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.

What Happened at Midnight

what-happened-at-midnightJohn Mason did not like to be cheated and he swore he would find out where the money went, even if he was to go after his ex-betrothed. Though when John finds Mary he will see that she is not living like a woman who had gotten away with a large theft of money.

Miss Mary Chartley’s world fell apart when she found out what her father had done. Mary had to act fast to help her father one last time and to find a way out of trouble, which will only cause more hurt to those around her.

What Happened at Midnight is a novella by Courtney Milan. I liked this one a lot more than the previous novella, only because it was longer and I felt that I got to know the characters.

I liked John’s character. He was a man of conviction and wanted to do right by his sister and nephew. He believed the worst of Mary but I liked that he owned to his mistake and that he was able to move on. Mary’s character I liked but she was at times hard to like. Her character was almost too aloof at times. Though I suppose that was her upbringing. I did like that she loosened up and found who she really was.

Within the story there were plenty of problems that the characters face but Milan will give a good twist to make sure justice is served. This will help make sure Mary and John get their happy ending.

The Accidental Countess

the accidental countessLady Cassandra Monroe has loved Julian since she was a young girl but he was to be engaged to her cousin. Cassie will get a chance to spend time with him under another identity.

Captain Julian Swift needed to break things off with his almost engagement as there were other things he had to concentrate on finding his brother. He also needed to end the engagement as he only thought about one woman, Cassie.

The Accidental Countess is the second book to the series Playful Brides by Valerie Bowman. I have to say that this book was a great followup to the first, I was entertained from start to finish. When I had read the first book I remember wanting to read the second book because I wanted to know more about Cassie and Julian, and how they would find their happy ending.

So basically this story stems from a lie which Lucy helped make up and Cassie followed. Cassie was to play another woman so she would get the chance to stay close to Julian. Personally I don’t understand why she could not have been herself and be by Julian, but that was how it happened. Now the lie was a bad idea right from the start because the truth would always come out. I knew it would get out of hand as Cassie kept her role. You got to read how the guilt was starting to form with Cassie every time she had to lie to Julian. I wanted her to be brave and to stand up and tell the truth. If that had happened then some of the heartbreak would not have happened. Though without heartbreak in the story it can be flat. Bowman will repair the heartbreak with the ending that left me smiling.

A Cowboy for Christmas

A Cowboy for ChristmasLissette “Lissy” Moncrief was having one of the worst days of her life. With her being recently widowed she just found out the news that her two year old son was going deaf. Lissy was going broke and defeated. She will meet a man who she will find out has a connection to her husband and could be the person to help save her.

Rafferty Jones didn’t want to deal with cleaning up his brothers mess but he would do it because it was right. Rafferty will be surprised by the widow as she was the woman he met earlier that day. Rafferty will want to help and will find himself staying longer as each day passes.

A Cowboy for Christmas is the third book to Lori Wilde’s series Jubilee, Texas. I skipped the second book as my library doesn’t have it but I figure I will find it eventually. So back to the third book, I really liked the story. Once again it was sentimental and I felt for these characters as they felt real.

I liked Lissy for her ability to not fall apart even though it looked like she was going to. She was strong for her son and she was growing a backbone which she kind of lacked. Rafferty was not a perfect man thanks to his background but he was a perfect man for Lissy. That realization doesn’t come into play of course till the very end but they do get it right. I loved that Rafferty knew how to sign and that he helped Kyle, Lissy’s son, learn sign language.

Guilt seems to playing a big role once again but it makes sense as Wilde created her characters to be in a tough situation. All the characters had some sort of guilt. I felt that Claudia, Lissy’s mother in law, had the most. I felt that even though what she did years ago was bad, justice had been made. She had been punishing herself for over twenty years.

I am going to have to check out what other books my library has available from Lori Wilde. I don’t want another three years to pass without me trying one of her books.

The Perfect Murder

The Perfect MurderSebastian Costas has been driven for the past year to find his ex wife and son’s murderer. Sebastian will be getting closer to the killer and will be led to California, and to the organization Last Stand.

Jane Burke started working with Last Stand hoping to find something that she could do. She will soon be finding herself on a case of missing sisters and will find help with a Sebastian who was looking for his own killer. She will soon realize that their killers are one of the same.

The Perfect Murder is the sixth and final book to the series Last Stand from Brenda Novak. I was once again engrossed in the novel wondering how it would end and hoping that the villain gets caught and punished. It seems that Brenda Novak gets me to turn the pages of her books especially with all the suspense that was involved.

Sebastian was a dedicated to finding the killer who took his ex wife and son. I was enthralled with him and impressed with all that he was able to do to even track the killer. Jane’s character was scared and still healing from all that she had endured. I liked that she found her voice and helped those who could not help themselves. I liked the romance that started and it gave this couple a chance at happiness of course there are bumps in the road that get a little dicey when the killer starts to look towards Jane.

The villain was pretty much a man who was deranged and diabolical when it came to violence and getting what he wanted. Novak does a good job making sure that he acted like a man insane with his thoughts and actions throughout the novel.

I thought this was a good finish to end the book and the series. Of course I will still have to find the second, third and fourth book to completely finish the series.

So Tough to Tame

So Tough to TameCharlie Allington had been wronged and had come back home to scrap her life back together. She will find that her high school crush will be living next door and she wouldn’t be the shy girl anymore. Charlie just hopes that he wouldn’t think she is like the girl the news said she was like. Walker Pearce needed work now that his job was down the drain thanks to some moments of weakness. He will get a job but his thoughts will go straight to his friend who he is seeing in a completely new light.

So Tough to Tame is the third book in Jackson Hole series. Victoria Dahl is an author I like, she has good characters and it seems even more steamier scenes with this book which has scenes that will make you want to fan yourself as you read about them. I really liked the book with the secrets behind those closed doors with the main and side characters. There are some good small twists that come forward within the book as the secrets are revealed. At first I wasn’t sure I really liked Charlie or Walker. They had their faults that made them human but it was all about cheating that they had done not in the distant past. Charlie didn’t know but Walker was going in with his eyes wide open in his situation. You know they are not bad people but ones who just made bad choices. In the end justice is given for those who have done wrong and Charlie and Walker do have that happy ending that they deserve. I am on the look over for the novella where Eve will take center stage but until then I keep reading.

Wedded in Scandal

Wedded in ScandalLady Helaine left society due to her father and the scandalous reputation he acquired with becoming the thief of the ton. To survive she becomes a dressmaker for the ton. She keeps her head down hoping that no one will ever recognize her.

Robert Percy or known as Viscount Redhill is in over his head when it comes to dealing with his family. He much rather loose his head over the dressmaker and he will. But soon he will find that she is not all she seems and holds a secret that would ruin her.

I liked Wedded in Scandal by Jade Lee. This is the first book to the series Bridal Favors. The series reminded me right away of the series Dressmakers by Loretta Chase, but Jade Lee holds her own with her voice in the story.

The story held backbone as it was about survival after ruination fell upon the family. I liked that Helaine did not back down and stays true to the person she is and has become. Robert is a good big brother and I liked that he was not conventional. I felt that Helaine was more featured than Robert but for me I loved her character so I was content. Lee will also keep the plot light with a little humor especially from the roguish Robert along with some silliness with how they all behaved.

I got the second book, Wedded in Sin, to the Bridal Favors series as I wanted to know more on the next character Penny who was introduced in this book.

Desired

Blog BooksTeresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darnet is on the search for husband number four as she finds herself in a bind with a blackmailer. She searches for the right groom and found Owen to be perfect as he would not be able to function like normal men. Teresa though will be surprised that this marriage will not be like the others.

Captain Owen Purchase or now known as Viscount Rothbury found himself amused at the prospect of Teresa as a radical but even more so his bride. Owen will accept even though it was amusing his desire for her was building. There will be trouble brewing in the back ground that Owen will have to help Teresa with which test their relationship and find out who trust one another.

I have reached the fifth book of the series (only reading now three of them out of six) and I am loving this series still. I think Nicola Cornick wrote well when doing these books as each character so far has been well described and plotted out. All her themes are similar as it correlates to the title of the series Scandalous Women of the Ton. Each woman is scandalous in their own way but keeps most of themselves hidden. Teresa follows that similar guideline but in the public view she is brazen. There is a lot of depth to her character that I loved. Also her being part of the radicals was fun to read. Now Tersa holds a secret about her past which has damaged her. Cornick slowly uncovers it with little clues along the way. You can guess what happened through the clues but not how it happened exactly. Owen is a novelty. He was a Captain now he is a Lord. Owen stays true to his character as the knight in shinning armor which I loved. I knew though there would be a problem when he married Teresa as the topic of Joanna popped up. As he was in love with her beforehand it would break Teresa to know that. It is predictable and Cornick does it well. She made me dislike Joanna, who I loved in the first book, for a little as she seemed greedy for wanting Owen to still love her. It was an odd part in the book but it was settled and all would be okay once again.

As always there were side stories going on with the novels and the characters who surprised me were Emma and Tom. Emma was part of the radical which surprised me as her strength had grown. She was not the pampered little girl anymore but one with a voice. I liked her better for it. Tom was also a surprise. Now knowing some the the back story with Tom (a villain in the past who has reformed) I am a little sad at what happens to him, its understandable as he is the villain but I was starting to like him a little. Most likely his fate is sealed at the end of this book but I can’t help but wonder if Cornick will give a twist in the sixth/last book of the series. Either way I am excited to finish the rest of the series (second, third and sixth book) as this author has got me hooked.

Jabril

JabrilCynthia Leighton needed a break from her ex vampire lover, Raphael so she heads down to Texas to take a job. The moment she meets Jabril she knows she made a mistake as this man was not to be messed with. Cyn will need help rescuing the sisters and finds that with her ex and his men.

The moment I got Jabril I started to read the book. After reading the first book from the series Vampires in America I was hooked. D B Reynolds has a way with her writing that got me in a trance and I only wanted more. Jabril brings us back with Cyn but she has a new case in Texas and she is still a confident bad ass when she is around the undead. Now this plot I liked a lot. It was not original but Reynolds creates her characters extremely well and you want to know more. I loved the two sisters that the plot surrounded and how Cyn found a way to help both of them out. I would love to read a story on Mirabelle later on. Along with locating the sister Reynolds adds in an investigation on several other murdered girls which are linked together and gave more to the story.

Now the characters Cyn is still fantastic. I loved the steamy dreams she has with her ex vampire lover, Raphael but thrilled he is still in the picture as I knew he had to be. Raphael is still perfect as always and I will have to say when he declares himself to Cyn it will make your heart melt and yell at her to be with him forever. Of course everything is not perfect as the enemy who is Jabril will be a fierce competitor and only wants power and money, but his sights will be set on Cyn. Reynolds doesn’t joke around with the villains, you knew perfectly well who the villain was and how evil he was. I wasn’t sure about his number two but wasn’t surprised with what happens. Reynolds makes sure that the villains will get what is coming to them. What I was surprised at was how Cyn handles the situation. She is still a very fierce woman in battle and one that can take care of herself. Now there was one other villain I was surprised about but once again they were handled.

It looks like the next story is going to be on Sarah, Cyn’s friend who is mysterious in her own way which I can’t wait to find out more.

Smart and Sexy

Noah Fisher loves his job but he is now going for a break, a long over due break. There is a hitch in his plans when he is held at gun point in his cockpit. Noah is stupefied that Bailey is doing this. He is able to get away but something is holding him back, he needs to help Bailey.

Bailey Sinclair needs to get to her location and she knew that Noah would be able to do the job. She did not like doing this to Noah but he was her only shot as they were after her and the money she needed to find. Bailey though will get side tracked as she and Noah are thrust together in a tight spot and lust will win out.

Smart and Sexy is the first book of Jill Shalvis’s series Sky High Air. The title says it all for the first book of the series. Shalvis will have you begging quickly for Noah and Bailey to find a way together through all the mess that starts on the first page.

This was a fast pace book that kept going with the action of the thugs and the mystery where the money was hidden. I liked that the character of Bailey was strong and kept going even when the situation seemed impossible. Noah was the heartthrob you wanted to see find peace of mind and joy, in the form of Bailey of course.

Now with the book going fast there is no lack of passion that Shalvis writes between the two lead characters, they started out with fire and kept going until the very end.

I liked how Shalvis added in the two friends of Noah who worked at Sky High, who had each other’s backs. You get a sense of who they are before they each have their own story.

Will definitely be checking out the other two books from Sky High Air.