Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Review ~ Spellbound (Pagan Light Series, Book 2) by JoAnne Keltner ~ #YA #Paranormal ~ @JoAnneKeltner

About Spellbound, Book 2:

After battling a demon from her great-grandmother’s past, Jackie Turov, a psychic and healer, accepts that all things are possible—even a romantic relationship with the young seminarian, David. But after an elderly church member, an immigrant from Russia, accuses Jackie and her great-grandmother, Babu, of being witches, Jackie questions if Babu was once an evil witch or just someone blessed with healing light. As Jackie sets out to find the truth about Babu’s troubling past, and ultimately about herself, her future with David hangs in the balance.

Print book page count: 376

Purchase Your Copy:

Spellbound is a long-anticipated second book in JoAnne Keltner’s Pagan Light series. Previously branded as the Goth Girl, Virgin Queen series, the author rebranded a few months ago. I’ve been waiting for the sequel to Goth Girl, Virgin Queen, now titled Possessed, for so long. I’m so happy that the book is here!

Spellbound continues the journey of Jackie, a teenage psychic. After everything that happened in book one, Jackie is back in church with her great-grand mother, Babu. Her interest in priest-in-training, David, increases daily. They’ve been seeing each other on the sly, in hopes to make things official prior to his entry into the priesthood. When one of the church members accuses Jackie and Babu of witchcraft, Jackie must figure out the truth. 

The author does a wonderful job describing the conflict between religious beliefs and magical ones. Jackie's religious upbringing doesn't allow for the belief in psychic abilities. In fact, many religions, a member cannot believe in both so there lies the war going on inside Jackie. Discovering the truth may jeopardize her chance at a happy life with David. Jackie must then decide if learning the truth is worth everything she may lose. 

After waiting so long for the second book, I’m happy to report that book 2 is just as remarkable as book 1. JoAnne Keltner brings Jackie, her family, and her friends to life in the book. The entire novel is written conversationally, continues character development, and provides exciting and visually appealing world building. I was shocked at the turn the book made but ultimately, after my review about the ending of Possessed, everything fell into place. The book was enjoyable, engaging, and interesting. I was captivated from the start. If you like YA paranormal books that involve the occult and border on horror, I highly recommend Spellbound.

I was given a copy of this book to review.

My Rating:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

#Book #Review ~ NuLife: Gangland (Book 2) by H.P. Mallory ~ #LitRPG @HPMallory

Book Details:

Print Length: 270 pages
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
ASIN: B07Z63483F

About the Book:

New York Times Bestselling Author, HP Mallory, brings you the NuLife Virtual Reality Romance Series which will appeal to fans of West World!

Alaskan detective, Claire Darrow, found herself thrown into a case that defied explanation…

When widow, Florence Tautenbaum, approached Claire with suspicions regarding her husband’s death, Claire never imagined where this case would take her—into the virtual reality gaming world sponsored by the NuLife Corporation.

Now that Claire’s companion from her first trip into the VR world of Valhalla has been found dead, Claire is doubly intent on figuring out whodunit. Not to mention her sexy boss and captain isn’t exactly the patient type.

But the clues remain ever hidden and those Claire does come across are puzzling, to say the least. Searching for answers to numerous questions, Claire finds herself drawn into the gaming world yet again.

This time, Claire enters the virtual world of Gangland where she’ll be served up a reality of flappers, model Ts, lavish parties and crime bosses.

And there just might be a familiar face that sets Claire’s heart aflutter even as she tries to force her feelings into submission, reminding herself that nothing in the virtual world is real…

Or is it?

My Review:

Gangland, book 2 in HP Mallory’s LitRPG series NuLife, begins where book 1, Valhalla ends. Claire Darrow is still looking into the deaths of some of NuLife’s elite clientele. She’s been in the virtual reality (VR) game once and learned very little, except someone has a sense of humor making the main character and potential love interest resemble her boss, Grant.

Unfortunately, Gangland begins with the death of Claire’s companion, Marion from her first trip to the VR world. She is certain that there is something going on either at NuLife or their parent company. Claire is getting nowhere fast with this case, but she soon learns she’s earned enough points for another trip inside the VR game. She takes NuLife, and Seth Channing, up on the offer if for no other reason than to see if she can find out more about the case. This time, it’s requested by a stranger that she enter the VR world of Gangland, a 1920’s Chicagoland.

Things really heat up in Gangland as Claire accepts quests, does some discreet detective work, and meets new people. Although this is a sole trip, Claire finds herself pairing up with Bea, another player in the game. When things go awry in Gangland and NPCs (non-playable characters) do decidedly human and non-programmed things, Claire is confused as ever. When she finally leaves Gangland and resurfaces in the land of the living, she also discovers that someone may be trying to set her up.

Gangland drew me in and kept me engaged from the very beginning. I enjoyed Claire and Grant’s characters. I love their slow-burning relationship. Yes, they work side-by-side and Grant is Claire’s boss, but they are great together. The new VR world Claire enters is one wrought with danger around every turn – some in the form of other players and others as NPCs. It was funny to watch her get frustrated with the quest to do a quest to do a quest scenario. She couldn’t complete her first quest without taking on and completing another quest and so forth. As a gamer girl myself, it is frustrating.

I really liked Gangland and look forward to book 3.

My Rating:

Monday, October 28, 2019

#Book #Review ~ Valhalla (NuLife, Book #1) by H.P. Mallory ~ #LitRPG @HPMallory

Book Details:

Print Length: 479 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 172961597X
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: October 8, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

About the Book:

“I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation!” I shouted. “You’re not even real!”

Thorsten was quiet for a moment, thoughtful almost. When he replied, his voice was low and soft, “I am as real as you.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “Ok,” I said flippantly.

“I don’t understand why you say these things,” Thorsten continued, looking down at me in a way that was too human for comfort. “Do I not feel as you feel? Hurt as you hurt? I crave and I hope and I want just as you do. I feel a knife to the skin just as you would...”

As the top detective in her small Alaskan town, Claire Darrow has seen her fair share of cases. But when a distraught widow comes to Claire with the suspicious details of her husband’s death, Claire is forced into new territory—virtual reality gaming territory.

Following the trail set for her by billionaire playboy, Seth Channing (the owner of NuLife, an exclusive VR gaming company), Claire goes on the adventure of a lifetime into the Viking world of Valhalla.

Caught in a web of secrets, lies, and skeletons from her own closet, Claire heads into a world she never knew existed. Braving treacherous quests and dangerous computer-generated characters is only half the battle as she sets out to collect the details of the case to decipher whether NuLife is behind not one, but three murders.

The line between what's real and what's simulated starts to blur once Claire meets the Viking King, Thorsten, a man so real she has to remind herself he's nothing more than programmed code. And yet Thorsten's emotional compass is so vast, she can't deny her attraction to him. Pretty soon, Claire starts to wonder if she’s playing the game… or if she’s the one being played.

My Review:

NuLife is an up-and-coming virtual reality (VR) company on an island in Alaska. After one of their prestigious clients, Philip Tatenbaum, dies shortly after his latest trip to the isolated and secretive island, his widow turns up at the police station crying foul play. Detective Claire Darrow is wary at first about NuLife being responsible for her husband’s death. To appease Mrs. Tatenbaum, Claire takes a crack at investigating the company. She soon learns that there have been several deaths of NuLife’s customers.

One of her investigative methods takes her to the island where NuLife is headquarter only to learn nothing. Stonewalled at every turn, Claire is all but sure something funny is going on and is determined to figure it out. In trying to learn more about NuLife, and its illusive owner, Seth Channing, Claire realizes that both the company and Seth are not on anyone’s radar. There aren’t articles, news stories, interviews, or a social media. Somehow, Seth discovers Claire is searching for him, contacts her, and offers her a tour of the facility. That is how Claire eventually ends up at NuLife, a willing but hesitant participant in a VR trip to the Viking town of Valhalla.

NuLife: Valhalla is my first experience with a LitRPG book. I have a few on my TBR list but I’ve only read Valhalla so far – and loved the book. The concept and ideas brought forth by the author into Valhalla kept me engaged and interested. Claire her boss, Grant’s characters are fantastic. They have comfortable banter between them and a delicious, low-key tension that culminates into a powerful kiss only, both continue to pretend it didn’t happen.

The book ends without satisfying the main storyline, or any storyline yet, but not on such a cliffhanger that frustrates the reader. I’m anxious to read Gangland, book 2 and see what progress Claire makes in the case and whether the author brings Claire and Grant together.

My Rating:

Thursday, October 24, 2019

#Book #Review ~ A Night's Tail (Magical Cats Mystery, Book #11) by Sofie Kelly ~ #CozyMystery @berkleymystery

Book Details:

Series: Magical Cats (Book 11)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN-10: 0440001137
ISBN-13: 978-0440001133

Print Length: 285 pages

Purchase Link: Amazon

About the Book:

In the charming town of Mayville Heights, librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two cats pounce on clues to catch a killer, in the eleventh installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

Spring is coming to Mayville Heights, and Kathleen’s brother, Ethan, has arrived in town with his band, The Flaming Gerbils. But not everything goes as scheduled when one of Ethan’s bandmates gets into a fight with a man interested in investing in the town. When the businessman’s body is later found, Ethan’s friend is implicated in the crime.

Kathleen wants to help her brother by solving the case, but she has no shortage of suspects from which to choose. Prior to his death, the investor was fighting like cats and dogs with lots of people. If this librarian wants more than a whisker’s chance of solving the case, she will need to rely on her trusty feline sidekicks, Owen and Hercules.

My Review:

A Night's Tail (Magical Cats Mystery #11)A Night's Tail by Sofie Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Night’s Tail is the eleventh book in Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats Mystery series and, just like the first ten, is wonderful. The author keeps her stories fresh and original, the characters likable and well-developed, and the scenes and imagery vivid.

A Night’s Tail takes place while Kathleen is organizing a quilt festival inside the library. During the festivities, Kathleen is also hosting her brother Ethan’s band, The Flaming Gerbils. During an evening at The Brick, emotions are heightened when a local man gets into a confrontation with a man about his service dog. This scene in the book just tore at my heart. I don’t tolerate abuse or mistreatment of animals well and reading about the actions of one man toward a dog was upsetting. When Derek, a temporary band member comes to the aid of the man and dog, he ends up in an altercation with the abuser. Later, the abusive man is found dead and Derek is a prime suspect.

I really enjoyed A Night’s Tail. The pacing is steady, and the entire novel is easy to read and understand. Multiple suspects keep the reader guessing and keep Kathleen and Marcus on their toes. The continued world building and character development of Kathleen, her magical kitties, and Marcus, along with the secondary characters, is fresh and original with each installment.

The Magical Cats Mystery series is one of my favorites. I enjoy the lowkey nature of these cozy mysteries. The series keeps me entertained with the human and feline characters, plots, and mysteries. I recommend the series to all cozy mystery lovers. The books are descriptive without going overboard. I feel like I'm in every scene of the story. The books also have the right amount of suspense to keep the reader engaged all the way to the end. The romance included isn't over the top and doesn't overshadow the mystery solving. It's a nice addition to give the story and characters realism.

I voluntarily reviewed a hardcover version of this book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book #Review, & #Excerpt ~ A Bestiary Alphabet by Felix Eddy ~ Illustrated Guide to Mythological Creatures #Mythology @MirrorWorldPub

About A Bestiary Alphabet:

From Al-Mi’raj to Zlatarog, The Bestiary Alphabet features a different mythical creature for every letter of the alphabet, lovingly drawn and illustrated by the talented Felix Eddy.

Like the medieval bestiaries of old, the Bestiary Alphabet collects mythological creatures from all over the globe. Some are household names, others are delightful obscurities, but all will move and inspire you to dream of a world that you have never seen. Felix Eddy’s trip through the alphabet will show you the magic, mystery, power and beauty in all the things that might have been.

A Bestiary Alphabet is an illustrated guide to mythological creatures for a general audience.

Book Details:

Hardcover: 92 pages

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publish Date: October 17, 2019

ISBN-10: 1987976614
ISBN-13: 978-1987976618

Read an Excerpt:

The al-mi’raj is a Middle Eastern beast that looks like a very large yellow rabbit with a long black horn growing from its head. Sometimes called simply a-mi’raj, they are said to kill and eat horses, and are very deadly to humans. They are featured in Islamic poetry and said to live on a mysterious island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Highly skilled traveling witches were the only ones able to destroy these creatures and prevent them from returning to an area. In fact, it’s likely that these “highly skilled traveling witches” actually spread rumors of these creatures so they could use their “skills” to exterminate them— for a price. They didn’t have to stretch the truth too far, though, because the al-mi’raj was possibly based on real life “attack bunnies”.

There are a few diseases that afflict rabbits, causing lumpy growths or making their fur matt up painfully, appearing like horns, or like bumps where a horn fell off. These rabbits are often driven mad with pain from their twisted and matted fur, which can make them unusually aggressive. While it’s doubtful that a rabbit could kill a horse, even if it was mad with pain, certainly a rabbit that was acting insane and rushing at people would cause some real alarm— perhaps enough to start the myth of a monstrous horned rabbit.

Horned rabbits have been translated into modern use by a number of fantasy writers and game companies. They are featured in video games and role-playing game books, both as monsters and as humorous creatures, called “horned rabbits” or “bunnycorns” or “unibunnies”.

My Review:

A Bestiary Alphabet contains 26 mythological creatures from A to Z.  The book features a nicely detailed "About This Book" section, giving readers insights on the author behind the artwork. There is also a section about bestiaries and the history of real and imagined beasts.

Each mythological creature featured in the book contains illustrations and origin facts. The author did a splendid job on each picture. The origin facts are interesting and contain in-depth knowledge, indicating the author took her time to research each creature, not hastily providing slim amounts of information. I enjoyed reading about each and ever creature in the book.

Many of the mythological creatures were new to me. Several familiar creatures were creatures I've read about, seen in movies, or are part of the online MMORPG videogame, World of Warcraft (WoW). I'm a gamer girl and have seen griffins, harpies, jaculus, naga, and other mythological creatures throughout the many worlds within the game.

I highly recommend A Bestiary Alphabet to everyone, especially if you enjoy mythology.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book #Review, & #Giveaway ~ Cross Crease (On the Edge, Book #3) by Elizabeth Harte ~ @drliz5 ~ Contemporary Sports Romance @GoddessFish

Cross Crease

by Elizabeth Hartey

Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

Purchase Link:

About the Book:


I was fourteen the first time I laid eyes on the smoking hot goalie. Damon Wolfe was the most gorgeous boy I’d ever seen. All it took was one glance, one sentence and my heart was his. 

But I was too young and he was too broken.

Seven years later, he’s the biggest off-the-ice-player in the NHL and I’m his virginal best friend—a problem I have the perfect solution to. But Wolfe refuses to help me out. He claims he doesn’t want to ruin our friendship. 

Yet, somehow, his eyes say something different whenever he looks at me. The way I see it, it’s only one night. What’s the worst that can happen?


The first time I looked into those sparkling turquoise eyes, I was a goner. Heaven had a mouth full of braces and bruised knees but she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. With one look, she sent all my inner demons running. 

But she was just a kid and I was too damaged. 

Seven years later, Heaven is now my best friend. My best friend with a single-minded mission—to get laid. 

She wants me to take her virginity and teach her about sex. But she's so far out of the realm of anything my blackened heart deserves it's laughable. 
So, how come I’m not laughing? How come my best friend is all I think about? More importantly, what am I going to do to protect her—from me?

My Review:

Cross Crease is another wonderful book in the On the Edge series. Heaven is sweet character who wants nothing more than to cuddle up next to Wolfe. Heaven is Wolfe's best girl friend - not girlfriend - and he doesn't want to ruin their friendship by giving her what she wants. Heaven is better than a one-nighter and he can't commit to anything more than that.

As the story progresses you come to realize that the chemistry between Heaven and Wolfe isn't as on sided as Wolfe would have you believe. I (mostly) love them together. Wolfe does some pretty heart-wrenching things, causing Heaven pain. As far as Heaven goes, I would have a really hard time continually pining for someone who continuously flaunted his sexual conquests in my face. When Wolfe finally opens up about his past though, you see a different side of Wolfe and I empathized with him.

I enjoyed the rocky relationship road Heaven and Wolfe traveled down in Cross Crease. I felt Heaven's anguish and anger yet understood why Wolfe was so hesitant. Both characters grew exponentially in Cross Crease and loved the ending of their story. The world building was done well and I was able to visualize the story. I couldn't put the book down and read it in one day (and I work full time....). I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I will be reading this book again; I loved Cross Crease!

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Book #Review ~ Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book 16) by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran ~ #CozyMystery

Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran


A Scrapbooking Mystery, Book 16 
Cozy Mystery 
October 1, 2019 
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 0451489578 
ISBN-13: 978-0451489579 
Digital ASIN: B07M75KVSB

About Mumbo Gumbo Murder:

A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief—and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?

Purchase Links:

My Review: 

Mumbo Gumbo Murder is the 16th book in Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking Mystery series. The book, however, is the first one in the series I’ve had a chance to read. I may have joined the party a bit late, but I found the book to fun, interesting, and easy to follow despite not having any information about the characters from previous books. 

The New Orleans setting was a wonderful change of pace from settings of other cozies. Instead of being set in a small town, Mumbo Gumbo Murder is set in the heart of Mardi Gras territory. The book is set during Jazz Fest and the town is hopping when in the middle of parade, Carmela and Ava are lead to a friend’s antique store where he’s found dead on the floor. Devon’s homicide is not only upsetting, it’s puzzling since Devon is an easy-going person without any enemies. The author does a wonderful job providing several potential suspects and when it comes right down to who was responsible, disguises the true murderer fantastically. I was shocked. 

The characters were likable enough and I enjoyed learning about them. Carmela is a bit indecisive but it’s not a bad trait. She is your typical cozy mystery heroine and runs into trouble headfirst. She puts herself in very dangerous situations. The “will-she-marry – won’t-she-marry Edgar Babcock” ping-pong match going on in Carmela’s mind was a bit distracting, though. The reappearance of an old boyfriend and Carmela’s ex-husband added quite the twist to the story and I found those situations interesting. Ava and Gabby are great secondary characters and I enjoyed their interactions. 

Mumbo Gumbo is a great novel. I didn’t feel like I was lacking any information since I hadn’t read the previous books. What reading book 16 in the series did, though, was increase my excitement for the series. I will be starting the series from book 1 now.

My Rating:

Enter the Giveaway Here:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Book #Review ~ Awk-Weird (Ice Knights, Book #2) by Avery Flynn ~ #RomCom #Romance @AveryFlynn

About the Book:

There’s more to me than just being awk-weird. I own my own flower shop, have some great friends, and I have my eye on adopting the most adorable kitten. But sadly, hot guys don’t tend to be blown away by my trivia-spouting, dorky self.

So, when a Thor-lookalike who happens to be a professional hockey player hits on me at my bestie's wedding rehearsal party ... You better believe I climbed that tree like a cat. And the face that it happened not once, not twice, but three times? Yeah, that's pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman like me.

There's zero chance I'll end up ever seeing him again...right?

Until the pregnancy test comes up positive. What happens next?

Oh my God, I wish I knew...

Grab Your Copy:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Add on Goodreads

Book Details:

Print Length: 239 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: October 14, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan

My Review:

Awk-Weird is a wonderful contemporary romance filled with comedy, romance, and pure joy and fun. Tess is a wonderfully awkward nerd who spouts random facts, especially when she's nervous, uncomfortable, or stressed. When Tess hooks up with hockey player Cole (Thor's twin) at Lucy and Frankie's wedding after an inpromptu trivia contest, Tess and Cole go their separate ways. Except, in nine months they are going to be parents. Tess isn't Cole's type and Cole isn't Tess's type - or are they exactly what each other needs and have been looking for?

I loved Tess and Cole's story. They are two unlikely people brought together in a fun and entertaining story filled with realism and emotion. Tess is quiet and sweet; Cole is a hockey player. Tess and Cole have extremely different backgrounds and were raised rather differently, as well. In an age where not everyone who has children together get married, the author built Tess and Cole's story around trying to figure out how to be co-parents first then had them realize they want to be together for love and for their soon-to-be little family. Of course, they needed help from their friends in the form of having Tess live with Cole while her depressing little apartment was repaired by her slimy landlord, who also happened to be her uncle. I enjoyed the path the author took Tess and Cole on in order find their happily-ever-after.

Avery Flynn is a wonderful storyteller with unique characters, themes, and settings. Her stories pull you in and keep you thoroughly engaged and entertained. I have enjoyed both books in the Ice Knights series and look forward to the next book - especially since chapter one follows the end of Awk-Weird. 

I was given a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

Visit Sapphyria's Books for the book feature:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Book #Review ~ Read and Buried (A Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book 6) by Eva Gates ~ #CozyMystery ~ @vickidelany @evagatesauthor

Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates

Book Details:

Read and Buried
A Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book 6
Cozy Mystery
Crooked Lane Books
October 15, 2019
Hardcover: 325 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643852337
ISBN-13: 978-1643852331
Digital ASIN: B07P9MQV3F

About the Book:

Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can't crack its code, she may end up read and buried.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library's foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.

The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library--the map and the coded page are missing.

Lucy's nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy--or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she's forced to do what she vowed not to do--get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.

My Review:

Read and Buried (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #6)Read and Buried by Eva Gates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love this series and every book is fantastic. I must admit; however, Read and Buried is now my favorite. I love the anticipation the author creates with the discovery of the metal box, journal, map, and handwritten code. Trying to figure out what the journal and additional documentation mean kept me intrigued. The history of the Civil War-era documents, along with the history of the Outer Banks and the emancipated slaves was quite interesting especially when paired with a modern-day treasure hunt. The mystery of the death of Jeremy Hughes just added another layer to the story. There are so many potential suspects it becomes hard to narrow the list down to any one person. Means, motive, opportunity, lack of alibi all plague those who made it to the list.

As per my reviews of the other books in the series, I love the setting, the characters, and the mysteries in each. Lucy is a wonderful character. She may come from money, but she doesn't act like it or flaunt her family's riches. Her character is down-to-earth and likeable. I love Charlene's obsession of rap music and her passion for wanting to share. I enjoy her slow and chaste relationship with Connor. They are sweet together, yet you can definite feel their chemistry. The secondary characters are unique in their own way and believable. Oh, and how could I forget about Charles?! The library cat is a delightful addition to the cast.

The story is well paced, enjoyable, and full of suspense, anticipation, joy, and redemption. The author did a wonderful job describing the characters and scenery within the book. I was able to visualize the story as it played out. Read and Buried is a fantastic cozy mystery and addition to the Lighthouse Library series.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 10, 2019

#Book Spotlight & #Review ~ Risking Forever (Forever Series, Vol. 1) by Tara Gallina ~ #Romance #Suspense #NewAdult @TaraGallina

Book Details:

Print Length: 521 pages
Publication Date: June 30, 2019

About the 4-Book Collection:


AT TWENTY, Ainsley knows it's time to follow her own dreams and not the future planned for her—a future she never wanted. Losing her job couldn't have come at a worse time.

SEBASTIAN GIANNI isn’t the ideal boss, but he has a position to fill and Ainsley is desperate. The sexy twenty-two-year-old comes from money, owns a successful business, and graduates from college in three months. He has his life together in a way Ainsley could only dream.

NO WONDER her best friend is obsessed with dating him. Even his ex-girlfriend is determined to get him back, although threatening him seems like the wrong approach. Ainsley would be a fool to fall for the guy, too.

BY NO means, should she trust him. He has more secrets than anyone she knows, which makes her wonder if the mafia rumors about him are true. It doesn't matter that he's a good listener, and sweet and protective at times. That playful flirty side he shares with her alone means nothing. Right?

WHEN A kiss turns into a passionate romance neither can give up, Ainsley learns the truth about Sebastian's corrupt family and why his ex-girlfriend won't go away. A future together is near impossible and comes with a risk that could get them both killed—or give them everything they've ever wanted. 

Read My Review of Risking Forever, Forever Series Vol. 1:

Risking Forever (Forever #1)Risking Forever by Tara Gallina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ainsley and Harper are college friends from completely different worlds. Ainsley worries about money, having a job, and paying her own bills. Harper doesn’t worry about anything except who’s going to be in her bed next. Harper currently has her sights set on Sebastian, the elusive but smoldering-hot senior with potential ties to the mafia. Using Ainsley, Harper manages to put Ainsley in the path of Sebastian and his friend and roommate, Nathan. What follows is a strong attempt at staying away from the man her friend wants. Unless she wants to start a fight with Harper, Ainsley must stay away. As the story progresses, it becomes harder for Ainsley and Sebastian to stay apart, even if it is what’s best for everyone.

In Volume 1, the reader gets to know Harper (shallow and self-centered), Ainsley (nice, respectable, goes with the flow), Nathan (funny, sweet), and Sebastian (broody with secrets, a powerful family, and maybe a fiancé). The story is told in first person, not a favorite of mine, but the story is told so well that I got over the POV. The story is quick, fast-paced, and engaging. The world building is done well and the characters appropriate developed. I imaging we’ll see more character growth and continued world building as the series progresses.

The connection between Ainsley and Sebastian is romantic and realistic. He wants her to stay away, to protector her from his family and life, but the attraction between them continues to grow, preventing either one from truly pulling away. Then Sebastian hires her to work remotely for his autobody shop. I love the unlikely connection Sebastian and Ainsley have and can’t wait to watch it grow and advance.

I now must express my disgust with Ainsley’s friend Harper. Harper is spoiled, self-centered, and disinterested in anything that doesn’t involve her. She gets Ainsley into and then just disappears leaving Ainsley to wonder where she went. The first time she did it I shrugged it off. Ainsley’s conversation with Sebastian and Nathan took longer than either anticipated. When Harper drags Ainsley to Nathan and Sebastian’s home and abandons her amid a bunch of males that Ainsley doesn’t know, essentially tossing her to the wolves, I lost all pretense of liking Harper. If that’s the portrait the author is trying to paint for Harper, she has succeeded. And don't get me started on Ainsley's mother.

Risking Forever is a wonderful story in a college town. I enjoyed every bit of the story (even the role Harper plays). I can’t wait to move to Volume 2 of The Forever Series.

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