Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom ABOUT FACE by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading About Face by D.E. Haggerty

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Having previously read and enjoyed DE Haggerty’s Not So Reluctant Detective series, I was pleased to be able to read and review About Face.

After a serious car crash, Frankie is recuperating in the suburbs at her grandparents’ house. She is now facing months of physiotherapy to enable her to walk again on her injured leg. As a distraction, her grandma tries to set her up with her friends’ grandsons, much to Frankie’s dismay (and our amusement).

Brodie is her physio and when she asks him to pretend to be her date, to stop Grandma inviting any more weirdos to dinner, he surprises her by asking her out for real. Frankie is on a steep learning curve, gradually coming to terms with how shallow her life and her friends were before her accident. It turns out they were not true friends after all. With the support of her grandma, her assistant, Jackson, and her new friends Shelby and Brodie, will she be able to move on?

The story is narrated in the first person so we only get Frankie’s view of what’s happening. I would have quite liked a bit of insight into what some of the other characters were thinking. My only slight criticism is that I would have expected the writer to fill in some of the backstory about the car accident. Frankie seems a bit fixated on her facial scar and takes a lot of convincing that it’s not the first thing people notice about her, but I suppose that’s only to be expected. I also thought that Francis was the male version of her name, but maybe that’s only in the UK? There is a lot of humour, and a cinematic quality to the story – it made a great rom-com. I also hope we hear more about Shelby in another book.

Thanks to the author for a copy that I review on behalf of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

My grandma is trying to hook me up.

To be painfully specific, my seventy-five-year-old grandmother thinks a little hanky-panky would cheer me up. Direct quote. Since I’m currently living with her, I can’t escape the endless line of grandchildren of friends who keep ‘dropping by’ for dinner. Literally, I can’t escape. I can barely manage the trek to the dining room at this point.

While Grandma’s determined to find me a husband, I’m determined to learn how to walk again so I can walk away from her matchmaking skills. Spoiler alert: She has no matchmaking skills.

But then I get a brilliant idea. I can fake date my physical therapist. Only he wants a real date. Gulp. A real date with me? Is he for real? I’m no longer the stylish girl with the glamorous job. Now, I’m a woman with a shattered leg and a scarred face.

If I’m going to learn to live with my new reality and give love a chance, my attitude needs to do an about face. Easier said than done.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RegencyRomance THE WORK OF ART by by @MimiMatthewsEsq

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading The Work Of Art by Mimi Matthews

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Set in the Regency period, The Work of Art is the first book I have read by Mimi Matthews, but it certainly won’t be the last! I love finding a new writer and knowing there are lots of books to catch up on. The Work of Art was such a delight to read. The main characters, Philly and Arthur, jump off the page fully formed; they are not the usual stereotypes, but slightly unconventional and therefore much more interesting to read about.

All alone since the death of her grandfather, Philly is in London to find a husband (or so she thinks). What she doesn’t know is that her Uncle has promised her to the Duke of Moreland, a despicable character, who only wants to add her to his collection of unique objects, due to the unusual colour of her eyes.

What starts out as a marriage of convenience, to save Philly from the clutches of the Duke of Moreland, works out so well because of the foundation of friendship, trust and mutual support between her and Arthur. Their romance blossoms but the author manages to avoid the kind of explicit descriptions that would have made Georgette Heyer blush!

In London, both Philly and Arthur are not in their natural environment – they are both much more at ease in the countryside, horse riding, walking the dogs, away from the superficial restrictions imposed by society.

The ending is a real surprise; I won’t say any more but I don’t think you’ll see it coming.  I am looking forward to reading many more books by Mimi Matthews.

Book description

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland–a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her–and her heart–in more danger than ever?

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #WomensFiction THERE SHE GOES by @LynneB1

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

She has been reading There She Goes by Lynne Shelby

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There She Goes is the second in Lynne Shelby’s series of novels set in the world of the theatre, but it is not a sequel, and you can easily read them independently of each other. Told mainly from Julie’s point of view, with occasional glimpses of Zac’s thoughts, we learn what everyday life is like for struggling actors trying to break into musical theatre, with the holy grail being a part in a show directed by Joe Garcia.

I’m not a fan of any kind of theatre, but I was drawn into the world Lynne has created here as it seems thoroughly convincing. The story is well written and the characters are likeable and believable with brief appearances of some from the previous book – The One That I Want; my particular favourite is Nadia – no spoilers here, so I’m not going to tell you why!

I enjoyed reading There She Goes but felt it would have benefited from slightly more dramatic tension; none of the obstacles in the way of Julie and Zac’s relationship seemed that serious, and they were easily overcome. In some ways, this story is more about friendship than romance, as the young actors all support each other in their quest for recognition.

Book description

When aspiring actress Julie Farrell meets actor Zac Diaz, she is instantly attracted to him, but he shows no interest in her. Julie, who has yet to land her first professional acting role, can t help wishing that her life was more like a musical, and that she could meet a handsome man who d sweep her into his arms and tap-dance her along the street…

After early success on the stage, Zac has spent the last three years in Hollywood, but has failed to forge a film career. Now back in London, he is determined to re-establish himself as a theatre actor. Focused solely on his work, he has no time for distractions, and certainly no intention of getting entangled in a committed relationship…

Auditioning for a new West End show, Julie and Zac act out a love scene, but will they ever share more than a stage kiss?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Art Heist #Thriller Marked For Revenge by @JSAauthor

Today’s review is from Sandra,

#RBRT Review Team

She has been reading Marked For Revenge by Jennifer S. Alderson

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Marked for Revenge is the third book featuring art researcher Zelda – now working in the Amstel Modern museum in the Netherlands. I had no idea that there were other books in this series and it did not matter at all; at no point did I feel that not having read the previous books in the series was affecting my understanding.

It is a complex story told from multiple viewpoints and this works really well. We get insight into why the crimes are taking place, and not just a hunt for the perpetrators, which results in a much more nuanced narrative. It is obvious that a lot of research has gone into this book, the detail is convincing and the author’s love of art history shines through.

The vivid descriptions of Venice and Marmaris are a highlight and will make you want to visit them and see the sights for yourself. It is well written, with believable characters and lots of action. The themes of art theft, forgery and revenge are woven seamlessly into this fast-paced thriller. I look forward to reading about Zelda’s next adventure.

Book description

An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance.

When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers.

To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most.

The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation.

The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery HIDE NOT SEEK by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Hide Not Seek by D.E. Haggerty

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Hide Not Seek is the third volume in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series and completes the trilogy with Pru’s story.

Although she has not lived in Milwaukee for very long, Pru has formed a strong bond with Mel and Terri whose stories were told in the first two books. She thought she had left the past behind her, and when she starts getting threatening notes we finally find out what Pru has been hiding from the others, but she does not give up her secret until absolutely forced to.

There are lots of twists and turns and a great surprise ending. You can read this on its own, but it will make a lot more sense if you read the books in order. I really like the relationship between the three women and how they complement each other. Their escapades are not so wild in this book, with Owen and Ryder more aware of what is going on, but that is good as Mel’s more extreme behaviour is kept in check. As Pru is an English teacher, the chapters begin with cryptic quotes from poems and novels (they are listed at the end).

Hide Not Seek is an enjoyable resolution to the series, and I am looking forward to reading DE Haggerty’s next book.

Book description

I know who you really are.

Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police discover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.

Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! By @LisetteBrodey

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Molly Hacker Is Too Picky by Lisette Brodey

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This is not like most other romantic fiction I have read; usually, there are just two men trying to win the heart of the heroine, and it is fairly obvious which one she will end up with. The skill is in making the story interesting enough to keep us reading.

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! breaks that mould; Molly is seeing four very different men, and is still pining for her lost love, so who will win her heart is anyone’s guess. In some ways it’s not important; her journey is fascinating and who she ends up with is not really the point. Everyone seems very keen to find Molly a partner, but, fortunately, she is not going to be rushed into an unsuitable match.

The story is told entirely through Molly’s eyes and we get a real insight into what is going through her mind. The characters are well written and believable, even her cat, Captain Jack. I really liked Molly; she’s strong and feisty and prepared to wait for her ‘soul mate’. There were lots of laugh-out-loud moments, and the scene at the society fundraiser is beyond hilarious. I’ll leave you to discover it for yourself. This is the first book I have read by Lisette Brodey, but it won’t be the last.

Book description

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown, Swansea, an elegant bedroom community of NYC.

Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s BFF gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop.

Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley. For self-serving reasons, Naomi is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker,” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery Picture Not Perfect by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Picture Not Perfect by D.E. Haggerty

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This is the second book in the ‘Not So Reluctant Detective’ series set in a high school in Milwaukee.

Melanie is the school guidance counselor and her friend, Terri, is the librarian. Although it can be read as a standalone, I think you would understand more about Mel’s behaviour if you read them in order (first book is Terri’s story).

Mel is accused of the murder of a teacher; although he was creepy, and kept asking her out, he was not stalking her as the police claim. Determined to prove her innocence before they lock her up, Mel‘s impulsive behaviour leads her friends into a lot of hilarious escapades, some more dangerous than others.

One thing that did seem over the top was the reaction of her police officer boyfriend, Owen, when she did something stupid and reckless (Terri’s boyfriend was the same in the first book). Mel’s impulsive behaviour is revealed to be because of ADHD; it is unusual to read about it in an adult though it is handled sensitively.

There is a lot of humour in this book, and we laugh and cringe in equal measure at the antics of Mel, Terri and their new friend, Pru. Although Mel can be exasperating it is hard not to like her.

I enjoyed this short, light-hearted mystery and have already ordered the next one, Hide Not Seek.

Book description

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #WomensFiction The One That I Want by @LynneB1

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading The One That I Want by Lynne Shelby

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The One That I Want tells the story of Lucy Ashford who lands a dream job with a London theatrical agency after an unexpected reunion with her childhood friend. Cassie is now the star of a children’s television programme and introduces Lucy to the world of celebrity. Lucy is looking for a fresh start, having just emerged from a toxic relationship, and this is just what she needs. Through her work at the agency she gets involved with two very different men, but seems to enjoy the contrasting lifestyles of both – the glamourous life of a movie star with Daniel, and the ups and downs of a struggling young actor with Owen. Daniel is her boyfriend; Owen her first client who also becomes a friend. Lucy seems equally at home in the worlds of both of these men but which one does she really want? This is a believable insight into the world of movies and the theatre, with a cast of well-written characters and a likeable heroine. I particularly liked Lucy’s unconventional family, and the extreme behaviour of Cassie’s personal assistant, Nadia. With an eye-catching cover and a plot that would make a great movie, I would definitely recommend that you give this a try; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It is the first book by Lynne Shelby that I have read but it won’t be the last. Thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for an independent review.

Book description

When Lucy Ashford lands a top job at a leading theatrical agency in London, work mixes with pleasure, as she literally falls into the arms of Hollywood heartthrob Daniel Miller. Handsome, charming and irresistible, Daniel is just what unlucky-in-love Lucy needs, and she is quickly drawn into his glittering celebrity lifestyle. But can she tame the A-list bad boy or is she just one more girl in Daniel s long line of conquests? And then there s up-and-coming actor Owen Somers, fiercely talented but as yet uncast in a starring role. After she takes him onto the agency s books, Owen and Lucy’s friendship slowly grows. If she looks closely, Lucy’s leading man might be right before her very eyes…

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Thriller Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent @c1v2

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Adam & Evil by Charlie Vincent

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Right from the start this is a very unusual story. Adam has been alive forever, or so it seems to him. The novel opens with a scene from the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where Adam should have drowned; but he is not like other men and would probably have suffered for an eternity had he not been rescued by Kane. They have met before – several times over the centuries – and both of them have the scars to show the many adventures they have lived through.

As the story opens Adam is living very comfortably in Monaco. A young woman has disappeared in suspicious circumstances and the police have not found her yet; Adam feels compelled to use his unique skills to rescue her. He slowly pieces together an absolutely horrific story of women being captured for the sex trade, on a huge scale, by an organisation with far-reaching influence.

Adam and Evil is well written with a cast of convincing characters, such as Joe, Sabine and Charles Mason; the villains are particularly nasty, almost caricatures, so that the reader is in no doubt what Adam is up against.  The historical detail comes across as well researched and authentic, and adds an extra dimension to the story. I could not put it down; it’s a fast-paced thriller with a touch of humour, here and there, to lighten what would otherwise be a very dark tale.

I really enjoyed Adam and Evil and look forward to reading the next instalment of Adam and Kane’s adventures in The Fire God. Thanks to Charlie Vincent for a free copy to review as one of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Book description

Adam is living in Monte Carlo with the life most people can only dream of. The fancy house, the sports car, and the finest private wine collection in the world.

When local woman Margaux Dupont goes missing, he leaves all of this behind him to do what he does better than anybody else. Find people.

As he begins tracking her down, he uncovers a vile Mediterranean woman-trafficking organisation so vicious and cruel that nobody has ever dared confront them.

Adam isn’t just anybody though. He’s lived through all of history and confronted evil more times than he can remember.

Yet the more he learns about the traffickers, the more he realises he may have met his match this time …

Is time running out for Margaux Dupont?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Action #thriller Shark Bait (A John Steele Contract Book 1) by Matt Walker

Today’s team review is from Sandra

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Shark Bait by Matt Walker

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Shark Bait is the story of John Steele, a licenced government assassin sent to take out drug dealers, the Carlucci brothers. He was on his way home, his job was done, when Jeremy Peters stumbled into his path, and the situation got very messy, very quickly. The action moves at a breakneck pace (the whole story happens over a week-end) with no let-up as bad guys are coming after him from all directions. It is narrated in the first person by Steele with alternating chapters by Gary Brooker, small-time crook and loan shark. This lends immediacy to the action; the reader feels as if they are right in the middle of it. So now, not only are the remaining Carlucci gang after his blood, but Gary’s thuggish henchmen are hot on his trail as well. He can’t afford to let his guard down for a second.

I really enjoyed this debut by Matt Walker. John Steele is very likeable despite what he does for a living and that is not an easy thing to pull off convincingly; he is tough when he has to be but not unnecessarily so. I look forward to reading Devil’s Breath, the next one in the series.

Book description

“I’m no hero. I’m a Licensed Vigilante. And I kill people for a living.”

Government hitman John Steele has just completed his current contract, and has the bullet wound to show for it. That’s when he meets a vicious criminal loan shark called Gary Brooker. But Brooker has got his own problems. He’s picked on the wrong guy.

SHARK BAIT is an all-action thriller that will leave you breathless, and the first novel introducing Licensed Vigilante John Steele.

Explosive action. Blistering pace. Gripping plots. For readers who don’t like reading.

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