Review: The Family at Number 13 by S.D. Monaghan

I think this would’ve been really good as a short story. It had a few clever little bits here and there, it definitely had some psychologically disturbed characters, and it had a little grisliness. However, it also had a lot of extraneous detail (I decided to just skim a few pages in each chapter, didn’t miss much) and some plot points that made me go “hmmmm” — and not in a good way.

I think this book just needed an editor. An editor to make the author get rid of the cheesy parts, tighten up all that description that led nowhere, and perhaps not have the main “problem” revolve around a trampoline in the back yard. Really. (And I use the trampoline as the euphemism for all the things that happen in relation to that trampoline, but I don’t want to spoil the plot, so I’ll remain vague.)

Anyway, this is an okay book, fairly entertaining, and somewhat of a psychological thriller… but again, might be best if born again as a short story.

-calliope

Buy THE FAMILY AT NUMBER 13

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Review: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m not usually a historical fiction fan, but this book was terrific, with its focus on Nantucket and the Quaker religious sect. I grew up in Massachusetts, so reading this book put me back in grade school, on fun-filled field trips to Plymouth Rock, the whaling museum in New Bedford, and Sturbridge Village.

Phoebe isn’t your average young lady. She has a plan. The plan involves not hanging out with her poverty stricken dad who can’t finish a plan or a project. The plan involves not playing games with her childhood crush. The plan involves marrying a handsome, rich, prestigious Captain of a whaling boat.

Phoebe makes some headway on her plan, but the childhood crush crashes her party a couple times, and the Captain is much more (or way less) than he appears to be. Lucky for Phoebe, she has her great grandmother’s journal as her personal treasure map, leading Phoebe toward the light, the righteous, and the Divine. Phoebe takes her successes and multiplies them, much to the blessing of the rest of Nantucket.

-calliope

Buy PHOEBE’S LIGHT

Quick Review: Seek by Mia Sheridan


Holy cannoli!! This book was a wild ride. I’m not even kidding. My stomach was in my toes the entire time. I was downright stressed. The suspense was killing me. The twists and turns had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster. I read non stop for three hours. I couldn’t put this down. From the very first page, I was hooked.

Olivia hired Thomas to take her to Columbia so that she could search for her missing fiancé. The country has suffered from a deadly tsunami and earthquake. So many roads are impassable. Danger is everywhere. But Thomas knows how to get her there and will do anything to do so. But traveling proves more difficult, and deadly, than she ever imagined.

They started out as strangers but stressful situations has a way of pushing people together. Between the life and death situations, something was brewing underneath. But can she trust this stranger? Will she find what she seeks?

She was sunshine. Warm and bright, too sweet for this cruel, dirty world.

Secrets. Lies. Heartache. This book had it all. I won’t say anymore, except that this will get your heart pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. THE ENTIRE TIME. Gah! Mia sure changed things up with this book. This isn’t your sweet angsty romance. Not even close. I hope we get more books like this.

~Melpomene

Buy Seek http://amzn.to/2BkmQZM

Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS

Review: Thief’s Mark by Carla Neggers 

Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan finally get some alone time … and what happens? Their FBI duties call, and in a big way. Their pal Oliver York finds himself in some hot water, and he might not be able to get out of it himself. 

This adventure was full of good nuggets… Irish history, family secrets, betrayal, art, and the sanctity of Catholic confession. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get as much of the Emma-Colin banter I’m used to. These newlyweds had to put up more of a united front in this book… and good thing for Oliver that they did! 

To add to the “more mystery, less romance” tack, Neggers wrote some quirky characters that threw me off my Sharpe&Donovan game.  I expected the usual one or two odd ducks, but Neggers painted quirkiness over pretty much a whole family. It’s a great character study for sure. 

This is a terrific series if you’re a fan of romantic suspense, Ireland, New England, and the FBI. Start with the first book, because you don’t want to miss the fun tension. 🙂 

-calliope 

Buy THIEF’S MARK

Review: The Hero by Donna Grant

hero What an exciting start to this new series!

Usually when I read a second chance love story, one of the participants is a little slow to embrace the re-connection. In The Hero, it seems that both really want a second chance. While it may not be the best of times, with a kidnapping, attempted murders and government conspiracies, but the heart doesn’t listen to anyone’s timeline.

Owen and his three brothers haven’t been home in over a decade, and when they do it’s to find their aunt and uncle murdered and their dad kidnapped. So now they must come together and put aside all their past feelings and find their dad and figure out what kind of trouble he’s gotten himself into. What it didn’t anticipate was seeing his one and only love after 14 years. How’s he supposed to keep his eye on the prize when he can’t take his eyes off of her?

Even though Owen shattered Natalie’s heart 14 years ago, seeing him again brought all those past feelings right up to the surface. She’s been dragged into the family drama and now must rely on Owen to keep her safe. Too bad he didn’t keep heart heart safe all those years ago. Kinda hard to trust him this time around too.

Donna Grant steps away from her usual paranormal stories to bring us a new romantic suspense series. This installment was non stop action and intrigue mixed in with a nice dose of romance. I am so very curious to see where this series is headed. I can’t until the next book!

~Melpomene

Book Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220643-the-hero

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2faUBSm
BN: http://bit.ly/1WiqBWU
Nook: http://bit.ly/1YIv2cC
BAM: http://bit.ly/1Tjsx1V
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1TuprXe
iBooks: http://apple.co/1WGpiSy
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1WGjJUX
Tantor Audio: http://bit.ly/2cIuTar

Pre-Order Incentive Information:
There are TWO pre-order incentives going on now for Donna’s new military romance series!!

If you pre-order THE HERO you will be entered for some seriously cool prizes including the **entire** Dragon King series (Dark Heat – Smoke and Fire – including novellas) signed to you, winner’s choice of a bundle of books, Darkest Flame (signed) and some swag, and swag and a coveted DK t-shirt!

But to be entered, you MUST FILL OUT THE FORM. All pre-orders are acceptable as long as you have an order number from the retailer you purchased from.

Pre-order form to THE HERO: http://bit.ly/TheHeroPO

If you pre-order THE PROTECTOR you will receive a bonus scene that features Owen and Natalie from THE HERO. The scene will NOT be shared anywhere else. It will be exclusive to those who pre-order THE PROTECTOR and fill out this form:

Pre-order form to THE PROTECTOR: http://bit.ly/TheProtectorPO

Links for THE PROTECTOR:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29875933-the-protector
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2g57DS7
BN: http://bit.ly/2d49mro
Nook: http://bit.ly/2cG4Ld5
BAM: http://bit.ly/2dmIe9e
iBooks: http://apple.co/2cUHbL7
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2d4a34e
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cG4ozv
Powells: http://bit.ly/2d49NSv
Tantor Audio: http://bit.ly/2d7g7Md

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Date: Thurs., 12/1/2016
Time: 7pm CST / 8pm EST
Link to the FB Event is https://www.facebook.com/events/267169100347430
Hash Tag: #TheHeroDG