Monday, May 10, 2021

"Bully 4 Love: A Rather Odd Love Story,"
by Steven Paul Levia

Adolfus didn't know it, but his life would be forever changed when a woman named Livinia walked into his Adult Education class. The changes wouldn't come directly from or through her, though something about her presence seemed to bring about great change in those whose lives she touched.   


This was an unusual story. In the beginning, I wasn't sure what to make of it. It's isn't your typical romance story. (Livinia is a very happily married woman, and there is no physical, romantic, or emotional relationship between Afolfus & Livinia.) This book more truly explores the story of Adolfus & Livinia's husband Eugene. 


But again, it is not a physical or romantic love story between these two men, but more a story of how their lives intertwined throughout the years. The two had known each other as children, and while in the beginning they seemed destined to destroy one another's futures, instead it turns out that they are meant to be each other's saviors.


I really enjoyed reading this story. It brings you through the full range of human relationships. This book at times made me laugh and at other times made me cry. This is a contemporary tale that you really won't want to miss.


Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading deeply personal stories about how the simplest of things can be the catalyst to forever alter the course of someone's life.


Monday, May 3, 2021

"Doughnuts and Deception" by Agatha Frost

This third tale of Julia and her cake shop involves yet another series of murders, though this time they are not taking place inside the town of Peridale. The murders are happening in an old industrial park where Jessie had stayed while she was homeless. And with all those who are being killed being members of the homeless community, no one on the local police force seems to be taking it seriously or investigating the deaths.

Being who she is, Julia can't just ignore it like so many others have, and she finds herself doing what she can to help the people there as well as trying to figure out who the killer is, how people are being murdered, and why.


Like the first two books in this series, I enjoyed reading this story. It was entertaining and well written, holding my interest throughout the book. The clues to solving the mystery are there if you watch for them, but figuring out what is actually happening is part of what I enjoy when reading a good cozy mystery. And as has been the case with her other books in this series, the author did not disappoint me.


I believe anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries will find this book an enjoyable read. The characters were interesting as well as entertaining, and their actions easily imagined as taking place in many small communities. I myself will be continuing on with reading the 4th book in this series to see what happens next for the characters.

Monday, April 26, 2021

"Fate of the Champion" by Clara C.Johnson

Serra and the others have arrived back in Adhelm. But it is not with the news of successful treaty negotiations that she was hoping to bring. Instead, she must return to the palace to inform the king and his counsel that Queen Kathryn of Crelia possessed an army of orcs and was preparing to attack. And she must somehow manage to convince them that it is the truth and that the orcs are more than fantastical story creatures. They are real and quite vicious, but most everyone generally considers them nothing more than story creatures used to frighten naughty children with scary tales. 


This was the third and final book in the Champion series. And though I felt that parts of it could have benefitted from another round with a proofreader, the story itself was very entertaining and kept me wanting to find out how it would end.  


There were a number of surprising twists in the story that I hadn't seen coming. These twists made it a more complex and well rounded tale that kept my interest and curiosity piqued throughout the book. Anyone who enjoyed the first two books in this series would definitely want to read this series finale. It closes out the characters' stories quite nicely.


Monday, April 19, 2021

"Dames & Deadly Games" by Trixie Silvertale

Mitzi Moon is off to enjoy a vacation with her boyfriend, Erick on the grand opening excursion of a luxury railroad line. They will be enjoying all of the first class luxury offerings and enjoying the chance to try to solve the murder mystery theme on this first trip.


It seems like it should be a very fun weekend trip, however things take an unexpected turn when one of the passengers involved in the murder mystery game is actually murdered.


This was an interesting and fun cozy mystery with a paranormal aspect. Though it was the 13th book in the series, it was written in such a way that it works well enough as a stand alone story. I do think I might have enjoyed it even more if I was already familiar with the series, but please don't mistake that to mean it wasn't enjoyable, because I did like it. I just felt like knowing more of the characters’ history together would have somewhat enhanced my enjoyment of the story.


This book was a quick and fun read, that left me wanting to know more of what had happened before the start of this story… so I've picked up a copy of book one in the series so that I can find out how it all started. I think that anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, paranormal mysteries, or just a nice, fun story will enjoy reading this book, and likely this whole series.

Monday, April 12, 2021

"The Fall of the Fairy Queen"
by Gemma Perfect

Elsie and the others have won their rebellion against the forces of her cruel step parents. They are no longer a threat and as the only living heir, she will be the queen. But it appears that the question now seems to be will she actually get to be the queen and ruler or will Hardy continue to win the hearts of the people and find a way to have them declare him their king instead. Elsie knows he has killed before, so the question in her mind is more about how long before he no longer needs her around and finds a way to have her killed without implicating himself in her murder.


This book begins exactly where the first book ends. And not needing the setup or explanations that are necessary in any first book of a series, the pacing of this story was much quicker, and there was much more action happening overall.


I definitely enjoyed this book. The story kept me hooked all the way to the end, and was difficult to put down at night. I believe that it will appeal to anyone who enjoys stories with a bit more emotional conflict than there was in the first book. Though like book 1, it will likely also appeal to those who enjoy reading tales involving fairies.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens in book 3.


Monday, April 5, 2021

"It's a Charmed Life"
(The Grimm Files Book 1) by Selene Charles

Detective Elle (Arielle) is a siren who works for Grimm PD. Her specialty is solving cold cases, and her latest assignment sends her to the realm of Wonderland where she must work with Constable Maddox Hatter

The two of them need to solve both Elle's cold case involving two dead bodies found on the Charming Estate and Maddox's recently discovered dead body in Wonderland.


This was an interesting twisted fairy tale involving a number of recognizable characters from wonderland and other quite familiar stories. But these are not the familiar tales that we grew up reading involving these characters. 


This twist on both the characters and the places in this book I found to be very unique and I enjoyed the originality of this story. But be warned, while this is a twisted fairy tale, it is not necessarily one meant for younger readers. There is a significant level of descriptive nudity & sexual content contained within.


I believe this would be an enjoyable book for those who enjoy twisted fairy tales with a harder edge to them, or anyone who prefers that their fairy tales required a more mature audience.


Monday, March 29, 2021

"Healer Mail Order Bride
and her Wounded Banker"
by Florence Linnington

Martha lived in Germany. When her father died, she was left alone with no way to support herself. A friend of her father's placed an ad for her in a mail order bride catalog in the United States. She had just about given up hope when she received a letter from Luke McIver wanting to bring her to America to marry him. Unfortunately, that which seems too good to be true, often is.


When she arrived in the small town of Copperun only able to speak or understand a few words of English, she was directed to find Mr. McIver in the saloon. It turned out he was running the same con as he had in the past, inviting a woman to come and marry him, but instead forcing her to work as a scantily clad saloon girl and entertain the male customers. 


But once Martha began to understand what he expected her to do, she fled from the saloon leaving her few possessions behind. Fortunately she was rescued by Alexander, a man who was working to open a bank in the nearby town of Evergreen. Not being able to understand each other, he nevertheless realized she needed help and took her back to the hotel in Evergreen, where he knew she would find the help she needed.


As with Ms. Linnington’s other books in the series, I enjoyed this story. I was a little concerned at first when it began with a very similar plot device as an earlier book in the series. But from that point on it took a very different path. 


I enjoyed watching the main characters struggle to learn each other's language and seeing Martha find a place and a purpose that she had never dreamed of as being remotely possible. And as always, I enjoyed the expected ending to the book.


Anyone who enjoys mail order bride stories or stories written by Ms. Linnington would likely enjoy this book as well.


"Bully 4 Love: A Rather Odd Love Story," <br>by Steven Paul Levia

Adolfus didn't know it, but his life would be forever changed when a woman named Livinia walked into his Adult Education class. The c...