Publisher: HQN Books

WHISKEY SHARP by Lauren Dane

FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.

WHISKEY SHARP by Lauren DaneWhiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane
Series: Whiskey Sharp #1
Published by HQN Books Genres: Contemporary
Source: Publisher


 

Maybe Dolan moved to Seattle in order to help her older sister recover from a job-related event that changed her life.  Maybe left her family to go and live with her aunt and uncle as soon as she possibly could.  That move gave Maybe the chance to grow into the person she was always meant to be.  To say that her relationship with her parents is strained just doesn’t cover it, yet Maybe is willing to put up with her parents for her sister.

 

Alexsei Petrov is part of a very close Russian family in Seattle.  Alexsei owns a barber shop that is building a great reputation, so when a woman appears saying she was sent by his aunt and that she wants a job as a barber in his shop, he knows that if nothing else, he has to give her a try.  That was one of his better decisions as Maybe is now one of his shops favorite barbers—heck, he even insists she does his cuts and shaves.

 

Maybe was attracted to Alexsei from the beginning, but when his move came, it kind of surprised her at first.  Alexsei soon learns that while Maybe is confident in her abilities as a barber, she has very little confidence in other areas of her life.  Alexsei also learns just what Maybe has overcome as their passion moves forward.  While his family loves her for just being her funky self, it is very clear that her parents not only don’t love her, but actively seek to undermine her.  Maybe is willing to put up with her parents’ abuse in order to let her sister grow and heal, but even she has a limit, and when that is hit, Maybe learns just how much Alexsei loves her and how many other people love her just as she is.

 

When love comes knocking, sometimes you need to kick the door down instead of waiting for it to be answered.  Alexsei learns this as he begins his journey to love with Maybe in Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled.  There were many places that I just wanted to reach out and hug both Maybe and Alexsei.  I loved watching as they went from friends to lovers while keeping a working relationship during it all.  I also loved Alexsei even more as he showed Maybe just what love means as he uncovered just what she had grown up with.  Maybe is no shrinking violet, but after years of doubting herself, it was great to see her bloom even more and stand up for herself.  Even the secondary characters had me engaged, although it was the relationship between Maybe and Alexsei that had me from their first meeting.  Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled is no light read for sure, but there is so much texture and feeling in the relationship between Maybe and Alexsei that even when it hurts, you just want to turn the page to see what happens next. This is a great start to a new series, and I can’t wait to see the next peek into this world.

 

DEAD GIRL RUNNING by Christina Dodd

FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.

DEAD GIRL RUNNING by Christina DoddDead Girl Running by Christina Dodd
Series: Cape Charade #1
Published by HQN Books Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Source: Publisher


I have three confessions to make:
1. I've got the scar of a gunshot on my forehead.
2. I don't remember an entire year of my life.
3. My name is Kellen Adams...and that's half a lie.


Girl running...from a year she can't remember, from a husband she prays is dead, from homelessness and fear. Tough, capable Kellen Adams takes a job as assistant manager of a remote vacation resort on the North Pacific Coast. There, amid the towering storms and the lashing waves, she hopes to find sanctuary. But when she discovers a woman's dead and mutilated body, she's soon trying to keep her own secrets while investigating first one murder...then another.

Now every guest and employee is a suspect. Every friendly face a mask. Every kind word a lie. Kellen's driven to defend her job, her friends and the place she's come to call home. Yet she wonders--with the scar of a gunshot on her forehead and amnesia that leaves her unsure of her own past, could the killer be staring her in the face?

Author Christina Dodd begins a new series with Dead Girl Running. This is the first full length novel in the Cape Charade series which is a spinoff of Dodd’s popular Virtue Falls series.  There is also a novella available, Hard to Kill.

Dead Girl Running is an intense story that moves at a breakneck pace.  Dodd does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing. The characters are incredibly unique.  I loved the thrilling suspense Ms. Dodd built throughout the story with these characters.  Her creative blend of misdirection had me thinking everyone had a motive for murder at one point or another.

My only complaint was that there is not enough romance for me.  I went into this a bit blind. I didn’t know Dead Girl Running was the beginning of a series until the head-splitting cliffhanger left me with an incomprehensible desire to know what happens next! I am looking forward to romance in the next novel! The chemistry between Kellen and a certain man is riveting.

Author Christina Dodd creates a chilling tale set in the middle of a picturesque resort.  Dead Girl Running is a killer read for lovers of the modern whodunit mysteries.

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT by Kristan Higgins

FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT by Kristan HigginsNow that you Mention it by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN Books Genres: Contemporary
Source: Publisher


 

Nora Stuart’s day has gone from bad to worse. First, she’s hit by an exterminator’s van then she overhears her boyfriend hitting on the ER doctor. That’s particularly awkward as they are all doctors in the same hospital. Now Nora finds herself recuperating back at her childhood home on Scupper Island with the mother who she has never understood, and the angst filled teenage daughter of her incarcerated sister. However, there may be an upside to her self-imposed exile and his name is Sully. But even as they grow closer, Nora still has many personal things to deal with.  Sully’s family hates her because she won a college scholarship they consider should have gone to Sully’s twin brother Luke, her niece has a chip on her shoulder the size of Scupper Island and her ex-boyfriend is not so sure he wants to be an ex (and a small problem with lying).

 

Now That You Mention It was just plain fun. I fell in love with Sully from the moment he appeared and although it took a bit for me to warm up to Nora by half way through their story, I fell in love with her too. They both had family issues that needed to be worked through and neither were looking for a relationship. Nora’s friends were a welcome addition that brought smiles to my face, especially Xiaowen, who I hope to see again in another Kristan Higgins book. Readers can’t go wrong with this feel good story! On a side note, I have to admit the bird and oven scene had me practically in tears with laughter!

WHISKEY SHARP: UNRAVELED by Lauren Dane

FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.

WHISKEY SHARP: UNRAVELED by Lauren DaneWhiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane
Series: Whiskey Sharp #1
Published by HQN Books Genres: Contemporary
Source: Publisher


The sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you can’t have…

Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job—and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good.

But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.

Maybe’s blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his…even if she doesn’t know it. Yet. He can’t help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.

But Maybe’s fiery independent spirit means pushing back when Alexsei goes too far. Still, he’s not afraid to do a little pushing of his own to get what he wants—her in his life, and his bed, for good. Maybe’s more intoxicating than all the liquor on his shelf…and he’s not afraid to ride the blade’s edge to bind her to him.

Maybe Dolan talks a mile a minute, looks like a punk rocker and takes on the role of protector and caretaker for those she loves.  Aleksei Petrov is a gruff Russian and barber.  He owns Whiskey Sharp the only place in Seattle you can get drink while you get your hair cut.

Maybe has lusted after Aleksei for two years.  Aleksei has finally opened his eyes to the woman right in front of him. He’s determined to win Maybe’s heart and rule her body.  The past has come back to haunt Maybe and it may ruin the life she has carved out for herself and her sister in Seattle.  However, Aleksei is determined to keep his woman safe and happy right where she is. Can he succeed?

Ms. Dane has created a unique setting for her latest series.  Whiskey Sharp is a barber shop that features a bar where patrons can enjoy spirits.  I really enjoyed Maybe’s exuberant personality.  She really is the perfect match for Aleksei.  He is a sexy alpha male with an attractive dominant personality.  Maybe is a force to be reckoned with.  I just loved it when she flustered Aleksei and how she dealt with Aleksei’s ex-fiancé.

Maybe and Aleksei’s relationship is super hot and emotional.  Maybe’s sister and family take on a crucial role in Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled.  Many times, I found my eyes misty and heart aching with worry for these characters.  Aleksei’s family is the perfect balance to Maybe’s.  I absolutely loved them.  Ms. Dane did an excellent job creating the family bond.

Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled is a great contemporary read.  Fans of Author Lauren Dane will be running to the bookstore to add this to their collection.

BEFORE THE DAWN by Cynthia Eden

FTC Disclosure: The publisher, author, book tour company has provided me with a copy of this book for review or I have purchased it with my own funds. The opinions I share are mine and not influenced by the publisher, author, or book tour company if received for review.

BEFORE THE DAWN by Cynthia EdenBefore the Dawn by Cynthia Eden
Series: Killer Instinct
Published by HQN Books Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
Source: Publisher


 

 

Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost knows that the world is full of evil. He saw it in the face of his own brother, Jason Frost, a cold, methodical, sadistic killer. A killer Tucker put down with his own hands in order to save Jason's final victim--Dawn Alexander, the only girl who got away from the infamous "Iceman."

It's Tucker's up close and personal experience with evil that's made him perfect for Samantha Dark's experimental profiling division in the FBI. And when women start turning up murdered with the same MO used by the Iceman, Tucker is sent back to Louisiana to investigate.

Seven years have passed since the night that Tucker faced down his brother...and since he last saw Dawn, his one-time lover. But as Tucker and Dawn grapple with a desire that never died, they must also face the shared shadow from their pasts. Both have the same question--has Jason Frost come back from the dead to hunt again? And this time, will he succeed in killing the victim who got away?

Tucker and Dawn have an intense history.  She was abducted by a serial killer called the Iceman.  The Iceman was Jason Frost…Tucker’s brother.

It’s easy to get pulled into Author Cynthia Eden’s Before the Dawn.  The story kicks off with killer suspense and never lets up until the final page.

I thoroughly enjoyed Before the Dawn.  Tucker and Dawn have painful circumstances that connect them.  This makes their reunion rife with powerful emotions.  I couldn’t get enough scenes with these two.  As always Ms. Eden provides the reader with an excellent mystery and thrilling suspense. Before the Dawn is a great read!

 

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