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review 2019-01-13 19:00
Husband and wife, cat and mouse
Stealing Mr. Right (Penelope Blue) - Tamara Morgan

“Eating in the library?” He made a deep tsking sound. “Shame on you, Penelope Blue. You’re lucky I don’t turn you in to the authorities.”

I relaxed ever so slightly. He wasn’t arresting me. He was flirting with me. “You can’t prove a thing,” I said quickly. “I swallowed the evidence.”

His eyes deepened in color until they were almost black. “Now that’s something I like to hear."


The daughter of the Blue Fox could do nothing but grow up to be a jewel thief. Penelope hasn't seen her father in years or his supposed hundred million nest egg, with a cobbled together group of friends, she makes her living stealing jewels. What starts off as part of bet with her bestfriend Riker, she gets close to a FBI agent who seems to be watching them.


Written in first person and all from Penelope's point of view, I personally missed our FBI agent Grant's thoughts. I can see why the author chose this as it intensifies their cat and mouse game of how much does Grant know about Penelope and is he using her? The author gives a couple emotional hints here and there to give the reader a pretty good idea where Grant's head and heart is at but Penelope is always second guessing. 


I flew through this as the writing and story was pretty addictive. However, the flashbacks were laid out in a way that gave the pace a bit of a stop and go feeling, ramping up the pace in the present tense only to halt it with going back in the past to see how Penelope and Grant got together. It felt like the author was purposefully doing this but it ended up making the pace feel very uneven to me. 


The series looks to be focused on Penelope, so even though there is no cliffhanger here, her story will continue on. Her group of friends deserve their own series or books as the author did a great job giving us enough of them to support the story and Penelope's character without clogging and enticing us to know more. 


This felt a little more madcap chik-lit than strictly romance and, like I said, not having Grant's pov killed a little of their relationship depth for me, but I couldn't tear myself away from reading the adventure. 

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review 2019-01-12 06:23
Muffin Top - Avery Flynn

Lucy and Frankie have already met through mutual friends.  When he rescues her - literally from a jerk who has approached her.  Can Lucy control her urges when she finds herself attracted to the hunky firefighter?


Frankie has suddenly found himself in a position to get to know the elusive Lucy.  The more her learns, the hotter the attraction between them fizzles and pops until an explosion is inevitable.  Now to convince her what he feels for her is real.


This is a great installment to The Hartigans series.  I am finding that each book gets better and better.  The family is fun to read about.  Each character has their own quirks and personality.  It was truly a joy to read each page!  I cannot wait for the next book in this incredible series.  I give this  5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-12-28 23:26
Beyond Risk by Connie Mann
Beyond Risk - Connie Mann

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. 


Beyond Risk starts off the Florida Wildlife Warriors series dropping the reader into relationship drama and murder mystery. There are a lot of characters to keep track off and I have to say, I didn't quite get a handle on who was who until the second half of the story. Our heroine Charlee is a former Fish and Wildlife Officer who is starting to take over her parents' business of selling outback supplies and offering guided kayak rides down the rapids. Last year a teenage boy was killed on one of her guided trips and now on the anniversary, another teenager is almost drowned and shot. Last years accident is starting to look like murder and the murderer is back.


Along with Charlee, we have her two big brothers Pete (cop) and Josh (Fish & Wildlife Officer), her younger sister Natalie, an ex-boyfriend who doesn't want to be one, an employee who has a big crush on her, another younger male who has a crush on her (or at least her cupcakes), the two different families of the teenage victims, a father and mother (recovering from a stroke), and last but not least, our hero Hunter. There are some other minor characters but you can tell by that cast list what I was talking about a lot of who to keep track of.


The story does start off right the bat but I checked twice to make sure this wasn't second in the series or if I had missed some prologue story. Charlee and Hunter's friendship starts and develops before this book starts, so when we come in, the ground work is already laid and feelings have already developed, they now have full blown crushes and want to get together. This was disappointing as that is why I read romance, to witness and enjoy the building blocks of romance. The case work of putting the pieces together, racing to rescue everyone of Charlee's family members (dad isn't targeted I guess, but everyone else has danger moments), and searching for a possible murderer; it all started to feel a bit repetitive.


The chemistry between the leads felt pretty dry, Charlee doesn't know if she can trust her instincts towards Hunter. This started to feel very forced as Hunter constantly is great to her and she is always thinking how his actions put her agency first (there is an ending scene to cause some friction between them to angst this up). Hunter has the ever present storyline of not feeling good enough for Charlee, even though he only really pushes her away twice and then actively is trying to be with her. This was fairly clean overall, their sex scene goes by pretty quick and is cloaked in water rafting metaphors, think something about riding the rapids. They came off as probably would work in real life couple but not particularly romantic, inspiring, or fun to read about.


The murder mystery simply had too many characters along with their backstories to explain motivations, it was confusing and not all that believable in certain parts. There were obvious red herring characters but as they faded into the background or were left abandoned, I couldn't help but think what was the point of them as they only clogged up the story. Charlee supposedly has this great relationship with her siblings but they never really interact in many scenes, leaving an empty hole in feeling their relationship. I did enjoy the one or two scenes she had with her mother, these were heartfelt and added to the emotional feel of the story and brought depth to both characters.

Characters felt a bit like they were standing still as the story weaved around them, instead of feeling like they were a part of and guided the story. The building of the romance and relationship between Charlee and Hunter seemed to happened before the reader is brought in and some secondary characters clogged the story instead of added to it. This was pretty fast paced and if reading about two characters who like each other while stop and go driving around trying to figure out a possible murder mystery, with some crocodiles, a snake, and the hero calling the heroine cher (many, many times) making appearances, there is plenty of that here for you.


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text 2018-12-02 11:00
Book Tour & Giveaway with Excerpt! Taming Fire (Braving the Heat #2) Leora Gonzales!







Taming Fire
Braving the Heat Book 2
by Leora Gonzales
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Yoga instructor Louise Pine is the ultimate caretaker. Everyone around her seems to have an emergency, but Lou hasn’t met a fire she couldn’t put out—until she’s faced with the hunky, bossy firefighter who crashes into her own backyard—and her life. No one tells Lou what to do, yet somehow the guy’s take-charge style makes her tingle . . .


Phoenix “Nix” Jones is used to calling the shots, whether he’s dealing with his younger siblings or taking on a dangerous blaze. Luckily, the fire at Lou’s is a false alarm. But the heat the fit and feisty woman ignites is far from dying out . . .


As the sparks turn into 5-alarm passion, can two strong-willed people end up engulfed by love—or will they crash and burn?


**can easily be read as a standalone!**



Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40206073-taming-fire





Simmering Heat
Braving the Heat Book 1


Where there’s smoke . . .


Growing up as the privileged daughter of two doctors, Jasmine Kingford always thought the housekeeper’s son was hot—and the feeling was mutual. But back then there were lines they couldn’t cross. Good thing they’re all grown up now—and in the same wedding party . . .


As best man for a fellow firefighter, Leo Trask is floored to discover the maid-of-honor is a blast from his past. One that ignites fireworks that have been brewing for years. Soon enough, he and Jasmine are having a very private, all-night-long celebration of their own—and it’s clear neither wants it to end there . . .


Jasmine’s all too happy to finally shed her pampered princess demeanor with Leo. What she finds is a connection—and a complication—she didn’t expect. Leo’s the opposite of the nine-to-five guy she planned on. She wants a nursing career, kids, and a man who’s home by dinnertime. Leo’s an irresistible bad boy with a dangerous, unpredictable job. And he’s everything she never knew she wanted, and more . . .




Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37782318-simmering-heat





Melting Snow
Braving the Heat Book .5


Broke college student Winter Snow wants Christmas to be over. Thanks to her annoying name, this time of year always leaves her feeling Scrooged. The only cheer she wants is cold hard cash from her mall cleaning job—until a surprise offer from a hunky firefighter sparks one sizzling midnight temptation . . .


William Holiday needs a replacement elf for his fire station’s fund-raiser. Convincing Winter she's perfect for the part—and giving her some one-on-one training—is a task he’s happy to take on. Because her irrepressible smarts and luscious curves are making this seductive Saint Nick want to deliver all night long . . .


Winter isn't betting on more than an X-rated Xmas fling. But Will plans to show her they have more in common than their quirky last names—enough to keep their wildest holiday wishes coming true . . .



Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35831119-melting-snow




Braving the Heat #3 Still Burning (May 28, 2019)



Taming Fire ~ AVAILABLE in print or ebook


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Fire-Braving-Leora-Gonzales-ebook/dp/B07CR5ZWQD


iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/taming-fire/id1378085963


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-fire-leora-gonzales/1128574127


GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Leora_Gonzales_Taming_Fire?id=AKJaDwAAQBAJ


Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/taming-fire-5


Simmering Heat is AVAILABLE in print or ebook


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LJX6VD


iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/simmering-heat/id1329238073


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/simmering-heat-leora-gonzales/1127723247


GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Leora_Gonzales_Simmering_Heat?id=yFFEDwAAQBAJ


Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/simmering-heat



Melting Snow is AVAILABLE in ebook and is ONLY 99 CENTS!


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0727T94Y9


iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/melting-snow/id1294081291


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/melting-snow-leora-gonzales/1123130275


GPlay - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Leora_Gonzales_Melting_Snow?id=IXPEDgAAQBAJ


Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/melting-snow-2





Chapter 1

“Lou, I think you may have bitten off more than you can chew with this one…” Louise said to herself as she stared into the flames starting to catch fire in her small fire pit.

Louise reached for the bag of chocolates on the chair next to her. While unwrapping a morsel, she took in the backyard that had become her oasis these last two weeks. Now that Junior was living with her, she couldn’t catch up on her shows in the evening. She was afraid of him walking in and getting an eyeful of zombies. The poor kid had enough on his plate without adding flesh-eating walkers to his bedtime worries. That meant that she had been sneaking into the backyard after his bedtime and lighting a small fire as she sipped, or gulped if she had to be honest, a bottle of wine.

Swirling her sweet red wine in her glass, Louise leaned back in her patio chair. The familiar squeak of the old metal base was comforting as she tried to shake off the day’s stresses.

Her yard was the perfect size for the house. A small wooden deck came off the backdoor with a staircase that flowed down into the yard where her fire pit was centered. Mismatched patio chairs, aka garage sale finds, circled the pavers surrounding the pit, and a tall wooden privacy fence surrounded the entire yard.

It was cozy and perfect and all hers.

Louise washed the chocolate down with the rest of her wine, smacking her lips at the deliciousness of the combination. Using her fireplace poker, she stoked the fire a bit before propping her feet up at the edge of the stones to absorb the warmth. Even though it was early October, they had already had a few cold days in Larryville this year. The fire, combined with the leaves rustling from the crisp breeze, made her wish for spiced cider and Halloween movies.

It was perfect…until she heard the sirens. Sirens that sounded like they were getting closer and closer to her house at the end of her block. Was there a fire next door?

Louise tried to turn a bit in her chair to peer over the fence, but she couldn’t see anything besides darkness. The neighborhood had only one streetlight, and most of the other houses on the block were unlit. Her
neighbors usually weren’t outside much once it cooled down in autumn, which meant quiet nights for Lou by the fire.

Louise worried for a moment that Harold, her elderly neighbor, may have hurt himself and made a 911 call. Relaxing, she remembered that Harold’s daughter had picked him up for a trip to an out-of-town family
reunion for the weekend.

Sending up a silent prayer that the sirens wouldn’t wake Junior, Louise refilled her wine glass, pouring all the way to the rim.

Carefully holding the glass as steadily as possible, she was just getting ready to sip the excess off the top when a huge crash knocked down her back gate. The large wooden door fell haphazardly onto her mismatched potted plants that edged the walkway into the backyard.
Startled by the noise, she jerked her hand, sloshing over half of the red wine out of the glass and down the front of her white robe.

“Mother—” Louise yelped as she tried to figure out what was going on.

Firefighters streamed into her yard, stumbling over the now broken and knocked down wooden gate. Hauling gear that she had no idea the purpose of, they stopped and stared at her as she sat next to her cozy little fire pit.

“What the he—” One of the firefighters scratched his chin under the fastening on his helmet strap as he looked around the backyard.

Louise stood up, somewhat unsteadily, clutching her wet robe closed. “What’s going on? Why did you break down my gate? Can you turn off that siren?” she demanded, rapidly firing her questions at the group of
men still standing around staring at her. When no answers were given, she snapped her fingers to get their attention and raised her voice.

“What’s going on?” Louise held out the hand still holding her glass and pointed at the gate, “I sure as hell hope you guys plan on fixing that!” The big guy in front jerked his head toward another fireman. The action must have been some unspoken command since the other fireman immediately spoke into his walkie-talkie, “Cut the siren.”

“Ma’am.” The man who had been leading the charge on her poor defenseless gate stepped forward and pointed at her fire. “We received a call from this residence saying there was a fire at the back of the house.”

Louise gestured to the pit as if she were explaining it to a person hard of hearing. “Of course there is. I have a fire pit.”

“We can see that—” He moved closer to her. “Is that blood? Are you injured?”

Not waiting for her to answer, the man walked right up to her and opened the front of her robe. A robe that was covering her pajamas. Pajamas that consisted of a thin tight tank top and some booty shorts that
had seen better days.
Whipping open the front of her robe, he looked for a reason the entire front of her body would be covered in red. Using large but gentle hands, the mystery man probed her chest, his hands sweeping over her
now hard nipples.

“You’re not hurt.” His voice husky, the firefighter pulled her robe closed, making sure not to let the men behind him see what he had uncovered.

“Wait, did you say that you received a call from this residence?” Louise asked in a hushed whisper now that her small street was once again quiet.

“Yes, ma’am.” The man nodded before taking off his helmet and sending her a crooked smile.

Louise felt her mouth go dry at the sight of the gorgeous man in front of her. Damn. Firefighters were apparently the stuff that calendars were made of if this guy was anything to go by. The sight of his dark wavy hair and twinkling eyes was almost enough to distract her from what he had said.

Almost, but not enough.

“Junior,” Louise said quickly, before rushing up the deck stairs and through the back door.




$20 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!






Leora Gonzales is an original Kansas girl who misses the Sunflower State every day. She spends time reading, writing . . . and making sure her two kids don’t kill themselves or each other. She's addicted to tattoos, good food, good company—and finding lots of reasons to laugh or smile every day.



Website - http://leoragonzales.com/


Twitter - https://twitter.com/Leora_Gonzales


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorleoragonzales

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Leora-Gonzales/e/B01450ZAPU


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14227158.Leora_Gonzales











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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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