Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bitter Roots (Bitter Root Mysteries Book 1) by C. J. Carmichael - Review

Dispatcher Zak Waller prefers working behind the scenes in the Sheriff’s Office of Lost Trail, Montana, but when a newcomer to the sparely populated town is brutally murdered—and the Sheriff is quick to pin the death on an unknown outsider—Zak starts his own private sleuthing.

On the surface Lost Trail is a picture-perfect western town, offering a simple way of life revolving around the local ranches and ski hill, but Zak knows the truth behind the fa├žade. When his old school friend Tiff Masterson, whose family owns a local Christmas tree farm, moves back to town, the two of them join forces to get to the truth about the murder.

Bitter Roots is the first of three Bitter Root Mysteries.

My Review:

An intriguing new mystery with an unpredictable ending. 

No one knew much about Riley Concurran or what brought her to Lost Trail, but her brutal murder has everyone shook up.  The sheriff thinks it was an outsider who tracked her down.  But best friends, Zak Waller and Tiff Masterson think differently.  Together, they put all the pieces together and solve the crime.

I enjoyed this story a lot.  It was a nice change from what I usually read.  I liked the characters and plot.  I look forward to the rest of the series to learn more about other characters in the book.  The book kept me attention the entire time and I was unable to figure out who the killer was.  It was an exciting surprise to learn who it was. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Falling for the Ranger (Men of Marietta Book 4) by Kaylie Newell - Review

When Todd Harris makes the move from the mean streets of Chicago to the sleepy roads of Marietta, Montana, it’s not just his career that’s changing… it’s his entire life. Going from police officer to forest ranger isn’t too much of a stretch, but getting used to how things work in a small town is. As he settles in, Todd realizes he loves the slower pace of the countryside, but then… an Olympic gold medalist comes to town and shatters his hard fought peace. 

But the town’s new forest ranger doesn’t like attention and he sure as hell isn’t looking for any kind of relationship with someone who does. When Molly Cordero gets lost in the woods though and Todd is the one who saves her, the spark he’s been trying to ignore smolders and ignites. It's then that he realizes there’s a lot more to Molly than ambition and public adulation.

When Todd signs up for the Men of Marietta calendar shoot to raise money for Harry's House, a place for children to commemorate a fallen firefighter, Molly realizes the kind of man he is. With the shoot wrapping up, she faces a painful decision–return to her old life, or give her new life with Todd a fighting chance.

My Review: 

Todd Harris made the move from a big city cop in Chicago to a forest ranger in Marietta, Montana.  A slower pace of life is what he was looking for.  But, when Olympic gold medalist Molly Cordero comes to town, life gets shook up a bit more than Todd expected. 

When Todd signs up for the Men of Marietta Calendar, it opens Molly’s eyes to what a great guy Todd really is.  After their rocky start, they learn to let down their guard and allow themselves to trust in love again.

I like reading about flawed characters and how they overcome their issues and find love again.  I also enjoyed the banter between Molly and Todd.  It made it a fun book to read.  The descriptions really brought the story to life and you can’t go wrong with a cute dog in the story either. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Chocolate Comeback (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 7) by Roxanne Snopek - Review

Fame, fortune and fashion: that’s aspiring model Deirdre Cash’s ideal life. But when her splashy New York career dries up, she swallows her pride and returns to Marietta, Montana, desperate for any work she can find.

Isaac Litton doesn’t want the intrusion of a home care aide for his brother, Mark. But when the young man takes a shine to DeeDee, Isaac decides to give her a chance. He can’t help but be impressed when DeeDee changes his brother’s life around, by rewarding healthy habits and exercising with treats from the Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop. Gorgeous and opinionated, DeeDee stirs everything up in the Litton household, including an attraction that Isaac can't deny.

As DeeDee and Isaac start to fall for each other, an unexpected opportunity arises that could launch DeeDee back into the modeling scene. It's her chance to achieve everything she's ever wanted. But taking it would mean letting down her friends at the chocolate shop, her family who believes in her, a boy who adores her, and a man who thinks she's already perfect, just the way she is.

The Love at the Chocolate Shop series
Book 1: Melt My Heart, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael
Book 2: A Thankful Heart by Melissa McClone
Book 3: Montana Secret Santa by Debra Salonen
Book 4: The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek
Book 5: The Valentine Quest by Melissa McClone
Book 6: Charmed by Chocolate by Steena Holmes
Book 7: The Chocolate Comeback by Roxanne Snopek
More books coming soon

My Review:

A story about finding love and happiness in the last place expected. 

DeeDee Cash has come home to Marietta, Montana after an unsuccessful modeling career in New York City.  Unsure of what to do with her life, DeeDee’s sister introduces her to Isaac Litton, who is looking for a caregiver for his brother Mark, who has Down syndrome.  DeeDee and Mark become friends which also leads Isaac to open his heart to love again.

This story is really good.  I enjoyed how DeeDee not only helped Mark, but how she took charge of a fundraising fashion show and baby shower when he sister ended up in the hospital.  It is a sweet, heartfelt story with characters that you just can’t get enough of. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

White Sand, Blue Sea: A St. Barts Love Story by Anita Hughes - Review

Olivia Miller is standing on the porch of her mother and stepfather's plantation style villa in St. Barts. They have been coming here every April for years but she is always thrilled to see the horseshoe shaped bay of Gustavia and white sand of Gouverneur's Beach. This trip should be particularly exciting because she is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday and hoping that Finn, her boyfriend of four years, will propose.

The only person who won't be here is her father, Sebastian, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s a well-known artist and crisscrosses the globe, painting and living in exotic locations like Kenya and China. When Sebastian unexpectedly walks through the door and floats back into Olivia’s life like a piece of bad driftwood she never knew she wanted, she starts to wonder if her world is too narrow. She questions the dreams and the relationship she’s always thought she wanted. But there seems to be more to the story than an innocent fatherly visit, and Olivia must decide if love is more important than truth.

Set on St. Barts, the jewel of the Caribbean, Anita Hughes's WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA is a heartwarming story about romance and adventure, and most important, about knowing yourself, and what makes you happy.

My Review:

Beautifully descriptive and entertaining. 

Olivia Miller is excited to be celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday with her boyfriend, mother and step-father at their island home on St. Barts.   She is almost positive her boyfriend is going to propose too.  But she still can’t help thinking about her father, Sebastian, who never shows up for her birthdays even though he is sent an invitation every year.  When Sebastian shows up at the door, Olivia is thrilled.  But, she can’t help wondering why he decided to show up this time.  What she finds out is a total surprise. 

The story takes you back and forth, from the present day to the past, as Olivia and her mother remember Sebastian and their life together.  He is a popular artist and they traveled the world together until it was time for Olivia to start school and needed to settle down for a more stable life.   That’s when he left them and never came back. 

I always know when I pick up a book by Anita Hughes, I will be transported to some exotic location and the story will be filled with glamorous people.  The descriptions always feel so real too, whether it’s describing the scenery, people, food or even clothing.  The stories are always interesting and entertaining.  This book is right up there with the rest of them, another new favorite.  

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs by Charles Falco & Kerrie Droban - Review

The basis for the hit TV series Gangland Undercover!

The gripping account from an ex-con who went undercover to help the ATF infiltrate three of America's most violent biker gangs

Despite lacking any experience with motorcycle gangs, Charles Falco infiltrated three of America's deadliest biker gangs: the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. In separate investigations that spanned years and coasts, Falco risked his life, suffering a fractured neck and a severely torn shoulder, working deep under cover to bring violent sociopaths to justice.
His dedication was profound; Falco spent almost three years infiltrating the Vagos gang and rose to second in command of the Victorville, California chapter. He even served time in San Bernardino's Murder Unit and endured solitary confinement to protect his cover and the investigations. Falco recorded confessions of gangland-style killings and nearly became a target himself before he sought refuge in the Witness Protection Program. But discontent to remain on the sidelines and motivated by a strong sense of duty, Falco eventually left the Program and volunteer his talents again to infiltrate the Mongols and Outlaws, rising in rank to Vice President of the Petersburg, Virginia Outlaws chapter.

His efforts culminated in sixty two arrests of members for various crimes, including assault and murder. Executing one of this country's most successful RICO prosecutions and effectively crippling the criminal enterprise, Falco's engrossing narrative of the dangers of the biker underworld harkens back to Hunter S. Thompson's classic Hell's Angels, vividly recounting a life undercover.

My Review:

As a fan of the TV show Gangland Undercover, I knew I had to check out this book. And boy was I glad I did.  There is so much more to the story that the show didn't touch on.  If you want to know what life is really like in some of our country's most dangerous biker gangs or as an undercover agent in one, you need to read this book.  It's an addictive, action packed, true story that pulls you in from the very start. 

This is not the cheesy BS you read in some fiction books or see on tv.  This is real life; dark, gritty and violent.  I promise this in one book you will not be able to put down. It's an adrenaline rush that you want to keep going until you finish the book.  And then you will be left wanting more. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Recipe for Romance (Bachelor Bake-Off #5) by Lara Van Hulzen - Review

Wes planned a drive by trip to Marietta, Montana to help his dad close a business deal and then to head back to his life in New York. But when his dad volunteers him for the Bachelor Bake-Off to commemorate a local fallen first responder, Wes can’t say no, even though Marietta holds painful memories and baking eludes his skill set.

After an accident sidelines Noelle Olsen’s career as a dancer, she moves to Montana to pursue a new dream: opening a dance studio in Marietta’s historic and charming downtown. When one of her students suckers her into helping the handsome Wes St. Clare whip up some winning recipes, Noelle finds herself dreaming about more than teaching dance.

Falling in love wasn’t part of Wes’ plans, and definitely not in Marietta, and as Noelle learns more about Wes and his business dealings, she fears she’ll lose her business along with her heart. Will cozy kitchens and a nudge from the St. Claire family help Wes and Noelle find the love they didn’t know they were looking for?

My Review:

Another sweet installment in Bachelor Bake-Off series. 

Wesley and Noelle are complete opposites.  Wes is a wealthy businessman who planned a quick trip to Marietta to see his family and help his father with a business deal before heading back to his home in New York.  Noelle is a former ballerina who moved to Marietta and opened a dance studio. 

Wes’ father enters him into the Bachelor Bake-Off, a fundraiser to help build Harry’s House.  But, since Wes can’t bake, his niece volunteers her dance teacher, Noelle, to teach him.  Neither one of them expected their working together to lead to love. 

This is one of those stories that you just don’t want to end.  It is the perfect romance and full of surprises.