Thursday, 27 July 2017

Review Spotlight: A Cunning Heist by Astrid Arditi

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GENRE:   Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Sloane Harper has sworn off men—for her sanity, and her safety. But with or without men, trouble always seems to find Sloane.

When her ex’s ex-mistress comes knocking for help, Sloane does what she does best : she helps way more than she should. As she investigates London’s art scene, Sloane runs into a very handsome but very shady artist, a quirky bunch of thieves, and a cunning old flame. 
Perhaps Sloane should have sworn off playing private detective instead of men.








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BOOK REVIEW:

A Cunning Heist (Sloane Harper #2)A Cunning Heist by Astrid Arditi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Sloane is happy that she has written men off her life for good after Ethan leaves her in lurch, literally! Fate brings her to encounter her ex-husband's former mistress, and Sloane rolls up her sleeves to help her former rival, much to her chagrin. Saving her gets to be almost a death warrant for Sloane, as she finds herself deeply embroiled in some art scene crimes which she would have stayed away from, had she had a choice. Does she manage to save herself and her former enemy, or does she get to lose something in the process? Does she continue to hate men, or does she forgive Ethan one last time? These are questions I'll leave for you to find the answers to.

Sloane Harper! Easily one of my most favorite female protagonists in recent times. She is just all of us most of the time, and her idiosyncrasies are so laughable and so endearing! I'm terribly glad that the author has chosen to showcase all her characters as flawed and down-to-earth, rather than carving some high-handed characters with lofty ideals. I couldn't help but smile at some of the witty retorts and exchanges. The pace is a great advantage for the book - there is no single dull moment. In fact, it's hard to put it down once you've begun on it. The narrative gets a tad predictable as you know Sloane can never stay out of trouble, but it adds to the book's charm.

If a breezy, pacy, contemporary adventure is your game, then this book fits the genre aptly. Pick it up today!

View all my reviews  


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EXCERPT:


Ethan stood before me.

Must have gotten hit harder than I thought. I rubbed my eyes to adjust my vision, wondering why the hell my wrecked brain had conjured Ethan up. As if having my tushy crushed into leather pants wasn’t bad enough.

“Sure you’re not interested?” Ethan’s hallucination smirked. “Feisty Sloane. You know how much I like it.”

Tell that to my hand, I thought as I slapped the hell out of Ethan, or my concussion-caused vision of him.

It wiped the bemused smile off his face. “What the hell was that for?”

“For making me lose my phone!”

And for not calling, not texting, not sending so much as a smoke signal to me for the past six months. For forgetting about me, for leaving me behind without a second glance, alone with the shambles that had once been my life—alone, always alone.

“Come with me,” Ethan intimated, pulling me by the arm.

Same brown eyes, crooked nose, square jaw, same dimple on his chin. Same chestnut hair, though more closely cropped than I remembered. It was Ethan alright. Jerk-face Ethan Cunning, number one on my most hated list.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

If Astrid Arditi could have one magical power, it would be to create time—to write, to enjoy her children, to unpack (she’s moved five times in four years), to sleep in, to learn how to cook, and to hit the gym. Or at least, to locate the one nearest her.
While waiting for her magic powers to manifest, she reads, eats way too many cakes, daydream, and thanks her lucky stars for her whirlwind, wonderful life.
Born and raised in Paris, Arditi recently moved to Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and two young children. A Cunning Heist is the second novel in the Sloane Harper series.    







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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Astrid Arditi will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Monday, 17 July 2017

A Convenient Risk by Sara R. Turnquist

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A Convenient Risk
by Sara R. Turnquist

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle ranch and life insurance policy. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?


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EXCERPT:

A strong arm grasped Amanda, catching her upper arm and dragging her onto the horse. As soon as she was solidly on the animal, she grabbed ahold of Brandon as tightly as she could.

They took off. The bull pawed at the ground, making all manner of grunting noises, but as if by some miracle, he ran off to the left. All of this happened as if time had slowed.

The horse continued to push forward. And as they neared the edge of the fence, Brandon urged the horse to go even faster. Were they going to break through? What would happen to the cattle with the fence destroyed?

But as they approached the fence, the horse leapt. Amanda gripped Brandon impossibly tighter. Jolted when the horse landed, her teeth chattered.

Only then did Brandon slow the horse. He then placed a hand on her upper arm and pushed.

She released him.

He sucked in a deep breath and expelled it.

Had she been holding him too tightly? Her face warmed.

He took hold of her shoulders. “Are you all right?”

She nodded, and though their faces were but a breath apart, she was not quite able to meet his eyes, fighting tears in her own. Only then she found herself staring at his bare chest. Jerking her head away, she averted her gaze.

“Do you realize what could have happened?” His voice rose.

She nodded, still not able to meet his eyes. The force of his emotion hit her. Was he so concerned after her?

“I would have had to shoot that bull.”

What? Eyes wide, she tilted her face up to look at him.

“That bull is worth half my herd.”

So he was only worried about the cattle. Not her. His precious cattle.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.


Website/URL: http://saraturnquist.com/
Twitter: @sarat1701 - https://twitter.com/sarat1701/
Facebook: AuthorSaraRTurnquist  -https://www.facebook.com/authorsararturnquist/
Pinterest: SaraVTurnquist – http://www.pinterest.com/saravturnquist/


Buy Links:




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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review Spotlight: An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand







GENRE: British mystery

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BLURB:

McLaren’s fiancĂ©e tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.
Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?

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REVIEW:


An Unwilling Suspect (The McLaren Mysteries Book 7)An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A Hiestand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

McLaren is our protagonist, who, when he loses the love of his life tragically, steers away from the usual cliche of drunken lamenting and chooses to retreat into a countryside cottage to mourn her loss, and recuperate his soul. However, his retreat takes him far from comfort and safety, as he finds himself entangled in a murder, landing as its primary suspect. The victim, Helen, is someone he had just started getting to know, and that too, with no romantic inclinations. Little does he know that his chivalrous acts of helping her with trivial things would result in such a massive strike on him. The investigator in him wakes up, and it's up to him now to find the culprit and free himself, and salvage Helen's death. He has a few suspects in mind, starting with Helen's ex-boyfriend and the crass garage mechanic. The hunter becomes the hunted and McLaren's clock is ticking. He is running for survival and he needs to finish his mission before time runs out.

For a thriller, the book comes laden with surprisingly many pieces of emotional tugs, which are refreshing. It's not all blood, gore and cruelty. The pace is just about right. I wish the non-protagonist characters were developed a bit more, to make the reader fathom their motives better, but the book doesn't lag behind on solid characters - McLaren's idiosyncrasies are endearing and you can't help but empathize with him.

If you're looking for a fast and captivating whodunit, this book is not to be missed!

My rating: 5 stars

View all my reviews

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EXCERPT:

The room seemed to be devoid of air and incredibly hot. McLaren leaned against the edge of the table, trying to think of how to proceed. He’d wanted to avoid mentioning his former police days.

“I left the Force nearly two years ago, yes.” He could feel his throat constricting in his pent-up anger. He fought to keep calm.

“You didn’t tell us this.”

“I thought it had no bearing on Helen’s death. I didn’t cause it.”

“Look at this from our viewpoint, Mr. McLaren. We don’t know you. You arrive in Windermere this past Saturday. You’re a stranger. You become acquainted with this woman and she is found dead Sunday night, and dead practically outside your door. At least on your land. Now, if you, instead of me, were asking the questions, what would you think?”

“I’d think I needed to get more facts before I started labeling someone a killer. I’d think of talking to people she’d known for years and find out the histories between them and if there were any ill feelings in their associations. I’d think I needed a postmortem report to see how she died and where she died and if she’d been moved after death and if there was evidence of someone around her place or some clue on her body…instead of pinning this on a convenient tourist. That’s what I’d think!”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.

https://www.johiestand.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jo-Hiestand-Mystery-Author/203133803128
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jo+A+Hiestand

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book and Author Spotlights