Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Fatal Witness


As a child, artist and potter Dani Bennett witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. With no memory of the incident or her true identity, she was forced to take on a new name and a new life, hidden away in Montana for the past 25 years.

Mae Richmond has spent the same stretch of time searching for her granddaughter, who went missing the night her daughter and son-in-law were murdered. Convinced the woman she saw in a pottery magazine feature is the woman she's been searching for, she enlists the help of K-9 officer Mark Lassiter of Pearl Springs, Tennessee, who tracks Dani down.

Skeptical but curious, Dani sets out on a journey to uncover the secrets of her past and reclaim her true identity. But someone close to her is determined to keep the truth of what happened all those years ago hidden.

My Review: 

Dani Collins could never understand why her Uncle Keith was overprotective of her. It wasn’t until she is contacted by Mark Lassiter,  a police officer in Tennessee, that the past Keith tried so hard to keep her safe from catches up with her. The plot twists keep you guessing as to who was behind the crimes and murders from the past all the way up to the end. I always look forward to reading the author’s books and this met my expectations of an engaging mystery, faith displayed in difficult times, and an element of romance. 

Mae was a woman who was easy to care about and to admire her perseverance. She never gave up even though it seemed as though all was lost. She was such an endearing character that I hope she, as well as Dani and Mark will be in future books. 

I look forward to reading more in the Pearl River series. While this is the second book, it can be read as a standalone. There are characters from the first book, but enough details are given about them that it doesn’t affect this story.  

I received a copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Lily of Ludgate Hill

About the Book: 

Fortune favors the bold—but is a confirmed spinster daring enough to loosen the reins and accept a favor from the wicked gentleman who haunts her dreams?

Lady Anne Deveril doesn’t spook easily. A woman of lofty social standing known for her glacial beauty and starchy opinions, she’s the unofficial leader of her small group of equestriennes. Since her mother’s devastating plunge into mourning six years ago, Anne voluntarily renounced any fanciful notions of love and marriage. And yet, when fate puts Anne back into the entirely too enticing path of Mr. Felix Hartford, she’s tempted to run…right into his arms.

No one understands why Lady Anne withdrew into the shadows of society, Hart least of all. The youthful torch he once held for her has long since cooled. Or so he keeps telling himself. But now Anne needs a favor to help a friend. Hart will play along with her little ruse—on the condition that Anne attend a holiday house party at his grandfather’s country estate. No more mourning clothes. No more barriers. Only the two of them, unrequited feelings at last laid bare.

Finally free to gallop out on her own, Anne makes the tantalizing discovery that beneath the roguish exterior of her not-so-white knight is a man with hidden depths, scorching passions—and a tender heart.

My Review: 

Things aren’t always what they seem as Lady Anne Deveril appears to loathe Felix Hartford, the man who doesn’t seem to care about anything other than having a good time. From the beginning of the story I found Hart to be an endearing man whom I wanted to learn more about as he puts aside his own matters to help Anne.

I loved seeing the story develop as details of Anne and Hart’s lives are revealed. Anne is a woman who “surely doth protest too much” when she meets Hart at various times around town. Both of them have been hurt by each other and seeing them have honest conversations and discover what is really in their hearts made this book one of my favorite in the series.

If you enjoy historical romance novels that are rich in detail and are well crafted, I highly recommend you read this third book in the Belles of London. While this can be read as a standalone, it would be more enjoyable if you have read the other books. The belles are all part of this story, some more than others.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Double Take

About the Book: 

Detective James Cross has been honorably discharged from the Army Criminal Investigation Division due to wounds sustained when an IED blew up near him. Now with the Lake City Police Department, he's rooming with this good buddy and partner, Cole, while he figures out his family dynamics.

Physician Assistant Lainie Jackson is eighteen months out from an attempted murder perpetrated by her ex, which ended when she managed to grab the weapon and shoot him. When he appears to have survived and is back to finish the job he started, Lainie insists it's not possible. But someone keeps trying to kill her, and she keeps seeing his face.

Together, Lainie and James must work together to find out who, exactly, is after her and why he wants her dead. And failure is not an option.

My Review: 

How is this for a heart pounding first line? ”The click next to her ear jerked her out of a deep sleep to roll  into a sitting position, a scream on her lips, her eyes on the man with the gun standing next to her.” 

Lainie Jackson has gone through a terrible attack from her ex-fiancé Adam, barely escaping with her life. How could he be stalking her 18 months after that horrific night? He's dead, isn't he? With danger, suspicion, and several plot twists, I found myself questioning everything. Did Adam somehow survive? Lainie will only get to the bottom of this mystery and survive new life threatening events if she trusts Detective James Cross to help.

I like to be challenged to think when I read a suspenseful mystery, and it's even better when there is romance and more than just action. Lynette Eason's portrayal of Lainie having to trust James added dimension to a well written story that I really enjoyed. I highly recommend this first book of the Lake City Heroes. Allow yourself some time. Once you start reading it you will find it difficult to stop.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and The Launch Team Geek. I was not required to write a positive review all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Juliet Code


About the Book

Book: The Juliet Code

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

Release Date: December, 2023

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley Finally Reach Their Honeymoon Destination Only to Encounter a New Mystery in Need of Solving

Frederick and Grace Percy finally make it to Italy to enjoy a delayed honeymoon and explore the beauties of the historic city of Venice. To their surprise, their friend, Detective Jack Miracle, is also in the city, investigating a series of art heists starting at the house of eccentric millionaire, Laraby Covington. Drawn into a world of boat races, mysterious houses, and parties of the rich and unusual in Venice, Frederick and Grace learn of the existence of the Juliet paintings, (Renaissance paintings feature Shakespeare’s tragic heroine) rumored to hold a secret code to an underground vault of similarly treasured artwork assumed lost over the centuries. As Freddie and Grace are pulled deeper into the mystery and their beloved Detective Jack disappears, can they use their wits and work as a team to find the thieves and Jack before it’s too late.

The Juliet Code is a Freddie and Grace Mystery, sequel to The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse.

 My Review: 

Oh, Freddy and Grace! I just love this husband and wife sleuth duo. Grace has the imagination to look at all kinds of possibilities as to who might be behind the thefts of the Juliet paintings. Freddy is the logical, methodical partner who can eliminate ideas that are not likely to have happened. Grace leaps, then looks, and of course, Freddy does the opposite. Together, they are perfect in solving this crime.

The Venetian setting and the surrounding islands lends an air of mystery to the case as Freddy, Grace, and their friend, Jack Miracle, must find the paintings and the clues to a rumored treasure before more tragedy strikes. I could imagine seeing the manor home and thought it the perfect place to investigate.

Seeing Grace and Freddy grow in their relationship with each other makes this book more than just a mystery. Grace finds Freddy even more attractive as he uses investigative terms when talking about the Juliet paintings. Freddy discovers even more reasons to love about Grace when they are uncovering clues. I can’t wait to see what other cases they will be solving in the future.

There are so many things to love about this story. Here are some of my favorites:

The City of Masks

Clues to a hidden treasure

A curse


False Identities

The Island of Dreams

Seaside caves 

I highly recommend this book. it can be read as a standalone, but reading the other books in the series will give you background information about Freddy and Grace, plus they are really fun to read. You’ll want to read this if you enjoy whodunits, an adorable sleuthing couple, interesting suspects, new friends, and possible romantic relationships. 

I received this advanced reader copy from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.


More from Pepper

The Ever After

I’ve always loved fairytales.

Especially the romanticized version (#romancewriter).

The wonderful sense of a two people meeting, overcoming obstacles to be together, and then the happily-ever-after?

Well, those are some of my favorite reasons to read and write fiction. However, I didn’t realize the challenge I took on when I agreed to write a second and third book with the main characters staying the same!

You know what I mean?

In most series, the main characters from book one become secondary characters in the consecutive books so that the secondary characters in book one can become the main characters in book 2 (everybody still following along? 🙂)

One of my favorite book series that do this so well is the Amelia Peabody series. I fell in LOVE with Amelia and Emerson in book one, but just loved watching their continued dynamic as a couple grow with each new book. I felt as if I got to know them so much better in their “ever after” while they engaged in all sorts of adventures together.

So…that’s what I hoped to accomplish with Freddie and Grace.

Where The Mistletoe Countess ends with a happily-ever-after, The Cairo Curse and The Juliet Code take over to show us more of the…ever after – my attempt at showing how two main characters continue to grow beyond the end of book one.

I didn’t realize what a daunting feat it would be. Watching two characters meet, fall in love, and show some growth in book 1 was what I was used to doing. But how was I supposed to continue that character growth in consecutive books?

Well, I had to grow myself as a writer to understand how small changes can make lasting differences especially when writing about a beloved couple.

I think The Juliet Code shows a little of that growth – of our Freddie and Grace have not only matured spiritually and, in Grace’s case, experientially, but also as a couple.

Do you have a series that you love where the main characters stay the same?

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, December 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Bigreadersite, December 28

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

Devoted To Hope, December 29

Mary Hake, December 29

She Lives To Read, December 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, December 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 31

Blogging with Carol, December 31

For Him and My Family, December 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 1

Back Porch Reads, January 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, January 2

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Book Looks by Lisa, January 3

Aryn the Libraryan, January 3

Girls in White Dresses, January 3

Daysong Reflections, January 4

Holly’s Book Corner, January 4

Splashes of Joy, January 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 5 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, January 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 5

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 6

Pause for Tales, January 6

Tell Tale Book reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 7

Live. Love. Read., January 7

Labor Not in Vain, January 8

Mornings at Character Cafe, January 8

Worthy2Read, January 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

The Lit Lady, January 9

Lily’s Corner, January 10

By The Book, January 10

To Everything There Is A Season, January 10


To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a print copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Shoot at the Sunset

About the Book Book:  Shoot at the Sunset Author:  Kathleen Denly Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release Date:  April 9, 2024 Will lov...