July TBR- Pop Culture Readathon Edition

I completely failed my June TBR but I have good feelings about July since it is another round of my favorite readathon. I absolutely love every theme that the lovely creatures of the PopCulture Readathon come up and they always have multiple bingo boards so you can really cater this readathon to what you love. The theme for this round is movies from the 2000’s which is beyond perfect for me since those are the movies from my teenage years into adulthood so I know them all really well. I, of course, picked the Thrill Seekers bingo board and I am so excited about all the books that I picked that I am aiming for a blackout. Although, I have been thinking of also trying to read some books that fit The Adult Agenda board but I haven’t fully decided on that yet. I also think it would fun to watch the movies that each book prompt is for since I haven’t watched a lot of these since the 2000’s!

Ginger Snaps (feat. a shifter)

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Zodiac (published during your birth month)

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat and mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night. 

Cabin Fever (feat. woods or forest)

What if your best friend and roommate killed a teacher at your prep school? Or what if he didn’t do it, but he’s being framed, and you’re the only person who can save him?

Luke Chase didn’t mean to get caught up solving the mystery of Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to spend alone time with the new British girl at their boarding school.

But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot in the woods, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would be the one to take the blame. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to solve the mystery and find the true killer.

Donnie Darko (YA Horror)

Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

Jennifer’s Body (Femme Fatale Character)

A spine-tingling novel of revenge, betrayal, and sisterhood from the internationally celebrated author of The Golden Cage.She’s had to fight for it every step of the way, but Faye finally has the life she believes she deserves: she is rich, the business she built has become a global brand, and she has carefully hidden away her small family in Italy where Jack, her ex-husband, can no longer harm them. She even has the wherewithal to occasionally turn a business trip to Rome into a steamy tryst. But when several major investors–women Faye had trusted implicitly–suddenly sell off their shares in the company, and the police officer who helped search for her daughter discovers the dark secret of Faye’s childhood, and she learns that Jack is no longer locked behind bars, Faye has no choice but to return to Stockholm. Not only does she have to fight again to keep her family safe, but now, at long last, she is forced to face the truth about her past. In this bold, mesmerizing story of seduction, deceit, and female power, a woman’s secret cannot stay buried forever.

Cursed (feat. curse that needs to be broken)

His powers—Inhuman…

His passion—Beyond immortal…
 

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments… and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love…

Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive—and unimaginably powerful…

Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter! 

Paranormal Activity (ghost story)

One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners – mother, son, and daughter – are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

Eight Legged Freaks (deals w/ phobias)

Hot on the heels of The Twin, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They’re excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it’s funny how scared they are of everything–spiders, the surly head counselor, the dark, boys . . . even swimming in the lake It reminds her a little of how she and Kayla used to be, once. Before . . . it happened. Because Esme and Kayla did something bad when they were campers. Afterwards, the girls agreed to keep it secret. They’ve moved on–or so they say–and this summer is going to be great. Two months of sun, s’mores, and flirting with the cute boy counselors. But then they get a note. THE LAKE NEVER FORGETS. And the secret they’ve kept buried for so many years is about to resurface.

The Ring (7 words in the title)

A grand treasure for fans of the grande dame of mystery, this collection brings together nine rare and brilliant Christie tales of murder and detection that span nearly half a century of storytelling genius.

The Edge
The Actress
While the Light Lasts
The House of Dreams
The Lonely God
Manx Gold
Within a Wall
The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
The Harlequin Tea Set

“Twinkies!” (food on cover)

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

Men in Black II (a sequel)

A drowned young woman is discovered on an abandoned pleasure boat drifting by the Stockholm archipelago—strangely, her clothes are dry. The next day in Stockholm, a man turns up dead, hanging from a lamp hook inside his completely bare apartment—but how could he have hung himself with no furniture to climb upon? As Detective Inspector Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries, he discovers that they are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events.

The Skeleton Key (bones in title or cover)

This is an ARC I received via Netgalley. It comes out September 28, 2021.

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six month later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

~Cassie

Blog Tour: Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss By Therese Beharrie

Thank you to Harlequin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. They also provided all info and graphics.

Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss by Therese Beharrie is available on July 27.

Book Description

Friendship is all she can offer…

…but he makes her want so much more!

The incredibly attractive man on Brooke Jansen’s doorstep is definitely not the new housekeeper she’s expecting. CEO Tyler Murphy is filling in temporarily, yet within days he’s turned Brooke’s carefully curated life upside down! Suddenly she’s living—and feeling—again. But her connection with Tyler is dangerous, exciting and strangely familiar… After losing everything once already, can Brooke risk her damaged heart again?

Add Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss to your Goodreads!

Review

The synopsis of this book sounds so sweet and intriguing but for me this book was pretty flat. The fact that Tyler is a CEO is barely mentioned and in fact he doesn’t even seem to even work for his company other than owning the rights to it. Which isn’t really a problem except for the fact that this book has the word CEO in the title and is even mentioned in the synopsis. I honestly thought the CEO the book was referring to was Brooke and I was baffled when it turned out to be Tyler. The romance had the potential to be so much more and I thought we were leading to a big emotional conflict but that never truly materialized. The biggest problem with this romance is that there were very few moments between Brooke and Tyler where we got to see them falling for each other. Instead we were in both characters heads so much that we ended up being constantly told how they were feeling which in turn led me to not having that strong of an emotional connection to the characters. This book did have moments of brilliance and the cameos by their dogs were always a high point. Unfortunately, the great moments were surpassed by the unremarkable moments and so for me this was just an average romance. Which doesn’t have to be a negative since I’m sure this book will be a great one for many people. If you enjoy clean romances that take place mainly in the heroine/heroes heads then you might want to consider picking this one up.

About the Author 

Being an author has always been Therese’s dream. It was only when the corporate world loomed during her final year at university that she realised how soon she wanted that dream to become a reality. She got serious about her writing, and now writes books she wants to see in the world featuring people who look like her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband and dogs in Cape Town, South Africa. She admits this is a perfect life, and is grateful for it.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://theresebeharrie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresebeharrie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThereseBeharrie/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theresebeharrie/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15524274.Therese_Beharrie

Excerpt

Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss – Excerpt

Therese Beharrie

For the second time in his life Tyler Murphy was staring at the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

The first time had been five years ago, at a coffee shop around the corner from the hospital. He had been visiting his sister, who’d just given birth to his nephew, and he had been dealing with some…stuff. Mainly the fact that his mother, who had passed away months before that, wouldn’t get to meet her first grandchild. The woman who had prized family so much wouldn’t get to see hers expand.

He’d needed some space from the hospital. And there had been Brooke. Standing at the counter, staring at the menu with a dazed look on her face.

He thought about that day a lot. The days after, too—that week they’d spent together. The sadness that had lurked in her eyes even when she was smiling. How often she would trail off when she spoke, as if she had forgotten what she was saying. She would always beam at him after, especially if he prompted her, and he’d put it down as one of her quirks.

Those memories were all he had of her. Her first name—only her first name—and his memories. It hadn’t mattered then. He had known she was the type of person who picked up litter when she saw it on the street. Who allowed elderly people ahead of her in a queue. She hoped for a world where people were kinder, less self-centred. She didn’t like intolerance, and she had told him about the times she’d stepped in when she’d witnessed it.

But her name and his memories hadn’t been enough for him to find her. He’d discovered that at the end of the week when she’d disappeared. They hadn’t shared any information about where they lived, who their families were. They hadn’t even exchanged contact details. It was as if they’d purposely avoided it. As if she had purposely avoided it.

He might have thought it dramatic if he hadn’t been staring at her now, waiting for her to recognise him.

He got nothing.

‘You’re not Tia Murphy,’ she said, her voice a frustratingly adorable lilt of confusion.

‘No, I’m Tyler Murphy.’ Which you already know. But I guess if we’re playing this game… ‘I’ll be helping you out for the next—’ 

He didn’t get the chance to continue. Brooke let out a cry as her body bumped against the door. Seconds later, the door opened wider. He didn’t catch what flew past them, but he knew it was some kind of animal.

‘No!’ she shouted. ‘Mochi, you come back here right now!’

She ran down the three steps that led to the front lawn, before bolting towards what Tyler could now see was a dog. He didn’t think she’d expected to chase after a dog. Or maybe she had; he wasn’t proficient in what kind of clothes people who required housekeepers wore.

Sure, technically, he could be one of those people, but his mother would have killed him. If he’d got a housekeeper now, she’d probably become undead for the sole purpose of killing him.

And, since he wasn’t ‘one of those people,’ for all he knew Brooke’s silky nightgown and flip-flops were standard attire.

Watching her running after a dog in that outfit lightened some of the tension he felt, but it couldn’t eradicate it completely. In fact, it complicated things. In the days they’d spent together, he hadn’t once seen this much of her. Now he could add the strength of her arms, the width of her thighs, to what he’d been missing.

Get it together, Murphy.

About the Author 

Being an author has always been Therese’s dream. It was only when the corporate world loomed during her final year at university that she realised how soon she wanted that dream to become a reality. She got serious about her writing, and now writes books she wants to see in the world featuring people who look like her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her husband and dogs in Cape Town, South Africa. She admits this is a perfect life, and is grateful for it.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://theresebeharrie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresebeharrie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThereseBeharrie/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theresebeharrie/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15524274.Therese_Beharrie

~Cassie

On My Radar: July 2021

I may not be reading as much currently but I’m still very excited for the books that are coming out next month. Summer is the time of mysteries and thrillers which is my favorite genre. There are also books from a few other genres, mostly romance, that I have my eye on. This list is very large and I will not be purchasing most of these right away but I will be trying to get them from my library or just grabbing them when I see them on sale or when I’m out shopping. I love making lists of things that I love and I hope that you are able to find something good off this list, too.

July 1

From the bestselling author of One Small Sacrifice comes a suspenseful thriller about a dead woman who predicted her own murder—and the sister who won’t let the truth be buried.

When her beloved sister Caroline dies suddenly, Deirdre is heartbroken. However, her sorrow turns to bone-chilling confusion when she receives a message Caroline sent days earlier warning that her death would be no accident. Long used to being a pariah to her family, Deirdre covers her tattoos and heads to Manhattan for her sister’s funeral.

The message claimed Caroline’s husband, Theo, killed his first wife and got away with it. Reeling from the news, Deirdre confronts Theo on the way to the cemetery, and he reveals both his temper and his suspicion that Deirdre’s “perfect” sister was having an affair.

Paranoid and armed with just enough information to make her dangerous, Deirdre digs into the disturbing secrets buried with Caroline. But as she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that her own life may be at risk…and that there may be more than one killer in the family.

July 6

Addison’s about to get married, but she’s not looking forward to the big day. It’s not her fiancé; he’s a wonderful man. It’s because Addison doesn’t know who she really is. A few years ago, a kind driver found her bleeding next to a New Jersey highway and rescued her. While her physical wounds healed, Addison’s memory never returned. She doesn’t know her real name. Or how she ended up injured on the side of a road. Or why she can’t shake the notion that she may have done something very, very bad . . .

In a posh home in the Boston suburbs, Julian tries to figure out what happened to his loving, caring wife, Cassandra, who disappeared without a trace two years ago. She would never have left him and their seven-year-old daughter Valentina of her own free will—or would she?

As these two lives intersect, The Stranger in the Mirror hooks readers with riveting drama, told with Liv Constantine’s hallmark blend of glamour, tense psychological thrills, and jaw-dropping twists.

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

The author of Recipe for Persuasion—“not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today” (Shelf Awareness)—adds an Indian American twist to Jane Austen’s classic Sense and Sensibility in this delightful retelling that is a feast for the senses.

Yash Raje, California’s first serious Indian gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world.

But when a hate-fueled incident at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.

Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other. Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed.

Including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens the life he’s crafted for himself. Exposing the secrets might be the only way to save him but it’s also guaranteed to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now.

A spine-tingling novel of revenge, betrayal, and sisterhood from the internationally celebrated author of The Golden Cage.

She’s had to fight for it every step of the way, but Faye finally has the life she believes she deserves: she is rich, the business she built has become a global brand, and she has carefully hidden away her small family in Italy, where Jack, her ex-husband, can no longer harm them. She even has the wherewithal to occasionally turn a business trip to Rome into a steamy tryst. But when several major investors–women Faye had trusted implicitly–suddenly sell off their shares in the company, and the police officer who helped search for her daughter discovers the dark secret of Faye’s childhood, and she learns that Jack is no longer locked behind bars, Faye has no choice but to return to Stockholm. Not only does she have to fight again to keep her family safe, but now, at long last, she is forced to face the truth about her past. In this bold, mesmerizing story of seduction, deceit, and female power, a woman’s secret cannot stay buried forever.

July 8

My name is Easton Donovan,
and I massively screwed up.

I should’ve given her the world.
Should’ve been everything she deserves.
Instead, I broke her like every promise I’ve ever made.

The darkness tells me to let her go.
Memories of my past keep me from letting her in.
Someone should tell her that loving me is a losing game.

Just being around her is a high I’ve never known.
If she knows what’s good for her, she’ll cut me off.
Given the chance, I’ll ruin her the way I’ve done to others.
But with the bomb she just dropped, she’s here to stay.

She’s flawless innocence.
I’m toxic destruction.
And the selfish part is, I need her.

Truth be told, Kennedy Lehigh could be the one to save me from myself.

From the bestselling author of The House Guest comes a chilling story set deep in the woods…

With his marriage over and his career in freefall, journalist Tom decides to reconnect with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Frankie. Desperate to spend precious time together now that they live an ocean apart, he brings her to Hollow Falls, a cabin resort deep in the woods of Maine.

From the outset there’s something a little eerie about the place—strange whispers in the trees, windchimes echoing through the forest—but when Tom meets true-crime podcasters David and Connie, he receives a chilling warning. Hollow Falls has a gruesome history: twenty years ago this week, a double slaying shut down the resort. The crime was never solved, and now the woods are overrun with murder-obsessed tourists looking to mark the grim anniversary.

It’s clear that there’s something deeply disturbing going on at Hollow Falls. And as Tom’s dream trip turns into a nightmare, he and Frankie are faced with a choice: uncover the truth, or get out while they still can.

July 13

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…

The multimillion-copy New York Times bestselling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapist–a powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret.

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

I’ve already read this and I have my review scheduled to go up on July 13. I thought I would add it on this list though because I am excited about it and I hope to grab a physical copy.

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

*No synopsis since this is the second book in a series. You can click on the cover image if you are interested and it will take you to Goodreads.

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Timesbestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.

They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks…and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

In this series debut perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Miranda James, Rain Wilmont must discover the killer, before the book closes on her life.

Rain Wilmont has just returned to her family’s waterfront log cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin after the untimely death of her husband. The cabin is peaceful compared to Rain’s corporate job and comes with an informal library that Rain’s mother, Willow, used to run. But as Rain prepares for the re-opening of the library, all hopes for a peaceful life are shattered when she discovers the body of Thornton Hughes, a real estate buyer, on the premise.
The community of Lofty Pines starts pointing fingers at Willow, since she has been unusually absent from the library this summer. A fishy rumor surfaces when Rain learns that Willow had been spending a lot of time with Thorton. The town even thought they were having an affair.
While theories swirl about the Thorton’s death, Rain takes it upon herself to solve the case to exonerate her mother. As more clues surface, Rain will have to piece together the mystery. But if she isn’t careful, she may be the next to end up dead in the water in Murder at Lakeside Library the first in Holly Danvers’ new Lakeside Library mysteries.

July 20

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

USA Today bestselling author Samantha Downing is back with her latest sneaky thriller set at a prestigious private school—complete with interfering parents, overeager students, and one teacher who just wants to teach them all a lesson…

Six teens murdered. A suspect behind bars. A desperate father. In a case this shadowy, the truth is easy to hide.

Six teenagers dead. Finally, the killer behind bars. But are the games just beginning?

Psychiatrist Dr. Gwen Moore is an expert on killers. She’s spent a decade treating California’s most depraved predators and unlocking their motives—predators much like the notorious Bloody Heart serial killer, whose latest teenage victim escaped and then identified local high school teacher Randall Thompson as his captor. The case against Thompson as the Bloody Heart Killer is damning—and closed, as far as Gwen and the media are concerned. If not for one new development…

Defense attorney Robert Kavin is a still-traumatized father whose own son fell prey to the BH Killer. Convinced of Thompson’s innocence, he steps in to represent him. Now Robert wants Gwen to interview the accused, create a psych profile of the killer and his victims, and help clear his client’s name.

As Gwen and Robert grow closer and she dives deeper into the investigation, grave questions arise. So does Gwen’s suspicion that Robert is hiding something—and that he might not be the only one with a secret.

AN ORDINARY LIFE

Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised – her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be.

HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST

But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average… a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.

BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP

Then a case lands on her desk – defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest profile case she’s ever been given – a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it’s no coincidence that he’s chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT

If she can’t get him acquitted, she’ll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice…

With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.

A lost girl and a blind boy discover their greatest strength is their bond with each other in a beguiling fantasy by the New York Times bestselling author of The First Girl Child.

An insidious curse is weakening the Norse kingdom of Saylok, where no daughters have been born in years. Washing up on these plagued shores is Ghisla, an orphaned stowaway nursed back to health by a blind cave dweller. Named for a mysterious god, the boy, Hod, is surrounded by prophecy. To Ghisla, he’s a cherished new friend. To Hod, the girl is even more so. For when Ghisla sings, Hod can see.

Unable to offer safe shelter, Hod urges Ghisla onward to become a daughter of the temple, where all the kingdom’s girl children have been gathered. But because of a magical rune, the two cannot be separated, no matter the time or the distance.

Now, subject to a ruthless king, Ghisla enters a desperate world of warring clan chieftains and catastrophic power struggles. Who among them can be trusted is unknowable. So are the sacrifices Ghisla and Hod must make to defeat the cursed forces that could destroy a kingdom and the fated bond between two souls.

July 22

2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.

July 27

*I’m not sharing a synopsis of this because it’s the last in a trilogy and I don’t want to spoil anything. If you are interested you can click the cover image and it will take you to Goodreads.

The new domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and Someone We Know who has sold more than 7 million copies of her books worldwide

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets–especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Mercer. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mercers are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after that dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

This is another one that I have already read and reviewed. It will be going up on July 27. This was a five star read for me and I would love to get a physical copy of this one.

A young woman’s escalating obsession with a seemingly perfect man leads her down a dangerous path in this novel of suspense brimming with envy, desire, and deception. 

“I inhaled Just One Look. I was going to read one chapter, then one chapter became the whole thing. YUM.”–Caroline Kepnes, New York Times bestselling author of the You series

Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.

From rising star Jessica Goodman, author of They Wish They Were Us, comes a new fast-paced thriller about two sisters vying for the top spot on their cross-country team–the only way out of their stifling small town. But their dreams are suddenly thrown into peril when a new girl threatens to take away everything they’ve worked for… until she disappears.

Stella and Ellie Steckler are only a year apart, but their different personalities make their relationship complicated. Stella is single-minded, driven, and she keeps to herself. Cross-country running is her life and she won’t let anything get in the way of being the best. Her sister Ellie is a talented runner too, but she also lets herself have fun. She has friends. She goes to parties. She has a life off the course.

The sisters do have one thing in common, though: the new girl, Mila Keene. Both Stecklers’ lives are upended when Mila comes to town. Mila was the top runner on her team back home and at first, Ellie and Stella view her as a threat. But soon Ellie can’t help but be drawn to her warm, charming personality. After her best friend moved away and her first boyfriend betrayed her, Ellie’s been looking for a friend. In a moment of weakness, she even shares her darkest secret with Mila. For her part, Stella finds herself noticing the ways she and Mila are similar. Mila is smart and strong–she’s someone Stella can finally connect with. As the two get closer, Stella becomes something she vowed she’d never be: distracted.

With regionals approaching and college scouts taking notice, the pressure is on. Each girl has their future on the line and they won’t let friendships get in their way. But then, suddenly, Mila goes out on a training run and never returns. No one knows what happened, but all eyes are on the Steckler sisters.

A stunning new Regency from beloved author Olivia Drake, When a Duke Loves a Governess…!

Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.

Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?

~Cassie

June Kindle Haul Part 1

It has been so long since I have truly blogged and because of that I am way behind in posting pretty much everything. I don’t have a ton of time right now to share all the Kindle books I have bought since I last did a haul back on June 6 but I thought I should at least start sharing some. June has been a crazy busy time and I haven’t been reading as much but I have been buying a few Kindle books. I have definitely gotten better at not buying everything because there are days where I don’t buy any which is a big deal for me. But here are some of the books that I have recently purchased.

Bailey O’Neil, aka, the Street Angel, has been the arch enemy of Senator Clay Wainwright since he was a district attorney and she a young, idealistic social worker. He put her in jail for harboring a teen offender and never looked back. Eleven years later, she’s a thorn in his side as an anti-gang specialist trying to get kids out of gangs. While Clay wants to put them in jail, Bailey is determined to help these troubled teenagers make good lives for themselves. But when Bailey and Clay are thrown together on the mayor’s task force, the impossible happens—they’re attracted to each other. Their passion erupts early on, and only grows stronger the further they get into a relationship. When they fall deeply in love, their conflicting views drive a wedge between them. Both the Street Angel and the Senator must find a way to deal with their differences in order to make a life together.

When Attorney Sabre Brown’s eccentric Aunt Goldie dies, leaving a series of cryptic notes, Sabre launches the most intriguing and frustrating investigation of her life. While sorting through the piles of junk her hoarder aunt left behind, Sabre must keep Goldie’s greedy, dysfunctional children at bay. But she also discovers unexpected treasures, family secrets, and her aunt’s suspicions that someone was trying to kill her.

But soon Sabre is torn in another direction when she takes a case involving four children whose brother was murdered in their home, and no evidence of who killed him. 

When her PI boyfriend and good-natured brother step in to help, they also get caught up in the labyrinth of clutter, deceit, and attempted murder. Sabre must hold everything together long enough to bring a killer to justice, protect the child’s siblings, and carry out her aunt’s bizarre last wishes.

‘A dark and deliciously tense modern fairy-tale, brutal and beautiful’
– Sophie Hannah, Multi-million Bestselling Author of Haven’t They Grown

A nebulous memory. Caught in a dangerous trap. A life-changing discovery. 

When Yalina wakes in hospital following surgery, she doesn’t recognise her own parents. 

Following her release, she makes the decision to meet her estranged brother, Ali, in Sheffield, but the man who picks her up is not her brother. He takes Yalina to a house where girls are held against their will and forced into sex slavery. Too late, she realises she has fallen into a trap.

Over time, Yalina discovers a love of playing the old piano that lives in the house. It keeps her sane. As friendships blossom between the women, Yalina finds herself taking a young girl, Rebecca, under her wing, which makes it harder for her to try to escape.

Using a stolen laptop, Yalina searches for her brother online, but soon discovers that all is not as it seems. 

As the women are threatened with violence, Yalina reluctantly accepts help from a stranger she met in the house. But he carries a secret that could impact on her whole life. 

But will it be enough for Yalina to escape her captors? And how will she cope with the unexpected revelation?

Barista Lana Lewis’s sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.
Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.
With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

Mystery and horror surround a seventeen-room, vine-covered plantation house. 
What was thought to be the solution to all of Evelyn Carr’s problems is only the beginning of her nightmare. Creepy neighbors arrive unannounced, the town hates her for inexplicable reasons, and there’s something inside of the basement. As a determined private investigator, Evelyn is hell-bent on learning the truth before the house tears her and her husband apart, figuratively and literally. 

True love requires commitment, and many times unending sacrifice. . .

At the tender age of eighteen, Brandi Vargas watched the love of her life drive out of Emerson Pass, presumably for good. Though she and Trapper Barnes dreamed of attending college and starting their lives together, she was sure she would only get in the way of Trapper’s future as a hockey star. Breaking his heart, and her own in the process, was the only way to ensure he pursued his destiny. Her fate was the small town life she’d always known, her own bakery, and an endless stream of regret.

After a decade of playing hockey, a single injury ended Trapper Barnes’ career. And while the past he left behind always haunted him, he still returns to Emerson Pass to start the next chapter of his life in the place his ancestors built more than a century before. But when he discovers that the woman who owns the local bakery is the girl who once shattered his dreams, the painful secret she’s been harboring all these years threatens to turn Trapper’s idyllic small town future into a disaster. 

Will it take a forest fire threatening the mountain village to force Trapper and Brandi to confront their history? And in the wake of such a significant loss, will the process of rebuilding their beloved town help them find each other, and true happiness, once again?

Mysterious and seductive, Libby Durant is a woman with a past. Running from a world of nightmares, she escapes to a land of illusion, Hollywood in the 1920s. With skills bordering on the occult, she turns silent screen shadows into silver screen legends, and in a few short years builds a powerful commercial empire. But at what cost? No one knows that Libby’s greatest accomplishment is her own disguise, at least no one until Griffin Gardner enters her world, a man with a shadowy past as well. Will they be swallowed up in this maelstrom of danger and deceit?
Join Amanda Hughes as she immerses you in the decadent world of wealth and power that is Prohibition America of the 1920s.

Create an heir or I lose the family business.
The final decree from my father on his deathbed, a millionaire who cared more about his business and money than what his son wanted in life, than if his son was happy.
I had a year to find a woman and convince her to have my baby or I’d lose everything. It was easy enough with the socialites who hung around in hopes I’d be with one of them.
But it would never happen.
I wanted a woman for my own, someone I could love, who could see past all my money and wanted me for me and not how I could advance their life. Yet at the end of the day, women only wanted me because I had deep pockets.
But then there was Elise. My employee. A woman who I needed to keep a professional relationship with. I didn’t see her as a means to an end. I saw her as the only woman who sparked life inside me with just a look. The only woman to have ever done that.I hadn’t desired someone in a long time, hadn’t wanted a woman in my bed for longer than I’d admit.
I wanted to say screw it with my father’s demand, and if that meant losing everything, so be it.
But could Elise be the one to give me everything? Happiness, love… a baby?

~Cassie

Sorrowland By Rivers Solomon


Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher: MCD Books

Pages: 368

Genre: Horror with fantastical elements

Rating: 4/5

Sorrowland is a horror novel with fantastical elements that confronts the ways Black Americans have been/are still treated in our country and how that permeates and transforms our main character, Vern. Vern is a teenager who was raised in a cult and recently married to the leader who decides to make a run for it while heavily pregnant and we follow along on her incredible journey as she navigates the world. Along the way Vern gives birth to her twins, makes a home for her little family in the woods, fights off her enemies, meets new people, and undergoes a shocking and astounding transformation.

I was completely enthralled by this unique and impactful story. Vern is such a strong protagonist who I had an instant connection with. Besides being strong Vern is also wonderfully complex and flawed which made her feel realistic. This is a testament to Solomon’s writing since the things that happen to Vern are so outlandish it was hard for me to picture what exactly was happening to her. I also appreciated how Solomon challenges the ideas of sexuality and gender without taking away from the fantastical horror elements that this story is based on.

My only critique of this book is that there were times, especially at the end, where there was a lot of telling and not showing. Since this story is told all from Vern’s perspective it felt disjointed when we would have an omnipresent narrator tells us why things were happening. There is no way for Vern to know these events or reasons so I wasn’t really a fan of being told them. It also didn’t add much to the story since there were still some unanswered questions at the end. Although, the lingering questions don’t bother me since I enjoyed the relatively open ended way the story ended.

If you are looking for an eccentric horror novel that has a lot of important things to say then this book is perfect for you. If you aren’t sure you can handle horror, particularly body horror, then this might be one that you need to pass on. Rivers Solomon has such a distinctive way of writing where the characters and setting are fleshed out in a beautifully captivating way and I look forward to reading anything that they come out with in the future.

~Cassie

Blog Tour: What Happens in Miami By Nadine Gonzalez

Thank you to Harlequin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. They also provided all info and graphics.

What Happens in Miami… by Nadine Gonzalez is available on June 29.

Book Description

When a man on a mission is derailed by a beautiful woman, will one night ever be enough? Find out in this Miami Famous novel from Nadine Gonzalez.

Will one night be his undoing?

Alessandro Cardenas isn’t stepping out on the Miami art scene only for the hottest parties. Someone is forging his late grandfather’s paintings—and he’s determined to uncover the culprit. But when he crosses paths with gallerist Angeline Louis, the boundaries between mystery and seduction become blurred. Does Angeline suspect his ulterior motives…even as she surrenders to his kisses? Does she have secrets of her own? Or can Alessandro trust that their once-in-a-lifetime connection is real?

Add What Happens in Miami… to your Goodreads!

Review

This was a fun romance filled with great characters, amazing chemistry, and a surprising mystery element all set in the beautiful backdrop of Miami. Angeline and Alessandro start up a romance pretty much right upon meeting each other but in this book it works because they are still taking the time to get to know each other and both realize that their situation isn’t exactly long term. Both our main characters have some family drama in their past that is holding them back/still affecting them and it was rewarding to see this bring them closer together. I also really enjoyed the art scene in Miami that is a huge part of this story. There is a side aspect involving some stolen art that is being peddled and while I enjoyed what it brought to the story, I also felt that it was wrapped up too quickly and the story kind of dragged without it. Going into the book we already know what kind of ending we are going to be getting so when it took more added drama for it to finally happen I found myself losing interest. Alessandro’s friend group was so much fun in the glimpses that we saw of them and I look forward to hopefully seeing more of them in the future. If you a lover of romances then this might be a great one to pick up.

About the Author 

Nadine Gonzalez was born in New York City, the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Eventually, she moved to Miami, Florida, and fell in love with the people, weather, and lifestyle. She started her first novel while in law school and her modern romances reflect this vibrant city and unique mix of cultures. 

Nadine lives with her Cuban American husband and their beautiful son. For more visit her website: www.nadine-gonzalez.com

Connect with the Author

Website: https://www.nadine-gonzalez.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nadinegonzalezNovelist/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_NadineGonzalez

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16801719.Nadine_Gonzalez

Excerpt

What Happens in Miami – Excerpt

Nadine Gonzales

Angel checked her phone for the time. Only five minutes had passed. She had to chill out—famous people kept regular people waiting all the time.

Her trained eye zeroed in on the artwork. The space was, at its core, a gallery showcasing the homeowner’s eclectic pieces, all periods and trends colliding. She went over to a pair of framed paintings on a far wall. One was of a red apple hanging from a tree branch. The other was of a woman sleeping in a garden. She was naked if you looked past the strategically placed fig leaf. Angel was trying to decipher the artist’s signature when she heard the blunt sound of bare feet on tile. She glanced over her shoulder.

There he was, standing motionless by the sliding glass doors that opened onto a terrace. Whatever remained of the day’s sunlight spilled onto his broad, bare shoulders. He was practically naked—if you looked past the damp swim trunks, which wasn’t hard to do.

Tight and trim, he had the body of a lifelong swimmer. And it seemed to Angel that he had just emerged from the sea. His chest and limbs, sculpted and defined, glistened with water. His wavy black hair, cut close to the scalp, glistened. His bronze skin, touched by sunlight, glistened. With all that glistening sparkle, it was disquieting to meet his blank expression. His handsome face was impassive. From brow line to jawline, broad nose to full mouth, he gave nothing away. Was he perplexed to find her here? He’d been expecting Justine. Had anyone warned him?

But a sheepish grin quelled her fears.

“Sorry, I was expecting…” He paused to slip on a rumpled white shirt. “They said your name was Angel and I figured…”

He figured she was a man. Common mistake. She’d gone to school with at least three guys named Angel. To set the record straight, she stepped forward and introduced herself properly, business card and all. 

“Angeline Louis, sales associate with Gallery Six,” she said. “Angel, for short.”

He took the card and ran his thumb over the gallery’s embossed logo. Under his breath, he repeated her name. “Angel.” Why that moved her, she couldn’t say. Then he introduced himself. “Alessandro Cardenas.”

She would have liked to say: I know who you are. But that wasn’t technically true. She knew his name, age and ethnicity: Alessandro D. Cardenas, thirty-two, Cuban American. She’d seen most of his movies, including Shadows Need Light, the indie film for which he’d won an Independent Spirit Award, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar for best supporting actor. She was familiar with the brands he promoted, his political leanings, and she could name a few of his famous exes. He was a sex symbol, a social media star and a darling of the critics, in that order. And, it seemed, he was a serious art collector. That was a lot to know about someone you’d never met. More than she knew about her next-door neighbor.

“A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Cardenas.”

Buy What Happens in Miami… by Nadine Gonzalez!

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488070679_what-happens-in-miami.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Happens-Miami-steamy-romance-ebook/dp/B08P3LYF7Y

 Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-happens-in-miami-nadine-gonzalez/1138369409

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/what-happens-in-miami/id1541839001

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nadine_Gonzalez_What_Happens_in_Miami?id=1yALEAAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/what-happens-in-miami

~Cassie

48 Queer Blackathon TBR

I inadvertently took a week off of my blog because real life has been hectic but I’m back today to share the books I plan on reading for this weekend (June 19 & 20). I haven’t been reading much of all with everything that has been going on so I’m excited to hopefully reset my reading this weekend with some really awesome books. I first heard about this readathon from Starlah Reads so I will link her video below so you can get all the details and info that you need.

My goal is to read the three books that I have picked for each prompt but I will also be sharing a short list of books that I would love to choose from if I finish the main three.

Prompts

Author you have never read from before

Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends—some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.

Graphic Novel

When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.

Bi, Trans, or Ace MC/Author

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Extra Books

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels–about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner. 

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Junauda Petrus’s debut brilliantly captures the distinctly lush and lyrical voices of Mabel and Audre as they conjure a love that is stronger than hatred, prison, and death and as vast as the blackness between the stars.

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. 

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.

Narrated by the various selves within Ada and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

A refreshingly timely and relatable debut novel about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife.

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Named one of the year’s most anticipated books by The New York TimesHarper’s BazaarBuzzFeed, and more

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like “love” and “hope”: avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman’s stubborn desire to preserve her late husband’s legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks. 

When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather’s stead, Mercy’s resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker. 

Andromeda has staid Mercy reconsidering her worldview, but neither is prepared for love—or for what happens when it’s not enough. 

This is an angsty but fluffy F/F novella with a happy ending for both of our intrepid heroines.

Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party. 

Trisha Hamilton has finally gotten the credits and the money together to transfer to a four-year university. Between classes, studying, and her job as a stripper, she has little time for a social life, until she runs into the adorably shy baby butch from the club. Trisha can’t seem to hide her feelings for Alexis, even when Trisha discovers what she has been through, but will Alexis have the strength to be just as fearless about their new love?

~Cassie

Blog Tour: Courting His Amish Wife By Emma Miller

*Thank you to Harlequin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. They also kindly provided all info and graphics.

Courting His Amish Wife by Emma Miller is available on July 27.

Book Description

He offers her his hand,

but will she ever take his heart?

When Levi Miller learns Eve Summy will be forced to marry her would-be attacker or get shunned, he marries her instead. Now husband and wife, but complete strangers, they must figure out how to live together in harmony. But with Levi’s family questioning the motives for their surprise wedding, getting to know each other—and possibly finding love along the way—is harder than they expected.

Add Courting His Amish Wife to your Goodreads!

Review

This was a heartwarming and charming read that had me so swept up in the story that I ended up reading this in one sitting. I’m not that familiar with Amish life but I appreciated the glimpse I got into a different way of life. Eve is a wonderfully strong woman who has been treated terribly in her life and I loved her character arc as she grew into herself with the comfort of Levi’s family. I loved how complex things were between Levi and Eve, as well as Levi and his family. Since Eve and Levi got married so quickly to save Eve from being shunned everyone naturally assumes the worst in Levi. Miller did a great job handling Levi’s emotions as he is trying to live with people thinking badly of him as he keeps Eve’s secret and as he learns to be a husband to her. Levi’s family was a big joyous happy group of people and I enjoyed greatly getting to know them. It was so lovely to see the way they work together to get things done around their farm and house. Eve and Levi’s relationship is of course unconventional and I like that the author didn’t shy away from that. Instead, she embraced it and it made the sweet moments between them that much sweeter. There are a couple of trigger warnings I want to give for attempted sexual assault and a toxic/abusive parent. My only real negative of this book that both of the terrible men in Eve’s past have no repercussions for their disgusting and inexcusable behavior. Which perhaps is true to the Amish culture but this is a work of fiction and I would have liked to see something happen to them. Instead, we get a brief mention from Eve who prays for the man who tried to assault her and she has forgiven him. Which I can imagine would be triggering for some people so please be aware of that. If you are looking for a cozy and delightful romance involving a fun loving family then I highly recommend this book. Courting his Amish Wife is a part of a series involving Levi’s family and their community and I am eager to read those books as well.

About the Author 

Emma Miller lives quietly in her old farmhouse in rural Delaware amid fertile fields and lush woodlands. Fortunate enough to be born into a family of strong faith, she grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by loving parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Emma was educated in local schools, and once taught in an Amish schoolhouse much like the one at Seven Poplars. When she’s not caring for her large family, reading and writing are her favorite pastimes.

Excerpt

Courting His Amish Wife | Excerpt

Emma Miller

Through the trees, Eve spotted her father’s windmill and ran faster, ignoring the branches and underbrush that tore at her hair and scratched her arms and face. She took in great gulps of air, sobbing with relief as she sprinted the final distance. She had prayed to God over and over throughout the night. She had begged Him to see her home safely. Now the sun was breaking over the horizon, and she had made it the more than ten miles home in the dark.

Bursting from the edge of the woods, she hitched up her dirty and torn dress, the hem wet from the dew, and climbed over the fence. In her father’s pasture, she hurried past the horses and sheep, her gaze fixed on the white farmhouse ahead. If she could just make it to the house, her father would be there. She would be safe at last, and he would know what to do.

Trying to calm her pounding heart, Eve inhaled deeply. At last, her breath was coming more evenly. She wiped at her eyes with the torn sleeve of her favorite dress. She was safe. She was home. Her father would protect her.

At the gate into the barnyard, she let herself through and slowed to a walk as she neared the back porch. Her father’s beagle trotted toward her, barking in greeting. Through the windows, she could see into the kitchen where a light glowed from an oil lamp that hung over the table. Her father and sisters and brothers would be there waiting for her. As she climbed the steps to the porch, her wet sneakers squeaked. Hours ago, she had crossed a low spot in the woods and soaked her canvas shoes.

She had almost reached the door when it swung open.

“Dat,” she cried, throwing herself at him, bursting into tears. “Oh, Dat.”

“Dochter.” Her father grasped her by the shoulders, but instead of embracing her, he pushed her back. “Where have you been?” he demanded in Pennsylvania Deitsch. He looked her up and down, not in relief that she was safely home, but in anger. “Where is your prayer kapp?”

Eve raised her hand to her hair to find it uncovered. “Oh,” she cried. “I must have… I must have lost it in the woods somewhere.” She brushed back her brown hair that had come loose from the neat bun at the nape of her neck to fall in hanks around her face. She pulled a twig from her hair. “Dat. Something terrible happened. I—”

“Where have you been all night?” he boomed, becoming angrier with her by the second. “Who have you been with?” he shouted. “To sneak out of my house after I forbade you to go? I should beat you!”

When she looked up at him, Eve realized she had made a terrible mistake. It had taken her hours to find her way home. She had walked and run all night, choosing the long way home because she had been afraid to follow any main roads for fear Jemuel would find her. She had climbed fences, been scratched by briars and been chased by a feral dog. At one point, she had been lost and worried she had walked too far, or in the wrong direction. But she hadn’t given up because she knew that if she could make it home safely, everything would be all right.

But looking at her father’s stern face, at his long, thick gray beard and his angry eyes that stared at her from behind his wire-frame glasses, she realized she was wrong. She wasn’t safe. And perhaps she would never be so again because she knew what her father was going to say before the words came out of his mouth.

He pointed an accusing finger. “You will marry that boy!” Amon Summy shouted, spittle flying from his mouth.

Eve lowered her head, tears streaming down her cheeks as she prayed fervently to God again to help her.

Buy Courting His Amish Wife by Emma Miller

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335758675_courting-his-amish-wife.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Courting-Amish-Wife-Love-Inspired-ebook/dp/B08T1YWCHX/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=courting+his+amish+wife+emma+miller&qid=1620827926&sr=8-1 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/courting-his-amish-wife-emma-miller/1138619584?ean=9781335758675&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7651142_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC

 Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/fi/book/courting-his-amish-wife/id1548936499 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Emma_Miller_Courting_His_Amish_Wife?id=ow8UEAAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/courting-his-amish-wife

~Cassie

Blog Tour: The Playboy’s “I Do” Deal By Tara Pammi

*Thank you to Harlequin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. They also provided all info and graphics.

The Playboy’s “I Do” Deal by Tara Pammi is available on May 25.

Book Description

A billionaire’s Caribbean getaway just got a lot more interesting in this sizzling marriage of convenience story by Tara Pammi!

A convenient offer…

From the stowaway on his yacht!

Dev Kohli’s superyacht is Clare Roberts’s perfect hideout. A family betrayal has her running from a forced marriage. Trying to ignore the heat still blazing between her and Dev from their last encounter, Clare prepares to bargain with the billionaire…

Dev knows the PR expert can restore his company’s tarnished reputation. But agreeing to hide her in paradise—just the two of them—brings an intimacy he can’t escape. And as the threat to Clare increases, so does Dev’s need to protect her with something he never thought he’d offer—his ring!

Add The Playboy’s “I Do” Deal to your Goodreads!

Review

Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me. We know from the synopsis and the title that there is going to be a proposal but it doesn’t happen until more than half way through the story. There also isn’t a lot of action so instead we get pages and pages of the characters inner thoughts and it was hard for me to keep my attention fully engaged. There were aspects that were brilliant and I wish we had more of that instead. For instance, all the parts after they were married felt so rushed and I can’t help but think that it would have served the story better if the post marriage friction and relationship had been the focal point. The pacing of this book was just off in general since the ending was so rushed and all the remaining conflicts seemed to resolve in just a few pages. I do think that if you are a lover of romance, Harlequin romances in particular, then perhaps you might find this book enjoyable.

About the Author 

Tara Pammi can’t remember a moment when she wasn’t lost in a book, especially a romance which, as a teenager, was much more exciting than mathematics textbook. Years later Tara’s wild imagination and love for the written word revealed what she really wanted to do: write! She lives in Colorado with the most co-operative man on the planet and two daughters. Tara loves to hear from readers and can be reached at tara.pammi@gmail.com or her website www.tarapammi.com.

Connect with the Author

Website: https://www.tarapammi.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraPammi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tarapammi/

 Goodreads: h https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55870999-the-playboy-s-i-do-deal?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=4uuHtzGt2U&rank=1

Excerpt

The Playboy’s “I Do” Deal- Excerpt

Tara Pammi

What her friends also didn’t know, and Clare wasn’t about to tell them, was that their new client was the same man she’d had a one-night stand with recently. She’d never shared his identity with them, feeling a strange sense of protectiveness about that night. Also, because if she talked to them, then she’d have to own up that she’d mostly failed at abiding by the most important rule of one-night stands—keeping it strictly casual. Especially as Dev had clearly had no such problem doing that himself.

Athleta was far too big a fish for Clare to walk away from just because its CEO hadn’t proclaimed that he’d love her forever. And tonight had been her one chance to impress on him that her small PR firm could clean up his recently tarnished image.

Only the mobster’s goons had trailed her all the way from London to a conference in New York and then to São Paulo, and it was terrifying. Today the mobster’s intentions had been made crystal clear. He intended to simply…take her in lieu of the money he insisted she owed him.

For two weeks, she’d lived in terror of being snatched from wherever she was.

She’d been meaning to hightail it back to her hotel room when she’d spotted Goon Number One with a drink in hand on the main deck of the superyacht this evening. The short, blond, chubby-faced man had smiled angelically—clearly his cheerful appearance was a useful tool in nabbing unsuspecting women. It was the same man she’d seen leaning near the newspaper stand on the street where The London Connection’s offices were located, looking up at the sole window. The very same posh and supposedly secure street that they paid astronomical rent for.

He’d even bumped into her late one evening when she’d been rushing to catch the Tube after work. Apologized profusely. When she’d then seen him lounging in the foyer of her New York hotel, she’d wondered if she was hallucinating.

Now, he was here, aboard Dev’s yacht. Looking just as posh as the rest of the designer-suited men. Wearing an affable smile, chitchatting away. He’d almost touched her. Tried to talk to her as if they were long-lost friends. She didn’t have time to wonder how he’d got on board. She needed to hide. Now.

She ran her hand over her hips, contemplating the rounds the uniformed security guard was making. The emerald green silk skirt she was wearing had been a gift from Bea, and it gave her some much-needed courage. Without looking back, she stepped gingerly down the spiral staircase—who knew yachts could have staircases like this one?—and tried to not trip in her four-inch heels.

The champagne sloshed around in her belly again as she passed door after door. Peeked into one expansive lounge after another. Even in her panic, Clare couldn’t help marveling at the airy, contemporary spaces, the chic stylish interiors. The click-click of her stilettos on the gleaming floors sounded like a sinister countdown.

Heart pounding, she walked into the biggest cabin. 

For a second, she was thrown at the sheer size of it. A large bed with a navy-blue duvet looked so welcoming that she took an involuntary step toward it longingly.

It was the feel of the luxuriously soft cotton underneath her fingertips that made her realize she was pawing it. Her eyelids felt heavy, her entire body swooning with exhaustion. She’d been traveling nonstop for a week. Hadn’t slept a wink ever since that ghastly man had started following her. But she couldn’t sleep now. Not if she wanted to remain undetected until after the party wound down.

After one last wistful glance at the bed, she shook off the lethargic fog that threatened to engulf her. She was crashing from the shock of seeing that mobster’s henchman again. Moving like an automaton, she walked into a massive closet.

Buy The Playboy’s “I Do” Deal by Tara Pammi!

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488073540_the-playboys-i-do-deal.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Playboys-Do-Deal-Uplifting-International-ebook/dp/B08MQP7YFF/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-playboys-i-do-deal-tara-pammi/1138022723

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-playboys-i-do-deal/id1538754345

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tara_Pammi_The_Playboy_s_I_Do_Deal?id=2B0HEAAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-playboy-s-i-do-deal

~Cassie

Blog Tour: Cold Case True Crime By Denise N. Wheatley

*Thank you to Harlequin for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. They also kindly provided all info and graphics.

Cold Case True Crime by Denise N. Wheatley is available on June 29.

Book Description

True crime is her beat.

But this cold case is personal…

Samantha Vincent has turned her fascination with true crime into a popular blog. When an old friend asks her to investigate a murder the police couldn’t solve, she begins to suspect that the cops want this case to go cold. Sam is confident she’ll catch the killer when Detective Gregory Harris agrees to help her, but everything changes when she becomes a target…  

Add Cold Case True Crime to your Goodreads!

Review

This is a fun and dramatic romantic suspense that I throughly enjoyed. Our heroine, Samantha, was spunky and hard headed which were qualities that came in handy during her investigation. The fact that she is a blogger was just icing on the cake since that is something that all of us here can instantly relate to. Detective Gregory was a worthwhile hero for Samantha since most of the time he seemed more into her than the investigation. The investigation itself was where the dramatics came in and while some things didn’t make sense it was entertaining and engaging which are the important things. Samantha and Gregory are looking into the murder of her childhood friend, Jacob, since the whole town is certain they know who killed him. The only problem is that the potential killer just happens to be the son of the police chief. Gregory and Samantha’s snooping takes them into some pretty precarious situations and the ending was completely unexpected. This is a clean romance so if you aren’t necessarily a fan of romance than I still think this one that you would enjoy if the synopsis sounds intriguing to you. Harlequin Intrigue is my favorite of the different categories and this one lived up to my expectations.

About the Author 

Denise N. Wheatley loves happy endings and the art of storytelling. Her novels run the romance gamut, and she strives to pen entertaining books that embody matters of the heart. She’s an RWA member and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois. When Denise isn’t writing, she enjoys watching true crime tv and chatting with readers. Follow her on Instagram: @denise_wheatley_writer Twitter: @DeniseWheatley BookBub: @denisenwheatley Goodreads: Denise N. Wheatley

Connect with the Author

Website: https://www.denisenwheatley.com/p/i-am-lover-of-romance-happy-endings-and.html

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denise_wheatley_writer/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeniseWheatley

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/denise-n-wheatley 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3118421.Denise_N_Wheatley

Excerpt

Cold Case True Crime – Excerpt

Denise N. Wheatley

Samantha Vincent flinched when the coffee shop door slammed shut behind her. She stared down the dark, vacant street in search of her car—she hadn’t realized she’d parked so far away.

The temperature had dropped severely since she’d arrived at the café. There was now a stinging chill in the night air. She set out toward the sidewalk, tightening her houndstooth-patterned scarf in an effort to block the wind as it whistled eerily past her ears.

Samantha had spent the day working on her popular true crime cold case blog, Someone Knows Something, and time had gotten away from her. By now, businesses were closed and most residents of small-town Gattenburg, Illinois, had retired for the evening.

A frigid breeze whipped through her golden-brown bob and blew open Samantha’s black wool peacoat, sending unsettling shivers throughout her entire body. But it wasn’t just the icy climate that had unnerved her.

She was still rattled by an email she’d received from Ava Jennings, an old high school friend whose family Samantha had grown close to after spending countless days at their home during her teenage years. In her message, Ava pleaded with Samantha to investigate her brother Jacob’s mysterious death, which police had just officially stated was cold with no leads.

Tree branches scraped against dim streetlights that barely illuminated the road. Samantha glanced down at the ground, her lone shadow a stark reminder that she was unaccompanied in the unnerving darkness. Moments like these brought on paranoid thoughts of all the unsolved cases she worked so hard to crack. Many of those victims found themselves in her exact same position seconds before their demise—isolated and vulnerable.

Samantha pushed those disturbing thoughts out of her mind and hurried along the pavement. Her feet ached in her high-heeled boots. But in spite of the pain, she clenched her jaw and fought through it, anxious to get off the desolate street and inside her car.

Just when Samantha’s convertible appeared in the hazy distance, the sound of screeching tires pierced her eardrums.

She stopped abruptly. The vehicle’s engine emitted a menacing roar.

Samantha spun around, almost losing her footing. Bright yellow headlights blinded her squinted chestnut eyes. She inhaled sharply, watching while the black sedan crept toward her.

She curled her hands into tight fists and took a step back, her lean legs quivering in the wind. Remembering the mini stun gun she’d slipped into her back pocket, Samantha pulled it out and contemplated making a run for her car. But she was too afraid to turn her back on the man she presumed was behind the wheel.

Collin Wentworth…

Buy Cold Case True Crime by Denise N. Wheatley!

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335489005_cold-case-true-crime.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Crime-Unsolved-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08SHXZNRS

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cold-case-true-crime-denise-n-wheatley/1138585931

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/cold-case-true-crime/id1547974598

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Denise_N_Wheatley_Cold_Case_True_Crime?id=me0SEAAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/cold-case-true-crime

~Cassie