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Master Botosoni (Masters of the Consulate Book 9) by Sylvia Black – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Master Botosoni (Masters of the Consulate #9)Master Botosoni by Sylvia Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Master Botosoni is Book Nine in the Masters of the Consulate series. It is a dark vampire fated mates romance with action, suspense, mystery, intrigue, passion, danger, drama, tension, and emotion galore. This book is part of a series with some overlapping details and background information, so I do recommend reading the other books first. However, it can be read as a standalone because the story focuses on its own two main characters and is told from each of their POV. This book is the story of Master Botosoni, a vampire with a thirst for blood, and Catalina, a down-on-her-luck psychic. Master Botosoni will do anything to stop the rogue vampires and as fate would have it Catalina is the one who can lead him to them. Their romance is forbidden but the chemistry between them is off the charts and undeniable. Will Catalina choose Master Botosoni and immortality in the name of love? A great read with high stakes, vampires, witches, shifters, pure bloods, magic, and a feud that has been going on for centuries. The vivid scene descriptions and wonderful characters fully immerse you in the story and keep you hooked until the final pages. Bring on the next book!

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House Valdis Origins: Xenobia (House Valdis Series) by Naomi Valkyrie – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

House Valdis Origins: Xenobia (House Valdis, #0.5)House Valdis Origins: Xenobia by Naomi Valkyrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

House Valdis Origins: Xenobia is the prequel to the House of Valdis series. It is a quick read but packed with action, danger, suspense, emotions, and tension. The book gives Xenobia’s backstory and explains where she came from, the abuse her and her friend Urd endured, and the trauma they suffered. Xen is a strong character that I instantly felt my heart go out to for the life she had led, and all the horrors inflicted on her. Despite all that she persevered and never gave up hope. Xenobia is strong, resilient, smart, feisty, and determined. A great read with a riveting and heart-wrenching story that hooked me immediately and was impossible to put down. I look forward to the next book in this series!

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Cray Saves the Day (The Adventures of Cray Series) by G Pa Rhymes – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Cray Saves the Day (The Adventures of Cray on the Bay)Cray Saves the Day by G. Pa Rhymes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cray Saves the Day is Book Two in The Adventures of Cray Series. It is a children’s book told in rhymes that follows the adventures of Cray the Crab and his friends. The newest adventure has Cray, Ray the Seagull, Fay the turtle, mermaid Queen Mer May, and Hay the fox cleaning up the beach. Garbage is everywhere after the human’s have spent the day at the beach, so the group of friends work together as a team and pitch in to clean up the litter from the beach. This book teaches children the importance of kindness, friendship, teamwork, and the importance of being environmentally friendly. The illustrations are bright, beautiful, and really bring the story to life. A beautiful and whimsical read containing valuable lessons for both children and adults.

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Delayed Redemption (The DAG Team Series) by Kel O’Connor – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Delayed Redemption: DAG Team Series: Book 3 of 4 Special Ops Romantic SuspenseDelayed Redemption: DAG Team Series: Book 3 of 4 Special Ops Romantic Suspense by Kel O’Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Delayed Redemption is Book Three in the DAG Team Series. It is a romantic suspense with drama, danger, action, suspense, tension, mystery, angst, romance, chemistry, secrets, the mafia, and Special Ops. The story centers around the characters of Janey and Mateo who are thrust together by fate and circumstances. Janey has worked hard to overcome more than her fair share of tragedy, abuse, and trauma. Leaving everything behind she went to college in pursuit of fulfilling her dreams. When she gets kidnapped and thrust into danger there is only one person who may be able to help her. Mateo is attempting to free himself from the life of crime and turn his life around but to do he must perform one last job for his drug lord boss. When his latest job involves an old childhood friend named Janey, he is forced to confront his past and make decisions for his future. Can that future involve Janey? Can he save her from the danger that lurks around them? Will Janey be able to love Mateo for the kind man he is under that gruff exterior? I loved the character of Janey because she was strong, determined, kind, and smart. She overcame numerous obstacles and never gave up which I found admirable. Mateo was tough, street smart, and led a life of crime but deep down was kind, loving, and cared for Janey. A great read full of twists and turns that will keep you riveted until the final pages.

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Savage Lies (Hidden Valley Elite Book 1) by Isla Vaughn – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Savage Lies (Hidden Valley Elite #1)Savage Lies by Isla Vaughn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Savage Lies is Book One in the Hidden Valley Elite Series. It is a high school bully, enemies to lover’s romance with angst, drama, passion, tension, and secrets. This book continues from the prequel, Savage Start, which gives the backstory of Riley and Shane’s first encounter and how they first met. Riley is used to being on the run with her mom and never living in any one place for too long. So, imagine her surprise when they move back to a place, they lived only a brief time before. Riley’s mom is insistent that they are starting over and that they will be putting down roots this time. Riley is now having to start over again at a new school, which she has done dozens of times before, but this time is different. This new school is for the wealthy, the privileged, the elite. Worst of all, this school puts Riley face to face with Cole who is determined to make Riley’s life as miserable as possible. Riley and Cole clash, and neither are willing to back down. Cole comes off as a complete jerk, but Riley stands her ground and proves to be tougher skinned than Cole anticipated. The chemistry between the two is off the charts which farther complicates matters. The cliffhanger at the end has me anxious to read the next book.

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Divinely Dramatic (Divine Vintage Series) by Sandra L. Young – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Divinely Dramatic (Divine Vintage)Divinely Dramatic by Sandra L. Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Divinely Dramatic is the second book in the Divine Vintage Series. It is a cozy mystery with paranormal elements, drama, suspense, mystery, intrigue, vintage clothing, and romance. I was so excited to read this book after having read book one, Divine Vintage, and I was not disappointed. This time around we follow the (mis)adventures of Marcy as she reluctantly agrees to lend a hand as a costumer to a local theatre group. Things start off on the wrong foot for her immediately with the Play Director, Mike, as she inadvertently seems to have gotten on his bad side without even trying. As if that is not bad enough, Marcy finds herself confronted with a glowing white orb in the loft of the theatre where the costumes are stored. She is unnerved and spooked by the white light but finds herself wanting to know more about it, so she enlists the help of her friend Tess. Although Marcy has become more in tune with her abilities to see a person’s aura, it is Tess that can connect with the spirit world through vintage clothing. Together, Marcy and Tess begin to unlock the secrets of a gruesome death that took place in the theatre in 1966. I loved the characters in this story, especially Marcy with her eclectic clothing style and easy-going attitude. Although she was fun-loving, she also had a firecracker spirit that she revealed when someone, such as Mike, pushed her buttons. I loved that Tess could sense spirits and see visions through the touch of vintage clothing and thought it was a unique and special gift to have. I cannot wait for the next book!

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Fade into the Night (Philly Heat Series) by Becky Flade – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Fade Into the Night (Philly Heat series, #5)Fade Into the Night by Becky Flade
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fade Into the Night is Book Five in the Philly Night series and could be read as a standalone, however I do recommend reading previous books in the series. Not only are there some overlapping characters, but the rest of the series is amazing. The story centers around the characters of Noah and Sadie and is told from each of their POV which enables us to experience their respective thoughts and feelings. Noah is an FBI Special Agent who has come to Philadelphia in pursuit of the Beltway Romeo where he unexpectedly runs into Sadie, a Forensic Facial Reconstructionist, at a local coffee shop. The two had a brief fling years ago after the sentencing of Sadie’s mother’s murderer and never expected to see one another again. Since their brief fling each has thought of the other constantly so seeing each other rekindles old feelings and reignites the passion between them. When Sadie is attacked by the Beltway Romeo Noah is determined to protect her at all costs and bring the killer to justice. Danger lurks at every corner for them both as the Beltway Romeo is determined to finish what he started. The author does a great job of weaving a story full of drama, suspense, mystery, intrigue, action, and danger. The suspense is palpable and hooks you from the first few pages leaving you on the edge of your seat as you wonder when and where the psychotic killer will strike next. The characters are complex, well written and relatable. It is easy to become invested in their lives and their story. I highly recommend this book!

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Sasha Smart by Shermaine Perry-Knights – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Sasha Smart: Short Stories for GirlsSasha Smart: Short Stories for Girls by Shermaine Perry-Knights
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sasha Smart: Short Stories for Girls is a collection of short stories for girls from the ages of eight to twelve years of age. Each story centers around a young girl named Sasha as she navigates her way through life and tries to overcome things like peer pressure, bullying, and low self esteem. The stories are empowering and encourage young girls to learn self acceptance, overcoming obstacles, standing up for oneself as well as others, and positivity. The messages contained within this collection are great for both boys and girls, and young and old alike. The illustrations throughout the book are bright, colorful and really bring the stories to life. I highly recommend this book for all ages!

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Nessie and the Viking Gold (Nessie’s Grotto) by Lois Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Nessie and the Viking Gold (Nessie's Grotto)Nessie and the Viking Gold by Lois June Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nessie and the Viking Gold is a children’s chapter book for kids between the ages of 7-12 years of age. It is Book Two in the Nessie’s Grotto Series and continues with the adventures of Craig and Linda who have returned to Loch Ness. On their last visit Craig took some Viking gold coins that could be either blessed or cursed and might possibly be the only way to return to Nessie’s Grotto. Nessie shows Craig and Linda the damage being done to her Grotto and how her children are in danger. Now the children must try to find a way to stop a concert about to be held by a popular singer at Urquhart Castle before it destroys Nessie’s Grotto. The children are in for an adventure full of fun, action, magic, Vikings, Mermaids, and magic. Along the way they will forge friendships and learn about making decisions. A fun read with beautiful illustrations that really bring the story to life.

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Relic Hunters: Betrayal of the Gods (Relic Hunters Series) by Martin Ferguson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Betrayal of the Gods (Relic Hunters Book 5)Betrayal of the Gods by Martin Ferguson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Betrayal of the Gods is Book Five in the Relic Hunters Series. It is a YA adventure with drama, action, mystery, intrigue, and danger. The story is superbly written and full of historical detail, Greek mythology and folklore. Brothers Matt and Adam must race against time to try to solve the mystery around what happened to their father. In this adventure the brothers find themselves without the help of their team and aided only by their wit and skills to solve the mystery. A fast-paced story with twists and turns that will keep you riveted and have you reading until the final pages. I highly recommend this book and this series!

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Portrait of Deception (A Southwest Suspense Novel) by Kathryn Dodson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Portrait of Deception (A Southwest Suspense Novel)Portrait of Deception by Kathryn Dodson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Portrait of Deception is a fast paced, action packed, suspense filled thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages. The story centers around the character of a photographer named Margo who has been nominated for a prestigious award. If she wins the coveted Butler Prize it will not only help her financially but most of all it will open numerous doors for her and launch her career as a professional photographer. On the day of the award ceremony, Margo awakens in her motel room and discovers that it has been trashed and she must pay the hotel $46,000 in damages. Margo has no recollection of the night before because she blacked out. She was on her way back to her room with a fellow photographer who was also nominated for the prize and vaguely recalls seeing glimpses of faces of people she did not recognize. The rest of the night is a blank and she feels that she must have been drugged. Margo not only has to pay the hotel damages, but the Butler Prize Committee found out about damages to her room, and she is taken out of the running for the prize. Margo is horrified, shocked, and saddened that she now has this reputation and must find a way to salvage what is left of both her career and her reputation. She has no other option but to accept an offer put forth by a tyrannical and sleazy foreign politician to visit his castle and take his portrait for the sum of $100,000. Once there, things take a dark turn for Margo, and she must fight to save her life.

This was a gripping story with an intriguing storyline, well developed characters, and twists and turns that fully immerse you into the story. I immediately felt a connection to Margo because she is smart, feisty, determined, and courageous. As a photographer myself, I loved that she is a photographer and was really drawn into the scenes through the author’s vivid descriptions. I found myself wanting to stand alongside Margo and photograph the magic and beauty of the setting sun in the park, the old part of the city, and the graffiti. I must add that I loved the cover for this book! It captured my attention and had me picking up the book to read and I am so glad that I did.

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Savage Start: A High School Bully Romance Prequel (Hidden Valley Elite Series) by Isla Vaughn – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Savage Start (Hidden Valley Elite #0.5)Savage Start by Isla Vaughn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Savage Start is the prequel to the books Savage Lies and Savage Truth in the Hidden Valley Elite Series. It is an enemies-to-lovers, new adult, high school bully romance with drama, mystery, angst, and toxic family environments. As the prequel to the series, it is best to read the remainder of the series to have a full understanding of the characters and their continuing stories. This book introduces the reader to Riley and Cole and explains how they first met. Riley is an interesting character that I felt empathetic towards because of her upbringing. Her entire life has been spent planning the next con with her mom as they move from place to place. Riley and her mom constantly look over their shoulders anticipating the moment when they will be caught. Cole is a character that might look tough on the exterior and comes across as just another spoiled rich kid however, deep down he has a big heart. He comes from a toxic family environment where his parents are constantly fighting, and his dad is cheating on his mom. Cole’s mom suffers from depression, and it is up to Cole to be there for her when she has breakdowns. Riley and Cole meet momentarily at a party and share a passionate kiss that leaves Riley wanting more. A great read with some intense moments that took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and left me reaching for the box of Kleenex.

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The Round Box (Grandma’s Closet) by Lois Wickstrom – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

The Round BoxThe Round Box by Lois Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Round Box is Book Two in the Grandma’s Closet Series. It is a children’s picture book full of fun, whimsy, magic, and adventure. The beautiful illustrations are bright, colorful, and really bring the story to life. The story centers around a young girl named Carrie who is bored and seeking something fun to do. She remembers boxes in her grandma’s closet and goes to look because they are always interesting. When she finds a round box named the Fascinator, she opens it up and discovers a boat inside. When Carrie looks more closely at the boat, she discovers it is a hat and decides to wear it. Suddenly, Carrie feels like she is on a boat, and everything looks different. I loved how the act of putting on one hat changed Carrie’s entire outlook and made everything around her seem magical and fun. A great read for kids to learn how to use their imagination and think creatively.

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The Marcy Series Box Set: Books 1-3 by Linda J. Burson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

The Marcy Series Box Set: Books 1-3The Marcy Series Box Set: Books 1-3 by Linda Burson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Marcy Series Boxed Set contains the first three books in The Marcy Series entitled Rage; Confusion; and Agony and Ecstasy. The stories center around the main character of Marcy as she attempts to navigate the emotions she is experiencing at different times in her life. In the first book entitled Rage, Marcy is experiencing anger issues that over time become so intense they almost consume her. She is also having terrible nightmares that are affecting her sleep and keeping her awake. When she is witness to a robbery and takes down the armed robber during a fit of rage, she meets Liam who asks for her help in his mission. In Book Two, Confusion, Marcy finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with Brad and Liam. All three have their own issues to work through but Marcy’s issues are a bit more complicated and not so easy to solve. Marcy wants to move forward in her life and heal from the hurts of her past but that may be impossible. In the third book entitled, Agony and Ecstasy, Marcy endures a lot of pain and suffering that puts her strength to the test. This one is a bit of a heavier read that will surely have the reader experiencing the intense emotions alongside Marcy. This series had anger, love, drama, angst, drama, passion, action, mystery, suspense, hurt, secrets, and twists and turns that will keep you hooked until the end. I enjoyed watched the characters grow and evolve throughout the series and became heavily invested in Marcy’s story.

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The Human Mating Site, Box Set 1 (The Human Mating Site Series) by B.L. Wilde – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

The Human Mating Site Box Set 1 : A Steamy, Dating Humour Novella's 1-4The Human Mating Site Box Set 1 : A Steamy, Dating Humour Novella’s 1-4 by B.L. Wilde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Human Mating Site Boxed Set 1 contains the 4 novellas Mr. Wimp, Mr. Smooth, Mr. Player, and Mr. Kinky. The stories all center around the main character of Bella who is on the hunt for Mr. Right after a recent divorce. She is determined to live life to the fullest and find herself again after being married for twelve years to a man who took her for granted, overlooked her needs, and cheated on her. Bella is determined to put some spice into her life and turns the dating game into a bit of an adventure as she plays the field a bit and delves into the world of online dating. Along the way she meets several men who offer different experiences that help her determine what she does and does not enjoy in a relationship. I loved the character of Bella who is feisty, strong, fearless, funny, quick witted, and determined. This book had love, loss, laughter, friendship, romance, witty banter, sexy men, and steamy passion. I look forward to reading more about Bella’s adventures in the world of dating.

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Elusive Surrender (Sinful Duets Book 3) by Via Mari – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/200786125-elusive-surrender” style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”>Elusive Surrender (Sinful Duets #3)Elusive Surrender by Via Mari
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elusive Surrender is Book Three in the Sinful Duets Series. The set contains the story Elusive as well as the story Tenacious. It is a romantic suspense with action, danger, mystery, intrigue, suspense, crime, chemistry, passion, and romance. The first story centers around the characters of Sheldon and Alexis. Sheldon is a bodyguard for a prestigious mafia family. When he makes a stop at a local coffee shop with his fellow bodyguards, he finds himself jumping to the aid of a beautiful woman. Alexis is a hairdresser from a salon down the street from the coffee shop. When she drops her business card on the floor, a creepy customer picks it up and tries hitting on her. Sheldon happens to be walking by and immediately jumps in to save Alexis and chases the creep out of the coffee shop. Both Sheldon and Alexis feel an instant attraction to one another. When Alexis becomes the target of a sex trafficker Sheldon is determined to protect her at all costs. A game of cat and mouse ensues as the sex trafficker is also determined to have Alexis at any cost. The second story centers around the characters of Nick and Allie. Nick will do anything to protect Allie from those that seek to harm her. Although the two are attracted to one another Allie is hesitant to let anyone get close to her because of being hurt in the past. Nick is determined to prove to her how much he cares for her and that he will never hurt her. Two exquisitely written stories with characters that draw you into their lives and hearts. Strong female leads who you root for, strong men with a soft side that ooze sex appeal, and evil sex traffickers that you hope get what they deserve. The author has a superb writing style with an attention to detail that brings the story to life.

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Auctioned Surrender (Sinful Duets Book 2) by Via Mari – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Auctioned Surrender (Sinful Duets #2)Auctioned Surrender by Via Mari
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Auctioned Surrender is the Second Book in the Sinful Duets Series. The duet in this book includes Auctioned and Relentless. It is a romantic suspense with mystery, danger, drama, intrigue, action, secrets, lies, chemistry, and passion. The first story is about Bryanna and Damian. Bryanna is the niece of a wealthy socialite who has been drawn into the seedy world of sex trafficking. She is brave, strong, smart, and feisty. Damian is a member of the Billionaire Bodyguards and has been hired to find Bryanna. He is strong, brave, sexy, and determined to save Bryanna at all costs. The two have an undeniable attraction and explosive chemistry. The second story is about Layla, an exotic dancer, and Dereck, an elite bodyguard. Dereck is trying to find out information about the sex trafficking ring from Layla, and she is trying to find out who killed her cousin and took her sister. Dereck vows to keep Layla safe at all costs but Layla has some closely guarded secrets that she cannot disclose. The attraction and chemistry between them are sizzling and undeniable. Great stories with strong, sassy, loving, and protective, characters.

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The Cannibal Caper (Sparky of Bunker Hill Mystery Series) by Rosalind Barden – Review by Tatra Johnson Barnes

The Cannibal Caper: A Sparky of Bunker Hill MysteryThe Cannibal Caper: A Sparky of Bunker Hill Mystery by Rosalind Barden

The Cannibal Caper is Book Two in the Sparky of Bunker Hill Mystery Series. It is a historical cozy mystery set in 1932 that centers around a precocious, street smart, eleven-year-old orphan named Sparky. She is smart, feisty, and a bit of an amateur sleuth with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In her latest adventure Sparky finds herself trying to solve the mystery of missing jewels and a gourmet cannibal. The list of suspects is complex and even those closest to Sparky could be guilty. Sparky is witty, determined, and has a feisty attitude that matches her bright red hair. The author does a great job pulling the reader into the story with detailed writing, rich, historical details, and quirky characters. This book had mystery intrigue, humour, witty banter, crime, action, adventure, and a bit of mayhem. Loving this series!

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Whispered Surrender (Sinful Duets Book 1) by Via Mari – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Whispered Surrender (Sinful Duets #1)Whispered Surrender by Via Mari
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whispered Surrender is Book One in the Sinful Duets Series. This is a collection of previous books by this author called Wayward and Undercover. It is a dark mafia romance with action, suspense, danger, drama, secrets, sizzling chemistry, and intense passion. The first story is about the characters Sasha and Jay. Sasha is a ballerina with low self esteem and trust issues due to being used and discarded by men. Jay is a bodyguard who is strong, smart, and has watched Sasha from afar. He will do anything to keep his beloved angel, as he calls her, safe from one of the numerous powerful enemies that are after them. Sasha struggles to believe that Jay could care for her but the attraction between them is undeniable. Can the two have a relationship through the danger and chaos? Both stories overlap and intertwine as Jay is looking for his friend Matt. The second story is about Matt and Merenah. Matt is undercover trying to gather intel on the mafia. When he is captured by the Russian mafia it is up to Jay to try to save him. While undercover he falls in love with Sasha’s sister, who is a mafia princess. He immediately is beguiled by her beauty and falls in love with her. Matt and Merenah both carry deep, dark secrets so this makes them wary of letting their guards down with one another. They are attracted to one another, but can they find love through the secrets and learn to trust one another? Great stories with strong, smart, powerful characters.

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Master of the Abyss (Painted Souls Series Book 3) by Rob Samborn – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Master of the Abyss (Painted Souls, #3)Master of the Abyss by Rob Samborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Master of the Abyss is the third and final book to the Painted Souls Series. It is a spine-tingling, high stakes, twisted, historical thriller. If you have not yet read the first two books in the series, I highly recommend that you do, or you may feel lost. The first two novels give backstory and important details that are imperative to getting the full experience of this amazing series. In the gripping finale to the series, Julia must try to save her husband from eternal purgatory. In her quest to save him she finds herself trying to save the world from a religious fanatic. The author weaves an intricate, multi layered story full of rich historical details. This book was riveting from the first few pages and full of action, suspense, drama, mystery, intrigue, and twists and turns. I highly recommend this book, and this series!

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Motherland (The Tom Grant Series Book 3) by Samantha Adair – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Motherland (Tom Grant #3)Motherland by Samantha Adair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Motherland is Book Three in the Tom Grant Series. It is a crime thriller with drama, suspense, action, mystery, intrigue, and danger. The story centers around the characters of Tom and Isabella who have been reunited after having not seen each other for six months. Isabella must return to Russia, even though it is dangerous for her so Tom accompanies her on the trip. The ensuing adventure is fraught with danger as they tangle with a dangerous killer and put their lives at risk. Tom may have bitten off more than he can chew but failure is not an option. An action-packed read that will keep you riveted until the end.

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Lost Property (The Tom Grant Series Book 6) by Samantha Adair – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Lost Property: A Tom Grant Novel (The Tom Grant Series Book 6)Lost Property: A Tom Grant Novel by Samantha Adair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lost Property is Book Six in the Tom Grant Series. It is a suspense thriller with drama, action, mystery, intrigue, and danger. The story centers around the character of Tom who has been reluctantly thrown into finding a witness that is vital to aiding in bringing down a human trafficking ring. The ensuing investigation gets deadly and takes some twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are complex, dynamic, and multi-faceted which adds an extra layer to the story. I look forward to reading more by this author.

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Nessie and the Living Stone (Nessie’s Grotto) by Lois Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Nessie and the Living Stone (Nessie's Grotto)Nessie and the Living Stone by Lois June Wickstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nessie and the Living Stone is Book One in the Nessie’s Grotto Series. It is a children’s chapter storybook with beautiful illustrations that really bring the story to life. The story centers around the character of a ten-year-old boy named Craig and his little sister Linda who are on holidays at Loch Ness. Craig wants to find Nessie and capture her. He gets his chance when he discovers a glowing blue stone that seems to have magical powers that allow him and his sister to breathe underwater. Nessie takes Craig and Linda to her secret grotto where they discover a mermaid, gold coins, pirates, and magical flowers. When Nessie’s Grotto is at risk of being invaded by humans, and Nessie is at risk of being captured, Craig must make an important decision. Through his adventure Craig learns valuable lessons about love, the importance of family, friendship, loyalty, and selflessness. My favorite line from the book sums it up best, “It’s what we give, not what we take, that makes us heroes or monsters.” An engaging read that will captivate readers of all ages. Looking forward to reading book two in this series!

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Mission Improbable: Vietnam (A Blanche Murninghan Mystery) by Nancy Nau Sullivan – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Mission Improbable:Vietnam (A Blanche Murninghan Mystery)Mission Improbable:Vietnam by Nancy Nau Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mission Improbable: Vietnam is part of the Blanche Murninghan Mystery Series. It is a historical cozy mystery that takes place in the year 2003, 30 years after the Vietnam War. The story follows the adventures of an amateur sleuth named Blanche who has gained a reputation for being determined to solve a good mystery. In her newest adventure she has been asked to travel to Vietnam to help a woman named Jean find her mother. As the two women spend time together, they discover they have a lot in common as they bond while navigating through the mystery surrounding each of their painful pasts. The author takes the reader on an emotional journey of self-discovery as both women try to seek answers and find closure. The characters of Blanche and Jean are relatable and the qualities of each are admirable. Both are strong, smart, determined, and driven to find answers. The attention to historic details fully immerses you into the story and makes you feel as though you are there. A great read with mystery, intrigue, secrets, adventure, family, and friendship.

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Tropic Heat (Flamingo Island Series) by C.A. King – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Tropic HeatTropic Heat by C.A. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tropic Heat is part of the Flamingo Island Series. It is a romantic comedy with love, loss, romance, humor, witty banter, hijinks, and chemistry. The story centers around the main character of Daniel who was left at the alter by his fiancée, Claire. He feels embarrassed that his family and friends have seen him jilted by the love of his life. Thankfully, he has his best friend Joey who suggests that the two of them take the honeymoon together and not waste the non-refundable tickets. Joey tells Daniel that the best way to leave behind the stress and embarrassment is to go and party, find some girls, and have fun. After drinking too much Daniel ends up in a one-night stand with a girl he meets named Sara. Sara is there to enjoy herself and is ready for change in her life. What neither Daniel nor Sara expect is to find their one-night stand turn into something more. A great read about fate and finding love at the most unexpected time. Love the characters and found my heart going out to Daniel for being left at the alter by the love of his life. I was hoping that he would find happiness and was pleased that he met Sara because she seemed like the perfect match for him. Love this author’s writing style and the humor throughout the book.

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The Cold Kid Case (Sparky of Bunker Hill Mystery Series) by Rosalind Barden – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

The Cold Kid Case: A Sparky of Bunker Hill MysteryThe Cold Kid Case: A Sparky of Bunker Hill Mystery by Rosalind Barden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cold Kid Case is Book One in the Sparky of Bunker Hill Series. It is a historical cozy mystery with drama, suspense, intrigue, murder, mayhem, and paranormal elements. The storyline is set in the 1930’s and centers around an eleven-year-old street-smart girl who stumbles onto the body of a deceased young girl. Afterwards she is accused of being responsible for the girl’s death and finds herself on the lam as suspect number one. Sparky soon discovers who her true friends are as even those closest to her seem to want to turn their backs on her and turn her into the police. This was an entertaining read with a great storyline and vivid scene descriptions. The author takes the reader into the 1930’s through her attention to historical details, language, and norms of that era. Sparky was an instantly lovable character with her precocious attitude, wit, sense of humor, and street smarts. I look forward to reading book number two in this series!

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Dreamscape (J.J. Morris Mysteries) by J.N. Sheats – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

DreamscapeDreamscape by J.N. Sheats
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dreamscape is Book Two in the JJ Morris Mystery Series. If you have not yet read the first book in the series, I recommend that you do because it will provide details on Joey’s backstory. This is a YA story with mystery, danger, action, suspense, paranormal, and intrigue. Joey is now in college and attempting to be a normal college student. However, that proves to be exceedingly difficult after being introduced to the paranormal world and a horde of black dogs. Joey finds sleep to be difficult due to the vivid dreams that she has, especially as the dreams become more intense and violent under the control of the Dream Conductor. Then there is the black cat that keeps appearing in her room and Joey cannot figure out how the cat keeps getting in or why it insists on keeping her sleep deprived. When weird little fires start popping up all over campus, people start to disappear, and weird things start to happen things become sinister. Joey is already struggling to be the perfect student and maintain perfect grades, but the strange and sinister happenings cause even more of a distraction. Around every corner, behind every door, and inside every person she meets could be something paranormal. A fantastic read with great world building, vivid scene descriptions, and fantastic characters that fully immerse you into the story from the start. Looking forward to the next book in this fantastic series!

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The Alien & the Crime Boss by Naomi Valkyrie – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

The Alien & the Crime BossThe Alien & the Crime Boss by Naomi Valkyrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Alien and the Crime Boss is a sci fi MM romance with action, danger, intrigue, suspense, and aliens. The story centers around the characters of Kasper and Leilphun. Kasper is an aspiring crime boss who is planning on a takeover by weakening the two major crime families. Leilphun is an alien who has transformed himself into human form and fled to Earth. When he wakes up and finds himself held captive by Kasper, he senses that Kasper will not harm him. As enemies approach and put Kasper’s life in danger Leilphun risks his own life to save him. The chemistry and attraction between the two is undeniable but Leilphun is uncertain if Kasper is only using him to rise to the top of the crime world or if he really cares for him. A great read by this talented author who never fails to deliver a well-crafted story with vivid scene descriptions and wonderful characters.

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Orenda (The Latitude Series) by T.S. Simons – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Orenda (The Latitude)Orenda by T.S. Simons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Orenda is Book Two in The Latitude Series. It is a dystopian romance with action, suspense, drama, intrigue, tension, family, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. The book centers around the characters of Gio and Caitlin who have become ambassadors for the ACC in Canada. Their efforts to promote peace and harmony are short lived as an old enemy resurfaces and puts all their work into danger. I loved the writing style and the focus on the First Nations Iroquois belief that all people and natural objects possess a mystical energy. The concept is fascinating and thought provoking. The characters take us on an emotional rollercoaster as we learn about their hopes and dreams, their struggles, and their challenges along the way. The scenes were vividly written and fully immerse you into the story along with the characters.

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Lost and Found (Logan McKenna Mystery Book 9) by Valerie Davisson – Review by Tara Johnson Barnes

Lost and Found: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 9 (Logan McKenna Series)Lost and Found: A Logan McKenna Mystery Book 9 by Valerie Davisson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lost and Found is Book Nine in the Logan McKenna Mystery Series. It is a crime thriller with action, suspense, mystery, intrigue, murder, danger, lies, and drama. Logan is on another adventure that takes her into the world of commercial crabbing. When a dead body turns up Logan sets out to find out what happened. As she delves into the murder she discovers a tangled web of secrets, lies and deceit that slowly turns deadly. I love the character of Logan because she is smart, feisty, determined, and courageous. When the stakes get high, she delves in deeper and does not give up. The book takes some twists and turns that make it impossible to put down. Another great book in this series that kept me reading until the end to find out what happened next.

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