Meet Lee Bridger, a hospice nurse, who has just been specifically requested by Margo Desouche, the matriarch of one of the founding families of Saint Louis. Margo has cancer and is facing life’s end. Lee does wonder why she is chosen to sit at the bedside of this lady who could have only the best of everything. The two do become drawn to each other. And then, as it happens in rich families, Margo’s children are positioning themselves for what will surely be a windfall inheritance. However, they stand allied with a group vowing to demolish the historic mansion for the good of the community – a new affordable housing project.
Have you ever seen one of those street signs telling you the way to go and they literally point all over the place? In some respects, this story does the same thing. I think it would have been better to take the story in one amazing direction instead of pulling in a lot of detail that ultimately had nothing to do with the story. The story itself is incredible although somewhat predictable. I fell in love with the personality and character of Lee Bridger almost immediately. She’s so in tune with others, though, that she tends to lose sight of herself. As a hospice nurse, this serves her well, but in her personal life, it doesn’t. Rating: 3 out of 5.
Lady Alexandria Cassel scorned London’s frivolous social whirl, seeking adventure as a stowaway aboard a merchant ship. Drake Barrett was the vessel’s powerful captain—and a cynical duke who disdained a noble’s shallow life. At sea he revealed neither his origins nor his wealth, and to Alexandria he was simply a man who made her cool reserve fly with the winds… whose desire for her was as wild as the ocean they sailed.
Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion… and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue—when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised. Hardly did they suspect the base treachery that would soon threaten them… and the dangers each would brave to join forever their hearts and lives!
On the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial, newsman Coleridge Taylor is covering Operation Sail. New York Harbor is teeming with tall ships from all over the world. While enjoying the spectacle, Taylor is still a police reporter. He wants to cover real stories, not fluff, and gritty New York City still has plenty of those in July of 1976. One surfaces right in front of him when a housewife is fished out of the harbor wearing bricks of heroin, inferior stuff users have been rejecting for China White, peddled by the Chinatown gangs. Convinced he’s stumbled upon a drug war between the Italian Mafia and a Chinese tong, Taylor is on fire once more. But as he blazes forward, flanked by his new girlfriend, ex-cop Samantha Callahan, his precious story grows ever more twisted and deadly. In his reckless search for the truth, he rattles New York’s major drug cartels. If he solves the mystery, he may end up like his victim–in a watery grave. Book 3 of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.
This story begins by examining Melanie’s feelings about her son, Dane’s, last year in high school before heading off to college. However, this is not just her story. Indeed it is the feelings, thoughts, and fears of the members of five different families all of which are facing their child’s last year before leaving home. While this story takes place in Crystal Beach, California, a more affluent neighborhood, these are issues that are relatable no matter where you live. But, there’s much more going on in this community than just the kid’s senior year of high school. It’s a common story yet it is not at all predictable.
I love that Kaira Rouda tells this story through several perspectives. It is a humorous look at this period in their lives, but it is also emotional and heartbreaking as well. The character depth is great, and it is no small task for this author with the large cast of characters. If you have trouble initially keeping up with who is who, you will soon be able to keep them separated in your mind as each has their own distinct personality. Rating: 4 out of 5.
PTA president Kelli Peters had a normal, happy life in Orange County, California, where she volunteered at her daughter’s school, carpooled, and took care of her family. When a school parent angrily accused Kelli of keeping her son waiting during the afterschool pick-up, it appeared to be a simple confrontation with an overprotective mother. Kelli soon learned, however, that she was the target of a twisted plot against her that involved drugs, lies, schemes, and a campaign to ruin her life. The vendetta led to reputations tarnished, careers lost, secret lives uncovered, two parents in jail, families destroyed, and a $5.7 million dollar civil judgment.
“I’ll Get You!” Drugs, Lies, and the Terrorizing of a PTA Mom is the true story of an ordinary American woman who survived an evil conspiracy that turned her life upside down and shook her hometown to its core.
Abandoned. That’s how nine-year-old Jasper Leary felt when his mother, Althea, woke him up early one morning and took him to his Uncle Leo’s farm … then left him there. As she pulled away, we’re told, “Jasper didn’t know what he’d done, but it must have been something awful. She wouldn’t even look at him. A sob swelled up, choking the air out of his throat until he couldn’t breathe.” She said she’d be back soon but soon didn’t come. Jasper had to learn the hard and sometimes gory work associated with his uncle’s farm. His cousin Wayne, a couple of years older, seemed to be well-adjusted to the hard life.
Then, there are the secrets associated with the farm – the adjacent house that was not only in disrepair but had apparently been caught in a fire. Wayne caught him snooping around inside and told him if ‘Pop’ ever caught him in there, he’d “skin ya for sure.” What Wayne didn’t know is that Jasper had found something – a diary his mom had written when she was younger. When Jasper had enough of the farm, and it didn’t take long, he determined he’d find what happened to his mom.
This is as much a story of Jasper’s coming of age as it is of Althea’s past. I loved the subheadings before each chapter. They are significant and a teaser of things to come. Animal lovers will have a difficult time reading certain passages of this story and I dare say, the images will stay with them a long time. This is a historical fiction of the early 1950’s giving us a credible picture of simpler times on the one hand, yet danger and corruption on the other. It carries us from the farmland or heartland of Michigan to the streets of Detroit. It is truly suspenseful; the author told it with a dark ‘take the gloves off’ approach. The innocence of Jasper’s character was portrayed exceptionally well. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
What an embarrassment. The Branson Beauty had been sailing Table Rock Lake near the Ozark Mountains for more than thirty years. Now it has run aground with over 100 passengers aboard and Sheriff Hank Worth needs to work through the logistics to get everyone, mostly seniors, off the boat safely. When Hank is first going through the scene, he’s walking with ‘The Company Man’, who says, “Um, Sheriff? We, uh, were hoping to keep this quiet.” Hank hits him with the truth. “Unless you think that the two of us alone are somehow going to either unstick that boat or swim all those people to shore, I don’t think this is going to stay quiet.” But as it turned out, running aground wasn’t the worse part of this scene. It was the dead girl, later identified as Mandy Bryson, who the sheriff found in the dining area.
Mandy was a high school track star. Earlier that evening, she’d been distressed at seeing her boyfriend, Ryan, with a new girl. Sheriff Worth was relatively new, having left his job as a police officer in Kansas City. Now he has a murder to solve and there are many suspects to go through.
I’m so glad to have gotten in on the ground floor of this new mystery series. The story was rich with fascinating characters and the dry humor that I love so much. While character elements are especially important to me as a reader, Claire Booth didn’t stop with only giving us rich characters, she also gave us a well-structured plot and a fast-moving pace. Oh, and did I mention, it is her debut novel. My only complaint, quite honestly, is I want the next book in the series … now! Rating: 5 out of 5.
When a violent death disrupts the monthly meeting of the Pua Kala Garden society, Professor Molly Barda has no intention of playing amateur detective. But Molly’s not just a witness-the victim is Molly’s house guest and grad-school frenemy. And Molly quickly finds to her dismay that her interest in the murder of the stylish and self-centered Melanie Polewski is more than just…academic.
The second book in the Josie Oliver mystery series proves to be a very challenging case for Jo who is also the Chief of Police in the town of Haversport, IL. For one thing, she’s being framed for the murder of her estranged and abusive husband and his girlfriend. For another, Josie is a Christian, and as such, is challenged to place herself by faith more solidly in the hands of God. Those two deaths are just the beginning for the real serial killer and each death is designed to make Josie look more like the primary suspect.
There are several twists in this fast-paced thriller serving to keep the reader guessing. Josie (Jo) is a very believable heroine who is compassionate. Even though she’s represented as strong, she has weaknesses as we all do. The cast of secondary characters’ personalities were also depicted well and I believe this series will show them growing closer together like a close-knit family. The ending is dramatic, but with hangers … which is not my favorite style of ending. This does have some romance as she reconnects with former boyfriend, Nick Vitallero, an FBI Special Agent. She’s not entirely sure she can trust him as her ex had put her through the ringer. The entire story is a clean read as Dr. Finger is a Christian author. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
This had me at the first paragraph … a very short one that read: “On our wedding day, my fiancé, James arrived at the church in a casket.”
After the service for James Donato, but before the burial and the reception, Aimee Tierney was approached by a young woman who introduced herself as Lacy. She shocked Aimee with a zinger, telling her, “James is alive.” Lacy placed her card in Aimee’s hand before hurrying away. When Aimee got a chance, she looked at the card that identified the woman as “Lacy Saunders; Psychic Counselor … Murders, Missing Persons & Unsolved Mysteries.”
This debut novel by Kerry Lonsdale is so well-paced and well-plotted; you’ll have a hard time believing it is a debut. It had startling twists within the mystery aspect of the novel. It’s not like Aimee didn’t know James. She met him when she was eight. Later, they were high school sweethearts. Through flashbacks, the story goes back to the years as they got to know each other. I did have an issue with the funeral being held on the same day they would have been married, but it was not an issue related to the author’s storytelling, it was just appalling that poor Aimee allowed herself to be talked into it just because they already had the church reserved. How devastating for her. This is an emotional read. Before James’ boating accident, they had their lives planned out, but now she’s completely lost. The ending was absolutely satisfying, yet there was an opening. I can’t wait to see if there is a sequel to Everything We Keep. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.