The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry @stmartinspress #review #historicalmystery

Overview

In New York Times bestseller Steve Berry’s latest Cotton Malone adventure, a secret dossier from a World War II-era Soviet spy comes to light containing information that, if proven true, would not only rewrite history — it could impact Germany’s upcoming national elections and forever alter the political landscape of Europe.

Two candidates are vying to become Chancellor of Germany. One is a patriot having served for the past sixteen years, the other a usurper, stoking the flames of nationalistic hate. Both harbor secrets, but only one knows the truth about the other. They are on a collision course, all turning on the events of one fateful day — April 30, 1945 — and what happened deep beneath Berlin in the Fürherbunker.Did Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun die there? Did Martin Bormann, Hitler’s close confidant, manage to escape? And, even more important, where did billions in Nazi wealth disappear to in the waning days of World War II? The answers to these questions will determine who becomes the next Chancellor of Germany.  

From the mysterious Chilean lake district, to the dangerous mesas of South Africa, and finally into the secret vaults of Switzerland, former-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone discovers the truth about the fates of Hitler, Braun, and Bormann. Revelations that could not only transform Europe, but finally expose a mystery known as the Kaiser’s web.

Review

Cotton is retired. But he is called upon to uncover the truth about one of the candidates vying for chancellor of Germany. He and his partner, Cassiopeia, uncover more than they bargain for.

This story takes you all over the globe, Chile, Africa, Germany. And, of course, each country has a new piece to the puzzle. Did Eva Braun die in the bunker? Is one of the candidates up for chancellor of Germany her descendant? Leave it to Cotton to find out.

I have been a fan of this author since his very first book. And I have read them all. I have not missed a single one. (The Amber Room is his best!) I love the history and the action which is in every book. And this story is full of all of the above. Steve Berry is one of the best at historical mysteries!

Cotton Malone books are not to be missed! Grab this one today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

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Amazon

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Rhapsody by Michael James Kaplan

Overview

Mitchell James Kaplan [brings] his impressive knowledge of history, composition, and the heart’s whims to bear on this shining rendition of Swift and Gershwin’s star-crossed love.” —Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z and A Good Neighborhood

“A lilting, jazzy ballad as catchy as a Gershwin tune…Rhapsody will have you humming, toe-tapping, and singing along with every turn of the page.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress

One evening in 1924, Katharine “Kay” Swift—the restless but loyal society wife of wealthy banker James Warburg and a serious pianist who longs for recognition—attends a concert. The piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The composer: a brilliant, elusive young musical genius named George Gershwin.

Kay is transfixed, helpless to resist the magnetic pull of George’s talent, charm, and swagger. Their ten-year love affair, complicated by her conflicted loyalty to her husband and the twists and turns of her own musical career, ends only with George’s death from a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight. 

Set in Jazz Age New York City, this stunning work of fiction, for fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, explores the timeless bond between two brilliant, strong-willed artists. George Gershwin left behind not just a body of work unmatched in popular musical history, but a woman who loved him with all her heart, knowing all the while that he belonged not to her, but to the world.

Review

Kay, a wealthy banker’s wife, is introduced to George Gershwin. This leads to a 10 year affair. George is full of energy and the magnetic attraction between these two just could not be stopped. Through many twists and turns of his career and the pull of her marriage, these two manage a love affair for the ages.

What a unique story. I have not read many books about George Gershwin and this brought back tons of memories from my dancing days. What a great talent. And the author did a fabulous job with the research. I did feel it was a little wordy in places. But, I was captivated by George and Kay.

The setting of the jazz age, the unique characters and the wonderful story will keep you coming back for more. Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

Purchase Here

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner @Parkrowbooks @sl_penner #historicalfiction #5stars #review

The Lost Apothecary : A Novel Sarah Penner
On Sale Date: March 2, 2021 9780778311010, 0778311015 Hardcover
$27.99 USD 320 pages

Overview


In this addictive and spectacularly imagined debut, a female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Pitched as Kate Morton meets The Miniaturist, The Lost Apothecary is a bold work of historical fiction with a rebellious twist that heralds the coming of an explosive new talent.

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

Review

Caroline is spending her 10th wedding anniversary trip alone in London. She needs this time to digest just what her husband has done. Caroline found out he was having an affair right before the trip. She left without him. She just needs her space!

While Caroline is wandering around London and taking in the scenery, she comes across a group of people getting together to go mudlarking. On a whim, she decides to join them. She ends up finding and antique bottle that sends her on a quest.

As most of you know, give me a book that I learn something and I am hooked. I have never heard of mudlarking…Yep, that is a thing. It is digging in the mud on a river, like the Thames, to find ancient artifacts. This sent me down a rabbit hole. I started researching and watching videos. This is now on the bucket list.

This story is told in two different time periods, present day and the 18th century. It is part family drama and part mystery. I was captivated all the way through. The characters, the time period, the science, the reasons behind the murders, the old maps with the clues…oh boy! What a book!

Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

About the Author

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, to be translated in eleven languages worldwide. She works full-time in finance and is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit slpenner.com.

Social links


Author website: https://www.sarahpenner.com/

Facebook: @SarahPennerAuthor
Instagram: @sarah_penner_author
Twitter: @sl_penner

Purchase Here

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February Escapes and Escapades #escapesandescapades #wrapup #5starreads

HEEEEELLLOOOO EVERYONE!

I hope February was a fantastic month for y’all! It has been a unique month! It actually snowed in the ‘Sip. As you can see we got quite a few inches.

I also received my second vaccine! It went smooth as silk!

Way to go Mississippi!

Now on to the…

Escapes

The Paris Library
The Girl from the Channel Island
Waiting for the Night Song
The Nature of Fragile Things
The English Wife
The Wife Stalker
Somebody to Love
The Family Ship

Reviews are coming soon for these below..

Stay tuned!

What did you read and enjoy in February? I would love to know! I might need to add it to my list!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Audible Reads for February #wrapup #audiblebooks #audible #audio

I had a fantastic audiobook month in February. I am working in my house a good bit, cleaning out and throwing away old stuff and donating to goodwill. This has allowed me more time to listen to books.

I listened to three books this month. All three were well over 10 hours long but worth every minute!

HERE WE GO!

The Unwilling
All Creatures Great and Small

The above books are fantastic. They are not to be missed!

The next one, the review will be up next month. It is truly Kate Quinn’s best book. So stay tuned!

Audible

Thank you for stopping by!

What did you listen to in February. Inquiring minds want to know!

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The Vineyard at Painted Moon – Book Spotlight and Excerpt @harlequinbooks

The Vineyard at Painted Moon Susan Mallery
On Sale Date: February 9, 2021 9781335912794, 1335912797 Hardcover
$27.99 USD, $34.99 CAD Fiction / Family Life / Women 400 pages


About the Book:


MacKenzie Dienes’s life isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as she could ever hope to get. Her marriage to Rhys, her best friend’s brother, is more friendship than true love. But passion is highly overrated, right? And she loves her job as the winemaker at Bel Apres, her in-laws’ vineyard. So what if it’s a family business and, even after decades of marriage and incredible professional success, she’s still barred from the family business meetings? It’s all enough…until one last night spent together leads to an incredibly honest—and painful—conversation. Rhys suggests that they divorce. They haven’t had a marriage in a long time and, while he wants her to keep her job at Bel Apres, he doesn’t think they should be married any longer. Shocked, MacKenzie reels at the prospect of losing the only family she’s ever really known…even though she knows deep in her heart that Rhys is right.
But when MacKenzie discovers she’s pregnant, walking away to begin a new life isn’t so easy. She never could have anticipated the changes it would bring to the relationships she cherishes most: her relationship with Barbara, her mother-in-law and partner at Bel Apres, Stephanie, her sister-in-law and best friend, and Bel Apres, the company she’s worked so hard to put on the map.
MacKenzie has always dreamed of creating a vineyard of her own, a chance to leave a legacy for her unborn child. So when the opportunity arises, she jumps at it and builds the Vineyard at Painted Moon. But following her dreams will come at a high price—one that MacKenzie isn’t so sure she’s willing
to pay…

Excerpt

Chapter One

“Not that what you’re wearing isn’t great, but the party starts in an hour.” 

Mackenzie Dienes looked up from the grapevine she’d been studying, her mind still on the tight clusters of small, hard grapes that would, come late September, be ripe and sweet and ready for harvest. Between now and then, she would monitor their progress, willing them to greatness and protecting them from danger, be it mold, weather or hungry deer. 

She blinked at the man standing in front of her, tall and familiar, with an easy smile and broad, capable shoulders.

 “Party?” she asked, letting her thoughts of the vineyards go and remembering that, yes, indeed, it was the evening of the annual Solstice Party, hosted by the Barcellona family. As she was a Barcellona, by marriage if not by name, she would be expected to attend. 

Wanted to attend, she reminded herself. It was always a good time, and Stephanie, her sister-in-law, worked hard to make it a perfect night. 

“The party,” she repeated, her voice slightly more panicked this time, then glanced down at herself. “Crap. What time is it?”

 Rhys, her husband, shook his head. “You really don’t listen when I talk, do you? We have an hour. You’ll be fine.” 

She pulled off her gloves and shoved them into the left front pocket of her coveralls, then stepped behind Rhys and gave him a little push toward the flatbed truck he’d driven out to the west vineyards. 

“You say that because all you have to do is shower and get dressed. I have to do the girl thing.” 

“Which takes you maybe ten minutes.” He put his arm around her as they hurried toward the truck. “Happy with the grapes?”

 “I think so,” she said, glancing toward the healthy vines growing on either side of them. “We might have to do some thinning in a couple of weeks, but so far, so good.”

 As they slid onto the bench seat of the old truck, he glanced at her. She smiled, knowing there was a fifty-fifty chance he would call her out on her thinning statement. He was, after all, the vineyard manager. Technically all the decisions about the vineyard were made by him with her input, but not her instruction. As winemaker, she managed the grapes from the moment they were picked until the wine was bottled. 

But at Bel Après, areas of responsibility often overlapped. Theirs was a large, boisterous family in which everyone had opinions. Not that Mackenzie listened to a lot of other ideas when it came to her wines, although as Rhys often pointed out, she was very free offering hers when it came to his work.

He drove along the dirt path that circled the vineyard, stopping by her truck. She slid into the cab, then followed him back to the family compound. The main road leading into Walla Walla was thick with tourists who wanted to enjoy the longest day of the year. She merged into the slow-moving traffic, doing her best to keep from glancing at the clock on the truck’s dashboard as she inched along. 

Vineyards stretched out on either side of the road, flat on the left and rising toward the hills on the right. Bright green leaves topped sturdy trunks that had been carefully trained to grow exactly as she wanted them to. The rows were long and neat, and the spaces between them were filled with native grasses that held in moisture and protected the roots from the heat. 

Looking at her healthy crop kept her mind off the fact that she and Rhys were going to be desperately late.

 Twenty minutes later, she followed him off the highway onto a less crowded secondary road—a back way home. Five minutes after that, they parked the trucks by the processing buildings behind the big tasting room. Rhys had already claimed one of the golf carts the family used to get around. She slid in next to him and they took off toward the center of the property. 

Bel Après Winery and the surrounding land had been in the Barcellona family for nearly sixty years. Rhys and his siblings were third-generation. The original main house had been updated several times. When Rhys and Mackenzie had married, Barbara, Rhys’s mother, had suggested they build themselves a house close to hers, rather than commute from town. Eager to stay in the good graces of her new mother-in-law, Mackenzie had agreed.

 A large two-story home had been built. Barbara and Mackenzie had decorated every room, the act of choosing everything from light fixtures to doorknobs cementing their affection for each other.

 A few years later, Stephanie, the second of Barbara’s four children, had gotten a divorce and moved back home with her two kids, requiring another house to be constructed. When the youngest of the three girls had married, the last house had been added. Only Lori, the middle daughter, still lived in the original home. 

All four houses faced a huge central courtyard. Mexican pavers were shaded by vine-covered pergolas. The extended family used the space for big dinners and as a kids’ play area. If one of the women baked cookies, a cookie flag was hung out the front door, inviting anyone to stop by. At Christmas, a large tree was brought in from Wishing Tree, and for the annual Summer Solstice Party, dozens of long tables were brought in to seat the two hundred or so guests. 

Rhys swung the golf cart behind the large main house, circling counterclockwise. Normally he would cut across the courtyard, but with all the party preparations, he had to go the long way. He pulled up at the rear entrance to their house and they dashed inside. 

Mackenzie paused to unlace her boots and left them in the mudroom. Rhys did the same. They raced up the stairs together, separating at the landing to head to their individual en suite bedrooms. 

Once in her bathroom, she started the shower. Thankfully, she’d already picked out the dress she would wear. She raced through a shower. After she dried off, she wrapped her hair in a towel and dug out the scented body lotion Rhys had given her a couple of years ago. Why anyone would want to smell like coconut and vanilla was beyond her, but he liked it. 

She walked into the large closet and opened her underwear drawer. To the right were all the sensible bikini panties she usually wore—to the left were the fancier ones for special occasions. She chose a black pair and slipped them on, then went to the second drawer and looked for the matching push-up bra. When it and the pads were in place and doing the best they could with her modest curves, she pulled on a robe and returned to the bathroom. 

After plugging in her hot rollers, it took her only a few minutes to apply eyeliner and mascara. She was flushed from the day working outside, so she didn’t bother with any other makeup. 

Her hair took a lot longer. First she had to dry the dark red shoulder-length waves, then she had to curl them. While the rollers were in place, she searched for a pair of black high-heel sandals that wouldn’t leave her crippled by the end of the night.

 Those found, she opened her small jewelry box and pulled out her wedding set, sliding both the engagement ring and the wedding band into place on her left hand. Diamond stud earrings followed. She’d barely stepped into her sleeveless black dress when Rhys walked into the closet, fully dressed in black slacks and a dark gray shirt. 

She sighed when she saw him. “See. You have it so much easier than me.” 

“Yes, but in the end, you’re more beautiful. That should be worth something.”

 “I’d rather have the extra time.” 

She turned, presenting him with her back. He pulled up the zipper, then bent to collect her shoes. They retreated to her bathroom and together began removing the curlers. 

“We’re late,” Mackenzie said, catching sight of his watch. “Your mom is going to be all snippy.” 

“She’ll be too busy welcoming her guests.” The last of the curlers was flung onto the counter. Mackenzie fluffed her hair, then pointed to the bedroom. 

“Retreat,” she said, reaching for the can of hair spray. 

Rhys ducked to safety. She sprayed the curls into submission before running into the bedroom to escape the death cloud. Rhys was on the bench at the foot of the large bed. She sat next to him and quickly put on her shoes. 

“Done,” she said, pausing to reacquaint herself with the seldom-used skill of walking in heels. 

She grabbed her husband’s wrist. “Seven fifteen. Barbara’s going to kill us.” 

“She’s not. I’m her only son and you’re just plain her favorite.” 

“We weren’t ready exactly at seven. I can already hear the death-march music in my head. I want to be buried on Red Mountain.” 

Rhys chuckled as he led the way downstairs. “In the vineyard? I’m not sure your decaying body is going to be considered organic.” 

“Are you saying I’m toxic?” she asked with a laugh as they walked toward the front door. 

“I’m saying you’re wonderful and I’d like us to have a good night.” 

There was something in his tone, she thought, meeting his gaze. She’d known this man her entire adult life. They’d met over Christmas her freshman year of college. Her roommate, his sister Stephanie, had dragged Mackenzie home to meet the family. Grateful not to have to spend the holiday by herself, Mackenzie had gone willingly and had quickly found herself falling not only for her best friend’s hunky older brother but for the entire Barcellona family and the vineyards they owned. Barbara had been like a surrogate mother, and the vineyards, well, they had been just as magical as Rhys’s sexy kisses.

 Now she studied her husband’s expression, seeing the hint of sadness lurking behind his easy smile. She saw it because she hid the same emotion deep inside herself. The days of stealing away for sexy kisses were long gone. There were no lingering looks, no intimacy. They had a routine and a life, but she was less sure about them still having a marriage.

 “I’d like that, too,” she murmured, knowing he wasn’t asking them not to fight. They never did. Harsh words required a level of involvement they simply didn’t have anymore.

“Then let’s make that happen,” he said lightly, taking her hand in his and opening the front door.


About the Author:

NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Social Links:

Website: https://susanmallery.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanMallery 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/susanmallery 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/susanmallery 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susanmallery/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/susanmallery 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susan-mallery 

Mailing List: https://susanmallery.com/join-mailing-list.php

Buy Links:


Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1335912797/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vamf_tkin_p1_i6

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vineyard-at-painted-moon-susan- mallery/1136918902?ean=9781335912794


Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/the-vineyard-at-painted-moon- 9781335912794/9781335912794


IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335912794


Libro.fm: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488210488


Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Vineyard-Painted-Moon/Susan- Mallery/Q840696538?id=7843731390040


Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-vineyard-at-painted-moon-by-susan-mallery-hardcover/-/A- 80128583


Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Vineyard-at-Painted-Moon-Hardcover/508623296

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vineyard-at-painted-moon


AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-vineyard-at-painted-moon/id1509949550


Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susan_Mallery_The_Vineyard_at_Painted_Moon?id=aL3e DwAAQBAJ

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Paws for Love by Mara Wells- Book Spotlight and Giveaway @sourcebooks

Paws for Love

by Mara Wells

Publication Date: 2/23/2021

Broken hearts—man, woman, and dog—have a second chance for love, healing, and happiness under the warm Miami Beach sun in this endearing contemporary romance…

Danielle Morrow works tirelessly for a greyhound rescue helping retired racing dogs find their forever homes. She guards her heart as vigilantly as her two adopted greyhounds guard her. One heartbreak per lifetime is enough for any woman, and no one she’smet since her high school boyfriend dumped her to join the military has ever tempted her enough to risk love again.

Knox Donovan expected to be career military, but an injury and an honorable discharge leave him uncertain of his future. When his brothers ask him to come back to Miami Beach to help with their new condo conversion, he has no intention of staying on in the city that has so many bad memories for him.

Knox is reminded that not all his memories are bad when he sees Danielle again at the grand opening of the new Fur Haven Dog Park. Fifteen years haven’t softened the pain of their breakup. But Knox is different now, more hard-edged and suspicious, and when he bonds with the retired racing greyhound, Sarge, Danielle’s cool reserve begins to melt. Sarge needs special care after the injuries that ended his racing career, and it’s not long before Danielle realizes that Knox does too. Can Danielle trust her heart to the only man who’s ever broken it?

Mara Wells loves stories, but especially stories with kissing. She works in academe, and lives with her family and two rescue dogs–a poodle-mix named Houdini Beauregarde and Sheba Reba Rita Peanut, a chihuahua-mix in Hollywood, Florida.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VuDJxl

B&N: https://bit.ly/39CMxJX

Apple: https://apple.co/3mAEalW

Kobo: http://bit.ly/3iU2C0h

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/36AT45V

BAM: https://bit.ly/39Cvdol

Books2Read: https://bit.ly/3ph6zPd

Link to giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af71030/?

Excerpt:

“I guess we don’t know as much about each other as I thought.” Knox frowned at the bushes, picking strings out from between his fingers. 

Danielle stared at him, hand frozen in mid-eight-ball shake. It hadn’t occurred to her that he’d had secrets in high school, too, but of course he had. He’d never wanted to talk about his family, especially his mother, deflecting questions with hot kisses that left her unable to remember her own name, much less any topic of conversation. She gave the eight ball a half-hearted shake to avoid responding. What was there to say anyway, especially after all this time? 

Knox nodded at the eight ball. “What’s it say?” 

Danielle showed him the result—concentrate and ask again. “I didn’t ask a question, so it makes sense that the eight ball has no wisdom for me.” 

“What kinds of things did you ask as a kid?” Knox stood back from the bushes, head cocked, then stepped forward to flick a few strands so they draped on the leaves evenly. 

Danielle plopped onto the front step and shook the ball again, still no question in mind. “Will there be a math quiz tomorrow? Does Tommy Peralta like me? Will I get Ms. Kandice for homeroom next year? You know, kid stuff.” 

“Did it answer you?” Knox took a break from hedge decorating and sat a careful few inchesaway from Danielle, close enough that she could imagine leaning against him but far enough away that she didn’t. Not that she would, she reminded herself. It wasn’t like that with Knox, not anymore. 

She handed him the ball. “Sure. It’s what kept me coming back.” 

“And did Tommy Peralta like you?” 

Danielle folded her hands in her lap, fiddling with the nail on her thumb. “I believe the most common reply was Don’t count on it. Sometimes I got Ask again later, which I liked better. More hopeful.” 

Knox gave the ball a hard shake. “Was Tommy Peralta a complete idiot?” 

Without a doubt. 

“See?” Knox held the response so she could see it. “You weren’t asking the right questions. And there seems to be an abnormal amount of idiotic guys at your middle school.” 

“I’d say it was a normal amount of idiotic guys.” Danielle laughed, comfortable with Knox in a way she usually wasn’t with new people. But Knox wasn’t really new, was he? Just different. Older, more mature. And certainly more built. The width of his thigh next to hers made her feel small. When he laughed, too, she found herself inching toward him on the tiled step. 

“What questions should I have asked?” Danielle caught her lower lip in her teeth, but it was too late to stop the words before they escaped. It wasn’t so much the words themselves as the way she’d said them. Low, breathy. Was she really sitting on Eliza’s front porch flirting with her ex-boyfriend? She was. 

Knox’s eyes locked onto her lower lip, and he took a long blink. “You should’ve asked—” He coughed and started over, this time in a high-pitched cartoon voice, “Will I grow up to be the fairest of them all?” 

Danielle laughed at the question and his poor acting skills. 

“Here.” He handed her the ball after shaking it. 

She hefted the weight of it in her palms, turning the plastic window toward her. 

It is certain. 

Danielle blushed. She felt the heat rise, knew it made her freckles blend together until she was one red-faced mess. She ducked her head, letting her bangs swing forward to cover her cheek while she pretended to study the ball. 

“Two for two. Guess that thing is pretty accurate.” Knox closed the remaining inches between them, and their hips touched. 

Danielle’s breath caught in her throat. She shook the ball idly to cover her intense reaction to Knox’s nearness. 

“I always thought so,” she said once she’d coached her breathing back to normal. “It made me sad when Eliza packed it up for the year.” 

“Ask it something now.” Knox nudged her with his knee. 

Danielle slanted a glance at him under her eyelashes. She couldn’t shake the rightness she felt in Knox’s presence. The awareness of him, the longing for him. Did he feel the same pull? She asked the question in her mind and shook the ball. 

Better not tell you now. 

The breath rushed out of her. Had she really thought the Magic Eight Ball would add clarity? A kid’s toy? She deserved the disappointment that flooded her, bowing her spine so that she curled into the ball on her lap. 

Knox tipped the ball his way with a finger. “A secret question, huh? That’s not playing fair. You have to ask it aloud. That’s the rule.” 

“You didn’t even know how to play this game five minutes ago.” 

“Now I do. Only questions asked out loud get real answers. Go ahead, ask it what you really want to know.” His blue eyes dared her. 

Her heart sped. They might’ve had their secrets back then, but he’d always helped her feel braver than she really was. His eyes traced her face, the crinkles around his eyes tightening like he wanted to smile. His gaze landed on her lips and stayed there. “Go on. Ask.” 

Danielle licked her suddenly dry lips, and Knox’s breath hitched. 

“Does Knox Donovan want to kiss me?” Danielle closed her eyes and shook the ball. 

The lightest of touches brushed across her lips. Her eyelids fluttered open at Knox’s gentle kiss. His lips pressed against hers for the briefest moment, his blue eyes intent on hers. Her own lips curled into a smile, and she leaned into the kiss, exerting her own pressure. He pulled back a fraction of an inch, then returned for another caress. It was simple and innocent, the tickle of their lips against each other, but her heart pounded like she was in the middle of a particularly brutal spin class. 

***

Excerpted from Paws for Love by Mara Wells. © 2021 by Mara Wells. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Family Ship by Sonja Yoerg #5stars #review #fiction @SonjaYoerg @LUauthors

Overview

From the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of True Places comes a disarming and emotional novel about a family in distress and a daughter’s mission to keep it from going under.

Chesapeake Bay, 1980. Eighteen-year-old Verity Vergennes is the captain of the USS Nepenthe, and her seven younger siblings are her crew. The ship―an oyster boat transformed into a make-believe destroyer―is the heart of the Vergennes family, a place both to play and to learn responsibility. But Verity’s had it with being tied to the ship and secretly applies to a distant college. If only her parents could bear to let her go.

Maeve and Arthur Vergennes already suffered one loss when, five years earlier, their eldest son, Jude, stormed out and never returned. Now Maeve is pregnant again and something’s amiss. Verity yearns to follow her dreams, but how can she jump ship now? The problem, and perhaps the answer, lies with Jude.

When disaster strikes and the family unravels, Verity must rally her sibling crew to keep the Nepenthe and all it symbolizes afloat. Sailing away from home, she discovers, is never easy―not if you ever hope to find your way back.

Review

Arthur and Maeve own a house by the Chesapeake bay. When they purchased this home it came with a ship in the back yard. Instead of getting rid of it Arthur and Maeve kept it for their kids to play on. Verity is the captain of the family ship by default. Her older brother Jude has stormed off and left the family. This leaves a rift in the family. But, when tragedy strikes, Jude is the life saver. However, Arthur still has issues with Jude’s presence.

When I started this read I thought I would read a few pages and abandon it. But…holy cow! What a fantastic, heartwarming, heartbreaking, all the feels book this is! This book is about a family with 9 children…yep…NINE! I thought there is no way I will keep up with all these characters. But the author did such a great job. And every single one of these children captured my heart.

There is so much encompassed in this story. I had to put it down for a moment to breathe…but I couldn’t leave it down long…I had to find out what happened! Do not miss this one! You will be captivated from start to finish! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

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Somebody to Love by Sharon Sala #giveaway #excerpt #review @sourcebooks @sharonsala1

Somebody to Love

by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: 2/23/2021

Overview

Welcome to Blessings, Georgia! Whether you’ve lived here your whole life, you’re returning after years of being away, or you’re new in town, you’re sure to find the happy ending you’ve always been looking for.

Fifteen years ago, a family member stole the money Hunt Knox had saved for college, while three of his siblings and his father hid the truth and told him to get over it. Betrayed by their lies and thievery, Hunt joined the army and wound up flying Apache helicopters in Iraq. Now, he’s a chopper pilot for an oil company in Houston, Texas, his father has been dead for six years, and he’s finally returning home to Blessings at his mother’s dying request.

Ava Ridley, the little girl his mother used to babysit, has grown up and is a nurse at his mother’s bedside when he arrives. Ava is overjoyed to see him. She had a huge crush on him when she was young. And as the two spend more time together, Ava’s crush grows to be even more.

Through secrets, lies, family betrayal, and difficult choices, Hunt’s not sure he and Ava can ever make a home together in Blessings. Or if life will once again lead them onto different paths…?

Sharon Sala has 127 books and novellas in print. First published in 1991, she’s a RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, RT Career Achievement winner, National Reader’s Choice Award, Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, Heart of Excellence Award, the Booksellers Best Award, RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and the Centennial Award for recognition of her 100th published novel. Her books are New York Times, USA Today,and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. She lives in Oklahoma.

Review

Hunt’s mother is dying. He has been called home to see to her dying wish. Hunt has been gone a very long time. He left home after a betrayal by his family. So, his entrance back into his family’s world causes a huge backlash. Enter Ava! Ava was just a young teenager when Hunt left town. But, she has always had a crush on him. Hunt finds himself depending on Ava more than he ever expected. Can these two overcome the obstacles and end up happy?

Oh boy…Hunt is the perfect character. He is the strong, silent type with a kick! Then there is Ava. She is sweet and has the strength needed to get through a hard life. These two together, along with Hunt’s dysfunctional family, created a wonderful tale.

This story hit me at just the right time. I needed a light, sweet read. This novel was it! Such great characters with a sweet southern town as the setting. Perfect for a quick, no nonsense read! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31s0t51

B&N: https://bit.ly/2EoQ812

Apple: https://apple.co/3jdmR8b

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2YlHJBW

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/2EwOoT6

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Books2Read: https://bit.ly/3prL12l

Link to giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af71031/?

Excerpt:

Hunt rode across town, past the park, and then west down Peach Street to the little house at the end of the block. He’d seen this house a million times in his dreams, but it hadn’t looked sad and run-down like this. 

A black pickup was parked beneath the carport, so he rolled up and parked beside it. He got the house key out of his pocket, but as he headed toward the back door, the hair stood up on the back of his neck. He didn’t believe in ghosts, but this house didn’t feel like it wanted him there. That was fair. 

He didn’t want to be here, either, but a promise was a promise. 

He unlocked the door and walked into the utility room just off the kitchen, turning on lights as he went. All of the furnishings were here. If it hadn’t been for the faint layer of dust all over everything, he could imagine his mom had just stepped out to run an errand and would be back soon. 

There was a low spot in the middle of the kitchen floor—probably floor joist issues. The old hardwood flooring was scarred and worn, and the furniture was threadbare. The sight of this neglect made Hunt angry. How could his brothers and sisters let this happen? They were all right here in the same town together. 

The year Hunt began high school, they’d remodeled the attic enough to call it a bedroom, and for the first time in his life, he’d had a room of his own. Curious to see what it looked like now, he went straight up the narrow stairwell at the end of the hall and opened the attic door. The single window was bare of curtains or shades, and the dust motes in the air stirred as he moved through the space now filled with boxes of old memories that should have been laid to rest years ago. 

The bed he’d slept in was gone. The closet door was missing, the closet empty. Even the rod where his clothes used to hang was gone. It was as if they’d wiped away all memories of him. If only he’d been able to do the same. 

He went back downstairs, glancing in his mother’s room and accepting it was the only one decent enough to sleep in, then began eyeing all of the things that needed repair. 

He went back to the kitchen to check out the appliances. The burners on the gas stove lit, the oven came on. The dishwasher was clean, and the single glass in the top rack told him it had recently been in use and was likely in working condition—something he’d find out later. 

The water pressure was good, and the washer and dryer appeared to be in working condition. The refrigerator was the newest appliance in the house, but nearly everything inside it needed to be thrown away. He didn’t know for sure how long his mother had been in the hospital, but the carton of milk was over a month out of date, and the single container of peach yogurt had long since expired. 

The ice in the bin beneath the icemaker had all frozen together, which meant the electricity must have been off at one time long enough to melt it. Then when the power returned, it froze back. So he took the bin out and dumped the ice in the sink, then put it back beneath the icemaker to start making fresh ice, then dumped everything that was in the freezer and refrigerator into the garbage. 

The central heat and air were still working, and they looked newer than he remembered, which was good. There was a big job ahead of him to do this right, but in the long run, it would make a huge difference in the sale of the house. However, this task was going to take tools as well as supplies, so he went out back to the toolshed to see what, if anything, was left. 

The light bulb was burned out in the shed, so he left the door open as he went in to look around, and it was just as he feared. There was nothing left in it but a couple of old hammers, a hand saw, and an old sack of roofing nails. Seeing the nails reminded him he needed to check on the condition of the roof as well. He could rent tools and hire help. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was going to be a pain in the ass coping with his family while it happened. 

He found a set of car keys hanging on a hook in the kitchen and guessed it was to the truck. If it ran, it would be handy to use while he was hauling stuff to the house to make repairs, so he went out to check. The insurance verification in the glove box was in Marjorie’s name. He turned the key to see if it would start, and the engine turned over immediately. So he locked the house and drove to the bed-and-breakfast to pack up his things and check out. 

Bud was scanning Hunt’s card to pay for his room when Hunt thought about the locks he needed to change. 

“Hey, Bud, is there still a locksmith here in town?” 

“Yes, there sure is. Mills Locks, next door to Bloomer’s Hardware on Main Street. The owner’s name is Cecil, but everything is probably closed today.” 

“Okay…I remember him,” Hunt said. “Thanks, and thank you for your hospitality,” he said, then carried his bag out to the truck. Out of curiosity, he drove straight to the locksmith, saw the Open sign on the door, and went inside. 

The man at the counter looked up. 

“Welcome to Mills Locks. I’m Cecil Mills. How can I help you?” 

“I need a couple of new locks put on a house I’ll be remodeling. Would you be available to do that today?” 

“Yeah, sure. Here in town?” Cecil asked. 

“Yes, where Marjorie Knox lived. I’m her oldest son, Hunt. I’m going to fix it up some before it’s put up for sale.” 

“Lived?” 

Hunt nodded. “She passed away early this morning.” 

Cecil frowned. “I hadn’t heard. I’m real sorry about that. I’m waiting on a customer who’s on the way in from his farm, but I can get away around noon, if you don’t mind me coming at your lunch hour.” 

“I’m not on any schedule. You sure you’re okay working on New Year’s Day? It could wait until tomorrow,” Hunt said. 

Cecil shrugged. “I’ve already been called out twice today for emergencies, and my wife is home and sick with the flu. I’d just as soon be here.” 

“Then noon is fine. Do you know the address?” Hunt asked. 

“It’s the last house on the right at the end of Peach Street, right?” 

Hunt nodded. “Yeah. My Harley and her black pickup will be under the carport.” 

“Then I’ll see you at noon.” 

“Right,” Hunt said, and left the shop, then stopped by the grocery store. He was surprised to see that it was no longer a Piggly Wiggly, and had a new facade and a new name to go with it. The Crown. 

Nobody recognized him, which made shopping easy, until he got up front to pay. The cashier who was checking him out kept looking at him, and when he put his credit card in the reader, she finally spoke. 

“You sure do look familiar. Are you from around here?” she asked. 

Hunt nodded as he put his card back in his wallet. “I’m Hunt Knox. I used to sack groceries here back when it was still the Piggly Wiggly. You’re Millie, aren’t you?” 

“Yes! I’m Millie Garner! I knew you looked familiar. I just heard about your mother’s passing. My sympathies to the family,” she said. 

“Thanks,” he said, and began putting his bags back in the shopping cart. 

“Do you plan on staying here?” she asked. 

“Only long enough to fix up the family house so it can be sold at auction. I promised her I’d do that,” Hunt said, then walked out pushing the shopping cart. 

By the time he got back to the house and unloaded the groceries, it was getting close to noon. He took off his jacket, then began emptying the sacks and putting up the things he’d just bought. 

By the time he was through, Cecil Mills was knocking on his door. He let Cecil in, and then pointed out the locations where new locks were needed. 

“There’s just the front door, and then a back door in the kitchen.” 

Cecil nodded. “I’ll get those switched out for you and get both locks synced to open with one key. How many keys are you going to want? It comes two keys to a set, so you’ll have four.” 

“That’s plenty. I’ll be the only one using one here, but when it sells, then that will be handy for the new owners.” 

“Then I’ll get right to work,” Cecil said. 

“Call out if you need me,” Hunt said, then took a notepad and a pen and started in the kitchen, making a list of the things that needed to be fixed. 

***

Excerpted from Somebody to Love by Sharon Sala. © 2021 by Sharon Sala. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine @Livconstatine2 @suzyapbooktours #review #fiction #suspense

Overview

The bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish returns with a psychological thriller, filled with chilling serpentine twists, about a woman fighting to hold onto the only family she’s ever loved—and how far she’ll go to preserve it.

Named one of the most anticipated thrillers of the year by Goodreads, Bustle, SheReads, and Library Journal

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

Review

Joanna loves Leo with all her heart. When he slips away from her, she is determined to get him back. It does not matter what it takes. She researches Leo’s new flame, Piper. She discovers quite a few discrepancies in Piper’s past. But, no one believes her when she points them out. But, don’t worry…Joanna is not going to give up!

I love a book that has me guessing! And this one is definitely that kind of book. And I am going to have to be very careful and not give away a spoiler. No fun in that!

Joanna is a character which has the reader in her pocket. I wanted her to have the life she expected. My heart went out to her and the children. Then there is Leo. He is a good father but something is not right. I could not put my finger on it. And finally, Piper. I despised her from the get go. She is exactly the character the authors intended her to be. She is money hungry and after someone else’s family. Until….

You must read this book just for the twisted ending! Need a guessing game…this is it folks! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

About The Author:

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via FaceTime and burning up each other’s inboxes. They attribute their ability to concoct dark story lines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. You can find more about them at:  https://livconstantine.com/

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LivConstantineAuthor/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/livconstantine2

Twitter: @LivConstantine2

Purchase Here

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Amazon

Book Blurbs:

“A twisty, engrossing house of mirrors…smart, propulsive, and tricky-in-all-the-best-ways psychological suspense.”- Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Inside

“Compelling and surprising, THE WIFE STALKER is a fast-paced page-turner, full of unexpected twists and an ending I did not see coming. Impossible to put down!” – Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest

“Tense and deliciously twisty, THE WIFE STALKER is a hall of mirrors in which Liv Constantine delivers sinister surprises with characteristic sleight of hand.”- Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Nanny

“Wickedly entertaining. With THE WIFE STALKER, Liv Constantine proves once again to be a master of domestic malice.”- Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of  Lock Every Door

  “The Wife Stalker is a daring, dastardly story with complex characters and a sinister plot. A read-through-the-night thriller that mesmerizes to the final page. An absolute must for your 2020 list!” – Samantha Downing, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

“Liv Constantine has done it again. Suspenseful and mesmerizing, Constantine’s third novel is a breakneck thriller that keeps you riveted from the first page to that explosive, jaw-dropping twist. If you’re looking for an addictive, up-all-night read, The Wife Stalker is as good as it gets.” – Jennifer Hillier, award-winning author of Jar of Hearts and Little Secrets

“Oh, you sneaky sisters. Liv Constantine got me in the best possible way with The Wife Stalker, a wicked, whip-smart bag of tricks about a woman fighting to hold onto her family. Read this one in one long gulp, then read it again to see what you missed the first time through. I promise you won’t see it coming.” – Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Dear Wife

“Liv Constantine has done it again. THE WIFE STALKER is a masterclass of domestic suspense that keeps you up all night, turning the page, desperate to find out what happens next. Can’t recommend this book enough! Fun, thrilling, and an ending you simply won’t see coming!” -Matthew Farrell, bestselling author of WHAT HAVE YOU DONE

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