A Deadly Feast (A Key West Food Critic #9) by Lucy Burdette

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Pages: 283

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: May 7, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: Thanksgiving is nearly here, and Key West food critic Hayley Snow has just one more assignment to put to bed for Key Zest magazine before she gets to celebrate with her family and her police officer fiancé, Nathan Bransford. Then, just days later, wedding bells will ring—if death doesn’t toll first.

The sweet potatoes and stuffing will have to wait when Hayley picks up a distraught phone call from her friend, Analise Smith. On the last stop of a seafood tasting tour run by Analise, one of the customers collapsed—dead. With the police on the verge of shutting down the tour—and ruining Analise’s business—Hayley can hardly refuse her friend’s entreaties to investigate.

As if wedding jitters and family strife weren’t enough for Hayley to worry about, there’s crusty pastry chef Martha Hubbard, whose key lime pie may have been the murder weapon—but did she poison her own pie or was she framed? As the hours to Turkey Day tick away, the pressure cooker is on for Hayley to serve up the culprit on a silver platter in A Deadly Feast, national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s taste-tempting ninth Key West Food Critic mystery.

My Review: This was my first foray into the world of Lucy and her Key West adventures. I am HOOKED! So much so I have already requested the first book in the series from my local library and have checked daily on its progress to my anticipating hands.

Even though I entered at book 9, I was never lost. The author did a great job in explaining the characters but it never felt like she was overdoing for those readers who have been reading since book one.

The story kept me riveted to the end and the description of the food made me rush to the store to make her Mojito Cookies this past weekend. They have been a hit. Next, I will try her pecan bars.

This is the perfect book to read outside, with a glass of sweet tea and some form of sparkling water in front of you.

I received a complimentary copy from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

Stone Bridges (A Swift River Valley #9) by Carla Neggers

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Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA

Published: March 26, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: Adrienne Portale has never settled in one place for long, but takes a job as innkeeper in tiny Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, to spend some time getting to know the father she only recently found. When three small boys get lost in the wilderness that borders the inn, Adam Sloan leads the search. His family ties to the town go back generations. Adrienne sees the bond that people in a small town have as they band together to find the missing children. Adam is impressed with her calm strength, but he’s sure she won’t find what she’s looking for in his quiet hometown.

Despite their differences, Adam and Adrienne discover they have more in common than they’d expected. They love to explore old stone walls and bridges, and she adores his dog. As summer bleeds into the gorgeous New England fall, the attraction between them grows, and they must decide where—and who—makes a place home.

My Review: A spectacular addition to the Swift River Valley series. Even if you’ve never read any books in the series you will be fine delving right in. In fact you will probably be tempted to read the first eight books immediately following this one as you will fall in love with Knights Bridge and not want to leave.

I enjoyed being back at the inn with Adrienne and Adam’s story. The inn is magical when it comes to love. The inn makes me want to start an herb garden in my backyard.

Stone Bridges is the perfect romance to read on the first pool weekend of the season. It just may help heat up the water!

I received a complimentary copy from Harlequin/MIRA through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

In Cold Chocolate (A Southern Chocolate Shop #3) by Dorothy St. James

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Pages: 263 (ebook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Penn” is still making her place in Camellia Beach, SC and finding her inner chocolatier. It is the season of sea turtle hatching and Penn wants to become a turtle volunteer. In order to do so she joins Althea and the other turtle volunteers to watch a nest for possible hatching. As they are watching they notice a house has left outdoor lights on. Althea goes to get cardboard to cover the light and Jody, Penn’s nemesis, shows up with guns a blazing, truly. Unfortunately, Jody finds herself on the wrong end of the law when all signs point to her in the murder of the beach’s playboy, Cassidy. Can Penn prove Jody’s innocence?

I have really enjoyed this series this year. Penn has grit and determination of a Southern lady even though she is from Wisconsin. She has her mother’s blood in her that is for sure. I enjoy her spars with the police chief and detective. Detective Gibbons is one of my favorite characters. I believe he has a crush on Penn. I’m not a big love triangle kind of person but I hope something starts to happen in the love arena between Penn and Gibbons. Harley needs a run for his money.

This is the perfect book for all sea turtle lovers and cozy mystery fans. An enjoyable read for any time of the year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Against the Claw (Lobster Shack Mystery #2) by Shari Randall

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m in love with this series. Allie is moving right up there in the top five of my favorite amateur sleuths. I love her sweetness, spunkiness and doggedness to find the killer. Even a bum ankle does not slow her down.

In book two of the Lobster Shack Mystery series we join Allie, Aunt Gully, and friends as they prepare for the Fourth of July. The Lazy Mermaid has more customers than ever and Lorel, Allie’s sister, agrees for the Mermaid to cater “THE” Fourth of the July party for Stellene Lupo. Before that can happen a Jane Doe is found by Allie as she lobsters with a family friend. Can Allie find out who she is and what happened before she ends up sleeping with the fishes?

The Lobster Shack series is a pure joy to read. The description of Mystic Bay, CT is so real that you feel like you are right there with Allie. You can taste the lobster rolls, smell the salt from the ocean and feel the sand under your toes. This is a place I wish I could visit and meet Allie. She seems like a great person to have in your corner.

Her sister, Lorel, was not so frustrating this book. In the first book, Curses, Boiled Again, I did not like Lorel and was hoping she was going to be a minor character with little interaction. She was needed and added a lot to the second book.

If you are a new fan of cozies and like the beach, you should grab the first two books in the series and block out a weekend (preferably on the beach) and read, read, read. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed n the review are entirely my own.

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

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Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the first Beth Harbison book I have read and I was pleased with the book. I am not a huge fan of ghosts or spirits but she did it very tastefully. By the end of the book I was almost wishing my Papaw would come visit me so I could tell him I love him one more time.

Willa’s husband died three years ago of a heart attack while working at their Ocean City, Maryland beach house. This summer she has decided it is time to put the beach house up for sale. She gets there and realizes a lot of work needs to be done on the inside and outside before she can put it up for sale. Not long after she arrives her husband’s spirit visits her. At first she thinks she is cracking up but the more she visits the more she realizes he is there for a reason. As the summer progresses her son, best friend and best friend’s daughter come to help her get the house in order and help her finally deal with her husband’s death. It is a summer of change for everyone.

I am not 100% sure that Willa’s husband’s spirit actually came to visit or her. I think in her grief she wished for a connection to him and conjured him up in her subconscious when she needed the connection to him. I believe there is a bit of Willa in all of us when we lose someone close to us. We want that person to be here with us and look for any sign to show is that they are here with us.

They relationship between Willa and her son Jamie is very believable. I was impressed with how much he grew in a few weeks at the shore with his mom especially when he got rid of the psycho girlfriend. The scary idea is the psycho girlfriend was so real. Sad to say my own son had one of those for a while. I was glad to read a story where the someone was strong enough to break it off and not keep dragging the relationship out continuously.

Every Time You Go Away is a tender, heart wrenching book that will make you think about how short life is and how quickly it can change.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.