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The Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas – Review by Jessica Heatherly

The Scent of GardeniasThe Scent of Gardenias by Lorraine Haas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Historical fiction is not my go-to genre but I needed a “break book” in between my usual psychological thrillers. I’m so glad I chose this one! The author does such an amazing job with the story, setting, and depth of characters. Margaret Rose is a strong and likable female lead but so many other female characters in this book are strong as well. As the novel progresses, you can even see the true strength of her mother, even though Margaret wants to live a life different from how she was raised. I truly loved this story and recommend it to anyone who normally reads historical fiction or if you’re looking for a break from your usual genre.

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Hush, My Darling (Benoit and Dayne Mystery Book 2) by Winter Austin – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Hush, My Darling (Benoit and Dayne Mystery, #2)Hush, My Darling by Winter Austin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a sucker for a good serial killer story and this one was right up my alley.
Two years ago, Lila Dayne was almost a victim of the I-80 killer but survived. After surgery, healing, and therapy, she moves to a small town in Iowa and takes a job as Sheriff Benoit’s Detective Deputy even though she fears the killer’s return.
In the midst of a terrible flood in their area, Deputy Dayne discovers a dead body. She immediately knows the I-80 killer is behind it and spirals out of control knowing he is on the prowl to finish what he started. Can she keep her mind clear enough to help her team find the killer before it’s too late?
I loved this book and didn’t realize it was book 2 of a series until after I got started. It can definitely be read as a stand alone but I’m going back to read book 1 because I loved the characters. The author did a great job making this book thrilling to read and created characters with depth and believability. I’m also looking forward to book 3 when it comes out!

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The Last Cabin Girl (Detective Josie Thompson Series) by Tom Swyers – Review by Jessica Heatherly

The Last Cabin GirlThe Last Cabin Girl by Tom Swyers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Last Cabin Girl was full of suspense literally from the first page! I love when a book sucks you in at the very beginning and doesn’t let go until you’ve devoured every last page. I read a LOT of thrillers and the author was able to keep my attention the entire time! There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t expect, I flew through this book in one day. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I am going back for the other three right this instant! If you love domestic suspense, definitely add this one to your TBR pile.

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The Killer Jack Mystery (The J.D. Pierson Case Files) by C.H. Sessums – Review by Jessica Heatherly

The Killer Jack Mystery (The J.D. Pierson Case Files)The Killer Jack Mystery by C.H. Sessums
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

JD (Jenny Dee) decides to help her father’s failing PI firm as it slips closer to shutting down during the depression. She receives a phone call from her uncle from prison asking for help finding a stolen necklace of her cousin’s. Her cousin winds up dead and now not only is JD looking for a thief, she’s looking for a murderer. Time is of the essence! Can JD solve the mystery of the missing necklace AND find a murderer on the loose before they strike again?

The Killer Jack Mystery is such an entertaining and quick read! The author does a great job keeping the story interesting and mysterious in the short length of 188 pages. It’s a cozy mystery that is perfect for a car ride, plane trip, or rainy day at home. I finished it in one day and look forward to picking up more books in this series!

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Class Clown (Ghost Girl Series) by Allan Evans – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Class ClownClass Clown by Allan Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Abbey is a ghost magnet. Many of them are calm or confused but some are downright evil. While at the circus with her family, she starts seeing ghost clowns and some even follow her to school. Some of her friends begin to go missing and Abbey can’t help but think the ghost clowns are to blame. Will she get to the bottom of the disappearances and help get her friends home to safety?
The author does a brilliant job mixing paranormal and reality in this young adult thriller. Abbey is a very likable character and super independent and fun. I don’t usually read YA books but I couldn’t put this one down! This book is definitely for anyone and everyone!

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The Worry Knot by Mary Bleckwehl – Review by Jessica Heatherly

The Worry KnotThe Worry Knot by Mary Evanson Bleckwehl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rourke is in 7th grade and is riddled with anxiety. He’s got some mysterious neighbors, twin younger sisters, an autistic older brother, and parents who always say “it’s fine”. He is in a constant state of worry about different things but especially his brother. You’d think with this being a YA book geared towards middle school readers, it would be funny and lighthearted but it is definitely deeper than that. Although still a wonderful read for this age group, it is great for adults as well. It was a stark reminder that all of us have our own internal struggles, especially children. It’s so easy to think children live carefree but they have things in their everyday lives that can cause worry and anxiety just like adults. I definitely recommend this book for young and older adults. It really helps put some things into perspective.

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Depending On You by Jessica Aiken-Hall – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Depending On YouDepending On You by Jessica Aiken-Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cate and Patti have a friendship that is very close and even though they no longer live in the same city, they would do anything for each other. 20 years ago, Cate killed someone and the only person who knew was Patti. At the end of that fateful summer, Patti left the state and didn’t look back. Now that the case is reopened and Cate is feeling pressure to tell the truth, Patti comes back home to help her friend.
The author does a fantastic job keeping the suspense high while weaving the past and present together. This book was easy to fly through because I was completely engrossed in the story and friendship of these two women. It is definitely one I will recommend to my bookish friends!

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Divine Vintage by Sandra L. Young – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Divine VintageDivine Vintage by Sandra L. Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Divine Vintage is such a fun, mysterious, and enchanting novel! The author does an outstanding job weaving together past and present to create a world like no other. Tess opens a clothing boutique featuring clothing from the past. When she tries on a gown from the turn of the century, she gets visions of the past from the eyes of the murdered bride. Mixing murder mystery with a little romance worked well in this novel and it kept my interest the entire time! The character development was on point and the relationship between Tess and Trey seemed natural and organic. It’s hard to tell that this book is a debut from this author and she knocked it out of the park! I look forward to more of her work soon!

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Apocalypse Thoughts (The Pox Series Book 5) by Kendra Griffin – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Apocalypse ThoughtsApocalypse Thoughts by Kendra Griffin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Apocalypse Thoughts is a wonderfully written, witty, and easy to read Young Adult book. All of the characters, especially Kella, are so easy to like and feel like you know personally. The relationship between Kella and her brother Huck is wonderful and honestly refreshing. As these teens trek through the Appalachian Mountains to carry CDC data north out of Georgia, they learn many valuable life lessons. They are stronger than they think, braver than they’ve ever had to be, and truly care about each other. Not only is this story action-packed, it can be used to teach young adults that not every task is easy but if you work hard at being a valuable member of a solid team, you can just about accomplish anything! The author hits a home run with her writing style and storytelling and I am looking forward to reading the prequel to this book, The Pox Ward.

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Exiled South by Harriet Cannon – Review by Jessica Heatherly

Exiled SouthExiled South by Harriet Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Exiled South is such a refreshing read and different from any book I’ve read. The lengths Lizbeth goes to to find out more about her family tree is truly astounding. The sudden death of her husband turns her world completely upside down but allows her the opportunity to research more into her past. Even her short-term trip to South America answers questions she’s had her entire life. The author does an amazing job painting the landscape of each scene in this novel, it’s as if I was standing next to Lizbeth watching her journey as she made it.

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