Friday, July 31, 2015

Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith

Caprice has family problems, boyfriend problems, and a murder to solve.  She's trying not to get involved but Ace was going to marry the victim and he wants her to find out who killed her.  As you can guess, the cops aren't happy about that...

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It was published July 28th, so you can grab a copy now.  This is the fourth in the series and the best one yet.

The more Caprice tries to find out about Alanna, the more she realizes she was hiding something.  She's not sure what, so she keeps digging.  After all, she was staging Alanna's house for selling and she'd worked with her.  She didn't like her and it seems most folks didn't.  She was a widow, had no children and only one sister.  There was a son from an affair her husband had in the past but Caprice was sure he wasn't the murderer, just like Ace wasn't.  What could motivate someone enough to kill?

Caprice goes home for the family dinner on Sunday and picks up the tension as soon as she opens the door.  Her estranged Uncle has come home.  After rejecting the family for his new wife, he no longer has a wife and is trying to come home.  Her father is letting him stay but Nana is very upset.  He betrayed her and he hasn't apologized.  When Nana ends up in the hospital, Caprice talks to them both.  She's not sure that's going to help.

Her long distance boyfriend, Seth, is still fun and she still loves him, but can she live with the cancellations of dates, meals, and plans that come with doctor's work?  Does she want to follow him from one hospital to another on his career path?  Does she want to leave the comfort of her friends and family?  And how has Grant gotten so important to her?

All in all, Caprice is very busy in this book.  It was a good murder mystery as well as a good romance.  I'm ready to read the next one and see what new challenges Caprice finds!

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

He's a bachelor who lives in an apartment and has a bookstore on a barge on the river.  He had a girl and lost her and now he puts his life into books.  He matches books with people.  If you need to laugh or cry, he'll find one that does that for you.  If you're not sure where you're going in life, he has books for that, too.  If you're trying to figure out something new, he's sure to have an instructional book on his shelves.  He even has some erotic books for those who need it.  It sounds like a very interesting bookshop to me.  I wonder what kind of book he would think I would need?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

Reading this I learned a bit about Paris and the waterways there and a bit of about the morals of the French.  It appears they more at ease about sex there.  Or maybe it's just because I was raised Catholic, who knows?  Finding out the woman he loved was marrying another man and would like him to come visit them at the vineyards where they lived seemed a bit strange to me.  How can you have a man you love in Paris for when you visit there and marry and live with another man when you go home?

If you ignore that little hump in the road and keep reading, you'll learn a bit more about life.  When he finds his neighbor in the apartment across the hall has been left by her husband and he's taken all the furniture, he remembers he had a table he could give her.  She finds a letter in the table drawer and he's afraid to read it.  It's from the woman who left him.  She helps him find the courage to read it, and he decides to go find his old love.  He sets the barge free and heads out. He seems to gather strays on his way, meets a lot of new people, and even finds a place to stay for a while.  He also realizes his love died and he works at coming to peace with that.  

This was an interesting journey through a strange land for me.  The ending made the book.  Why don't you take the barge down the river with Perdu?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward

His father is the current "king" of bourbon making.  They make the most bourbon in Kentucky, the best, and they have lots of money because of it.  The old man thinks he's invincible and he can do anything or take anything he wants.  His sons have a different opinion, though.

Penguin Publishing sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It was published July 28th, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This one has a bit of the flavor of that old Dallas TV show.  It's part of soap opera, part high business dealings and is one of the most dysfunctional families I've ever read about.  The old man cares only about himself.  He has destroyed most family members and he feels no remorse or guilt over it.  He will have what he wants even if he has to give his daughter to a another wicked man.  Money is his god.

The three boys have their own problems; most are caused by the father.  When Lane starts adding things up, he realizes all the bad things going on trace right back to the old man.  He starts putting a plan together to prove his father's wrong doings.  He may get smashed for doing so, but he's through being manipulated.

It's a long story with lots of nuances and nasty things to keep your attention.  The words move well, the ending makes life sound more promising but you know life won't be that easy for this family.  The things the father put in motion are still there and more repercussions will be felt in future books in the series.

Dark Screams: Volume Four by Clive Barker, Ed Gorman, Heather Graham

Like to scare yourself once in a while?  This series will do it for you...

Hydra and Net Galley allowed me to download this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 4th, so watch for it then.  If you've missed the first three, you might want to grab them in the meantime.

I love reading short stories.  They have to be succinct and the words well woven to keep your attention and to get the point across.  All the authors in this collection know how to do that well.

The stories included are: 


THE DEPARTED by Clive Barker
On All Hallows' Eve, a dead and disembodied mother yearns to touch her young son one last time. But will making contact destroy them both?


CREATURE FEATURE by Heather Graham
What could be better publicity for a horror convention than an honest-to-goodness curse? It's only after lights out that the hype—and the Jack the Ripper mannequin—starts to feel a little too real.


THE NEW WAR by Lisa Morton
Mike Carson is a war hero and a decorated vet. He doesn't deserve to be trapped in a hospital with some black thing sitting on his chest as patients die all around him. His only hope is to take out the nurse—before it's his turn.


SAMMY COMES HOME by Ray Garton
It's what every family prays for: a lost pet returning home. But when Sammy, the Hale family sheepdog, appears on their doorstep, he brings back something no parent would ever wish upon his or her child.


THE BRASHER GIRL by Ed Gorman
Cindy Marie Brasher is the prettiest girl in the Valley, and Spence just has to have her. Unfortunately, Cindy has a “friend” . . . a friend who tells her to do things . . . bad things.


Each of these stories is unique and has its own taste of horror.  Some are fantastic fantasy, some are paranormal, but all have a scare factor.  My favorite story was The Departed by Clive Barker.  He has a subtle horror that doesn't slap you in face (in this story) and it was almost a happy ending.  He must be mellowing a bit as he gets older.

All the stories were worth reading.  The one about the animals is going to haunt me for a while.  We all need to know a bit about those things that we see out of the corner of our eye that aren't really there.  One day they may be... 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Shameful Murder: A Reverend Mother mystery by Cora Harrison

Reverend Mother Aquinas never expected to find a dead body at the gate of the convent chapel and she certainly didn't expect it to be tied to her past.  She was seventy now and had left that world behind.  But it hasn't left her behind...

Severn House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st, so you can snag a copy then.

Nuns have always fascinated me.  I went to a parochial school (St. Joseph's in Chehalis, WA) and our teachers were nuns.  They always wore these strange uniforms, were staid and steadfast, and you never got away with anything.  Most were very intelligent women and I learned a lot from them.  So when this nun is involved with this case, I knew it was going to be a fun read for me despite the murder.

The young woman is identified as the daughter of a monied man.  When the police check into the matter, they find that the woman was just about of age to collect her inheritance, which would have left her father and brother destitute.  The assumption is that of them has killed her.  Reverend Mother isn't so certain, though.

First she discovers that while the young woman resembles the daughter, she's not.  She's a prostitute's child and was fathered by that fine society man who "lost" his daughter.  That adds a whole new angle to the case.  She also locates the missing girl because of her knowledge about the past.

The nun goes back in history and drags out facts to support her suppositions.  I was amazed at who the killer was.  The guilty party was not even on my list of suspects!

When the killer is identified, he commits suicide.  The police superintendent just lets it die a quiet death so it won't become a big news item and embarrass people.  I'm glad the nun knows an independent journalist.  It won't be under the rug for long...

I like this new team of nun, retired doctor and an up and coming young detective.  They make a mean team (and eat lots of pastries).  I hope to read more in this series.

Field Trip by Gary Paulsen, Jim Paulsen

Are you ready for another road trip with Ben and his dad?  Last time they went out, they came home with a puppy.  Will they be doing that again?

Wendy Lamb Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 4th, so you can grab a copy then.

Ben is thinking it will be a interesting trip with just he and his dad and the two dogs.  When someone is sleeping in back of the company rig (an old ice cream truck with an ice cream cone on the roof), he scares Ben but he knows Ben's dad.  It seems he's his dad's new work partner since Ben has been so busy with hockey.  Then a couple more kids show up.  Ben's dad is very gregarious and giving and soon the whole group takes off on an adventure together.

Meanwhile, Ben is pouting because he wanted to go to the special hockey academy and his parents decided it was too unproven and too far away from home.  This road trip is to hook him up with his classes field trip and that's where the other two students are going, too.  As is usual, nothing works out as planned.

Ben's dad stops at all estate sales he sees.  Ben gets the older boy to drive for a while and takes him to the hockey competition.  Ben sneaks in and does the hockey testing and does well.  But his dad isn't happy.

As is true in most families, they need to talk about boundaries (for both the boy and his parents) and work together to get harmony.  They manage that, and they also manage to find another border collie puppy.  Imagine that!?!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

Aoife went to the fair on a date.  He was good looking and fun.  She didn't expect to see him get cut down by a dragon right in front of her.  And when she explains to the cops about his death, his body isn't there when she returns.  How could he disappear?  Even worse, her sister and brother commit her to a mental health hospital for treatment.  How could they do that?
 
Forever and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can grab a copy now.
 
Dragons fascinate me, so I had to read this book.  These dragons are men in human shape.  You can guess how good they look.
 
Aoife finally convinces her doctor she doesn't believe any of that nonsense about dying and dragons anymore.  She knows it's true but she also knows if she doesn't want more shock treatments she better say it's not.  She's allowed to go home.  Her sister takes off on a job in Europe and she has the house to herself.  She's glad because she's tired of the noise factor in the mental health facility.  She sure never expected to run over a big dog on the way home one night.  He's a BIG dog!  She manages to get him in the car and takes him to the vet, who checks him out.  He's fine but the vet won't take him.  He tells her to find his owner and take care of him in the meantime.  He's a Newfoundland dog and takes up a lot of room and eats a lot of food.  But what can she do?

The next thing that happens is that the dog finds a body on the beach.  It's a man who is still alive but just barely.  She has to drag him to the car and finds an after hours doctor that will help.  When the man recovers, she finds that the dragons were after him.  She wants to know nothing about this.  She's not going back to any hospital!

There's a lot of humor in this story as well as dragon battles and the fact that Aoife has put on a ring the dead guy at the fair gave her that gives her powers.  She just has to figure out how to use it.  And learn who is battling whom and why.

I mean, when a dog is a demon named Jim and can talk, how can you not like this tale?  There's a bit of sex in the story but that's how dragon's are mated, so what can you do?

There will be more to this story.  Aoife has more to learn about her role in this war and she also has to get rid of an awful demon from the past she managed to call up by accident.  This tale is just beginning...
 

In the Drink by Allyson K. Abbott

Mack is back.  Donovan almost got fired for using her talents to help him solve a murder case, so she's not seeing as much of him as she might like.  He's busy at work, they have to maintain a low profile, and he can't be seen working with her.  That makes it difficult to have a relationship.

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you'll be able to find a copy at your local bookstore now.

I've liked the earlier books in this series and was glad to find there was a new one out.  Mack ends up working two cases:  one for Tiny whose sister was killed years ago and one of her own.  Seems that someone has taken issue with her special senses and is threatening her.  If she doesn't solve the riddles she's given, then someone she knows and is close to will die.  She knows it's true when she reads the letter and then realizes the dead body just discovered was one of her customers.

The mysteries are good, the dead girl's murderer was a twist, another employee of hers is killed and I was reading along quite contented until I got to the end of this book.  There is no ending; you'll have to read this one to get the solution.  I hate that.  Tell me it's a two-part mystery, don't leave me hanging.

As it is, now Mack is attracted to two different cops and I'm afraid one of them might be the next victim for her killer.  But I won't know until next year.  How fair is that?  Some people thrive on this sort of cliff hanging ending but I'm not one of them.  I'm also not sure if I want to read the next book.  I'm almost afraid of what the author will do with Mack and her boyfriends.

I can say this, though.  Ms. Abbott got my attention and kept it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

She's coming to live with her grandmother and is disappointed when she has to exit the boat by herself and her grandmother doesn't appear excited to see her.  Grandmother is almost grumpy.  Inge Marie can't contain her good nature, though.  She chatters all the way home...

HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It won't be published until January 5th, so make a note to pick it up then.

This is a lot like the old classics of yesteryear's.  Anne of Greene Gables and Pippi Longstalking are two comparables offered and that works.  Inge Marie is full of herself:  bubbly, talkative, willing to have fun, and a total rebel at school.

At first, she has to watch for Grandmother's slaps for misbehaving.  But, as time goes by, Grandmother begins to laugh again and participate a bit in acting silly.  She's forgotten how to be young but the little one brings it out in her.  They both have to deal with the loss of Inge Marie's mother so that adds to adjustment of this change.

Before the end of the book, Inge Marie has changed school, learned how to get along with her Grandmother and her friends, and found a home for a friend.  She's still making mischief, though.

It was a very enjoyable story, I'd recommend it.  It made me laugh.

Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

Someone said the house was haunted.  He was walking by when he saw flickering light in the window.  He checked the doors and found one open in back.  When he goes to the room with the flickering light, they invite him in...

David Fickling Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 28th, so you can grab a copy then.

Entering the room, he sees twelve people sitting at a table with candles in front of each person.  One of them gets another chair and they make room for him at the table and light a candle for him.  He finds that one man "chairs" the meeting and controls who talks when.  He asks them each to tell their story, then blow their candle out and scoot back from the table.

The stories are horror stories.  Some are more scary than others but they all make you feel a bit uncomfortable.  Most all of the participants are adults but there are two children besides him.  As he listens to them tell their tales, he wonders what story he can tell.  He really doesn't know any.  However, as the last man tells his tale and informs him it's his turn, he does have something to say.

I enjoy anthologies, so I liked how this story was presented.  It's eerie without being too graphic and it's one of those books you read and think "Did the author mean it that way?"  I think I understood the ending but it could have more than one conclusion.  What did you think the ending meant?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Legacy of Copper Creek by R.C. Ryan

Whit is a bachelor on purpose.  He's not going to get all lovey dovey and silly like his brothers.  He's doing just fine on his own and he can find willing partners for sex.  Why marry?

Forever and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published the 28th, so you can grab a copy then.

Cara is jobless, her dreams and hopes shattered and she only wants to get her head back together.  When she hears one man threaten another, she runs.  The only problem is that the evil eyed man is after her.  She ends up abandoning her car and running into the woods.  The only good news is that there is a range cabin there she can stay in while she figures out what to do.  She certainly didn't want any company.  When Whit stumbles in because of the blizzard outside, she greets him with a gun in his back.  He manages to overcome her (and finds out the gun is a broom handle) and then the two both snarl at each other.  He dismisses her, takes the bottom bunk she's been using and tells her he'll talk to her in the morning.  Cara is dismayed to find herself snowed in with this grizzly bear of a man.

The story is set in a peaceful valley in Montana where ranchers are common.  Whit and his family raise cattle and a few horses.  There's someone bad in the valley, though.  Whit's father was shot through the back and killed and now a neighbor has been shot and killed also.  He wonders if the man she saw and heard might not be the killer.

Whit has one big happy family and most of them converge on the ranch for dinner.  Luckily Cara can cook, so she takes over the kitchen to pay her way for the room and board they offer her.  But Mr. Evil Eyes is still looking for her and when he finds her, there's hell to pay.

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter, Qin Leng (Illustrated by)

Piper is fun, active child who says exactly what she thinks.  Forget about politically correct.  She's not running for office; she says what she thinks!

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 4th.

Pipe rides a lobster boat to school each morning.  She likes to stand outside and feel the cool breeze in her face.  She also has a fairy tree in her yard, along with a good imagination.

She has to have the perfect strawberry for her oatmeal.  No bumps or bruises, it has to be perfect.  When she finally deems one perfect, she doesn't eat it!  She takes it out and offers to the fairies who live in her tree.  There's a small hole in the hollow of tree and that's where she places it.

School is always fun for her, even if it's hard to sit still.  Today it's not, though.  Their pet bunny is missing.  It seems there's a new student coming and she's allergic to it. So it has gone home with one of the instructors.  The children can still visit it but it won't be as much fun as having it in the classroom.  Piper decides she hates the new girl before she even comes to school...

This story is interesting because it talks about island life but it also shows Piper growing up a bit and learning about allergies.  I have allergy problems so I can relate.  The story is a bit old-fashioned too, and I liked that.  Island living means it's a bit more laid back than downtown in a big city.  Why not go visit the island with Piper?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, Gris Grimly (Illustrated by)

Just exactly what could happen to you if you went to the most haunted house in the neighborhood on Halloween night?  It's all by itself down in a ravine, there are no neighbors, and it's a particularly dark night.  Sounds just like a Bradbury setting, doesn't it?

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 4th and would make a great Halloween treat for young readers who like a thrill.

Bradbury has always good about setting a mood and tantalizing you with might happen and what does.  It was one of his greatest skills and it shows in this new edition of an old classic with new artwork.

The boys are missing one member who is sick and they are worried about him.  When they think they see him, they follow him.  The odd fellow they meet who has a tree full of carved pumpkins out in back of the haunted house lights up his pumpkins.  They are amazed to see their faces on the pumpkins...

Pip gets carried off and the others decide they must go after him.  After all, he wasn't feeling well and they're concerned.  The odd man they met agrees and creates a big kite.  They act like they are the tail of the kite and off they go.  They travel through time and through all kinds of Halloween celebrations.  From the days of the druids to Mexico's celebration of the Day of the Dead, they see them all and keep trying to rescue Pip.

You'll learn about the various Halloween traditions over the ages as well as being scared a bit by the story.  Anytime I start a Bradbury book, I know he's going to scare me.  He's good at that.  Even I learned about some Halloween traditions I didn't know existed.  Why don't you read it?

No Virgin Island: A Sabrina Salter Mystery by C. Michele Dorsey

Sabrina is working as in innkeeper on St. John's Island.  She has a partner in the business named Henry, and she's trying to leave her past behind.  She gained a lot of notoriety in Nantucket when she mistakenly killed her husband thinking he was a burglar.  She was at the summer cabin they used and didn't expect him to show up because he was out womanizing.  It was unfortunate for them both.  When the trial was over, she escaped by moving away.  And now she's staring at another dead man sitting in a chair out on the deck of one of the houses she cares for.  She knows her nightmare is beginning again...

Crooked Lane Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 11th, so you'll be able to grab a copy then.

I liked the characters.  Sabrina is cautious with men since she's been burned.  Her business partner is gay and he had been compromised by his lover, so he was glad to have a fresh start, too.  Neither of them expected to find a dead body or false names or secrets on the island.  Everyone knew everyone, how could there be secrets?

This story is very busy and has two or three things going on all at once.  Ms. Dorsey makes all of her women strong in character and it doesn't take long until the island women are drawing together to protect their families and each other from trouble.  That was a nice touch.

I was also impressed by how the author ended the story.  There was potential for disaster in more than one situation but she made it all work for the best.  I'm sure Sabrina will be back, and I'll be watching to see if her budding romance grows and if Henry can hold out against his old love.  There might even be a murder or two in that book, too, you never know.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Galaxy Pirates: Hunt for the Pyxis by Zoe Ferraris

Emma and Herbie are hanging together as usual.  One day he does all the homework, the next day she does.  It's his turn today and they are in her dad's library.  Out of the blue, her dad rushes in and moves the bookcase and shoves her and Herbie in and closes the door.  She sees the intruders through the bookshelves.  They grab her mother, demand to know how to work the Pyxis, and when mom doesn't cooperate, they shoot her father!  She wants to go out and stop them, but Herbie holds her back.  In no time at all, they're gathered up and herded out of the house.  Where could they be taking them?

Crown Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 4th, so you don't have to wait long to get a copy.

This is a magical tale with lots of action and some of the children's reactions are just dumb luck.  Emma learns that her boring parents were actually from another world.  When she opens the old box that was in the hidden room, she finds the actual Pyxis.  When she says the magic words, it turns on and begins vibrating.  What she doesn't realize is that it's almost like a homing device.  Everyone looking for it can see the signals.  While she and Herbie are trying to escape the bad guys, she makes another discovery.  They can travel through to the world her parents escaped long ago.

This is a busy exciting tale with lots of action and lots of adventures for Emma and Herbie.  They make new friends and they learn about this new world.  They manage to recover her mother, but they still have her father.  There will be another in this series, and I'll be watching for it.  I like these characters.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Collector by Anne-Laure Thiéblemont, Sophie Weiner (Translated by)

She searches for stolen art.  Her specialty is eighteenth century art.  She never knew her father, so when she finds out she has inherited an art collection she's stunned.  How could this be true?

Le French Book and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 11th, so watch for it then.

Marion finds that he has collected a whole house full of antiques, many dating back to the days of the Inca.  Many are obscene, some are attractive, and she has no idea of their worth or what to do with them.  She may not need to worry about that because her father has assigned her the task of finding three priceless statues from his collection that he had sold.  If she reacquires those, she inherits.  If not, it goes to his personal assistant.  As you can expect, the personal assistant offers no aid to her quest.  He'd rather she failed.

This story takes you deep into the world of collectors.  There is a very elite group that authenticate the time period the work came from.  The ones who want to own them are obviously monied and greedy for the best pieces.  So stakes come high when there is artwork that might become available again.

Marion's father was a very selfish man who indulged himself in lust.  He wasn't anyone I would have liked meeting.  He was even an embarrassment in death but that was hidden.  However, this task that he's assigned Marion is actually part of a bigger plan.  She has no idea.  She also knows not who she can trust, but she does know there is a killer about.  As two of the people who were involved in the statues sales suddenly show up dead, she knows she's in danger, too.

You learn about the history of some of the statues and you meet some very determined people.  You'd think even collectors ought to realize that if you go so far as killing someone to get your prize, you must be obsessed...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vanishing Games (Jack White #2) by Roger Hobbs

He's gambling.  Mainly to kill time and keep busy, but he's still bored.  Then he gets a call from a woman he hasn't heard from for six years.  And she needs his help...

Knoph sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.  This is the second book in this series.  I missed reading the first one, but this one stands alone fine.

This is a wild ride.  It starts with pirates, has a mercenary and a triad leader involved, and somehow his lady friend of time past has become involved.  She knows something has gone dreadfully wrong when the sniper she sent along with the crew is the only one that survived.  Getting his head delivered to her shakes her.  So she calls in the ghostman from her past.  She's been his mentor in the past and now she needs his help to straighten out this mess.

There's a mix of con, spywork, and manipulation of the finest sort here.  They have multiple passports and identities and they can assume the personality to go with the character type.  They have money, know how to find guns, and have safe spots to rendezvous.  By the end of the story, there are no more safe places.

This was a quick read for me.  They have the "take no prisoners" policy down, everybody they meet is trying to kill them, and they hope to get out alive and take the sapphires with them.  While they try to make that come true, I found myself sitting on the edge of my chair and hoping they would.

Give it a read; you won't be bored.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Journeys of the Heart By Camille Elliot, Winnie Griggs, and Erica Vetsch

This is an anthology of three novellas that have budding romances in them.  The matches are unlikely, the couples are mismatched, and none of them want to get married.  But we know how that goes, don't we?  When I met my current husband I informed him I was never getting married again.  He said the same thing.  Last year we celebrated our fortieth anniversary.  So I had a suspicion that no matter what these couples said it might not go the way they planned.

Redbud Press allowed me to download and read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can get a copy now.

The Gentlemen's Quest has a lord being accused of murder.  His knife was found in the body but Christopher didn't kill the man.  He's trying to solve the riddle of who did and could use some help.  Almost by accident he gets his friend from childhood, Honoria, to help him.  It also helps her because now she can avoid an old suitor who's willing to marry an older than should be spinster.  Christopher's stayed away from her because he's fond of her and he feels responsible for her brother's death.  There may be more death if they aren't careful...

The Road Home has Wyatt taking two orphans to their Uncle at his parent's request.  He can no longer do surgery, has no place to go or nothing else to do so why not?  They keep running away.  He's searching for them again when he finds them with an exotic looking woman who has a parrot for a pet.  He asks her to travel with them to keep the children quiet and occupied.  Soon it's Wyatt who is occupied...

The Trail Boss' Bride is my favorite story.  Talk about an embarrassing beginning.  When Steve checks the wagon for survivors, he finds a woman in labor.  He knows nothing about babies.  Unfortunately, she doesn't either.  When the baby girl is born, he finds himself smitten with the baby.  His men call her Little Critter.  Having a woman on the drive is bad but he can't leave her there.  The trip gets more complicated before it gets better but the story is sweet and how he gets hornswaggled into proposing marriage is fun.

I enjoyed all these stories.  They are light romance with a touch of Christian in them.  They're amusing and fun to read and I enjoy all the books this press is publishing.  Give them a try, you might like them, too.

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

When the woman walks in her office she knows she's a bit "off".  She's different.  Her passion is not the usual.  The woman looks for missing people and connects them with bodies found and unidentified.  She's had some success at it and now she thinks the bones Temperance has in storage (what there are of them) belong to a missing person she's trying to trace.  Temperance is not sure, but she's willing to hear her out.  The problem is that Mrs. Strike is going to make her care about the missing Cora...

Bantam Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can get a copy now. This is part of an ongoing series.  If you like to read books in sequence, you'll need to pick the others up as well.  This book is fine as a stand alone.

Temperance starts on a hunt for more bones since she has so few.  She knows where they were found, she gets the cops involved and she heads out with the cop and his dog.  More bones are found.  And the mystery gets deeper.

The author gives you a small church that believes in demons and Satan and exorcism and casting the sin out, a family that has a genetic deformity, and more to make the search for the missing Cora even harder.  It doesn't help when Temperance determines that the body they have found is NOT Cora.

This is an interesting story line even if it is a bit unusual.  I enjoyed the forensic work, the characters she works with, and her love interest.  I wasn't terribly surprised by the outcome but nothing was quite right in this story and it ended that way, too.  I wonder what kind of case Temperance will get into next...