Review: Miss Rose and the Vexing Viscount (The Triplet Orphans Book 1)by Catherine Tinley


Print Length: 295 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (October 1, 2023)

From An unsuitable match for the viscount

And not just because she vexes him!

Bookworm Rose Lennox has no interest in making her debut. She’s only in London to discover the truth of her parentage. Her sponsor’s nephew, James, the Viscount Ashbourne, is equally cynical about the marriage mart, yet they still rile each other every time they speak! But the sparks of animosity soon become flames of attraction. Still, Rose’s unknown past means she can never be a viscount’s wife… 


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I strongly believe that my dislike for this novel was more down to my own personal pet peeves than anything truly wrong with this novel. 

In fact, I quite enjoyed Rose and James and the way that she was unafraid to speak her mind and let her feelings be known to him when he said or did something that she didn't agree with. The chemistry between those two was apparent from the start. So what was my problem with this one? 

To begin with we have the fact that three unmarried young women were living in the home of a bachelor male. And while yes, his aunt did also reside in the home, we all know how gossipy the ton was and I found it hard to believe that no one speculated on the fact that the aunt couldn't possibly be adequately chaperoning all three young ladies while her nephew was home. Especially considering that everyone knew that the young ladies in question had absolutely no idea of their parentage, or if they were even legitimate. 

Speaking on that major plot point, I really expected more drama on that front than we were given (although there were instances of it it, some of which didn't make sense). Also the whole, "I like you but you are NOT an appropriate candidate for a wife.... but I'm still going to compromise you in public" versus the "I love you but I will not force you into marriage" troupe is just old. Don't get me wrong - I GET IT. A woman wants a man to propose because he is in love with her too and not because he feels he "has to", but just ONCE I would love it if a girl (especially one who didn't fully understand the ways of the ton) looked at the man who compromised her and went "WELL YOU KNEW WHAT COULD HAPPEN." I feel like that might make things more interesting especially when they have the chemistry that these two did. 

Lastly, I  felt that the final reveal was a bit ..... weird. There was so much information surrounding the circumstances that was still missing even after we got the truth that it felt kind of anti-climatic. What exactly was her mama hiding from? 

Those things considered, I would give this author another chance, so if I happen to see another in this series up for review, I will request it just to see how the series progresses with the other sisters.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                             Miss Rose and the Vexing Viscount  is available on

Review: Last One Alive (A Coroner's Daughter Mystery, #3) by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush


Print Length: 301 pages
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing (October 24, 2023)

From Dr. Emily Hartford is back in Chicago, ready to move forward and leave the past behind, until an unexpected request for help sends her deep into an investigation—and into the path of a killer.

Seventeen months after the Parkman case, Dr. Hartford has returned to Chicago to finish her surgical residency. But when she is contacted out of the blue by Solange McClelland, the only survivor of a decade-old triple homicide, Emily is compelled to dig deeper. She doesn’t know the details of the event but remembers it as one of the few cases her deceased father never solved.

On her thirtieth birthday, Solange opens a long-forgotten safe-deposit box and is entirely baffled by what she finds. Inside are not only painful reminders of a once-happy youth but almost four million dollars—enough to pursue and finally solve the mystery of who brutally murdered her family. It’s been over ten years, and Solange has built a new life in Detroit with her husband, Joseph. But there are certain disturbing questions about her past that she is determined to answer. So she reaches out to the only one who might know something about her family’s deaths and their possibly erroneous death certificates — Dr. Hartford, the daughter of Freeport’s former medical examiner.

Finding it impossible to believe that her scrupulous father made a mistake, Emily joins Solange’s pursuit of the truth, and as subzero temperatures blanket snow-covered Michigan, the two women pursue justice in two very different ways. But lurking nearby in the frigid cold is a crafty, unrepentant killer, determined to finish what he started long ago.


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

This book was exceedingly difficult to get into. To begin with, while I understand and appreciate that this was an advanced copy, and has (hopefully) undergone more edits between the copy I read and the version that was published, but the amount of sentences that had words that were either not needed (But only when until you come back) or ones that were missing words (he genuinely shaken up by it) are just two of many examples that I found throughout. To be honest, it was distracting and pulled me from the story. 

Then we have our two main characters. Solange was an interesting one for sure. I can completely understand wanting to know what happened to her family, but her tendency to rush head-long into situations (some potentially dangerous) without thinking was just off-putting. I was also confused why she continued to involve Emily in her "investigation" if it can be called that despite the information they uncover. 

The same goes for Emily, she had her own issues revolving around the surgery center she recently purchased (which was another question for me, why was this secondary plot needed when it did nothing to move the main plot forward)? Then again Emily was the most wishy-washy irritating character I have come across in a long time. She is worried about her ex who is undercover in China. Except she's then dating/sleeping with her ex. Well until she gets word her boyfriend might actually be alive over there in which case she is once again dropping everything, only this time she's leaving the country to try and track down her ex. 

Yeah, if that left you confused, imagine how I felt even after reading this story. 

Those things considered, I don't think I would read more from this series, although I may give this author another chance down the road.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                               Last One Alive is available on

Review: Storm on the Levels (Detective Kate Hamblin Mystery #12) by David Hodges


Print Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Jofee Books (October 17, 2023)

From Multiple murder strikes at the very heart of the desolate Somerset Levels in the midst of the worst snow storm to hit the south west of England in more than a generation. On their way home from a short break, Detective Sergeant Kate and her partner, Hayden, are stranded in a lonely country lane when Kate’s car breaks down. Forced to take shelter in the isolated Warneford Hall Hotel, which is allegedly haunted by a faceless ghost, the detectives find themselves stuck there for several days, cut off from all lines of communication with the outside world.

When one of a group of former university graduates staying at the hotel drowns in the hotel’s lake in suspicious circumstances, Kate and Hayden are pitched into a complex murder investigation, which is to tax every ounce of resolve they possess without any prospect of backup and with a ghostly apparition watching their every move from the shadows. As the body count starts to mount, they find that they are up against a clever, twisted adversary who has no intention of quitting until whatever perverse force is driving them is satisfied.

But as they delve ever deeper into the secrets buried in the gloom of the old hotel - in particular behind the locked door of the mysterious clocktower - the hunters end up becoming the hunted, with the deadly trap that has already been set for them promising to abruptly end their investigation along with their lives in truly horrific style…


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

This was my first foray into reading this series as well as this author, and based upon this story, it will probably be my last. 

The first issue that I had with this novel is the fact that there are just way too many characters involved. I often found myself having to re-read passages as I tried to remember just who was who. The second issue is that, absolutely none of them are likable in the least. 

Not even our married police couple Kate and Hayden. In fact, I found it hard to believe that these two were married given the way they constantly seemed to be going at one another. In fact, the first time we meet this couple, he criticizes her for her use of "foul language" after their car breaks down in the middle of a blizzard, and she thinks him "overweight and lazy" when he scoffs at the idea of having to walk to find shelter from said blizzard. 

But that is only the beginning, numerous times throughout this story, the two of them are either sniping at one another (as she tends to rush in headfirst while he takes the time to consider things), or thinking unkind thoughts about the other. At no time, did I actually buy that those two had a happy marriage. 

And then we move into the plot itself. While the story had the potential to be a page turning thriller, a lot of things just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it began when every vehicle that had been parked at the hotel was suddenly (and inexplicitly)  disabled. Or maybe when ALL of the cell phones belonging to the people stranded at the hotel (including those of the two police officers) went missing and no one (not even said police officers) bothered to look for them. 

There were a lot of implausible, if not downright laughable scenarios happening throughout this book that it was a struggle for me to finish at all. However, if you are already a fan of this series, and the author's writing style, then you may enjoy it more than I did. 
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                         Storm on the Levels is available on
                                           (for free if your subscribe to Kindle Unlimited) 

Review: A Lady's Rules For Ruin (The Lions and the Lilies #2) by Jennifer Haymore


Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Entangled, Amara (November 28, 2023)

From She’s found the perfect plan to avoid marriage…

Miss Frances Cherrington has long been criticized as independent and prickly. And she’s fine with it. Truth be told, she’d prefer to be a spinster—damn her family’s desires. But it’s a conversation with the devilishly handsome yet highly infuriating Earl of Winthrop that inspires the perfect escape from her nuptial troubles. Frances could ensure that no one will marry her—by happily ruining her own reputation…

The Earl of Winthrop knows more about ruin than anyone suspects. He’s just uncovered a secret that would tear his name—and everything he’s worked for—to the ground. Certainly, marriage is out of the question…to say nothing of his growing attraction to the forthright and delectable Miss Cherrington.

Though all London is abuzz with Frances’s “disgrace,” she’s determined to use her freedom however she sees fit. Even if it means spending more time with a man who sets her body on fire. But when Frances’s misdeeds catch up to her, the ruinous disaster she finds herself in blazes out of control, taking all of her options with it.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Let me being by saying that is the first book in this series that I have read. I thought I had read the prior one, but apparently I had read a different book with a similar concept. That fact did not stop me from understanding or enjoying this one. 

Now, on the whole I DID enjoy this story, even though I had several issues with it. Let me clarify these issues are not with the author's writing style, as I feel she was a way of drawing the reader in and keeping the pace even without getting bogged down in too many details. My problems are all with the story itself. 

My problem wasn't even really with Frances who knew enough about how society worked to know that if she were ruined, her family would also be affected, yet she acted surprised when this happened. No, my problem was with her entire family. Not a single one of them actually listened to Frances when she made HER wishes and desires known, all assuming that because they were either older or married (or both) THEY knew better than she did what SHE wanted. And even when her twin tried to help, she still did it in an extremely stupid way (why would you carry a secret letter out of your sisters room in plain sight knowing that your brother knew where you had been and would be suspicious of the letter no matter if he saw you just coming out of her room or somewhere else in the house? Why not hide the letter somewhere on your person until you can get it to where it needs to go?

Most horrid of all was her brother Charles who not only tends to like to jump to conclusions, but also resort to cruel tactics instead of shutting the heck up and LISTENING for once. The majority of the drama of the last part of the book could have been avoided if he just put his own stubborn pride aside and LISTENED to his sister instead of hurling false accusations at her. Even when she finally does end up getting married just as he wanted (and to an Earl no less), Charles still cannot put aside his pride. In fact, not only does he not attend the wedding at all, but it takes him another six months or more to go see his sister and apologize. 

On the opposite side of this, I enjoyed Evan's character and his commitment to do right by his half-brothers as not many members of the ton would have recognized that they had half-brother's much less taken them in and raised them. I also found the brothers be delightful and I very much enjoyed the way they were instrumental to finally bringing our two characters together for their happily-ever-after. 

All things considered, I do believe this novel will appeal to fans of historical romance novels, although I am warning you, Charles is a real piece of work. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                        A Lady's Rules For Ruin is available on

Review: The Duke Starts a Scandal (The Duke Hunt, #4) by Sophie Jordan


Print Length: 339 pages
Publisher: Avon (October 24, 2023)

From Lucian, the newly minted Duke of Penning, has much to prove-- to himself, his family and the ton. Craving spotless respectability, he must find an aristocratic wife. Unfortunately, he can't keep his eyes--and thoughts--off his deliciously distracting housekeeper. Such a dalliance can only mar the facade he's constructed to protect his sisters' future from the demons of his past...but this fiery passion is a temptation he cannot resist. While Susanna may not the bride he needs, she is everything he desires.

A woman with a past.

As the housekeeper to one of the grandest estates in England, Susanna Lockhart has worked determinedly to become all that is proper and efficient, and she never steps over the line. Romance is an indulgence for the upper class, not for her--and most especially not with her employer. But every smoldering glance from the surly, handsome duke calls to the long-buried reckless wanton inside Susanna. A love between them can never be, but will Lucian and Susanna risk being together...

Even if it starts a scandal...


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I spent the entirety of this novel wondering when the true "scandal" would come. I mean for crying out loud there was the potential for one on three different fronts. His past. Her past. Or the fact that a Duke married his Housekeeper. And yet there was ..... nothing. Everything seemed to be either glossed over, or overlooked altogether. And considering how much of this book was spent TELLING the reader every little detail... it was disappointing to say the least. 

Sadly, this book was a lot of telling. A lot of inner monologues which I would usually say would have been better served as the main characters speaking to each other instead of thinking it, but in this case it was so lustful and repetitive that I feel the book still would have been the same. I never got a feeling that Susanna and Lucian actually liked one another. Hell, almost every time they interacted with one another they were arguing. But apparently that was enough for them.

And considering Susanna "fell in love" much more quickly, I would have expected there to be more feeling to her thoughts when she was called upon to chaperone Lucian and one of his perspective brides. Instead, there was more of the bland writing I had come to expect. 

All in all, there was a lot of missed potential for this book to be better than it was. But I would give this author another chance in the future.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                       The Duke Starts a Scandal is available on

Whatcha Reading Wednesday

In an effort to get to know my followers better, I am launching a new segment called Whatcha Reading Wednesday! Tell me all about the book currently on your kindle (or in your hand). Are you enjoying it? How far into it are you? Are you likely to continue, or will this be relegated to your did not finish pile? Have you read this author (or series) before? 


GENRE: Suspense

PAGE LENGTH: 270 pages

PUBLISH DATE: October 12, 2023

FORMAT: Kindle





CURRENT THOUGHTS: To best honest, even though I'm

barely into this book, I'm finding it hard to concentrate. There

are a lot of characters to deal with, and way too much telling

instead of showing. However, I can also see the potential for

the story to pick up, so I will keep going just to see what



Review: The Ones They Buried (Agent Victoria Heslin #8) by Jenifer Ruff


Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: BooksGoSocial (October 13, 2023)

From Phoebe Watson was a rising star in the fitness industry. T hen she disappeared.

The mystery captivates the nation, and the investigation takes a dark turn when her body is discovered a year later, buried deep in a remote, wooded area.

Only one person seems to know something about those remains—multi-millionaire Catherine Bower, one of Phoebe’s former clients. Soon after Phoebe disappeared, Catherine suffered a life-altering accident.

FBI Special Agent Victoria Heslin believes there’s a connection between Phoebe’s murder and Catherine’s accident. As Victoria digs deeper, she uncovers a thick web of secrets and lies, and every thread she untangles points toward a shocking truth.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Right out of the gate I think it is worth mentioning that I did not realize this was book number eight in a series when I requested it. However, this book (and I later found all of the books in this series) are written in such a way that they don't overlap and therefore can be enjoyed no matter which one you are reading. I enjoyed being able to jump right in and immediately understand who was who when it came to Victoria and the people she was close to (or worked with). 

When it comes to this story as a stand-alone however? It was a little... weird. Catherine has been unable to speak or really do anything for herself since her accident, yet she somehow miraculously is able to say Phoebe's name? The more the story progressed, it seemed a little obvious (to me at least) just who was responsible for Phoebe's murder, although I was surprised to learn of a few other details both having to do with the present day murder, and having to do with a years earlier accident. 

There were moments where some chapters seemed to drag on, but I felt that the way Catherine's advancing Alzheimer's disease was portrayed made it easier for the reader to feel more on her side when certain pieces of information were revealed.  

That being said, when I found out that all of this series is available on Kindle Unlimited, I have added them to my ever-growing to be read pile as I'm curious to read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                       The Ones They Buried is available on
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

Review: Dreaming of a Duke Like You (Duke of Grantham #1) by Sara Bennett


Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever, Grand Central Publishing (October 10, 2023)

From It’s “loathe at first sight” for this gaming hell owner and spinster, but if they play their cards right, they both may win in the end . . .

Raised in a foundling home and now proprietor of a successful club, Gabriel Cadieux hasn’t ever been welcomed by polite society. But when he discovers he’s the legitimate heir to a dukedom, he must make a choice: accept the debt-ridden title and the trappings of the peerage who shunned him or decline and leave his six rebellious half sisters to fend for themselves. As much as he hates the idea, Gabriel can’t abandon his siblings, even if it means making a deal with the most frustrating—and aggravatingly beautiful—woman he’s ever met.

Vivienne Tremeer storms into Cadieux’s club with one thing on her mind: get the loathsome owner to discharge her brother’s gambling debts. So when Gabriel offers her a trade—if she’ll teach his wild sisters the ways of the ton, he’ll clear the notes—she has no choice but to accept. But with her reputation already on a knife’s edge, falling for the duke could cause the scandal of the season.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This was one of these books that while it wasn't my favorite, it will surely be the favorite of someone else. 

One of the main issues I had with this one was with Gabriel himself. Here you have someone who pulled himself up from being raised in an orphanage to running one of the most successful gaming hells in London - when you first meet him he is very confident in who he is and what he wants. 

Only suddenly, when he is informed that he is a legitimate duke with six half-sisters that now need to be launched into society his personality does a complete 180. He becomes absolutely cowed by his grandmother, giving in to her every demand, even going so far as to attempt to court someone his grandmother handpicked for him. Suddenly, that confident man who built an empire from nothing, is being told what to do and listening. I would have liked to have seen him stand up to her more throughout the book, not just suddenly grow a backbone once Vivienne was seemingly lost to him. 

Another issue I had with this is that according to the Dowager Duchess, everything Gabriel  does reflects on his sisters (which is true), but she seemed to act as though the fact that they were all illegitimate would mean nothing to society, when we all know these girls would have been shunned, and none of them would be making the "brilliant match" to a member of the ton like she claimed would happen if Gabriel would just fall in line.

Vivienne was little better, I understand that she was considered "ruined" due to a mistake, but even she was not what I expected. What made me warm to her character was the way she interacted with Gabriel's sisters, and then (at least tried) to bow out gracefully when she realized that he intended to marry someone else. Well at least until she did what she did, but I can understand her reasoning. After all, a lot of books such as this one give the heroine "one night to remember." 

I was also expecting more from the villain of the story, from everything we were told about him and his plans to have Vivienne's father's will overturned, it seemed he was dealt with in a very anti-climatic way. 

As I said before, while this one won't be sitting on my of my favorites lists, I do believe it will appeal to other readers who enjoy historical romances. I would read this author again if she continues with this series as I am curious about her plans for some of the other characters we were introduced to.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                        Dreaming of a Duke Like You is available on

Review: Twice on Christmas by McGarvey Black


Print Length: 334 pages
Publisher: Jofee Books (October 12, 2023)

From After choir practisc for midnight mass, college sophomore Rose Grandon takes a short-cut through Harbor Park. Grabbed from behind, she is violently assaulted, beaten and left for dead.
The last thing she hears is a tenor voice singing Silent Night.

Several hours later, the police find Rose lying in a ditch. Badly beaten — but alive.

As she recovers in hospital, Rose is told she’s pregnant. She has a terrible choice to make. She decides to keep the baby.

Nine months later, she gives birth to a beautiful baby girl. She names her Mary.

Rose lives quietly in her small Connecticut hometown raising her daughter — the one good thing to come out of her horrible ordeal. She begins to get her old self back.

But her evil attacker has never been caught. He strikes twice a year. Once on Christmas Eve, once on Christmas Day.

And until he’s behind bars, Rose and her baby can never be safe.
But now he’s found out he has a daughter. And that changes everything.

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

This one started off on a strong note, but ultimately fell flat.

To begin with, when an 18 year old girl goes missing for a couple of hours, we are told that her parents are able to file a missing person's report and get a large team out searching for her simply because "She wouldn't go out with friends on Christmas Eve". I'm sorry that is NOT how it works. Maybe they could have organized the townspeople getting together to search, but the police would not have been involved that early on. Then as a result of her attack, Rose is faced with the difficult choice of whether or not to give birth to the child that was conceived that night.

I can understand her decision to go through with the pregnancy. Heck, I can even understand why she decided to keep the child and raise it on her own. What I don't understand is why that bit of information would be published in a newspaper article where anyone (the killer especially) can see it. Even if the killer hadn't seen the story, what would have happened years later if Mary did after not knowing the truth for her entire life? I just did not find this (nor much of what happened after) to be very plausible at all.

This includes the police coming to her home every year on Christmas Day to tell her there have been two new attacks and asking her if she remembers anything about the night she was attacked that she hasn't already told them. And this goes on year after year, forcing Rose to relive the horrors of that night over and over again. And of course, the one year they are caught up and don't get the chance to tell her and she hears about it on the news, her father becomes irrationally angry and drags her down to the police station to demand answers as to why they weren't informed. Why would she be? Typically, the police don't tell you about victims in crimes that happen several years after (and two states away from) your own.

Then again, it didn't seem like the police had much to do considering the story only takes place during the holidays. And I mean I get it - the attack happened on Christmas Eve and the perpetrator was never caught, but with time jumps happening nearly ever chapter it doesn't really give the characters a chance to grow, or for things about them to make sense. For example, despite having a normal (dare I say spoiled) childhood, all of the sudden Mary is showing concerning behaviors. Is the author trying to show nature wins over nurture considering who her father was? I was never sure as it seemed to be done only to push the narrative of the father coming back into their lives.

And while, okay there were a couple of red herrings thrown in, I still figured out who was behind the attacks pretty early on. But what I didn't get is how this man managed to evade capture for SO long (if I remember correctly it was about sixteen years by this point), and then just slip up and give himself away in the manner that he did. It was crazy to me. There was also one major plot hole with what actually happened versus the story Rose told, but sadly I can't get into that without revealing a major spoiler. Let's just say even incompetent cops would have been able to tell she was lying and piece together what really happened.

Oh, and one final thing that might have been corrected between the ARC I read and the finished product, but the Poconos are in Pennsylvania NOT New Jersey so to read about a victim being found "at a hotel near a Jersey ski area in the Poconos" was extremely off-putting to me as a Jersey resident. Surely this was something a simple google search could have prevented?

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                        Twice on Christmas is available on

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