Category Archives: All Reviews

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. How can she get it all solved?? Tune in to:

ChardonneyTitle: A Good Day for Chardonnay
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Sunshine Vicram #2
Publish Date:  July 27, 2021
Source: reviewer received from NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:  Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff–and even fuller-time coffee guzzler–Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

Book #2 in Sunshine Vicrum’s series does not disappoint.  You’ve got blood, stabbings, murder, mystery AND mayhem!  Oh, and we can’t forget the hunky “book boyfriends” that are all running rampant through the book.  Oh, yeah – those guys that are watching out and protecting and looking gorgeous while doing it.

I loved this book. It was a bit slow at first which had me down, but the ending was fantastic. The writing style is similar to Charley Davidson, but the premise is not. No supernatural or paranormal. Just plain police work and romance mixed in. Don’t miss it.

Like I said, the first half of the book was a bit slow – not bad, just a bit.

So, Sun is still trying to remember and solve her kidnapping case and subsequently gets Wynn Ravinder to talk about it, since Kubrick Ravinder is the one who kidnapped her. She finds out some more information AFTER she remembers more bits and pieces.  Man, that was a ride!

Sun is also handling a case of a stabbing in her town where Levi happens to get hit (run over) with a car. Levi is mad at what happened to his friend and will BY GOLLY find out what’s going on.  Levi should be an investigator too, since not much gets past him.  They finally figure out the whole mess, but it incorporates a different kidnapping that happened years ago, where Sun was the head on the case.

On the back burner, Sun has to figure out the Dangerous Daughters before she’s fired for not being an effective Sheriff.  Whoever heard of a bunch of people who run a city so it’s not taken over by corruption?  I guess Del Sol has!

Auri is conducting her own investigation regarding the Del Sol serial killer. This is one of the most dangerous investigations she’s ever conducted.  She is a trouper and keeps plugging away until she figures it all out.  The problem is that she isn’t a seasoned investigator and trouble keeps popping up.

It’s a great book.  Give it a read after you’ve read book #1.  This is a good series, so far, and I hope Sun has many cases yet to come.

Here’s the review I’ve done for book #1
A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

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Abandoned in Death by J.D. Robb

Homicide detective Eve Dallas must untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance.

abandoned in deathTitle: Abandoned in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #54
Publish Date:  February 8, 2022
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: Homicide detective Eve Dallas must untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance—in the new In Death novel by #1 New York Times bestselling J. D. Robb.

The woman’s body was found on a bench in a New York City playground. She was clean, her hair neatly arranged, her makeup carefully applied. But other things were very wrong—like the tattoo and piercings, clearly new. The clothes, decades out of date. The fatal wound hidden beneath a ribbon around her neck. And the note: Bad Mommy, written in crayon as if by a child.

It seems clear the killer’s childhood was traumatic—a situation Eve is all too familiar with herself. Yet the clues point to a perpetrator who’d be around sixty, and there are no records of old crimes with a similar MO. What was the trigger that apparently reopened such an old wound and sent someone over the edge? When Eve learns that other young women have recently vanished, the case grows even more urgent—and to solve it she’ll need to find her way into a hidden place of dim light and concrete, into the distant past, and into the depths of a shattered mind.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

You know I love me a good story with Eve and Roarke.  I waited and waited for this book because…well…you know, Eve and Roarke.  This story starts out a bit differently than some of the other books with the spotlight on the killer as a child.  A creepy little brat of a kid.  The mom is at the end of her rope and that’s where the mom and kid’s lives take a turn.

I saw the core group in the story plus Mavis, Bella, Leonardo, Nadine and special appearances by Quilla, Morris and Jamie.  I enjoyed spending time with them but I have to tell you that I wasn’t all that glued to my seat.  I could really see the “bones” of the book as I read.  Eve getting called on to investigate, rattling Dickhead’s cage, Roarke working e-man, Roarke giving the same look when Eve asks if he could find out something, Roarke picking the locks, the gratuitous sex scene and then the breakdown in the box with people watching in observation.  I’m not saying that it was a bad story – it was ok but it lacked the usual edge of my seat anticipation.  I’ll read it again, maybe I’ll change my mind.

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Craven Street by E.J. Stevens

In this spellbinding novella, E.J. Stevens weaves a tale of murder, necromancy, and demonic possession.

craven street

Title:  Craven Street 
Author:  E.J. Stevens
Series:  The Whitechapel Paranormal Society #.5
Publish Date:
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: In this spellbinding novella, E.J. Stevens weaves a tale of murder, necromancy, and demonic possession that brings together characters from her Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian horror series and award-winning Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series on the fog-shrouded cobblestones of Craven Street.

The discovery of bricked up skeletal remains at 36 Craven Street point to something more diabolical than an illegal anatomy school. The tool marks on the bones, arcane sigils of great power, indicate more than mere butchery, more than enlightened experimentation. The signs, omens, and portents support the crown’s greatest fears. A great evil is being unleashed upon the gaslit streets of London, a blood-drenched shadow reaching skeletal fingers beyond the slums of Whitechapel.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

This story takes place in Victorian London.  The “Society” as they affectionately call themselves, are women that investigate the paranormal happenings of the city.  They have male counterparts, but those counterparts make light of their contribution to the point of butts of jokes.  The concept of this book is awesome, the story itself, was just a teaser.

This book is a novella that introduces the horrifying elements that are terrorizing London.  Each woman has a special gift to bring to the table, and while Cora (who can see the dead) and Flan (is a wiz with a knife) are starting their own romance, they have to figure out who is killing all the women they are dragging from the river.  Then there is a demon that is involved.  It is first and foremost a Demon Lord, but a Demon Lord with a conscience.  It doesn’t like how the bad guy is treating the demon “puppies” of the realm, so it helps Cora, Flan, Edith, and Anna find and lock up the human power seeker.  But that is just the beginning.

While this book doesn’t have a cliffhanger, it is definitely a lead into the series.  There is no sex, but there is a F/F hot kiss.  The story isn’t graphic in it’s description of the deceased and lets your mind do the work there.  The one thing that detracted from the story (for me) was the use of $500,000 words that I had to look up in the dictionary to find the meaning.  However, to be fair, that’s how those that lived in the Victorian era spoke, so it was my fault for not having the knowledge, not the book.

I’m not positive I will keep on with this series, but who knows?  The first book releases in October 2022.

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Back off Witch by Brad Magnarella

back off witchTitle: Back off Witch
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  A Croft and Tabby Short (#2)
Publish Date: February 14, 2022
Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Publisher’s Description: What’s worse than a sharp-tongued cat in a heatwave? Being stuck inside with her.

When my friend Kayla asks for my help as a wizard, I jump at the chance to escape my apartment—and Tabitha.

In New York’s inner city, a child’s closet hides a monster. At least according to my starry-eyed friend, who claims powers of intuition. But this time she might be onto something. The scariest part? The child will only confide in Tabitha.

Now I need to convince my succubus cat, who remains committed to eating, sleeping, staying cool, and, yes, devouring my soul, to help stop a supernatural threat that’s climbing faster than the city’s thermometer.

Can Tabitha and I overcome our differences in time to save an innocent life?

Or will she undermine me just to prove she’s still queen?

Croft & Tabby is a spinoff of the popular Prof Croft series, set before the main books. If you like snarky cats, fledgling mages, and supernatural investigations, you’ll love Croft & Tabby!

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

Tabitha and Prof Croft work together again. Tabitha is always reluctant to help, probably because she’s once removed from a demon, but Prof Croft bribes and cajoles her into coaxing a little boy to reveal the beast he’s afraid of and that is endangering his life. Of course, with Prof Croft, nothing is easy. What sounds like a decent low involvement plan totally blows up into something much bigger. Non magic believers, gather ’round for an entertaining and well written addition to the Croft and Tabby short. By the way, these short stories are a nice way to try out Prof Croft’s world to see if you might want to engage with the full size novels, which I encourage wholeheartedly.


Our reviews in this series…

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Druid’s Moon by Deniz Bevan

druid's moonTitle:  Druid’s Moon
Author:  Deniz Bevan
Publish Date:  September 20, 2022
Source: from publisher

Publisher’s Description: Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

I really can’t say I loved this book.  It’s not that I didn’t like it…it was ok, but it was only just ok.  The story wasn’t very impactful, if that’s even a word.  The writing was a little confusing at times.  The switch of scenes was a little bumpy too.  The description wording was good, but the “grab me by my collar” just wasn’t there.  It has monsters, a little romance, mysteries and curses.

I’ve never read anything by this author, so she is new to me.  The whole premise of this story is Beauty and the Beast from when we were kids.  It’s not exactly the same as the others as it has a witch that controls the family line resulting in the beast and the man inside is just under the surface.  The beast hunts and kills for it’s mistress.  It also uses an archeological dig as location for this story.  The secret room, the legend of suffering of multiple generations and clues to the mystery all lie within a translation of a manuscript and the need to find “Beauty” so she can end the curse.

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