Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Review - 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

3 out of 5 stars
12 DAYS AT BLEAKLY MANOR was an interesting read, but not altogether original. Besides the love story between Clara Chapman and Benjamin Lane, the overall premise reminds me of the 1976 movie, Murder by Death, written by Neil Simon. 
It’s Christmas Eve in 1850s London. Several eccentric characters are summoned to Bleakly Manor with a promise. Whoever stays twelve days with receive a prize that will change their lives. Clara Chapman is promised five hundred pounds. Since her ex-fiancĂ© ran off with her family fortune, receiving such a sum of money to care for her, and her ailing aunt would be a Christmas miracle. However, once she arrives at Bleakly Manor, she is stunned to see Benjamin Lane, the man that left her standing at the altar while he ran off with her family’s funds and embezzled from Blythe Shipping.
Benjamin Lane is shocked when he is the recipient of a valuable proposition. All he has to do is spend twelve days in Bleakly Manor. With nothing to lose, he agrees. When he shows up, he sees Clara Chapman, the woman who ignored him for the past nine months. 
Along with the other guests at Bleakly Manor, Clara and Benjamin are committed to staying until they receive their promised due. As the days drag on, the guest list dwindles. Some by accidents, others because they feel they found what they were looking for and had no reason to stay longer. As for Clara and Ben, they discover the difference between truths and lies—discoveries that could change their futures forever.
12 DAYS AT BLEAKLY MANOR was a little too erratic for me. Other than Clara and Benjamin, the other characters beckoned to Bleakly Manor were crazy and hard to get attached to. The last fifty pages held enough excitement to keep me reading, and the bazaar twist at the end added some originality to what would’ve been considered a predictable ending. Though 12 DAYS AT BLEAKLY MANOR was not my cup of tea, those who enjoy quirky characters might find themselves more engaged then I was. However, I did like the packaging of this novel. The tattered pages and pseudo dustcover was very attractive and added old-world charm. 
“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Review - The Dishonorable Miss Delancy

3.5 out of 5 stars
THE DISHONORABLE MISS DELANCY by Carolyn Miller was an enjoyable read with genuine characters who were easy to like.

Miss Clara Delancy feels she’s at her bitter end. In love with a man who does not return her love, her dowry gone due to her wayward brother, and the subject of gossip and scandal, she hides away in the town of Brighton. While distraught, she has a chance meeting with a former Navy captain, a meeting she would like to forget. However, she soon crosses his path again when she strikes up a friendship with his two sisters. She realizes the more she has opportunity to see the man Benjamin Kemsley is, the more her heart is stirred. Unfortunately, status, society, and her titled parents deem him an inadequate suitor.

While former Navy Captain, Benjamin Kemsley, is waiting to receive his due, he enjoys spending his time with his sisters, Tessa and Mattie. When they introduce him to their new friend, he is shocked to see the woman he had a chance meeting with on the cliffs of Brighton. Glad to see the woman in better shape than when he first saw her, he’s surprised when his feelings for her turns from concern to attraction. Regrettably, his station in society will not permit him to pursue her.

As Clara and Ben struggle with their feelings for each other, Clara gleans the attention of the Prince Regent. Clara knows the Regent’s interest in her is purely artistic, but it does put her in a position to possibly help Ben get what was once promised to him. Just as it seems all is going well, Clara finds her life threatened, and that of Ben’s sister, Tessa. Clara must make the decision to save her family’s reputation, but it might cost her everything.

Though Regency era fiction is not my favorite genre, I did enjoy THE DISHONORABLE MISS DELANCY. I felt for Clara and all she’d been through. I hated that people kept misinterpreting her actions and intentions. The relationship between Ben and his sisters was so sweet and caring. He was an upstanding guy who deserved people’s respect instead of questions of his worthiness. The story started off on a high, and though the middle was a bit slow, it built to a surprising climax with twists I didn’t see coming. It definitely kept my attention until the end.

Book provided for review purposes.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

My Review - Memphis Cold Case Series Book 1&2


The Memphis Cold Case series by Patricia Bradley will keep you turning page after page. Since I read both JUSTICE DELAYED and JUSTICE BURIED in quick succession, I decided to combine my reviews.
JUSTICE DELAYED - Andi Hollister, TV crime reporter, is always looking for a story. Unfortunately, she has a knack for getting herself into dangerous situations. Andi’s brother, Detective Brad Hollister, and his best friend, Detective Will Kincaide, are constantly after Andi for taking unnecessary risks. Even so, if there’s a riveting story to flesh out, Andi will do whatever it takes to get the exclusive. However, she never thought she would see the day when she would help Will collect evidence to set her sister’s murderer free. She likes Will, even more than she lets on, but doesn’t think he sees her as anything more than Brad’s kid sister.

Detective Will Kincaide has been life-long friends with Andi and Brad Hollister, and is cousin to Jimmy Shelton. Jimmy is awaiting execution for the murder of Stephanie Hollister. Will never believed his cousin was guilty, but since he confessed, there was nothing he could do, until now. New evidence has come to light, and he needs Andi and Brad’s help to find the truth. Unfortunately, his attraction to Andi grows stronger the more they work together.

Once again, Ms. Bradley has penned a riveting story that will captivate readers. The way she weaves the past with the present is seamless and easy to follow. The suspect pool for Stephanie’s murder is deep, so the story keeps you guessing. All the main characters are great. Andi is a gutsy woman trying to forge her own path. Brad is the protective brother trying to keep her safe. And Will is trying to navigate his feelings for Andi without ruining his friendship with Brad. The banter between the three is witty and very entertaining.

JUSTICE BURIED – Kelsey Allen is a security consultant, trying to make a name for herself. She offers to break into prospective clients’ businesses in order to expose their vulnerabilities. Since what she does borders on illegal, few people know what Kelsey does, and the media has dubbed her, The Phantom Hawk. Unfortunately, Kelsey gets caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because of that, one of two things is going to happen. One-she’s going to be the prime suspect in a murder case. Or two – the murderer is going to believe she can identify him. Detective Brad Hollister is investigating two murders that coincide with the antics of The Phantom Hawk. When he finds out that person is Kelsey Allen, he is more than irritated. Of course, his irritation with Kelsey isn’t solely work related. His attraction for her also frustrates him. When it’s obvious someone is after Kelsey, Brad does what he can to keep her safe, but he wonders whether that will be enough.

Like JUSTICE DELAYED, Ms. Bradley’s character development in JUSTICE BURIED is spot on. She creates believable, loveable characters that you can’t help but like. I enjoy books with strong female characters, and Andi Hollister and Kelsey Allen definitely fit the bill. The storyline in each of these books is quite unique. Diamond smugglers and security hackers (because that’s what she really is) adds a fresh composition to Ms. Bradley’s works. I look forward to getting the next installment in The Memphis Cold Case series.

JUSTICE BURIED provided for review purposes.