Where Danger Lies by Donna Del Oro


Where Danger Lies by Donna Del Oro
The Jake Bernstein FBI Series, Volume 3
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense/Mystery
Rating: Spicy
Length: Full (278 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

FBI Special Agent Jake Bernstein is recruited to help investigate two apparently unrelated cases while on medical leave in San Diego. A female officer assigned to Naval Base Coronado has been killed and a Muslim woman is viciously beaten and left for dead.

Meg Larsen is in San Diego pursuing additional teaching credentials but is interested in becoming an active volunteer and helping Jake in his investigations. She’s more than ready for Jake to commit to her and give her a reason to alter her career plans but also gets drawn into the danger that surrounds his cases.

Jake must use his training and skill to keep everyone safe but there’s a chance that even if he’s successful in solving the cases, his relationship with Meg may be a fatality.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I haven’t read the first two in the series, so I worried a bit about being able to understand the undercurrents between characters and the backgrounds and such. While I do think my experience with the story might have been richer if I’d read the others, and I would have understood Meg and Jake’s relationship more fully, I never felt lost during my reading of this book.

The plot was solid and interesting. The author does a good job with red herrings and mysteries and leaves the reader wondering just which way is up. There are plenty of misleading clues, along with solid ones, so we are just as deceived and confused as Jake and his NCIs are. It takes some sorting and sleuthing to figure it all out, but the mystery definitely comes to a satisfying ending.

The romance, for me, wasn’t the strongest part of the book, and this may be where my not having read the first two stories may have put me at a slight disadvantage. In the beginning, it seems as if Meg doesn’t trust Jake (she grills him a bit about whether he was with another woman when he traveled for work) and that made me not like her as much as I wanted to. Of course, we’re in Jake’s POV and can see that he wasn’t being unfaithful, and can also see how he feels about Meg, so that may be part of that, too. I was already on his side and didn’t like Meg questioning his loyalty.

There were some odd word choices, and some phrasings throughout, that were a bit awkward for me. It’s very likely a personal issue and may not bother most readers, but they did pull me out of the story on occasion.

That said, I really did like Jake and enjoyed watching him (with help from a few other folks) unwind the mystery of the murder and assault. He’s a good, honorable guy with plenty of smarts (and looks) and made a great hero for this romantic suspense novel.

All-in-all an enjoyable read. I do wish I’d read the first two books, but only because I really liked Jake and wanted to know more about him and his background. My TBR pile is incredibly tall, but I may have to add the first two Jake Bernstein books to the top!

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Love on Longboat Key by Meg West


Love on Longboat Key by Meg West
The Keys to His Heart, Book 1
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (143 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Julie Joseph dreads spending Christmas in Florida with her cranky elderly parents. Yet that changes when she arrives at Sun Tower and meets the eligible bachelor whose equally quarrelsome parents have just moved into the penthouse. Thomas Briggs IV is hardly the type Julie has dated in the past: he’s tall, handsome, and out-of-this-world wealthy. He’s also the son of the CEO of Pilgrim Mutual Insurance, where Julie works as a copywriter.

Julie has just a few days to date Thomas before they both have to return to the ice and snow blanketing the Northeast. But there’s one big problem: Julie’s rival for Thomas’s attention happens to be her gorgeous, but mean-spirited boss at Pilgrim Mutual. Can Julie overcome the odds and beat out Amanda Ford to win Thomas’s heart?

Love on Longboat Key, the first in a trilogy of contemporary romance novels set on the barrier islands off Sarasota, is a sweet holiday tale about finding love on the beach.

Julie works for an insurance company in Connecticut but is in Florida to spend Christmas with her parents who live in a block of flats for the elderly.  Thomas works for the same insurance company in Connecticut and is in Florida to spend Christmas with his parents in the same block of flats. They have not met before their holidays.

The two come together and find discover they have mutual employers, in fact Julie’s immediate boss is Thomas’s ex fiancé. They take time out together to get away from the demands of their parents and enjoy the Florida sunshine instead of the Connecticut snow storms.

This is a sweet romantic story where two like souls from very different backgrounds come together and help one another with their family and work problems. Add to this the ex fiancé who expects Julie to work over Christmas and is also a little bit jealous about Julie’s friendship with Thomas, and we have a story with a green-eyed monster making it interesting.

I loved both main characters and Julie’s parents added humorous light relief. The conflicts in their relationship were addressed in a very sensible way, none of this did he – didn’t he? Will she – won’t she? If they were confused, they asked. This could have made it a bit insipid but it didn’t. The story was entertaining and sweet and came a a very satisfying end. I enjoyed it immensely.

Coasting by Yvonne Trent


Coasting by Yvonne Trent
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What happens when you need something but don’t know what it is? Why not look in a place you never heard of?

Out and proud elementary school teacher Cal Hamilton thought he was happy in Philadelphia, but after a breakup, he steps back to reassess his life and discovers something is missing. He gets in his car and drives south with no idea what he hopes to find. The flip of a coin leads him to a small town in Mississippi—practically a different world from the city where he grew up.

Police officer Billy Labarre keeps his sexuality mostly to himself, but he knows just what he needs to fill the hole in his quiet small-town life: the right man. Unfortunately attitudes toward gay men still leave a lot to be desired in the rural South, and it’s hard to meet someone. It’s not likely his perfect match is just going to show up out of the blue….

After the break up of his five-year relationship, Cal decides to just drive and get away from everything, to stretch his wings and see where he lands. In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Billy is a police officer and more than interested when he first notices Cal. With all the hotels fully booked for the summer tourist season Billy takes a chance and offers Cal his spare room. Can this be the start of something longer than a summer fling?

I really enjoyed the slow paced, almost sweetly romantic feel to this story. Set in a small coastal town this lovely story read to me like an older fashioned story – one where the reader is really able to get to know the characters before they jump into bed. I really felt that all the sight-seeing and extended “getting to know you” period between Cal and Billy made it just that much hotter and more emotional when they finally did become intimate. I loved how the slower pace let me get attached and more comfortable with the characters – and the extensive cast of secondary characters – and this made the plotlines and story far richer for it.

I was a little nervous that the falling in love part of the story happened too quickly, though I must admit I was pleased that the speed wasn’t completely overlooked. Both Cal and Billy pondered about the speed with which they met, got to know each other then fell in love and this helped ease me a little. Instead of making me feel like it was some insta-love style of story the reflections and acknowledgement of the short timeframe made it seem more fate or just good fortune for the guys. I could understand if some readers, however, don’t feel quite the same as I did. For me personally though, I felt it was well handled and very emotionally written – even if it wasn’t particularly realistic.

A fun, lighthearted and very warm story, I loved the mixture of spicy M/M romance and erotic intimacy the author balanced with a really small-town feel of a story. I felt this was a lovely modern story and one I will happily indulge in many more times to come. A great, romantic read.

Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale


Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (327 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

This story is the sequel to Everything We Keep and I’m glad the author chose to write Aimee and James’ story from his perspective because I’d been fascinated to know what really happened to him.

All is answered in this book. James is now Carlos, a widower with two boys and living in Mexico. As the story unfolds…it’s told in both the present and past as we learn what happened and how he ended up in a fugue state.

Aimee is now married with a child and I thought perhaps the story would focus on their reconnecting but instead it takes different course and the suspense deepens when his brother is released from prison. He was the catalyst for the drama surrounding James’ disappearance and in this book; he’s trouble with a capital T.

I thought this had more of a page turning quality to it than the first one and found myself reading more as I got farther into the book. It’s got a ticking clock quality to it and I found the characters really compelling

I obviously won’t give away the ending but let’s just say these two books have turned me into a die-hard fan of Ms. Lonsdale.

I strongly suggested reading the books in order to appreciate the sweeping and suspenseful story line.

Forever Wicked by Nina Bangs


Forever Wicked by Nina Bangs
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Sparkle Stardust wishes she could take back the angry words she threw at Ganymede. Now the man she loves has left her and is on a collision course with death if she can’t stop him. When she finally tracks him down, Sparkle discovers he has stirred up more trouble than both of them can handle.

Ganymede storms from the Castle of Dark Dreams determined never to return. He vents his anger by creating chaos around the world, certain that the mayhem will drive Sparkle from his mind and from his heart. It doesn’t work.

But when a powerful enemy from their past threatens Ganymede and Sparkle, they stand side by side to protect their lives, their castle, and their love.

The conclusion of a story arc is always a joyously sad event. I mean, you finally get the satisfaction of seeing how everything comes together, usually in a big, dramatic event and it’s joyous and exciting because you’ve waited for it for what feels like forever. The sad part is because it’s concluded. The good thing about Forever Wicked is the happily ever after is one fans have been waiting for, for years upon years and it seems Ms. Bangs decided all hands should be on deck, so to speak. It was really awesome to see the ‘plants’ are still doing well. *grin*

The most fascinating revelation about Sparkle and Ganymede is their origins. That was something I never, ever saw coming. In the Castle of Dark Dreamsseries the two protagonists were always Cosmic Troublemakers – they wrought various forms of destruction and misery on worlds and on Earth. It’s what they did and what they were. However, throughout the series I saw them slowly morph into something else besides destroyers and troublemakers and this novel explains why. It was very cool. Actually, it was kind of sad too, and shocking. It’s that element that leads the plot into twists and turns that does Ms. Bangs justice.

As far as the romance goes between Sparkle and Ganymede, it starts off bumpy because they kind of broke up with each other in the previous novel. I say ‘kind of’ because it was more a matter of hurt feelings than either one not being in love with the other, so there was a lot of healing and attempts at reconciling in the first part of the story. It’s the threat they face and the realization that they are stronger together than apart when faced with the biggest fight in their long lives that brings them back together.

In fact, all of my favorite characters where brought back to play important parts in the final, dramatic and exciting conclusion. Seeing them again sparked an interest to read the whole series from beginning to end and relive why I enjoyed this series so much. The variety of personalities always kept the story arc fresh and interesting.

Anyone who has read Ms. Bangs’ works knows that humor is a big part in the lives of her characters and that remains true in Forever Wicked. Yes, there are sexy times to show that Sparkle and Ganymede are still hot for each other but it’s lightly sprinkled throughout the book. The main focus is on the plot, the characters and their personalities, and how they suddenly understand the meaning of ‘family’ – of which is an incredibly important component to the conclusion of the story arc.

I suppose this book could be considered a standalone story because the focus is on the two main characters but I strongly believe that the potential impact is greatly enhanced for fans of the series. With that in mind, I’d lean towards it not being truly a standalone read. Ultimately, it’s reader’s choice.

Forever Wicked was a tale worth waiting for. I am satisfied with their happily ever after and the story told to get there. It was pure Sparkle and Ganymede just as I’ve known them to be, but with more depth and surprises. I’m a happy reader.

Knights of Stone: Calum by Lisa Carlisle


Knights of Stone: Calum by Lisa Carlisle
Highland Gargoyles Book 5
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (188 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When a short-term mission turns into a battle between love and duty…

Calum lives for thrills both on and off stage as lead singer of the Knights of Stone. During a night flight, he witnesses a dragon chasing a pegasus and his gargoyle instincts kick in. When the rescued pegasus turns out to be a beautiful shifter named Arielle, he sets off on a dangerous mission to help her.

Arielle never should have wandered from her pegasi herd. Not only did she attract the attention of a dragon who wants to steal her magic, but they’ve ended up lost in another realm. If she even makes it through the night, how will she ever return home?

Calum and Arielle’s chance encounter in the Scottish Highlands turns into something more. Can Calum help Arielle return to her realm, when he wants to convince her to stay?

For a hot Highland shifter series set on a mystical isle shared by gargoyles, tree witches, and wolf shifters, meet the brothers in the Knights of Stone today!

Calum swore he’d never fall in love.

Calum relishes being the lead singer in this brothers’ rock band, and all the female adoration that comes with it. However, it no longer seems to be enough. Lately, he’s been feeling increasingly restless. One night while Calum is out flying seeking peace, he comes across a deadly dragon chasing Arielle, a pegasus shifter. Despite Calum’s bravado and swagger, he is a protective and caring man. He doesn’t hesitate at all before intervening. I admire his bravery. Calum and Arielle survive the encounter, but Arielle is far from being safe. Pegasi are highly sought after for their magic, and there are those who would use Arielle for personal gain. Can Calum keep Arielle safe and help her find a way back to her own realm?

Calum and Arielle have the makings of a great couple. They are both adventurous spirits and have excellent chemistry. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other. Even though their relationship progresses at lightning speed, Ms. Carlisle makes it seem completely plausible. The sexual tension between Arielle and Calum is intense, especially when he’s on stage singing. It is always great seeing the brothers rock, but it is clear Calum is performing just for Arielle. Before he knows it, Calum has fallen in love with Arielle, but they are literally from two different worlds. Will he be able to let her go when the time comes?

I’m glad I had the opportunity to return to the world of the Highland Gargoyles. It gets better with each book as Ms. Carlisle introduces more interesting characters and creatures. I can honestly say that Arielle is the first pegasus shifter I’ve ever encountered! I can’t wait to see what Ms. Carlisle has in store for the next installment of this series.

Knights of Stone: Calum is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is the fifth book in the series, but it can be read alone without difficulty as Ms. Carlisle makes everything clear. Fans of steamy paranormal romance should definitely give this book, as well as the others in the series, a try.

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare


When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (376 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter … and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

If you think all prologues start the same or follow a pattern, then I think you might be pleasantly surprised by this novel. I had to read the beginning twice only because I was vastly amused and greatly entertained. It was so fresh, inventive and kind of charming that if the story continued as it started, I believed I was in for a grand read. I was right, and I loved it.

First, kudos to whoever came up with the title of When a Scot Ties the Knot because it snagged my attention immediately. I appreciate clever titles.

I also liked the author’s use of descriptions and analogy. I specifically admired her use of the ‘message in a bottle’ reference. However, the poem was a bit … well it was giggle worthy only because of who was reciting it. I can envision the audience’s reaction and it makes me smile.

What is fascinating is the conflict of the heroine. It’s daunting in its scope. It’s the very thing that caused this whole twisted, surprising journey and I think it’s perfect. No one seems to understand the severity of Maddie’s affliction and after a few stunning examples, the hero finally gets it. Logan is truly hero material.

Of course, Logan doesn’t see himself as a hero. He just does what he believes is right, is just and is for the best for the people in his care. The fact that a man who started off life with the conditions he survived to become man of honor and integrity made his happy ever after that much more sweet. I adored Logan. There is no greater testimony to his worthiness to be called hero than how he dealt with Grant. I was impressed.

Maddie was fun to read about. I liked her talent, her views on life, her goals and her dreams. I even liked the lobsters. The greatest thing about When a Scot Ties the Knot is how Maddie and Logan brought out the strengths in each other to balance their weaknesses, whether real or perceived. They were wonderful together, and that includes under the sheets, eventually.

This novel has so much to recommend it that I am not sure what else to add. I’m so glad I read it, I had fun; I enjoyed the dialogue, the interaction with all the secondary characters and the tone of the book. There were a few things that might be implausible but that was no match for the sheer perfect of the rest of the novel. If asked, I’d recommend reading When a Scot Ties the Knot in a heartbeat. It’s a romance with substance, just what I like.

The World Without Crows by Ben Lyle Bedard


The World Without Crows by Ben Lyle Bedard
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

In 1990, the world ended. A disease turned people into walking shells of themselves. Zombies. Most of them were harmless, but some were broken by the pressure of the disease. The cracked became ravenous killers whose bite infected.

To escape the apocalypse, Eric, a young, overweight boy of 16, sets off on a journey across the United States. His plan is to hike from Ohio to an island in Maine, far from the ruins of cities, where the lake and the fierce winters will protect him from both Zombies and the gangs that roam the country.

Along the way, Eric finds friends and enemies, hope and despair, love and hatred. The World Without Crows is the story of what he must become to survive.

For him and the people he would come to love, the end is only the beginning.

The end of the world means that things change-the true humanness of humanity comes forth.

The World Without Crows is a fascinating look at the change in world dynamics when Vaca B turns people into zombie-like husks of their former selves. Eric is a teenager with a very poor self-image. After the death of his mother, Eric leaves everything that he has known to travel towards an island in Maine where he hopes to find safety.

Along the way, Eric meets several new friends and they form a group desiring the same thing, safety. Unfortunately, there are gangs, ragtag military groups and other that look to profit from those that might show a little too much trust. Eric and his friends face danger and the risk of death throughout the entire journey.

The World Without Crows speaks to the authors understanding of human nature and the psychology of the individual. Ben Lyle Bedard does a fantastic job at bringing each character to life-and each character has an amazing back story and life before the Vaca B-each life is filled with dreams, desires and loss. The description and journey that the author brings forth causes the reader to become fully immersed in the world that the characters live within. This new world is enough to create a frightening realization for the reader-this reality is something that could happen in today’s society.

The interactions between characters both verbal and non-verbal are descriptively explained by the author. In fact, some of the best conversations of the book are explained through the actions of the characters rather than by dialogue alone. The author spends a great amount of time describing the world around the characters, I found that I found that I could completely relate with the actions and choices that each character made, even though some were certainly for the worse.

As each character becomes more near and dear to the reader, there is the reality that this character may not make it to the end. With the disease of Vaca B so prevalent and with it so easily transmitted; the reader can become so totally involved in the story and not realize that when a character is facing death, that he or she has become a part of the reader’s identity.

I highly recommend reading The World Without Crows–this story will haunt you at night when you realize the depth of humanity is much more shallow than you ever imagined.

The Deed by Lynsay Sands


The Deed by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (372 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

An innocent young beauty finds herself the fulcrum of a struggle for feudal power. Along with her ample dowry, Emma finds herself promised to Amaury de Aneford, a landless knight whose able sword has preserved the King’s crown-and whose rugged good looks make her heart skip a beat.

But on the wedding day, as a rival knight gallops toward the bridal chamber, Amaury will find that making love to his naive new bride will take consummate skill. For in the conjugal bed, Emma is astonished to learn there is more to a wedding night than just a sound sleep-and more to true love than she’s ever imagined.

The premise was cute but the book blurb could not do Emma’s predicament justice. It’s the prologue that sets up a reader’s understanding of the situation and conflict but it morphs into something that any historical romance fan would recognize – the quest for land and power. It can be pursued in two ways, the right way and the criminal way, and Ms. Sands does the theme justice.

Now, in the beginning, Emma seems an innocent. In fact, she is because her father and cousin sheltered her from ‘unpleasant’ things, or subjects that made them uncomfortable when asked to explain. That left Emma ill prepared for the marriage bed to the level that the poor girl was beyond naïve. Is that even possible? To be that clueless? I would say yes – mostly because women back in the day could be completely sheltered if the men in her life ordered it. Some people’s personalities would be rebellious; others turn bitter and resentful while others take a different route. The Deed was like a mashup of Cinderella and Susan Pevensie (the older sister) in The Chronicles of Narnia. Emma is kind of sweet, biddable, a hard worker and loyal to a fault, but with a spine of iron and deadly with a bow and arrow. I think that combination worked. As a matter of fact, the heroine’s complete naïvety was part of her womanly weapons that worked like magic on her growly, loud but well-put-together new husband, Amaury .

The hero, Amaury, is a soldier that earned the favor of the king. He’s been a warrior all his life so his rough, abrupt and hot-headed ways are all he’s known how to be. Emma confounded him, bemused him and put him through the wringer with emotions he’d never felt before and had no idea what to do about them. His confusion resulted in some smiles and giggles along the way. The hero was cute in his cluelessness and a source of amusement to his best friend, Blake. I liked Blake. But then again, I also liked Emma’s cousin, Rolf. He’s a good egg.

The villain of the piece, because you know there’s always a villain who conspires to take what they covet using any means possible, was believable and easy to identify early on. Even knowing that did not make the reading any less enjoyable. There were some unfortunate casualties that I felt sad about. Such are the victims of intrigue – the discovery of which causes the plot to thicken, sides be taken and plans to be made. Of course, plans go awry and that made for some exciting reading too.

Once Emma was awakened to what it means to be husband and wife, well, it was funny. The scenes were well written and sprinkled about the story in the right amounts, but it was Amaury’s confused reaction that made them humorous. He thought he knew what was proper and what was not, what was expected and what was not – boy, was he wrong. Cue giggle. Emma might have been naïve, but that sure didn’t last long. She’s a smart lady.
The Deed was wholly entertaining, enough that I read it in one day. I liked Amaury’s growth from a soldier to a duke. I liked that he had good taste in friends and Ms. Sands’ writing made it quite clear. He earned the title of duke but the best part is, he earned the love of his wife. I had sympathy for him because of his beginnings and what trials he lived through. The thing of it is, a man who has nothing knows how to cherish that very thing when he finally finds the ‘something’ he’s been searching for all his life. He may stumble because it’s so new, but that’s part of the story’s charm. It’s that joy of discovery, the wonder of love and the happiness that warms a reader from The Deed’s pages that made this book worth reading and recommending to others. I totally enjoyed myself.

Jeopardy in July by Barbara Venkataraman


Jeopardy in July by Barbara Venkataraman
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (220 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Old people were dying at an alarming rate at La Vida Boca, a posh assisted living facility in Boca Raton, Florida. With its sterling reputation, dedicated staff, and top-notch medical care, none of the deaths are considered suspicious, but when members of the poker club start to die under strange circumstances, attorney Jamie Quinn finds herself once again embroiled in a mystery. With help from her new friend, Jessie Sandler, and her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie uncovers a crime that took place forty years earlier. Can she stop the killer in time? Or is she in danger of becoming the next victim?

Jamie has a new client. They are in a nursing home and have been married for years but now they are getting divorced and he wants her to divide their assets. She wonders what brought it on but goes to meet with them anyway. She certainly didn’t expect to meet EMT’s and a stretcher on the way out on her way in but nursing homes are familiar with death. Unfortunately, that was her client on his way out…

This is the second cozy mystery I’ve read by this author and it’s even better than the first one. It turns out the wrong was done forty years ago and someone is trying to eliminate the others who know the truth.

Ms. Venkataraman makes her elderly characters as cantankerous and sarcastic as the old can be. They play cards together, flirt with each other and gossip like everything. They even have a book club group. Jamie is still a bit clueless but she’s learning along the way. Her friend, Duke, helps her on the cases.

Beyond a fake painting, murder at the nursing home, and the FBI visiting with her, she’s also a bit worried about her boyfriend. He was supposed to be returning home and now he’s got another assignment he wants to take. Does he really love her?

The story is busy, exciting, and has a surprise ending. This was a really good read for anyone that loves cozy mysteries. Parts will make you laugh and parts will scare you but you’ll keep reading.