Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Still Life

GIVEAWAY

PETTREY, DANI
STILL LIFE

Someone is out there. Watching her. Waiting.

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime-scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright -- and changed her life. But six months ago, wen her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit for which her friend modeled. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead -- and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found, and so Avery immediately calls Parker for help.

As Avery, Parker, and their friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

My Review:

Dani Pettrey is one of those authors who can send me into a euphoric tizzy of expectation when she has a new book release. The anticipation is almost as rewarding as the actual reading and it's always bittersweet when I reach the end. And that was exactly the case with this second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. No worries if you haven't read Cold Shot first -- Still Life reads wonderfully well as a standalone but you will get more out of the group dynamics if you read the books in order.

And oh those group dynamics! Love the intricacies of the relationships. Life-long friendships that have had some bumps along the way. Professional respect that results in outstanding teamwork. Attractions that seem doomed to remain only that. Great banter and camaraderie. I absolutely love the way this author digs deep and brings all the characters to life. Yes, this is mainly Avery and Parker's story but Pettrey takes the time to deliver so much more.

Like Kate and her relentless search for her lost love. Just a few scenes that promise more to come in a future book. And Declan and Tanner's awkward circling around an obvious attraction that they don't seem eager to explore. Can't wait for that story! So while Still Life provides satisfactory romantic closure in many ways, there are still some hopeful threads I'm eager to follow in future books.

And then there's the suspense. Gritty. Raw. Creepy. And we even get the villain's point of view which ups the creep factor all the more. Shudder. Procedural police work combined with eerie action scenes kept me turning pages as I tried to follow the clues and put the pieces together before the team did. There is also a secondary suspense thread that will continue in the next book (I think) and I have some interesting theories about that. Can't wait to see if I'm right.

And if all that isn't enough to pique your interest -- the romance between Avery and Parker is toe-curling good. Difficult to be sure as they both struggle with issues from their past. Avery in particular has trouble reconciling who she was with who she is now. As a Christian she understand the principle of grace but she has a hard time forgiving herself and that puts up barriers that are hard for Parker to breech. These two have such an interesting connection -- I loved every precious bit of their love story. Great dialogue, gentle teasing, hidden yearning. And did I mention Parker is Irish? Be. Still. My. Heart.

Dani Pettrey has delivered another stunning romantic suspense sure to please her fans while garnering new ones. A definite must read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Still Life please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Paws for Love

GIVEAWAY

MENTINK, DANA
PAWS FOR LOVE

The only thing sweet about Jellybean is his name...

Jellybean the terrier is about to unleash some serious mayhem on the unsuspecting town of Albatross.

There's no quiet on the set when over-the-hall screen star Lawrence Tucker brings his naughty terrier, Jellybean, on location to the beachside town of Albatross, California. When Jellybean develops a rapport with Tucker's violin tutor, the painfully shy, socially awkward Misty Agnelli, her arm is twisted into minding the mischievous animal. Trailing Jellybean leads Misty into the candy store of Bill Woodson, a handsome chocolatier with a painful secret and a three-year-old niece to raise.

Misty must deal with the unstable Tucker, a temperamental Jellybean, her budding feelings for the mysterious Bill, she wants nothing more than to flee, how can she tell her nana, Lawrence Tucker's biggest fan, that she abandoned the star and his dog?

It's actors, animals, and antics galore when Jellybean gives his own heartwarming performance.

My Review:

Paws down the cutest cover ever!!!! Who can resist that face? Even if it belongs to a "fuzzy wrecking ball?" I don't know if anyone will be surprised if I tell you that Jellybean might have a bigger piece of my heart than two-legged hero, Bill. Such a little scamp (dog, not man) and while I found it highly entertaining to read about his escapades, I think the thrill would soon wear off if I actually lived through them. It takes a certain personality -- one that consists of an abundance of patience -- to cope with that opinionated mutt. Grinning just thinking about it.

And a huge 'hoorah' for a klutzy heroine!!! You don't often find them in the pages of a romance novel. At least I haven't spied that many and as a self-proclaimed klutz I pay attention to things like that. So there was an instant connection between Misty and me. And her deer-in-the-headlights reaction to complicated social situations just warmed my heart even more.

I think what impressed me the most about Bill was his insecurities and the fact that the author went out on a limb to write an atypical hero.  He is struggling to adjust to being the sole caregiver to his orphaned niece and feelings of inadequacies keep creeping in. He's an 'out of the box' kind of guy and I love the way Mentink slowly reveals a major issue. I fell in love with his vulnerability and courage.

And even though Paws for Love is slapstick funny -- there's a touching inspirational thread that binds everything together. "God made you to shine a light...You don't get to pick what kind of candle you get." (p 79) Has to be one of my favourite lines ever.

A rousing comedic masterpiece that also delivers a stirring amount of tenderness and hope.

My thanks to the author and Harvest House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Paws for Love please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 26 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February Giveaway - Week Three

 

WON BY PATTY

WON BY MARIAN BAAY

WON BY KATHY NYE

WON BY TRACEY


WON BY ANDREA MCCULLEY

WON BY CONNIE LEE
As always I will contact the winners by email, however, thanks to the nefarious ways of the Internet, my email might land in your spam folder so keep your eyes peeled! :-) If you haven't heard from me by Monday evening, please email me your snail mail address at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. From time to time the winners and I don't seem to connect, so I have a month time frame. If I can't reach you within four weeks your win will be forfeited. 

 LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Murder in a Basket


GIVEAWAY

FLOWER, AMANDA
MURDER IN A BASKET

College librarian, and struggling arts, India Hayes isn't sure how her older sister Carmen talked her into managing a face-painting booth at the Stripling Ohio Founders' Day Festival or how Carmen persuaded her to wear a pink gingham pioneer dress, including mob-cap and granny boots. But that's where -- and how -- she finds herself on a chilly October day just before Halloween.

India's annoyance is forgotten when she discovers the body of basket weaver Tess Ross on the festival grounds. Tess leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, a confused adopted son, greedy siblings, a dysfunctional artists' co-op, and a chocolate-colored labradoodle with a two-million-dollar trust in his name. Much to India's dismay, she learns Tess is the sister of her stuffy college provost, Samuel Lepcheck, and the mother of a library student worker, Derek, who has an irrepressible crush on India that she's doing her best to ignore. Derek begs India to investigate his mother's murder.

Despite the urgings of handsome Police Detective Rick Mains to stay out of the investigation, India agrees to Derek's request and finds herself playing sleuth as well as foster-owner to Zacchaeus, the two-million-dollar labradoodle.

With her own eccentric family commenting from the sidelines and her Irish-centric landlady, Ina Carroll, as a volunteer sidekick, India must discover the truth before she has a permanent canine houseguest or ends up the next victim of Tess's murderer.

My Review:

Published in 2012

Quirky cozy mystery that ticks all the boxes. Librarian and amateur sleuth heroine, a cryptic police detective who sends mixed messages, a millionaire labradoodle with a penchant for mischief and a murder to solve. What more could an avid reader ask for? Well, the eccentric septuagenarian landlady sidekick who resembles "a leprechaun training for the British Royal Guard" (p 110) is an added bonus. As is the irony of a cat named Templeton. I grinned my way through the twists and turns of an engaging plot. Plenty of suspects to choose from -- and believe me I thought nearly everyone was guilty at some point. A fun, breezy escape read.

Please note that this book isn't a Christian Fiction selection -- though it is a clean read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Murder in a Basket please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 19 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Maybe it's You

GIVEAWAY

CALVERT, CANDACE
MAYBE IT'S YOU

Nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past -- new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She's finally safe. If she avoids a paper trail and doesn't let people get too close. Like the hospital's too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one 'lucky' employee's face on freeway billboards.

Micah Prescott's goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.

Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders...and exposes disturbing details of Sloane's past.

Can hope spring from crisis?

My Review:

A medical drama that challenges and convicts.

Maybe It's You is the third book in the Crisis Team series. It reads like a standalone -- though if you have been keeping current you'll be all too familiar with Sloane. A prickly character with a gnarly reputation and a questionable past.

After finishing Step by Step (Book 2 in the series) did I really want to read an entire book dedicated to Sloane? Probably not if anyone but Candace Calvert was writing the story. But, thankfully, she is the author and she wooed me onto Team Sloane in pretty short order.

Yes this heroine is hot-headed and defensive and annoyingly aloof. But she's also an incredible nurse -- fiercely protective of her patients. Kind and compassionate, treating them all with equal respect. What a curious contrast between her personal life and professional one! And so much fodder for enthralling storytelling as Calvert slowly peels back the complicated layers that protect Sloane's fragile, broken heart.

By comparison, Micah seems to have it all together. Raised with the foundation of a strong Christian faith, he's working at a prestigious hospital marketing job while balancing volunteer hours as a crisis responder. But a past tragedy has chiseled some serious cracks in that solid foundation.

There are some interesting dynamics between this hero and heroine. Awkward. Fumbling. Hope thwarted by wariness. A tumultuous romance. The only way a relationship will ever work is if they are both brutally honest...but there's an equally good chance that will tear them apart instead. Talk about tension and emotional overload! I was in romance reading heaven!

Forgiveness and the true meaning of saving grace are at the heart of Sloane and Micah's journey. They have a lot to learn (as did this reader!) before faith can make them whole.

Delectable. Absorbing. Unforgettable. And a deliciously 'meaty' read -- 418 pages!

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Maybe it's You please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 19 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mistaken Identity

GIVEAWAY

MCCOY, SHIRLEE
MISTAKEN IDENTITY

The wrong target...

When Trinity Miller's attacked by a man who mistakenly believes she's Mason Gain's girlfriend, the reclusive prosthetic maker is forced from seclusion to rescue her. And he soon learns someone's determined to get information on one of his clients -- information they're willing to kill for. Now the former army pilot has to find a way to take down the men on their trail...and make sure Trinity survives. When Trinity arrived at Mason's isolated home to convince him to help her friend's son, her plans didn't include going on the run with him. But Trinity must work with Mason to outwit their pursuers...or risk losing both their lives.

Mission: Rescue -- No job is too dangerous for these fearless heroes.

My Review:

I can't tell you how much I love this series but I'm going to try. :-) This is the seventh book in the Mission Rescue series but no worries if you haven't read all of the other books -- Mistaken Identity reads beautifully as a standalone. Though there are some great character carryovers which were fun to spot.

McCoy knows how to balance her romance and suspense. Both get equal billing and naturally build as the taut plot threatens to spin out of control. Tension starts on page one when Trinity has that dreaded feeling that something isn't right. I wanted her to turn around and rethink her strategy. She's in a car, alone, at night on a deserted back road. Seriously, girly, come back in the light of day why don't you? Did she listen to me? She did not. And action explodes off the page as she's caught in the cross-hairs of some uber bad guys with nefarious goals...and capturing her is now one of them.

Mason is both exasperated and intrigued by Trinity...along with a healthy dose of attraction. But he's a recluse and likes his life just the way it is...well the way it was before his idyllic solitude turned into lethal chaos. Their pursuers are relentless with danger at every turn. Serious, page-turning stuff.

But there are bursts of humour to break the tension as well. Trinity's poor sense of direction had me chuckling at the most hair-raising moments. And the banter between her over-protective brothers who show up on the scene in major rescue mode is grin-inducing. Especially if you've met Chance and Jackson in earlier books like I have.

An enthralling romantic suspense that will leave you clamoring for more...so get busy backtracking on the other books in this incredible series. (I've just ordered Exit Strategy -- the only one I've missed so far. Can't wait for it to get here!)

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Mistaken Identity please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 19 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Her Motherhood Wish

GIVEAWAY

GWYN, KELI
HER MOTHERHOOD WISH

Building a family...

En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children -- and become their caregivers. But Chip's determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father...or the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don't fit into his detailed plans for the future.

Callie can't help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgement, she's falling Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip's brought them all together...and now she just has to help him see it, too.

My Review:

Chip is a make-a-plan-stick-to-the-plan kind of guy. You might say he has blinders on, too busy looking ahead to the next part of the plan to see what's right in front of him. That would be Callie and two endearing orphans. Only finding a wife and starting a family is three years into the future, according to the aforementioned plan. This stupendously dense hero needs a good smack upside the head to knock some sense into him. :-) Lucky he is handsome cowboy material (even if he is a carpenter) with courtly manners, an over-zealous protective streak and the ability to use gentle persuasion to win over small children. He's perfect in every way -- except for that dratted plan!

Callie fights the attraction -- which isn't too hard when Chip brings up his plan -- but the rest of the time it's near impossible to resist this hero's ready smile and kind overtures. Even so, Callie strives to guard her heart because she knows she'll never measure up to that confounded grand plan of Chip's.  Tender, sweet, infuriating romance ensues. Along with a bonus suspense thread that brought some added tension and a whole lot of action to the story.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Her Motherhood Wish please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 19 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!