Scot Under the Covers (Wild Wicked Highlanders: Book 2) by Suzanne Enoch

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: January 28th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Wild, Wicked Highlanders

It’s Getting Scot in Here—Book 1 (Review Here)

Scot Under the Covers—Book 2

Where you can find Scot Under the Covers: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

When a resourceful English lady and a hot-blooded Highlander join forces to trick a scoundrel, every rule will be broken!

Miranda Harris is known for her charm, wit, and ability to solve any problem she encounters. But when her brother lands neck-deep in gambling debt to a crafty villain and Miranda is subsequently blackmailed into marrying him, she must enlist the help of the devil himself to save the family honor―and herself.

Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert knows next to nothing about the ways of the ton, but he most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens’ hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he’ll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family’s inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he’ll teach her everything about wagering…and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden―but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda’s love is a game he can’t afford to lose. . .


First Line:

I said he was in the doorway,” Aden MacTaggert stated, eyeing his older brother on the great black Friesian warhorse Coll rode.

Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

My Review:

I am a massive fan of historical romances. I am also a massive fan of historical romances that involve Highlanders. So, when I saw that Scot Under the Covers was up for review, I knew that I needed to read it.

Scot Under the Covers is the 2nd book in the Wild, Wicked Highlanders series. This book can be read as a standalone book, but I would highly recommend reading book 1. That way, you can get a feel for the boys’ relationship with their mother and her demand that brought them to London. It is explained in this book but gets more in-depth in book 1.

Scot Under the Cover got off to a slow start. I did appreciate the slow start. The author chose to lay the groundwork for Miranda’s storyline. She also decided to let the reader get a good feel for what type of person Aden was. The book did pick up in pace after that first couple of chapters, and it kept a steady pace throughout the book.

I loved Miranda’s character growth in this book. She was introduced as a shy, sheltered debutante. She was sharp, and she knew how to defend herself verbally. Her character growth came when she was forced into an engagement to Captain Robert Vale. She was forced to depend on her wits to outwit him, and when that didn’t work, she turned to Aden. By the end of the book, she was an amazing woman, and she was worthy of Aden.

I had liked Aden in the previous book. The small glimpse that was given of him showed him to be a man who took risks, in and out of the gaming hells. If I liked him in the previous books, I loved him in this one. He knew something was going on with Miranda. Once he found out what was going on, he was going to do anything and everything to help her. What I liked is that not everything is what it seems with him. He had layers upon layers. It was interesting to see what was going to be revealed once one of his layers were peeled back.

I never do this, but I loved the villain in this book. Captain Robert Vale was indeed an evil man. Each one of his interactions with Miranda gave me chills. How he got to Miranda gave me chills. Everything about him gave me chills. I was surprised that he was juggling more than one ball, though. When that was revealed, I did have hope for Miranda after that.

Aden and Miranda’s romance got off to a slow start. She was attracted to him (and him to her), but she was too focused on trying to shake Captain Robert Vale to acknowledge it. It was when Aden found out what was going on that their romance sparked. Then it was all downhill. Aden knew that he was going to marry Miranda reasonably early in the book. It took Miranda much longer to come to that realization.

This is not a clean romance. There is sex. Now how the sex scene came about is interesting. Miranda didn’t want Captain Robert Vale to take her virginity. She asks Aden, who is more than happy to help. The sex scenes were tastefully written and were hot.

I was a little annoyed (actually a lot) with Miranda’s brother and his role in everything. How she could keep talking to him after that baffled me. I also don’t understand how Aden kept his temper too.

The end of the book was nothing short of amazing. But, I was a little put off by how Miranda and Captain Robert Vale’s storyline ended. I was left unfulfilled and feeling a little irritated. But, other than that, amazing and a real HEA!!!


I would give Scot Under the Covers an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Scot Under the Covers. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Dark Alpha’s Temptation (Reaper: Book 9) by Donna Grant

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback

Date of publication: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Reaper

Dark Alpha’s Claim—Book 1

Dark Alpha’s Embrace—Book 2

Dark Alpha’s Demand—Book 3

Dark Alpha’s Lover—Book 4

Dark Alpha’s Night-–Book 5

Dark Alpha’s Hunger—Book 6 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Awakening—Book 7 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Redemption—Book 8 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Temptation—Book 9

Where you can find Dark Alpha’s Temptation: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Carrying Death’s orders is my sole duty. I’ve never had reason to question her, even if I disagreed. But Kyra’s fierceness and willpower sheds light on my mission. She drives the darkness of my world away. The answers to the Others’ goals lie in her past. For Kyra, I will risk going against Death’s wishes. For her…I will battle the past and the future itself.


First Line:

It was good to be right.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation by Donna Grant

My Review:

I was excited to read Dark Alpha’s Temptation. The promise of finally getting some knowledge of who the Others are and what their agenda excited me the most. I won’t lie and say that Dark Alpha’s Temptation delivers on that promise. Instead, what it does, is add to the mystery of who the Others are.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation was a filler book. There was no progression of the Reaper storyline. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the book. It’s just that I wish the storyline progressed a little more.

The plotline of Dark Alpha’s Temptation was lightning fast. As with most fast-paced books, there was some lag in the plotline. I didn’t mind it because once the author got over the lag, the book shot along.

Kyra and Dubham’s relationship was sexually charged right from the beginning. Some serious sparks were coming off the pages. When they finally did have sex, I thought my Kindle was going to combust spontaneously. It was that good.

I liked Kyra. I wanted to know why she was so focused on Dubham. There was a twist in her plotline that I didn’t see coming. I felt terrible for her.

Dubham was your typical strong but silent type. He was suspicious of Kyra but so attracted to her. His backstory was awful to read, and how he died was even more appalling. I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like for him.

I wanted to know where Rhi went, as did everyone else. There was a colossal complication with that storyline that made me go “Hmmmm.

Like I mentioned above, the storyline with the Others got more mysterious. What was revealed at the end of the book surprised me. I want to know what their end game is!!!

The end of Dark Alpha’s Temptation was exciting. I have a feeling that the main characters in the next book were revealed. I also am looking forward to seeing what the Others are going to bring to everyone in this universe.


I would give Dark Alpha’s Temptation an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dark Alpha’s Temptation. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch: Book 3) by Caitlin Crews

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3.5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: Cold River Ranch

A True Cowboy Christmas—Book 1 (Review Here)

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—Book 2 (Review Here)

The Last Real Cowboy—Book 3

Where you can find The Last Real Cowboy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

In Cold River, sometimes forbidden love is the sweetest of them all…

Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home to Cold River during Amanda’s first attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother’s bad-boy best friend?

Brady’s plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year–and yet, here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend’s innocent little sister is making a menace of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady’s greatest temptation be his salvation?


First Line:

Brady Everett was the insufferable, patronizing, sadly all-too-gorgeous bane of Amanda Kittredge’s existence.

The Last Real Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

My Review:

The major plotline for The Last Real Cowboy centered around Brady and Amanda’s romance. The author chose to have that plotline go at a medium pace, which was more than OK with me. There was some lag towards the end of the book. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but the author was able to get the book back on track, so I dealt with it.

I am going to put up a quick trigger warning. Brady suffered intense emotional and verbal abuse by his father. The author didn’t hold back any punches when it came to writing what Angus did to him. Those were some of the most intense scenes of the book, and I will admit, I sobbed through them all. So, read with care if that type of abuse triggers you.

Brady was an enigma in Grey and Ty’s books. He was portrayed as someone who could care less about the ranch. I will admit, I was curious about how he would come across in the book. I was surprised when his character turned out to be the exact opposite of the previous two books. I felt terrible because he did have some legitimate business opportunities, and he got bullied/laughed at by his brothers. That was hard to read because they were continuing what Angus was doing to him.

I thought that Amanda was immature and impulsive for most of the book. But, once I got to thinking about it, I would have been the same way if I had four older brothers breathing down my neck. While she did mature throughout the book, her impulsiveness stayed. That impulsiveness was crucial towards the end of the book.

I did think that Brady and Amanda were a good couple, right from the beginning. They complimented each other. I loved that Amanda wasn’t afraid to go to bat for her man when the going got tough. I wouldn’t want to piss her off, that’s for certain. That scene was the best in the entire book.

The sexual attraction between Brady and Amanda was immediate and red hot. Of course, Brady did try to reign it in (because of her brothers), but Amanda kept chipping away at his defenses. That sexual attraction morphed into some intense sexual chemistry. The author was smart and built that chemistry up. So when they did have sex, it was explosive.

The plotline about Brady and the ranch was sad. As I mentioned above, his father abused him. He ensured that Brady would continue to be outcast by his brothers after his death. His college education was used against him time and time again. There was a point in the book where I did wonder why Brady was staying.

While The Last Real Cowboy is the last book in a series, it can be read as a standalone. But I would strongly suggest reading the first two books. It explains more about Angus and the brothers’ relationships.

I do wonder if Amanda’s brothers will be getting their books. If they do, I want to read it. They were a massive presence in The Last Real Cowboy!!

I wasn’t thrilled with the ending of The Last Real Cowboy. While everything happened the way I thought it did, I was left with a feeling that it was rushed.


I would give The Last Real Cowboy an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Last Real Cowboy. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of publication: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Other People: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A gripping new thriller about a man’s quest for the daughter no one else believes is still alive, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place.

Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’ It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter.

Then, the car that Gabe saw driving away that night is found, in a lake, with a body inside and Gabe is forced to confront events, not just from the night his daughter disappeared, but from far deeper in his past.

His search leads him to a group called The Other People.

If you have lost a loved one, The Other People want to help. Because they know what loss is like. They know what pain is like. They know what death is like.

There’s just one problem . . . they want other people to know it too.


First Line:

She sleeps.

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

My Review:

The Other People is about Gabe and his search for his missing daughter. Gabe’s wife and daughter were murdered while he was on the way home. At the time, Gabe didn’t know that and was surprised when he saw his daughter’s face appear in the back window of the car in front of him. That set off a series of events. Gabe was accused of their murder and the cleared. Then the car is found and new evidence that his daughter wasn’t the one that died. But, Gabe isn’t prepared for the truth. He also wasn’t ready for a secret that he has kept buried to be exposed. What happened the night his wife and daughter were killed? Will Gabe get his answers?

I know that it is only a few weeks into the new year, but this has to be the best mystery/thriller/suspense book that I have read to date. I couldn’t put this book down!! Put it this way, I read it in two hours. It was that good!!

The plotline in The Other People does get off to a slow start. It did take me a couple of chapters before I got immersed in it. There was also a small amount of lag in the book, right around where Fran left Alice with her mother. But the author was able to get the book back on track.

Gabe was amazing in The Other People. He knew that he saw his daughter the night of the murder, and he never gave up hope that she was alive. I did feel bad for him at the beginning of the book because he was utterly destroyed by what happened. I also admired his restraint when he found out what his in-laws had done. I would have gone ballistic. And of course, there was the issue of his secret. I wish that it had been released earlier in the book.

Fran was an enigma throughout the book. I didn’t understand why she was on the run until she went to her mothers. Then a little bit of her story fell into place. At that point, I understood why she did what she did. My heart broke for her.

I figured out Alice’s story reasonably early in the book. But I couldn’t understand what was happening to her with the stones. Then it was explained and man, it was creepy. Again, my heart went out to her.

The plotline with Gabe looking for his daughter was amazing. The author was able to show his frustration, worry, anger, and hope. I was a little irritated by how the police treated him. But once concrete evidence was found (and Gabe told them what his father in law did), they took him seriously.

The plotline with Fran and Alice was interesting. Right away, I guessed what was going on. But I never guessed why it happened, who Fran was running from and how it was connected to Gabe. That all took me by surprise. Add in the secondary storyline with Fran’s sister and The Sandman, and yeah, I was blown away.

There was a paranormal element in the book that I wished it had more power in the book. It was interesting because of how Alice brought the stones in. But, the connection to Gabe’s secret was something that I didn’t even see coming.

The end of The Other People was interesting. I say interesting because there were a couple of twists in the plot. I didn’t see either of them coming. The author did a great job of combining all of the storylines, even ones that I thought were done with. But, it was the very end of the book that gave me chills.


I would give The Other People an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Other People. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

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5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult

Where you can find Jane Anonymous: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?


First Line:

Dear Reader(s),

Before ten months ago, I didn’t know that the coil spring from a mattress could be used as a makeshift weapon, or that the rod inside a toilet tank worked just as well as the claw of a hammer.

Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My Review:

I was intrigued when I read the blurb for Jane Anonymous. I have read plenty of books about kidnapping and the effects on the victims, so I thought I was ready for the book. Well, I was wrong. Jane Anonymous was one of the rawest, more emotional books that I have read to date.

The plotlines for Jane Anonymous are split into two sections. There is “Then” and “Now.” The pacing for each plotline is fast and well written. There is no lag, which was great and complimented the fast pace of the plotline. There were also no dropped characters.

I wanted to reach through my Kindle, grab Jane, and hug her. The author did a fantastic job of showing the difference in her. She was an outgoing girl with a fantastic view of life before her kidnapping. After her abduction, though, she was the opposite. The author didn’t make her magically healed and had her forget what happened to her. Instead, she had Jane struggle with being home. She also showed how Jane was affected by PTSD and anxiety. Again, there were tears on my end.

The “Then” part of the storyline was amazingly written. I liked reading how Jane kept her sanity during her captivity. The author did a fantastic job of showing how Jane was broken down by her kidnapper and then built back up. It was a perfect example of Stockholm Syndrome. But, my favorite part of this book was when she escaped. It was amazing!!

The “Now” part of the storyline broke my heart. Jane was so broken. She tries to recreate her room from when she was kidnapped. Jane kept to the award system that her kidnapper used. She refused to talk to someone because of how they treated her. She had to deal with people alternately praising her and talking about her behind her back. But, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

The end of Jane Anonymous was terrific. I can’t get into it, but I was a blubbery, sobbing mess. It made me have hope for her too. I am for sure going to be looking out for more books by this author!!


I would give Jane Anonymous an Older Teen rating. There are no sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Jane Anonymous. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

No Mercy (Ellery Hathaway: Book 2) by Joanna Schaffhausen

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: January 15th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Ellery Hathaway

The Vanishing Season—Book 1 (Review Here)

No Mercy—Book 2

All the Best Lies—Book 3 (expected publication date: February 11th, 2020)

Where you can find No Mercy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.

No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.

Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”

For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.

Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.


First Line:

You kill one guy, one time, and suddenly everyone thinks you need therapy, Ellery Hathaway thought as she stood in the biting wind of the subway T platform overlooking the icy Charles River.


My Review:

No Mercy’s plotline was simple. Ellery is on involuntary leave after killing the person who had kidnapped four people and killed them. She is also forced into group therapy for people who have survived violent crimes. Figuring that all she needs to do is show up, Ellery is soon drawn into two different crimes. One involves a woman who survived a brutal rape and is desperate for the rapist to be found. The other crime consists of a woman who lost her son in a fire set by an arsonist, 25 years ago. The man convicted for the crime has been paroled, and Ellery isn’t sure if he did it. Instead, she thinks that someone close to the family set the fire. So, what does Ellery do? She calls Reed and asks him for his help. Will Ellery be able to help the rape victim? And will she get to the bottom of the arson?

When I started reading No Mercy, I didn’t know what to expect, plotwise. Because it is book 2, I was expecting this to be more of a filler book. I was expecting the pacing of this book to be slower than The Vanishing Season. Then I started reading it, and all of those preconceived expectations were blown away. This book was not a filler book. The pacing of No Mercy was as fast as The Vanishing Season, if not faster. I did not expect that and loved it!!!

I loved Ellery in No Mercy. She was the same wiseass woman, but there was more of an edge to her. She didn’t hide who she was or what had happened to her. That did cause some minor issues in the book. What amazed me about her was her character growth during the book. Instead of holding people at arm’s length, she started slowly letting them in. She showed empathy towards Wendy. It was beautiful to watch, knowing that her past hindered her. I hope that in the next book, there is even more character growth.

I liked Reed in this book. I liked that the author made his character flawed. There were some parts of the book where I didn’t feel bad for him, though. Like when he made promises that he couldn’t keep (taking his daughter to Disney World) or when he kept missing visitations with her. Because he was with Ellery, helping her with those two cases. But, at the same time, it was evident that he loved his daughter. He did help Ellery with her two cases. His insights lead to some significant breaks in those cases.

The one thing that I wasn’t crazy about in this book was the romance scenes between Ellery and Reed. While it did add to Ellery’s recovery (remember she was sexually assaulted), I didn’t think it had a place in the book. I could have done without it.

The plotline with Wendy, the rape victim, was heartbreaking. To see a woman beaten down the way she was broke my heart. When she reached out to Ellery, she was nearing rock bottom. I did like how the author kept that storyline going without it intertwining with the main storyline. I do wish that there was a better ending. But, unfortunately, that ending of that plotline was all too realistic.

The plotline with Mayra and the fire was interesting. There were so many twists and turns that I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to turn out. The author had me choosing between 3 people as to who set the fire and guess what; it was neither!! I did like how she wrapped that plotline up.

No Mercy cannot be read as a standalone book. It would be best if you read The Vanishing Season before reading this book. I can’t stress this enough.

The end of No Mercy was exciting. There was a small secondary storyline about Reed and his biological mother that was intertwined with one about a family DNA test, what Reed finds out at the end of the book set up for book three perfectly. I can’t wait to read it!!


I would give No Mercy an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread No Mercy. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Vanishing Season (Ellery Hathaway: Book 1) by Joanna Schaffhausen

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: December 5th 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Ellery Hathaway

Vanishing Season—Book 1

No Mercy—Book 2

All the Best Lies—Book 3 (expected publication date: February 11th, 2020)

Where you can find Vanishing Season: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.


First Line:

It’s too dark to go out but too hot to sleep.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

My Review:

When I saw the blurb for The Vanishing Season, I was intrigued. The victim of a serial killer becomes a cop who then sees a coincidence when people go missing each year around her birthday. The book had me at that. Forget that a famous profiler got involved, I wanted to read about how Ellery was dealing with the aftermath of her trauma. And the author more than delivered!!

The Vanishing Season takes place in the town of Woodbury, Massachusetts. Ellery Hathaway, the only living victim of a sadistic serial killer, is a police officer there. Over the past three years, Ellery has noticed that a person has gone missing on her birthday. Suspecting a serial killer, she tries to get the chief to investigate and is written off. With days left until another person disappears, Ellery reaches out to the FBI agent who rescued her. Reed Markham. Can he help Ellery find the killer before he/she strikes again?

The plotline for The Vanishing Season was lightning fast, and it kept up that pace throughout the book. There was no lag, which was surprising considering how fast this book went. The author was able to keep my focus on the book for the entire book. Put it this way; I picked this book up at 9 am and finished it at 11 am.

I loved how the author portrayed Ellery’s character. It was Ellery that drew me to the book. I wanted to know, “How could someone live after being tortured like she was?”. I got my answer back tenfold. She had severe PTSD and couldn’t form attachments. But she managed to live a normal (if you could call that normal) life. I did want to smack her mother upside the head at points in the book. Your kid was kidnapped, sexually assaulted over and over, and tortured, yet you didn’t get her into therapy? That was a massive WTF from me.

I liked Reed. He was a washed-up version of the person he was when he rescued Ellery. I liked that he acknowledged that. I wasn’t too sure what to make of his dropping everything to help Ellery when she called. But I understood why he did it. He wanted to see how she turned out. He also understood the implications of the people missing on her birthday, and he believed her when she told him what was going on. The small sub storyline with his family did catch my interest.

The main storyline was well written. The author did a fantastic job of keeping how the killer was and why he/she was doing it under wraps. She had me thinking that it was several different people until the big reveal. I was surprised at who it was. I was also shocked at the twist in the plotline. I was not expecting it to go the way it did or what happened.

The end of The Vanishing Season wrapped up beautifully. There was enough left where I did wonder what the next book will be about. I can’t wait to read it!!


I would give The Vanishing Season an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Vanishing Season. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Stranger in a Small Town (Door County: Book 3) by Margaret Watson

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4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: August 15th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Door Country

Small-Town Secrets—Book 1 (review here)

Small-Town Family—Book 2 (review here)

Stranger in a Small Town—Book 3

Where you can find Stranger in a Small Town: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Seth Anderson arrives in Sturgeon Falls determined to prove two things — he never fathered a child, and Kat Macauley is a counterfeiter.

Fiercely protective, passionate and loving, Kat is not what he expected. Also unexpected are his growing feelings for her. To protect his investigation, he doesn’t tell Kat the whole truth. But as he unravels the crime, he has second thoughts about choosing a career over a family.

That won’t matter if Kat can’t forgive him for lying to her. Will his lies, and Kat’s doubts, make it impossible to create a new family?


First Line:

The woman on the bed stirred and her eyes fluttered open.

Stranger in a Small Town by Margaret Watson

My Review:

Stranger in a Small Town is the 3rd book in the Door County series. After reading the first two books, I knew that this book was going to be a good read. I wasn’t disappointed by what I read.

The plotline of Stranger in a Small Town was medium paced and well written. There were no dropped storylines or characters mysteriously disappearing, which added to my enjoyment of reading the book. There was a twist in the plotline that I should have seen coming.

While Stranger in a Small Town is book 3 in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone. But, and I stress but, if you want to understand the different family dynamics and relationships, then I suggest reading the books in order.

The storyline involving Seth, Kat, and Regan was heartbreaking. I liked that the author showed all angles of the story. From Seth’s disbelief to Kat’s anger to Regan’s confusion, it was real. I also liked that the author let Seth process that he had a daughter before starting things off with Kat. After the DNA test came back positive, then it was full steam ahead for the romance.

The secondary storyline with the counterfeit money/the pregnancy (because they are interconnected) was well written. The build-up to who was putting money in the safe box was excellent, as was who was counterfeiting the money. I was surprised by who it was. I didn’t see it coming at all. Talk about a twist.

The pregnancy storyline, which went at the same time as the counterfeiting one, was heartbreaking. It left me in tears. How the author wrapped, that storyline up was heart-wrenching.

I do wish that more information about Seth’s Secret Service service. I was intrigued by it. The author gave the barest glimpse into what he did, and that left me wanting more. It also explained why he was so hard to find when Regan’s mother tried to tell him that she was pregnant.

The romance between Seth and Kat took some time to build up. Kat had trust issues, and she kept lashing out at Seth. But, once those trust issues were gotten over, the romance was on its A Game. That led to some hot and heavy sex scenes.

The end of Stranger in a Small Town was intense. I couldn’t put the book down. I needed to see how the counterfeiting/pregnancy storyline was going to end. While I knew that Kat and Seth were going to have a HEA, I wanted to know how it was going to come about. And the epilogue!! It was a perfect ending to the series.


I would give Stranger in a Small Town an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Stranger in a Small Town. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

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3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: January 14th 2020

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Where you can find The Vanished Birds: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

A mysterious child lands in the care of a solitary woman, changing both of their lives forever in this captivating debut of connection across space and time.

“This is when your life begins.”

Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her; all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.

A boy, broken by his past.

The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and their strange, immediate connection, Nia decides to take the boy in. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself.

For both of them, a family.

But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.


First Line:

He was born with an eleventh finger.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

My Review:

I was on the fence about reviewing The Vanished Birds. To make up my mind, I read the first four reviews on Goodreads. That is something I never do, but I was conflicted. The reviews were evenly conflicted about the book. So, I decided to take a chance on it. For the most part, it was a good book. But some parts made me wonder why they were written, even after finishing the book.

The Vanished Birds had a slow to a medium-paced plotline. When the book focused on Nia and her relationship with Ahro/their travels until he was 16, the book moved at a medium-paced. But, when the book focused on Fumiko Nakajima (past and present) and her travels, it slowed to a crawl. I will be honest; I skimmed over a large part of her story. I started paying attention when she was on the secret base and the events afterward.

I enjoyed reading about the type of space travel that Nia used to go between planets. It fascinated me. I couldn’t imagine being in space for what I would have thought would be a few months and to find out that 15 years have passed.

Nia was a tough cookie to like during the book. She made some questionable decisions that affected the people around her. Nia kept people are arm’s length. She did unbend, slightly, when she met Ahro. She unbent, even more, when Fumiko asked her to keep him safe for 15 years. But, I couldn’t quite bring myself to like her.

When Fumiko was introduced in The Vanished Birds, I didn’t understand what her role was. I mean, it was explained relatively early on that she was the founder of the colonies in space, and she invented the engine that allowed space travel. But I didn’t know why her backstory was being told. It didn’t go with the flow of Nia’s story. Even when her story was brought to the present, I still wondered: “Why?” I also wondered why she was so invested in Ahro. It was explained, and it didn’t show her in a good light.

I loved Ahro. I loved seeing his character growth throughout the book. I wasn’t prepared for what his secret was, though. I honestly thought that it had something to do with music and his affinity for it. So, when it was revealed, I was shocked. I loved watching his relationship with Nia and her crew grow, which made what happened and who caused it such a shock.

I do wish that more time had been spent on the times they visited the planets. There were so many locations!!! All exotic and all made me want more. But that didn’t happen.

I wasn’t a fan of the last half of the book. I had questions about what was going to happen to Nia and Ahro once the dust settles. I also had questions about Fumiko. I can only assume what happened to her. And then there is the question about where Ahro originally came from and who The Kind One was.


I would give The Vanished Birds an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Vanished Birds. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Small Town Family (Door County: Book 2) by Margaret Watson

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4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Door County

Small-Town Secrets—Book 1 (review here)

Small Town Family—Book 2

Stranger in a Small Town—Book 3

Where you can find Small Town Family: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Reporter Dylan Smith comes to Sturgeon Falls to find his father. He has only one lead – charter boat captain Charlotte Burns.

After a rocky childhood and disastrous marriage, Charlotte is wary and guarded. The charming reporter sets off all her alarms, but she can’t resist him.

His questions point to Gus, who was like a father to Charlotte. Knowing this could destroy Gus’s marriage, Charlotte’s caught between her loyalty to Gus and her growing feelings for Dylan.

Families come in all shapes and forms. Can Dylan and Charlotte create the bonds that make a family? Or will secrets tear them apart?


First Line:

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Small-Town Family by Margaret Watson

My Review:

As I was reading Small-Town Family, I realized, it has been a while since I have read any romance. Which is crazy since they are the books I like to read the most. I was super excited to start reading Small-Town Family.

Another reason why I was so excited to read this book was that I kept pushing it to the back burner, which I try not to do. When indie authors contact me, I try to make their book a priority. But, sometimes, life gets in the way – which is what happened here. When I rewrote my reading schedule (something I do 2-3 times a year), I made sure that all indie authors were first.

The plotline for Small-Town Family was surprisingly fast-moving. I wasn’t expecting this book to have a fast-moving plotline. I was expecting it to be slower. But, it was a pleasant surprise and fit with the storyline. There were no dropped characters or storylines, either. That made for a great read.

I thought that the main characters in Small-Town Family were well written. I liked that they weren’t “perfect.” Charlotte had issues with trust, and she had a temper. Dylan was secretive to the point that it interfered with his and Charlotte’s relationship. I liked that the author wrote those characters like that. It made for an exciting read.

The main storyline, Dylan’s search for his father, was well written. I did figure out early on in the book who Dylan’s father was. I was suspicious at first because, hey, it was too convenient. It wasn’t until Charlotte was talking to a specific character that my internal radar went “ding, ding, ding.

The secondary storyline about the marina was exciting, but honestly, I was not too fond of it. I get why the author put it in the book. There needed to be a common ground for Charlotte and Dylan to bond over. I figured out what was going on the minute Charlotte’s boat was chartered. I wasn’t surprised when the bad guys were revealed.

The romance between Dylan and Charlotte was sweet, but man, it seemed to take forever to get there. Charlotte’s instant distrust of Dylan was a big drawback. But, once Charlotte decided to let Dylan in, my cup runneth over. I liked that Charlotte was the one who chose to let things move forward. That led to some pretty hot sex scenes.

The end of Small-Town Family was satisfying. I wasn’t sure if I liked how Dylan’s father was revealed or the anger that went along with it. I also think that what was asked of Charlotte was wrong. But it did work out in the end. Both storylines were wrapped up in a way that made me smile and do a fist pump.


I would give Small-Town Family an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Small-Town Family. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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