A Sheetcake Named Desire

Rita Lucero was at her ex’s, Phillippe Renier, bakery to finally get him to sign the divorce papers but she will quickly find that would be impossible. Phillippe was found dead with a chef’s knife in the chest at his bakery. Rita will have to find out who would want to kill her ex which will be difficult when everyone was hiding something.

A Sheetcake Named Desire is the first book to the series A Piece of Cake Mystery by Jacklyn Brady. I am trying another mystery and I have to say I really enjoyed this story. I just sat down and read. It was quick and fun and full of mystery that was kind of quirky.

Rita’s character was a pastry chef who had her own business but her life is interrupted with the abrupt departure of her husband. I liked that Rita was an amateur sleuth and she wasn’t always right. In fact she was letting her emotions get in the way at times when she was trying to solve her ex’s murder.

With mystery books I love trying to guess who had killed whomever. With certain mystery’s I can guess pretty easily. For this book I was guessing throughout the book and was not guessing right on the actual murderer. I will say that my suspicions on other parts of the book I was guessing right, at least to a point. I liked that the book had me actually thinking and coming up with questions as I was reading the book.

I will definitely be coming back to this series. I am curious to read how Rita’s life will be changed and what other murders will happen. Also if there will be anything happening with the bartender or the detective. The romance reader is always looking for some romance in the book. I don’t know if that will happen and even if it doesn’t I have a feeling I will like this series.

Grace Under Pressure

Grace Wheaton was the assistant curator to the Marshfield Manor but that will quickly change when the curator will be shot dead in the manor. Grace will work with the police to find out who was behind the shooting and if he was the real target.

Grace Under Pressure is the first book of the series Manor House Mystery by Julie Hyzy. I have been searching for mysteries to read. I am trying to broaden my range of books other than romance. I came across this cozy mystery and I have to say it hooked me in right away. It dragged a little for me in the middle but I was all in with this mystery.

Grace’s character was a woman who was very much into procedures and she wanted to prove that she could do a good job. In other words Grace was good in a tricky situation. I liked her role in the book, she was almost a private investigator but she had to be with the incompetent police. The other side characters were intriguing. There was Bennett who owned the manor and Frances who was the long time administrative assistant. These two characters will no doubt be in the other books. Then there was Jack Embers who is the mysterious gardener. His presence in the book was also intriguing because his family had founded the town. There is not a lot with Jack in the book but I look forward to knowing more about him.

There was a good twist that I didn’t see coming which I thought was interesting. The twist wouldn’t be resolved in the first book and I feel it is going to be a question mark until there is solid proof.

One thing that I didn’t feel was needed was Liza’s part, Grace’s sister. Liza isn’t mentioned much but you know she is flighty and selfish. Spoiler alert she married Grace’s ex. That part was two lines, not much to go one but I looked at the summary’s for the other books and it looks like Liza will be in those stories causing trouble. So I guess Julie Hyzy was setting up Liza’s character for future story lines.

I am definitely going to check out the second book to the series. Hopefully it will be as good as the first, if not better. I am not always one for a series with the same main character because it can get stale pretty fast. Although with Grace she was pretty entertaining to read.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband

Cecilia Harcourt was on her way to find her missing brother when she will find instead his friend Edward Rokesby. She will care for Edward and pretend to be his wife to do so. She hoped that he would be able to tell her more about her brother but then she found out Edward had lost his memory .

Edward Rokesby could not remember the last three months of his life which is why he didn’t question that he married Cecilia and could not remember. He will try his best to remember what he had lost which will bring questions about who was telling the truth.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband is the second book to the series Rokesby by Julia Quinn. I found this to be a sweet story especially towards the end, the romantic in me was cheering.

I liked Cecilia’s character. I thought she was brave to go to New York and look for her brother. There could have been many things that could have happened to her as a woman on her own. Edward’s character was a good man and what I loved about him was that he truly loved Cecilia through reading Thomas’s letters. You knew the lie would hurt Edward but it was not one that was done maliciously. She lied to everyone to help find her brother.

The ending left us with the knowledge of the next Rokesby to have his story, which will be Andrew Rokesby.

Death, Taxes and Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t normally check out just any book. I usually like to do some research on what the book is about and if it is part of a series. Well I guess I am looking for a change because I had gone to my library and just browsed the new fiction. The book Death, Taxes and Sweet Potato Fries immediately caught my attention. I am an accountant so I was immediately intrigued with a book with the word taxes in the title.

IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is given a new case with the coyotes which will lead her to her ex-boyfriend’s company, who could be part of the situation. Tara will have to find the missing girls before the coyotes could get away with human trafficking and she will get some help from her team and fiance, Nick.

Death, Taxes and Sweet Potato Fries is the eleventh book to the series by Diane Kelly. I knew immediately as I started the book that it was a story already in progress but it did not stop me from enjoying the book. This was quirky and a little out there but overall enjoyable.

Tara’s character is a woman who can do what she wanted. She didn’t need to be assisted by a man but she will give in every once in awhile to the man she loves. I liked that Tara was a take charge but that can often get someone in trouble. I liked the relationship she had with Nick. It was stable and you knew that Nick would be sticking around. He also balanced Tara’s character.

I am not sure that I will read the entire series even though I found this one to be entertaining. I will look into the series and see what other cases that Tara has to solve.

 

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters

Kelly Murphy is a tulip farmer with her father who she is very close to since her mother had left thirteen years ago. Her sister had left them three years after their mom. Then after ten years away her sister Olivia will walk through the door hoping to reconnect with her family.

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters is a novel by Susan Mallery. I haven’t read anything from Susan Mallery in awhile but I was given a free copy of this book and thought to try it out. I was blown away with this book, I really loved it. I was hooked right away and felt for the characters as if they were old friends.

The life of these Murphy sisters is very complicated especially with the secrets they are holding from each other. I wouldn’t go into the secrets they are holding back from each other but they are secrets that will hurt each other. I loved that even though the sisters were at odds half the time they were still sisters, there was still love there. The other story that is being told other than Kelly and Olivia is Helen, who is Kelly’s friend. Her story was engaging as well and its all connected to the Murphy family.

What drove me crazy was the mom who flew back into their lives. I wouldn’t go too much into the situation but let it be said that she is a truly selfish person. Then there is the father. I really liked him but he frustrated me as he didn’t stand up to his ex-wife. Though by the end I was back to really liking his character again.

This was a really engaging and enjoyable novel.

Once a Scoundrel

Stephen Crenshaw, Marquess of Dunwich, was back in England after several years away as a soldier. He had been a rake back then but he has changed. He knew what was important and that was getting the woman he had loved back.

Lady Faith Westover, daughter of the Duke of Strathmore, had loved Stephan. She was blinded to his rakish ways but when he had left her eyes had been open. Now with Stephan back Faith will try to keep away but he wouldn’t let her, not until she forgave him.

Once a Scoundrel is the fourth book from the series The Secret Life of Scoundrels by Anna Harrington. I really enjoyed this novella. It was short and straight to the point. The novella covered a lot, a betrayal, love, second chances, rumors, and friendship.

Faith’s character had been hurt by the man she loved and wasn’t ready to forgive and forget. Her betrayal was understandable. I think the betrayal might have been a little over dramatic, though nothing annoying. I thought Faith was a refreshing young lady with a good head on her shoulders and now was guarded with her heart. Stephan will find a way to her heart but it will be Faith to make the ultimate decision. Stephan’s character had changed, and changed for the better. I liked that he truly did change and it wasn’t a facade in order to get what he wanted. He was sincere and filled determined to do right in his life. I liked that he had to work to get what he wanted.

A Buckhorn Baby

Amber Hudson has been dating Noel for a while and she wants more, but she wants Noel to declare himself first. She had tried everything but nothing was working. Then a tragedy strikes a friend and Amber’s world will get turned upside down with a new addition to her family.

Noel Poet did not want children but he wanted Amber. He just wasn’t good at showing what he wanted. When Amber takes guardianship Noel will surprise himself by helping out. He will start to wonder if he could have it all.

A Buckhorn Baby is part of the Buckhorn Brothers series by Lori Foster. I really loved this sweet story. I had been waiting for Amber’s story and I was not disappointed.

Amber’s character is the matchmaker of the group but when her friend dies she becomes guardian of June. Amber quickly falls in love with the little girl but knows that she will lose Noel as he was adamant about not wanting children. I loved how Amber was willing to give up everything for this child. I also liked that there was a different side to Amber. With June she was not her perfect self, she was unorganized and tired. It was realistic for a new mother. Noel’s character was a good man and a firefighter. He was also against children because of his job. It was sweet how he was taken in my June. She hung on to him and did not let go. Noel’s life would be incomplete without Amber and June in his life. The ending to this story was very sweet and very true to this Buckhorn Brothers series.

Now is this series done or are we going to get more? There are still Gabe’s daughters who have not gotten their story. Only time will tell.