Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creme Puff Murder

Creme Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke is the next in her Hannah Swensen Mystery series. From the back cover.~

Winter in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is the perfect time to curl up by a cozy fire with something--and someone--sweet. But while bakery owner Hannah Swensen can provide herself with the confections, cuddling will have to take a back seat to sleuthing when her sometime-squeeze becomes a murder suspect...

With the launch party of her mother's novel around the corner, Hannah has a dress to fit into and a date with her sister, Andrea, at Lake Eden's new health club, Heavenly Bodies. Dragging herself out of bed on a frigid Minnesota morning for exercise, of all things, is bad enough. Discovering a dead body floating in the gym's jacuzzi? Okay, that's worse. Nor does it help that there's a plate of The Cookie Jar's very own cream puffs garnishing the murder scene. The fact that they were purchased by none other than Hannah's part-time flame, Detective Mike Kingston, is simply the icing on what's shaping up to be one very messy cake...

Mike may be the prime suspect in the murder of man-eating bombshell Ronni Ward, but he's by no means the only one. Ronni, a fitness instructor at both the Sheriff's department and Heavenly Bodies, made a nasty habit of throwing her own heavenly body at every man, eligible or not, who crossed her path. Plenty of Lake Eden's ladies won't miss Ronni, including her ex-fiance's former girlfriend, the angry mother of one of her would-be conquests, and even the mayor's wife. Could any of them have wanted her gone badly enough to make it happen? Mike's recruited Hannah to find out, and, as any suspended, suspected detective would, he's micromanaging her every step of the way...

Between trying to narrow the list of Ronni's enemies down to fewer than half the town's female population and resisting the urge to remove Mike from the running by throttling him herself, Hannah has her plate full. Trouble is when it comes to cookies-and to murder-there's always room for more...

Cream Puff Murder is another winner by Joanne Fluke. I love her Hannah Swensen mysteries. They are fast and fun reads with lots of yummy recipes. Hannah, her sisters Andrea and Michelle, her other boyfriend Norman, the mothers, and her business partner Lisa, team up to solve yet another mystery in Lake Eden. With the three main detectives on leave from the case, because of personal reasons, Hannah gets advise on how to work the case from all three. Hannah and her mystery solving team work together to clear their friends and family.

Creme Puff Murder is a wonderful read with twist and turns that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end. I look forward to more books in this series and can't wait to try some of the cookie recipes.

Casual Hex

Casual Hex by Vicki Lewis Thompson is the third book in her funny and sexy Big Knob series. From the back cover.~

A hot French kiss...

Gwen Dubois lives in Indiana, but her heart is in France with Marc Chevalier. Now he's come to Big Knob to show Gwen the real meaning of amour and coax her back to Paris. But stiff competition is coming from another part of the world-if not exactly this world. Prince Leo of the Atwood fairy kingdom has is own plans for Gwen.

...and a little hex on the side.

As Marc and Leo battle for Gwen's affections, Big Knob's resident matchmaking witch and wizard move in to help true love triumph in the best way they know how: with a little magic. but when the rivalry puts Gwen in danger, the men in her life are asked to prove their love in ways no one could have imagined.

Casual Hex is another winner by Vicki Lewis Thompson! It was very sexy and at times made me laugh out loud. Gwen has never felt very confident but with the help of Dorcas, the resident witch, a new hair style, and make-up, Gwen feels very good about herself when Marc arrives in Big Knob. Marc and Gwen are attracted to one another at first site, but each tries to fight the attraction to protect Gwen's reputation. When they finally give into their passion, Gwen and Marc burn up the pages. Both must learn to give a little to make their relationship work. Of course, Prince Leo has decided he wants Gwen for himself, after meeting her and spending time with her in her dreams. He can tell that Gwen is attracted and is starting to have feelings for Marc, but doesn't want anything to keep him from who he as picked for his future mate. Gwen and Marc must both find ways to prove their love for one another to make their life together work.

I really loved Casual Hex. It was a very sexy and funny read and I can't wait to go back to Big Knob.


Damien by Jacquelyn Frank is the next book in her Nightwalker series. From the back cover.~

They are the Nightwalkers, mysterious beings who dwell in the shadows of our world, and Damien, the Vampire Prince, is among the most powerful of them all. But one woman will tempt him with a desire unlike anything he as known, and together they will face a terrifying and relentless foe...

As reigning Vampire Prince, Damien has tasted every pleasure the world has to offer-consorting with kings and queens and delighting in sensual adventure. Now, tired of such pursuits, he devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between human necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when the enemy makes a daring move, kidnapping Syreena, a Lycanthroped Princess, Damien boldly follows. He succeeds in rescuing her, but is unprepared for the erotic longing her lush sensuality awakens in him.

Gifted with rare abilities, Syreena grew up in a cloistered setting and was forbidden to form attachments to others, yet the connection Damien feels with her is immediate, intoxicating, and impossible for either to resist. But claiming Syreena as his mate could have shattering repercussions for every Nightwalker-and leave their enemies more dangerous than ever before...

I really enjoyed the continuing story of the Nightwalkers. Damien and Syreena are drawn to one another from their first meeting. Being from different Nightwalker species, they both fight the attraction initially. Once Syreena is kidnapped by a traitor, Damien steps in to save her, not realizing he is saving them both. The passion between Damien and Syreena explodes off the pages. It was fun to watch each of them learn how to trust and love another, as neither had ever had much experience with either of those emotions.

I loved Damien and look forward to reading Noah soon. I believe Noah is the final book in the Nightwalker series, but I will continue to read books by Jacquelyn Frank in the future.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Two Reviews to be Posted

I have finished two really great books over the last week, but haven't had a chance to post either review. I plan to post my review on Damien by Jacquelyn Frank and Casual Hex by Vicki Lewis Thompson either later tonight or early tomorrow. Work has been crazy in the last few weeks, so my blogging has really taken a hit. I haven't really been able to stop by many of my daily blog stops either.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Early Spring in Tennessee

So my reading has really slacked off over the last couple of weeks. Seems like Mother Nature really can't decide what she wants to weather to do right now. Over the last week or so we have had several days in the 70's mixed in with a few days of constant rain in the 50's. While I'm loving our early taste of spring in Tennessee, it is keeping me from reading as much. Thanks to an extended visit from my brother, I'm hitting the gym in the mornings and walking in the wonderful spring-like weather after work. Great for my exercise program, but not so good for my reading goals for the year. So right now I'm going to enjoy my early spring gift for as long as it last and read as much as possible after I come back into the house at night. Of course, we will still get at least one or two days of cold weather before spring sticks around, but that is what spring-time in Tennessee means.

Hope everyone else is having wonderful spring-like weather right now too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank is the third book in her Nightwalkers series. From the back cover.~

They are called the Demons, one of the elusive Nightwalker races living in shadow and struggling for survival against their human enemies. Their proudest warrior is Elijah, a man who bends for nothing and no one...until one woman brings him to his knees...

Some feelings you just can't fight. He is known as the Warrior Captain-a master of every weapon, a fierce soldier sworn to protect his kind. Powerful, relentless, merciless, Elijah has always won every battle he's ever taken on-until now. Ambushed by necromancers, he is left for dead only to be discovered by the woman who could very well deliver the final blow...Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen.

With three centuries of warring, little more than a decade of uneasy peace has existed between the Lycanthropes and Elijah's people. Now, after a lifetime of suspicion, the warrior in Elijah is consumed with a different battle-winning Siena's heart by giving her pleasure beyond all boundaries. What starts as attraction and arousal soon burns into a passion with consequences that will echo through the ages for both their people. And as would-be enemies become inseparable lovers, another threat approaches, one with the power to destroy them all...

Elijah was another winner in the Nightwalker series. I loved watching the warrior, who had made fun of the other Demons falling in love, not only fall in love, but fall in love with the Queen of the Lycanthropes. There were undertones of the chemistry between Elijah and Siena in other books. Neither Siena or Elijah ever planned on taking a mate, but after Siena rescues Elijah, neither can fight their attraction for one another. As the Demons and the Lycanthropes band together to battle the necromancers and a Demon traitor, Elijah and Siena figure out just how much they mean to one another.

Jacquelyn Frank gives the reader another winner with Elijah. Next up is Damien, who is the Prince of the Vampires, another race of Nightwalkers.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Magic Knot

The Magic Knot is a magical book by Helen Scott Taylor. From the back cover.~

He's A Biker With An Attitude

What woman wouldn't be attracted to Niall O'Connor's soft Irish brogue and dark good looks? But Rosenwyn Tremain must find her father, and she isn't going to let a sexy, stubborn Irishman and his motorcycle distract her. Rose's intuition tells her he's hiding something, a secret even the cards cannot divine. Her tarot deck always reads true, but how can one man represent both Justice and Betrayal?

She's A Woman On A Mission

Magic. Niall's body tingles with it when he finds the woman snooping in his room. Rosenwyn might believe she's a no-nonsense accountant, but her essence whispers to him of ancient fairy magic that enslaves even as it seduces. Her heritage could endanger those he'd die to protect, but her powers and her passion, if properly awakened, might be the only thing that can save both their families, vanquish a fairy queen bent on revenge, and fulfill a prophecy that will bind their hearts together with...The Magic Knot

I really enjoyed The Magic Knot. It was filled with magical creatures that most people only believe to be fiction. I loved reading about fairies, leprechauns, and other magical beings. Rose and Niall are attracted to one another from almost the first moment they see each other. But Niall is so worried about protecting his family that he wants nothing to do with Rose, and Rose isn't sure she can trust Niall because of her tarot card reading about him.

There was both romance and adventure in The Magic Knot. I really liked this first book by Helen Scott Taylor and look forward to more books from her in the future.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Needled to Death

Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton is the next book in her knitting mystery series. From the back cover.~

Now that she's been knitting up a storm with the help of her new friends at House of Lambspun, Kelly Flynn can't imagine ever leaving Fort Connor, Colorado. But there's trouble in her adopted hometown-and not just with her new sweater project.

When Kelly volunteers to take a troop of tourists to visit Vickie Claymore's alpaca farm, she discovers Fort Connor isn't as sedate as it seems. Instead of a warm welcome, they find Vickie splayed out on her original hand-woven rug, her blood seeping into the design...

The police jump on the case, but Kelly can't resist doing a little investigative work of her own-even if it means taking a break from the sweater she's been knitting in the round. Because a murderer is lurking in Fort Connor...waiting for the right moment to strike again...

I really enjoyed Needled to Death. Kelly and her friends have the best time getting together each day to knit their latest projects. Kelly again stumbles onto a murder in Fort Connor. Between knitting and new scarf, working at her accounting job, and playing softball, Kelly puts her mind to solving another crime. I really love that each book has directions for a knitting project, as well as a recipe for something mentioned in the story.

I look forward to more books in the knitting mystery series by Maggie Sefton.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Promises in Death

Promises in Death is the latest book by JD Robb in her In Death series. From the back cover.~

Number-one New York Times-bestselling author J.D. Robb takes us to the New York City of 2060, where Lieutenant Eve Dallas faces down a cop killer.

Amaryllis Coltraine may have recently transferred to the New York City police force from Atlanta, but she's been a cop long enough to know how to defend herself against an assailant. When she's taken down just steps away from her apartment, killed with her own weapon, for Eve the victim isn't just "one of us."

Dallas's friend Chief Medical Examiner Morris had started a serious relationship with Coltraine, and from all accounts the two were headed for a happy future together. But someone has put an end to all that. After breaking the news to Morris, Eve starts questioning everyone, including Coltraine's squad, informants, and neighbors, while Eve's husband, Roarke, digs into computer data on the dead woman's life back in Atlanta. To their shock, they discover a connection between this case and their own painful, shadowy pasts.

The truth will need to be uncovered one layer at a time, starting with the box that arrives at Cop Central addressed to Eve, containing Coltraine's guns, badge, and a note from her killer: "You can have them back. Maybe someday soon, I'll be sending yours to somebody else." But Eve Dallas doesn't take too kindly to personal threats, and she is going to break this case, whatever it takes. And that's a promise.

I loved Promises in Death! I think that Robb got back to her old style of story-telling with this book in the In Death series. I loved that it wasn't just about the mystery with Promises in Death. Robb wrote about the relationships between Eve and Roarke, as well as their relationships with co-workers and friends. As much as I enjoy trying to keep up with Eve and solve the crimes before the end of the book, I enjoy seeing she and Roarke interact with friends and family, or at least those friends who have become family just as much. It makes the perfect cop and the perfect man seem more human.

I highly recommend Promise in Death to all fans of JD Robb, as well as anyone looking to read a fabulous romantic mystery that takes place in the future. Of course, since I read Promises in Death as fast as possible, I now have to wait eight months for the next book in the series, Kindred in Death.