Spotlight & Giveaway: OPEN FOR MURDER by Mary Angela

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post features a new release from Mary Angela – Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery), the first book in her new cozy mystery series.

About the Book

Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .

About the Author

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links 

Purchase Links  – Amazon – Apple – Google – Kobo – B&N

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card from the author.

Visit other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts and more.

Review & Giveaway: THE LIGHT CATCHER MURDERS by Jo Cassie McRae

As part of a virtual tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, today’s post introduces a new mystery author – Jo Cassie McRae – and her debut novel, The Light Catcher Murders.

About the Book

Kate Atherton’s idyllic retirement is going well…if you don’t count the two murders, the mysterious drone, and her photographer friend who manages to poke a hornet’s nest of criminal activity, that is.

Nestled in the scenic Texas Hill Country, the cozy town of Wheaton Creek seemed to Kate Atherton an idyllic place to escape the world’s harsh realities. And then there was the first murder.

Kate once enjoyed a long, successful career with a specialized, highly secret federal intelligence agency. Crises in both her personal and professional life drove her to early retirement and, ultimately, to Wheaton Creek, the perfect place for her and her former-military husband to escape what had come to feel like a world made up of wars, hatred, fear, and untimely death. And, at first, the escape was all Kate had hoped for. Then murder came to Wheaton Creek—a crime that a corrupt county sheriff seems determined to pin on Kate’s photographer friend, Lucy Celek.

Lucy’s work has been chosen to appear at a prestigious photography festival, a festival that could take her from amateur to professional standing. All goes well until the gallery displaying her work is broken into, and one of Lucy’s photographs is vandalized. A week later, the man Lucy suspected of destroying her photograph—a fellow photographer who was angry that his own work was not chosen by the festival committee—is murdered. Faced with a sheriff who shows little interest in expanding his list of suspects beyond Lucy, Kate feels she must dust off her puzzle-solving skills to find the real killer. Murder is just the beginning, though, as Kate’s amateur sleuthing begins to reveal a tangled web of crimes that go beyond anything she could have imagined.

My Review

Set in a small Texas town, this mystery introduces Kate Atherton, a retiree, and her husband (also retired). It soon becomes obvious that both have military training, though the exact nature of Kate’s past position remains a mystery in itself. But she definitely has skills. And she is willing to use those skills to find out who is behind the vandalism in the art gallery and who killed Lucy’s rival. Kate makes for an interesting and likable protagonist.

Photography is central to the story and the mystery touches lightly on ethical and legal questions regarding the growing use of cameras and drones in today’s world. The author does a nice job of presenting an interesting story. Although the pace felt slow at first, it did pick up as the story progressed. Some aspects of the plot resolution were somewhat predictable, however the identify of the culprit and motive was not.
A promising debut for a new author.

FTC Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Jo Cassie McRae is a native Texan who has lived near Austin on the edge of the Texas Hill country for over 30 years.  In addition to writing, McRae loves to read, garden, and cook.  Like Kate Atherton (The Light Catcher Murders), McRae’s bookshelves overflow with history books, biographies, historical fiction, and mystery novels.  Unlike Kate, McRae does not have a mysterious, secret former career, having worked instead as a rather ordinary legal assistant at an Austin law firm.

Author Links:

Purchase Link – Amazon

Visit other stops on this tour for additional reviews and excerpts.

Review: HOLIDAYS, INC. by Rachelle Paige Campbell

Time for a chance of pace. Instead of another mystery, today’s post features a sweet romance – Holidays, Inc. (Finding New Hope Book 1), by Rachelle Paige Campbell. I was offered the opportunity to read and review the book as part of a virtual blog tour organized by Goddess Fish Productions. I’m glad I did.

About the Book

Former child actress, Danielle “Dani” Winter, left Hollywood to transform an old cinema into a dinner theater, seeing the project as her chance to take control of her future. The middle-of-nowhere location in Wisconsin is a perfect escape from backstabbing celebrity friends. The small town welcomes her help with open arms, but one man questions her plan. After unsuccessful writing stints on both coasts, Paul Howell returns home to New Hope. He’s shocked to discover that his sister has sold the family business to a beautiful woman. With the encouragement of his neighbors, he reluctantly agrees to write Dani’s next musical.

Working together, they discover more similarities than differences and grow close. When Dani’s former best friend and America’s sweetheart, Kara Kensington arrives, their blossoming relationship is threatened in more ways than one.

My Review

Dani and Paul are both likeable characters carrying baggage from their past relationships, business and personal, and not just romantic. The attraction between them is instantaneous and mutual. But they have been hurt by people they trusted and are reluctant to put their faith in others. Like the main characters in most romance novels, the two dance circles around each other as they try to figure out what they are looking for, both in terms of their growing feelings and their careers. The dinner theatre in a would-be ghost town provided a charming backdrop for what was an enjoyable sweet romance with the predictable feel good happily-ever after for both the town and the couple.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

Get the book: Amazon

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy of Holidays, Inc. from the author.

Review & Giveaway: MURDER IN THE PIAZZA by Jen Collins Moore

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Murder in the Piazza: A Maggie White Mystery. This new release is the first book in a new mystery series by Jen Collins Moore.

About the Book

Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband’s expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss—a rather unpleasant English lord—has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie’s left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a policeman who’s decided she’s the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep the tour up and running while she tracks the killer and works to clear her name.

My Review

Looking to make herself useful while her husband is off at work, Maggie takes on a new position with a boutique tour company, run by a British (ex-pat) nobleman. When her boss is murdered, no one seems to really care. He wasn’t a very nice man and not even the police seem inclined to find the culprit. But Maggie just won’t let it go. She pushes and prods the detective in charge until she ends up the prime suspect. And so she takes on the role of amateur sleuth and launches her own investigation while continuing to take care of the participants in the already running tour. Maggie’s list of potential suspects is long, however she does eventually solve the mystery.

This was pleasant cozy mystery that allows you to travel without moving your feet. The descriptions of Rome, its historic sites and art, are vivid and give the reader a great feel for the city. The quotes from the travel brochure at the start of each chapter were a great touch. And kudos to the graphic designer – that cover is simply gorgeous.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher. This has not affected the content of my review.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card from the author.

About the Author

Jen Collins Moore is the author of the Maggie White Mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mystery Weekly, and she is the editor of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest newsletter. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, as well an established marketer and entrepreneur. A transplanted New Englander, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two boys.

Author Link: https://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com/

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Click here to visit additional stops on this tour for more reviews, guest posts and more.

Guest Post & Release Spotlight: ANONYMOUS

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am pleased to have as my guest, Elizabeth Breck, author of the recently released ANONYMOUS, a Madison Kelly Mystery. While she’s here to visit, she’s going to tell us a bit about her inspiration in creating Madison Kelly.


Will the Real Kinsey Millhone Please Stand Up?
Elizabeth Breck

Kinsey Millhone is a fictional private investigator who stars in twenty-five novels penned by the late great Sue Grafton, spanning thirty-six years and the alphabet from A to Y. I was already a state of California licensed Private Investigator when I read my first Sue Grafton novel, and I gobbled them up.

What I liked best about the books was the accuracy of the investigative details. Kinsey investigated insurance fraud, and so did I. Kinsey had to travel to courthouses and halls of administration to get public records about her subjects, and so did I. Kinsey sat for hours in a dark car, bored and hungry, until her subject moved—at which point it was an adrenaline rush of fear and suspense as she tailed without being seen. This was my life. We were both young, female, unlikely private investigators, and I reveled in our similarities. Sue Grafton wrote what it was really like to be a PI.

Until she didn’t. Sue Grafton made the choice to leave Kinsey in the 1980’s so that she wouldn’t age; Grafton was a very successful author so it is hard to argue with any of her choices. But how we investigated changed greatly in the 1990’s and 2000’s. With the advent of the internet, a real-life private investigator went from visiting court buildings to searching for records on computer. And for me, as the accuracy of investigations in Grafton’s writing faded with the passing years, so with it went my interest (it is a testament to her writing that I stuck with her as long as I did, even as I argued with the books). My love of mysteries took me from Agatha Christie to Janet Evanovich to Thomas Perry, but I still had a soft spot in my heart for Kinsey, who had been left in the past by her creator.

In 2015 I returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Writing. I began writing about my alter-ego, Madison Kelly, during my writing workshops, and I discovered I was able to write a mystery series that I’d always wanted to read: one where the details of being a female PI were accurate. Madison Kelly lives in a small apartment by the beach in the Windansea section of La Jolla, California, just like I did in my thirties. In Anonymous, Madison races to figure out who left a threatening note on her door warning her to stop investigating him. Since she hadn’t been investigating anyone—she’d been taking time off to figure out what to do with her life— she has to do exactly what the note is telling her not to do: investigate. Finding the Anonymous note-leaver takes her straight into the middle of an investigation of two missing women. Throughout this thrilling mystery, Madison is involved in real-life events that have actually happened to me: high speed tails, night surveillance where one is left with only one’s thoughts and the music on the radio, and the never ending challenge of proving yourself as a woman in a predominantly male field. The accuracy of what it is to be a female P.I. is back, along with what might happen if she began investigating a killer who had made her his target: she uses her experience and determination to figure out who he is before it’s too late.

So I guess the answer to the question I posed with the title is: I am the real Kinsey Millhone. I’m starting a journey with my alter-ego, Madison Kelly, but I walk in the footsteps of the greats who came before me.


About ANONYMOUS

The note was threatening enough–but its link to two cold cases and a sinister unseen presence sends P.I. Madison Kelly on a frantic search for the truth.

Madison Kelly, a San Diego private investigator, arrives home to a note stabbed to her front door: Stop investigating me, or I will hunt you down and kill you. The only problem? Madison hasn’t been investigating anyone–she’s been taking time off to figure out what to do with her life. But how does she prove a negative? The only way to remove the threat is to do exactly what “Anonymous”, the note writer, is telling her not to do: investigate to see who left it. Could this have something to do with the true crime podcast she’s been tweeting about, and the missing girls?

The girls went missing, two years apart, after a night at the clubs in San Diego’s famed Gaslamp Quarter, and Madison had been probing the internet for clues. She discovers that someone has been one step ahead of her, monitoring her tweets to prevent her from getting too close. Soon Madison’s investigation brings up more questions than answers: are the disappearances connected? Are the girls dead or did they just walk away from their lives? And who is Anonymous, the person who will stop at nothing to keep Madison from learning the truth?

As she closes in, so does Anonymous. Set against a backdrop of surfer culture and coffee houses of San Diego, Anonymous follows Madison as she confronts the reality of the girls’ disappearance in a terrifying climax where the hunter becomes the hunted–and Madison is running for her life.

Giveaway

Click here to enter the author’s rafflecopter.

About the Author

ELIZABETH BRECK is a state of California licensed private investigator. A native Californian, she had read Harriet the Spy twenty times by the time she was nine, so it was no surprise when she grew up to become a PI. She has worked mainly in the field of insurance investigations, making her the real-life version of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. In 2013, she decided to go back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in writing, summa cum laude, from the University of California San Diego. Anonymous is her first novel. She lives with a black Labrador named Hubert who is her best friend.

Author Links

Purchase Links: – Amazon – Penguin Random House – B&N –BookShop

Click here to visit the tour page for additional posts, including reviews, interviews and more.

Book Blast: THE SINISTER SUPERYACHT by Ana T. Drew

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions to showcase Ana T. Drew’s upcoming release – The Sinister Superyacht, the third book in her Julie Cavallo Investigates series. And, set in France, this new cozy mystery promises the chance to travel without leaving the comfort of your home.

About the Book

French tycoon Jean-Louis Ponsard is having a bad year.
Unwise investments, canceled orders, deals falling through…
In the thick of it, his yacht becomes the scene of a suspicious death, and his year of misfortune hits the bed of the Mediterranean Sea.
To make matters worse, the victim isn’t just anybody.
She’s his much-hated mother-in-law.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bookcover_the-sinister-superyacht.jpg

Onboard, caterer Julie Cavallo and her quirky grandma Rose do some poking around.
But every luxury cabin hides a secret.
Every passenger has an alibi or no reason to want the victim dead.
Discretion rules. The crew keeps mum.
So do the marble countertops, gem-incrusted walls, and gold sinks.
When the cops take charge, things go to pieces, and not only for the Ponsard family.

Can Julie dive to the murky bottom of the sea, unravel the case, and come back up still breathing?

About the Author

Ana T. Drew is the evil mastermind behind the recent series of murders in the fictional French town of Beldoc. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is authorphoto_thesinistersuperyacht.jpgWhen she is not writing cozy mysteries or doing mom-and-wife things, she can be found watching “The Rookie” to help her get over “Castle”. She lives in Paris but her heart is in Provence.

>>> Visit ana-drew.com for a free cookbook and a game!

Amazon Pre-order/Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Superyacht-Provence-Mystery-Investigates-ebook/dp/B0882J3652/ref=sr_1_1

Giveaway

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card from the author.

Review & Giveaway: SLIGHTLY MURDEROUS INTENT by Lisa Sideris

As part of a blog tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I recently had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Slightly Murderous Intent. This new release by Lida Sideris is the fourth book in her Southern California Mystery series.

About the Book

There’s a shooter on the loose who keeps missing his target. But that doesn’t stop him from trying again…and again. It’s up to Corrie Locke, rookie lawyer and spunky sleuth, to find the gunman before he hits his mark, Assistant Deputy D.A. James Zachary, Corrie’s hunky and complicated frenemy.

When Corrie is stuck with more questions than answers, she enlists a team with various strengths, from weapons to cooking skills, to help her find the shooter. Her computer whiz boyfriend Michael is onboard. So is former security guard Veera. Toss in an over-the-hill informant and a couple of feuding celebrity chefs and Corrie’s got her very own A-Team. Okay, maybe it’s more like a B-Team.

Can Team Corrie hunt down the shooter before he scores a bulls-eye?

My Review

In this fun read, Corrie continues to vacillate between what should be a somewhat conventional job as a lawyer and her sense of adventure and aptitude for investigation.  As a witness to the would-be assassin’s initial attempt to kill a member of the D.A. Office’s team, it is only natural she would insert herself into the investigation. After all, the potential targets include people she cares about.

She is aided in her search for the truth by Michael, her amazingly supportive boyfriend, and her uniquely skilled co-worker, Veera. Together they manage to figure out who did it what and why – and keep their friends alive. Of course, it’s not that simple, they face a variety of hurdles, near misses, false leads, and twists along the way. Narrated in a light conversational tone, this well written, fast-paced mystery made for an entertaining read.

FTC Disclosure:   I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of this blog tour.  This has not affected the content of my review in any way. 

Giveaway

Enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win one of three copies of Slightly Murderous Intent: A Southern California Mystery from the author.

About the Author

Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer, and all-around book enthusiast. She writes soft-boiled mysteries and was a recipient of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship award. Slightly Murderous Intent is #4 in her Southern California Mystery series, published by Level Best Books. Lida lives in the northern tip of SoCal with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.  To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Click here to visit the tour page for more reviews, guest posts, and more.

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway: PUMPKIN PIES & POTIONS by Polly Holmes

As part of virtual book blitz organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, and just in time for Halloween, today’s spotlight shines light on a spooky new paranormal cozy mystery – Pumpkin Pies & Potions (Melting Pot Café Book 1)  by Polly Holmes.

About the Book

Witches, cats, pumpkin pies and murder!

I’m Evelyn Grayson and if you’d told me by the time I was 23, I’d have lost both my parents in a mysterious accident, moved in with the coolest Aunt ever, lived in a magical town, and I was a witch, I would have said you were crazy. Funny thing is, you’d be right.

Camille Stenson, the grumpiest woman in Saltwater Cove is set on making this year’s Halloween celebrations difficult for everyone, but when she turns up dead and my best friend is on the suspect list, I have no choice but to find out whodunit and clear her name.

Amongst the pumpkin carving, abandoned houses, and apple bobbing, it soon becomes apparent dark magic is at play and I must use all my newfound witches’ abilities to find the killer before another spell is cast.

Step into Evelyn Grayson’s magical world in the first book of the Melting Pot Café series, a fun and flirty romantic paranormal cozy mystery where the spells are flowing, and the adventure is just beginning.

If you like witty witches, cheeky talking cats, and magical murder mysteries, then you’ll love Polly Holmes’ light-hearted Melting Pot Café series.

The book is available on Amazon.

Giveaway

Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $20 Amazon or B&N Gift Card from the author.

Character Interview and Excerpt: ADINA DONATI

Today,  I am pleased to give my readers a glimpse into the life of Adina Donati, the main character and narrator in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Mystery Series, which includes  Think Murder, Dying for Data, Killer Reputation, and Fit for Murder. 

ThinkMurderfinalWelcome, Adina.  So glad you could make time in your busy schedule to answer a few questions for my readers. Perhaps you could start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your decision to move to Washington, D.C. after college.

I’m originally from a small town outside Worcester, Mass. After attending UMass, I couldn’t see myself moving back home and living with my parents. I wanted to be able to do what I want, when I want I – without an overprotective mother looking over my shoulder.

I studied linguistics and the romance languages in college and had really hoped to find a job that would put my language skills to use.  With its international flavor, D.C. seemed like a good place to start.  I moved here a month after I graduated from college. Spent the first few weeks sleeping on the floor at a friend’s place until I found a job and an apartment I could afford.

Been there, I totally understand.
What can you tell us about your job?

I work as an administrative assistant at the illustrious Drake Institute, or the DIPPeR as we insiders call it. It’s a think tank that focuses on policy trends. Not what I dreamed of doing when I went to college, but the job market is tough. I had to compromise or move back home.

Truth be told, it’s not all that bad. My boss, Matt, heads up research into energy policy, and he’s an amazing person. Great to work for. And, of course, I’m surrounded by lots of really intelligent professionals.

Rumor has it that life in D.C. has been quite an adventure for you. 

I love D.C.  It’s a cool city for the most part, especially for young people. There are lots of interesting people, museums, and cultural events. Not to mention the pubs and restaurants. Plenty to do, if you have the time to do it. But like any large city, it has a flip side – crime and poverty. Of course, where politics are involved, the potential for intrigue and corruption is added to the mix.

It’s been hard at times, for sure.  My friend Hilary’s murder hit close to home. And it was scary when the police couldn’t find her killer.  Did I consider moving back home?  Not really.  I mean what are the odds something like that would happen – pretty low, and even lower chances that I’d ever find myself involved in another murder investigation.  (Then again, maybe lightning does strike more than once in the same place.)

What do you do to unwind when you’re not working or helping solve murders?

I love dogs. Until I lived somewhere that allows dogs, I got my “warm puppy fix” by volunteering at a local dog rescue center a couple times a week.  The only drawback is that I get really attached to the dogs.  I am always happy to see a four-legged friend find his forever home, but it can be really hard to say goodbye.  Parting with Brandy almost broke my heart. I really loved that puppy.  labrador-805856_1280cropped

What’s with dogs on the covers?  Why a different dog each time?

Over time, a variety of loveable dogs of different breeds captured my heart and sometimes even played a role in identifying the culprits in the intriguing murder investigations I stumbled into.  So, when I decided recount my adventures, it seemed only fitting to give them star billing. And, have I mentioned I love dogs?  

And your social life?  Is there a special someone you’d like to tell us about?

I’d have to describe it as a work in progress… 
Cassidy, for now, let’s not make my entire life an open book. Or books.  

That’s great.  Thanks, Adina, for being with us today. On that positive note, I’d like to remind my readers that  Think Murder is available on Amazon.  

Before you go,  here’s an excerpt from Think Murder:

Hilary had pretty much wound down by the time we reached McSweeney’s. A popular spot among men and women in their 20s and 30s, the pub was standing room only and the scent of Guinness hung in the air. Most of the guys were scoping the scene seeking out potential hookups – but that was nothing new. Petite and pretty, with strawberry blond hair and sparkly blue eyes, Hilary was a magnet for male attention.

We made our way to the bar and each ordered a glass of white wine. I even managed to grab a small dish of chicken wings for us to share. We did our best to eat, drink, and talk, while standing, constantly jostled by the crowd. Just as one guy was on the verge of striking up a conversation with us, we snagged a small table in the back corner.

More often than not I enjoyed watching the flirtations or even flirted a bit myself, but today my attention was on our conversation. Hilary’s mood had changed since our arrival. Seated at our relatively secluded table, she fidgeted in her chair. After we had both ordered a second glass of wine, Hilary took a few rapid sips, then confided, “Something’s going on with Duncan, he’s been acting strange.” She hesitated, then stammered, “Do you think he’s cheating on me?” Continue reading

Review: NINJA SCHOOL MUM by Lizzie Chantree

Today’s post features an enjoyable read that combines humor, action and romance – Ninja School Mum by Lizzie Chantree.

About the Book*

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Obsessive-compulsive school mum, Skye, is a lonely elite spy, who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

*from the book’s Amazon webpage

My Review

Skye is a good mom – she’s just not your typical mom. Not at all. She has unique skills and a mysterious past. Her reasons for arriving in the country village emerge as the story develops, as does the nature of her former occupation and its impact on her relationships with others. For her son’s sake, she does everything in her power to move on and keep him safe. Over time, she forges a close friendship with Thea, another reclusive mom, and with Zack, who owns the cottage where she lives. All seems to be going well in what felt mostly like a romance, until a major plot twist turned the tables on this unsuspecting reader.

The author’s style was mostly light and enjoyable. Having read works by British other authors, I wasn’t surprised by the slightly longer-winded writing style and most of the slang was familiar to me or could be understood within context.

An enjoyable read that combines humor, action and romance.