Friday, April 29, 2022

Book Review: Undercover Couple (A Ree and Quint series) by Barb Han


Title:  Undercover Couple (A Ree and Quint series) 

Author: Barb Han



Undercover Couple is what you expect from HQ series expect without the HEA at the end.  Instead, the author is giving readers a slow burn as the characters get to know each other as well the readers. The story is what you expect from two people who work ATF pretending to be a marry couple while trying to solve a crime.  Playing the part has Ree struggling which her insecurities in the relationship department. 

The question will they or won't they I am sure will come as the series moves forward.

Thank you to Netgalley and the HQ for advance copy of Barb Han Undercover Couple.


Legendary ATF agent Quint Casey isn't thrilled to pose as Ree Sheppard's husband for a covert investigation into a weapons ring that could be tied to his past. Feeling guilt over a tragic event, Quint's determined do whatever it takes to make things right. But when his impetuous 'wife' proves her commitment to the job, Quint feels a spark...just as alarming as the dangerous killers he's sworn to unmask.

About The Author:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Barb Han lives in Texas-her true north-with her adventurous family, a spunky golden retriever/poodle mix, and too many books (if there is such a thing). She loves romance novels, thriller movies, and cooking. Her favorite hobbies include hiking, swimming and skiing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Book Review: The Wrong Victim (Quinn & Costa #3) by Allison Brennan


Title: The Wrong Victim (Quinn & Costa #3) 

Author:  Allison Brennan

Stars: 5


When you say a book starts off with a Bang The Wrong Victim is that book.  The readers are given seeing life from the people on the boat before a bomb kills everyone on board. 

The story brings to life what real police work is like vs TV where everything is solved in an hour.  The times it takes to process the information and the amount of people the police and FBI have to talk to will seem endless.  Each person has their own story and reason for being in the story. 

You can't miss a single section of the story because everything is so intertwined you might reread if you skip any section.  The story moves at a balanced pace giving readers the right about of background for each major character.  Allison Brennan is a talented author who gives readers a well-developed story that no one will be able to put down.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for advance copy of Allison Brennan the Wrong Victim


A bomb explodes on a sunset charter cruise out of Friday Harbor at the height of tourist season and kills everyone on board. Now this fishing and boating community is in shock and asking who would commit such a heinous crime—the largest act of mass murder in the history of the San Juan Islands.

Forensic profilers know there are two types of domestic terrorists: those who use violence to instill fear for political purposes but stop at murder because it detracts from the cause, and those who crave attention and are willing to maim and murder for their own agenda.

Accused of putting profits before people after leaking fuel that caused a massive fish kill, the West End Charter company may itself have been the target. But as special agent Matt Costa, detective Kara Quinn and the rest of the FBI team begin their investigation, they discover that plenty of people might have wanted someone dead on that yacht. Now they must track down who is responsible and stop them before they strike again.

About The Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year.

40 books and numerous short stories later, Allison relocated in 2019 from Northern California to Arizona with her husband and two youngest children.

She currently writes the Lucy Kincaid series and the Quinn & Costa series. Next up is THE WRONG VICTIM on 4/26/22 where Detective Kara Quinn & FBI Agent Matt Costa travel to the San Juan Islands to investigate a charter boat explosion that left nine dead. Kirkus Reviews says Kara Quinn is "A strong and damaged protagonist as compelling as Lisbeth Salander."

RT Book Reviews calls Allison “a master of suspense” and her books “haunting,” “mesmerizing,” “pulse-pounding” and “emotionally complex.” She's been nominated for many awards, and is a three time winner of the Reviewer's Choice award winner for RT Book Reviews as well as the Daphne du Maurier award. Most recently, she was nominated for Best Paperback Original by International Thriller Writers.

You can reach Allison through Goodreads or through her website.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Book Review: Unstable (Pike, Wisconsin #3) by Alexandra Ivy


Title: Unstable (Pike, Wisconsin #3) 

Author: Alexandra Ivy

Stars: 5


Alexandra Ivy brings a small Midwest town to live with a murder that even the hardest of hard cops can't get past.  The dark gritty story is also a second chance romance that bring Rachel back to Pike working with her Ex Husband trying to put to rest a cold case with the most gruesome of crime done to women.  

The author paints a picture that will be hard to leave behind until the murder is brought to justice.  The author is able to bring a great balance of romance, mystery and fight to bring peace to the small town of Pike. Readers will be reading late into the night hoping Rachel and Zac are able to safe the women of Pike.

Thank you to Alexandra Ivy and Netgalley for the advance copy of Unstable.

Cannot miss story.


A dead man in a cemetery isn’t news—unless he’s found on top of a grave, with a bullet through his head. The body belongs to Jude Henley, who was supposed to be buried below. Instead, the grave contains the remains of Staci Gale, thought to have run away nearly three decades ago. Then an old VCR tape arrives at the sheriff station, showing Staci before her death—bound and terrified—with a note, claiming to be from the killer’s apprentice . . .


Rachel Fisher’s job in cold case files has brought her back to Pike, Wisconsin—where she’ll be working alongside her ex-husband, Zac Evans. As Pike’s interim sheriff, Zac expected a low-key assignment. Instead, he and Rachel are racing to solve serial murders from decades past while a new monster goads them with a chilling promise. Every week there’ll be another old tape—and a fresh victim . . .


In this small town a killer walks—twisted, ruthless, determined to continue his master’s work. And unless Rachel and Zac can find a way to get ahead of him, the nightmare will never end.

About The Author:

I'm not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother's knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library. Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Years later (no, I'm not admitting how many) I'm still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Book Review: Desperately Seeking a Duchess (All the Duke's Sins #2) By Christi Caldwell


Title: Desperately Seeking a Duchess (All the Duke's Sins #2)

Author: Christi Caldwell

Star: 4


This is a romance story that is able to bring several different elements to the story and blend them seamlessly together. Start with identical twins one of whom is a Duke and the bastard daughter of another Duke whose first encounter is anything but cordial and ends with him receiving a beating from her older brother.  He is on the brink of debtors prison but also has three younger sisters whom he loves and must provide for financially. But love is blind and he is given a shove by his youngest sister. All together an intriguing blending of the morals and correct manners for the time period.

All together a love story to be enjoyed while relaxing in a good easy chair with a cup of hot tea. I have rated this book 4 stars.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review 
Thank you, Frank for your review.


Cailin Audley doesn't fit in with Polite Society. A life spent among the working class taught her to value her independence in a way no newfound fortune or glittering ballroom could ever erase. When a major misstep sees the new heiress whisked away to the English countryside, Cailin soon realizes the vexing lengths her family will go to see her settled. But having risked her heart once before, Cailin has no interest in the men of the ton--especially not the frustratingly charming Duke of St. James.

Courtland Balfour, the Duke of St. James, devoted brother and notorious rogue, despises what he must become--a fortune hunter. But with the ducal coffers drained by his late, spendthrift of a father, Courtland knows his duty lies at the altar and he will do anything to ensure a future for his siblings. Just his luck that the one lady who could make this new fate bearable, who enflames him like no other, is the one woman who wants nothing to do with him or his title.

But when an act of desperation inadvertently lands he and Cailin at the heart of another scandal, Courtland knows better than to waste his chance. Surely he can convince Cailin to love him?

About The Author:

USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in Charlotte, North Carolina where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, and baking surprisingly good cakes (almost 2 years in lockdown will do that) with her courageous son and twin daughters, each who with their daily antics provides limitless source material.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Book Review: Nonna Maria and the case of The Missing Bride by Lorenzo Carcaterra


Title: Nonna Maria and the case of The Missing Bride

Author:  Lorenzo Carcaterra

Star: 4


A warm mystery set in a small Italian village on an island just off the mainland. Although the main focus is the bride to be, who wants to escape marriage, the reader soon finds themselves involved in an old murder, a new murder, fraud, and drug smuggling. You will soon find that you have become enthralled in the life of a widowed grandmother in a small village. She knows everyone from the mafia honcho to the local police chief. She keeps all the secrets while at the same time securing justice for the injured parties. A very readable book that will keep your attention.

This book presents a different viewpoint on life and what is important. I have rated this book 4 stars.
Thank you, Frank, for you review!
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.


Nonna Maria has lived in Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples, her entire life. Recognizable by the widow's black she's worn every day for decades, she always has pasta on the stove and espresso in the pot for the neighbors who stop by to ask her advice on life and love. Everyone knows her, and she knows everyone's business. So if something goes wrong, islanders look to her, and not the local carabinieri, to find the solution.

When a recently engaged woman confesses that she's afraid her fiance might not be who he seems, Nonna Maria helps her disappear while she investigates the true nature of her betrothed, a stranger to Ischia with a murky past. The stranger has also raised the suspicions of Captain Murino of the carabinieri, but he's occupied investigating the death of a tour boat captain who drowned in the wee hours of the morning. Captain Murino believes it's an accident, but Nonna Maria knew the man was a born sailor, and too good a swimmer to drown, no matter how much wine he might have drunk. While Captain Murino has his hands full, she pours herself a glass of white wine and gets to work, even though getting involved will expose her to the dangers lurking just beneath the surface of her idyllic home.

About The Author:

Number-one New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra's highly successful career spans more than 25 years of writing for the diverse fields of fiction, non-fiction, television, and film.

Born and raised in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, Carcaterra landed his first job in the newspaper business as a copy boy for The New York Daily News in 1976. He worked his way up to entertainment reporter before leaving the paper in 1982, heading for the green pastures of then-Time Inc. and TV-Cable Week, as senior writer. Nine months later, the magazine folded, leaving him unemployed. A four-month stint at People magazine was followed by an odyssey of writing for a string of start-up publications—Picture Week, Entertainment Tonight Magazine, Special Reports Magazine—and freelancing for dozens of others—The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Newsday Sunday Magazine, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, and Twilight Zone Magazine among them.

In 1988, Carcaterra turned to television as a Creative Consultant for the syndicated weekly series Cop Talk: Behind the Shield, produced by Grosso-Jacobson Productions. That led to a job as Managing Editor for the CBS weekly series Top Cops, also with Grosso-Jacobson Productions. Running for four seasons, from 1990 to 1994, the show is still in syndication today worldwide. In addition, he worked on a dozen other pilots, one of which––Secret Service (NBC)––made it to air. It was while at Grosso-Jacobson Productions that Carcaterra wrote and published his first two books­, A Safe Place and Sleepers.

First published in hardcover in 1993, A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son, a Murder, attracted widespread critical acclaim, with Newsweek calling it, “unforgettable—a remarkable book.” Currently in its 14th printing, it has been sold to 11 foreign countries and has sold close to 220,000 copies.

The 1995 publication of Sleepers, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, catapulted Carcaterra to national attention. Sold to 35 foreign countries and now in its 38th printing in the United States, the book has sales exceeding 1.8 million copies. In 1996, Sleepers was made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, and Jason Patric. Carcaterra served as co-producer on the project, which was directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. To date, the movie has earned in excess of $500 million worldwide in combined box-office, video, DVD, and TV sales.

Carcaterra made a smooth transition into writing fiction with his first novel, Apaches, a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. Published in a 14 foreign countries, the book has sold more than 450,000 copies and been optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

He followed that with Gangster, published in hardcover in 2001. The book has sold over 375,000 copies since its 2002 release as a Mass Market Paperback. The novel has been optioned by Joe Roth and been sold to 15 foreign countries.

Carcaterra then wrote Street Boys, a World War II saga inspired by an incident which occurred in Naples, Italy, in 1943. Warner Bros. and Bel-Air Entertainment bought the rights to the story in March 2001 before it was written, and developed the project for director Barry Levinson. Carcaterra wrote the screenplay. The paperback was released in July, 2003 and has since sold 150,000 copies.

Carcaterra's next novel Paradise City was published in hardcover by Ballantine in September 2004 with the paperback following a year later. To date, the novel has sold over 100,000 copies and was optioned by Fox Television to be developed as a weekly series.

In 2007, Carcaterra published Chasers, a sequel to his bestseller Apaches. The paperback version was published in the spring of 2008 and movie rights to the story are once again controlled by Jerry Bruckheimer Productions.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Book Review: Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction's Top Authors by S.J. Rozan


Title:  Crime Hits Home

Author: S.J. Rozan and other authors

Stars: 3 1/2


I love Collections where different author gets together and put short stories, novella and full novels into one collection.  It gives readers a chance to test out different authors stories, writing styles and the best of all find a new author!

Not every story or author will readers li

ke but it is a blend of different styles and stories that some times connects to the main title Crime Hits Home.

This anthologies are short stories have everything readers love from mystery and crime.  While not all the stories are a hit the cast of author has kept to the theme.  Some stories are rushed while others have master the ability to give readers a lot in a short amount of words.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy of Crime Hits Home: A Collection of Stories from Crime Fiction's Top Authors by S.J. Rozan


Everyone comes from someplace. Everyone has somewhere they feel safe. Some people have found their home and are content where they are. Others feel trapped and yearn to go somewhere else. Many are somewhere else and yearn to go back. But evenin these safest of places, sometimes…crime hits home. What happens then?

In this volume, MWA brings together some of today’s biggest crime writers—and some of our most exciting new talents—to consider this question. Each writer has defined home as they see fit: a place, a group, a feeling. The crime can come from without or within. What happens when crime hits home?

About The Author:

Naomi Hirahara
David Bart
Sara Paretsky
Susan Breen
Gary Phillips
Neil S. Plakcy
Renee James
Connie Johnson Hambley
Gabino Iglesias
A.P. Jamison
Walter Mosley
Tori Eldridge
Ellen Hart
G. Miki Hayden
Jonathan Santlofer
Jonathan Stone
Ovidia Yu
Bonnie Hearn Hill
Steve Liskow
S.J. Rozan

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Book Review: By the Book (Meant to Be #2) by Jasmine Guillory


Title: By the Book (Meant to Be #2)

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Stars: 4.5


This offering was brought to my attention in a listing of new books by black authors. I choose which books I will read based on the synopsis provided and not by the author's place/country of origin, sex or ethnicity. If the synopsis appears interesting to me I will read the book. So far my batting average is about 95 for choosing good books. I must say this book was right there in the top of my good books to read. This book had a very good plot and enabled me to be a co-subject with the main character. I was able to feel her highs and lows and pull for her eventual success. A great story and great finish. 

I would purchase this and all offerings by this author without fear of disappointment. I have rated this book 4.5 stars.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
Thank you Frank


Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves.

All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn't there before.

About The Author:

Jasmine Guillory is a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School. She is a Bay Area native who has towering stacks of books in her living room, a cake recipe for every occasion, and upwards of 50 lipsticks.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.