In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold – a Review

In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold – a Review


In The Line of Duty
Madison Knight series – Book #7
by Carolyn Arnold
Release Date: September 29, 2016

In the Line of DutyAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.




In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold is the 7th book of her Madison Knight series.  One thing you can be certain when reading this series; Carolyn Arnold will give us an intense exciting murder mystery, as well as provide us with accurate details pertaining to police procedurals.   When it comes to police investigations & procedurals no one does it better than Arnold.  Madison Knight is a tough detective, who will let nothing stand in her way to find the guilty.

A policemen is murdered in what is suspected to be a gang killing, and the entire Stiles PD are working together to find the murderers.  There were a number of twists that continued to change the game, as to who was truly behind the killing; with some surprises all the way through. 

In the Line of Duty was also a complete turnaround for Madison; something I have been asking for quite some time.   Madison has finally found love in her boyfriend Troy, who is the leader of the Swat team.  Her friend Cynthia has also stepped up to be a good friend, not to mention a great medical examiner.  The Stiles PD Sergeant has finally opened his eyes as to the value of Madison as a top notch detective.  Things changed in this book that I absolutely loved, and Madison finally has a team surrounding her, and the respect she so deserves.   Thank you, Carolyn.

Rather than give spoilers, In the Line of Duty was a great story, with lots of action, precise investigations, many suspects, and a team atmosphere to solve the crime.   I loved seeing Madison falling in love with Troy, and finding time to care about and enjoy her friends.  I enjoyed this story so much; I could not put the book down; especially with new developments changing constantly.  This story was very exciting and well written.  If you enjoy mysteries, murder cops, police procedurals and a tough as nails cop, then you need to be reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author


The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan – a Review


The Bookshop on the CornerAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / Harper Collins


Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.



The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan is a standalone novel.  This was a different type of read for me, but it did attract my attention since it is about a book lover helping people find the perfect book to read.  After all, I am a book lover too.  🙂

Nina Redmond is our heroine, and I will say she was the best part of this story.  Very sweet, shy and feisty at times.  Nina loved her job working as a librarian in a Birmingham, England library.  The library is being down sized and Nina is out of job.  She sees an ad about big van for sale in Scotland, and decides to check it out.  Thinking she can bring the van home to England, Nina buys the run down van to use as her own mobile book shop.  However, Nina discovers they will not give her a permit to use the van in England, since it is too big.  What is Nina to do?  Well she decides to uproot her life, and goes to Scotland to utilize her van in starting her own business, and do something she loves.

Nina fixes up the van, and discovers the local people have missed reading and learning about books; since they no longer have a place to get books.  Slowly, Nina does reinvent her life, as she becomes a mainstay in local towns.   Nina loves meeting new people, including young children  and helping them rediscover old and new books, as well as changing many of their lives. 

Nina finds herself attracted to two different men, but one was destined to only be a friendship.   At first, Nina only sees her landlord as gruff and nasty, but she will begin to see him in a new light, when he volunteers to help those in need.  What follows is a charming story with a nice slow build romance, between two people who started off on the wrong foot from the start.  But the main theme of this story is Nina taking her mobile van (The Little Shop of Happy Ever After) of books to the people of all ages.  The Bookshop on the Corner was a sweet lighthearted story line. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher






The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”
That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.
A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.
She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.
Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.
(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.
Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)
It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat . . . it was just that they had been such a little library.
Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.
Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.
Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.
“So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”
She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.
“You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”
“They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”
“That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”

With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.
Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.
“They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”
Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.
Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”
“They won’t!”
“They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing
the planet.”
“You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”
“Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble.
“Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”
But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.
Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.



about the author

Jenny colgan


Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.


Connect with Jenny Colgan

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Transfer (Retrieval #2) by Aly Martinez-Review and Book Tour

TRANSFER (Retrieval #2) by Aly Martinez-Review and Book Tour

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Retrieval #2
by Aly Martinez
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Transfer / / B&N / KOBO /ibooks

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 27, 2016

One story. Two couples.

I fell in love with a man who didn’t exist.

What started out as romance ended in hell.
His words turned to razor blades.
His kisses converted to fists.
His embrace became my cage.
His body transformed into a weapon, stealing parts of me until ultimately….
I broke.

I hated him.
My sole job in life became to protect our daughter.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever escape the prison he’d skillfully crafted from my fears.
Until the day our savior arrived.

This is the story of how I escaped the man who thought he owned me.
The transfer of my life and my family.


REVIEW: TRANSFER is the second installment in Aly Martinez’s contemporary, adult RETRIEVAL romantic suspense duology. TRANSFER should not be read as a stand alone as the story line continues and picks up immediately after the events of book one-Retrieval.

Told from four first person points of view (Roman, Elisabeth, Clare and Heath) TRANSFER primarily focuses on Clare and Heath (where as Retrieval focused on Roman and Elisabeth): Clare’s rescue and recovery from years of abuse at the hands of her husband; the building of family; and the search for Walt Noir- the number one man on the city’s most wanted list. What ensues is the developing relationship between Clare and Heath, and the integration of a child between two families who share more than a common bond.

TRANSFER is a story about survival, domestic abuse, power and control. The reader is pulled into a tragic tale that ends with a happily ever after but the struggle for freedom is a constant battle fearing reprisal and recriminations for daring to walk away.

Aly Martinez writes an emotionally charged, heartbreaking and suspense filled story about two couples who are pulled together by a common thread but a thread that is slowly unraveling as their lives begin to implode. The premise is dramatic, intense and intriguing; the characters are passionate and inspiring; the romance is emotional and uplifting- Heath is a remarkable hero whose only sin was to fall in love with a broken woman. The epilogue fast forwards the story five years and we get a glimpse into the future and two very heartwarming happily ever afters.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of RETRIEVAL -book one

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Transfer Teaser

About The Author Black and Blue

Aly MartinezBorn and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Willing Target by Kathleen Mix – a Review

Willing Target by Kathleen Mix – a Review


Willing TargetAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

The last thing covert operative Mitch Weaver wants is to be partnered with a gorgeous, reckless newbie. Still reeling from the death of his former partner, Mitch doesn’t need the responsibility of keeping anyone else alive, especially when they volunteer to be a killer’s target. Not to mention, his attraction to the too-perky blonde is the kind of distraction that could get them both killed in their line of work.
Andrea Carnegie’s first assignment isn’t going quite as she planned. Her partner might be sexy but he’s completely frustrating with his determination to keep her out of danger. Masquerading as a billionaire’s sister to bait a possible killer is her chance to shine. But if she wants to catch the person threatening their client, she’ll have to find a way to work together with Mitch while still keeping her distance. Even as the air between them sizzles, Andrea knows the worst possible thing she could do is fall for her partner.


Willing Target by Kathleen Mix was a great read.  A romance with a who dunnit twist.

The story was well written and although I guessed who was behind the death threats, there were a few ooooooh moments. The characters well very well written, and there wasn’t any time filling. All very smoothly flowing, a really nice read. The descriptive way the author writes, puts you right in the scene.

Mitch is a seasoned Ranger who loses a partner. He wants to work alone, but after meeting Andrea, he knows he will have his work out, in more ways than one. She’s a rookie for one, another she’s is totally his type. But as he lost a partner, he doesn’t want to risk getting to close to anyone in the line of work again.

I must admit, reading all about Mitch was fun, his mum was a party organizer, and for this cover, it works well, I had to chuckle as he is spouting off stuff that women or gay men will only really know about (colour coordinating the linens to match flowers and stitching)

He doesn’t want to fall for Andrea, because work and fun can get tricky, and he doesn’t want to do long term. Tthank you. But spending time with her, and kissing her, Mitch is coming to realize, that you can’t always plan for the future.

Andrea has grown up around men who don’t respect women, They use and boast about their conquests (including her father), so she is of the opinion that a work romance would be suicide, and the fact her brothers and father are all famous sportsmen don’t help either. It’s not the first time men have dated Andrea to get to meet their idols.

I liked Andrea. No way is she dating, and when she does, she never uses her last name. She had grown up jaded and alone, never quiet fitting in with the family.
So getting her first assignment means so much to her, she will finally be able to step out from under her male dominated family.

The plan is for Andrea to pretend to be a billionaire’s beloved sister; since he is getting threats, so why not use the sister as bait? Everyone but Mitch thinks this is a good idea, and as Andrea looks very much like the sister, they all think it will draw the blackmailer out. But things take a nasty turn, and Andrea has a few moments where she is facing her own mortality. And it has her wondering if she can actually do the job, and at the same time, both Mitch and Andrea are fighting their feelings for one another.

So ……. Will they find who is behind the death threats ? Will they be able to hide how they really feel about each other, once they’ve slept together? And will you guess who is behind it all ?

If you like a mystery with a little action on the side, then I’d recommend this book in an instant.

Reviewed by Julie B.

Copy provided by Publisher




12 Steps to Mr. Right by Cindi Madsen-a review

12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT by Cindi Madsen- a review

12 Steps to Mr.Right / / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 26, 2016

12 steps to finding Mr. Right, composed by dating coach extraordinaire Savannah Gamble

1: Admit to being powerless over your attraction to the wrong type of guy. (Like Lincoln Wells, who broke your heart after an unforgettable one-night stand.)
2: Believe Mr. Right is out there.
3: Take inventory of past mistakes. (See step #1.)
4: Make a list of qualities you want in a man. (Avoid charming baseball players/reason you made these rules in the first place)
5: Take charge of your own life.
6: Learn to love yourself.
7: Sort the hookup guys from the relationship guys. (Avoid a painful brushoff after an amazing night together.)
8: Never, ever settle. (Even if the chemistry is off-the-charts.)
9: Don’t believe you can change a guy. (Once a commitment-phobe, always a commitment-phobe)
10: Communicate your needs.
11: Open your heart & love fully. (Still working on this one…)
12: Don’t ever, ever stray from the steps.


REVIEW: 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT by Cindi Madsen is a stand alone, contemporary, adult romance focusing on dating coach Savannah Gamble, and former baseball player Lincoln Wells.

Told from first person point of view (Savannah) 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT follows ‘board certified’ dating consultant and coach Savannah Gamble as she struggles with her attraction to former friend and one-night stand Lincoln Wells-the man who triggered Savannah to ‘write’ the 12 Step Program for women in the dating world. Linc’s return to Atlanta Georgia comes with renewed heartbreak for our heroine as the memories of the past continue to control her current way of life.

Five years earlier Savannah fell for her best friend Ivy’s cousin Lincoln Wells, and following a drunken one-night stand Linc walked away without a backward glance. Fast forward to present day and Linc has returned to Atlanta Georgia, his baseball career never amounting to stardom, and hoping to reconnect with our story line heroine. As Linc continues to pursue Savannah, Savannah adheres rigidly to her 12 Step Program and is unable to get past the heartbreak of the past. Savannah’s strict adherence to her rules of dating make some for uncomfortable moments throughout the story as she is constantly applying the rules to her own relationships, and isn’t willing to step away or give benefit of the doubt.

The romance between LInc and Savannah is very slow to build as our heroine refuses to accept that Linc has changed; Linc is a man who is unaware of Savannah’s hurt, or what it is he did to destroy her faith in all men. The $ex scenes are implied and fade to black.

We are introduced to Savannah’s brother Jackson Gamble who has some sort of history with her best friend Ivy. Ivy refuses to acknowledge Jackson’s existence, and in this there is plenty of tension that adds to the already tense relationship between Savannah and Linc. Savannah’s extended family of aunts, as well as her own mother, complicates the matter as they see our heroine as a lonely spinster, without any prospects to settle down.

12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT has moments of fun and humor; heartbreak and romance; realization and letting go but I did have some difficulty liking the heroine with her strict adherence to her own set of rules so much so that it affected her own relationships, and oft times that of those she coached. The 12 Steps seemed more like laws to be enforced rather than suggestions for a happily ever after.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


Lyric and Lingerie (The Fort Worth Wranglers #1) by Tracy Wolff & Katie Graykowski-Review & Book Tour

LYRIC AND LINGERIE (The Fort Worth Wranglers #1) by Tracy Wolff and Katie Graykowski-Review.Guest Post & Book Tour

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The Fort Worth Wranglers
by Tracy Wolff and Katie Graykowski
Release Date: September 27 , 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Lyric and Lingerie / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 27, 2016

Lyric Wright is an off-beat astrophysicist whose life is falling apart around her. After losing her fiancé to a hula dancing astrologer and losing her dress to an ill-fated leap of faith, she’s sure there’s nowhere for her life to go but up. At least until she sits down on a trans-Pacific flight next to the one man she never wanted to see again—the boy she’d lost her heart and her virginity too back before she’d learned that friendship and football don’t equal true love.

Broken down quarterback Heath Montgomery is on a plane ride to nowhere. Dodging the phone call he’s certain will end his professional football career for good, he might be Texas bound, but he knows there’s nowhere for him to go but down. But that’s before his childhood best friend and confidante plops back into his life wearing nothing but duct tape and a bad attitude. Determined not to lose her again (especially since he isn’t sure why he lost her the first time) and desperate to outrun his own shadowy future, Heath sets out to take Lyric on the ride of her life. Too bad she only dates men who actually know what her butterfly nebula is … and can find it without the help of a star chart.

Add in one passive-aggressive flight attendant with delusions of couture, a cherry red car with a crush on Neil Diamond, an over-protective sister with a black belt in Krav Maga, two parents determined to marry their spinster daughter off to the hometown hero no matter the cost, and a whole lot of lingerie popping up in all the right places at all the wrong times and you’ve got an unforgettable love story.


REVIEW: LYRIC AND LINGERIE is the first instalment in the contemporary adult THE FORT WORTH WRANGLERS romance series co-authored by Tracy Wolff and Katie Graykowsi. This is astrophysicist Lyric Wright, and professional football player Heath Montgomery’s story line.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Lyric and Heath) LYRIC AND LINGERIE is a romantic comedy that follows the rekindling relationship/ second chance (of sorts) for former childhood friends astrophysicist Lyric Wright, and quarterback for the Fort Worth Wranglers professional football team Heath Montgomery. While at a convention in Hawaii, Lyric gets a call to return home following the news of her father’s heart attack but a wardrobe malfunction finds our heroine wrapped in ‘duct tape’ lest her significant ‘assets’ be exposed to the entire plane. Enter Heath Montgomery, Lyric’s seatmate and the man she has detested for a number of years. What ensues is a comedy of errors, a humorous seduction of Lyric Wright by the man who has loved her for most of his life.

Heath Montgomery has suffered a career-ending injury and finds himself contemplating a future without the sport that he has loved but rekindling his friendship with Lyric puts a different spin on his life when to appease her father’s anxiety Heath announces his plans to marry his scientist daughter much to the annoyance of Lyric herself. Their ‘fake engagement’ becomes real when Heath realizes that the woman he pretends to love is the one with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life-now only if he can convince Lyric of the same.

Lyric is a scientist with a brain for numbers, and a body that doesn’t stop but Heath Montgomery broke her heart years before, and in the ensuing time she has never forgiven her best friend for destroying her soul. Her last relationship ended when her fiance of 2 years announced that ‘Mercury was in retrograde, and it was time for a new direction’-with a hula dancing astrologer.

We are introduced to Lyric’s parents, and to Lyric’s sister Harmony-a rough around the edges woman who takes no crap from Heath Montgomery and sees right through Lyric and Heath’s deception. After Lyric’s wardrobe malfunction aboard the return flight home, Tre the steward is a snarky breath of fresh air as he continues to command the ‘runway’ with his over the top attitude and designer ‘Luminous Steel’ duct tape invention.

LYRIC AND LINGERIE is a lighthearted, fun read; an entertaining and enjoyable story about two people lost and looking for a direction in life. The premise is amusing and delightful with ‘laugh out loud’ moments; the romance is seductive and provocative; the characters are colorful, animated and energetic. Give yourself a break from the over the top angst-ridden romances and pick up a copy of LYRIC AND LINGERIE.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Lyric and Lingerie Teaser

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One book—Two Authors: How Does that Work?

I’m so happy to be here writing about, well … writing. Tracy Wolff and I just published Lyric and Lingerie and it was so much fun writing a book with her. She’s the deep one and I’m the shallow one. She added the emotional depth and I added the humor and duct tape … lots and lots of duct tape. It was surprisingly easy (mainly because she did it) to mesh our two voices together. I would say the hardest part of writing a book together is staying on task at our weekly lunches.

For example today, we spent 3 hours at lunch “plotting” the next book in the series, Harmony and High Heels and got exactly—um—nothing done. Just for fun we recorded 47 minutes of our “plotting” session. We covered the brilliance of Kurt Sutter, the creative genius of romance writer Liz Tally, how I drank way too much lemonade, the wonderfulness of cheesecake, how thigh-high biker bitch boots make me look like a pirate, and that the woman in Jurassic World wears high heels and a white suit that never seems to get dirty.

Co-writing a book is so much fun, sometimes too much fun, but it’s also rewarding. My shortcomings are her strongest skills and visa versa, I hope.

(Note from Tracy) Katie forgot to mention that she would make one kick ass pirate and I would looooove to see her in those bitch boots. But also, she’s an incredible writing partner and one of the most fun people in the world to be around. And while I did do the meshing, she’s responsible for a lot (read all) of the fun that is Lyric and Lingerie. And yes, our skill sets are so different that together we make one really good writer, lolol.

About The Author Black and Blue

Tracy WolffNew York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff lives in Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.



Tracy Wolff also writes as Tessa Adams


Katie GraykowskiKatie Graykowski likes sassy heroines, Mexican food, movies where lots of stuff gets blown up, and glitter nail polish.

She finished her first novel in the parking lot right before her first Romance Writers of America meeting. Since then, she’s finaled in or won almost every romance writing competition in the United States.

Katie has been married for over 19 years to a very loving, patient, and tolerant man. She has one human kid and three K-9 kids. She lives on a hilltop outside of Austin, Texas where her home office has an excellent view of the Texas Hill Country. When she’s not writing, she’s scuba diving.

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Rising Storm Season 2 (Episodes 1-8) -Review and Book Tour

Rising Storm Season 2 (Episodes 1-8) -Review and Book tour

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Season 2 Episodes 1-8

Rising Storm Season 2

It is always difficult to review serial story lines but I was given the opportunity to read all eight installments in a single setting. Serials written by one author rarely change in tone or structure from one installment to the next, and yet, this multi-authored serial felt as though it was written by one author alone. The blending between installments was smooth and even; effortless and efficient in presentation.

I recommend reading the serial in order beginning with Season One before venturing into Season Two-there are too many stories and questions revealed with each consecutive installment.

RISING STORM Season two continued to follow the soap-opera stylings of the late night serials that focused on fame, fortune, power and control. The people of Storm Texas were caught up in a bubble of hatred, secrets, lies and betrayal such that they couldn’t see past the pain and suffering of several of their own. The eight installments of Season Two, like Season One, flowed smoothly between the numerous authors’s writing styles; there were no obvious hiccups or problems with the story line plot, structure, or premise.

Check out my synopsis and thoughts on all eight installment

Rising Storm Season 1

NOTE: For anyone who hasn’t read RISING STORM Season 1 Bundle Episodes 1-8-it is available for a limited time for ONLY 99¢ at : / /


Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas…

A town nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, where everything seems like perfection.

But there are secrets beneath the facade.

Dark and powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart. That can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams.

Rising Storm is a soap-opera style drama. A powerful series conceived by Julie Kenner and Dee Davis, full of scandal, deceit, romance, passion, and secrets.

…get caught in the storm!

RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2016


Rising Storm Season 2, Episode 1
by Rebecca Zanetti

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As Tate Johnson works to find a balance between his ambitions for political office and the fallout of his brother’s betrayal, Zeke is confronted with his brother Chase’s return home. And while Bryce and Tara Douglas try to hold onto their marriage, Kristin continues to entice Travis into breaking his vows…


REVIEW: AGAINST THE WIND is the first installment in Season Two of the multi-authored novella serial RISING STORM focusing on the people of Storm Texas-their loves, their lies, and their dark and dangerous secrets.

NOTE: Before reading RISING STORM Season two I highly recommend reading RISING STORM Season one where all of the major players and the original premise are revealed. With the large ensemble cast of characters there are many story lines that interconnect and cross over.

AGAINST THE WIND follows Tate and Tucker Johnson as their sibling rivalry and bitter fall out over Hannah comes to blows in the center of town. We are also witness to Ginnie’s ongoing struggles as she endeavors to keep her head up when most of the town of Storm Texas is trying to destroy what is left of her heart, while Joanne Alvarez must face reality and the backlash from her daughter Dakota’s affair with the incumbent Senator Rush, and the rumors that continue to surface about her missing husband.

AGAINST THE WIND and the Rising Storm series is a soap opera-esque novella serial similar in content to Peyton Place where betrayal and lies hide a multitude of sins behind locked doors and closed curtains. Rebecca Zanetti’s AGAINST THE WIND re-introduces the characters, the backstories, and the potential ramifications and fall out for the people of Storm Texas when secrets and lies are slowly revealed.


Rising Storm Season 2, Episode 2
by Larissa Ione

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As Joanne Alvarez settles into life without Hector, her children still struggle with the fallout. Marcus confronts the differences between him and Brittany, while Dakota tries to find a new equilibrium. Meanwhile, the Johnson’s grapple with war between two sets of brothers, and Ian Briggs rides into town…


REVIEW: STORM WARNING is the second installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM novella serial focusing on the town and people of Storm Texas- their loves, their lies, and their dark and dangerous secrets.

IN this installment we are introduced to Ian Briggs from Montana, the ranch owner and Marcus’s ‘father figure’ and friend. Ian takes a special interest in Marisol and the feeling may be mutual. Ian’s plans for Storm Texas may become more permanent with a surprise offer for Marcus.

The Johnson’s and Anna Mae are having a difficult time welcoming back wayward Uncle Chase-a man whose return to Storm comes with secrets and potential heartbreak. And the Johnson seat of power extends beyond the local land.

The Alvarez family is still struggling with Dakota’s affair, and Marcus’s relationship with the Senator’s daughter has made him the prime target of the Rush’s family vengeful attacks; Hector Alvarez has contact with someone close.

STORM WARNING is a revealing installment as the building animosity towards Ian Briggs begins to take shape. The return of Chase Johnson comes with an unpleasant surprise, and Hector Alvarez is gunning for his wife and anyone who stands in his way; Brittany and Marcus’s relationship is threatened by gossip and tabloid rumors; and Tate Johnson in currently in bed with the devil and may easily get burned. Plenty of action and drama, conflict and angst as the town of Texas prepares for another storm.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 3
by Lisa Mondello

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As Senator Rush’s poll numbers free fall, Marylee tries to drive a wedge between Brittany and Marcus. Across town, Anna Mae and Chase dance toward reconciliation. Ginny longs for Logan, while he fights against Sebastian’s maneuvering. And Hector, newly freed from prison, heads back to Storm…


REVIEW: BRAVE THE STORM by Lisa Mondello is the third installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM (Season two) novella serial focusing on the people and town of Storm Texas.

Focusing on Chase Johnson’s return to Storm Texas, Anna Mae Prager reminisces about what could have been and what never will be. Chase is a man whose future is uncertain but a future he hopes to spend with the woman he loves. Chase reveals the truth behind his return to Storm, and in doing so reconnects with the brother he hasn’t seen in several years.

Rush matriarch Marylee continues to work behind the scenes to ensure her son’s future in the Senate by destroying Marcus’s reputation and driving a wedge between he and Brittany. Hoping to gather more votes Senator Rush tries to convince Logan that his position is with the Rush campaign. And Hector Alvarez makes plans for his return to Storm.

BRAVE THE STORM reveals some of the history between Chase and Anna Mae, and the loss that was far greater than Chase’s absence. The gossip continues; the manipulation unfolds; the potential for disaster is around the corner.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 4
by Lexi Blake

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As Ian Briggs begins to fall for Marisol, Joanne and Dillon also grow closer. Joanne’s new confidence spreads to Dakota but Hector’s return upends everything. A public confrontation between Marcus and Hector endangers his relationship with Brittany, and Dakota reverts to form. Meanwhile, the Senator threatens Ginny and the baby…


REVIEW: LIGHTNING STRIKES by Lexi Blake is the fourth installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM novella serial focusing on the people and town of Storm, Texas.

Hector Alvarez has returned to Storm and with it the hidden threats towards his long-suffering wife, and the people of Storm Texas. Joanne Alvarez suffers from abused spouse syndrome, and makes every excuse to defend her husband’s actions and the potential life threatening actions she is about to endure. While Hector’s son Marcus, Ian Briggs, and the sheriff stand by watching Joanne cave into her husband’s demands, anxiety fills the town of Storm with the return of Hector Alvarez. Senator Rush quietly threatens to destroy Ginny and her unborn child.

LIGHTNING STRIKES is an angst filled installment as the reader is pulled into the frightening world of spousal abuse and the inability or refusal of people to get involved. The difficulty increases when Dakota Alvarez defends her father’s abuse making her mother more of a loser in everybody’s eyes.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 5
by R.K. Lilley

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As Celeste Salt continues to unravel in the wake of Jacob’s death, Travis grows closer with Kristin. Lacey realizes the error of her ways but is afraid it’s too late for reconciliation with her friends. Marcus and Brittany struggle with the continued fallout of Hector’s return, while Chase and Anna Mae face some hard truths about their past…


REVIEW: FIRE AND RAIN by R. K. Lilley is the fifth installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM novella serial focusing on the town and people of Storm, Texas.

FIRE AND RAIN follows several relationships including Travis Salt’s ongoing affair with Kristen leaving his depressed and distraught wife Celeste to suffer with the loss of her son Jacob Salt. Celeste’s grief is overwhelming and pushing away the people in her life. As Celeste spirals out of control, her family plans a failed intervention while Travis heads out of town to spend time with his mistress.

Hector Alvarez begins to reassert his authority and power over his wife Joanne while their daughter Dakota blames her mother for everything that has gone wrong in their lives. Chase Johnson reveals the truth about his diagnosis to the woman he loves and in return Anna Mae talks about the child they loss. Marcus and Brittany take their relationship to the next level knowing their time together is threatened by the Senator’s goals.

FIRE AND RAIN is once again filled with anxiety and conflict; spousal abuse; and infidelity in a town where everyone is focused on everyone else’s business. Hector’s return brings controversy and fear, with potential catastrophic results. The toxic family relationships are hostile and frightening.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 6
by Julie Kenner

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As Mallory Alvarez and Luis Moreno grow closer, Lacey longs for forgiveness. Brittany and Marcus have a true meeting of hearts. Meanwhile, Jeffry grapples with his father’s failures and finds solace in unexpected arms. When things take a dangerous turn, Jeffry’s mother and sister, as well as his friends, unite behind him as the Senator threatens his son…


REVIEW: QUIET STORM by Julie Kenner is the sixth installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM novella serial focusing on the town and people of Storm, Texas.

NOTE: QUIET STORM contains some scenes of M/M sexual situations.

Lacey Salt struggles with the loss of her friends in the wake of her brother Jacob’s death, and the drama she has caused in anger and hurt. Trying to raise funds for a memorial bench Lacey faces down her fears and tries to make amends for sins of the past. Lacey’s cousin Jeffrey’s story line is starting to take shape with a reveal that is going to shock his family and the town of Storm Texas while Lacey looks to her former friends, Mallory and Luis, for help. But when the truth about Jeffry is revealed Sebastian Rush is blindsided by his wife’s declaration.

Patrick makes a decision about his non-relationship with Marisol, and in doing so looks towards the future with someone else, while Brittany expresses to Marcus her true feelings.

QUIET STORM looks at making amends, asking for forgiveness and starting anew. Jeffry’s first steps towards his new life are impressive knowing that he could lose everything when the truth is revealed. Hopefully Joanne gets help from her sister Payton as Payton takes her own steps towards a different future.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 7
by Elisabeth Naughton

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As Tate Johnson struggles to deal with his brother’s relationship with Hannah, hope asserts itself in an unexpected way. With the return of Delia Burke, Logan’s old flame, Brittany and Marcus see an opportunity to help their friend. But when the evening takes an unexpected turn, Brittany finds herself doing the last thing she expected—coming face to face with Ginny…


REVIEW: BLINDING RAIN by Elisabeth Naughton is the seventh installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM novella serial focusing on the top and people of Storm, Texas.

BLINDING RAIN finds Ginny Moreno facing Celeste and Sara Jane Salt, the memories of her their late son Jacob, and the possibility that the child she carries is their son’s. A former resident of Storm returns-Delia Bruce Phelps-and with it more unease for Ginny as Delia has history with Logan and is hoping to rekindle their high school romance. Meanwhile Brittany and Ginny discuss their prior friendships, their hopes for the future and memories of the past.

The Salt siblings call a family meeting trying to make Celeste and Travis understand that life goes on even in death, and that Celeste’s feud with Ginny is carrying on too long.

Mary Louise Prager saves Tate Johnson from another public display of anger towards his brother Tucker and Hannah Grossman-sibling rivalry to the nth degree. As the mayoral election begins to heat up Tucker’s anger needs to mellow before it affects his chances for office; and Mary Louise makes a suggestion that Tucker takes to heart.

BLINDING RAIN looks at love and loss; grief and letting go; forgiveness and moving forward. Memories run deep for the people of Storm Texas and not everyone is willing to give up without a fight.


Rising Storm Season 2 Episode 8
by Dee Davis

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As Celeste Salt struggles to pull herself and her family together, Dillon is called to the scene of a domestic dispute where Dakota is forced to face the truth about her father. While the Johnson’s celebrate a big announcement, Ginny is rushed to the hospital where her baby’s father is finally revealed…


REVIEW: BLUES SKIES by Dee Davis is the eighth and final installment in the multi-authored RISING STORM Season Two novella serial focusing on the town and people of Storm Texas.

BLUE SKIES focuses on recovery and acceptance for a town battered by political power, secrets and lies, betrayal and abuse.

Celeste Salt comes to terms with one aspect of her life but her grief over the death of her son is lightened with heartwarming news. While her sister Payton Rush has had enough of her husband and his controlling mother, and walks away leaving the senator on his own.

Joanne Alvarez must meet the devil one final time but not before her children see true evil with its’ familiar face. Dakota Alvarez comes to terms with her father’s abusive history when she encounters first hand the pain and suffering her mother has endured for years.

Ginny Moreno is threatened by Senator Rush but stands her ground. Going into early labor finds Ginny has more support from the people of Storm than she has had in the past few months. Logan comes to realize that he loves Ginny and she is the woman who calls to his heart.

Tate and Tucker Johnson called a tepid truce to the sibling rivalry, while Uncle Chase finally made good on a promise to the love of his life.

BLUE SKIES is the thrilling conclusion to the second season of Rising Storm. The reader is front and center to the dramatic action and suspense filled show down between goodness and light; hatred and love; power and manipulation.

Copies supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Inkslinger 2


A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss by Paula Quinn-Review and Book Tour

A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #5) by Paula Quinn-Review and Book Tour

A Highlander's Christmas Kiss banner

The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #5
by Paula Quinn
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Genre: historical, Highland romance


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ABOUT THE BOOK:  Release Date September 27, 2016

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Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn’t see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she’s determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn’t give her father. But there’s a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won’t rest until she uncovers it . . .


A killer for hire. It’s the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he’d become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose-his heart.



5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Before I get into the meat of this review, I have to say this entire series is one of my fave historical highlander romances. Paula Quinn has written 3 generation series that follows the romantic adventures of two families that have merged into one. Nothing wrong with picking up this book and enjoying the story without previous knowledge of this series. Paula ensures that her reader will not feel lost in any way, BUT, it’s very satisfying as a reader to have enjoyed the back stories of her characters. It’s wonderful to revisit previous characters who have aged and fulfilled the kind of life you had hoped for them to have. So I strongly recommend you go back and start at the beginning. 🙂

A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss is the 5th book in Paula Quinn’s “The MacGregors: Highland Heirs” series. As I have mentioned above, this series is a branch off two previous series.

Cailean Grant has had a rough go as of late. He lost a woman whom he was falling in love with in the previous book, and he has decided to stew in his anger and bitterness by joining a disgusting vigilante group called “The Black Knights”. Believing this is a better option than burdening his family with his dark heart, he is placed in a situation that he will soon regret. Cailean gives the fateful “nod” to killing a man in front of his family during a celebration. Just so happens this man is a Menzie, a long time enemy of the Grant’s and MacGregors, and a man that Cailean believes attacked his cousin Patrick.

Temperence Menzie is a strong highland lass who believes in honour, family bonds and doing what one must to ensure the survival of the Menzie name. When her father is killed in front of her eyes by the hated members of “The Black Knight” she vows to take her revenge. Little does she know, the man she is about to save, is the man she wants to kill.

Temperence finds Cailean severely wounded and close to death on her families land. Being a kind hearted woman, she brings Cailean into her home and nurse him back to health not having a clue that he is the man that gave the order for her father’s death. Before long, a romance blooms and both are pulled out of their darkness. What happens though, when Temperence discovers that Cailean is a hated Black Knight, and the man she is in love with?

I love Paula Quinn’s writing. Every time she releases a new book I am always eager to get my hands on it. She is a visual writer, meaning every scene is crisp in my mind and I feel the emotions that are portrayed. I feel the dread of truths being revealed, and I feel the angst and love between her characters. It doesn’t hurt that she also tends to write her loves scenes on the “hotter side”. It is easy to swoon over her men, and root for her woman.

I loved the way this story came together, and the way it resolved many issues from previous books. The title suggest Christmas, and yes Christmas is present, but it didn’t take over the entire story the way some Christmas books can. Actually it was just icing on top of an already yummy cake. LOL

If you are looking for a yummy highland historical romance, you have found it. I guarantee you will giggle, get angry, fall in love and close your book with a sigh! LOL


Copy supplied through Netgalley

Reviewed by Rachel T

Highlander's Christmas Kiss Teaser




She stopped walking and pulled on his hand to stop him as well. “Who am I to you?”
What? What had he said? He realized quickly enough, scowled, and then smiled, giving in to what his heart was telling him. “Ye are—” He paused, not truly sure what to say. He hadn’t wanted to care for her, but he did. He’d let her in, but how could he have denied her entrance? She’d been through much, thanks to him, and yet she still smiled, she still sang, she still had compassion to help him heal.
He began again, reaching for her. He pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her plaid- encased body, shielding her from the wind. “Ye are my candle in the dark.” He stopped again to take her in. He smiled. “I’m better at puttin’ a quill to m’ words than I am at speakin’ them.”
Her wide, beautiful eyes glittered like the snow dusting the braes. He wanted to lose himself there in the expectant hope that lit her gaze.
“You’re doing just fine,” she assured him softly. “Continue, please.”
He shoved aside everything on his mind but her. What was left scared the hell out him. “I canna—”
She waited in silence while he fought his demon for her. Her hope began to fade to disappointment.
It made him smile to think her hope was to be with him and she was waiting to hear him tell her.
“I canna take my gaze from ye, lass. No matter what I’m doin’, m’ eyes find their way back to yer rich dark hair fallin’ over yer flawless jaw, the relaxed curl of your bottom lip that tempts my legs to bring me to wherever ye are. I lay awake at night imaginin’ yer soft inhalations of breath. They fill my heart with something other than mortar and fury. I want to bring ye to me but I’m unworthy of yer dreams. Still, I want to be in them, as ye are in mine.”
“You see?” she said breathlessly. “Just fine.” She closed her eyes and parted her lips when he dipped his head to hers.
He moved his mouth over hers, basking in the intimacy of kissing her, capturing her short, eager breaths. His senses came alive and he used each one of them to fill himself with her. She tasted like passion and innocence. When he slipped his tongue over hers, she opened her arms and coiled them around his neck, covering them both in his plaid. He listened to her heart beating like ancient drums. Or was it his own heart he was hearing? He withdrew a hairbreadth so he could look at her again. The sight of her dreamy-eyed and wanting more nearly drove him mad. He brushed his nose across her temple to her hair, drinking in the scent of her, like the familiar fragrance of peat and pine. “Ye’re bringin’ me back to life, lass.”
He kissed her again, barely holding back the passion raging inside him to be released.



About the author


New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

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