Category Archives: Nell’s Reviews

Spirited Christmas by Gary Jonas

Are you ready for a little Christmas Spirit? Or maybe a little spirit in your Christmas?  Jonathan Shade investigates a haunting and finds more than he’d been paid for…

Title:  Spirited Christmas
Author:  Gary Jonas
Series:  Jonathan Shade (Christmas novelette)
Published: December 1, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy Supernatural Detective
Source: public giveaway

Publisher’s Description:  A ghost is haunting a little girl’s family every Christmas, so she hires me to get rid of it. The hauntings have escalated from mere sightings to full-fledged possession. I figure it’s an open-and-shut exorcism, but the truth is more than I bargained for…

A short novelette that takes place before Modern Sorcery.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a short little story – about an hour’s read.  A little 10 year old hires Jonathan to get rid of a ghost that keeps grabbing and scaring her but only at Christmas.  First clue to the mystery: anyone that reads supernatural detective novels will immediately think of a ghost bound to an object in the Christmas box.  Yep, that’s what it is, but Gary Jonas is not an author that gives us a super simple little exorcism.  Nope.  Jonathan Shade has to put his detective skills to work to figure out this little girl’s hinky family situation.

It was a story that kept me involved for the whole hour I waited in a hospital waiting room.  As a matter of fact, I had already decided that I’d have to finish the story before I could leave said waiting room.  Gladly, I finished the story a few minutes before I was sent on my way.

There is no sex, no gore and no swearing.  This story can be read as a standalone, but it would be helpful to understand all the players by reading Modern Sorcery first.  This little episode adds a whole lot of spirit to Christmas.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try [list series or books, put goodreads links to anything you reference]

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Rescuing Mary by Susan Stoker

The book we’ve all been waiting for… Finally ”Truck” and Mary’s story.  I’ve been rooting for them through this whole series, now I get to have an inside look.

Title: Rescuing Mary 
Author: Susan Stoker
Series: Delta Force Heroes
Publish Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Military Suspense Romance
Narrator: Stella Bloom
Source: Audible

Publisher’s Description:  Ford “Truck” Laughlin and Mary Weston have weathered their share of storms over the last couple years. Truck’s job, Mary’s health. His bossiness, her bitchiness. All while dancing around their intense attraction. Mary’s tried to push him away for his own good but Truck won’t let her give up…on herself or on them. Just when she decides they deserve a fair shot, disaster strikes.

Truck has wanted Mary since the moment he saw her. The prickly woman pushes all his buttons and looks beyond his scarred exterior, something few women have managed. His plan to take their relationship to the next level is stalled when he’s injured on a mission. And he’s barely feeling like his old self again before the couple is dealt another blow, one that could permanently end their chances…and their lives.

 

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a romance series, hot military guys, standalone story. No cliffhanger. No sex. I have not read these books in order, and it doesn’t mess up the overall arc much.  The parts that gets confusing is when one SEAL pairs up and they are mentioned in another book.  It’s also not all that confusing, really.  I just jumped over that part because who belongs to who is just the series but not necessarily ruins the story line.

I have been waiting for this story through the whole series.  Mary frustrated me over and over again, but she’s a pretty screwed up person.  Her mother really did a job on her as Mary grew up.

Mary and “Truck” are married.  That bombshell was dropped and every character was thrown for a loop.  Mary treated “Truck” so… badly isn’t the word exactly.  More like held him at arms length so “Truck” really never knew Mary’s true feelings.  This was a hard book to listen to.  I cried through most of the first chapters and then later on again.  Mary’s story is so sad and her opinion of herself is very low.  “Truck” doesn’t know what to do.  He waits and waits, but Mary isn’t warming up.  What should he do? Cut his losses and move on?

I have to tell you I loved this book.  Loved, loved, loved it.  It ripped my heart out and I could feel every stabbing emotional pain Mary had.  Mary is so lucky that she has Rayne.  Thick and thin, people.  She’s with Mary through it all…almost.  Mary is going to die (don’t worry, she doesn’t in the end) and she pushes Rayne out and convinces herself that she’s only using “Truck” for his insurance.  She loves him but can’t admit it because her mama trained her from the age of 5 that men suck.  Mary is really screwed up – but how can she not be?  She’s been through hell – all nine circles of it.  And then another circle of hell crops up.  Tragedy takes Mary out of “Truck’s” life through amnesia.  Holy cats.  How much more can they take?

It all turns out fine, don’t worry.  The story winds around up and down and then splits before coming back together to twist around again.  It was a ride that was very hard to put down.  Listened to the whole audio in 2 days.  It was amazing.

The narrator of this story is female, but she does a really good job of diversifying the characters.  I like her so much that I’ve listened to a lot of her audios.

Our reviews in this series…

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Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper

There’s a new Sheriff in town.  He “thinks” he’s got everything under control until he meets the local coroner.  She’s purple haired goth chick who has her county business in the family funeral home slash bait shop.  She’s quick witted, smart and a handful.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title:  Ain’t She A Peach
Author: Molly Harper
Series:  Southern Eclectic #4
Publish Date: June 12, 2018
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Narrator:  Amanda Ronconi
Source: Audible.com

Publisher’s Description: An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden…a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is an incredibly fun story.  Eric is coming from the big city and sees murder in every death that happens in the small town.  He is running from a past that is haunting him and is the reason he had to come to the slower small town.  Frankie is the county medical examiner and she has quirks.  I think she was a quirky and fun character to read.

The McCready family is a hoot.  There are eccentric relatives and each one of them have qualities about them that make them individuals and incredibly likeable.  Just hearing the fact that they all are associated with the funeral home that also serves as a bait shop makes me laugh.  Only in a small town.  I like Molly Harper’s writing because of her humor and comedic influence.  Each character is individual and separate which makes all of them feel like a family to me for the short time I’m in their world.

There is a little sex, a wanna be burglar and a fun read.  I listened to this book out of series order, but the story is a standalone and though there may be back stories I missed, I could follow along just fine.  There is no cliff hanger and there is a HEA.  I just love Molly Harper and her imagination.  5 stars all the way.

Other recommendations…

…you might try

How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

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The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

Military man meets seamstress.  Tough as nails little Emma Gladstone demands payment for a hideous wedding gown.  He sees an opportunity.  She has nothing to lose.  Only problem is that the Duke has met his match…

Title:  The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series:  Girl Meets Duke #1
Publish Date:  August 22, 2017
Genre:  Historical Romance
Source: reviewer’s local library
Publisher’s Description:  When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a super story.  Emma has got nerve and she means to impose her will on a DUKE!  There is no cliffhanger and no blood, gore or violence.

I love Emma.  The Duke of Ashbury is a doofus.  He’s so mired in the past that he can’t see past it.  Sure he’s been bounced by a glory hound superficial little brat but who hasn’t? He uses his scars to be a super hero but gets himself into trouble and it’s not like Emma didn’t warn him!  Emma is a great character.  She is down to earth, smart as a whip and she is a master manipulator to her Duke.  Make it be his idea and all will be well.  She’s been through a lot of tough situations; poor, homeless, stuggling and is not afraid to live through it again though it would not be fun.

Emma never really notices the Duke’s scars.  Sure they look like they hurt like mad when they were inflicted, but they aren’t as hideous as he believes.  This was really an awesome story.  It’s kind of got the same framework as other historicals, but it’s the characters that make it different.

Other recommendations…

 

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Ronan (The Protectors #12) by Teresa Gabelman

Kira is running.  She and her sister can’t afford to stop because the wicked warlock will kill them.  The curse on him will be dissolved as soon as all the Grail women are dead.  Will they give up and hope for mercy or fight?  Of course they are gonna fight.

Title:  Ronan
Author:  Teresa Gabelman
Series:  The Protectors #12
Publish Date:  July 30, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Romance
Source: reviewer purchased
Publisher’s Description: Most think that newest VC Warrior, Ronan McDonald, is just a laid back cowboy. What they don’t see is the inner turmoil that only his small ranch and horses can tame. At least that was the way it had been until a witch with a beauty none could deny walked into his life.

Running has been Kira Grail’s life for as long as she can remember. It isn’t until she meets a VC Warrior that she realizes she is growing weary, but the forces chasing her will never bend.

Ronan doesn’t believe in witches or curses. What he does believe is that only he can keep Kira safe. Together they fight to bring the once powerful warlock, Orjyll, to his knees releasing the women of the Dragonfly Coven. During their perilous journey Kira vows to keep her distance, but the vampire cowboy has other plans.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This series is fun.  They are all basically the same concept with different couples.  There is death, dismemberment, blood and gore but also it “could” be a standalone.  It would be better to read the series to keep up with the history, though.  There is sex because, um, well…vampires.

Ronan is a newbie to the VC Warriors. and he’s a lot more laid back than the rest.  Vampires and witches don’t always mix, but they are joining forces to protect the world from one mean and angry warlock.  Ronan happens to be smitten with Kira and wants to make her his mate.  She needs to be convinced.

This is a quick romance as it doesn’t take much time to develop but there are appearances from all the other vampires and their mates so that makes the story more engaging.  I especially liked the fact that even though the vampires are mated for life doesn’t always mean it’s happily ever after.  There is some drama in one couple that needs work, but they’ll get it straightened out.  That kind of drama makes the story a little more realistic since no matter how swoony in love a person is, their mate can drive them nuts every once in awhile.

Other recommendations:

 

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