"Angel of Death' by Jennifer Hinsman

Angel of Death by [Hinsman, Jennifer]

In "Angel of Death' by Jennifer Hinsman, there are plenty of multi-dimensional relationships to be explored. A friendship formed between Tancy and Audrey, even though their backgrounds differed severely. Audrey wound up bound to an alternative lifestyle in an attempt to gain independence from her parents and maintain her usual comforts. Tancy found true love in her first real boyfriend. My favorite part of the story was the way their lives intersected, their families connected to the unsolved deaths, and how Angel always looked out for Tancy until it was solved. The truth about Angel surprised me in a good way, but then, I had some questions about how she managed to keep Tancy from starving to death. A lot of sexual scenes in this book. I would have preferred more about the bones of the story and the path to uncovering the mystery and revealing the bad guy; I enjoyed that aspect. Overall, I liked where the author went with it.

"Hearts in the Storm" by Elmer Seward

Hearts in the Storm

Trista is on a mission and looking for someone to help her accomplish her goal. The details of that goal are withheld long enough for you to get a little background information about the characters' lives. Trista meets a local man affectionately referred to as "Duck" with a past of his own that he can't escape. He agrees to take her out on his boat in the eye of a storm because he knows more about her secrets than he is letting on and honestly wants to help her. In doing so, he feels he may be able to find redemption for himself and finally be free of his own demons. His sister thinks he may be crazy but she doesn't argue with him because she can see glimpses of the brother she used to have and wants him to be emotionally whole again. She can see a bond forming between Trista and Duck and hopes a relationship will mean a new beginning for them.

This is a touching story about loss, tragedy, and overcoming it. The way the author pulls you along spilling bits of the past only hints at the losses felt by Trista and Duck, but when the entire truth was revealed, it gave me goosebumps. The conclusion had some surprises as well. I thought it was going to end one way, but Mr. Seward managed to surprise me. Job well done.

I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend it.

"The Second-Best Ranger in Texas" by Kathleen Rice Adams

Kathleen Rice Adams paints a descriptive picture of the setting and characters in her historical novella, "The Second-Best Ranger in Texas." Even Barclay's horse Bulls-Eye has a personality. Dulce and Barclay form a connection within the limited pages that can be difficult to attain, but this author makes you care about them both and believe they are falling in love. She weaves a story of circumstances that show the depth of their strengths and weaknesses and show they are human. There are also confrontations and action scenes that are highly exciting. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it as a quick, exciting read that leaves you wanting more.

"Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe" by Wendy Jayne

Hexed: A Purr-fect Catastrophe by [Jayne, Wendy]

I absolutely loved this short story. Another hit from Wendy Jayne. Cassidy's journey to uncover the person who heart-hexed her provided sensual tension, humor, and a bit of mystery. 100% enjoyable. Recommended! Get your copy today!

'Lost Time: Family Ties' by Maretha Botha

Lost Time: Family Ties by [Botha, Maretha]

Twin sisters' relationships with each other and romantic entanglements with the same man could weave a captivating web. The description enticed me to read the book. Finding how one sister truly views the other proved interesting. The dialogue confused at times, and the reader is put inside different characters' heads within the same scene. Nelle didn't appear to have any redeeming qualities.

"The Marathon Man" by Liz Cowan

The Marathon Man (Perception Book 2) by [Cowan, Liz]

In "The Marathon Man" by Liz Cowan, the two main characters have unlimited potential. Each one with select attributes that make them attractive. Patricia is a beautiful detective with paranormal abilities. Thorn is a gorgeous, affluent businessman. The two meet and immediately know they are meant to be a couple. They face Thorn's past reputation and the reasons his previous paramours dubbed him 'the marathon man' which render him incapable of complete intimacy. Patricia's devotion and boundless patience are admirable. Thorn is vulnerable behind his macho facade; his interactions with Patricia's niece prove sweet and endearing. Several compelling scenes read well. The book contained very few errors.
In my experience, what I didn't like evenly balanced what I did like. The dialogue didn't flow in this story; I had difficulty with Thorn and Patricia's hot to cold and passion into argument transitions. Patricia is a detective, but after just finishing the story, I don't remember much in the book that involved her job, and I found it difficult to believe her role as a police officer. It felt like her paranormal ability was restricted to explain her immediate, unbreakable connection with Thorn and to figure out his suppressed problem, so much time spent inside her head, and repetition of her feelings about the situation. Patricia takes sexual actions at the end of the story to save her husband after a life-threatening injury that I couldn't accept.

"Slimmer" by Wendy Jayne

Slimmer: A Contemporary Romance by [Jayne, Wendy]

Laugh out loud funny. I became a fan only paragraphs into the first shorty story I read by Wendy Jayne, and I thoroughly enjoyed SLIMMER as well. The humor tickles, and the romantic satire never disappoints; believable characters in an interesting and relatable scene laced with hilarious moments. I highly recommend this book.

"Somewhere Between" by Patty Wiseman

Somewhere Between by [Wiseman, Patty]

I enjoyed "Somewhere Between" by Patty Wiseman. Phebe's intelligence, curiosity, and bravery while investigating the family mystery and ghost in the attic kept me reading. Filled with multi-dimensional, strong characters, this story flowed well, and the ending surprised. The love match at the end, however, felt rushed, but it provided a happy note for the finale.

"The Hunted" by Karen Black

In "The Hunted" by Karen Black, Yvonne abruptly moves between two worlds; one calm and happy and the other a nightmare. The beginning felt awkward, but the story soon gained traction, and my favorite parts fell during her terrifying dreams with the author's portrayal of action and emotion. Within fourteen pages, the tale holds a couple of surprises. What is real?

'Just Stay' by Michelle Abbott

In "Just Stay" by Michelle Abbott, Pia's family guilted her into joining them for a final family vacation before she headed to uni; she anticipated a boring trip but agreed to go. A local boy named Trey entered the scene. Pia finds him creepy. Pia's mother unwittingly helps Trey in his pursuit of Pia in a comical misunderstanding. Spending time with persistent Trey, Pia falls under his spell; but, she doubts his fidelity and sincerity due to his admissions and his friend's warnings. Trey's relationship with his mother overflowed with heartache. The poor guy seemed like a whipping boy for anyone that ever hurt her, but Trey never showed anger towards her. Their relationship also caused stress on Pia and Trey's budding romance. Not a flowery love story; it has some dark moments but is a worth-while read, and Trey is a powerful character.

"Journey to the Rainbow's End: A Drag Queen's Odyssey" by Forrest Stepnowski

This book contained a collection of poetry, but I favored the short story that finalized the author's thoughts. I have a family member who went through this emotional rollercoaster more recently. If you think things have changed dramatically, you're probably correct. If you feel young people struggling with their identities don't face these same challenges and attitudes anymore, you're wrong. Thank you for a peek into your personal experience and for baring your soul to help others. 

"Strange Hwy: Short Stories" by Beem Weeks

A collection of short stories with plenty of meat and backbone, brimming with a variety of characters, settings, and ideas that provoke thought and wonder; Mr. Weeks entertains every moment in his tales, but if I had to choose a favorite, I'd pick "Overcome (Holy Water)." I highly recommend this book; it is one of my top reads this year, and I favor the author's voice.

"The Rancher's Baby Bargain" by Mary Sue Jackson

"The Rancher's Baby Bargain "by Mary Sue Jackson is a cute and sweet, mellow story with a happily ever after. I enjoyed the "baby bargain" plot. The main characters, Lucy and Aiden, were likable. It didn't include an abundance of drama or angst. A couple of scenes with Aiden's ex-girlfriends were awkward and strange, but overall the story flowed smoothly. Lucy and Aiden harbored a secret attraction from the past that neither one was afraid to act on now. Although he was a hunky main character, Aiden's bad knee gave him a human element that endeared him. The near break up/ warm and fuzzy reuniting proved a satisfying ending.

"OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story" by Nonnie Jules

"OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story" by Nonnie Jules inspired me with proof that love can alter a person's beliefs. Change can happen no matter how long it takes. When a loved one leaves us, they aren't truly gone. A relatable, emotional, and touching story that made me cry and left me with a sense of calm fulfillment, it was a worth-while journey.

'Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir' by Karen Ingalls

Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir by Karen Ingalls looks at her personal experience with cancer. No person will react to a traumatic event exactly as another dealing with the same problem. I find every individual's story of strength and courage inspiring. Ms. Ingalls gave a valid account of her fears and worries and positive steps she followed to keep her chin up. She was also brave enough to show her weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and flaws of character at the same time. Outshine was a good read with a myriad of emotions.

IF YOU LOVE ME, I'M YOURS by Lizzie Chantree

IF YOU LOVE ME, I'M YOURS: The cover of this book is adorable. I love it. The premise of the story grabbed my attention; 'what a great idea,' I thought; I hadn't read anything similar. The characters of Maud and Dot are likable, interesting, and unique, and they have plenty of conflicts. When Maud pulls off stunts to gain admirers for her art because she's not confident in her abilities, some comical things happen. This book left me torn. I couldn't decide if I was reading a romance or a story about a girl finding her power. Maud grew into her talent and took control of her life, and that satisfied. In the romance category, I yearned for more because the potential was there. The few moments Maud and Nate spent together had latent chemistry that if tapped into could have set the pages on fire. The style of telling versus showing isn't my preference when reading, but the way Nate and Maud ended their story was a true "awe" sweet moment, and Lizzie Chantree sewed up the theme for 'If You Love Me, I'm Yours.' 

"Just Three Dates" by David Burnett

I was lured in by the description and completely enjoyed the beginning of this book; the meddlesome but endearing mothers convincing their children to agree to three dates in hopes they'd fall in love or at least marry for convenience's sake. The urgency to wed didn't make sense when Mark and Karen were both rather young. Mark was hung up on his ex-girlfriend for most of the story, and that made it a little awkward for me; especially when the truth about their break up was revealed. Some scenes seemed far fetched; Karen falls down a mountain, gets badly-injured, and can hardly move but goes dancing for hours immediately afterward; but the setting and descriptions drew a beautiful picture in my mind, and I was happy with the ending.

"Here The Truth Lies" by Seb Kirby


Emma Chamberlain is an investigative journalist, and she's also an alcoholic who reaches an all-time low when she works on cases her boss has warned her away from, and she's suspended. Corruption of police officers and an imprisoned man that Emma believes was wrongly convicted; she can't let go of them. She has no memory of her childhood, feels the people she's told are her parents are strangers. A ghostly little girl visits her bedroom at night, but Emma's not afraid of her. She wants to help the girl, and she'll have to follow clues to uncover her true identity, and in doing so, several layers are peeled and merge in this intriguing story that leads to a satisfying ending. I didn't want to stop reading. I highly recommend this book.

'Memoir of a Mad Woman' by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

'Memoir of a Mad Woman' by Vashti Quiroz-Vega was a short read made quicker by the desire to find out what happened to this little girl, Emma, or what happened to those around her. The 'evil' deeds committed upon this girl and the way she interprets and responds to them make you wonder; was she disturbed before the torturous events or was her mental state caused by them? You also feel sympathetic towards her; even though the revenge she exacts is quite brutal, a little part of me thinks they deserve it. Well done, Ms. Quiroz-Vega with a few tantalizing final lines that lead the imagination to what trouble Emma will find herself in next. 

"The Duke's Bride in Disguise (Fairfax Twins Book 1)" by Claudia Stone

Twins separated at birth by unfortunate secret circumstances find one another as young women. What do you know? One twin is engaged to a man she wants nothing to do with, and she plans to trade places with her sister who will have a much easier time chasing away the unwanted fiancĂ©. But, wait, her sister is in love with him.
 I enjoyed this story; it made me laugh, made me angry, and made me sad. Each character had something that drew a connection; and as a romance blossomed, a mystery was solved. I recommend this book.