Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Wow! My new favorite book of the year! The story opens with Tess (Teresa) Costello and her best friend, Doll, on holiday in Italy before entering university in the fall. Gus MacDonald is also on holiday in Italy with his parents before attending medical school that fall. Tess and Gus see each other in an old church, the very first brief encounter of these two, in a story that has tragic and dramatic turns throughout the years. Author, Kate Eberlen writes the story in the alternating voice of Tess and Gus through the next 16 years. The story is full of sweet romance, loss, second chances and real-life situations that will make you want to read every word and hope that the story will never end! Its the kind of book that you deeply feel loss, love and happiness because the characters are so well developed and believable. I couldn’t wait to find out if Tess and Gus would finally meet and figure out who each other was. The dialogue was so honest and the story line so intimate and emotional. This book reminds me of the novels written by JoJo Moyes. I expect this book to become a bestseller and I highly recommend it to all readers.

Miss You by Kate Eberlen will be available April 4, 2017 from Harper Collins Publishers. The egalley of this book was made available by the publishers in exchange for a honest review.

With Every Breath by Maya Banks

Eliza Cummings escaped a horrible situation when she was a teenager. It ended with a dangerous man being sent to prison for life. Eliza is a really tough lady who takes a job with Devereaux Security Services. She has managed to enjoy her life until a phone call informing her that the man that she put away is being released from prison because of a technicality. Wade Sterling has always had an attraction to Eliza. He loves her tough exterior, but manages to see behind her facade. He is alarmed to see her getting uneasy and quickly distressed lately. He is determined to become her protector but he has to constantly fight Eliza to do this. Eliza has already decided to handle this situation on her own. She has no room for anyone in her life, especially Wade. This story has everything from romance to thrilling and suspenseful scenes. The released criminal has a supernatural power that adds a different dimension to the story. The situation of Wade and Eliza’s attraction is powerful and engaging. This book is definitely one that many will enjoy. The only drawback for me was that this is the fourth in the Slow Burn series. I had not read any of the others and sometimes I felt like I would have understood and enjoyed it better if I had.

With Every Breath by Maya Banks is being published by Avon Books. An egalley of this book was made available by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Death Among the Doilies by Mollie Cox Bryan

Cora Chevalier and her friend, Jane, live in Indigo Gap, North Carolina. Cora has purchased the old Kildare House in town and they inherited the gray-headed, Ruby, along with the sale. The estate is huge and Ruby lives on the grounds as well as Jane and her five year old daughter, London. Cora occupies the top floor of the huge mansion and the other floors serve as a crafter’s retreat house. The story opens with Jane getting fingerprinted to become a volunteer in London’s school. Her fingerprints are checked and they are very similar to those found in the recent murder of the school librarian. Ruby sends her dashing, handsome son, Cashel, to the rescue. Cashel O’Malley is a local attorney that is enamored by Cora when they first meet. The crafter retreat opens the next day and the ladies meet their guest lecturer, Jude Sawyer, who specializes in making decorative brooms. The story gains momentum as an interesting group of ladies check in for the retreat, tempers flare and another murder takes place. I was not expecting this cozy mystery by Mollie Cox Bryan to be such a captivating story. It was funny, and unpredictable, the characters lively and never one dull moment. I would definitely recommend this series to lovers of cozy mysteries.

Death Among the Doilies by Mollie Cox Bryan will be available August 30, 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corp. An egalley of this book was made available by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae

Janet Marsh is an American who has recently bought a bookstore in the Highlands of Scotland, along with her daughter and their two best friends. All four women are anxious to start their new business and move into their recently bought home. They are all ready to move into the house when a local newspaper reporter, Una Graham, is found dead in the storage shed. Constable Norman Hobbs has never had a murder before in Inversgail. He is a quiet and tight-lipped man who has to deal with Janet, her daughter and friends as they try to find out who is responsible for the murder. Molly MacRae has a knack of delivering fully-developed characters to the reader. I enjoyed all the peculiar town folk! I really wanted to give the book 3 1/2 stars but I went with four stars because of the engaging plot and exceptional writing by the author. The story was a little slow and had very little action, but, I did enjoy it. I was especially pleased towards the end when Janet wanted to relax after a long day and decided to read a M.C. Beaton, Hamish McBeth novel. That was an excellent choice that I’m sure the author has also found to be pleasing! A good cozy mystery for anyone who enjoys rich characterization and an interesting plot!

Plaid and Plagiarism (Highland Bookshop Mystery #1) by Molly MacRae will be available on December 6, 2016 by Pegasus Books. The egalley of this book was made available by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Substitute by Nicholson Baker

The author of this book, Nicholson Baker decided to become a substitute teacher in the Maine public school system in 2014. He spent a few days in training and after being fingerprinted, began his mornings being awaken at 5:45 a.m. for available job postings. He gave a very good account of his work that would be very familiar to anyone who has experience in education. I was probably not a person who should be reviewing this book. (I worked in public schools for 38 years.) I found little “new” news in his writing. I kept thinking that I had read many things like this before. I’m not sure if I did or it may be memories of my own or colleagues’ stories . This would be an interesting read for someone who is interested in becoming a substitute teacher.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Julia Padden is full of holiday cheer! The only problem with her holiday season is the irritating, cantankerous neighbor across the hall, Cain Maddox. After many unsuccessful attempts to become friendly with Cain, Julia follows the advice of her friend and posts a blog about her new strategy of “killing Cain with kindness”. In the true tradition of best-selling author, Debbie Macomber, you will be treated to a sweet, bumbling romance between Julia and Cain. I loved this endearing little novel of two people finding true love during the holiday season. It was a delightful plot with engaging characters in the most charming time of the year! I love Debbie Macomber stories and this little gem was another addition to my growing list of favorites! I recommend this cheerful book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance or wants to read a sweet story of second-chances.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber will be published October 4, 2016 by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Publishers. The egalley of this book was made available by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Take Me Deeper by Jackie Ashenden

Take Me Deeper is book one of the Texas Bounty series by Jackie Ashenden. Zane Redmond is an former Green Beret who has come back to Texas to help his brothers out with their bounty hunter business. Zane’s brother sends him to do a bounty that he doesn’t want to do; that hunt is to find Iris Callahan who wants to avoid testifying in a drug case. Iris is being hunted by more than the bounty hunters; the cartel wants to keep her quiet. Iris has always taken care of herself and her sister since their mother left them. Iris is tough and proud and wants to avoid being caught by anyone, at all cost. But of course, she falls into the fire with Zane! The story of Zane and Iris is quick, intense and hot! Zane was an amazing character, strong and loyal to his family and the memory of his father. This series will be great with each one of the Redmond brothers. The only thing that put me off was the crude language. I’m not a prude at all but I have read lots of contemporary romances that are great stories without such “trashy” language.

Take Me Deeper by Jackie Ashenden will be published on October 4, 2016 by Loveswept, an imprint of Penguin Random House Publishers. The egalley of this book was made available by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.