Landscaper in Paradise, by Robin Stone

Landscaper in Paradise (The Landscaper Series, #4)

He bared his soul…and they gave him paradise.

Kyle’s addicted to the mind-blowing sex he has with Tracy and Eric Dawson, spending nights in their bed and weekends in their guest house. He’s no longer the hired help, but an equal partner in the relationship.

Kyle joins the Dawsons on their winter vacation to Hawaii. He learns more about their past, and the threesome find new heights of pleasure in the sultry setting.

But when Tracy bursts into tears and Eric shares his doubts about the relationship, Kyle is thrown into a tailspin. Can they resolve their differences and stay together forever?

My rating:

** ARC received by author in exchange for an honest review. **

Where to start?  This book was bittersweet to read knowing it is the final release in “The Landscaper Series” and having invested personal feelings into these characters throughout the installments, I found it rather hard to say goodbye.  My emotions ran the gamut from heartbreaking fear to utter joy; in fact, I even laughed more times than I recall doing so in prior releases.  Kudos to the author in the foresight to provide an actual story for this series instead of just writing a bunch of sex scenes and cataloguing it as a novella.  Although this may be erotica, it was the narrative of the three that kept me returning to see what happens next.  (And panty melting Eric Dawson.  I had to re-visit him.)  It is one thing to crush on a fictional character, yet quite eye-opening to realize one has fallen completely for a fictional, and married, man.  Tumultuous at times but always sensual.  The conclusion was the only viable ending and it was a stunner!

My review:  Knappogue Castle

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Sherlock Holmes and the Boulevard Assassin, by John Hall

Sherlock Holmes and the Boulevard Assassin

What starts as a series of polite and ordinary questions quickly transforms into a nightmare when the doorman of Banque de France, Auguste Vauban, discloses too much information concerning the security measures of the building to an average customer.

The bank is robbed by this mysterious stranger and his team led by the formidable James Moriarty.

Holmes and Watson are summoned at once to catch the criminal but a more serious event changes their course – the president of France has been assassinated!

Disguising themselves as two Frenchmen, the duo journey overseas to the crime scene where they encounter a bizarre group of detectives and investigators.

With their help, Holmes and Watson identify the culprits as dangerous anarchists whose ultimate goal is to outsmart each other and receive the biggest bonus from their leader, Monsieur Constantine.

In an attempt to expose the anarchists, the duo is captured and temporarily held hostage by an unknown individual who appears to be Monsieur Constantine himself.

He promises to release them with the only condition being that they work for him dutifully and accomplish every task that is assigned to them.

With no other options at hand, Holmes and Watson are obliged to side with and work for the most menacing criminals in Paris…

Can the duo escape from the terrible situation?

Will they be able to stop the rebels before they kill again?

My review:

This stylized writing was reminiscent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and helped set the tone of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  A fun, engaging, and wonderfully droll read.  The kind of intellectual brain teaser that keeps you guessing yet does not frustrate.  Sincerely a delight to escape into the world of Sherlock Holmes if only for a few hours over the weekend.   

My rating:  Redbreast

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Carnival of Darkness, by Becca Moree

Carnival of Darkness (FaeTAL Series)

Brett sold his soul to the devil. Only hell isn’t a fiery pit in the bowels of the earth. Hell is the Carnival of Darkness where the freak shows are real, the screams never end, and the girl of his dreams has become a part of his nightmare.

Charlee has been kidnapped by the freaks that run The Carnival of Darkness. If that weren’t bad enough, she’s harboring a secret that will put her life in even more danger should her captors find out. Now, she has a decision to make – keep her head down and wait on someone to save her, or fight to escape and get back to the ones she left behind.

Brett wants to trust Charlee with the reason he is working at the carnival, but she still has reservations about his intentions. Charlee doesn’t trust anyone, but Brett may be her only hope. 

My review:

** ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review. **

This is a debut release and what an impact this novella has made on me!  If you do not like carnivals, do not read this story as it will feed on every fear and dislike you have as they relate to the goings on inside those tents.  I am the person who watches horror movies with a smile on her face.  And my, oh my, did I smile while I read this!  But be advised to consider this a creepy carnival of horrors.  As in actual terrors, blood, and gore.  As dark as this telling is, and it gets evilly dark, there is a thread of hope that winds itself throughout.  This does end with a cliffhanger; however, I fully enjoyed it and cannot wait to embrace the rest of the series!

My rating:  Redbreast

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‘Tis the Sneezin’, by Ava Mallory

Tis The Sneezin': A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery Novella (A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery Series Book 7)

Traveling nurse Mercy Mares is up to her eyeballs in donations for the town’s annual holiday celebration. Every nook and cranny of her house and all of her friend’s and neighbor’s houses are overflowing with gifts for ill children in her local hospital. It’s all she can do to keep track of what is what and who is who.

On the night that she and her merry band of helpers are to deliver these gifts, everything, including gifts she bought for her loved ones, simply disappear without a trace.

Now, Mercy has to find the thief before those who appointed her this year’s Mrs. Claus find out that they’re missing and dozens of children are left disappointed.

Enlisting the help of her reluctant loved ones, Mercy has a humdinger of a mystery to solve in a flash in order to save Christmas.

My review:

I came across this book and author during a “Christmas in July” promotion.  I found this adorably fun and entertaining.  In fact, “cute” would be an accurate description.  The main character was snarky and sarcastic and I enjoyed every mocking comment that she spoke or thought.  Completely cheeky and engaging and I want to revisit these characters from the beginning.  (This is a stand-alone story but this release is number 7 of the series.)  The nicknames that “Mercy” assigned to her associations evolved within this book and kept me laughing throughout.  This may be Christmas/Holiday themed but it was a refreshing read in the middle of summer.

My rating:  Redbreast

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Lumbersexual, by Leslie McAdam


How do you know whether you can trust someone?

Maggie Washington is used to relying on herself. Growing up in Iowa, her wild curls and parents who dumped her on her grandmother made it so she’s never fit in. Skeptical of other people’s motives, she’s always been the fling or the friend. Looking to define her life after college, she’s thrilled when she scores a choice summer job working in Yosemite National Park restoring habitat.

Court Thompson is a gorgeous (and bearded) forest ranger with a love-em and leave-em reputation. When he shows interest in her, she’s torn. Even though she’s flattered by his attention, she doubts his sincerity—and her ability to get out of the friend-zone.

Will Court be able to coax Maggie into trusting him that he’s for real? Or after the summer of s’mores and skinny dipping, will he let her down like everybody else?

My review:

Even if I didn’t like hiking and camping, I’d find this an entertaining read.  But I do, so it was even more enjoyable than anticipated.  This is a poignant look at realizing that sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to trust in others, no matter how daunting that simple task seems to be.  A lovely novella about how experiences may make impressions on one’s life but the color in those images is derived from the people with whom they were shared.  A laid-back romance reminiscent of summer camp flings but adult in tone.

My rating:  Redbreast

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