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.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes

Twenty-Eight and a Half WishesRose Gardner worked at the DMV in her hometown which found her an odd ball. It was not the way that she dressed but because she had visions. One morning at the DMV Rose will see a man and suddenly a vision will come to her which will show her death. Rose will be frantic especially when her world starts to spin apart with several murders and secrets being uncovered.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is the first book to the series Rose Gardner Mystery by Denise Grover Swank. I liked this book. It was a free book on amazon. I had to get it since I had really loved the Wedding Pact series. This book was strange but with how Denise Grover Swank writes you are drawn in. Granted there was a couple situations that were very predictable but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

Rose’s character was considered odd because she had visions. I liked that about Rose because that made her different, unique. I liked Rose also because she was naive and sheltered which meant she was eager to experience life. She went for it when creating the list. What I didn’t always like was that she was too naive especially when it came to her new neighbor Joe. She does get smart and starts to ask questions but she is not that assertive when it comes to walking away.

There was some secrets that are uncovered which explain a lot of the animosity that was between Rose and her mother. One character that drove me crazy was Joe. He was a predictable character and one that made me what to slap him. He was a good guy, then a annoying guy, and finally kind of villain like towards Rose. I looked ahead in the series and Joe sounds like he is going to be disappointing.

So I am torn. I want to read more but I don’t always like series that is written around one character. I am also not a lover of love triangles that are more than three books. The love triangle gets boring and I just want the character to make a decision, which is why I like them in romances because when the book ends its usually finished. At least this series is done. Of course that didn’t stop the author from continuing with Rose, just in another series. I will see if I’ll continue on in the series.

Unlaced

UnlacedLucy Abbington did not want a season but to appease her father she went. Lucy though has no desire to wed as she knows that her husband would demand she stop her healing animals. She will be tempted to give up everything to be with one man.

Henry, Lord Mandeville, did not want to marry especially anyone his mother wanted him to marry. Henry would marry but only a woman who would elevate his position in parliament. When Henry meets Lucy he will immediately want her but knows he can’t marry her.

Unlaced is the first book to a series. I am not sure what the name of the series is called as there are two names for this book series. One is Undone by Love and the other is Ashton/Rosemoor. Well never mind about the title of the series I loved this book. The book left me smiling. I had read the second book five years ago. I had loved the second book but getting Kristina Cook’s books were hard to do from my library. So I gave up and moved on to another series by another author. Well I am back with Kristina Cook and I have more books of hers to read.

I loved Lucy’s character. She was a fun character who had a backbone and a drive to do what she loved, which was to heal animals. She had a passion for medicine but because of her gender getting a degree was impossible. I liked that she wasn’t like the other woman who wanted Henry for his title. She didn’t want him but she will be tempted because of the man and of course lust. So Henry’s character¬† was a love/hate one for me. I liked Henry for his drive to be better but he was too critical and power hunger. Not exactly like his mother but he was trying to marry a woman who would elevate his position in society. Though when you get to know his character more you will fall in love with Henry, its another side of Henry that was gentler. Now with him there are plenty of things that he does wrong, especially when it comes to Lucy. I will say that he does redeem himself in the end.

Now there were some villains in this book. Mostly they are “the mean girls” who are too stuck up. Well one person that I thought was the worst was Henry’s mother. She was a vile woman who was power hunger and was not a kind woman to her son.

I am re-reading Unveiled and then on to the third book Undressed.

Shades of the Past

Shades of the PastMrs. Vanessa Wynters was a companion to an elderly woman who had a love of photography and travel which was shared with Vanessa. She will be devastated when this woman dies. Vanessa knows that she will have to leave once the funeral is over but she will find herself with a new opportunity. Though danger will not be far from Vanessa and the family she was staying with.

Viscount Adrian Marrable had lost two wives and swore that he would never fall in love again. Adrian will find love with Vanessa but before he could he had to find out if his wife was truly dead and where were the rest of the family’s jewels which disappeared that night.

Shades of the Past is a novel by Kathleen Kirkwood. Really loved reading this book, it was one that I could not put down. After reading my first and only book from Kathleen Kirkwood I figured I would try another of her books but she really hasn’t written too many. I had found this book as a free book at amazon awhile ago and I quickly snatched it up. Now although it was initially the author that pulled me to get the book it was the title that intrigued me. I liked the sound of the title and it worked well with the book especially as it dealt with some paranormal aspects, mainly ghost within the story.

So with this book there are plenty of things that will happen and mostly there are twists, and there are several big ones that change everything you thought about some of the characters. I wouldn’t go into detail because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Though I will say that Kirkwood really weaved a well balance story and incorporated the twists really well into the plot.

After saying that I thought about what else to write because I really don’t want to spoil any surprise. So instead of saying anything about the characters I will say that Kirkwoods description was really well done. She wrote about Vanessa’s work with the photography which I actually found interesting and informative. It might have seemed that Kirkwood didn’t need to put all that time in description of photography but it is a big part of the story.

Into the Fire

into the fireJamie Kincaid’s cousin had died three months ago and she wanted answers. She will find Nate’s best friend, Dillon Gaynor, and demand answers. But Jamie will find that answer will not come easy as Dillon is not cooperating, she will also find strange things happening around them.

Into the Fire is a novel by Anne Stuart. This was a book that you will remember. It was dark and there were cruel characters, and situations where bad things happened to these characters. The situations that were written about were actually messed up. I liked the book overall just not every situation the characters were in.

Anne Stuart writes about dark and tough situations that the characters have to endure. There are sometimes no heroes in the book, the hero could be classified as a villain. Dillon would definitely be considered a villain, even though yes he is the hero of the story. He was not a nice guy, he was tough and cruel and actually treated Jamie like crap most of the time. It pissed me off because I liked Dillon for the hope of him being a better guy. There were parts of the story that you saw Dillon as a better man but he never took that extra step to really get rid of his cruelty towards others. Jamie was someone I wanted to cheer for but she was still a little naive as she still wanted Dillon. She was like an addict and Dillon was the drug. Again there were parts that when they were together it seemed right, it was just not a sweet romance.

I think those who have read Anne Stuart would like this book because they know her style of writing. Just be warned this is not a cute romance story.

Stranger In My Arms

Stranger in My ArmsLady Larissa “Lara” Hawksworth’s husband had been taken away from her. She will find out a year later that her husband had reappeared and was coming back home. Lara knew that others thought she was thrilled but inside she was dreading it as their marriage was not a happy one. She will be confused by the man that claimed to be her husband as she wanted him but wondered if she could trust him.

Stranger In My Arms is a standalone novel by Lisa Kleypas. I absolutely loved this book. I really liked Lara who was sweet, kind and deserved that happiness she had not received before. I liked Hunter or the imposter. I thought he was a very good man but there was more to him than what was on the surface.

Throughout the book there was the question was the man who claimed to be her husband really her husband. I really liked the mystery behind this idea. For me I was captivated with wanting to know if Hunter was really back or if he was a fraud. I thought it was great with how I kept going back and forth thinking that he was but then with one line from Kleypas I was changing my mind. There are many facts that prove he is Hunter but there are several points which give you doubts. Kleypas doesn’t reveal the truth until the very end.

The villain of the book can be several people that Kleypas writes about. The clearest villain is Rachel’s, who Lara’s sister, husband. He beats her and gets away with it. There was not be a happy ending for Rachel’s husband which gave Rachel a chance at happiness I am happy to say.

I am going to continue with more Kleypas books next, though which one I am not sure. I will just have to go through the pile and choose.

Never Kiss a Rake

Never Kiss a RakeBryony Russell and her sisters were left with nothing thanks to her father who had embezzled a fortune and then died fleeing. Bryony knew that was not true but she had to prove otherwise. She will disguise herself as a housekeeper in the Earl of Kilmartyn’s house as he was one of her suspects who was the true villain. She will be surprised when lust will take over but knows that nothing can come from it as he is her suspect and was married.

Adrian Burton, Earl of Kilmartyn, knew that this new housekeeper was not all she said she was. He could instantly tell that she was lying and Adrian wanted to enjoy figuring out as she was a challenge. These days that is what Adrian wanted, a woman he could enjoy not like his wife who was a treacherous woman who set out to keep him in the sham of a marriage.

Never Kiss a Rake is the first book of the series Scandal at the House of Russell by Anne Stuart. This series reminds me greatly of the series House of Rohan which was a series I loved reading and it was the same with Scandal at the House of Russell. I loved this first book. With the romance books I have read I will say that this book is definitely one of the darker cast of characters as there is a lot of treachery, betrayal and sabotage, and plenty of lust. All of those qualities are what made the book for me.

Bryony is a determined woman who wants to find out the truth about her father. She will not stop until she found the man who was responsible for her families ruined reputation. I liked that she was brave but very self conscious about the marks on her face which were probably very little but as she was told she was ugly over and over it sunk in. Adrian is a charming man who is devious with a jaded past. He very easily could have been the villain but he is the hero of the story just one who has a darker side. I liked that he wasn’t convinced about Bryony and knew she was hiding things right away as that kept the story going. Bryony and Adrian certainly have that lust for each other but it is held back that is until they are ready to basically tear each others clothes off though there was that danger that was still in the background.

The villain is a particularly cruel sort of person who is bent on wrapping up lose ends which meant that Bryony was in danger. The villain was not a stretch are you already knew that they had evil tendency but I wasn’t sure if they were the true villain of the book that is until Stuart confirms it.

After reading this book I know I will be back to finish up the series with the other two books.

Passion Becomes Her

Passion Becomes HerAsher Cordell has lived a life of crime to help support his family. He will be be ready to walk the straight and arrow but he will do one last theft which will have him finding Juliana in the same study searching Ormsby desk. He is intrigued with why Juliana was searching in the study and when asked to help he does not hesitate.

Juliana Greeley was desperate to find her sisters letters in Ormsby study. She will not get the chance as he had followed her into the room but Asher who had already been in there saved her by hiding her. She will enlist the help of Asher to find the letters which will lead them down a dangerous path.

Passion Becomes Her is the fourth book from the series Becomes Her by Shirlee Busbee. Another great book from the author.

I was right about the gentleman from the previous book who had abducted Isabel being the main character in this book. You know got to know his identity and more about this thief who was not a terrible man, he did what he had to do for his family. Juliana was very much the same way as she was doing what she could for her family who was being blackmailed, really her younger sister who was being blackmailed. She was brave to take upon the task but will find help from her old friend, Asher. Between these two characters there will be plenty of passion that is explosive with them and love will quickly blossom between as they band together to stop the blackmailer.

The villain is obliviously the blackmailer, who is Ormsby. He is a vile man who only wants what he wants and will do whatever he needs to get what he wants. There will be more to him but it is not to make him look good, in fact he will be viewed even worse if that was possible. I liked the twist that Busbee gives which will lead to another twist in the book that will bring forward a realization of a truth that had been hidden.

I will be reading the fifth book next.

Stroke of Midnight

Stroke of MidnightLaura Falkner is back in London after her fathers death. She is determined to find out who murdered him and find out the real thief of the diamond necklace that was thought to have been stolen by her father. She will disguise herself in order to find out the truth but will find herself face to face with the man she loved years ago who was also the one to turn her father in to the police.

Alexander Ross, Earl of Copley, never thought he would see Laura Falkner. He knew that she had no trust in him since he turned in her father but Alex still wanted her. He will find a way to keep her at his side and to keep those secrets he was holding from her hidden. But the more time he spends with her, he wonders if he could have been mistaken.

Stroke of Midnight is the second book to the series Cinderella Sisterhood by Olivia Drake. As a follow up book to the series I thought this was absolutely great. I really like this series so far and can’t wait to read more of the series.

Laura was strong for what she had to go through. I also liked that she was playing detective with finding out who was the real thief and there were certainly several prospects that she had thought could have been the culprits. Alex is a good man trying to do right by his godmother who wanted his help but it ruined his chance with the one that he could have easily loved. I liked that he gets his second chance but he still botches it. He botches it up with the secrets he was holding and I knew that would be a factor in the downfall. Though remember this is a romance book so our characters will prevail and get the bad guy in the end.

The book holds some twists and mystery to the story which I liked. The several culprits that were thought about by Laura were definitely who I thought were the bad guys but I was wrong. I was surprised by one of the secrets that was shared which immediately zeroed in on the true bad guy.

Lady Milford is back with the glass slippers. She arranges Laura to be in the home of Alex’s aunt which starts back the attraction and secrets that are bound to come out. Of course the slippers will once again be taken and now there will be no doubt that Lady Milford will be in the third book. I am going to wait to read the third book because I want to read the fourth book right after, which comes out in November of this year.

The Husbands Secret

The Husband's SecretCecilia Fitzpatrick finds a letter written by her husband that is only to be opened if he had died. Cecilia is obviously curious and her husband will become frantic with the mention of the letter. Cecilia will open the letter as she will wonder what her husband is trying to hide which unfolds a mystery and will change several lives.

The Husband’s Secret is a novel by Liane Moriarty. I was recommended this book by my book club and I thought I would give it a chance. I was certainly intrigued with these three women, Cecilia, Tess and Rachael. Their stories are separated by chapters but throughout the book they will blend together as they are interacting with each other within the book.

I liked how Moriarty wrote the storyline with these three women and how they are connected someway to each other in the circumstances of Janie’s, Rachael’s daughter, who was killed years ago. Now there was some pretty horrible things that were written in this book with what happened to some of the characters like what Cecilia found out in her husbands letter or the despair Rachael was feeling since her daughters death. For me though I was drawn towards Tess and her problem with her husband and cousin. I felt bad for her and wanted her to find a way to be happy again. She finds it with Connor who was connected to Janie as a potential boyfriend back in the day and was the prime suspect in her murder. I liked Connor so I was hoping he wasn’t the killer.

I thought Moriarty built up the scene well when the true killer was revealed. I wasn’t expecting the person to be the killer but it made sense and the book just takes off from there as the characters who were living in ignorance were now driven with guilt. The need to tell the truth is great for some while others just want to bury the truth, but the truth never stays buried forever.

In the end the secrets were mostly out and people have moved on but the guilt of certain things were still there. Moriarty ended the last chapter and how she explained that the characters will never know certain facts about how their lives would have been impacted if they did go to an appointment or hear a person shout out to them. So for me the ending I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending. It was a good ending to the book but it wasn’t the happy ending that you would normally like. Of course this is not a cheerful book.