Peachy Flippin’ Keen (A Southern Eclectic Novella #1.5) by Molly Harper

Author’s Synopsis

A prank war erupts in Lake Sackett, Georgia and coroner Frankie McCready has to turn to the gorgeous but surly new sheriff for help in Molly Harper’s newest Southern Eclectic novella, perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Amy E. Reichert.

The McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop has crickets running rampant in the store and hot sauce in the Snack Shack’s ketchup bottles. But as the county coroner, Frankie has enough on her plate without worrying about the increasingly mean pranks being played at her family’s business. And the arrival of Sheriff Eric Linden, both devastatingly attractive and painfully taciturn, is enough to push her over the edge.

Linden, who didn’t seem to get the memo about men in uniform and Southern charm, is condescending and cold, revealing absolutely nothing about his past as an Atlanta police officer, while also making Frankie’s job as coroner as difficult as possible. And with the town’s Fourth of July celebration coming up, it’s essential for McCready’s to be cricket-free and in good working order. Strangling the sheriff will make her job even harder. Can Frankie hold off the threats to preserve her own sanity?

My Views

Harper’s books call to me on a level that I cannot ignore and definitely cannot deny. This particular series isn’t as long or evolved as Harper’s paranormal romances but her ability to make me laugh hasn’t dulled any. Franky is a cute character and Eric needs more story devoted to him because there’s potential in there, but the overall continuation of the story is interesting and, like I said, funny as hell. There is only one issue with the book and that is it is short. It is a novella and I expected that but it feels a little unfinished.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Peachy Flippin Keen

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Deathtrap (Crossbreed #3) by Dannika Dark

Author’s synopsis

For Raven Black, hunting criminals is second nature. So is denial. It’s not easy moving forward with one foot stuck in the past. But a new case offers her a much-needed distraction when Keystone accepts their toughest assignment yet—to track down an elusive criminal who’s selling children on the black market.

Their investigation leads them deep into the underbelly of the Breed world, a place both treacherous and enticing. With no room for mistakes, Raven makes a tough decision to lock the door to her past before it interferes with her job. The only trouble? Christian holds the key.

The stakes are high, and a shocking twist turns everything on its head. Will they catch this criminal before more lives are lost? Find out in the latest edge-of-your-seat instalment of the Crossbreed series.

My Views

Addictive; this is how I would describe this series and this story is no exception. The hint of romance between Raven and Christian is the perfect accompaniment to danger, adventure, and the multitude of breed issues that surround them. In this instalment, we really start to get to know other members of Keystone which only adds to the addictive quality of this series.

Raven is the kind of character you can forgive anything. She can act like an idiot but that’s okay because the reader already loves her. Christian getting on your nerves? You still want him to pair up with Raven. It’s the magical mixture of flawed human nature, vulnerability, and an exceptionally well-built world that lures us in and Dark is the master of this kind of chemistry. Yes, I am fangirling right now.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Deathtrap

RNWMP Bride for Theodore (Mail Order Mounties #0.5) by Kirsten Osbourne

Author’s Synopsis

Jessica Sanderson knows what it means to love unconditionally. She has doted on the same man for over a decade, and she’s in her early twenties. When that man’s mother asks her to be her traveling companion, she gladly accepts. She doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life sitting in a bank, after all. When the plan changes to something a bit crazy, she drags her feet, but finally agrees, only to have her heart broken in two.

Theodore Hughes remembers Jessica from when they were younger, but he hasn’t given her a second thought in years. When she comes to visit him as his mother’s traveling companion, he’s shocked to find out what his mother has up her sleeve. It doesn’t take him long to think that his mother might be right. But could Jess give up the comforts of city life to be a Mountie’s wife? Or will they spend the rest of their lives alone?

My Views

This sweet romance is the beginning of a nice little series. Jess is a typical mail-order bride but Theo is a little more interesting. The story could do with some action in between Jess trying to show Theo how perfect a housewife she is and Theo eating like there’s no tomorrow but the story certainly sets up a whole host of new characters waiting for love.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Bride for Theodore

Ravenheart (A Crossbreed Novel #2) by Dannika Dark

Author’s Synopsis

Two weeks after joining Keystone, Raven Black is ready to take on the world as a criminal hunter for hire. If only her partner wasn’t a bloodsucking Vampire with a penchant for getting under her skin. Despite her lavish surroundings, Raven misses the freedom of life without rules. And Keystone’s next assignment is about to test her self-control in more ways than one.

Dead bodies are popping up in the human district, and all signs point to a Breed serial killer. In order to catch him, Raven and Christian embark on a mission that takes their partnership into uncharted waters. Lives are at stake. Can Raven trust her instincts, or will she fall into a web spun from lies and deceit?

Time is running out in this pulse-pounding tale of dark secrets, murder, and forbidden desires.

My Views

I am hooked. This series just gets better which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Dark’s work. Raven is a strong female lead who is not only capable of exploring her own emotions but is happy to share them with us. Christian is funny, charming, and annoying in equal quantities and I can’t wait to hear more from him. No spoilers, just wow. Best read via audiobook with Nicole Poole.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Ravenheart

Perfect Husband: A Fake Marriage Romance by Leslie Johnson

Author’s Synopsis

Met another girl. Sorry, Tiff. It’s over.

My ex dumped me with a text. That’s okay, I met a hot blonde. Yep, he was hot all right. Enough to make me forget about Andy as I ran my gaze over his godlike features. Strong jaw. Muscles that were evident even beneath the expensive material of his suit. He needs a favor. What do I have to lose?

My Views

This is a sweet romance with good lead characters but somewhere in the middle, I fell out of love with the story. When the couple stopped talking and gave themselves some time out I no longer related to the characters and the story fell flat. It made for an uncomfortable read for a while but it did get back on track. I’m a big fan of conflict in romances but this felt too uncomfortable for my liking. I’ll still give the book a four-star rating though.

Http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

Perfect Husband

The Fourth Sacrifice (The China Thrillers #2) by Peter May

Margaret’s heart is broken but unable to leave China she immerses herself in her work which happens to bring her in close quarters to Li Yan once more. His jealousy when she starts seeing an American archaeologist confuses her but things quickly become more complicated.

Li Yan really shines in this book and his complex personality, restricted by his work and the Chinese way, pushes through the boundaries. His personal troubles, heartbreak, and work mingle until he can’t see what is before him.

I am really enjoying this series as it gives a rare insight into a culture I know little about but I think Li Yan’s character really makes the story, and I can’t wait to read the next in the series. I highly recommend the audio version of this book because Forbes’ voice is a real treat to listen to, combine that with May’s poetic language and you have a winner.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

the fourth sacrifice

The Firemaker (China Thrillers #1) by Peter May

Author’s Synopsis

Margaret Campbell, a Chicago forensic pathologist, has been invited by the Chinese government to teach at the Beijing police university. She has accepted the six-week assignment with misgivings but is desperate to escape a troubled life in America. Arriving in Beijing, she checks “nothing to declare” on the health declaration they gave her on the plane—nothing, that is, “except a broken heart and a wasted life, neither of which was contagious.”

She gets off to a bad start when her car knocks senior detective Li Yan off his bicycle. In a furious clash, he dresses her down in perfect English. But Li soon finds himself reintroduced to Margaret by his superiors when the newly promoted detective’s first case requires Margaret’s special expertise to identify a horribly burned corpse. Thrown together to track down the killer, Margaret and Li must bury their personal and cultural differences when they uncover a conspiracy that threatens not only their lives, but the lives of millions.

My Views

I’m a fan of May’s work and I prefer the audio versions read by Peter Forbes who gives May’s beautiful language a melodic voice. His books are usually set In Scotland and the Hebridean Isles but these stories centre on an American woman in China and I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first. I soon changed my mind.

The story unfolds and the detective element is balanced nicely with a hint of romance but not enough to put the book in the romance genre. Margaret is a strong female lead but she has very little power in China where, the moment she opens her mouth, every conceivable faux pas pops out resulting in loss of face for anyone nearby.

Li’s reluctance to get involved with Margaret is palpable but when they’re thrown together, he slowly begins to warm to her. Li’s innate innocence is endearing but his current case takes a turn for the personal.

May’s beautiful description and eye for the aesthetics in life still shines through even though the difference between his portrayal of China and that of Scotland are worlds apart and that is what makes his books so addictive.

http://www.gothic-mansion-books.com/

The Firemaker