days apart. With nothing connecting the victims and very little evidence, the clock is already counting down to when the next body drops. A.L. and Rena will have to act fast if they’re going to find the killer’s next victim before he does.

But identifying the killer’s next likely target is only half the battle. With pressure pushing in from all sides, a promising breakthrough leads the detectives to Tess Lyons, a woman whose past trauma has left her too damaged to appreciate the danger she’s in. Unwilling to let another woman die, A.L. and Rena will put everything on the line to keep Tess safe and end the killer’s deadly spree once and for all—before time runs out again.

The Review

I was hooked from the very first page of this addictive thriller. The shock and intrigue the author created in the book’s atmosphere early on was spot on, and the mystery surrounding this serial killer’s actions was phenomenal to see get fleshed out as the story progressed. What made this such a unique story was how the author utilized multiple perspectives, and yet kept the killer hidden in the shadows until the final pages of this book, never giving them a voice and keeping the focus instead on the investigative process instead. 

The character development was superb. The relatability of the detectives and their camaraderie was fantastic to see unfold and to see a realistic perspective that shows both detectives working together without any sexual tension between them, instead of focusing on mutual respect was a nice change of pace from other novels. Getting to see each detective’s home life mixed into the narrative put the mystery and their detective work into perspective greatly, and putting the story in a small town setting raised the fear factor of the people they came into contact with. 

The Verdict

Captivating, thoughtful, and entertaining, author Beverly Long’s “Ten Days Gone” is the perfect first novel in a brand new mystery and thriller series. The suspense and action feel natural to the narrative being told, and the edge of your seat adrenaline readers will feel as the killer’s identity is revealed and the race to save the latest victim becomes perilous will have readers hooked on this author’s incredible star power. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Beverly Long had written over twenty suspense and romantic suspense novels. Readers will not want to miss TEN DAYS GONE and NO ONE SAW, the first two books in a new suspense series featuring Detective A.L. McKittridge. Please visit her website at http://www.beverlylong.com and sign up for her quarterly newsletter for the latest news and opportunities to win free books. Like her on Facebook @BeverlyLongAuthor.

http://beverlylong.com/

Wild Not Broken (Hearthstone Book 2) by Sarah Kades Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A disgraced British war correspondent goes on a journey to rebuild her career and discover the secrets behind an old family heirloom while on an adventure with a world champion bull rider forced out of his profession and searching for answers to his family as well in author Sarah Kades’s “Wild Not Broken”, the second book in the Hearthstone series.

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The Synopsis

Lillian Morgan is a disgraced British war correspondent. Scotland Yard has cleared her of all treason charges, but her career didn’t survive being duped by a double-agent. The rediscovery of a family heirloom, a New World fur trade journal from the eighteenth century, gives Lillian a story to chase while she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.

Colt Tanner is a world champion bull rider, old enough to know his time on the circuit is coming to a close, but too skittish to settle down anywhere. He likes life one adrenaline high after another, never stopping long enough to feel anything. But a career-ending injury has left him with time to notice there are unanswered questions about his family that are starting to pile up.

A week in the wilderness to write an eco-inn’s marketing material is not Lillian’s idea of professional glory, but her job prospects are limited. She needs a guide and Colt’s schedule is now wide open. Sparks and bullets fly when these two stumble into deadly family secrets and international spies holding grudges. Will they find what they’re looking for, or die trying? It’s MI6 meets the Rocky Mountains…with heat.

The Review

A gripping yet heated romance takes center stage in this romantic suspense thriller! The author found the perfect groove between the passion and heat that a steamy romance tends to have with the intrigue and mystery that the suspense thriller has. The amount of tension that is laced into the atmosphere keeps readers invested in the character’s journeys, as does the rich amount of time developing the setting these characters find themselves in.

The character growth was truly superb in this read. The individual journey that each of the protagonists takes is equally matched with the shocking twists and turns in their family histories. The amount of espionage and spy-related thriller plot points that are included feel natural and entertaining, making this book impossible to put down.

The Verdict

Engaging, intense, and beautifully written, author Sara Kades’s “Wild Not Broken” is the perfect romance thriller and next chapter in the Hearthstone series! A brilliant way to start our 2022 for fans of the genre, the imagery and setting play a heavy role in developing this world, and powerful character growth will have readers hanging off of the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Sarah Kades writes eco-thrillers, and narrative non-fiction as Sarah Graham. Her writing is largely inspired by her previous career as an archaeologist where she routinely lived in tents, caught rides in helicopters and adored the awesomeness of the landscapes around her. Sarah is a two-time Energy Futures Lab Banff Summit storyteller, a recipient of the Calgary Arts Development individual artist grant, and has presented at the British Society of Criminology conference on the application of using arts-based approaches. When she’s not writing you can find her running, bumping into her next adventure, or trying to figure out where in the garden to put the makeshift wood-fired pizza oven.

Mine (A Deadly Sins Novel Book 3) by Rachael Tamayo Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A drunken night of debauchery in Vegas leads one man into a marriage he never wanted, and into a deadly world where no one is who they claim to be in author Rachael Tamayo’s “Mine”, the third book in the Deadly Sins series.

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The Synopsis

What happens in Vegas just might kill you.

When divorcee Justin Gray wakes up next to a beautiful stranger in Vegas on his birthday weekend, he assumes it’s just a drunken mistake. When he discovers that he’s married to said stranger in her early twenties, he insists on an annulment and assumes his life will return to normal once he gets back home.

He assumes wrong.

As the shapely blonde refuses to give him an annulment and insists the marriage continue, what was a wild weekend turns into a deadly mistake.

Murder is only the beginning.

Get ready for a tale of greed so twisted you won’t know what’s on the next page or who anyone really is until the…

very…

last…

page.

The Review

I was absolutely enthralled by this mystery. The narrative took so many twists and turns throughout the novel that everything readers suspected throughout the narrative would prove true for a while before another curveball completely changed the game forever. The way the author layered mystery upon mystery on top of one another kept the intrigue and suspense prevalent throughout the entirety of the novel, and the theme of truth versus lies really played a pivotal role in the story for all of these characters.

I loved seeing the character growth here, as many of the twists came from the revelation of these characters themselves. There were so many characters that kept so much mystery and underlying motives about them that the only characters who felt authentic throughout the novel were Justin and his daughter Abby, who became pawns in someone’s twisted game. The multiple POVs really enhanced the narrative and kept the mystery alive and well up until the final chapter of this novel.

The Verdict

Engaging, shocking, and absolutely gripping, author Rachael Tamayo’s “Mine” is a must-read suspense thriller of 2022. The twisted motivations and shocking revelations these characters share as the plot moves forward will keep readers on the edge of their seats, as will the shocking alliances and partnerships that arise from these revelations. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy on February 26th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Rachael Tamayo is the Best-Selling Author of the Deadly Sins books, among several other titles. Including multiple award-winning and award-nominated titles. Former 911 operator, a twelve-year veteran with slight PTSD now pens psychological fiction. Her 911 service gave her a unique insight into mental illness, human behavior, and the choices humans make when faced with bad, bad things that she weaves into her characters and plots. 

The Houston, Texas native lives with her husband and their two children. 

https://rachaeltamayowrites.com/

Jailed (Cal Rogan Mysteries, Book 7) by Robert P. French Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Hoping to start fresh and pursue a scholarly career, former PI Cal Rogan finds himself brought back into the life of an investigator when a student begs him to help clear her brother’s name after he is convicted of murder, and soon Cal discovers a web of intrigue and dangerous secrets that will put him and those closest to him in the crosshairs in author Robert P. French’s “Jailed”, the seventh book in the Cal Rogan Mysteries series.

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The Synopsis

How do you get an innocent kid out of jail, when the evidence against him is overwhelming?

Just when Cal Rogan thought he had left behind his former life as a private investigator, a student begs him to help her brother who has been jailed for a murder he didn’t commit. As Cal tries to unearth the real killer, he uncovers a plot that could destroy not just him but also the people he loves.

Get Jailed now for a non-stop thrill ride that will keep you guessing right up to the very end.

The Review

This was such a gripping and entertaining read from the very start. The author brilliantly concocted a story that kept readers on the edge of their seats, stumbling back and forth between suspects as each layer of this mystery was peeled back. The layers of that said mystery were so captivating in their own right, that as the story shed them one by one, each new detail amplified the tension and mind-bending reality of the crime. 

The character arcs in this narrative were so fun to read. I’m a relative newcomer to this series, and yet the author did a marvelous job of laying out past novel developments enough to give a well-rounded idea of who these characters were. The alternating points of view that this narrative takes really makes the progression of the investigation so much more striking and engaging to readers, and the balance between personal character developments and their involvement in the case was absolutely perfect.

The Verdict

An adrenaline-fueled, heart-pumping, and mind-bending mystery thriller, author Robert P. French’s “Jailed” is a gripping suspense tale that will be impossible for fans of the genre to put down. The twists and turns in the mystery will have readers constantly guessing the killer’s true identity, and a shocking development will completely flip this narrative on its head, leaving readers eager to devour this narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I am a former software developer, former actor, turned author of the Cal Rogan Mysteries. I was born in Oxford and now live in my beautiful adopted city, Vancouver. It has taken me many years and several books (either partial or failed) to learn the writers’ craft. I invite you to enjoy the six Cal Rogan Mysteries. Six days a week you can see me at the Vancouver Public library hunched over my computer working on the next book in the series, as yet untitled.

https://www.facebook.com/robertpfrenchauthor/

Shooting Star: A Nikki Latrelle Mystery Book 5 (The Nikki Latrelle Mystery-Thriller Series) by Sasscer Hill Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A job to protect the horses and people involved in a Hollywood shoot forces heroine Nikki Latrelle to face off against a mysterious sniper in author Sasscer Hill’s “Shoot Star”, the fifth book in the Nikki Latrelle Mystery-Thriller series!

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The Synopsis

When Nikki’s ex-lover Will hires her to protect the horses used to film a movie at Santa Anita Racetrack, she learns evil is alive and well in Hollywood.

Keeping Thoroughbreds safe from a director who doesn’t know a horse from a hamster is tricky. More difficult are the unresolved feelings between Nikki and Will, especially when sexy, young movie star, Jamie Jackson, sets his sights on Nikki.

But when a sniper’s bullet shatters the brain of a cameraman close enough that she can smell his blood, Nikki’s need to protect overrides everything. Her sleuthing unearths a trail of corruption and when she must lie to Will to protect his life, she’s on her own. Can she identify the evil behind the scenes before she and Will become the next victims?

Shooting Star is the fifth rocket-paced story in the award-winning Nikki Latrelle mystery series. If you like protagonists with heart and courage, unexpected twists, and a thrill ride to the finish, you’ll love Shooting Star.

Find out why this series has so many fans. Buy Shooting Star today! 

The Review

This book starts off quite literally with a bang. The shocking murder of a cameraman shocks readers with a quick introduction to the setting followed by the harrowing events that spark this mystery. Now although I am a newcomer to the Nikki Latrelle series, the author did an amazing job of crafting a narrative that felt self-contained enough to stand on its own while still touching upon scenes and experiences the character had in previous entries in the series. 

The balance the author found between the pacing of the mystery and the character arcs of not only the protagonist but of the supporting cast as well as brilliantly written. Each clue and twist in the narrative was delivered naturally and kept the reader invested, while the characters kept you on the edge of your seat as readers tried to solve the mystery themselves. Add some unique and original storytelling elements involving horse racing and the treatment of animals in Hollywood productions overall, and you have the recipe for a highly engaging thriller.

The Verdict

A high octane, adrenaline-fueled, thought-provoking mystery thriller, author Sasscer Hill’s “Shooting Star” is a must-read thriller of 2021. A brilliantly original and heartfelt look into the world of horse racing and the treatment of animals in general blended with a heart-pounding murder mystery and complex character development, readers will not be able to put down this amazing story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’ve never wanted to write the “Great American novel.” I believe my job is to entertain with stories about chasing a dream, fighting the odds, and helping the helpless. I want to create a world that’s a bit scary, sometimes funny, always informative, and a reliable destination for escape.

Sasscer Hill’s books have won the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Award for Best Book in Racing Literature (FLAMINGO ROAD.) They have also garnered a Carrie McCray Award and been nominated for Agatha, Macavity, and Claymore awards. Her second book in her two-book “Fia McKee” series, THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN, received a Booklist Starred Review and was an Editor’s Pick in the Toronto Star.

Her newest title, TRAVEL’S OF QUINN” (out March 2010) is a mystery-thriller based on the con artists known as the Irish American Travellers. A novel of deceit, murder, greed and hope,

Currently, Sasscer is writing SHOOTING STAR, her fifth novel in the “Nikki Latrelle” mystery series.

Sasscer was a breeder, owner, and rider of race horses for over 30 years. She lives in Aiken, SC, with her husband, a dog named Rosco and a cat named Lola.

https://www.sasscerhill.com/