Tuesday 24 July 2018

Review: The Girl in the Moss by Loreth Anne White

The Girl in the Moss (Angie Pallorino #3)  
by Loreth Anne White
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
My rating:  4.5 Stars
Pages: 398
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD


A shallow grave exposes deadly secrets as bestselling author Loreth Anne White brings her thrilling series of romantic suspense to its shocking conclusion…
Disgraced ex-cop Angie Pallorino is determined to make a new start for herself as a private investigator. But first, she and her lover, newly promoted homicide detective James Maddocks, attempt a quiet getaway to rekindle a romance struggling in the shadows of their careers. The peace doesn’t last long when human skeletal remains are found in a nearby mossy grove.
This decades-old mystery is just what Angie needs to establish her new career—even as it thrusts her and Maddocks back into the media spotlight, once again endangering their tenuous relationship.
Then, when Angie’s inquiry into the old crime intersects with a cold case from her own policing past—one that a detective on Maddocks’s new team is working—the investigation takes a startling twist. It puts more than Angie’s last shot at redemption and a future with Maddocks at risk. The mystery of the girl in the moss could kill her.

My Thoughts:
The Girl in the Moss has Angie a little out of sorts as the story first starts being as she was fired from the police force, and her identity and worth so tied up with the job.  Now, she must complete a certain number of hours in the field to get her private investigator license. The only way to do that is by logging time with a PI, such as Coastal Investigations where she’s already on thin ice due to her notoriety.

Angie’s insecurities lead her to bungle things up with Maddocks, so Angie’s on thin ice with him, too, but she has a plan to fix it. Thank goodness she realizes she’s being an idiot early on and realizes how much Maddocks means to her, because otherwise I’d really have to slap that girl!  (Yes, I do realize she’s a fictional character…) Loved Maddocks being patient and at the same time not taking shit.  Maddocks’ daughter was a delight here as well!

Things start looking up when a case basically falls in her lap.  A woman was swept over the falls in group fly-fishing trip several women took as part of a documentary twenty-four years back.  Her body finally washes up and things may not have been as they appeared.  Angie digs into the case and finds a hotbed of lies and deceptions, and stirring up the past does not make her popular in this little town!  It’s a close-knit town and the locals are far from friendly!

As usual, Loreth Anne White’s writing is beautiful and makes you feel as if you’re right there with Angie.  Eerie and atmospheric, as are the other books, crackling with tension, and a sense of impending danger.  I was really worried for Angie’s safety with the men in this small town.  Some of the mystery I guessed, but some of it was an absolute surprise.  I like that the clues and story lead you to conclusions that make sense, and I also enjoy a few twists I didn’t see coming.  I like that there was a little of both here.

I’m really sad to say goodbye to this series!  I can’t believe this is the last book because I think there are several threads left unexplored, such as Leo and his shiftiness (hate him!) and then Holgerson!  A whole book could revolve around Holgerson!  Maybe a spinoff?  At any rate, I’ve loved every one of the Angie Pallorino books and recommend them to anyone who loves a gripping mystery with interesting characters and a romance to root for!

Connect with Loreth Anne White:


Thursday 12 July 2018

Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, 
Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows 
Publication date: June 26th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
My rating:  2.5-3 Stars
Pages: 464
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

My Thoughts:
I loved the first book in this series, My Lady Jane, which tweaked history is an entirely good way.  The actual story is pretty awful, and so the changes were quite welcome.  This second installment, which has nothing to do with the previous story other than it being a famous “Jane”, this time a tweaking of the original Jane Eyre. 

Since I loved the original Jane Eyre and the romance, I can’t say I was thrilled with the changes to the story and romance in this version.  Wasn’t really a romance at all except between Charlotte and Alexander, but that was Highlight for Spoiler left open ended, and I like my romances wrapped up nice and tidy, End of Spoiler so that was disappointing too.  The story was entertaining, the magical elements were fun, and I did have a laugh here and there, because seriously these ladies are very funny! Still, I have to say, the story felt a bit convoluted and went on longer than I would’ve liked.

Helen was an annoying character I could’ve done without, and Jane wasn’t my favorite character either. I enjoyed Charlotte (as in Brontë) and Alexander and their POVs the best.  While I was a bit underwhelmed by this installment I fully intend on picking up the next endeavor of this writing team: My Calamity Jane which promises to have a better ending than the original version. I am all for that!

 2.5-3 Stars


Saturday 7 July 2018

Box of 20 Books Giveaway!

Hello there! Hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. It's hotter than Hades in my neck of the woods. Yesterday the high was 118F!! Today the high is a balmy (ha!) 115 degrees, and being outside feels like the inside of an oven.  At any rate, I have a great Big Box of 20 Books to giveaway, so yay!  I've listed the titles below.  Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

(any signed copies are signed to me: Rachel)

Wake by Lisa McMann-Paperback
Fade by Lisa McMann-Hardcover
Gone by Lisa McMann-Hardcover
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris-Hardcover
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson-ARC copy
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson-Hardcover-Signed
In Too Deep by Coert Voorhees-ARC copy
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen-Hardcover
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson-Hardcover-Signed
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge-ARC copy
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons-Paperback
In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody-ARC copy
Dancegirl by Carol M. Tanzman-Paperback-Signed
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater-Paperback-Signed
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater-Paperback-Signed
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West-ARC copy
The Savage Grace by Bree Despain-Hardcover
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain-Hardcover
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain-Hardcover

Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck!

Thursday 5 July 2018

Review & Giveaway: A Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman

A Touch of Flame (The Cowboys of Colorado #2) 
by Jo Goodman
Publication date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Berkley
My rating:  4 Stars
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

USA Today bestselling author Jo Goodman returns to the gunslinging outlands of A Touch of Frost with a sizzling new romance where the new town doctor learns there's nothing she likes better than a run-in with the law.

Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse is like no physician Ben Madison has ever met—she's a woman. As the newly elected sheriff of Frost Falls, Colorado, Ben is tasked with welcoming Ridley to the community. But while Ben might be tempted by the new doc's charms, getting the town to accept a big-city, female doctor is no easy feat. To earn their trust she'll have to prove herself and Ben determines to help her...even if she's the most stubborn woman he's ever met.

When the husband of one of Ridley's patients threatens her, forbidding Ridley from treating his wife or children, all of Ben's protective instincts kick in. Ridley has come to rely on Ben's steady presence and the delicious tension that simmers just below the surface of their easy friendship—but as much as she trusts that his warnings to steer clear of Jeremiah Salt are sincere, she's never been one to back down from a challenge and she refuses to abandon her patient.

But sticking to your guns can earn you trouble in the rough terrain of the Wild West, and danger threatens Ridley from unexpected places, forcing Ben to confront his deepest fear in order to save the woman he loves.

My Thoughts:
The fact that E. Ridley Woodhouse, the young doctor that’s come to replace old Dr. Dunlop, is a woman stirs up some gossip, and the town is a little slow accepting a female can be a proper doctor.  Fortunately, Dr. Dunlop enlisted the town’s sheriff, Ben Madison to help Ridley in the transition. He’s well respected, and knows everyone in town, even if he’s completely frustrating at times.  Like relentlessly trying to find out what exactly the “E.” in E. Ridley Woodhouse stands for, lol. And no, it’s not Eureka!

Ben didn’t know Dr. E. Ridley Woodhouse was a woman, and he has no issues with that.  His mother raised him to respect an intelligent woman, but boy, Ridley gets under his skin from the minute she steps off the train! In the best possible way, of course.   The romance was playfully antagonistic.  The teasing between them cute and funny, enough to put a smile on my face.

There’s some prejudice over having a woman doctor especially in view of the time in history, but Ridley proves herself capable and compassionate.  However, treating Lily Salt leads to some trouble with Lily’s husband, Jeremiah Salt.  I hated that awful man!  Ridley proved herself tough and resourceful, but still, the sheer physical size difference and the fact that he was a mean bully just looking for an opportunity to get his pound of flesh set me on edge.  Thankfully, Ridley has quite a few allies when it comes to this difficult and dangerous situation, Ben being the most important.

I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book, A Touch of Frost, and so I was eager to pick up the new installment.  Getting a glimpse of what life what like in the late 1800’s is interesting.  A life without most modern conveniences like indoor plumbing (chamber pots, eeek!) and where the only source of water is a pump in the kitchen sounds a little daunting!  

A Touch of Flame is basically a stand-alone story, some of the events in the last book are recounted because Ben is first introduced there, and his history is important to his character now.  But it’s not necessary to read the previous book to enjoy A Touch of Flame.  I was pleased to “see” Phoebe and Remington (the couple from the previous book) again, and their cute little son, Colt here. The romance between Ben and Ridley is the heart of the story, but it a little danger and suspense makes this a story you don’t want to put down.

Connect with Jo Goodman:

The lovely people of Berkley have generously provided a Paperback Copy of Touch of Flame by Jo Goodman to give away to one reader.  The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.
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