Secrets of the Last Castle by A. Rose Mathieu

Welcome back Grace Donovan and Elizabeth Campbell, two characters who I have missed. These two badasses have a murder to solve in Secrets of the Last Castle and unfortunately this time around they are on opposite sides. Drama, suspense, betrayal all with smoldering hot tension, you really cannot ask for more. A. Rose Mathieu comes out swinging with her sequel to Sins of Our Father.

Elizabeth is asked to take the case of a young African American male that is accused of murdering an elderly Caucasian woman in an alleyway. The young man swears he didn’t do it and Elizabeth has full faith in his denial. Grace is on the other side of the coin. What evidence the police do have unfortunately points right to Elizabeth’s client. They are both in a rock and a hard place and this case will take its toll on their romantic relationship. It’s and tense and bumpy ride for these two leading ladies.

This book has twists and turns all over the place. This is a fascinating story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This mystery has tons of history woven throughout this who done it. You will be so glad you read this one. Oh, and if you have not read Sins of Our Father, don’t skip it. You can read these out of order, but really you don’t want to. Both are fabulous reads.

5 out of 5 stars

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Love’s Verdict by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite always delivers a great read. She is consistent in giving you a lot of legal drama with characters who are insightful, well thought out and noteworthy chemistry. You know when you pick up one of her books you are getting your money’s worth time and time again. Love’s Verdict is no exception! This story has a cloud of mystery, did he really do it, with a side of I think you’re so hot but I can’t date you.

Carly Prachett is a fifth-year associate at Sturges and Llyod, a boutique law firm in Dallas. She excels at negotiations but is has trouble loosening up and bringing in high-dollar clients. She wants to make partner more than anything. This driven young lawyer has put work before everything else.

Landon Holt is the daughter to one of the wealthiest families in Texas. While Landon is one of the heirs to the Holt dynasty she wants to make her own way without her father’s help or influence. When her law firm forces her to return to Dallas for a big case involving a Dallas Cowboy, Landon reluctantly agrees but it only the lure of being Sturges and Llyod next partner that she agrees.

Right from the bat Carly and Landon are pitted against each other. Their boss gives them the reins on this high-profile murder case with the caveat of working together but only one will come out as partner. The stress is high, the tension is high but so is the attraction.

This book has legal drama in spades, a developed love story, and charming characters. You can’t help but like this book, it’s solid on all fronts and well worth your time. My only complaint is that I wish we had just a dash more time between the two main characters. A few more down moments of them with dialogue would have been fantastic.

3 out of 5 stars

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Alias by Cari Hunter

Cari Hunter gas a new book out, Alias. You don’t need to read further to know that this is a damn good book. It was written by Hunter, a damn good book is guaranteed each time she puts one out? I will expand because this is my review, DUH :), but one thing you can count on is that when you pick up a book by Hunter it is going to be awesome. She is an amazing author that weaves intricate tales and keeps you right on the edge of your seat.

Alias introduces us to a woman, Rebecca Elliott, who has been severely injured in an automobile accident. She has large gaps in her memory and has no clue who she is and how the accident happened. The passenger how was riding with her is deceased and the Welsh police are asking questions about what happened on that fateful night. The clues just aren’t adding up, something is definitely off. I won’t go into more details, I’ll just leave you with this Rebecca is not who she seems and there is a big ol’ can of worms about to get opened.

Detective Bronwen Pryce was the first one on the scene. She has a gut instinct that this automobile accident is way more than what it seems. Nothing fits and something continues to niggle at her mind. Pryce refuses to let things go and write this off as an accident. She needs to know more about Rebecca Elliott and why she was headed out of town in such a hurry.

In Alias, I loved the mystery, crime, suspense of the book. I thought it was done fabulously. Perfect if you will. What nags me about this book is I thought the romance was misplaced, ill-timed and surprisingly unnecessary. If it wasn’t a romance it would have been better, it just didn’t help the book at all. It felt like an afterthought that was pasted into the book and didn’t really jive with the characters or the flow of the story. It would have been so much better if the characters had a moment in the end when everything was squared away and all the I’s were dotted and the T’s were crossed.

Overall a fabulous mystery that I highly recommend.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Outside the Law (Lone Star Law Series #4) by Carsen Taite

I think this book is a fabulous closing to the Lone Star Law Series. I think Taite improved the series with each book and this one being the best overall. This book felt more romance than crime. Which I cannot say about the others. Of course, we had to wrap up the ongoing investigation, put those bad mofo’s in jail but I just felt more spark this time around. I think you will see that the characters are given more time in the book to explore that romance and as a romance junkie, that was much appreciated.

Tanner Cohen is one of the FBI agents you met in the previous books. Tanner has been very much an auxiliary character until she helped with the rescue, Bianca Cruz’s daughter. Tanner is your strong silent type. She is the job, 100%. What we didn’t know is that Tanner gave up the love of her life for this career and that former love just showed up in Dallas and is on the case as well.

Sydney Braswell is Tanner’s law school sweetheart. They had their lives planned, finish school, take a job at a high-powered law firm, big house and kids to finish it out. The only problem, Tanner wanted something else and that desire to join the FBI broke them. Sydney found out the high profile firm wasn’t all it was cracked up to be either and is now a special prosecutor for the Justice Department.

Tanner and Sydney’s journey back to each other is sweet, sexy and sure to keep you entertained. Overall this series has been delightful, I was thrilled that the book to finish out was this good.

3 out of 5 stars

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A Heist Story by Ellen Simpson

I really like Ellen Simpson’s first book, The Light of the World. It captured my attention and gave me a fabulous story with captivating characters. So needless to say when her second book dropped I raced to get started on it.

Right from the beginning, I was like okay what do we have here and Ocean’s 11 type heist story, maybe some Keyser Söze big reveal type character. Nope, no we have none of those things. I’m really not sure what we have other than a lot of talking and characters that are just unlikeable. Marcey and Kat are just awful. So unpleasant, the more they hooked up the dirtier the story felt. You have to have someone for the reader to cheer for. The main players are so horribly dreadful. If the story ended with their demise I would have cheered.

I hate ragging on a book. I really do, especially when the author is obviously a very good writer. The problem everything piece of this book is so long, so confusing and then it’s just over. I am assuming this book was setting its self-up for a sequel, but it didn’t make me want to come back for more. I would love to read another book by Ellen Simpson, I just don’t ever want to read about Marcey or Kat ever again.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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The Last First Time (Norfolk Coast Investigation Story #3) by Andrea Bramhall

The third installment of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story series is gruesome, gory, violent, enchanting and heartfelt. So many feelings all rolled into one magnetic story. Kate and Gina are back and life keeps throwing them into chaos and danger. It also brings them closer than ever before.

The book starts with a bang. Literally, unfortunately. Gina and Kate’s co-worker Stella are shopping for Christmas presents at the local mall. While deciding on presents and Stella notices something off about two of the other shoppers. By the time she relays the message to Gina, the bombers have set off a massive explosion that takes the lives of many. Terrifying, gut-churning fear jumps right off the page and lands in the pit of your stomach. You feel and see the horror of the crime scene.

Kate joins the scene quickly, only to find out in the midst of the rubble that Gina and Stella were in the very store where the bomb was detonated. These ladies cannot catch a break! This is where the story begins to weave one of the many subplots into the story.

Bramhall brings the past and present to life. History is weaved throughout the story while Kate and Gina conquer the demons of both their past and present. While emotions rocket all over the place there is still time for that beautiful romance between the two leading ladies amidst the craziness and danger. Everything about this book is done very well. Even when it was hard to read, I wanted more. Kate and Gina’s softness was the perfect anecdote to the scary heart-wrenching crime portion of the book. I cannot wait till the next book.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite

A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite is a military scandal with the potential to rock Washington to its core with a small side of romance. This web of deception is riveting to the end.

Lt. Colonel Zoey Granger has arrived at our nation’s capital to tell members of Congress the corruption she uncovered while stationed at Fort Bragg. A whistleblower who knows that her life is going to be turned upside down, but her sense of honor about doing what is right overrules anything else.

Rook Daniels is a fixer. She, like Olivia Pope, handles the scandals that D.C. breeds and changes their narrative to assist politic’s elite. This has made her one of the whos-who of Washington D.C.

A chance run-in at an airport bar, Rook helps Zoey get out of the eye of the media for a short time. These two immediately hit it off and have that moment where you wish you were anywhere else, not dealing with a work disaster. Never fear, they will meet again. Only this time the corruption is much direr and includes the Oval Office. The problem is they are working on the same case just one for the heads of military and Rook straight for the White House.

This is a fabulously written tightly woven political/military intrigue with a large helping of romance. I enjoyed every minute and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This one is a great read! Carsen Taite never disappoints!

4.25 out of 5 stars

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