Archive for category Reviews
💛 BOOK RELEASE💛
Title: Path To Passion
Author: Nana Prah
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Miguel Astacio gets a chance to correct a mistake he made ten years ago.
Afraid of losing his treasured friendship with Josh Carrington, Miguel rejected Josh’s sister, Tanya, after she professed her love for him.
The saddest part? He was in love with her too.
But it’s ten years later, and they’ve grown into wise, mature adults, right?
Miguel is working on it. He’d already realized he needed a change in his life, and a shot at a key position in his father’s company motivates the former tabloid party-boy to change his ways.
Women mature faster than men, so being two years older than Miguel gives the conservative Tanya the advantage in the wise and mature department, right? Whatever. The woman is dragging more luggage behind her than a porter at LaGuardia. Not only is Miguel’s rejection still foremost in her mind, but poor Tanya is also still smarting from an ugly divorce from Broderick who left her for another man.
These two are thrown together when Tanya needs Miguel’s business acumen to save her floundering nightclub.
It’s more than obvious from page one these two never got over each other, yet, they’re each convinced they would never work as a couple and attempt to find a meeting of the minds to work together to save Tanya’s club.
Miguel is the first to give up the pretense. Tanya is what’s been missing from his life since he walked away ten years and he’s not walking away again. He’ll find a way to convince her and work things out with Josh.
Tanya needs convincing. A LOT of convincing.
She got some of that from BFF, Becca. Everyone needs a Becca in their corner. She knows when to push, she knows when to back off, and she tells it like it is.
Brother Josh provided much-needed insight into past events, and I was like, “YAAY! She needed to hear that! On to Miguel/Tanya-time!”
But no, Tanya needed more.
After a couple of false starts, Miguel owned his mistakes… more than once.
But Tanya needed more.
And I get it. Tanya was overweight in college and had convinced herself—and is still telling herself—her weight was the reason Miguel rejected her. Even though she’s learned the truth from more than one source.
But she is no longer overweight, thanks to the stress of her marriage to Broderick falling apart. Yet, the woman still sees herself as this lumbering behemoth that cannot get out of her own way. She’s 5’7” and a size 12. Shut up, Tanya.
However, I gave her pass. Distorted body image can stay with some people for a lifetime.
But Ms. Tanya isn’t done with me.
She and Miguel have had no contact since… that night. All Tanya knows about Miguel she got from red carpet events on television and the tabloids. The endless parade of women and hard partying of the youngest Astacio is not a good look. Miguel was no angel and admits to it, but I thought it unfair for Tanya to base her opinions on tabloid media. But that was my issue.
Miguel’s persistence pays off though and Tanya gives in – YAAY, they’re a couple! True love wins until it doesn’t.
Tanya is betrayed by someone she trusted and ends up a victim of the same tabloids she judged Miguel by.
Now, this isn’t a good thing and Miguel rushes to protect Tanya from the hateful and humiliating things written about her. But, it’s kind of a good thing because she gets a front row seat at how the media distorts the truth and how ugly they can be. This should lead her to think maybe all those things she read about Miguel weren’t true either, right? It’s a time for solidarity and pulling together, right?
No. Tanya Carrington believes what she reads… again. I didn’t just want to fling my Kindle, I wanted to fling it at Tanya. Sheesh…
Fortunately for her, she’s surrounded by people who love her and have no problem telling her when she’s wrong.
And when Miguel takes Roland’s advice on a big gesture, he goes big as only an Astacio can.
Not everyone flings Kindles or yells at fictional characters (like me), but to me, that’s a sign of a well-written read that pulls you right into the story. Path to Passion is a journey with a bit of mystery and suspense, some snarky humor and smexy times all wrapped up in heartfelt romance. I highly recommend it.
5/5 HUGE STARS!
It’s five big, shiny stars for the third installment of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings!
Decisions have to be made and lives will be forever changed by the time this heartfelt story ends.
Picking up right where part two left off, Hattie Hastings has a full plate.
Is son Johnny at last on the path to happiness and success?
Rachel, her mother, grows visibly weaker but will the strong, independent mom who raised Hattie and her brother be able to beat the disease ravaging her body?
Barry was a good friend to Hattie’s late husband, but is that romantic interest in Barry’s eyes? Say it isn’t so! Please!
Has Cat lost all her good sense and taken back her wretched, deplorable, low-life ex-husband, Stewart? Hattie saw what she believed to be an intimate moment between them and cannot unsee it or bleach it from her brain.
Hattie is also at odds with her job at Express Yourself. She doesn’t want to be a barista forever but has no clue how to put her life on a different path.
However, before she can figure any of this out, Hattie Hastings must assist her ghostly husband with helping his young charge to move on by delivering a message to the boy’s parents.
Hattie would rather do anything else than visit strangers to tell them she had a message from their dead son given to her by her dead husband.
Can you blame her?
But that’s exactly what Hattie does because that’s who she is.
Hattie hasn’t led a charmed life. Life has taken more than a few swipes at her and gotten in some solid punches. But while Hattie may have been beaten up by life, she was never beaten down. She owns every second of her life with few regrets. If this is what this child needs and what Gary wants her to do, it’s done.
Regret does niggle at her though as she realizes that Gary’s time is growing short. His presence diminishes with each visit and Hattie must prepare herself to lose her husband…again.
This is a warm read of love and acceptance, and a perfect ending to Hattie’s hauntings. The author’s snarky humor adds the right touch to keep Hattie’s story from becoming maudlin and morose. This installment also gave more insight into the man Gary was/is and it’s not hard to figure out why he was the love of Hattie’s life.
Finish Hattie’s journey and don’t miss Cat and the Hat, the fender bender, Johnny’s big news, a girl named Tilly, and a dog named Doris.
And bring tissues. Lots of tissues… because there will be tears!
Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.
Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?
Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?
Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final installment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, Part 1
by Audrey Davis
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Comedy/Supernatural/Ghosts/Short Story
FREE at time of posting! (Thru 7/30/18) Kindle Unlimited!
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One: A ghostly and witty romantic comedy
Some people just won’t take death lying down … (NB: cliffhanger ending)
Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times.
When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up.
Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.
Hattie can’t convince anyone that Gary is back. Not even best friend Cat – now free from the cruel and controlling Stewart – will believe her.
Why has Gary returned? And what will Cat do when her slimy ex-husband tries to worm his way back into her affections?
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings will make you laugh, cry and count down until Part Two …
Money is not the root of all evil, it’s the love of money that can distract you and lead you into some pretty shady and dark places.
That’s how a teenage boy who ran away from home—after decking his high school vice principal—at 15 to find adventure as a commercial diver ended up on the wrong side of the law for decades. Distracted by gold chains, fancy watches and an abundance of women, young Robert Stone was seduced into drug smuggling for the first time.
He was a millionaire by the time he was 17.
This memoir is fast-paced, intense, and detailed. Stone doesn’t absolve himself of wrong-doing, nor should he. But he and his friends are not the only criminals here. Were it not for rampant and widespread corruption in governments and police agencies, this book would have been a lot shorter! HA!
Stone doesn’t strike me as ruthless or hard-core, but that’s the type of people he was involved with on both sides of the law. I believe it was not only his entrepreneurship but also his enthusiasm for the game that drew people to him. Robert Stone made millions of dollars and lost them in a blink of an eye. But a change of name and a new operation and he’d do it all over again.
I am in awe he lived through most of his business dealings and being incarcerated on three different continents.
Without a doubt, Stone’s best asset was his late wife, Linda. She may not have known what she was getting into, but Linda Stone was no shrinking violet. If she was as strong as Stone writes her here, he would have been wise to heed her counsel.
Hard-hitting, Chasing Black Gold is an intriguing read on one man’s life of crime. Stone has not prettied it up. Some scenes are gritty and the language is graphic, but for me, those things worked to pull me into the story. True-crime readers, and lovers of crime fiction and suspense should take this adventure.
ROBERT STONE was a serial entrepreneur – an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being arrested in Switzerland as a result of an international manhunt led by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw men die, and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessman, was both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down.
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Take two people who avoid relationships and add the interest they have in each other. Sprinkle in large amounts of nosy friends and family. Mix with a liberal amount of two controlling senior citizens and heat to boiling. Immediately spread the mixture over a wedding and you have Here Comes the Best Man.
Josh and Louise both carry heavy emotional baggage from difficult pasts, but that doesn’t stop this from being a fun, enjoyable read.
Almost immediately after meeting, these two find they must work together to give Chad, Josh’s brother, and his bride-to-be, Maggie, their dream wedding.
Josh’s residual feelings of inadequacy from his military service and a combustible relationship with his father, and Louise’s difficult childhood and inability to trust after being used and played by a heartless jerk would suggest these two don’t have a chance.
But the bride and groom have other ideas, as do Louise’s employer, seventy-five-year-old Audrey, and Josh’s grandmother, eighty-year-old Rose Ann.
The drama is heightened with appearances of exes from Josh and Louise’s pasts, but these two are on a collision course that nothing seems to be able to stop, despite their own doubts.
In Here Comes the Best Man, we have people a bit older than the standard new adult fare and for me, it meant being spared the youthful foolishness without losing any of the youthful appeal. This read is truly a romantic comedy and I recommend it to readers who enjoy romance and fun.
Being the best man is a lot to live up to …
When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow.
But when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.
Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realize that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too?
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Thoughts of a mad doctor or evil scientist easily bring images to mind of a tall, balding character, wringing his hands with maniacal glee at the impending devastation he plans to inflict on the unassuming masses.
Not the fastidious, meticulous man-of-few-words Doctor Perry.
Which is what makes this tale all the more chilling and disturbing.
He doesn’t make life-ending threats… although he plans them in his mind.
He doesn’t yell or even raise his voice.
His methods are his own and so precise it’s eerie. He doesn’t use violence or physical force. He doesn’t need to. People trust their doctor. (Or I did before reading this book.)
Doctor Perry’s practice has gone undetected for decades which has allowed him to make a name for himself in a very lucrative, but illegal sideline—selling babies.
It’s how Doctor Perry comes by these infants that put the spotlight on his small office practice, unheard of home visits, and being an on-call physician for a nursing home that should be shut down.
Tracey Chappell, the bottle-blonde manager of Rose Haven Retirement Resort—fancy name for a low-end nursing home, has no issues with shortchanging nursing home residents and pocketing the difference. She’s more than willing to be a partner-in-crime with the doctor, supplying candidates for his shady dealings.
The mercenary manager rides roughshod over a motley staff that has less redeeming social value than a biker gang. Those who truly care—Tala, head nurse, Benson, an orderly, and Pauline, the cook—aren’t in a position to give much pushback against the intimidating manager and the indignities residents are subjected to, but in the end, it’s their concern which helps their elderly and infirmed clients.
The rest of the staff? OMG! They verbally and physically abuse residents, steal from them, and do whatever it takes to NOT do their jobs.
Meth-head—and Tracey’s nephew—Tricky Ricky Donovan takes it one step farther and steals medication. Ricky’s a gross lowlife. There’s a scene in his apartment where he’s smoking meth and seeing bugs, and then… I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Just remember I warned you!
But as much as Ricky sickens me, I have to give him props for the part he played in the end. Even an addict has his uses. Just someone keep this man away from meth… and bugs.
Even more chilling than Doctor Perry though is Jesse and James, identical twins the doctor scoops into his ‘care’ when their mother and infant brother are killed in a car accident.
Had Doctor Perry known what these two little sociopaths were capable of, he would have left them where they were and not alone with his wife, Myra. Poor Myra.
Resident Elijah Cone, a former winning football coach, is living out his days in exile and shame after causing a horrible accident while driving drunk. Elijah walked away from the accident… no one else did.
Elijah doesn’t want any involvement with anyone at Rose Haven. He just wants to be left alone while he waits for death to take him and relieve him of his burden of guilt and the debilitating pain of arthritis.
But that doesn’t happen once new resident Sulia Patel blows into the nursing home, a force to be reckoned with. She has secrets and she knows a few… like who Doctor Perry is and what he does.
Clients of Doctor Perry’s private practice don’t fare any better as we first see with patient Don Jury. The description of his screams…*shudders* The fates of jogger Mary Louise Jackson and health nut, Sarah Miller are a puzzle and up to the reader to ponder.
Doctor Perry is a haunting read that shows what happens when you combine the avarice of a few, the apathy of many and the anonymity of victims. In some ways, it’s scarier than alien invasions and monster-filled stories. But there are monsters… the human kind and they are all connected to Doctor Perry and his milky-white, chalk-tasting, homemade tonic. Check out this read… and keep an eye on your doctor.
Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar.
Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option…
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Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties is the trifecta of a good time if you’re like me and like your crime fiction wild, reckless and hard-boiled.
Fast-paced and slickly written, this trio of novellas hit hard and fast… and leave a high body count in their wake.
Emmett Dalton robbed banks, got shot twenty-three times, did his time in prison, and became a businessman capitalizing on his past.
But his past is calling to him. The young guys of the 1930s have no style or panache. He needs to show them how it’s done.
Forty years after their heyday, an unlikely trio of senior citizens go on a bank robbing spree. However, breaking the law at any age is never a good thing to do.
Sort of a one-item bucket list for over-the-hill gangsters, this read has moments to make crime fiction and history fans smile. Emmett Dalton, Baby Face Nelson, and John Dillinger… all in the same room; G-Man Melvin Purvis is a regular guy, and Hoover is still a jerk.
An author is chosen at random by baddies to commit a murder. His wife is killed and daughter taken to motivate him. Joe Gibson has to become a killer to save his daughter.
Riding Shotgun shows what a regular joe is capable of when pushed too far. Crooks don’t know what they’re up against when they turn a good guy bad.
This one played like a movie in my head with the late Charles Bronson as Joe Gibson. Good stuff.
Wannabe rappers try to take revenge on the arrogant record company mogul who fired them by kidnapping him to extort money from him.
There are two problems.
Two—he’s more hard-core than they are.
I can’t even call the crime a comedy of errors. It’s more likes scenes of stupidity. Loop and Bugs… OMG! They should have sold the house, banked their cash and gotten jobs at Best Buy.
Disgraced Chicago cop, Charlie Grimes, ends up in L. A…. and investigating the crime. He’s got a bad ticker and a smart mouth and his one-liners are priceless.
Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties is not for the faint-of-heart, squeamish, or HEA-fanatics. But any reader looking for great crime fiction with killer writing (see what I did there?) needs to download this today!
RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is a unique collection of quirky, Tarantinoesque crime novellas, representing three very different sub-genres. In the first story, “Easy-Peezy,” a band of elderly Old West bank robbers return to their wicked ways robbing banks in the 1930s John Dillinger era. The second story, “Riding Shotgun,” is a bitter tale about a man pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to take up arms to protect those he loves. The third tale, “$crilla,” is an urban crime fantasy in which a fledgling hip-hop group kidnaps a record mogul in the hopes of finally making the kind of loot they’ve always dreamed of.