Thursday, January 25, 2024

Never Blow a Kiss (Secret Society of Governess Spies, #1)Never Blow a Kiss by Lindsay Lovise

Never Blow a Kiss (Secret Society of Governess Spies, #1)Never Blow a Kiss by Lindsay Lovise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

great pacing! The author keeps the story moving along nicely. She also balances the different plots very smoothly!

I have a list of suspects! Great pacing and intrigue Lovise!
Such a great story! I do have to say I think "too much" was going on... and at the 70/ 80 % mark it seemed that too many subplots were waying the story down... However, great pacing, fun story... and I am awaiting the second book! Lately the books I have read have not had me this excited to know what happens next!
Thank you Netgally for the audio and ebook. i was able to go back and forth ane read and listen. Narrators were excellent and true to the story.
These opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Continental Affair (Hardcover) by Christine Mangan

 I waited a long time for my library I will finish it.

But ... struggling

at 54 % I am officially done.

I am ready to jump off the train.

The final straw was when the heroine leaves her invalid father to die. Sorry... life is too short for books that make me want to jump out of a train... like the one that they seem to be on in the this story.

I loved the setting , loved the mention of the countries in Europe. Loved hearing Spain and Alhambra mentioned. At this point I am better off reading a National Geographic novel. 

This hero is so taken with a woman he doesnt know... and frankly, not very nice person. 

THE MISSING WITNESS by Allison Brennan


My parking garage off Fifth was nearly a mile from where I worked at city hall. I could have paid twice as much to park two blocks from my building and avoid the rows of homeless people: the worn tents, the used needles, the stinking garbage, the aura of hopelessness and distrust that filled a corner park and bled down the streets. 

I was listening to my favorite podcast, LA with A&I. Amy and Ian started the podcast two years ago to talk about computer gaming, technology, entertainment and Los Angeles. It had blossomed into a quasi news show and they live streamed every morning at seven. They’d riff on tech and local news as if sitting down with friends over coffee. Like me, they were nerds, born and bred in the City of Angels. I’d never met Amy or Ian in real life, but felt like I’d known them forever. 

We’d chatted over Discord, teamed up to play League of Legends, and I often sent them interesting clips about gaming or tech that they talked about on their podcast, crediting my gaming handle. Twice, we’d tried to set up coffee dates, but I always chickened out. I didn’t know why. Maybe because I thought they wouldn’t like me if they met me. Maybe because I was socially awkward. Maybe because I didn’t like people knowing too much about my life.

Today while I drove to work, they’d discussed the disaster that was city hall: all the digital files had been wiped out. The news story lasted for about five minutes, but it would be my life for the next month or more as my division rebuilt the data from backups and archives. It was a mess. They laughed over it; I tried to, but I was beginning to suspect the error was on purpose, not by mistake.

Now they were talking about a sweatshop that had been shut down last week.

“We don’t know much,” Amy said. “You’d think after eight days there’d be some big press conference, or at least a frontpage story. The only thing we found was two news clips—less than ninety seconds each—and an article on LA Crime Beat.”

“David Chen,” Ian said, “a Chinese American who allegedly trafficked hundreds of women and children to run his factory in Chinatown, was arraigned on Monday, but according to Crime Beat, the FBI is also investigating the crime. And—get this— the guy is already out on bail.”

“It’s fucked,” Amy said. “Look, I’m all for bail reform. I don’t think some guy with weed in his pocket should have to pay thousands of bucks to stay out of jail while the justice system churns. But human trafficking is a serious crime—literally not two miles from city hall, over three hundred people were forced to work at a sweatshop for no money. They had no freedom, lived in a hovel next door to the warehouse. Crime Beat reported that the workers used an underground tunnel to avoid being seen—something I haven’t read in the news except for one brief mention. And Chen allegedly killed one of the women as he fled from police. How did this guy get away with it? He kills someone and spends no more than a weekend behind bars?”

“According to Crime Beat, LAPD investigated the business for months before they raided the place,” Ian said. “But Chen has been operating for years. How could something like this happen and no one said a word?”

I knew how. People didn’t see things they didn’t want to. 

Case in point: the homeless encampment I now walked by. 

I paused the podcast and popped my earbuds back into their charging case.

“Hello, Johnny,” I said to the heroin addict with stringy hair that might be blond, if washed. I knew he was thirty-three, though he looked much older. His hair had fallen out in clumps, his teeth were rotted, and his face scarred from sores that came and went. He sat on a crusty sleeping bag, leaned against the stone wall of a DWP substation, his hollow eyes staring at nothing. As usual, he didn’t acknowledge me. I knew his name because I had asked when he wasn’t too far gone. Johnny, born in Minnesota. He hadn’t talked to his family in years. Thought his father was dead, but didn’t remember. He once talked about a sister and beamed with pride. She’s really smart. She’s a teacher in…then his face dropped because he couldn’t remember where his sister lived.

Four years ago, I left a job working for a tech start-up company to work in IT for city hall. It was barely a step up from entry-level and I couldn’t afford nearby parking garages. If I took a combination of buses and the metro, it would take me over ninety minutes to get to work from Burbank, so factoring the combination of time and money, driving was my best bet and I picked the cheapest garage less than a mile from work.

I used to cringe when I walked by the park. Four years ago, only a dozen homeless tents dotted the corner; the numbers had more than quadrupled. Now that I could afford a more expensive garage, I didn’t want it. I knew most of the people here by name.

“Hey, Toby,” I greeted the old black man wearing three coats, his long, dirty gray beard falling to his stomach. He had tied a rope around his waist and attached it to his shopping cart to avoid anyone stealing his worldly possessions when he slept off his alcohol.

“Mizvi,” he said, running my name together in a slur. He called me “Miss Violet” when he was sober. He must have still been coming down off whatever he’d drank last night.

I smiled. Four years ago I never smiled at these people, fearing something undefinable. Now I did, even when I wanted to cry. I reached into my purse and pulled out a bite-size Hershey Bar. Toby loved chocolate. I handed it to him. He took it with a wide grin, revealing stained teeth.

One of the biggest myths about the homeless is that they’re hungry. They have more food than they can eat. That doesn’t mean many aren’t malnourished. Drug and alcohol abuse can do that to a person.

A couple weeks ago a church group had thought they would bring in sandwiches and water as part of community service. It was a nice gesture, sure, but they could have asked what was needed instead of assuming that these people were starving. Most of the food went uneaten, left outside tents to become rat food. The plastic water bottles were collected to return for the deposit, which was used to buy drugs and alcohol.

But no one gave Toby chocolate, he once told me when he was half-sober. Now, whenever I saw him—once, twice a week—I gave him a Hershey Bar. He would die sooner than he should, so why couldn’t I give him a small pleasure that I could afford? Toby was one of the chronics, a man who’d been on the street for years. He had no desire to be anywhere else, trusted no one, though I thought he trusted me a little. I wished I knew his story, how he came to be here, how I could reach him to show him a different path. His liver had to be slush with the amount of alcohol he consumed. Alcohol he bought because people, thinking they were helping—or just to make themselves feel better—handed him money.

As I passed the entrance to the small park, the stench of unwashed humans assaulted me. The city had put four porta-potties on the edge of the park but they emptied them once a month, if that. They were used more for getting high and prostitution than as bathrooms. The city had also put up fencing, but didn’t always come around to lock the gate. Wouldn’t matter; someone would cut it open and no one would stop them. Trespassing was the least of the crimes in the area.

I dared to look inside the park, though I didn’t expect to see her. I hadn’t seen her for over a week. I found myself clutching my messenger bag that was strapped across my chest. Not because I thought someone would steal it, but because I needed to hold something, as if my bag was a security blanket.

I didn’t see her among the tents or the people sitting on the ground, on the dirt and cushions, broken couches and sleeping bags, among the needles and small, tin foils used to smoke fentanyl. I kicked aside a vial that had once held Narcan, the drug to counteract opioid overdoses. The clear and plastic vials littered the ground, remnants of addiction.

There was nothing humane about allowing people to get so wasted they were on the verge of death, reviving them, then leaving them to do it over and over again. But that was the system.

The system was fucked.

Blue and red lights whirled as I approached the corner. I usually crossed Fifth Street here, but today I stopped, stared at the silent police car.

The police only came when someone was dying…or dead. 


I found my feet moving toward the cops even though I wanted to run away. My heart raced, my vision blurred as tears flashed, then disappeared. 


Excerpted from The Missing Witness by Allison Brennan, Copyright © 2024 by Allison Brennan. Published by MIRA Books.

The Missing Witness : A Quinn & Costa Novel 

Allison Brennan

Series: A Quinn & Costa Thriller (#5)

On Sale Date: January 23, 2024



$30.00 USD

Fiction / Thrillers / Crime 

416 pages

About the Book:

When Kara Quinn is framed for the murder of an FBI agent, she'll have to go rogue to clear her name without putting her partner, Matt Costa, in danger in this latest thriller in the USA Today bestselling Quinn & Costa series.

A fast-paced, race-against-time thriller to wrap-up Kara Quinn’s back story…

Kara Quinn is ordered back to Los Angeles to testify in the case against David Chen & his illegal businesses. Chen is out on bail, and there is still a threat to Kara because of it. The FBI doesn’t want to provide federal protection for Kara (they believe that the LAPD should be responsible for her safety) but Matt Costa and Michael Harris accompany her to LA, knowing that Chen’s got people inside the LAPD on his payroll.

Shortly after Kara gives her deposition, someone tries to kill her. When that fails, Kara is then framed for the murder of an FBI agent—which means, if it’s discovered Matt is protecting her, it’ll be the end of his FBI career (he could be accused of harboring a fugitive). Knowing this, Kara flees, determined to cure the mess herself, but she puts her life in jeopardy. Ultimately the book reveals layers of conspiracy and corruption in Los Angeles that enabled David Chen, and others, to operate their illegal sweat shops. This book will resolve the murder of Kara’s former partner—and will leave Kara at a critical crossroads: return to her old life, or sign on officially with the MRT.

About the Author: 

ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author of over forty novels, including The Sorority Murder. She lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids and assorted pets. The Missing Witness is the fifth thriller in the new Quinn & Costa series.

Social Links:

Author Website:





Buy Links: 


Barnes & Noble:;jsessionid=B485531C811175E9379886DE2E4C8128.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=9780778369653

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Accidentally His (Designing Debutantes #3)Accidentally His by Sabrina Jeffries

Accidentally His (Designing Debutantes #3)Accidentally His by Sabrina Jeffries
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The mystery was very good! Definitely did not see that coming. Romance was sweet and good. Yes, some parts were very drawn out. Overall, fun and intriguing read. Narrator was good.
Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for a copy.
The views expressed above are mine.

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Monday, January 22, 2024

The Duke’s Unexpected Love by Alexa Aston

The Duke’s Unexpected Love (The Strongs of Shadowcrest #1)The Duke’s Unexpected Love by Alexa Aston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

im so relieved to read a book that doesnt primarily take place in London. lots of subplotsThis was a good read. I liked both the hero and heroine. Completely off topic: I loved reading about the shipping/ ship building. im So relieved to read a book that doesnt primarily take place in London especially a London Ballroom. Llots of subplots and very original story. I thought the conflict was resolved and that both the hero and heroine seemed authentic.
The young bride married to older husband a little ick... but overall cute story.

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Friday, January 19, 2024

The Duchess Takes a Lover by Jillian Eaton

The Duchess Takes a Lover (Ladies of Seduction #1)The Duchess Takes a Lover by Jillian Eaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very interesting storyline. A hero and heroine that are determined to misunderstand each other and not communicate. Agnes was interesting. I can see how the author made her more demensional than just a spoiled and entitled brat. The hero I can like more. His little bursts of anger and tirades are getting very old very fast.
Overall, this was a fun read and I am amazed at how much character development and plot the author was able to squeeze in with
166 pages.
Looking forward to Kitty's story:)
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Dragonblade Publishing. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
#TheDuchessTakesaLover #NetGalley

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Takeover by Cara Tanamachi

The TakeoverThe Takeover by Cara Tanamachi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

so many thoughts...
the yays: 1) I am so relieved to read about a hero and hero who are not blond and blue-eyed. If I read about another h/h with clear blue eyes like the sky I will vomit... I am so happy to read about characters that are rich in their cultural backgrounds. Double yay!

2) why... why oh why... this is not an enemies to lovers book... this is a I am very priviledged and want to come off as worldly troop. I liked neither the hero nor the heroine. They were both very immature. Hello authors, just because your main characters are wealthy doesnt make them interesting, nor likeable... I enjoyed the familial relationships more than I did Jae Lee and Nami. I thought they were spitiful... and enough with the weatlh... we get it they are well off... really
I get there might be a generation gap...but who the heck behaves this way in a professional environment?
The narrators were both pleasant...but I don't know or understand why women narrators keep giving women these valley sounding voices... why? why?
Thank you to Netgalley and Griffin

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Tuesday, January 16, 2024


 An American role model

Frances Perkins came to New York City in the early 20th century to work in settlement houses. She quickly noticed the long working hours and other social injustices that immigrant and poor families faced inspired her to become a lobbyist for social reforms. After working to help pass labor laws through New York government, Perkins started a career in government, and eventually began a close working relationship and a somewhat wary friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was appointed the first female Cabinet member in United States history, serving as Secretary of Labor and paving the way for women to take on roles in government and eventually drafted the Social Security Act of 1935.


A first-hand look at major moments in American history

Perkins was witness to some pivotal moments in history—she was a firsthand witness to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York in 1911, which further empowered her to fight for workers’ rights. She also engaged in a romantic relationship with famed author Sinclair Lewis, and was referenced in a number of his works.


A rich personal life

Beyond her career and friendships with socialites, notable artists, and politicians, Perkins led a home life that was anything but dull. After an intense romance, she married Paul Wilson, and together they had one daughter. Paul suffered from severe mental health issues and was institutionalized, and it’s rumored (though never confirmed) that Perkins took up a romantic affair with her close female friend, Mary Rumsey.


Thoroughly Researched

Dray’s intense research leaves no stone unturned in her portrayal of this vibrant historical figure. The author was even in touch with Perkins’s living grandson, who helped her fill in the details of her heroine’s personal life. As Dray said “I reviewed the five-thousand-page transcript of her oral history, read her papers, poems, and family pictures. I scoured appointment books and historical newspapers where she made headlines. I even listened to recordings to capture her unique voice and had the privilege of interviewing people who knew her, including her grandson. All this so I could paint a vivid picture of this extraordinary woman whose programs transformed our nation.”


Featuring an extraordinary woman whose story may not be as well-known as others, BECOMING MADAM SECRETARY is perfect for fans of Kate Quinn, Marie Benedict, Kristin Hannah, and Renee Rosen – and it’s an excellent read for Women’s History Month in March.

Love Naturally by Sophie Sullivan


e hotel in Great Falls, MI, she knows more about the top ten places for champagne and caviar than she does about the best hiking boots to go stomping around near Lake Michigan. But when she surprises her boyfriend of eight months with a vacation to the Get Lost Lodge and he dumps her instead, Presley decides to rough it solo and take the trip herself.

When Beckett Keller helps the gorgeous woman off the rickety boat and onto Lodge territory, it’s clear she’s made a mistake. She doesn’t like hiking, fishing, or nature in general, so why did she go on this trip?―but he’s got other things on his mind. A crumbling lodge, and his own plans and dreams that are forever deferred―so he doesn’t have time for Ms. Fish-Out-of-Water. But neither Beckett or Presley can help that inexplicable draw they feel towards each other. He’s all rough stubble and plaid shirts, while she’s all high heels and brand-name athleisurewear.

But you know what they say about opposites.

A charming opposites-attract romance, Love, Naturally is for anyone who ever stepped outside their comfort zone and found that all the best things can happen when you take a chance.

Sawyer Bennett released Boone (Pittsburgh Titans, Book #11)



WIN a signed paperback of Boone!




🏒 A hockey romance that will break your heart and piece it back together, here’s what readers are saying about Boone:

➜ “What! A! Book!”
➜ ”A devastatingly beautiful read.”
➜ “I would give this story 500 stars.”
➜ ”Gut wrenching but absolutely brilliant.”
➜ ”Raw, poignant and breathtaking!”

Add Boone to your next #shelfie with a signed paperback! I’ve got FIVE copies ready to go to a new home. Settle into your most comfortable chair, crack it open and lose yourself in Boone and Lilly’s story for a while. Place it on your shelf, pristine and unopened, and enjoy the beauty of Boone in your book collection. Get out those tabs and pens and mark it up with all your favorite passages showing how absolutely swoonworthy Boone Rivers is. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, I’ve got your opportunity to own it!


Boone Rivers uses his fame and fortune as a professional hockey player to his advantage, but not in the way most people would think. Volunteering as often as his busy schedule will allow, Boone meets one brave young boy who turns his world upside down.

As a first-line right winger for the Pittsburgh Titans, I thrive on the thrill of the game. I live for the smell of the ice, the cheer of the crowd and the way my heart pounds whenever I step into the arena. But once I’m out of my skates, my focus is on giving back to the city of Pittsburgh.

It’s funny how life puts people in your path. I meet Aiden while visiting the children’s hospital and I’m struck by the strength and resilience of this 12-year-old kid fighting for his life. As my visits continue, we bond over video games and hockey until one day Aiden’s older sister walks into his room and I realize there might be a bigger purpose here.

Lilly Hoffman has the weight of the world resting on her slight shoulders. Aiden’s illness isn’t getting better, she’s at risk of losing her job and their father is looking for the answers to his prayers at the bottom of a liquor bottle. I find myself wanting to lessen Lilly’s burden and what starts as a simple act of friendship turns into so much more. As we grow closer, I can’t help but fall for this fiercely protective and independent woman with a tender heart and bruised but not yet broken spirit.

As we face a future of never-ending uncertainty, I vow to be Lilly’s source of strength and comfort. Lilly and Aiden have reaffirmed to me the importance of giving and receiving love unconditionally, even in the darkest of times. And no matter what happens next, no one can take that from us.

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The Paris Widow by Kimberly Belle

  THE PARIS WIDOW  Author: Kimberly Belle Publication Date: June 11, 2024 ISBN: 9780778307976 Format: Trade Paperback Publisher: Harlequin ...