I am late posting my February reviews, but as most of you know I was on tour with my newest release the entire month of February on into March.
Anyway, I did read some great books, and I just know you are going to find some nuggets here!!
I only post 4 and 5-star reviews!
I learned so much about the Second Anglo Boer War and South African history from this book. The horrors that are inflicted on innocents during any war really come to light in this book. Concentration camps that were filthy and filled with all kinds of disease, farms burned, livestock slaughtered and lives lost were the result of the British invasion during this time. The story focuses on the lives of several, but mainly two men both on different sides of the fight, Robert and Pieter, who are both killed in the war but both unable to move on into the peacefulness of death for varying reasons. I love the way the author wove the present time in with the past. When Tom and Michelle move to a new house, they don’t know it was built on the site of Pieter’s old home in 1900. Now a hundred years later, the ghosts that haunt the house are strong and determined, especially Pieter’s daughter, Estelle. As the backstory emerges of Esetelle’s horrible childhood and the abuse she suffered, I couldn’t help but feel empathy for her, even though she tried to murder Tom. Secrets are revealed and lives threatened as the saga unfolds. At times, I wondered if Tom would survive and then if Michelle could forgive him for the lies and deceit he brought into their marriage. This is a history lesson like none other as well as a compelling story. I love that the Ouija Board and Tarot cards found their way into this story. The tale comes to a satisfying conclusion. My hat is off to this author for the amount of research she put into creating this dual timeline book.
I loved this short story! It is the perfect example of how miscommunication can create a sticky situation. Romy is desperate for a sommelier. Rick needs an outlet for his wine and has a meeting with Romy to discuss adding his wine to her menu. However, when he shows up in the midst of a dating event and is mistaken for the new sommelier, things get convoluted. Neither Rick nor Romy understand quite what happened. I immediately related to Romy’s character. She is a hard worker, trying to make her restaurant a success. When her sommelier quits with no notice on the day of a huge event, I stressed with her over how she was going to pull it off. I also related to Rick’s character. He’s proud of the family business and wants to grow the wine-making aspect of the vineyards. The author shows us his love for the vineyard and respect for his grandfather who started the business. It is destiny that these two meet, but the circumstance that brings them together is unique and different. I loved everything about this short entertaining romance and highly recommend it!
This story is so in line with Stephen King’s style of writing horror. I related to Claire’s mental decline and thought the author did a great job of showing her fragility. While she was a brilliant scientist, she’d lost all grip on reality. She’s suffering from having miscarriages and carries the guilt of her inadequacy. She keeps hearing her husband’s accusations in her mind. With the need to get away and regroup, she rents an isolated old manor. What happens shortly after she arrives left me gasping. What’s in the hay bale? I cringed when it was revealed. This story is a quick read and packs a powerful punch! If you like creepy gooey horror stories, you’ll devour this one (no pun intended). It is well-written and descriptive. All of the characters leap off the pages through the author’s words.
This may be my favorite segment of this series so far. The story opens back in Emlyn’s old hometown with the nightwalkers moving together in droves. The cook at the inn has it figured out. Iron is the weapon that can destroy them. From there, the story switches back to Pergesca. With Emlyn and Luce’s help, all of the Deae Matres traveling party are back together, except for Gethin. Emlyn’s feelings run deep for the swordsman and she finds herself thinking of him as a father figure. Once again they open the portal and Gethin along with the horses, and the ancient wreaths he’s gathered from the library come through. Now they are all together.
We also learn more about Commander Gregorios, as well as a historian, Mairead. But the biggest turning point in this segment is the appearance of the Goddess, the one the Deae Matres was named for. I am convinced she will be instrumental in defeating the nightwalkers and Arwan and rebuilding the veil to separate the worlds.
It’s all coming to a climax and I cannot wait for the next part of this story to unfold!
Two strong characters bring an element of automatic conflict to this story. Abigail Laine is an attorney. She fights for the underdog, the defenseless and abused. She’s good at her job but often has to deal with retaliation, as is the case at the beginning of this story. When an abusive husband threatens her for helping his wife out of the marriage, things heat up. Abby’s sister is witness to the imminent attack and turns to her husband, who owns a PI firm, to help protect Abby.
Rick Bannerman is a loner. He’s a PI and a damned good one, not to mention drop-dead sexy oozing pure raw masculinity.
Rick and Abby are thrown together in an effort to keep Abby out of harm’s way, but oh so much more passes between them. I love the way the author builds the sexual tension between the two and how they each resist their growing feelings, firmly determined to never open their hearts to love. Their childhood traumas have destroyed all hope of ever being in a loving relationship.
But fate has a way of intervening. This is the first book I’ve read by Peggy Jaeger and it certainly won’t be my last. If you love a sizzling romance with lots of tension, deep-rooted psychological issues, and suspense, you will love this story!
This is a short read, but a powerful one. When you are dreaming of a better life, it’s easy to get caught up in “get-rich” scams. That is the situation for Lauren and Ben. Newly married and forced to live with Ben’s parents, Lauren is desperate for a way to buy a house. They need privacy and a chance to begin their lives away from the harsh scrutiny of Muriel, Ben’s mother. And Lauren doesn’t have the patience to wait years while they add to their savings. So, when she stumbles across an enticing investment opportunity, she withdraws their savings without telling Ben. She wants to surprise him. He’ll be so proud of her when the puts the money they need to purchase a home in his hands. It’s advertised as a no-fail, quick profit investment. The author did such a great job of exposing how easy it is to get sucked into situations such as the one Lauren falls for. When she loses everything, it’s impossible to foresee how her marriage can survive. But when it turns deadly, all hope for a happy future is crushed.
While the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion, with hope for this couple, it’s not a feel-good happily ever after. It’s realistic and chilling.
The Reluctant Rebel is a slow burn and takes you inside a place and time in history that few are familiar with. The early 1900s in El Paso, Texas, a Texas-Mexico border town, found the area in a big transition. Daily, Mexican workers crossed the river to work at jobs no one else wanted. They served as maids to the wealthy, took care of their houses and landscaping. But suddenly, one day, there was a disruption to the daily crossings. No longer could they simply walk across. They were subjected to delousing and couldn’t enter America without their card verifying the process. This was an inhumane act, as the Mexicans were stripped of their clothing and subject to chemical sprays, head shavings, and body cavity searches. At the same time, Germany was on the brink of invading Mexico and Pancho Villa had been dethroned as governor of Mexico. It was a time of great turmoil. A young Mexican girl, Pia, served as a housemaid to a wealthy woman. Pia was educated and carried a Roget’s Thesaurus with her, having a fascination with words. She had dreams and aspirations. She wouldn’t be poor all her life. Walt Stevenson worked as a news reporter. But also served as a member of the newly formed Bureau of Investigation. There was a German master spy in El Paso, and he was determined to ferret him or her out. His first glimpse of Pia sent his pulse racing. She was different, with her red curly hair and green eyes. And noticed Walt with the same amount of interest. As this story unfolds, it’s undeniable that there is a strong attraction between these two. And there couldn’t be a more unlikely pair.
When Pia refused the horrific spraying process and started a riot, it shook the entire order of things. It would take more time and room than I have to talk about the plot of this story. It is deeply woven and includes lots of players, as well as danger and even death. The author did a superb job of recreating this moment of time in history in such a realistic way. I could visualize it all as I read. If you are a fan of historical fiction that is extremely deep, with lots of characters, and well-written, you will devour this book!
This novella is the prequel to the soon to come Vradian Academy series. The Red Shadow has one purpose in life and that is to serve the king and protect him. Each member of the society has taken a vow of celibacy and Dawkins takes his vows and dedication to the king seriously. That is until he meets Sara. How can you separate matters of the heart from your duties? He finds it nearly impossible. When he is caught in a rendezvous with Sara, not only is his life in danger but so is hers. I don’t want to leave a spoiler here, but I will highly recommend that you read this novella before starting the new series. Fantastic descriptive writing that draws you into the scenes. I found myself rooting for Dawkins and Sara. I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a little magic and fantasy mixed with reality