Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin

Title: Her Deadly Secrets
Series: Wolfe Security #2
Author: Laura Griffin
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Trade Paperback - Price: $16.00 - ISBN: 9781501162435
eBook - Price: $7.99 - ISBN: 9781501162442

A young private investigator finds out the price of keeping deadly secrets when a vicious killer sets his sights on her in this pulse-pounding thriller from the USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author of the Tracers series.

Private investigator Kira Vance spends her days navigating the intricate labyrinth of Houston’s legal world, and she knows all of its shadowy players and dark secrets.

On a seemingly normal day, she’s delivering a report to her top client when suddenly everything goes sideways and the meeting ends in a bloodbath. Twenty-four hours later, the police have no suspects but one thing is clear: a killer has Kira in his sights.

Fiercely independent, Kira doesn’t expect—or want—help from anyone, least of all an unscrupulous lawyer and his elite security team. Instead, she launches her own investigation, hoping to uncover the answers that have eluded the police. But as Kira’s hunt for clues becomes more and more perilous, she realizes that she alone may hold the key to finding a vicious murderer. And she knows she must take help wherever she can find it if she wants to stay alive…

Written with Laura Griffin’s signature “gritty, imaginative, sexy” (Cindy Gerard, New York Times bestselling author) style, Her Deadly Secrets is an electrifying and scintillating novel that packs a powerful punch.

Her Deadly Secrets is the second book in the Wolfe Security Series.

Kira Vance is a private investigator who's meeting her boss/mentor, Ollie Kovak at the house of their well-known client, Brock Logan, a defense attorney. She's bringing important information in regards to the case they are working on when a gunman surprises them. Her boss is shot, Brock is shot as well and a bullet grazes Kira's body.

The police are called to investigate the crime and this is where we meet another important female character, Charlotte Spears. She's a police detective, who with the help of her partner, Alex Diaz, will go looking to find the shooter. 

Kira and the police will continue their investigations parallelly. But Kira is not alone. Her life is in danger and the client hires Wolfe Security to help take care of the threat. Kira is not happy with this new arrangement since she has to uncover the responsible party and there is no way she can stay sequestered in a hotel room when she needs to follow the few clues she has. Thankfully, her assigned bodyguard is Jeremy Owen, a man of few words but someone who makes Kira feel safe in all possible ways.

Laura Griffin can spin a Suspense Romance like no other. Her stories are always well organized and addictive. Once you open the first page, you're pulled into her make-believe world and nothing is as important as finishing the novel. 

I love that in Her Deadly Secrets, we get two relevant female characters. Both women were strong-minded, smart and unstoppable. I like Jeremy too. He understood quite early that Kira was not another job. He tried to keep his distance but failed miserably. 

I can't wait for the next book in this series!

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs 

A complimentary copy was provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Laura Griffin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tracers series, the Wolfe Sec series, the Alpha Crew series, and several other novels. A two-time RITA Award winner and the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award, Laura lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit her at, and on Facebook at

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Title: Miracle Creek
Author: Angie Kim
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Release Date: April 16th, 2019

A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.

It has been a few days since I finished reading Miracle Creek. While I was reading it, I could only imagine how good this book will be as a movie. 

I usually don't like court dramas but I think Angie Kim did her best work by delivering us the lies and the truth through the characters on the stand and in the courtroom.

Miracle Creek tells us the story of the death of an autistic child during a hyperbaric oxygen treatment or "dive" caused by a fire in August of 2008. A year later, Elizabeth, the mother is on trial and if found guilty, she could receive the death penalty. 

Through four days of the trial and the voices of the Yoo's (Young (mother), Pak (father) and Mary (teenage daughter)) Matt Thompson and his wife, Janine Cho, and Teresa Santiago, Angie Kim begins presenting to us the true events that happened the night of the fire. Was Elizabeth the only one with a reason for arson or does anyone else who was there that night have a motive too? The list of suspects starts to elongate as the narrative continues. 

Personally, I've referred patients to be evaluated for hyperbaric oxygen to treat nonhealing wounds or second/third-degree burns but I didn't realize it was being used for autism or infertility. My knowledge of it has always been in a hospital setting, so I was quite surprised that the Yoo's had an HBOT in a regular neighborhood. All kinds of medical error scenarios popped through my mind while I was reading it but the truth was so much worse.

Miracle Creek is not your usual debut novel. The descriptions, character development and suspense were done as masterful as a seasoned writer. Angie Kim's novel inserts pieces of humanity at its worse but we also get -or at least I did- the sense of hope. Some of the characters decisions made me nauseous by their omissions and lies. Some infuriated me. One, I disliked tremendously. 

As a fiction reader, I can't recommend enough Miracle Creek. If you heard the audio which I did for the majority of it, the narrator does an amazing job. At the end of the audio, there is an interview with Angie Kim where she mentions her own experience with immigration, becoming a lawyer and HBOT treatment for one of her children. The music done by her son is perfect for the audio too.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Title: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher:  Forever Romance
Release Date:  July 9, 2019 

Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen--especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

I'm amazed by Abby Jimenez's ability to write a romance dealing with the main topic of infertility.

I was pulled into The Friend Zone from the very first chapter. There were some gut-wrenching moments when I couldn't stop myself from spilling tears but also so many moments where the sarcastic humor was freaking awesome.

The first time we meet the main characters Kristen Peterson and Josh Copeland is when they were involved in a fender bender. Their first interaction didn't go that great. Their second one was a little bit better.

Kristen runs her own business. Her company makes products for dogs including ladders to help small dogs climb, she makes cute little shirts too. In regards to her personal life, she's dating a marine Tyler (who's overseas), has a cute little dog (who hates the marine), doesn't have a close relationship with her mother and she's dealing with a medical condition that will end up in infertility.
The moment she meets Josh, she knows she's in trouble. He's handsome, super nice and available as her new carpenter on his days off. She has never cheated and she won't start now. Making Josh believe she has no interest in him is a priority. She will wear unattractive clothes, no makeup, and even rulers to prevent him from getting any ideas.

Josh has recently moved to California to be closer to his best friend Brandon who's getting married soon. He's joining the same firehouse as him but his new status as probie is not a fun one. He's frustrated with some of the calls they get. Some are completely and truly unnecessary. As for his personal life, his last relationship ended on a bad note. He wanted kids and his girlfriend didn't. He let her have everything they had but his credit card balance is still quite high. He needs cash fast to pay his debts and when an offer to be Kristen's new carpenter presents, he has no other choice but to take it. He discovers that he likes Kristen. He likes her sense of humor, her honesty, and her loyalty. He realizes she's not a cheater but he wants her in his life.

Kristen and Josh are both very creative characters. I love both. Kristen was funny, sarcastic and a true friend to Sloan. Yes, I got annoyed at Kristen more than once for pushing Josh away but I understood why she did it.
Josh was perfect. He had my heart. He was understanding and dedicated to Kristen and his best friend Brandon. He fell for Kristen's dog too (which is a bonus in my book).

The last third of The Friend Zone was hard to read. Plenty of sadness. I was devastated for Josh but even though the ending had some bittersweetness to it, the sweet overcame the bitter.

I was excited to see that Abby Jimenez is writing a second book with a secondary character. I'd love to see where she takes her story.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

Title: Wolfhunter River
Series: Stillhouse Lake
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: Published April 23, 2019 

A Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

She can’t ignore a cry for help. But in this remote hunting town, it’s open season.

Gwen Proctor escaped her serial-killer husband and saved her family. What she can’t seem to outrun is his notoriety. Or the sick internet vigilantes still seeking to avenge his crimes. For Gwen, hiding isn’t an option. Not when her only mission is to create a normal life for her kids.

But now, a threatened woman has reached out. Marlene Crockett, from the remote town of Wolfhunter, is panicked for herself and her daughter. When Gwen arrives in the small, isolated rural community, Marlene is already dead—her own daughter blamed for the murder. Except that’s not the person Marlene feared at all. And Gwen isn’t leaving until she finds out who that was.

But it may already be too late. A trap has been set. And it’s poised to snap shut on everyone Gwen loves. Her stalkers are closing in. And in a town as dark as Wolfhunter, it’s so easy for them to hide…

When I began reading Wolfhunter River, I wasn't sure which way Rachel Caine was going to be taking Gwen Proctor's character. Yet, a couple of chapters into it, I was sure the ride had to be a good one. If you read the first two books in this series, you know a big baddie is no longer a threat to her or her family.  

In case, you're not reading them in order, Gwen Proctor is the ex-wife of the famous serial killer, Melvin Royal. She changed her name and the name of her kids after Melvin was convicted. She moved many times and lately, Stillhouse Lake, is what she calls home. Her kids, Lanie and Connor have confronted many ugly things since learning about their father and they had to grow up sooner than they should have. 

Wolfhunter River begins with Gwen agreeing to do a live interview on a TV show, but getting ambushed in the process. The only thing productive that surfaces from the interview was discovering that a new enemy is out to get her and her family. A woman's from Sam's past is making it clear that this is war. 

When Gwen receives a call for help from the town of Wolfhunter, at first she doesn't want to do much. The second time someone calls her from the same town, she knows she has to go and maybe it's time for the whole family to leave Stillhouse Lake for a while.

In Wolfhunter, nothing goes the way it should. The town reeks of deceit, abuse of power, and endangered lives. It's up to Gwen and her family to uncover the evil. 

Kudos to Rachel Caine for writing another entertaining book in this series. I like Gwen, she's not a doormat. She's strong and she will fight for her kids until her last breath. The kids are also becoming more involved in the process. Connor is smart and handy with a computer. Lanie is protective of her younger sibling. She tries to keep him safe.

I'm excited to see what is going to happen in the next one, now that I know how this one ended. Gwen is going to open so many can of worms! I'm sure I don't want to miss it.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Title: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
Series: Hannah Swensen #1
Author: Joanne Fluke
Release Date: April 1, 2000

Discover the delicious mystery that started it all!

No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke's dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes one delicious clue at a time has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this limited edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds.

Hannah Swenson already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother's attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota's most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can't get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. 

Who would have the sheer audacity and the motive to kill the most punctual delivery man Hannah ever had? Topping the list is the high school football coach. What exactly was his wife doing, making the rounds with the milkman? Could Max Turner, owner of Cozy Cow Dairy, have had a secret he didn't want to share with his top employee? The more Hannah snoops, the more suspects turn up. Why has Lake Eden's most prominent prodigal son, Benton Woodley, just resurfaced? And what about the mysterious Mr. Harris who seemed interested in buying the property next to the dairy, but then disappeared? This is one murder that's starting to leave a very bad taste in Hannah's mouth. And if she doesn't watch her back, Hannah's sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

Filled with a healthy sprinkling of humor and a delightful assortment of nuts, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER serves up a great new mystery series and introduces a delicious, down-home sleuth that mystery readers will surely savor for years to come.

Why did I decide to read Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder? A simple answer. As a book lover, I like to read the book before I watch the movie. This book was made into a movie and Alison Sweeney is the protagonist. 

Hannah Swensen lives in a small town. She moved back home after her father passed away to help out. She doesn't have a great relationship with her mother (her mom is always trying to set her up with any unmarried guy). She has a better relationship with her sister, Andrea, her niece and her brother in law, Bill.  Hannah doesn't have a man in her life but she does have a beloved cat, Moishe.

Hannah owns The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Her shop specializes in selling different type of cookies. Her cookies are the best in town and her business is always quite busy. One morning, as she's about to start her day, she finds the dead body of a man she used to know from high school. The town is shaken by the news of the murder.  

Hannah's brother in law, Bill is a policeman and a promotion is in the works if he can solve this case. With the help of Hannah,  Bill might be able to achieve it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is my first Cozy Mystery but I'm not sure this one was the right one for me to start with. I had to place it in the unbelievable category. I had issues with Hannah doing all the work and Bill letting her do it. She followed no police procedure and her questions were too direct when she was approaching the suspects. Anyway, I didn't love it.

If you have any good recommendations about a Cozy Mystery or if this series gets better, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments.

Cliffhanger: No

2.5/5 Fangs

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

Title: Life and Other Inconveniences
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: August 6, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Kristan Higgins is my favorite author. I own all of her books in digital, paperback and hardcover forms. I think she's an amazing writer and she seems to be an awesome human being too. 

When I received a copy of Life and Other Inconveniences, I was ecstatic! As a book lover, nothing feels as great as getting a book by your favorite author. Then, something happened. I didn't want to read it. Why? because she writes a book a year and if I started it too soon, I was going to have to wait a long time for her next one. Finally, this weekend, I couldn't postpone it any longer. So I prepared for my weekend. I asked my husband to take care of the puppies, breakfast and household chores while I took the morning off to read. No interruptions, no breaks.

Life and Other Inconveniences is narrated in multiple points of views. The main three characters are: 

Emma, a single mother who has abandonment issues. When she was very little, her mother committed suicide and her father Clark, left her with her grandmother and never looked back. When Emma meets the first boy/man who shows her some love, she dates him for three years and just before she graduates high school, she learns she's pregnant. Her grandmother, Genevieve is not happy and pretty much kicks her out. Emma goes to live with her maternal grandfather. Years later, she's starting her career as a psychologist and her daughter, Riley is a teenager.

Genevieve had a perfect marriage. She loved her husband, Garrison with all of her heart. She also had two boys, Sheppard and Clark. She loved Sheppard, her oldest and when he goes missing at a very young age, she loses part of her heart. Then, Garrison dies too and when he dies, Genevieve loses the ability to love. She's never the mother that she should be to Clark (her youngest son) and when years later, he delivers his daughter, Emma to her doorstep, she thinks this is her chance to make amends. Yet, When Emma gets pregnant, she can't be flexible.

Last, we have Riley. Emma's daughter and Genevieve's granddaughter. A smart young woman with a good heart. Riley's having problems at school and when Genevieve's invitation to spend the summer with her is given, Emma and Riley agree it could be a good time to leave town.

Life and Other Inconveniences felt different than her prior novels. I had a hard time concentrating on the story. I felt there was too much inner dialogue by Emma and Genevieve. I missed the humor I've come to expect from KH. I missed the embarrassing moments, I've come to feel for the characters. I missed the romance, I've come to adore

I like to clarify that ANY time there was a dialogue, I was 100% immersed in it. Even though, the dialogue was so scattered, when it was there, I craved it.

These are my opinions but I hope this doesn't deter you from reading this book. 

Cliffhanger: No


A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White

Title: The Dark Bones
Series: Dark Lure #2
Author: Loreth Anne White
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: May 21, 2019

She’s come back to solve the mystery of her father’s death and confront her own dark past.
When Detective Rebecca North left her rural hometown, she vowed never to return. Her father’s apparent suicide has changed that. The official report is that retired cop Noah North shot himself, knocked over a lantern, and set his isolated cabin ablaze. But Rebecca cannot believe he killed himself.
To prove it, she needs the help of Ash Haugen, the man she left behind. But Rebecca and Ash share more than broken hearts. Something darker lies between them, and the investigation is stirring it back to life. Clues lead them to the home of Olivia West and her deeply troubled twelve-year-old daughter, Tori. The child knows more about the murder than anyone can imagine, but she’s too terrified to say a word.
And as a cold-blooded killer resurfaces from the past, Rebecca and Ash begin to fear that their own secrets may be even harder to survive.

"Can you pinpoint the exact instant your life starts on a collision course with someone else’s? Can you trace back to the moment those lives did finally intersect, and from where they spiraled outward again, yet from that point they remained forever entwined, two lives locked one with another?"

Loreth Anne White is one of my favorite authors. I love all of her books. Her characters are memorable and the suspense is always outstanding!

The Dark Bones is the second book in the Dark Lure series (The Dark Lure was FANTASTIC). The main character is Rebecca North. She's a Royal Canadian Mounted Police detective who moved out of her rural hometown of Clinton, Canada as soon as she could after her boyfriend Ash Haugen broke her heart.

Rebecca's dad is a retired detective. He's an alcoholic and he lives by himself. Out of nowhere, he calls Rebecca and tells her that he believes someone is following him and he wants to see her. He has been reviewing a cold case and he wants to know why she and Ash lied to him so many years ago. Rebecca knows this has to be about Whitney Gagnon who had slept with Ash and had left town with her boyfriend Trevor Beauchamp. Rebecca tells her dad she will call him back. Next thing she knows, she gets a call. Her dad has killed himself. Rebecca can't believe it. She comes home to investigate. She believes her father has found something about the disappearance of Whitney Gagnon and Trevor Beauchamp and someone killed him for it.

"He lied
You both lied."

On her first night back home, she bumps into the last person she wants to see, Ash. All her past feelings for him resurface. She remembers how hurt she was when he cheated and when she found out he had lied to her. She also remembers he was her first love and she has never forgotten him. As the days and the investigation progresses she realizes she still feels something for him.

Besides Rebecca and Ash, two teenagers are also important. One is Olivia's daughter Tori Burton (Liv is the main character on The Dark Lure) and the other one is Ricky Simon, a kid Ash promised to take care of. Both of their lives are in danger. They know too much.

Soon, Ash becomes the main suspect and Rebecca knows she needs to figure out who's at fault or none of them are going to be safe.

The Dark Bones was gritty, dark and full of suspense. Loreth Anne White painted a perfect small town ambiance full of secrets and lies. She gave us a great resolution while still leaving an opening for another book to answer the remaining questions.

"Quiet descended with a sense of menace."

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Montlake Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.