Mini-Review: A Sprinkling of Murder (Book #1: A Fairy Garden Mystery Series) by Daryl Wood Gerber

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Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she’s starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

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Source: NetGalley and Kensington          Rating: 2½/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  Once again, I find myself in the minority when it comes to star ratings on a book.  I struggled through this book from page one to the very end and that made me angry because I really wanted to love this read.  It has everything I normally love in a cozy mystery and even has a dash of the paranormal, but somehow none of this came together for me.  I found most of the characters to be rather flat, the plot to be rather cliché, and the addition of the fairies to somehow be beyond the realm of possibility, even in a fiction book.  To be completely honest, I am not sure why this read didn’t work for me, but as I finally made it to the end, I realized, I won’t be giving the series a second chance.  I think this may simply be an instance of “not for me” but I can absolutely see how this book is appealing to other readers.

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Review: The Second Chance Hotel by Rachel Dove

53266327. sy475 Welcome to Shady Pines, where the sun is shining, the sea is sparkling, and there’s a cosy chalet waiting to be your home away from home. But will April find the new start she’s looking for? 

April Statham had it all – until her husband left her for a blonde ten years her junior. Now she’s thirty-five, single, and starting again. So she does what anyone in her position would do: she impulsively invests her life savings in the chalet park she used to visit as a child, on the beautiful Cornish Coast. 

The Shady Pines Chalet Park is… ramshackle. But it has one big advantage – it is as far as physically possible from April’s ex, his new fiancée, and her old life. With gorgeous handyman Cillian O’Leary, April is looking forward to the challenge. 

As visitors arrive, April realises that Shady Pines isn’t just a second chance for her, it gives Cillian another shot at happiness too. 

But when he moves into the chalet next door, April’s painful past starts to catch up with her, and she struggles to reconcile her feelings for Cillian. 

Is April’s new beginning destined to end in failure – or will she find new friends, a new life and new love at her second chance hotel?

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Source: NetGalley, HQ Digital, and Purchase          Rating: 4/5 stars

April Statham’s life was not meant to turn out this way!  At thirty-five, she was meant to still be happily married with a growing family.  As it happens, life doesn’t always turn out the way you mean for it to and adjustments have to be made.  In April’s case, two adjustments included running from the fallout of her old life and investing nearly every cent she had in an old, run-down chalet park.

Some of April’s greatest childhood memories are from her time at the Shady Pines Chalet Park.  Sadly, April’s memories of the site are far better than the site itself.  After years of neglect and incompetent management, April has a load of work to do if she is going to bring the Shady Pines back to its former glory.  Though April has a small budget for repairs and updates, she doesn’t have unlimited funds.  What she also doesn’t have is the skill set necessary to do many of the repairs herself.  To that end, she hires Cillian O’Leary.

Cillian O’Leary has enough baggage for himself and four other adults.  His ex is an addict who does nothing but further damage to their daughter, he doesn’t yet have sole legal custody of his daughter, and he needs a job that will be flexible enough to care for his daughter yet still earn a decent income.  Thankfully, alongside his baggage, Cillian also has all the skills April is looking for in a handyman and her job offer comes with a home for he and his daughter. 

From the moment they meet April and Cillian are at odds and often have serious miscommunications.  Cillian is grumpy and wary of women while April is determined and wary of men.  If it weren’t for Martha, the crusty old artist who lives permanently onsite, Cillian and April would likely never get over their issues and realize they actually care for one another.  Working together is difficult, but Martha finds ways – subtle manipulations – to put the two together and force cooperation.  As Martha is playing matchmaker, she is also dealing with the implications of her own baggage, her past, and how it has seemingly comeback to haunt her. 

The Bottom Line: The Second Chance Hotel isn’t just April’s story of love and redemption, but also a story of love and redemption for Martha, Cillian, and Cillian’s daughter.  All their lives have been turned upside down and Shady Pines feels like their last hope.  As the four learn to trust one another, they also learn to like and even love one another.  While there are plenty of obstacles to their various HEAs, there is still an HEA for each.  While I can’t say this is an overly emotional read, it does have loads of feels and it is a nice mix of the past and the present which I am always a fan of.  The setting is also lovely and evolves as the characters evolve.  In all, this is a sweet read that will most certainly appeal to romance readers.

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Spotlight: Savage Kingdom (Sekten Series) by C. Lymari

The Sect does not forgive.
The Sect does not forget.
Keeper of secrets and dealers of lies.
We bow to no king, nations, or men.
Crossing us is certain death.
• • • • • •
He was a mercenary, and I a slave. 
He wanted to save me, but I liked the pain. 
We stole, cheated, and lied. Through a savage kingdom, we found a divide. 
He betrayed me, but so did I. 
In this wicked game who will survive?
Author’s Note: The Sekten Series is a dark romance series that needs to be read in order. It is intended for mature audiences since there is a lot of graphic content, and scenes that make you uncomfortable and it might not be suitable for you if you are easily triggered. Some books will be darker than others, but all are triggering none the less. This is a dark world, so read at your own discretion.

 
Claudia lives in the Chicagoland suburbs, and when she’s not busy chasing after her adorable little spawn, she’s fighting with the characters in her head. After not being able to keep up with them, she decided enough was enough and wrote her first novel. C. Lymari writes both sweet and dark romances that will give you all the feels. Her other talents include binge watching shows on Netflix and eating all kinds of chips.
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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Angel Face: A Life in the Crosshairs Novel by Nicki Rae

It’s not often Jaide Winters hears her given name cross the lips of other’s. Although she’s often called “lethal,” “smart,” and “beautiful,” she’s Angel Face to most—the deadliest assassin in the world. 
After spending weeks in the jungle tracking down the brother of the biggest drug lord in South America, Angel Face finally makes the kill. She knows big brother Cortez won’t take well to the news but isn’t bothered since he’s her next target. 
Upon returning home to plan the last stage of the mission, she receives devastating news, propelling her into one of the most emotionally challenging missions she’s ever had to undertake—one that could end her career. 
Uncovering details at every corner, she is led in an unexpected direction. The newly discovered information causes war between her mind and her heart, and it’s such a new feeling that she can only hope she’s able to stay alive.

Nicki Rae is the author of Broken Minds, Lather: A Moore Love Story and The Date: A Moore Love Short Story, The Perfection Series: Damaged and Resisting Perfection. She’s a born Buckeye turned Hoosier who loves to spend time with her family. Along with being an avid reader, she also loves animals and the Indianapolis Colts. 

 

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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Sweet Love by Mia Kayla

That awkward moment when you insult the boss on your first day on the job.

Yeah, that just happened.

In my defense, if I’d known it was Connor Colby of the Colby’s Chocolates and Candies empire standing by the display dressed in a candy cane-striped suit, I never would have opened my mouth to tell him that their signature chocolate bar sucked.

How was I supposed to know he was the boss man?

He was in town temporarily to help save his father’s company.
I was only there for a payday to jump start my art career.

I had one job—help him come up with a rock solid marketing plan.
The task included long nights and late dinners working by Connor’s side.
It did not include kisses, sex in the supply closet, or … worst yet, falling in love.

Why is that so bad you ask?
Because the man is leaving right after our mission is complete. Job done.
Finito.

Will our sweet love turn into sour patched tear jerkers or will he be my big hunk, now & later and forever?

Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois. She is the wife to the husband of the year and mommy to three unbelievable cute little girls who have multiplied her grey hairs. 
In her free time she loves reading romance novels, jamming to boy bands, catching up on celebrity gossip and designing flowers for weddings.
Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end. 
She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.
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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Snake’s Rage (Book #2: Road Warriors MC Series) by Raven Featherwood

Snake: My mind is blown! All I needed was some damn help in the bar. Not more trouble in the form of a leggy sex kitten that made me lose my damn mind. If only Cat wasn’t still so fragile. One minute I was wishing I had some help and the next this hot as hell redhead is dancing on my bar with me. 
Of course, I hired her. That sinfully delicious body, and those innocent eyes. Talk about standing at attention, every nerve in my body was aware of her. It may have been a bit over the top, what happened in my office while supposedly doing her new hire paperwork. But I couldn’t resist the pull. She possessed me as much as I possessed that tight body of hers. I need more of that, at least a little more, enough to get her out of my system. I will never let a woman get to me, get inside my head, ever again. Besides, I’m a Road Warrior, I have all the women I want, I will never again let feelings for a woman dictate my actions. Not going there, no matter how hot she is or how my body aches for her.
Rory: I got the job! Let’s hope I keep it. Sleeping with the boss is never a good idea. But he is so hot, and talk about put together. He has the most magnificent body, it just makes me ache to run my hands all over him.
I can’t believe it, a new job, and a hot man. Next I’ll get an apartment, and see where this new relationship takes me. I hope back into his arms, I just need to touch him, kiss him, taste him. Yes, it’s time to move on, let the past go, live in the now.
Too bad my past doesn’t agree, and in fact is about to intrude on my idyllic fantasy. See, my past, my rapists, are Road Warriors too.
His brothers and his club? Or the woman who is fast becoming the very reason his heart beats? As their pasts collide with their futures, will Rory and Snake be able to overcome and be together or will the pull of the past finally win out?
 

Excerpt and Sweepstakes: The Russian Savage: Enemy of the Bratva (Book #2: Krasnov Brothers) by Rie Warren


I am her enemy.
And I’m going to make her mine.
She might never forgive me, but I don’t care. 
Saving the daughter of an enemy was not my intention but, now that I have her, I intend to keep her. Nothing is going to stop me from using this mafia heiress as I see fit, not even her personal vendetta that pits her family against the Bratva. 
Kidnapping the beautiful Italian princess is in my best interests even if it’s not good for her. Because I have wicked secrets of my own, which I intend to play out on her luscious body. 
She will be my prized possession come hell, high water, or a vicious new war. 
The Russian Savage is Arkady’s story and is book two in the Krasnov Brothers series. No cliffhangers. No cheating. Includes vivid, steamy scenes. Can be read as a standalone.

Excerpt from: The Russian Savage: Enemy of the Bratva (Book #2: Krasnov Brothers):

My heart beat a mile a minute, and I kept my eyes glued to the daunting man before quickly taking stock of my situation. Arkady had brought me to what appeared to be a well-maintained house close to the alley where I’d been accosted. 

Glancing to my right, I noted the hallway we’d come down. Now I sat in the middle of a large midnight blue sofa with two leather club chairs angled across from me. A brick fireplace and tall windows dominated the room almost as much as Arkady’s foreboding presence did. 

His gaze left me only to inspect the purse he’d stolen from me. 

When I began to get up, he pointed in my direction. “Don’t move, Lucia.” 

The stark coldness in his voice reflected in the iced-over blue of his eyes. 

Fear froze in my veins, and I clamped my hands between my thighs in hopes of hiding my trembling fingers. 

What if he killed me now?

Who would find me then?

My father would bury two children in the space of three months. 

The gag made it difficult to breathe but, after another threatening look from Arkady, I didn’t dare remove it, not even though air staggered in and out of my lungs.

He made quick work of the contents of my handbag, emptying everything onto a side table adorned only by a trio of tall ivory candles in black enamel holders. After poking through my cosmetics bag and even feeling along every inch of the lining for hidden items, he scooped the small satchel back into my purse. 

He hummed when he found my keys and the small pepper spray canister attached. He placed my keychain aside then looked through my feminine hygiene products and birth control pills, which made my cheeks flame brightly. 

I almost looked away but, when he glanced at me and saw my embarrassment, I glared even harder. 

Maiale!

I cursed a muffled noise when he retrieved my phone. Then he paced to me, and his hand shot out as fast as a whip. 

I winced, recoiling from a blow that never came. 

His face took on an unreadable expression before he gave two sharp tugs to the gag stuffed between my lips. The pocket square removed, I took a deep stuttering breath, and he raised the phone screen to my face. 

He had the device unlocked in an instant from my facial ID. 

Lunging up from the deep cushions, I tried to throw myself at him—shove him off-balance, do anything to escape—but he merely sat me back down with one hand centered on my chest. 

“Those are my personal belongings!” Red hot anger laced my voice. 

“Not anymore.” His face hardened into harsh angles, those snapping blue eyes of his even deeper in contrast to his dark hair. 

Every motion he made was precise while pure chilling menace rolled off him in frigid waves. 

The side of my face throbbed, my knee hurt, my pants were ripped, and I was thirsty and tired and running on pure adrenaline alone. 

I was helpless to do anything to protect myself, and that was the worst blow of all. 

He spent no more than a few minutes on my phone and must’ve gleaned whatever information he wanted because he removed the SIM card and smashed it beneath his shoe. 

My heart kicked up its wild beating, and I felt like I’d start hyperventilating. 

Next, he expertly found the tracker hidden within the phone’s case and crushed it just like he had the card. He discovered a second tracker sewed into the lining of my handbag, and I swore softly beneath my breath. 

He sent the most sinister, most triumphant smile my way, and my hands grew clammy. 

“Stand,” he ordered after returning the non-contraband items to my purse. 

I rose to my feet, nails digging into my palms. I wanted nothing more than to lay a stinging slap across his arrogant face. 

“Jewelry,” he said. 

“You’re stealing my jewelry? You’re no better than those street thugs,” I spat out. 

He said nothing more, holding his hand outstretched. 

Knees quaking, I removed my diamond stud earrings, the slim gold chain around my neck, an antique opal ring left to me from my nonna, and the heavy bangle bracelet from my wrist. 

He took all the items and examined those too. Finding them clean of bugs, he dropped those into my handbag, which he then tossed at me. 

When he pivoted away, I rushed at him from behind. 

I didn’t even make contact before he whirled around to capture me in an iron-like embrace. Snarling wildly, I pummeled him on his unyielding chest, but my hands made little impact on his hard musculature. 

I’d never detested a man more than I did in that moment.

When I jerked my leg to knee him in the balls, he released me so fast I stumbled. I didn’t even get a chance to steady myself before he grasped me behind the legs and swiftly tipped me onto my back. I landed on the floor, scrabbling to get back up. 

He simply reached down, heaved me back up, and pinned me against his body, once more demonstrating his overwhelming power. 

His face darkened, restrained fury thinning his lips and, with one hand, he clasped my wrists behind my back. 

The next thing I knew, he held the barrel of his gun against the bruised side of my face. 

Breath left my mouth in a hiss as cold metal kissed the skin of my throbbing temple. 

Arkady slid the barrel down and across my lips. 

True terror seizing my insides, I clamped my mouth shut, and his eyes became deadly blue slits as he skimmed the gun beneath my chin. 

Then I felt two hard things at the same time—the muzzle of the gun pressed beneath my chin to angle my face up and the rigid thickness of his cock nestled tightly against me.

“Are you scared of me yet, dragotsennaya printsessa.” Gruff hoarseness deepened his voice. 

I was petrified and, yet, sudden intense so-wrong arousal tickled across my body to settle low in my belly.

“Yes,” I whispered. 

“Good.” 

I heard him holstering the sidearm then his hand was at my throat. 

I became transfixed by the different kind of heat that entered his blue eyes. Smoldering heat. Male lust as he squeezed my neck, and my nipples traitorously pinged up within the cups of my bra. 

Arkady’s head bent toward mine as his hand moved up my elongated neck. 

Heat flashed. I thought he was going to kiss me. His mouth would be warm and firm, unlike the kiss of his gun. His hard cock pressed into my belly, and fluttery sensation swarmed lower to pool between my thighs. 

His lips barely whispered across my cheek, and my breath hitched in my throat. 

My head was spinning. 

I had no idea what was going on. 

His grip on my neck tightened then loosened then squeezed again, and his lips touched the shell of my ear. 

I almost moaned before I swallowed the sound. 

I was pressed wholly against this killer Russian who’d just held a gun to my head, and illicit lust spiraled out of control inside of me. 

“I don’t need a gun to make you do what I want, Lucia.” His deep drugging voice made my toes curl.

Badass, sassafras Rie Warren is an OG Amazon All Star author of Bad Boy books and MC romance. She delivers five star sex, suspense, and the best banter around. Her stories are one hundred percent original, do not contain fluffy plots or virgin brides, and wring every last emotion from readers to leave them with a satisfied smile. Rie’s tough alpha males are never brought to heel, but are instead healed by the feisty femme fatale of their perfect match.

She grew up in Maine, went to college in Iowa (Iowa, what?), lived in Scotland, and married in Englishman. In true roundabout fashion, they came back to the States, settled in South Carolina’s lowcountry, putting down southern roots and pursuing their arty endeavors. Tale spinner and character diviner, Rie is a lover of sleep, wine, and rude memes often involving either Disney characters or Winnie the Pooh. She is raising two teen daughters along with an entire brain full of unruly characters.

Rough-talking alpha men? Rie has that on tap.
Stubborn sassy heroines? You bet.
Smoldering sex scenes that’ll set your Kindle on fire? Check, check, check.
Keep a fan handy, you’ll need it.

Follow the signup link below to her romance newsletter for sneak peeks, new releases, first looks, and her quirky sense of humor.
https://www.subscribepage.com/riewarrenromance

And, as always, happy sexy reading to you!

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Spotlight: Behemoth (Book #1: Grimm Wolves MC Series) by D.M. Earl

How does a man live two lives? One part is with honor as a firefighter and the other questionable as a nomad in a motorcycle club. Add into the already confusing mix an unbelievable skill set that allows him the uncanny ability to absorb other’s thoughts and emotions, and things can become complicated.
Francis M. Stein, aka Stitch is surviving the best he can with the hand he has been dealt. He has found an extended family in his brothers in both his firehouse and MC. Still he is alone, isolated, and living a solitary life, seeing no changes in his immediate future. He is simply existing. 
That is until a young boy named Damien enters his life and introduces him to everything he is missing. Francis finally is able to see a future for himself that includes a woman of his own and a family. Grace Sinclair is everything he could ever dream of and more. 
As with everything in Francis’ life, there is good and there is bad. Will Francis, Grace, and Damien be able to overcome their problems for a happily ever after or will fate once again cause chaos for them? Only time will tell.



USA Today Bestselling author D. M. Earl spins stories about real life situations with characters that are authentic, genuine and sincere. Each story allows the characters to come to life with each turn of the page while they try to find their HEA through much drama and angst.
DM resides in Northwest Indiana with her husband and 8 fur babies. When not writing she loves to read, ride her Harley and garden. Also DM likes to spend time with her family and friends.

 

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Cover Reveal: Protecting Anna (A Lucky Strike Lovers Novel) by Julia Jarrett

A snowstorm brought them together, but her past might tear them apart…
Bartender Ryan Carlisle is ready to leave his playboy days behind. He used to believe commitment was something to be wary of but watching his best friend fall in love and get engaged has him starting to think differently. His path to finding love won’t be easy, since the first and only woman to stir his protective instincts and make him dream of forever, is running scared and looking for a place to start over.
When Anna Thorn comes into his pub, desperate for a safe harbor, the last thing either of them expects is the thrill of instant attraction. They’re both trying to move on from their past and find happiness in their future. Together, they must learn to trust, and ultimately, to love.
As Anna’s past catches up to her, their relationship – and her life – will be thrown into jeopardy.

 

Julia Jarrett is a busy mother of two boys, a happy wife to her real-life book boyfriend and the owner of a rescue dog. She has a passion for writing contemporary romance novels that are full of relatable heroines and the men who fall in love with them. If she isn’t writing or chasing kids, she’s most likely drinking tea, reading a book and dreaming of a sunny vacation.
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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Violence (Book #3: Antihero Inferno Series) by Lily White

Seventh Circle

Violence
Also Known As Ezra Cross

He’s one of a pair.
Identical twin to Damon.
And an enforcer for the Inferno if one is ever needed.

I knew better than to get involved with him.
With his aggression.
With the constant fights.
With the games the twins were known to play with every woman stupid enough to fall for them.

We made a mistake when we met again as adults.
I fell in love.
He fell in love.
His brother fell in love, too.

What used to be a good time is now a tragedy.

Our story is messy.
It’s cruel.
It’s forbidden.

Despite all that, Ezra refuses to let go.

*** Each novel in the series depicts a unique romance, but the plots through each book connect in one world. For the best experience, read the series in order.
Nine Dangerous Men. Nine Unrepentant Sinners. Nine Irresistible Manipulators.

 

 

Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.
 

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