Friday, November 30, 2018

Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by Karyn Gerrard

Title: Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by 
Author: Karyn Gerrard 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical romance 
Rating: 5
Sexual: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 

He's as dangerous as he is irresistible...

The heir to his family's fortune, Aidan Wollstonecraft is ready to put his prodigal ways in the past and prove himself worthy of his illustrious name. Going undercover in a factory to expose the wretched working conditions, Aidan believes his noble act will lead him to a better future. Until he's reunited with the sweet beauty who saw him through his darkest days. Cristyn Bevan stirs him like no other woman before. Makes him yearn to claim her, despite the damning curse that dooms any Wollstonecraft wife to an all-too-early death...

To fall for Aidan would be her undoing. Yet, something about the blue-blooded scoundrel draws Cristyn to him like a moth to a deadly flame. Is it a desire to heal him that keeps the lovely nurse close? Or her secret hope that somehow, some way, Aidan can let go of his dark past and see the light—and the love—waiting for him?

This book is an emotional roller coaster that will take you into our past and even present working conditions.

First off I want to say kudos to the author for the amount of research that she had to have put into writing this book. People tend to think child labor was thousands of years ago, but it really wasn’t and even in the 1920’s America corporations was still using child labor and even today several countries including China still uses child labor so keep that in mind while you are paying for cheap goods.

I have loved Cristyn’s character since I first meet her, I knew she was a strong willed and minded woman of her time and she just proves this in hers and Aidan’s story.  These two go into horrible working conditions to help those that don’t have the means to help themselves and before you know it they are working together to fight for those less fortunate, this is true romance at its best.

Warning this story is not for the faint of heart if you love kids, but for those of you who buy cheap goods, you really need to read this to find out what real child labor is all about and this is why I look high and low for made in the USA or any country goods that don't have child labor and I will pay more for these goods because of things such as this.

I recommend this to everyone, you need to remember our past and present in child labor and you get a good romance story along with it. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cookbook review of Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker by Nancy S. Hughes

Title: Thinner in an Instant Cookbook: Great-Tasting Dinners with 350 Calories or Less from the Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Review by Laurie 
Rating: 3

Team up with your Instant Pot (or any other brand of electric pressure cooker) to control or lose weight with the quick, delicious, and waist-conscious recipes of Thinner in an Instant.

There are loads of Instant Pot cookbooks. However, almost all are filled with rich recipes that taste decent but deliver a nasty caloric punch right to your waistline.

Here's a tasty and good-for-you alternative. In Thinner in an Instant, Nancy S. Hughes, one of the most-respected and best-selling cookbook authors in the US on health-related topics, offers up the first and only book that will help you watch or lose weight by cooking with an electric pressure cooker.

Each recipe maxes out at 350 calories per serving and comes with a complete nutritional analysis, including calories, fats, cholesterol, salt, and other information that is important to you if you are a health-savvy or weight-conscious cook—or if someone you cook for needs help losing a few pounds.

These are soul-satisfying dinners that won’t leave you hungry: Beef Burgundy on Sweet Potato Mash, Seafood Gumbo, and Greek Lemon Chicken with Asparagus, to name just a few. Plus, there are delectable, yet lo-cal, desserts, like Upside Down Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake and Lemon-Berry Bread Pudding, to round out the meal.

At last, weight-watching and calorie-conscious cooks and eaters can enjoy the speed, convenience, and ease-of-use of the Instant Pot and its cousins

** spoiler alert **
The nutrition facts for each recipe is great, the recipes are very easy to follow and I also like the tips in the front of the cookbook, but there are only 50 recipes and none of the recipes have images. 

Now, my biggest problem is the sodium content in each recipe, a lot of the recipes has over 500 milligrams of sodium and for someone wanting to watch their sodium intake this something, you’ll have to consider before buying.
If you are new to pressure cooking and you are just concerned about cutting a few calories than this cookbook would really work for you, there are quite a few great recipes from Sandwiches and Wraps, One-Dish Suppers, Main-Courses, Sweets and Desserts and more. 

If you are like me and have way too many cookbooks on hand now and are really watching your sodium intake, I would suggest looking at more cookbooks like this one before you decide to get this one, even if you have to pay a bit more for it. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Title: Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3) 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Rating: 4
Reviewed by Laurie 

Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect.

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .

Amish Candy Shop Mystery has become one of my absolute favorite cozy mystery series I love the characters and settings.

Amanda Flower is a very talented author. You don’t find many authors that can create different worlds and different characters in different series. Most of the time when you read different series by the same author you’ll read either the same likeness of characters or somehow the storyline will feel like you’ve read it before. This is one reason I love reading books by Amanda Flower because you don’t feel like you read the same book or characters before.

So far, this story is my favorite book in the series, the twist and turns in this mystery had me coming back for more until I was done and shocked as to who done it. Bailey relationship picks up more as she and Aiden get close, but with Bailey’s new job offer we are left with a lot of questions as what is going to happen next, which leaves me with I can’t wait for the next installment. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Health and fitness reference book review of The Healing Powers of Superfoods by Cal Orey

Title: The Healing Powers of Superfoods
Author: Cal Orey
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Health and fitness 
Length: NoveL
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Laurie 

Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?

Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt--even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you've always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they're affordable--plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.

With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.

*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried.

*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!

*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.

*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas.

*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed.

Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature--enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!

The Healing Powers of Superfoods, is more of a reference book than a cookbook although you will find quite a few recipes to indulge yourself in during each chapter and a whole chapter of recipes before the end of the book.

Cal Orey takes you through each superfood per chapter and she dives right into each nutrient, history etc of that certain superfood and before the chapter ends she gives you a recipe or two.

You will also find chapters for shelving life of foods, five-day menu plan, and much more. If you are looking for a book to help you figure out what superfood is best for you, this book will do the trick.

There has been new progress with superfoods over the past couple of years and I believe Cal Orey gives you an updated superfood reference book. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Romance Review of Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) by Elizabeth Jordan

Title: Enthralled (Orion's Shield Book 1) 
Genre: Romance
Length: Novel
Source: Purchased at Indie Romance Convention 
Rating- 4
Sexual- 1

Lady Caroline Alton is young, beautiful and in London for her first season. She is excited about her first foray into society, but family secrets seemed to be piling up around Caroline more and more each day. She thought she might discover the great secret in her own life one day, except when she did, she had a feeling that it just might change everything. When she meets Lord Thomas Steele at her home in London, she is immediately intrigued by the handsome, dashing young barrister, who is a friend of her father. Each time she sees him, she becomes more and more aware that he, too, is deeply involved in the secrets that surround her, and she sets out to prove to him that she has the courage to face whatever it is and to stand beside him as he confronts the evil that threatens him.

Thomas, the youngest son of a Marquis, has been fighting an uphill battle against vampires most of his life. London is under attack and Thomas is the captain of the guard of Orion’s Shield, a clandestine group of vampire hunters sanctioned by the Prince Regent himself. Having been attacked and bitten by a beautiful and seductive vampire at a young age, Thomas struggles against the forces of darkness that have never stopped trying to consume him. An ancient and powerful evil has come to England, and a physical battle, as well as a spiritual one, must be waged against it. If the battle is lost, it will leave Regency England vulnerable to hell on earth. And yet in the middle of the fray, two souls try to find their way both to the light and to each other before the darkness destroys whatever happiness they may find.… Can love truly conquer all, or will evil consume them both?

Enthralled is a true romantic gem, I couldn’t wait till my reading time each day so I could dig back into the story.

If you love the older type of vampires that enthralls humans, kills humans, drinks blood, you can kill them by stakes through the heart, you’re bound to enjoy this.

Elizabeth Jordan writes a loving yet harsh world where Lady Caroline and Thomas has to deal with lawlessness vampires and let me just say Lady Caroline is no dismal in distress, nope she knows how to handle herself around them even though she has no clue vampires exist beforehand.

My only reason for not rating it a 5 is the majority of the time I felt like the story was set in modern times by the way they talk to each other, but yet I am very picky so, some of you may never notice this.

I recommend this to anyone that loves action pack clean romance. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell

Title: The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering 
Author: Elizabeth Heiskell
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cookbook
Length: 368 pages 
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Laurie 

Say “hello” to the modern-day reinterpretation of the best-selling Southern Living cookbook of all time, 1972’s Southern Living Party Cookbook.

This new essential guide to entertaining is divided by occasion, offering a fresh lineup of menus and ideas for every celebratory scenario life serves up from What Can I Bring? Author, Elizabeth Heiskell, In this update to the best-selling book of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ era, Elizabeth’s tell-it-like-it-is voice provides a twist to the classic Southern advice that is a refresher for entertainers of any age or experience. Packed with delicious recipes from the original book like Smoked Salmon Canapes, Hot Cheese Squares, and Brandy Alexanders, the book also includes popular picks from the current pages of Southern Living as well as Elizabeth’s treasured recipe box. The Southern Living Party Cookbook is an entertaining handbook loaded with lifestyle tips and hilarious Heiskell stories, along with lush photography to help you get the look from table setting to plated dish.

This cookbook is not only great for entertaining and parties, but it’s also excellent for everyday use.  

Each chapter offers you a different party and at the beginning of the chapter, you get a picture of a decorated table so you can grab some inspirations off of that and then you dig into the recipes for that party. You have parties such as Graduation Coffee, Welcome Tea, Tailgating, Thanksgiving dinner, Garden Club Luncheon, Impress the boss and many more party choices.

Now, as I said this cookbook can also be used every day, but with the majority of these recipes severing 10 and up all you have to do is cut the recipes in half as I did. So, far I have made the Chocolate –Bourbon Pecan Pie and The Cowboy Bean and loved both of them.  

Great images, easy to follow recipes what more can anyone ask for.

Take this from someone who has way too many cookbooks and cooking magazines, this cookbook would be an excellent addition to your ever-growing collection.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

DIY Book Review of She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own by Erika Kotite

Title: She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own 
Author: Erika Kotite 
Genre: Craft Hobbies
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 4  

With She Sheds Style, you'll browse ideas, step-by-step projects, and decorating tips from a variety of creative “she shed” owners—then add your personal style to your own shed!

It's no secret that the she shed revolution is underway and gaining steam. What is a she shed? It's simply any outbuilding that has been renovated, outfitted, redesigned, or otherwise reassigned into service as a refuge from the intense pace of modern life.

Consider it a woman's response to the “man cave” craze. Whether you already have that sought-after shed or are still in the dreaming phase, author Erika Kotite (She Sheds: A Room of Your Own, Cool Springs Press, 2016) will help you on your journey. You'll start by browsing the sheds and shed interiors, which range from modern and eclectic to rustic and shabby chic. Learn what architectural details play into a shed's look and consider how these elements work with your preferred decor.

Once you're charged with inspiration, explore loads of DIY projects and ideas from some of the most creative she shed owners around the world. A variety of front entrance ideas provide inspiration for welcoming guests to your space. Ideas for re-purposing furniture abound, such as transforming an old door into a drop-down potting bench. You can even extend your shed's impact beyond the walls with garden features like stepping stones and string lights. Most projects are shown with detailed, step-by-step photos so you can see exactly how the work is done.

So get started and create your own she shed style! 

This book is great if you have a shed and are looking to spruce it up with a style to be all your own.

I bought a medium size shed a few years back with plans that it would be my garden shed all to only become a place to house my holiday junk and my daughters one day but never happening moving out junk for the past few years and I needed some inspiration so I could work on cleaning it out and creating my garden shed. So, when I noticed this book on Netgalley you know I had to give it a try and it had worked with all of the different styles, colors and simple projects I know this spring I will have my garden shed.

No matter if you looking for craft space, office space, writing space, garden space, or just a place to read your books, this book will help you want to change your shed into something you’ll enjoy for years to come all with the authors simple tips and step by step projects to get you on your way to designing that perfect space. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Death on the Menu (Key West Food Critic Mystery #8) by Lucy Burdette

Title: Death on the Menu (Key West Food Critic Mystery #8)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: NetGalley
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating: 4 

When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case. 

Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom. 

Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu

I requested this one off of Netgally out of a whim and I am glad I did, I really enjoyed the story.

Let me start off saying I have never read anything from this author and this should also tell you I have never read any other books in the series so I was amazed that I never really felt as if I needed to start with the previous books. I do love hitting standalone in series.

 I enjoyed the characters, mystery, and the bit of politics that was added into the mix.  The author puts your imagination to work as you about a treasured Cuban award come up missing during the event. The author also gives you quite a few Cuban recipes in the back of the book for you to try.

I recommend this one to anyone that likes a good Cuba/US relations mystery.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Gardening book review of Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden by Julie Thompson-Adolf (Goodreads Author)

Title: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden 
Genre: Gardening 
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 5

Grow fabulous food and flowers from seeds, then save seeds to make next year's garden even better.

Creating dinner from food you’ve grown provides a fantastic sense of accomplishment. Now, imagine the pleasure of starting plants from seeds, tending them, planting them in your garden, harvesting their fruits, and enjoying a delicious meal or bouquet. But that's not the end of the journey. Now you can turn around and save the best seeds for next year’s garden. Suddenly, you’re self-sufficient; you’ve grown your own garden from seed to seed.

In this book, you'll find the tools you need to become a seed starting and saving champion. Author and gardening expert Julie Thompson-Adolf walks you through every step of the journey, making the entire process a joy. You’ll find hints to encourage stubborn seeds to germinate, lists of varieties to add to your garden, charts for quick growing reference, and simple DIY projects to aid your seed starting and saving adventure. (Learn how to make seed bombs and an indoor seed-starting station.) The extensive plant entries inside cover all the most popular vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Get started with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and melons, or chamomile, cosmos, sweet peas, and poppies—accompanied by beautiful photography from Libby Williams.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener new to seed starting and saving or a brand-new grower, you’ll soon have healthy, productive, beautiful plants for your garden.

Awesome reference from starting seeds to saving seeds book, I for one will be buying this book for my future gardening journey.

When I put in a request for this book I didn’t expect to get approval being a romance book blog but when I see the book in my Netgalley shelf I jumped for joy and I was not disappointed.

I started raised beds for my vegetables a few years back and had figured out how to save several seeds myself and have been pleased with my progress, but as I bring in new vegetables there are some I have no clue how to save the seeds so, I need some kind of reference or help to figure out how I save seeds for them plus, this year I expanded my gardening and bought over 300.00 dollars worth of flowers this summer so I knew I had to do something to save the seeds because I refuse to spend that kind of money each year. So, when I saw this book on Netgalley you know how happy I was to see it on my approved shelf.

Now, for the book review, I really loved how the author starts with simple sowing technique and brings you to save the seeds. No, she does not go into each plant on how to save the seed of that plant but she gives you both methods and she lists the way to save the seeds in each plant reference in the back of the book.

I’ve been direct sowing my seeds because my indoor seeds were a flop the first year, so I am hoping the simple tips will help me try indoor sowing again and succeeded next spring.   

This is a great book for any gardener to have on their shelf. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Tail of the Dragon (Zodiac Mystery #3) by Connie di Marco

Title: Tail of the Dragon (Zodiac Mystery #3)
Author: Connie di Marco
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie 

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled--the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life.

One of the best cozy mysteries I have read this year! I thought for sure I knew who, but little did I know what author Connie di Marco had tossed into the mix. Needless to say, I was shocked and screaming holy cow, I never saw twist one coming.

This is my first book by this author and I am so glad I tried it. I love how the author brings the location and Julia to life as you read. Kudos on the research the author did to bring Julia’s first job as an astrologer, I love getting to know what the characters do day by day.

You can’t ask for anything better when you enjoy the characters, mystery and that you didn’t have to read the first books in the series in order to keep up. 

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, all the expressions above are my own opinion.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Cozy mystery review of Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries #2) by Allison Brook

Title: Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries #2) 
Author: Allison Brook
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Length: Novel
Reviewer: Laurie
Rating: 3 

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn't know since her dad Jim's been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a seven-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie's boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr's life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she's searching the victim's country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library's ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

Read and Gone offers a good story, a good mystery with multiple murders and a great main character named Carrie which is stuck in the middle trying her best to figure it all out. To tell you the truth I really enjoyed the story all except for one thing that I was missing and this is why I gave Read and Gone 3 stars. The resident library ghost was just about nonexistent in the story and for a series that is called The Haunted Library, it left me disappointed.  So, even though I found this a good solid mystery as a reviewer I have to look at all the aspect of the story. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Cozy mystery review of Shelved Under Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #2) by Victoria Gilbert

Title: Shelved Under Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #2) 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie 
Rating: 5 

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder. 

This is my first book by Victoria Gilbert and I have to say I enjoyed her writing style; she kept me guessing the whole time as she brought the mystery to life in my head as I read the story. I will be back for more of her stories.

Shelved Under Murder is the second book in Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, I missed the first book, but the author kept up with past going on so I didn’t feel like I messed anything.

I enjoyed the characters and the story was great, the author did a great job tying the art forgery with Amy’s family, even though it’s in the blurb you just don’t expect what how it all ties together and how much loss is entwined with the whole case.

 I recommend this series to any cozy mystery lover out there.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cozy Mystery review of Runaway Murder (A Carson Stables Mystery #4) by Leigh Hearon

Title: Runaway Murder (A Carson Stables Mystery #4) 
Author: Leigh Hearon 
Source: NetGalley 
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Length: Novel
Reviewed by Laurie 
Rating: 3

Breaking free from her mounting responsibilities on the Olympic Peninsula, Carson Stables owner Annie Carson reluctantly swaps muddy jeans for breaches to attend a dressage event in Southern California. But after settling into elegant digs at a historic mansion, she finds herself surrounded by palace intrigue, backbiting riders, and cold-blooded murder. As Annie makes heads or tails of clues scattered around the show ring, she must figure out which of her new acquaintances is a killer—before the crazed culprit takes the reins . . 

As much as I love the other books in A Carson Stable Mystery series this one fell short for me.

Leigh Hearon was very thorough with the terms and how a dressage event is handled, but between the dressage terms and numerous characters, I felt the mystery feel to the background, that along with Annie’s complicated relationship with Marcus. Annie is also different in this book,, she is not open minded nor does she seem as friendly as she did before. Needless to say, I just didn’t enjoy this one as much as the others.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Romance review of Happily Ever After, Again by D.F. Jones

Title: Happily Ever After, Again
Author: D.F. Jones 
Source: Author Request
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Length: Novel
Rating: 4
Sexual rating: 2
Reviewed by Laurie 

Happily Ever After, Again is electrifying, heart-pounding romance suspense melding sensuality, danger, and intrigue in this fast-paced page-turner.

Who killed Bratten Drake?

Bratten’s murder leaves Lauren grief-stricken while questioning the motives of his partner, his assistant, and his best friend.

Against Ever-After protocol, Bratten’s ghost mysteriously appears to help Lauren solve the murder, but places her in danger.

Will Lauren live Happily Ever After, Again?

If you like mystery, paranormal and romance this book is for you.

As a mystery lover, I was totally surprised as I kept turning the pages to try to find out who done it.

Lauren and Alex's romance is very different, you see, Lauren just lost her husband in death and Alex was her husband’s best friend. These two quickly find romantic connections with each other as they are forced together to find out who killed Bratten’s. Oh, and Bratten also comes to help them, hint, the paranormal elements in the story. The romance between these two starts rather quickly, but I have to say it’s done tastefully considering the turn of events that happens rather fast. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Cookbook review: A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere by Alison Walsh

Title: A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere
Author: Alison Walsh
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Cookbook
Reviewed by Laurie 
Rating: 4

A Literary-Inspired Cookbook for Voracious Readers at Teatime

Tea and books: the perfect pairing. There's nothing quite like sitting down to a good book on a lovely afternoon with a steaming cup of tea beside you, as you fall down the rabbit hole into the imaginative worlds of Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Sherlock Holmes . . .

Fire up your literary fancies and nibble your way through delicate sweets and savories with A Literary Afternoon Tea, which brings food from classic books to life with a teatime twist. Featuring fifty-five perfectly portioned recipes for an afternoon getaway, including custom homemade tea blends and beverages, you will have everything you need to plan an elaborate tea party. Cook up and enjoy:

Turkish Delight while sipping on the White Witch’s Hot Chocolate from The Chronicles of Narnia

Drink Me Tea with the Queen of Hearts’s Painted Rose Cupcakes from Alice in Wonderland

Eeyore’s “Hipy Bthuthday” Cake with Hundred Acre Hot Chocolate from Winnie the Pooh 

Hannah’s Sweet Potato Bacon Pastries and Jo’s Gingerbread from Little Women 

Tom Sawyer’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts from Tom Sawyer
And more!

Accompanied with photographs and book quotes, these recipes, inspired by the great works of literature, will complement any good book for teatime reading and eating.

A Literary Tea Party gives you all you need to host a large or small tea party, but not only that these recipes are also great for everyday baking and cooking right to your own table. Recipes are simple and easy to follow.  Oh, and as a tea lover, this book gives you a lot of tea flavors that you’ll love again and again. I was totally surprised how well this book was written.

Put it to you this way, as a book reviewer off of Netgalley we don’t get to keep the book, so I am staying a lot here when I say I myself will be grabbing a copy for myself.

If you love nostalgic, tea, baking and cooking this one is for you. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Romance Book Review of Scandal with a Sinful Scot (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #2) by Karyn Gerrard

Title: Scandal with a Sinful Scot (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #2)  Karyn Gerrard 
Author: Karyn Gerrard 
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Lenght: Novel
Reviewed by: Laurie
Rating: 3
Sexual: 3

“You must lock away your heart at all costs.”

Falling in love was the darkest moment of Garrett Wollstonecraft’s privileged youth, even as he and Abigail Hughes shared a blissful summer of passionate promise. Sworn to keep Abigail safe from the curse plaguing generations of Wollstonecraft men, Garrett sacrificed his future happiness. Now, fourteen years after he lost his heart, Abigail reenters his life. But the woman who arrives unannounced at his ancestral manor is very different from the sheltered girl Garrett once knew.

The widow of a country doctor, Abigail can’t forgive Garrett for his cruel rejection. Yet she can no longer keep the truth from him—a secret that could have resulted in her ruin. But as the embers of desire reignite, and Abigail and Garrett slowly rebuild trust, a malicious enemy plots against them. Is their love strong enough to break free from the sins of the past—and to end the tragic cycle that consigns Garrett to a life of loneliness?

I enjoyed the first two books in Karyn Garrard Men of Wollstonecraft Hall series, but this one fell short for me, but again you can’t love them all.

I am just going to pull the bandage right off and get right into this books drawback. The first and biggest drawback for me was both Garrett and Abigail cannot seem to forgive each other and so this means these two keep bring up the same thing that broke them up so many years ago and it got to be dreadful reading it time and time again. The other drawback for me was, I felt like these two never really rekindled that spark to reconnect. After years of separation she brings herself to face him and then before you know it, they were hopping like rabbits I just didn’t feel the connection that would bring them together after all of the years, especially with the fact both Garrett and Abigail, has such a hard time getting over the fact of Garrett just dumping and that she never came running to him all those years ago. The last downside for me is I really wished this series would focus a bit more on the curse that is on the family, and how they are going to find out how to solve the curse for these men.

This story does give you a glimpse into future books with other characters in the story so, you have something to look forward to, I know I am looking forward to the next book.