Book Review: Reunited With the P.I. by Anna J. Stewart

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I had high praise in my previous review for the first book in Anna J. Stewart’s Honor Bound trilogy “More Than a Lawman” and it continues in book two “REUNITED WITH THE P.I. I got immediately sucked into each story and the lives of all the characters. The overall arc that ties all three books together, the suspense plot of each individual book and the main romance in each book flows seamlessly throughout the entire book in this author’s capable hands.

Reunited with the P.I. is a second chance romantic suspense. I feel the trilogy does need to be read in order even with each book focusing on a different H/h and suspense plot because there is a strong overall plot arc between the three heroines and their pasts that is prevalent in each book.

Simone Armstrong is a driven Assistant District Attorney nicknamed “The Avenging Angel” due to the fact that she does not lose and she always wears all white. She is about to go to trial, when she is notified that the witness that her whole case is built on has disappeared. She no longer knows who she can trust in her office. She knows she has to get outside help from a private investigator and the one she wants has major problems with her. She helped put his brother in prison and he is her ex-husband.

Vince Sutton is an ex-Marine, P.I. and now owns and runs his own sports bar and restaurant The Brass Eagle. The last person he expects to come to him with an appeal for help is his ex-wife. After the problems on his last case, he wants to tell her no, but she makes him a deal he can’t refuse. Even with the three year separation, Vince has never gotten over Simone. As he and Simone get drawn further into her present case and he finds out about the threats from a cold case, he vows to protect her, whether she wants it or not.

Simone is as complex a heroine as Eden was in the first book. Simone is driven to put as many bad guys away as possible to make up for her past guilt that she still carries. She does not let anyone in because she is afraid they will be hurt and she does not know how to handle not being in complete control of any situation. Vince comes from an abusive background and also has to deal with what he saw during the war. These two were so realistically written and the author did a great job of bringing them back together at an authentic pace while keeping the suspense growing and the sexual tension high.

I am really looking forward to reading the finale to this trilogy. Ms. Stewart knows how to write romantic suspense that pulls you in and brings you back for more!

Book Review: Rubies In the Roses by Vivian Conroy

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

RUBIES IN THE ROSES (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 2) by Vivian Conroy is the second cozy mystery in the murderous adventures on Cornisea Island. I fell in love with Guinevere and Dolly in the locked room mystery in the first book, “Death Plays a Part”. In this second book, you become more intimately involved with Guinevere’s personal life and emotions as she works to solve the new mystery and murder on the tidal island.

As in the first book, Guinevere and her Dachshund Dolly are on Cornisea Island on a working summer break from the theater in London were she is a costume maker. She is helping Lord Bolingbrooke catalogue his vast library in the castle.

Usually Lord Bolingbrooke hides from anyone trying to visit the castle, but he surprises Guinevere by actually greeting Gregory Wadencourt, historian and artifact hunter, when he arrives with his own photographer, Max DeBurgh in tow. Wadencourt has a history with Lord Bolingbrooke, but it is not necessarily friendly. Wadencourt is on the island to find the bejeweled wedding goblet called The Rose and Stars which he believes is hidden on the castle grounds, but he is not the only person claiming rights to the goblet if found.

Several players, new and old, race to figure out the clues to the goblet’s location and claim it as their own. When a body is found floating under the small private pier by the castle, the islanders are devastated. Once again Guinevere and Dolly search for clues to bring a murderer to justice, but Oliver is not always by her side on this adventure. Oliver does not like or trust Max, but Max makes Guinevere feel beautiful and needed. She does not know if these feelings are real or if she can trust Max, but she wants to.

I really enjoyed this second trip to Cornisea Island and the visit with Guinevere and Dolly. This cozy mystery draws you in with an intricate plot, interesting characters, emotional motives and red herrings. The goblet mystery and the murder mystery both keep you turning the pages. You get to read more of Guinevere’s history as she reveals emotional pain from her past which makes her more realistic and dear to my heart. The secondary characters, whether returning from book one or new to this story, are all fully fleshed and not just caricatures.

This book is a wonderful addition to the series!

Thanks so much to HQ Digital, Net Galley and Vivian Conroy for allowing me to read this eARC for free in exchange for an honest review.

Please continue to follow the blogs and reviews from my fellow book lovers on the blog tour for Rubies In the Roses:

 

Book Review: Perilous Trust by Barbara Freethy

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid: FBI Trilogy #1) by Barbara Freethy is an exciting start to a new romantic suspense series. This is a fast paced story loaded with action, suspense and romance. Each book features one of five friends who formed a secret group while in Quantico with the promise to always help the others.

Sophie Parker is an archeology instructor at NYU, who receives the devastating news that her father was killed in a car crash. Her father was the head of the Organized Crime Unit in the NY FBI field office. When she gets a chance to check her phone, she listens to her father’s last frantic and cryptic messages with instructions she must follow and to not trust anyone including his fellow FBI agents.

FBI agent Damon Wolfe cannot believe what he is hearing. His mentor and reason for being in the NY FBI office is dead and his daughter is missing. Four years ago, Damon and Sophie came together for one night of solace and life-affirming passion over the death of a mutual friend. They never contacted each other again, but now Damon knows he has to find Sophie and help her.

Sophie does not know if she can trust Damon, but as the bullets start flying, they flee together to follow Sophie’s father’s clues and hopefully solve his murder and eliminate the threat to Sophie’s life.

The plot is an intricate puzzle and has a lot of players that need to be kept straight. Besides Damon and Sophie, you are introduced to Bree and Wyatt, who are members of the five from Quantico. Sophie’s father had a lifetime group of friends from Yale that may be involved in his death and his job as head of the Organized Crime Unit also brought in several players. Keeping everyone straight was my only problem while reading this book. Other than that, it was a surprise for me when all the pieces where discovered.

Damon and Sophie’s chemistry was intense and pretty much instantaneous from their one-night-stand four years ago. While on the run, they get to know more about each other’s pasts and families. It brings them closer and their relationship builds from there. The sex is hot, but not explicit and well balanced with the feelings of loss and fear during other parts of the story.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series and getting to know more about the other friends from Quantico.

Book Review: The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

THE LOST LETTER: A VICTORIAN ROMANCE by Mimi Matthews is a beautifully written historical romance set in the Victorian era. The story flows between the hero and heroine, past and present, as they are given a second chance at love. The story is captivating and only a little longer than a novella. I just kept turning the pages and was done before I knew it in just one sitting.

Sylvia Stafford was the beautiful and charming daughter of a Baron. She had many suitors, but the man who claimed her heart was a dashing career Calvary officer and second son of an Earl. Before his return to India, Sylvia shares a chaste kiss with her dashing soldier and gives him a lock of her hair. As Sylvia waits for her word from her love, her father’s gaming debts become too much and he commits suicide leaving Sylvia with nothing and no one. Sylvia becomes a governess to a merchant family away from the society and friends she grew up with.

Colonel Sebastian Conrad returns from India a badly scarred and tormented man. He retreats to his family’s estate to hide. His father and older brother have died and that leaves Sebastian as the Earl. One day, his little sister is visiting and spies on Sebastian crying over a lock of hair and asks his man-servant who it belongs to and after some questioning finds where Sylvia now resides as a governess and invites her to Hertfordshire to help her stop her brother from doing something drastic.

The two are reunited, but under very different circumstances and each believes the other did not truly share the same feelings three years ago. As the two each learn truths about the intervening years, their love begins to grow once again, but will it be enough to clear up all the misunderstandings and let these two have their HEA?

This is an extremely romantic and emotional story in all its simplicity of plot. The characters are so realistic and just walk off the page and into your heart. This love story will stay in my memory for some time to come. This is a definite keeper that I can highly recommend.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Second Chance Cowboy by Joanne Rock

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

SECOND CHANCE COWBOY (Road to Romance Book, #2) by Joanne Rock is a second chance contemporary romance that demonstrates this author’s seamless ability to immediately allow you to become emotionally invested in her characters and immerse you in the beauty and uniqueness of her settings. Even though this is the second book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone.

Larissa Martine left Cheyenne, Wyoming eight years ago for the bright lights of Broadway and a career in dance. It was a promise she made to her dying mother. But as she leaves, she also devastates the boy she loves in a text message.

After a possible career ending injury and on her way to an audition in Los Vegas, Larissa is detouring to her hometown to honor a pact between girlfriends, to make peace with past wrongs and hopefully clear the future to turn bad luck to good.

Matt Briggs thought he had it all. He purchased Split Fork Ranch next to his family spread and was ready to move ahead with the girl he loved. That was not how it worked out. Now Larissa is back and he does not want to hear about her regrets, but he does want her stay for his sister’s wedding next week. The intense attraction is still there and maybe if they have one more night together it will give them both the peace with the past they seek, or they could repeat past mistakes all over again.

Larissa and Matt are both trying to live up to what they perceive that others wanted for them. The love and attraction has always been an easy part of their relationship, but the emotional communication between the two is difficult and lacking. Even though eight years has passed, they almost repeat their past and the author leads them towards their HEA in a realistic and believable way. The sex scenes are steamy and also emotional. The secondary characters where as well fleshed out and entertaining as the H/h. This is a quick read packed with emotion and what I expect when I read a book by this author.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

I have always been a history lover. Give me a factual, scholarly, historical tome or a historical fictional story of a time, place or person and I can sit and disappear into that time or place for hours.

Due to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” many people are being introduced or reintroduced to one of the brilliant founding architects of our republic and THE HAMILTON AFFAIR by Elizabeth Cobbs is an enjoyable historical fiction overview of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton’s lives and their love.

The beginning of the book alternates between Alexander’s harsh life on St. Croix as a boy. He and his brother were declared bastards as they were born into a second marriage by his mother. He refused to let anything stop his ambitions and arrived in the colonies to educate and better himself after his mother’s death. In the alternate chapters we get to meet Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler and her privileged family of wealth. From her life on the family farm and love of animals to her very open and honest opinions.

When the two come together in marriage, the book follows the couple through the remainder of the Revolutionary War and the author does an informative, yet entertaining, job of describing the establishment of our federal government with all of Hamilton’s achievements and also all of the political intrigue and mud-slinging. This is balanced well by the author’s descriptions of the Hamilton home life, children, extended family and friends. Hamilton’s affair that almost destroyed his marriage and most definitely put a stop to his further political ambitions is also covered.

I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and covered Alexander and Elisabeth’s lives in an easy to read historical fiction format.

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade Publishing and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.