The Body in the Wetlands (A Jazzi Sanders Mystery #2) by Judi Lynn

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Pages: 268

Publisher: Kensington

Published: April 23, 2013

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: When established house flippers Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod donate a week’s worth of remodeling work to Jazzi’s sister Olivia, they’re expecting nothing more than back-breaking roofing work and cold beers at the end of each long, hot day. With Jazzi’s live-in boyfriend and partner Ansel on the team, it promises to be a quick break before starting their next big project—until Leo, an elderly neighbor of Olivia’s, unexpectedly goes missing . . .

When the friendly senior’s dog tugs Jazzi and the guys toward the wetlands beyond Olivia’s neighborhood, they stumble across a decomposing corpse—and a lot of questions. With Jazzi’s pal Detective Gaff along to investigate, Jazzi finds her hands full of a whole new mystery instead of the usual hammer and nails. And this time it will take some sophisticated sleuthing to track down the culprit of the deadly crime—before the killer turns on her next . . .

My review:

What I like: I love the mystery that runs through each book in the series. The mystery is very interesting and both books have kept me guessing almost to the end.

I enjoy the animals featured and was very pleased to see Jazzi get the kittens from the little boy and not go to a pet store. I imagine those kittens are going to give George the Pug a run for his money shortly.

What I don’t like: Ansel’s insecurity with Jazzi is very disturbing almost to the point of being controlling. Yes, they’ve known each other a while but only been dating two months and already he is pressuring her to let him put a ring on it. A comment is made almost every day. I am tired of reading how handsome he is. We get it, he is the perfect Nordic God. How he acted while away at his family was sickening. Where is the trust he says he has in Jazzi? He is not showing it.

There is a lot of beer drinking while working. Every time they take a break, it’s “Let’s go have a beer.” Maybe they should drink some water every now and then.

The lead detective asking Jazzi for help in notifying next of kin was very far fetched for me. Seemed absurd. Yes, I realize this is fiction but it made the story hard to believe. No police officer that I know would be asking a civilian to help him break the news to the next of kin that someone has died.

I would not give this to a young teenager to read as there are adult situations (no details but heavily implied), drinking and the controlling behavior of Ansel.

I like the Jazzi Sanders Mystery series but it is not my favorite. I will continue to read the series.

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

Mother’s Day Mayhem (A Tourist Trap # 10.5) by Lynn Cahoon

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Pages: 75

Publisher: Kensington

Published: April 2, 2019

Rating: 3.5 stars

NetGalley:
Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More is almost out of Mother’s Day cards. She has a few more in stock, but she’s set them aside because she needs Greg’s help choosing one for his mother. It’ll be Jill’s first time meeting her boyfriend’s mother, and she’s understandably nervous.

Turns out Jill isn’t the only one having feelings about mothers. Kyle, who works at the antique store next door, needs to find the perfect card for a mother he hasn’t seen since he was five—when she went away to jail. But her arrival in South Cove isn’t exactly celebratory, her behavior toward her son unexpectedly restrained. Piqued, Jill discovers that a mother can never be replaced . . .

My review:
I have enjoyed these novellas until the next full-length novel is released but I felt this was out of order. I would suggest reading Mother’s Day Mayhem before Killer Party.

Mother’s Day Mayhem is the perfect way to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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

Criminally Cocoa (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3.5) by Amanda Flower

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Pages: 86

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 26, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:
As if being in New York City for Easter isn’t exciting enough, Charlotte Weaver has another reason to be thrilled. She’s helping her cousin, Bailey, on the set of her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Bailey will even be re-creating the delectable hand-woven chocolate Easter baskets she once crafted for the city’s world-famous JP Chocolates. But once things start rolling, Charlotte starts to notice odd things happening—things that seem intended to make Bailey look bad . . .

With Bailey feeling extra nervous about being on camera, Charlotte decides to keep her suspicion of sabotage to herself. But she knows that among Bailey’s fans at the Gourmet Television network lurks a dangerously jealous rival. Now Charlotte will have to find out who that person is—before sour grapes turn one of the sweetest times of the year fatally bitter . . .

My Review:
Amanda Flower has a way with words when it comes to cozy mysteries that warm your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. I have yet to find a series of hers that I do not like. In fact, they keep getting better. If you have never read one of her books and are not sure where to start, Criminally Cocoa would be a great place to start. Yes, it technically comes after the third book in the An Amish Candy Shop series but you can read it out of order and be perfectly fine.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story from Charlotte’s side instead of Bailey’s. It gave the series a fresh view. Charlotte is a perfect spunky Amish side kick to Bailey.

A recipe for Bird’s Nest is included at the end of the novella. I find myself being tempted to try and make them this year for Easter.

Books in Series:

  1. Assaulted Caramel
  2. Lethal Licorice
  3. Premeditated Peppermint
  4. Toxic Toffee

I received a copy of this novella from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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Pages: 352

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will start my review saying I will NOT discuss the political sides of abortion or whether I think it is right or wrong.

George Goddard, an upset father, takes it upon himself to teach the women and doctor at the state’s only abortion clinic a lesson, by taking them hostage. He blames everyone there, patients and staff, for what has happened to his daughter.

After the first shot was fired, Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator, was one of the first one scene. What he doesn’t realize is that his fifteen year old daughter is inside with her aunt, his sister. Hugh has depend on his training and the others inside to keep his daughter safe.

Through the eyes of a nurse who is a patient, the doctor who performs the abortions, a retired professor facing a death she cannot control, the distraught father, an anti abortion protestor, a young woman who felt abortion was her only way out and a scared teenager we learn of the many different reasons humans make the decisions they do.

You can guarantee that when you pick up a Jodi Picoult book you will be made to dig deep inside yourself and think. You may not agree with the issue being discussed but you will be forced to see the issue from every side.

I was not sure if I would like the narrative structure The Spark of Life was written in but by the end I was glad it was written backward, meaning we start with the most recent hour of the hostage standoff and work our way back to how it all began. It forced me to question why and take more of the facts given into consideration.

A great book for book clubs as many discussions can arise while reading. Expect tears and heartache as you read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House-Ballantine through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

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Pages: 224 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josie has spent the past six months in Ponder, Alaska cooking at the town’s lodge while waiting for her dream job to begin in Seattle with Chef Anton. A position others in her culinary school class would have loved to had. What Josie did not expect was to fall in love with the town and a particular young bachelor, Palmer, the local swordsmith. The night before she is to leave, Palmer tries to propose. Even if Palmer had been more romantic with his proposal Josie was still not going to stay. She has worked too hard to get her dream position. After missing the last ferry leaving Ponder for the season, Josie blames Palmer for her situation. In order to save what is left of their relationship Palmer finds a sea-tac plane leaving in a couple of weeks. When Josie gets to Seattle she realizes she left her heart in Ponder. Can Josie and Palmer find a way to both be happy and be together?

I can’t start celebrating Christmas reading until I have read a Debbie Macomber Christmas story. Macomber has a knack for making one believe in love and happily ever afters especially around Christmas. I appreciate she can show love at its finest in a clean way. She doesn’t feel the need to have sex scenes sully the beauty of true love.

This is the perfect book to grab on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon while sitting in front of the Christmas tree sipping peppermint cocoa. It is the perfect length to read in one sitting.

I received a complimentary copy from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie MaComber

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Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: July 17, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Annie is learning to adjust to life without her entire family. After eighteen months she has decided to go to one the place that she remembers from her childhood as a time of love and happiness. Will this place be the healing Annie needs?

A beautiful story or healing and love. You not only have healing from a personal tragedy, you have healing of a past that has frozen one to life of agoraphobia, and healing of animals that bring comfort and joy to all they touch.

I appreciate how Debbie Macomber can write about love without smutting it up. She keeps it clean and respectful. Her characters can argue nd get their point across without throwing out curse words every other word. You can rest assured that an impressionable young woman can read this book and walk away without being shocked.

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

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer

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Pages: 305 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In September Alison and David are going to start the rest of their life together by getting married on Nantucket but first they must get their respective grown kids and their families together. Alison plans on doing this by inviting all the families to David’s Nantucket house every weekend over the summer.

Alison has two daughters. Her oldest is Jane who has always been her rule following, corporate world daughter who is married with no children. Her other daughter Felicity has always marched to her own drummer and is married with two kids of her own. By visiting the island of Nantucket the girls have found a friendship in each other that they didn’t know was there but is everything as it seems in their married lives?

David has a son and daughter. His oldest is his daughter, Poppy. She is married with two kids and one on the way. Her goal is to take over the family business as soon as she can and it doesn’t matter who or what is in her way she will succeed. His youngest is Ethan. Ethan is happy living on his farm in Vermont growing flowers for this business and living life how he wants even though he has a daughter who lives with him except for summer break. Are they ready to share their dad, the business and their lives with new family?

I needed a pick-me-up book and this fit the bill. You have romance, family, and beautiful scenery. I would not classify this as a romance book but as a fiction book that anyone, male or female, would be interested to read. Thayer focus’ more on how families meld as older generations marry. You have plenty of generations covered from babies to what I call mid-life 50s and 60s. Thayer takes the time to develop each of life her characters are in and lets is follow them as they develop into the next of stage of life.

The scenery of Nantucket is breathtaking and inspiring. You can understand why Alison chose the Nantucket beach house as the place to bring the families together.

It is that time of year to start sitting outside in your favorite rocker with a glass of sweet tea and losing yourself in the world of books and this is the perfect start to spring/summer reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

surprise me

Pages: 448 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: February 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sylvie and Dan have married for ten years and are the couple who finish each others sentences and know what the other is thinking before they speak. They are the quintessential couple. After a trip to the doctor they panic and their lives as they know it start to unravel. Dan becomes more and more angry as Sylvie and starts closing himself off to Sylvia. Sylvie thinks more about her deceased dad which angers Dan more. Fights happen more and jealousy starts. Their plan to surprise each other to spice things up brings more surprises than either anticipates. Will the biggest surprise tear Sylvie’s world apart or can she and her marriage come back stronger and better than ever?

My rating was almost a 3 star rating but the last quarter of the book saved it. Even though the book is about Sylvie and Dan, Sylvie is the main character and she starts off as a whiney brat that I just wanted to smack. I don’t condone smacking someone but she needed it. Heaven forbid things did not go as planned as she was hell on wheels. Her husband had a lot more patience than I would have as even her friend.

I was not too keen on how they looked at “long-term” marriage. They almost viewed it as a death sentence. Are you telling me they seriously did not think about this before saying I do. Did they not think about their age and how long they could possibly live and do the math and think wow, we could be married for 68 years? Personally my goal is to be married as long as my grandparents will be in April of this year which is 70 years (impossible for us unless we live to be in our 120s).

As I mentioned above the last quarter of the book saved it for me. There is a moment that Sylvie has with her neighbor John that changes everything…” Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating. […] And so…not an achievement, my dear […] Rather, a privilege.” I find this one moment in the book the most romantic moment in the book. I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for a copy to read and review using my own honest thoughts and opinions.