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review 2018-10-28 01:00
Zany overload
Out of the Frying Pan - A cozy little romance ... with murder on the side. - Kelly Klepfer,Michelle Griep

 

The myriad of crime novels she’d read had surely trained her for a moment like this. Author Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta dug into every murder she encountered. She’d never leave a crime scene. Fern squared her shoulders.

 

The cover should say cozy mystery with zany amateur sleuths and a little romance on the side instead of the other way around, this was about 90% zany amateur sleuthing with 10% romance. 

 

Zula and Fern are sisters who find a dead body in their little retirement community and set-out to find the killer. Fern suspects Black Widow Bob, Zula's intended beau and Zula suspects overly suave Phillipe, Fern's intended beau. Detective Jared is sent in to solve the case and Fern and Zula decide he would make a fantastic life long partner for their niece. Little do they know, their niece KC and Jared had met online, developed a close online relationship but KC broke it off when she thought she meet a great guy in real life. 

 

As you can imagine, misunderstandings, white lies, zany interactions, official and not official investigating, and some actual danger fill out the story. Jared and KC don't actually meet in person until around the 50% (the coincidence of it all was thisclose to being too much for me), I would definitely say this story is centered on Fern and Zula as you'll follow them around for the vast majority of the time. 

 

I'm not big on zany stuff, breaking into someone's home and snooping around because you think they are a murderer only to be caught because the little dog with you lets out a yelp/screech/bark, just isn't in my funny wheelhouse but if it's your thing, this story is chalk full of scenes and instances like that.

 

The eventual unwinding of the mystery and who was guilty seemed overly convoluted and extremely rushed at the end. This story was strong on Fern and Zula running around being zany and not so much on solid mystery plot thread, or maybe the this is who is guilty dump at the end disappointed me enough to not think it was worth wading through all the zany.

 

This is also a Christian book but wasn't overhanded with it, the beginning mentions it, the middle ignores any heavy tones, and the end brushes broad strokes over certain characters at the end. 

 

The coincidences and seemingly adding and connecting of characters made the story seemed haphazardly thrown together. If you're wanting to read a story with two retirement members running around being zany and quite possibly causing more harm than good with a pinch of clean romance, this will more than fill your zany tank.

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review 2018-09-08 02:45
Manic Cozy Mystery
An Affair to Dismember (Matchmaker Mysteries Book 1) - Elise Sax
 
Something was definitely fishy about Randy Terns’s death, and at least one of his children thought he deserved to be murdered.
 
Cozy mystery isn't a genre I usually spend a lot of time in but I've dabbled and the ones I've dabbled in, tend to have a "cozy" calm, mysterious but relaxing feel to them, not so here. 
 
The only time the heroine isn't on the go or jumping here and there, is when she is asleep, which doesn't last long. She's in town to take over her grandmother's matchmaking business but doesn't quite have the touch but doesn't matter since she only focuses on that for about 3% of the story. One of her neighbors was found dead in the kitchen and she thinks (?? I guess but she never seems totally sure even though she is running around trying to solve the "murder") he was murdered. 
 
What follows is a story that felt incredibly manic and held together with rubber bands and flimsy plot threads. Why does such a small town, I don't think they even have a 20 person police force (they don't have their own 911 call center) have a multi-million dollar new station? This is the first in the series but like my complaints about Angelfalls, you still have to craft story that provides depth in regards to characters and plot in book one. 
 
There is a love triangle but with one guy that barely is a pencil sketch  and the heroine only seems to like because he is hot and the other that seems like the clear future winner. I'm not quite sure what the heroine saw in the pencil sketch (besides good looks) and I'm not sure what either guy saw in the heroine. The murder mystery was convoluted as all get out and had a reveal dump at the end.  
 
This was so manic and jumbled I felt like I was lost in a bouncy castle. I don't think I'll be continuing on in the series, especially since I am not a fan of love triangles, they always seem to be dragged out way to long.
 
Bonus point for having Rottweilers in the story but point deduction for having them be growling frightening beasts. 
 
 
 
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review 2018-02-03 20:36
True to You by Jennifer Ryan
True to You - Jennifer Ryan
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

With a drug kingpin father, paranoid delusion uncle, and deceased mother, Cara has learned and protected herself with her trust issues. She runs a truck stop coffee house devoted to giving parolees second chances but trying to keep her life separate from her father's is proving more and more difficult. 

As a DEA Special Agent, Dawson has devoted his life to taking drugs off the street and taking down the bad guys. When a drug dealer uses his skills as a sniper to take out a rival, he makes it his personal mission to send him to jail. Trying to get an in with the man's daughter may prove fruitless in entering the drug world but Dawson may have succeeded in finally finding love. 

So he couldn't trust her. She didn't trust him. 

Second in the Montana Heat series, True to You focuses on Dawson King, a DEA Special Agent sniper. His bestfriend was the hero in the first book and while his story was summarized nicely, I felt a little rushed and lost in the very beginning while the set-up involving the drug cartel plot opened up. Reading the first book would have definitely helped but after a couple chapters I was able to settle into the world the author had created. Even though I had a bit of a whiplash feeling as previous events were rattled off, the prologue was incredibly gripping with our DEA sniper hero being put to the fire. 

She didn't even know his name. Not his real name. 

The set-up of having our hero Dawson going undercover to try and get close to his target's daughter Cara provided a great tension filled romance. Cara was an extremely distrustful heroine, she was a tough cookie but what kept her from crossing into the stubborn for angst sake well was her willingness to put it on the line when she couldn't fight getting close to the hero anymore; she was strong and passionate. While Cara learned her trust issues, Dawson's was trained and because his work and life depended on his cover, he couldn't just reveal all to Cara. I know we're dealing with fiction but the author did such a great job of creating realness to not only the characters but the story. The focus wasn't mainly on Cara and Dawson's sexual relationship, although there are some sexy times, but their emotional one. They had a full circle of meeting, distrust, attraction, bonding, betrayal, hurt, and then coming together. All the building blocks were there to create and enjoy a rounded out romance. 

This was no lie. 

With a cover that seems to project a more light and fluffy story, this was anything but. The drug cartel plot gets slightly more attention than the romance. The suspense doesn't come from overt action scenes but more from the reader watching and learning who and how the chess pieces are moving. The author did a great job of creating a multifaceted villain, the heroine's father named Iceman, but I thought the story lacked from getting more of his point of views. I would have also liked a smidge more drug cartel action with a little less hammering of how crappy Cara's life had been, it felt like trying to force the reader to really be in sympathy with her. 

"There is right and wrong, truth and lies. We are in between those lines." 

The story has a little bit of a sputtering ending with the action being over and the emotional relationship aspects staggering to the end but this also gave the readers a fully constructed ending, however, the added epilogue then seemed a bit unnecessary and cheesy. This had trust issues that cover secrets that are too important to be openly revealed, action that occasionally flirts with believability, but hotness that endangers and seduces. True to You was an impressive, fun, and hot romantic suspense story that also had a sexy hero who made a mean cherry tart. I'll definitely be checking out Jennifer Ryan's backlist and future releases.
 
 

 

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review 2018-01-14 02:31
Small town rom
The Sheriff Catches a Bride - Cora Seton

More focus on the over encompassing cast of characters, including past and future heroes and heroines, and the small town relationship drama. Also a pretty big secondary storyline following a girl from Afghanistan trying to escape the Taliban, felt a bit out of left field. 

This was my first foray into the series, which you could start here because there is nothing confusing but you won't feel emotional attachment to the characters.

 

Wanted the hero and heroine to spend more time together and didn't feel like I ever got to know the hero but writing was good and as a Kindle Freebie, it did its job of interesting me enough to look into other books in the series. 

Takes place in Montana but still had a slight western feel.

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review 2017-11-28 17:48
Hot Head (Head #1) by Damon Suede 4 Star Review!
Hot Head (Head #1) - Damon Suede

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire...

Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?

 

Review

 

It is easy to see why this is such a popular romance novel. It has everything. Friends to Lovers, firefighters, ginger hero, hot sexy times, great dialogue, wonderful setting, connection to important history...

 

It is a bit over the top but it is a also grand and passionate and loving. There are several plot turns and some how it remains believable because of the loving connection between our heroes.

 

There are things I wanted more of because we were only in Griff's head and Dante didn't even really talk about his feelings until the end. I love the end of this book and hope some of the secondary characters get a story.

 

Good hot stuff!

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