Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Release Week Review: Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch

Title: Her Darkest Secret
Author: Jessica R. Patch
Imprint: Love Inspired Trade
On-sale date: June 28, 2022
Price: $14.99
Format: Trade paperback, audiobook, ebook
ISBN: 9781335530028

Description: When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he's always wanted—her.

The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children's poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly's blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister's body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he's back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona.

Finding "Rhyme" is an obsession that's fueled Fiona's career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.

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 Her Darkest Secret Book Trailer

 
 


What I thought about Her Darkest Secret


In this psychological thriller, FBI Agent Fiona Kelly with the Strange Case Unit returns to Memphis area to investigate the return of the Nursery Rhyme Killer, a serial killer with personal ties to Fiona. She'd been abducted by him as a teen and escaped.  Unfortunately, her sister was not so lucky.

Fiona is teamed up with her ex-husband, Asa Kodiak, who is the head of the SC unit.  They have lingering feelings for each other that come out in full force when Fiona returns.  I really liked the relationship here between Fiona and Asa.  It is clear there are still very strong feelings here and also many conflicts that need to be worked through. Asa is a bit of a bear of a man and has a short fuse, which made him a more attractively flawed character.  

There's other members of the SCU involved as well.  Of all of them, I found Violet to be the most interesting character and I was very please to read at the end of the book she will be getting her own story.

As the SCU investigates the latest Nursery Rhyme killing, old wound and secrets are uncovered. It turns out that Fiona has been holding on to a secret for many years that has impacted her ability to see this case clearly.  If you've ever wondered what happens to people who experience unimaginable loss and misery, this books explains that by putting them in law enforcement.  

Her Darkest Secret pulled me into the story quickly and had me reading during my free moments to find out the mystery of the NRK.  However, I did find myself more interested in the personal lives of the SCU members more so than the serial murder case, which was interesting in itself, but  I really liked the interactions between the team more than the quest for justice in this particular story.  Their individual stories are just as tragic as the victims of the serial killers they are hunting.

I would also like to mention that there is religious/spiritual content to this story.  I suppose this is natural when dealing with the sort of evil in this story -- especially where the characters are also victims of these sorts of crimes. It's natural to question the existence of God, good and evil under these circumstances. There were a few times I felt it was a bit preachy, although that is my personal opinion and your experience may vary. It is one aspect of the story that sticks with me, though. 

Overall, I enjoyed the reading experience with Her Darkest Secret.  It kept me reading and I'm definitely hooked on these characters.  I did find there were many names of suspects and victims to keep straight and that took some effort and the ending wrapped up very quickly after a slow progression to the conclusion, but mostly I really liked this story and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

About the Author


Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author, Jessica R. Patch is known for her dry wit and signature twists whether she’s penned a romantic suspense, a cold case thriller, or a small-town romance. When she’s not getting into fictional mischief with her characters, you can find her cozy on the couch in her mid-south home reading books by some of her favorite authors, watching movies with her family, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Sign up for her newsletter “Patched In” at www.jessicarpatch.com. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management. 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Release Week Review: How to Fake A Wedding Date (Little Black Book of Secrets #3) by Karen Booth

 


This socialite left her fiancé at the altar and now she needs a fake date to a wedding. What could go wrong?  

It started with one simple request: Pretend to like me for three days.”  

Canceling her own million-dollar wedding made socialite Alexandra Gold infamous. Now the only way to avoid going alone to the wedding of this season—and keep vicious gossip account Little Black Book of Secrets quiet—is to bring a fake date. 

The almost-perfect candidate: architect Ryder Carson, her brother’s best friend. Ryder’s off-limits, yet tempting, despite their recent history. And as the celebration heats up, so do the sparks. 

But is it only a matter of time before Little Black Book reveals their secret?

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 What I thought about
How to Fake a Wedding Date

Alex Gold has a problem. She's notorious for canceling her high profile wedding and the paparrazzi are still looking for a story. When it comes time to manage her friend Chloe's wedding, she realizes she's going to need a date for the wedding.

To solve the problem, her brother recommends his business partner and friend Ryder, with the caveat it's all fake and Ryde will never touch his sister.

Oopsy.

The bro-code is very strong in this story.  Alex's brother is really sort of a jerk when he insists on that condition as if it's okay for Ryder to be a business partner but not a boyfriend to his sister?  Ugh.  I wanted to smack him, or at least tell him off because Alex was amazing and her and Ryder together --- even better.

There are no big surprises here, it's a story of two people finding love and then having to deal with everyone around them, many who think they belong together and some that believe they don't.  

How to Fake a Wedding Date is a lovely and sweet happily-ever-after story that I ripped through quickly, just because it was a wonderful world to spend time it.  I loved Ryder and Alex together and even more so after all the drama gets resolved.  An amazing feel-good story, with a terrific cover and a heart warming HEA.



AVAILABLE NOW!

   ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on '80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. When she's not writing about dreamy fictional men and the women who test them, she's in the garden, obsessing over college basketball, or spending time with her husband, college-age kids, and bratty cat.

https://karenbooth.net/ 

 

Release Day Blitz & Excerpt: Heads on Fire by Elora Nicole Ramirez

Heads on Fire
by Elora Nicole Ramirez
is out now!

Check out the gorgeous new release and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Heads on Fire

Author: Elora Nicole Ramirez

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Heads on Fire:

Nova Scofield isn’t looking for anything serious. She’s not looking for anything at all, actually. Still recovering after walking away from her narcissistic fiancé weeks before their wedding, she is happily focused on her floral shop, Wild Flora.

But then Jax Stratford walks into the shop and Nova suddenly remembers what it’s like to feel the gravitational pull of chemistry. For one night, she allows herself the freedom of letting her desire lead her.

The only problem is Jax isn’t a one night stand — he’s a potential business partner. Despite her best judgment, she agrees to a date and finds herself falling head over heels.

 

But Nova’s ex refuses to let go — he keeps showing up and threatening to take over the flower shop she built with her best friend — making it impossible for Nova to move on from their relationship and the control he had over her.

 

To make matters worse, history surfaces and her ex shares something with her, making it seem Jax has kept the truth from her this entire time.

 

Will she give into the heat she feels with Jax?

 

Or will everything she’s worked for turn to ash?

Get Your Copy Today:

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Hey, welcome to Wild Flora let me know if you need anything.I put my hand up to shield the glare and see a man standing in front of me. The large shadow has turned into solid muscle and I lose my train of thought for a moment. I inhale quickly. He is quite literally the most beautiful human Ive ever seen. His eyes are an emerald green and theyre staring at me. Hes staring at me.

Oh shit.

I try and gather words but the most I can do is lick my lips as he pushes dark waves of hair out of his eyes and looks at me and says, hi.

Jesus Christ.

He grins then, a dimple appearing in his left cheek. I scratch at my throat, unable to process whats happening internally: it feels like lightning. What was that song about lightning in a bottle? It feels like that pinging around my insides. I am mortified but cant stop staring so I dont know what to do except get him out of the store and never see him again.

Oh. Um. Hi. Can I get you something? Or did you already order?

He walks up to the counter and the lightning turns into fireworks in my veins. I try and grab a few breaths but they come out as whisps.

Im definitely going to need a drag from my inhaler after this.

He raises an eyebrow and I look away.

Sweet baby Jesus this man is a walking pregnancy threat. 

Nope. No. Immediately no.

I take my index finger and push the nail into the fleshy side of my thumb, bringing me back to reality.

Were not doing this, Nova.

He opens his mouth to answer, but were interrupted.

Hey, Im going to grab some coff—” Gabi walks out from the back and takes one look at my face and freezes. She wrinkles her brow, trying to decipher whats happening, when the man turns around and smiles at her. Her eyes widen and she returns the smile, the change in expression happening so quickly he doesnt even notice. When he turns back to me she mouths WOW before motioning drinking and pointing to the door.

Im grabbing coffee. Do you want anything?

I glance again at our visitor and hold up my hand. Just a minute. Sorry.He shrugs and leans against the counter, crossing his arms. I see his biceps flex under his grey hoodie and I dart my eyes away again, completely flustered. My toes curl in my Doc Martens and Gabis lips curl just a hair as she sees me flustered over this customer.

Its been a while since Ive had a visceral reaction to someone.

I straighten my shoulders, remembering again what happened the last time I felt this way five years of narcissistic abuse and all I got out of it are the therapy appointments I still have booked in my Calendar. Just remembering this is enough to have me relaxing a little.

But wait. Did I feel this with Corey?

I dont know if I did.

Um, yeah. My usual,I call to Gabi and she nods in understanding as she wraps a scarf around her neck.

Triple shot iced mocha with coconut milk coming right up be back soon.

The bell signals her exit and I drum my fingernails on the counter.

Sorry about that — were you picking something up or just looking around?

He looks back at me and smiles. I ordered something yesterday.He motions to the door Gabi just walked through. Pretty sure I spoke with her about what I wanted. Its an order for Jax?

I swallow, keeping my face even.

Of course. Despite my resolve to not entertain the attraction, my heart sinks. Of course hes picking up the apology bouquet.

He has fuck boi written all over his pristine white sneakers.

I refuse to react but I can feel the way my body immediately cools toward him and I know he has to see the shift as well. I clear my throat and try and summon some southern niceties back into my tone.

Jax you said?I turn and open the cooler, pulling the vase out and placing it in between us, reading the order card Gabi wrote yesterday. A blended rose bouquet — not just roses, can be a bit different and not necessarily romantic…” I pause for a moment with the last phrase, confusion crossing my face. I blink it away and push the vase forward. Colors requested were pale pink and red? My notes say you already paid so youre good to go.

Wow. This is perfect,he says, admiring the arrangement. She nailed it.He looks back at me and smiles again, this time the corner of his eyes wrinkling in amusement. Will you tell her thank you when she gets back?

My lips curl under for a fraction of a second and I shrug. Sure.

He turns to leave then, balancing the vase in his arm as he pushes the door open with his shoulder and looks at me again with a wave.

Have a good one.

I watch as his retreating figure pulls his keys out of his pocket and opens the passenger door of an Audi. I drop my head in my hands and groan.

I am so.so very single.

 

About the Author

Elora Ramirez has always been a word girl.   It started when she was four, when she taught herself how to read and write as a way to entertain herself while her grandmother kicked and danced in aerobics class. She cut her teeth on books from Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space — including her Fischer Price kitchenette, the pages of picture books, and Highlights Magazines.   She's matured a bit since then, now choosing to write in the margins of her books and on the mirrors of her bathroom ideas and thoughts surrounding story and what makes us human. By day she leads a team at a tech company, waking up before the sun rises to get in her love for words before stepping into her role of helping others see the plot line of their own story under development.   Intuition and beauty get her through the day, as well as her chef-husband and their little lion son. Curious Obsession is her fourth novel.  

Connect with the Author:

Website | Goodreads

Release Day Review: The Vanishing Hour by Seraphina Nova Glass

  ABOUT THE VANISHING HOUR: Grace Holloway keeps to herself. Since narrowly escaping death at the hands of the man who kidnapped her, she...