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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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Promises and Primroses by Josi Kilpack

Sweet historical romance.  This book has two romances inside it’s covers and both romance couples have had or are having trials they aren’t sure they can overcome.  Families aren’t always perfect and this one truly isn’t.

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

Title:  PROMISES AND PRIMROSES
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #1
Publish Date:  September 4, 2018
Genre:  Historical/Sweet Romance
Source: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publisher’s Description:  Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions. If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family’s inheritance.

Peter, Elliott’s eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

Losing someone you love is a heartbreak without much comfort.

This is a sweet historical romance that is original in it’s design.  I’ve read lots of romances and they sometimes share the same qualities, but this story is different.  It’s engaging and although I might have known everything would turn out happy, there were some passages that made me hold my breath.

It’s also different whereas there is another romance in the same book.  While one is the center of attention, there is another that is just begging to surface.  I could really relate to the heroine in this book because she was down to earth, had common sense and not afraid to get her hands dirty.

I enjoyed the parts of the books where the dogs came into play.  I cried in some places and in the end was so very glad how it all turned out.  I have to say, though, I’m more happy for the sideline romance than the spotlighted romance only because it had a steeper hill to climb for happiness.

This book did not have sex and was not a cliffhanger by any means.  It was a very satisfying story and I enjoyed it greatly.

Other recommendations…

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

 

 

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Asp (Guardian Security Shadow World #2) by Kris Michaels

Guardian Security’s Shadow World reveals Asp. The Shadow World operatives have nothing. No real relationships, no ties. All they have is their job, and their closest friends are other assassins.  How does one drop their guard long enough to let someone else in?

Title: Asp
Author:  Kris Michaels
Series:  Guardian Security Shadow World #2
Publish Date: July 31, 2018
Genre:  Military Romance
Source: reviewers purchase

Publisher’s Description: 
As a Shadow, Asp planned his assassinations with meticulous care. His work required one thing, that the Council direct his kills. The coded target became a “sanctioned hit” and that distinction was vital.

His most recent assignment took him to a remote area of the Andes Mountains in Colombia. He completed his assassination according to plan – more or less – but no amount of careful planning could have prepared him for the dire circumstances he found himself in. As he faded in and out of consciousness due to a life-threatening bullet wound, he knew he might not get home. He’d resigned himself to dying alone, just not this soon.

Lyric Gadson was an unwilling expatriate. She’d trade her grandfather’s farm in the foothills of the Andes for her old life in Jacksonville, Florida in a heartbeat. But, the cost of a return ticket was out of reach, and Lyric found herself maturing from carefree teen to responsible woman on a remote Colombia banana farm. When her beloved grandfather failed to return from his yearly pilgrimage to his wife’s shrine, Lyric thought nothing of packing her kit and hiking into the Andes mountains to find him. She found her grandfather—and an unconscious man near death. Her decision to stay and care for the dying man would usher in the greatest love of her life, but it could also threaten everyone else she held dear.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a new series, a spin-off of The Kings of Guardian series. These men (so far) are assassins who take care of the sanctioned kills of super bad people. This story does have some swearing, some sex but no cliffhanger. There are also guns, scary situations and an impossible kind of love that becomes possible.

Kris Michaels’s writing ranks right up there with a lot of great writers–Susan Stoker, Teresa Gabelman, and Tina Folsom are just a few. This story is well thought out and is written so well that it’s very hard to put down. As a matter of fact, the pages practically turn themselves.

Since I’ve never been an assassin or in a situation where I had to hole up in a cave and heal after a gunshot wound, I can’t say if this story is believable or would actually happen like it does in the book. With that said, I believe it. I can’t imagine the hours of research that this author has put into her books, but like I said, they are so well written and action-packed that I felt like I was a mouse hidden in the backpack coming along for the ride.

There is no doubt that this is a 5 star. Every time I finish one of Michaels’s books, I think it can’t get any better, but by the time the next book rolls around and I read it, it gets better.  Cheers to an amazing author.

Our reviews in this series…

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Monsoon Mansion by Cinelle Barnes

Cinelle Barnes is a creative non-fiction writer and educator from Manila, Philippines. She writes memoirs and personal essays on trauma, growing up in Southeast Asia, and on being a mother and immigrant in America.

Title: Monsoon Mansion
Author: Cinelle Barnes
Publish Date: April 1, 2018 by Little A
Genre: Memoir
Source: Purchased through the Amazon’s Kindle First program

Publisher’s Description: Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.

Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been.

In this remarkable ode to survival, Cinelle creates something magical out of her truth—underscored by her complicated relationship with her mother. Through a tangle of tragedy and betrayal emerges a revelatory journey of perseverance and strength, of grit and beauty, and of coming to terms with the price of family—and what it takes to grow up.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Agent Annie says…

My April “Kindle First” book choice was fantastic. Monsoon Mansion is a memoir that immerses you in the life of the author as a child.

I hardly knew anything about the Philippines before reading the book other than the name of Imelda Marcos and her huge shoe collection. I shouldn’t have been surprised by the disparity between the wealthy and the impoverished in yet another “third” world country, but the author vividly describes the differences between her own family’s life and privileges and the abject poverty of the servants’ village life and the misery in Manila outside her gates.

I still marvel at the author’s ability to put perspective on her mother’s behavior. Barnes describes the relationship in a poignant scene in the final chapter as she answers her own daughter’s questions.

…Then she asks, “Mama, do you miss your mama?”

“I do, but it’s better to miss her than to be around her.”

“Because she does things that hurt people?”

That’s how I’ve explained it to her: that my mother cannot come near us because she does regrettable things.

Barnes’ mother was a true nightmare, but her father, whose choice to abandon the family brings about the depraved situation the author grows up in, is portrayed so richly that the reader fully understands the complexity of his thought process and the details of his personality, and it’s easy to understand why he made the choices he did and that he was truly trying to do what was best in the scope of his own human weakness.

Barnes writes in such a way that the mansion itself and the weather are also characters that play a role in her childhood. The deteriorating mansion is a symbol of her mother’s decay, but it has its own characteristics and can haunt or protect the children. It’s described in such rich detail that I feel if I walked in the front door, I would recognize it immediately. The monsoon that is the catalyst to her father leaving, also provides the author with a glimpse of the freedom brought by big water. It’s such an interesting parallel to explore the flood waters and forever after be drawn to the ocean.

This book is definitely a 5 and I look forward to reading more of Cinelle Barnes’ work.

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