Head In The Sand by Damien Boyd


Head In The Sand by Damien Boyd
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

The discovery of a severed head in a golf course bunker triggers a frantic race to find a serial killer that brings the town of Burnham-on-Sea to a standstill.

A connection is made with a series of unsolved murders harking back to the 1970s, and Detective Inspector Nick Dixon finds himself caught in a race against time that takes him the length and breadth of the country.

The brutal killing of an elderly man raises the stakes and, as he closes in, Dixon begins to question whether he is chasing one serial killer or two.

DI Nick Dixon has his lazy Sunday morning interrupted by a phone call, a severed head has been found in 12th holes bunker at the local golf club. What follows is an increasingly complicated mystery where the bodies – and body parts – begins to increase at an alarming rate. Can Dixon and his colleagues solve the connection between the victims and top the killer?

I found this to be a really interesting and well-paced story. While it’s the second book in the DI Nick Dixon series I feel it can easily be read as a standalone. The characters and their connections are very well explained without a huge amount of info-dumping or rehashing their histories so I feel readers should easily be able to follow along and enjoy the story on its own merits. I also really enjoyed how this is very much a British police procedural style of story – with a clear murder mystery plot and a good number of suspects and twists in the storyline.

I also thought the author did a very good job of balancing the action in this story with investigation and understandable police work. It’s very clear to my mind that the author has a solid grasp of police practices and the fundamental steps inherent to any investigation and this shines through the story and makes it a real pleasure to read. Readers on the lookout for a solid, well-paced but logical and realistic murder mystery should find this book as enjoyable as I did.

A good and engrossing read, I really enjoyed this book and will be eagerly looking for the next in the series.

Point Of No Return by John Carson


Point Of No Return by John Carson
Publisher: Vellum
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

An old mystery solved after thirty-five years. And a new one just beginning…Millionaire Murdo Wolf took off in a small plane from the island where he lived, and neither he nor the plane was ever seen again. Until now. The Wolf family have gathered on the island they used to call home. They’re celebrating the life of their father, Oliver Wolf, who died six months ago. Now, one of Oliver’s sons has been murdered. And when his body is discovered, so is the body of his grandfather. Did the son know where his grandfather was hidden? Did he die because of it? DCI Harry McNeil is sent to the island to investigate the cold case and track down a killer who may or may not still be there. Helping with the investigation are two detectives from Glasgow, DCI Jimmy Dunbar and DS Robbie Evans. This isn’t an open-and-shut case and they discover the killer is still lurking on the island, and the body count is increasing. But with no clear motive and no direct links to the patriarch going missing all those years ago, this is going to be one of the hardest cases Harry has ever worked on.

I found this to be an excellent addition to the DCI Harry McNeil Scottish mystery series. With a small cast of long-standing characters and an interesting murder mystery plot this book was a solid addition. Best of all while I do feel readers who have read some of the previous installments will get a deeper understanding from the book, the characters and setting is well-laid and explained fully enough that readers should feel comfortable picking this up and reading it as a stand-alone.

I greatly enjoyed the “closed room” aspect to the mystery plot. The murder occurs on a small Scottish island – off the Isle of Mull – with a limited number of local inhabitants and the members of a wealthy family who have gathered for the patriarch’s funeral service. This lent the whole book the air of an older style who-did-it sort of mystery with a limited number of people who could possibly have committed the crime – with the rich family members right at the top of the list.

Indeed, I strongly feel the characters and their interactions are what make this story so wonderful to read. The author does a really good job to my mind of writing the Scottish police characters in a realistic and relatable manner, without being too cliched or over-the-top. I found the main characters to be particularly vivid and enjoyable, their camaraderie and clearly solid relationships were really well handled and made the reading quick and pleasurable for me. While the other characters and suspects were also very well drawn I was pleased a large part of the story focused on the police investigation and interactions. This might make the plot feel a little slow moving for some readers – those used to high-octane and strongly action orientated novels – but personally I enjoyed the deeper characterizations and slightly slower pace.

Readers who enjoy closed room murder mysteries – or smaller town settings like, say Agatha Christie or more plot and character centric novels with a little less action and adrenaline, should find this book really fits the bill. I found the mystery to be interesting and well handled, though admit there is an equal – if not slightly greater – focus on the main characters and their interactions and investigation. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to the next in the series. Recommended.

Asset by Chris Lowry


Asset by Chris Lowry
Publisher: Grand Ozarks Media
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Action/Adventure
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

It ain’t easy being a spy.

It sounded fun at first. Just listen. Pay attention. Make note of who comes to the house. Who stops by.

And a poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks gets a chance to travel the world with the girl he loves.

But her do-gooder ways can get them in trouble.

When she volunteers them to help at a refugee camp in South Africa, they’re protected by her father’s reputation.

Until rebels show up and all hell breaks loose.

Now his adventure in a new world takes a deadly turn and drives him into a nightmare. He can give in and give up or dig deep and fight to become the man he always wanted to be.

It’s not a simple choice and the only easy day was yesterday. But Brill Winger will have to learn to fight if he wants to survive, and wreak havoc on the men who shattered his world, and tried to shatter him.

Grab your copy of book 1 in the action packed series about the boy who became the world’s luckiest hitman.

Brill was a poor young man who had grown up on the wrong side of town in desperate circumstances. Everything changes when he is offered a unique opportunity, just listen and pay attention to what goes on around him, then report back to his shadowy benefactors. In return he gets to stay with the young South African woman he loves and be a part of her life. Only Brill and his love are both thrown into a nightmare situation and Brill has to decide whether he will fight and take his vengeance, or whether he will give up everything he is.

I picked up this book on a whim and mostly I’m happy with the purchase. This story definitely won’t be every reader’s cup of tea. I found the writing style quite bare and very different to most of the books I read. I feel the author takes the “lean” or “gritty” style of writing to an extreme. There is very little extra description or world building in this story and I feel some readers won’t enjoy the bareness of the narrative very much at all.

The pace of this story was quite fast and I feel readers who enjoy action/adventure style fast-paced novels should really enjoy this. The plot was simple but effective – not very unique but I thought it was well handled. I personally found we received enough details about Brill and Laurette to give me a good mental picture of their characters and who they were, but I wouldn’t blame other readers who felt there needed to be at least a little more description to help make the story more fulfilling to read.

Fairly early on in the story Brill and Laurette are kidnapped with a bunch of other people by some rebels while they were volunteering in one of the refugee camps in Laurette’s home country and South Africa. After this, the story becomes far more focused on Brill and his personal growth, though the pace remains quite fast in this as well. Readers looking for a light hearted or easy read won’t find that here. There is one very full-on rape scene around this time in the story too. I feel readers should be aware this rape scene is fairly graphic – though still in the books style of bare and gritty. I definitely didn’t find it written in a titillating or glorified manner, but also the author was in no way vague with the scene, it definitely wasn’t glossed over. I really feel it won’t suit all readers and could certainly be a trigger to some, though I personally was able to read it (and I frequently skim or properly skip more graphically violent scenes – in this sense the bareness of the author’s writing style was definitely a blessing).

While Brill is caught in this nightmare situation it’s truly the making of his character. Although part of me feels there is a little too much coincidence in the unfolding of the further scenes – they were realistic and logical enough I could accept them and I found it deeply engrossing to watch Brill turn from a young man in love into what is the beginnings of a hardened warrior and a deeply rooted sense of Brill’s personal mission and the skills he would learn to grow into a man determined to carry out this journey he was beginning.

While there are a few rough corners in this story that I hope are a bit smoother in the next few books, I admit I’m hooked enough on the plotline and general premise I expect to purchase and read the second in this series. I feel there was a good enough writing style, interesting enough characters and a solid plot to this story and I admit I’m interested in knowing what happens next, so I’ll be getting the next book and giving it another try.

The Lightning Rod by Ged Gillmore


The Lightning Rod by Ged Gillmore
Publisher: deGrevilo Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

All she wanted was an Uber – instead she got a corpse.

When gunshots ring out on a respectable Sydney street, Anna Moore finds herself sharing an Uber with a dead man. To make matters worse, the dead man was part of the feared Mendoza drug cartel, and now Anna’s the only one who knows his whispered last words.

Ruthless undercover cop, Charlie Hall, sees a perfect opportunity when she interviews Anna. Charlie has a secret agenda, and Anna might just be the perfect pawn for her to use to bring down Mendoza’s operation.

Meanwhile, the Uber driver, Bassam, still has the dead man’s bags in his trunk. He should tell the cops. But what harm will it do to take a look first?

The cops want results. The drug cartel wants no loose ends.

As Anna, Bassam and Charlie descend into the murky depths of the criminal underworld they’ll have to trust each other to outwit Mendoza. But when pressure mounts and morality blurs, the three will face a desperate fight that only two of them will survive…

Anna’s walk of shame late one Saturday evening is interrupted by what she’s positive is the sound of a gunshot in a ritzy Sydney suburb. In a matter of moments her regular life is thrown into chaos when she shares her Uber home with a stranger who ends up dying in her arms. Anna is the only person who hears this dying man’s final words and all too soon her regular existence is tied up with a fierce skirmish between one of the biggest drug cartels and the police. Anna has a ruthless cop on her heels, determined to use Anna as bait in shutting the cartel down, and the uber driver, Bassam, is left literally holding the bags everyone forgot in the rear of his car. These three lives are now forever entwined – but can they all survive?

I’ve read a few of Gillmore’s previous books and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I’ve found his gritty, darkly humorous writing tone really appeals to my tastes and I adore how Gillmore isn’t afraid to make his characters – even his heroes – be flawed and all too human. I find it refreshing and an excellent read although the darker undertones often won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Readers who enjoy heavily and well plotted action packed mystery/thrillers should absolutely give this book a try. I was pleased Gillmore didn’t rush the first chapter of this book – this was no movie-like, high octane, heart pounding rush of a scene, but still managed to a hundred percent grab my attention and empathy and hook me in to the story. I enjoyed Anna’s character and found her modern and relatable but it was very clear there were numerous layers bubbling under the surface. The fact I could so easily see this very scene happening in reality pretty much anywhere in the world just helped draw me in and grab me and not let go.

The three main characters took a bit of time to explore in greater detail, but this full length novel had ample time to really delve into each character and show the reader many of the complex and multi-faceted layers. No character is ever really as simple or straight forward as a quick glance might portray and so I really enjoyed that Gillmore spent quite a bit of time unraveling Anna, Charlie and Bassam. The pace of the plot moved along well but I was glad it wasn’t some over-the-top, movie style, action sequence where there just wasn’t time to catch your breath. I really enjoyed that the longer length of this novel was such that the events – and in particular the three main characters – could all be explored in depth and in good time.

Readers who like a modern, realistic and complicated plot with strongly written characters should find this story really fits the bill for them. With enough action and pace to keep readers attention, but enough detail and complexity to appeal to those who like a more plot and character driven story I felt Gillmore struck an excellent balance and really delivered with this. An excellent concept that was superbly written and carried out this was an awesome story and one I will really enjoy rereading again in the future. Recommended.

Kill Our Sins by JM Dalgliesh


Kill Our Sins by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

What would you do to keep your past a secret?

When the mutilated remains of a woman are retrieved by local fisherman, it falls to DI Tom Janssen and his team to identify how she came to be in the water and what put her there. Joined on the case by his new permanent boss, DCI Tamara Greave, it remains to be proven if the woman’s death was a result of foul play or a tragic accident.

The victim carried no means of identification, was poorly dressed for the winter and horribly disfigured when pulled from the water. As the case progresses old ghosts return to haunt those living in the present. Matters thought settled a long time ago face intense scrutiny… attention that some hoped would never come to pass. When childhood friends begin to question one another, suddenly the long forgotten past comes to the fore.

The misadventure of youth can have grave consequences. No matter how much time passes nor how deep you bury them, your sins will always return to haunt you. But who has the most to lose and what else are they willing to sacrifice in order to keep what they have? Is someone prepared to kill for their sins?

Janssen must reveal and catch a killer without a conscience before they strike again…

Set within the mysterious beauty of coastal Norfolk, this fast-paced British detective novel is a dark murder mystery with moments of humour, one that will keep you guessing until the very end when the final shocking twist is revealed.

This is the third book in the “Hidden Norfolk” series featuring DI Tom Janssen and DCI Tamara Greave and I found it to be a solid addition. I was very pleased not just with the plot of the mystery itself, but that this time I felt there was significant growth in Tom’s character. We learn a bit about his past, and there was a good amount of time spent showing the conflict and growth in Tom’s personal relationship with his girlfriend. I thought the author did an excellent job balancing these two critical aspects to the book – the mystery plot and the more personal aspects to the story as a greater whole. The book not only felt well balanced but as a result very satisfying. There was a well-woven, interesting and well paced murder mystery plot, but this is the first book where I felt genuinely interested and pleased with Tom’s character and the growth/revelations that were shown to me as the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

The mystery was one I personally found quite interesting – the murder of a woman with deep secrets hidden in her past and a delightfully complicated history. While in many ways a standard British style of police procedural plot, I thought there were enough turns in the storyline and plenty of depth to the mystery of the victim to easily keep my attention. I found the working relationship between Tom and Tamara to be a little easier and smoother in this book – the previous book in the series in particular I had a lot of trouble with the fluctuating emotions and mixed signals, so I was really pleased to find this had all seemed to sort itself out.

While I do feel readers can pick up this book and enjoy reading it as a stand alone story, there are two previous installments in the series. I feel readers will find a deeper appreciation for the working cohesion between the police team unit if they’ve read the two prior stories, though this isn’t strictly necessary. The plot and the personal relationship between Tom and his girlfriend stand very well on their own in this book – and while I had no problems sorting through the characters of the small police unit, I do feel readers will gain a deeper appreciation for their working relationship with the background in the previous stories.

An excellent read, this British police procedural style story is a good book with complex characters, a delightfully twisting plot and plenty of personal growth in the characters. Recommended.

The Wrong Mate by Jade Marshall


The Wrong Mate by Jade Marshall
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Finding your mate should be the happiest time in any wolf shifter’s life. But what if your mate is the wrong mate?

Raine is finally old enough to find her mate, and she couldn’t be happier. Being in love with Max since the first time she met him, he is the only male that she has ever wanted. Now she has to convince Max that they’re meant to be together. Getting Max to accept their mating bond is the least of Raine’s problems, especially with the hunters closing in again.

Max loves Raine, but she can’t be his mate. He isn’t worthy. He can’t offer her the life that she deserves, so he leaves. Now he only has to convince his wolf to stay away because he knows he will never be able to refuse her. But when Raine is in danger, will he really have a choice?

There might be a ten-year difference between Max and Raine, but they’ve been best friends for a very long time and Max is not looking forward to the fact now Raine is about to turn eighteen her fated mate will likely claim her, and their friendship will be at an end. When Max meets Raine to give her the present he bought for her birthday, he discovers to his shock it’s he who is her fated mate. Certain this must be a mistake, can Max and Raine retain their friendship but still be what the other needs in a mate?

This is a very steamy and short shifter romance. While the plot was certainly little cliched to my mind, I still found this was an enjoyable read. Max needed to fight his own lack of self-confidence and realize that he and Raine were very well suited. Raine, for her part, was a modern woman – and confident enough in herself to know what she wanted. I enjoyed this balance of power and felt it added a good amount of conflict to the plot.

I was pleased the author added an interesting secondary plot once Max and Raine finally started to come together and work on their intimacy and their relationship began to grow. Rather than have the second half of the book just be purely sex-based I felt this really added a welcome depth and complexity to the short story that helped make it stand out amongst the other man paranormal shifter types of books out there. With a number of strong secondary characters and an interesting shifter world I feel this could be an interesting place for this author to set more future stories about other members of the pack.

With interesting characters, a bunch of steaminess and an interesting plot this was a great, albeit quick read. I’d definitely read more by this author.

Chopped by Peri Elizabeth Scott


Chopped by Peri Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Regan Braxton is a prep cook at The Salt Cellar, an up-and-coming restaurant in Las Vegas. She has aspirations to make line cook and actually thought it was a done deal—before Chef Malachi Abrams took over the kitchen.

He’s gorgeous, arrogant, and infuriating and seems to take a singular interest in criticizing her—with scant approval and encouragement. Regan has a second job that she loves equally, working as a flash dancer in a nearby club, but she needs both incomes. So she won’t let him chop her.

Chef Malachi is determined to make The Salt Cellar Vegas’s best restaurant. All is going according to plan despite the attitude of his feisty prep cook. He might be inexplicitly drawn to her, but that won’t get in the way of his work ethic. They have chemistry, but is it palatable, or, like revenge, a dish better served cold?

Malachi and Regan had butted heads ever since Malachi had very suddenly taken over as Chef. While they each maintained a purely professional persona, the conflict was nevertheless heated and ran deeply on both sides. When Regan discovers someone has been hired to fill the role she had hoped to be promoted to, she gives her two week resignation notice. Will Malachi and Regan be able to find common ground in the short time they have left working together?

I found this to be a conflict heavy short story. Readers who like a bunch of tension and head-butting between the two main characters should enjoy this story. Personally I found much of the logic and sense in Regan’s problems with Malachi were lacking, and I didn’t enjoy the jealous assumptions she made about some of Malachi’s professional decisions. Regan admitted she didn’t react well to authority – and this was given as being the root of some of her issues with Malachi as Chef and her boss. I didn’t find that very solid as a reason, especially when Regan tended to convince herself he was being arrogant or purposefully rude when I just personally didn’t see it from their interactions.

I absolutely found Malachi and some of his comments blunt – but not once did I see his actions or words as being purposely needling or meant to give offense. This made it pretty hard for me to empathize with Regan in the beginning, particularly when I felt she over-reacted (like when she gave her verbal notice) to mostly justified comments and constructive criticism made by Malachi when he was honest in his opinions. I enjoy conflict and tension in a story – but I strongly feel there needs to be not enough clashing to make me question whether the pairing is possible at all. I felt this story walked a fine line between these two positions.

In the second half of the story much of the conflict eases and this led the way quite smoothly for the sexual chemistry between Regan and Malachi to bubble over. Readers who enjoy a lot of steamy sexiness to their stories should find this really satisfies. With modern and strong willed characters along with a bunch of chemistry and tons of conflict and tension between the hero and heroine, this short story is a decent, quick read.

Knock Her Up by Sam Crescent


Knock Her Up by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Finding out that Noah wants her is a dream come true. At thirty years old, Sage is ready to take that next step.

Noah wants Sage, and he intends to have it all with her. The only way to get her is to knock her up. That’s his plan. Sage is fire and passion—everything Noah loves and craves in his woman. He wants to share the rest of his life with her, but when Sage tells him she loves him, he freezes. Even though Sage is the only woman he wants, he cannot bring himself to say the words.

When one of his old clients threatens to take Sage away from him forever, will he have the strength to finally tell Sage how he feels, or will his fear of losing everything hold him back?

Noah had known even before Sage began to work for him that she was his in every way. He’d struggled to give the beautiful, curvy, innocent woman time to get to know him and grow used to his ways, but now Noah was finished with waiting. He was going to make Sage his and he knew the quickest and easiest way to do that was to get her pregnant. Can Noah and Sage find their happiness together?

This short and sexy “boss/secretary” style story was an enjoyable and quick read. I liked how Noah’s character was pretty clear from the first page about his intentions to Sage. While he’d given Sage about a year to get comfortable with him and his style, he was done being patient. This helped make the quickness with which Noah and Sage became intimate make a lot of sense to me and so this spicy story moved to the bedroom very early on, which I feel will please fans of this author and also readers who want an explicit, faster paced style of story.

I was also delighted with the small twist and how Sage was a strong, modern and competent woman. Noah had a strong personality and while it might have been easy for Sage to just go along with everything I enjoyed how in her own way she did her bit and had an equal part to play in their blossoming relationship. It helped me feel she was more involved and a stronger character than I often find in these sorts of stories.

With interesting and modern characters, a spicy, explicit storyline and plenty of fun I found this to be a great, quick read.

The Promise Of Annie by T. Lee Garland


The Promise Of Annie by T. Lee Garland
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Annie is a nurse who promised a dying patient that she would deliver an envelope to the woman’s estranged nephew after her death. Annie intends to keep that promise, even if the nephew is a sexy bar owner who makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with the envelope or her.

Van hasn’t seen his aunt in years. Now that she’s gone, he doesn’t care about her or her damn envelope. Except he does care about the curvy nurse in the cotton-candy pink scrubs that barges into his busy bar on a cold Friday night in Tennessee, and insists that he open the envelope.

A freak ice storm leaves them unexpectedly stranded together. Annie has a secret that she hopes will change Van’s mind and heart about his aunt. Van just knows he wants Annie and the promise of her in his life forever.

Annie had no idea when she promised to fulfil the dying wishes of a patient that it would lead her to a seedy bar and a dangerously good looking man. Van wants nothing to do with his aunt – dead or not – nor is he thrilled with the sexy nurse she sent to deliver a message. Annie, however, is determined to complete her friends dying wish and isn’t willing to take no for an answer.

I found this a refreshing and different style of short story. While the dark, brooding and sexy bar owner meeting the sexy do-good girl is a well loved trope for a reason, I found the tension and small twists to the plotline really intriguing and well handled. This gave the whole story – short as it was – a slightly different outlook and while it still had many of the features of a tried-and-true comfort read, it was new and different enough that I found it really interesting.

Van and Annie’s characters were realistic and fun, but I have to admit there was nothing too unique about them. Readers looking for a comforting kind of read with well-established parameters should find this a lovely and easy sort of read. I was really pleased the chemistry between Van and Annie was a slower sort of burn – not just because that helped them take a bit of time to get to know each other and merge from strangers into sexual partners, but also because Annie was clearly grieving the loss of her friend a few hours ago and it would have felt very odd to me had she jumped right into bed with a complete stranger. That said, the sex was spicy and explicit so readers looking for a steamy read should find this aspect to the story satisfies them.

Fun and a slightly different style of story I really enjoyed this quick read and will happily try more titles by this author.

Beautiful Sight by Cooper McKenzie


Beautiful Sight by Cooper McKenzie
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Mystic’s All Night Café—where the city’s supernatural world meet for the best coffee, tea, and pastries.

Blind for the past five years, Tessa Dubois has become a recluse, comfortable only in the home she shares with her son. When he gives her to a slave trader to pay a debt she had no idea about, she finds herself in a dark, menacing world with no one to ground her.

Jefferson Carstairs had just about given up finding his destined mate. Then he joins the council in raiding an abandoned airport warehouse where a solitary figure on the makeshift stage calls to both his man and wolf.

Will Tessa be able to survive outside the comfortable environment of her own home? Will Jefferson and his army of shifters be able to find Sonny and the rest of the traffickers? Can Tessa allow herself to love after so many years alone?

Tessa had been shocked when she accidently overheard her son, Theo, selling her to a stranger to help cover the debt he owed. Tessa was blind, but determined to not let her new situation break her down. When the auction of kidnapped women had ended in bloodshed, Tessa is surprised when she meets Jefferson. There is an instant calm and sexual chemistry between them. Will they each be able to fit comfortably into the new life they’ve discovered?

Grab a lovely large drink, settle down somewhere comfortable and disconnect your brain. I found this to be a deliciously sexy paranormal story with a very fast-moving pace and a fairly light hand to the story telling. Readers looking for a convoluted plot or a whole bunch of realism probably won’t find this fun story quite to their tastes, but rather this is a steamy “insta-lust” sort of quick read that is an enjoyable way to pass a lazy weekend.

While this is the third book in the “Mystic’s All Night Café” series it can absolutely be read as a stand alone. Tessa’s character and situation is explained right off at the start, and after the trafficking auction goes pear shaped Jefferson’s character is also introduced. Indeed the Café itself doesn’t appear until properly within the story – so readers who haven’t read the previous two installments don’t have to worry at all. I really feel they’ll be able to grasp the story from the first page.

There were a number of sub-plots swirling around this short story and I enjoyed some of the interesting developments shown about how the supernatural world works. There was also some fairly standard conflict between Tessa and another shifter who felt she was better suited to Jackson, as well as the original plotline about Tessa and her son – so I felt there was plenty going on in the story, especially when you added all the chemistry and sexy shenanigans between Tessa and Jefferson.

Fun, sexy and quick paced, this was a lovely short story and I found it an enjoyable read.