Posts Tagged Review

#Review “Path to Passion (The Astacios)” by Nana Prah

💛 BOOK RELEASE💛

Title: Path To Passion
Author: Nana Prah
Genre: Contemporary Romance


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5/5 Stars!

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.

Enjoy!

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BLURB

The man who broke her heart . . .
Is the man she now needs more than ever!
Heir to his family’s global empire, branding genius Miguel Astacio turns everything into marketing gold. Only his best friend’s sister seems immune to his magic touch. Until Tanya Carrington comes to him to save her floundering nightclub. Miguel is ready to rectify past mistakes. But will his supreme sacrifice win the heart of the woman he loves?
Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/hbCASz


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#Review “The Cheesemaker’s House” by Jane Cable

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5/5 Stars!

I enjoyed this read which balances itself on a narrow ledge between reality and the supernatural.

It is slow in the beginning as we meet Alice Hart, a thirty-five-year-old divorcee restarting her life in a small English village after being abandoned by her ex for his younger secretary.

While I didn’t always agree with her choices, I liked Alice from the beginning.

Neil was an ass—that much isn’t up for debate—but Alice admits her formative years left emotional damage and perhaps she didn’t try hard enough in her marriage. But to be fair, she believed she was being the wife Neil wanted. He didn’t speak up; she didn’t ask. Lack of communication (and Neil being a total and complete ass) equals divorce.

The divorce brings Alice a small cottage and the funds to renovate it, so she moves to Yorkshire for a fresh start, which will include a small ensemble of colorful characters, not the least of which is Richard Wainwright and Owen Maltby.

Richard is a gorgeous specimen of manhood, but it’s the soft-spoken, elusive pharmacist-turned-shop-owner, Owen, Alice is drawn to.

But pinning Owen down long enough to get to know him proves to be an ongoing problem for Alice. He disappears abruptly and shows up suddenly, keeping Alice confused and off-balance.

Combine seeing Owen when he doesn’t even acknowledge her; the mournful crying coming from her barn, and visions in her own home she’s not sure she saw, and moving to Yorkshire for a fresh start is an idea Alice Hart can toss out the window.

Or is it?

At first glance, I was put off by everyone in the story except Christopher, the vicar. They all seemed too far from center. But when a cleaned out barn becomes cluttered again, and Alice seeks out Owen with concerns about their unprotected sex, (which appeared to be a catalyst to more weirdness) The Cheesemaker’s House became unputdownable!

Already cautioned by villagers that Owen is a weirdo, Alice notes his odd behavior but it doesn’t deter her feelings for him. An aggressive move by Richard blindsides her and as she tries to put it in its proper perspective, the nightly crying… and Owen’s odd behavior intensifies.

A surprise discovery in Alice’s barn sends Owen off on a tangent and he goes missing, leaving Alice and friends to wonder if he’s reached the brink of madness… or is even alive.

It takes new friend, Margaret, and Richard’s Uncle Cyril to delve deep into this centuries-old mystery.

The weaving of the parallels between the back story and present-day is spot on and one of my favorite parts of the story. No one here is crazy. But, as humans, we feel something is wrong with us when we see or experience something we can’t explain away.

Such is the case with Owen. Right before losing his beloved Gran, his full charmer heritage showed up and not quietly. Oddly enough, he has the skill of a charmer, but not of the full acceptance of his calling. None of it makes sense to the man of science… but it is happening. However, knowing he wouldn’t be believed, Owen keeps everything to himself… and looks nuttier than a fruitcake.

Alice Hart might have gone down the same path, but she wasn’t as close to it as Owen. Her growing feelings for Owen and her need to find the truth; plus having others she trusted to confide in saved her focus. I believe it also helped her to shed the emotional damage of her childhood and her failed marriage. Alice found her inner strength and was now proactive instead of reactive.

Owen Maltby was stronger than he appeared also. He had to be. A weaker soul would have been driven to madness. Seeing people who lived almost three-hundred-years ago can do that to a person. HA!

The most curious part of The Cheesemaker’s House for me was the Owen/Richard relationship. It was supposedly antagonistic because of a woman they were both involved with. However, after Richard admits to the childhood friend they both played with, I wondered if casting shade onto Owen, in fact, made Richard feel normal? The men eventually appear to find an agreed-upon peace, but I’ll bet Owen benefits more than Richard.

However, everyone in this story benefited because of Christopher. One would expect a typical man of the cloth and representative of the church to denounce and deride every word out of these character’s mouths. While maintaining a biblical focus, Christopher was the voice of reason. He was invested in the mystery but never got lost in the mania. Kudos to him.

The Cheesemaker’s House is an engaging, detailed read which pulled me right in. I was invested in the future of the characters as well as the plot. I applaud the story’s close because it doesn’t deliver an unrealistic pretty package, but instead, it ends on a high note of hope. I believe readers of mysteries, historical fiction, and women’s fiction will get lost in this supernatural mystery and the love story which comes with it.

Enjoy!

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The Cheesemaker's House coverJust think, Alice, right now Owen could be putting a hex on you!

When Alice Hart’s husband runs off with his secretary, she runs off with his dog to lick her wounds in a North Yorkshire village. Battling with loneliness but trying to make the best of her new start, she soon meets her neighbours, including the drop-dead gorgeous builder Richard Wainwright and the kindly yet reticent cafe´ owner, Owen Maltby.

As Alice employs Richard to start renovating the barn next to her house, all is not what it seems. Why does she start seeing Owen when he clearly isn’t there? Where – or when – does the strange crying come from? And if Owen is the village charmer, what exactly does that mean?

The Cheesemaker’s House is a gripping read, inspired by a framed will found in the dining room of the author’s dream Yorkshire house. The previous owners explained that the house had been built at the request of the village cheesemaker in 1726 – and that the cheesemaker was a woman. And so the historical aspect of the story was born.

Jane Cable’s novel won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show People’s Novelist competition, reaching the last four out of over a thousand entries. The Cheesemaker’s House can be enjoyed by anyone who has become bored of today’s predictable boy-meets-girl romance novels.

Purchase Links

Amazon universal link – viewBook.at\CheesemakersHouse
Waterstones
Kobo
iBook

I desperately want to find out about Owen; a fascinating character… the gift here is to make you want to read on.” – Jeffrey Archer

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~The Cheesemaker’s House~

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#Review “The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, Part 3” by Audrey Davis

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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!

Enjoy!

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HH Part 3 coverNothing 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’.

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Purchase from

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

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“The Haunting of Hattie Hastings, Part I” by Audrey Davis

 

BLOGGER RECOMMENDED!

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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 …

Part 2 is available   |   Part 3 release July 30th

 

Amazon US    |    Amazon UK

Kindle Unlimited

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#Review “Chasing Black Gold” by Robert Stone

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4/5 Stars!

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.

Enjoy!

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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.

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

The History Press

Waterstones

Ebooks.com

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Win 10 x signed copies of Chasing Black Gold (Open Internationally)

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#Review “Here Comes the Best Man” by Angela Britnell

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5/5 Stars!

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.

Enjoy!

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Being the best man is a lot to live up to …cover
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?

 

~ Purchase Links ~

Amazon UK     |     Amazon US

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#Review “Doctor Perry” by Kirsten McKenzie

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4/5 Stars!

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.

Enjoy!

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coverUnder 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…

~ Purchase Links ~

Amazon US     |       Amazon UK

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