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vera book reviews and stuff
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book reviews, romance, mystery, murder, paranormal, gothic, all genre
book reviews, romance, mystery, murder, paranormal, gothic, all genre

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Inspired Hearts by Carolina Johnson

STORY-LINE INSPIRED HEART:

A short light read, Inspired Heart's a sweet western romance by author Carolina Johnson. Rebecca's a young widow left with nothing except 2 gold twenty dollars pieces, a watch, and her wedding band. Left to rely on her landlady's good heart, Rebecca can't find work. Placing an ad in the Matrimony Times as a mail order bride, Rebecca receives a proposal from Ryan Wilder in Texas. After an attack from her landlady's nephew, Rebecca takes the little she owns and heads to Ryan in Texas.

When bandits attach the stage-coach outside Ryan's hometown, Rebecca looses her memory. What follows is an adventure of a life time for Rebecca. What will happen to Rebecca with this newest disaster? How will she and Ryan find each other? Will she ever regain her memory? Will Fate step in and give Rebecca the happiness she deserves?

Grab a seat with a cup of your favorite beverage, my western romance novel review follows of Inspired Heart.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

Although a short novella, Inspired Heart is a sweet relaxing love story which leaves the reader with a feel good feeling. Novella's can not go into the depth of story or characterization as their parent, the novel, due to their short length. However, Johnson included everything needed to craft a satisfying story.

With well-developed characters for the short length of the story-line, I found Rebecca a strong woman willing to take risks. For traveling by herself to the wild west was a huge risk for any woman in this time period.

Finally, in concluding my western romance review of Inspired Heart, I found the pace steady and the story-line original. Suitable for young adults and adults, Inspired Hearts is a clean sweet romance especially suitable for the young romance reader. Furthermore, the author included a bonus regency romance novella, A Lady's Reluctant Heart, in this book. Can a heart wounded young woman find happiness again in regency England? Two sweet romances for the price of one. What a deal!


INSPIRED HEART RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

I would not hesitate to buy this book for anyone that enjoys sweet romance stories.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest western romance book/novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary western romance novel review.



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Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold By Demelza Carlton

STORY-LINE AWAKEN: SLEEPING BEAUTY RETOLD:

Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold is a new adult spin on the Sleeping Beauty tale. Princess Rosamond communicates with plants and trees; she can heal with her touch. Rosamond visiting a neighboring kingdom for a wedding, finds new friends; at least she thought they were friends. After healing a girl, Rosamond receives a chest of fabric as a reward; fabrics cursed which place her in a deep sleep.

King Erik has died; the council persuades Lord Siward to take the crown as there are no living relatives. Lord Siward takes a day to hunt and finds Princess Rosamond asleep in a ruin. The attraction is instance and strong as she awakens.

Come along with Siward and Rosamond has they fight the curse and each other, face adversaries, and solve mysteries. This is not a children's fairy-tale. My historical fairy-tale romance novel review of Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING DEVELOPMENT:

Although Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold is a fairy-tale, it's not a story for children as it has love scenes. Although the scenes are intense, they are not erotica or graphic. As well as love scenes, the premise of this story is for the mature audience.

In addition, although a short book, Author Demelza Carlton, included all the elements needed for a solid story. The secondary characters added much to the story-line; some you will love and others you will love to hate. Carlton developed the personalities of her characters fully, and the premise was original with a different take on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.

In Princess Rosamond, Carlton created a strong independent woman who took her life in her own hands and moved forward. Lord Siward is the typical knight in shining armor who gives his all to save Rosamond. In addition, in concluding my historical fairy-tale romance novel review of Awaken: Sleeping Beauty Retold, I found a solid story with well-developed characters and smooth pacing.


AWAKEN: SLEEPING BEAUTY RETOLD, RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

In addition, I recommend this novel for young adults and adults. If you like fairy-tales geared to adults with adult situations and love scenes, this book is for you.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest historical fairy tale romance book/novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary historical fairy tale romance novel review.



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20 SHORT ONES: 20 SHORT STORIES by Dan Salerno

STORY-LINE 20 SHORT ONES: 20 SHORT STORIES

20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories, filled with stories of hope, redemption, and in some cases forgiveness, the reader finds a relaxing and inspirational read. Each story's short, however, all are complete. Exploring human relationships and the human heart, Salerno crafted a glimpse of romance and friendship.

My Christian fiction novel review of 20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

In 20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories, the reader finds 20 stories which are short in length and long in content. Filled with hope and expectations of good things to come, 20 Short Ones' a feel good read. Each story is complete unto its self. This book does not focus on one religious group, but features several from Catholic to Jewish and ones in-between. Salerno is an equal opportunity author.

With skillful development, Salerno, holds the reader's attention and causes the reader to think. Each story's different with a different meaning and concept, however each is filled with hope of better things to come. The pace of each story's correct for its length. Short Stories and novellas do not allow the author to develop complex characters and story-lines, however Salerno did a good job of developing the story-lines in a short space of pages.

Finally, in concluding my Christian fiction novel review of 20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories, I found solid story lines, original premises, and skillful writing.



20 SHORT ONES: 20 SHORT STORIES RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest Christian fiction novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary Christian fiction novel review.


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At BobbyTrivette's Grave by Donna Vitucci

STORY-LINE AT BOBBY TRIVETTE'S GRAVE:

A deeply intense novel, At Bobby Trivette's Grave follows two familes through guilt and grief. Teenage Dru's in love with Bobby Trivette. Both from families with issues, they follow the usual pattern of teenagers growing up and falling in love in a small town. However, their story takes a huge detour of grief and guilt when Bobby's killed in an auto accident. Dru's grief will cause both families to take a look at their life and what caused how they have lived their life, as well as, face their own despair and guilt.

My contemporary fiction review of At Bobby Trivette's Grave follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

I am not sure where to start with this review. Firstly, let me say, author Donna D. Vitucci's, a talented author, however, At Bobby Trivette's Grave was not the book for me. That said, I must also commend the author for a well-written and well-developed book. Vitucci created a deeply emotional story-line as she dove into the life of two families in small town Paris, Kentucky. Secrets abound, along with regrets, and lives wasted. One action by each changed the entire structure of their lives.

In At Bobby Trivette's Grave, Vitucci, demonstrated the futilely of carrying guilt and the destruction it causes. For me the pace was a little slow for the first half of the book, however it picked up in the middle. Vitucci gave detailed emotional background on the characters and developed them skillfully. Even though this book was not for me, I greatly appreciate the skillful refreshing writing, creative original story-line, and in-depth look into small town Paris' families. For the right audience this book will be a winner.

Finally, in concluding my contemporary novel review of At Bobby Trivette's Grave, I found a solid original story-line with well-developed characters and skillful writing. I found the premise of this novel sad, yet so true to life. For as humans we hold old hurts, griefs, and guilt close to our chest and most do not let go of them. They color our entire lives as the author so skillfully demonstrated. Vitucci fully explored family dynamics, dreams unfulfilled, and how we face our problems. Kudos for a job well done Ms. Vitucci.


AT BOBBY TRIVETTE'S GRAVE RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

In addition, I would recommend this novel for young adults and adults. I gave this novel 4 well-deserved stars for composition, original story-line, creative prose, and development.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest contemporary fiction novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary contemporary fiction novel review.
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STORY-LINE THE SHIFTER'S NANNY:

In The Shifter's Nanny, we find Rose Doctor applying for a nanny position for the first time in 5 years. After leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, Rose needs a job and she has a degree in child care. Arrriving at Devon McGullicuddy's for an interview, Rose finds the handsome panther shifter needs a nanny for his baby girl. Neither of them are looking for a relationship or love. However, fate has different ideas.

As their relationship builds, an old trauma in the form of a rabid stalker will appear on the scene to throw a monkey wrench into the works. Come along with Rose and Devon as they fight their feelings, fight an evil stalker, and find a love worth waiting for.

My shifter romance novel review of The Shifter's Nanny follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

Firstly, let me say, how much I enjoyed this short intense book. Most shifter novels are full of explicit sex, I must commend T. S. Ryder for using prose rather than sex to sell this story. Secondly, although a love scene does occur, it is tasteful and well-written without being offensive.

With twists and turns, Ryder kept my attention as I was led through Rose and Devon's journey. Setting a fast pace which remained smooth throughout, I became enmeshed into Ryder's shifter world. With an original concept of humans and shifters living side by side, I found this refreshing as most novels have the shifters hidden from humans.

Ryder created a character in Rose which grew throughout the book from an insecure afraid young woman to a confident woman who knew her own worth. The change in Rose is dramatic and wonderful to see.

Ryder does not shy away from the issues of emotional abuse and stalking, rather meets these issues head on in this book. I found the police attitude towards the victim, unfortunately, true to form in many cases.

Finally, in concluding my shifter romance novel review of The Shifter's Nanny, I found a well-written original story-line with well-developed characters. I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend.



THE SHIFTER'S NANNY RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

In addition, I found The Shifter's Nanny suitable for young adults and adults due to the subjects of stalking and abuse.

FINALLY PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest shifter romance novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary shifter romance novel review.
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Silver City Seductions: A Western Cowboy Romance

STORY-LINE SILVER CITY SEDUCTIONS:

Silver City Seductions is a sweet romance straight out of the old west. Victoria Nolan is alone in the world since the death of her parents. Working as a waitress, barely making ends meet, Victoria's rooked into an unsavory situation by an evil man. Upon realizing the hotel he has brought her to is a brothel, Victoria runs hard and long. Her last stop is Silver City.

Silver City is a small town and Sam Flynn's home. Sam and his three ranch hands have run through a multitude of housekeepers. Victoria seems the answer to his prayers. Not only is Victoria an excellent housekeeper and cook, the attraction between Sam and Victoria grows daily.

But evil is still stalking Victoria? Will Sam be able to protect Victoria? When Sam learns the truth, will he forgive Victoria? Come along and have a seat, my western romance novel review of Silver City Seduction follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT

Firstly, let me say Silver City Seductions is a relaxing easy read for a lazy afternoon. A short novella, the author could not explore the depth and character development of the novella's parent, the novel, due to the short length of novellas. However, Fletcher did a good job of including everything needed to craft a solid story. Secondly, Fletcher created a strong woman in Victoria. Women, of necessity, had to be strong in the west to survive, Victoria is such a woman.

Furthermore, in Sam, Fletcher created a knight in shining armor. Yes, he has his own issues, however, he is ever ready to protect and care for Victoria. I found the plot progressed smoothly without starts and stop; it did not lag or blog down. Containing one love scene, which takes place after marriage, I found the scene unoffensive; it was not erotica or graphic sex, but a loving scene between two people in love.

Finally, in concluding my western romance novel review of Silver City Seductions, I found a solid romance, well-written, and intriguing. I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend. Included in this book is a bonus story, which gives the reader two novellas for the price of one

SILVER CITY SEDUCTIONS RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

In additions, I found this book suitable for young adults and adults.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest western romance novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my voluntary western romance novel review.

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At the Stroke of Midnight (A Fairly Western Tale Book 1) by Kate Palmer

STORY-LINE AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT:

At The Stroke of Midnight, by author Kate Palmer's a sweet clean romance with a happy every after ending and a fairy tale quality.

Ella Fairfax father's will stipulated she must complete her masters degree before her 25th birthday or loose her inheritance of Diamond Hallow Ranch. Ella Fairfax is running out time. Step-mother Lucinda seems to always place stumbling blocks in front of Ella's degree. Also, Lucinda has leased Diamond Hallow with an option to buy to the Woodland Homes Foundation and head COO Jonas Stone Duke, Jr.

Ella always believes the best of everyone including scheming Lucinda. Head of the Woodland Homes Foundation, Jonas, seeking refuge from his notoriety has taken resident at Diamond Hallow. He and Ella have a bang up beginning, neither telling the other who they are. Ella must keep her presence secret from step-mother Lucinda to finish her degree without interference; Stone is seeking relief from his notoriety and a much deserved rest. Stone has found in the past once someone knows he's idenitify, they treat him differently.

Each with different, but good reasons, for keeping their identity secret will find all does not go well. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. What follows is an intense emotional story. Come along with Ella and Stone as they journey from strangers to love, solve mysteries, try to save the ranch, and stop an evil culprit from winning.

My sweet contemporary romance western review of At The Stroke of Midnight follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

Primarily a sweet clean romance, author Kate Palmer infused this book with a modern fairy-tale quality. Included in this tale, we find the wicked step-mother and step-sister, along with nefarious deeds. Along with a cast of caring secondary characters, who support Ella, this book's a feel good read.

Furthermore, Palmer had many thread to bring together to form a solid novel which she did skillfully. The plotting has twists and turns and the pace is steady and smooth. Palmer hooks the reader quickly and does not let go until the end of the book. The story-line never slowed or lagged. The reader realizes quickly the deception Ella and Stone have used will not go well; causing relationship problems in the future. With strong people having sterling qualities, the reader falls in love with Ella and Stone. Ella's character is strong, yet, full of heart with a good soul. Stone, although strong, has past relationship issues he must face and resolve before he can find peace and the fullness of love.

Finally in-concluding my sweet clean contemporary romance review of At The Stroke of Midnight, I found a solid story-line, well-written and containing well-developed characters. This book is a relaxing read with a feel good happy every after ending. I became so involved in the story-line, I read this book straight through. I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend.


AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

I gave this book 4 well-deserved stars. Suitable for young adults and adults, I would not hesitate to recommend this book.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest romance western novel review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my romance western novel review.
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Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1 - 3
STORY ONE: A PIE TO DIE FOR:

Rachel, owner of a new bakery shop, finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation in Baker Detectives Cozy Mystery, A Pie To Die For. Death of the hated food critic at the food fair, leads to failing baker Rachel's door. She is sure Bakermatic is behind all her woes including the murder. Can Rachel and her friend Pippa ferret out the truth and prove Rachel Innocent? Is romance in the air for Rachel and the local detective on the case? Will Rachel and Pippa solve the murder and save the bakery in time?


STORY TWO DONUTS, ANTIQUES, AND MURDER:

The bakery's succeeding and Pippa's assistant manager in Two Donuts, Antiques, and Murder. Pippa thinks Rachel's haunted/cursed; people seem to die around Rachel. Nevertheless, Rachel's determined to expand into the antique store next door; which Pippa declares haunted. Of course, there's another murder or two and questions about the portrait of two children in the antique store. Is the portrait of the two children really haunted as the Belldale Paranormal Club claims? So begins another mystery for Pippa and Rachel to solve. The reader will also see our favorite detective again in this book.


STORY THREE DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKE:

The bakery is doing great, Pippa has been on a cruise, while Rachel has interviewed for reality t. v.'s Baking Warriors. Pippa returns with a huge surprise for Rachel. Rachel, of course, must tell Pippa about the show. This show could really make the bakery number 1. Then Rachel's introduced as Belldale's very own number one Murder Expert and of course, there's a murder on the set. Come along for murder and mayhem with Rachel, Pippa and company

My cozy mystery novel review of Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery Boxed Set follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

With skillful writing, Stacey Alabaster keeps the intrigue and mystery at high peak in each book; each story is standalone. I found the pacing of each in sync with the length of the book. Alabaster developed her stories skillfully and did not give away the plot lines until the last-minute. With fresh writing and original story-lines, the reader is in for hours of entertainment and fun.

Finally, in concluding my contemporary cozy mystery novel review of Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery Boxed Set 1-3, I found these three books an enjoyable light read for an afternoon of relaxation. I find Cozy mysteries a genre unto themselves as they encourage the reader to relax and enjoy a mystery through a strong woman's eyes. Cozy tends to make me think of gentle, softer than usual murder stories, fuzzy, and fun.

In these three books, we find a strong heroine residing in small town Belldale, in which she must take it upon herself to solve the mystery's involved, solve the murder, save her bakery, herself and her friend. Alabaster filled these stories with likeable and unlikable characters; some you will love and others you will love to hate. Also, Alabaster included twists and turns and wove the plot lines together expertly. Needless to say I love cozy mysteries and these three are good reads. Easy to read and fun, I look forward to more from author Stacey Alabaster.



BAKERY DETECTIVES COZY MYSTERY BOXED SET RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

I would not hesitate to buy this boxed set of books for my self or a friend. Suitable for anyone who enjoys a solid cozy mystery, I would not hesitate to recommend this set.

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest cozy mystery novel/book review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my cozy mystery novel/book review.





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The Beat On Ruby's Street By Jenna Zark

THE BEAT ON RUBY'S STREET STORY-LINE:

In The Beat On Ruby's Street we find Ruby, a child of the 50's and the beatnik era. Ruby lives free and somewhat wild while mom and dad beatniks do their thing. Ruby's growing up and finding who she is. However, accused of stealing, Ruby's life implodes.

Never fear, Ruby's strong, determined, and coming of age. Ruby has dreams of poetry, meeting the famous Jack Kerousac, and becoming a poetic. Challenges will be met, confronted, and conquered.

Come along with Ruby as she grows up on beat street. My children's novel review of The Beat On Ruby's Street follows.


CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

Author Jenna Zark explores the counter-culture of the beatniks, their philosophy, and lifestyle. Known as the beat generation, the 1950's were a time of change and restlessness. Exploring Ruby's growth from child to young adult, Zark gives the reader a real feel for this time period.

Giving Ruby a strong personality, Zark demonstrates the determination of the era. With excellent plotting, skillful character development, and pacing which will hold the reader's attention, Zark crafted a one of kind story.

Finally, in concluding my children's novel review of The Beat On Ruby's Street, I found a well-developed story-line, with engaging characters, and skillful plotting. I would not hesitate to buy this book for my self or a friend with proper age children as Zark explores a generator seen only in movies


THE BEAT ON RUBY'S STREET RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

Recommended for grade levels 5-12

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest children's novel/book review. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, the ARC did not affect my children's novel/book review.



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