Thursday, July 14, 2016

Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?"

My Thoughts:

This is seriously one of my very favorite cozy mystery series, and I've been waiting impatiently to read this book for a very long time.  Even when I got an early copy I forced myself to wait until closer to the release date because I knew that I would be left wishing for the next book after I finished.  Which is exactly what happened and now I'm going to have to try (try being the key word here) and patiently wait for book five.  I love many things about this series but one of my very favorite things about it is all of the characters.  This series features such a great cast of characters, and I love that we as the readers are getting to know them more and more as we get further in.  I'm not even sure if I read these books for the mystery so much as I read it for the characters.  The author has just brought these characters to life for me.  It almost makes me feel like I could go visit this perfect little town myself.

Although I fully admit that I love the characters the most about these books there are other elements that I love as well.  Namely all of the delicious food descriptions that the author shares throughout the story.  My family knows by now that my cooking skills are iffy at best but it doesn't stop me from wishing that I could cook like Jules.  These books make me seriously hungry and I'm always tempted to try some of the recipes that are included at the end.  The mystery story line in this book was done quite well also although to be honest that was the part I cared about the least.  I was more worried about what was going to happen with Jules especially with her estranged husband Carlos leaving to go back to the ship he works on.  I'm not a huge fan of his (I like Thomas her old boyfriend more) but I knew that this book might change things with their relationship which left me eager to see what was going to happen.  Slight spoiler here but nothing was fully resolved which is why I am really anxious to read the next book in this series.  I love how there aren't easy answers given in terms to her relationship with Carlos.  It just feels more like real life and I appreciate that.  The ending of this book wrapped everything up quite nicely and left me satisfied.  I'm always left wishing for more after these books but isn't that what always happens with a series that you love?

Overall, I loved this book just as I have loved every book in this series.  I really can't recommend them enough but especially to cozy mystery fans.  This is a series that should be read in order just so that you can get the full feel for all of these characters.  Each book could be read alone but I really think the overall experience would be improved if you read them in order.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  I can't say enough good things about this series or this book!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley as part of a CBB book tour.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Reckless Promise by Kasey Michaels (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It's the kind of vow often made on the battlefield. Darby Travers, Viscount Nailbourne, never imagines he'll have to honor it. Yet here she is on his doorstep—his late comrade's young daughter, and Darby's new ward. Worse, she comes with the most overprotective, mistrustful, bothersome chaperone—the child's aunt, Sadie Grace Boxer. Darby is quite sure that behind her lovely facade, the woman is guarding a secret.

Sadie Grace faced many trials working in her brother's surgery, but none prepared her for the world she's thrust into with his passing. Navigating the ton, with its endless ball gowns and parade of parties, is difficult enough, but hiding the truth about her niece while the sophisticated viscount watches her every move proves nearly impossible—particularly when his searing gaze tempts her to bare all. But when her family's past catches up with her, she'll have to trust in Darby…no matter the cost to her heart."

My Thoughts:

This author is fast becoming one of my go to authors when it comes to an enjoyable and fun historical romance.  Earlier this year I read and adored A Scandalous Proposal so I couldn't turn down the opportunity to read another book in this series.  This book was just as great as the previous book and also just a plain good read!  There is just something about the way this author writes that makes me smile and enjoy my reading experience.  I found myself easily swept away by this book and I finished it in a matter of days.  Isn't it funny how there are just some authors that can do that with a book?  Where you find yourself reading as much as possible without concern for everything else that you "should" be doing?  My house definitely wasn't clean after finishing this book but it was completely worth it!  It is a shame that I just started reading this author earlier this year but at least I more books to look forward to.

One of the best things about this series in my opinion is the cast of supporting characters.  Don't get me wrong, I loved Sadie Grace and Darby but I also loved so many of the other characters as well.  Clarice and Rigby in particular are favorites of mine and I'm wondering if they were featured in the first book?  I'm not sure but I will definitely be finding out.  This wasn't your typical romance as it took awhile for the characters to figure out their full feelings towards one another.  I love romances where this happens.  There might be attraction or friendship but the actually falling in love with one another takes time.  I adored that we got to see characters from the previous book in this one as well.  I really adored the way that the author took multiple story lines in this book and we got to see each play out by the end.  I found myself most intrigued by the trouble that Clarice found herself in.  There were some tense moments where I wasn't sure how everything was going to work out or even if it would.  I also really was looking forward to Darby and Sadie's happy ever after.  They just fit together so perfectly so it was something that I couldn't help but love.

Overall, this book solidified my love for this author's books.  At this point my plan is to read anything and everything that this author has written starting with An Improper Arrangement which is the first book in this series.  I believe that I already have that one on my kindle so I won't be waiting long to read it!  Fans of historical romance should really check this book out.  I don't think that you need to read the books in order (I certainly didn't) but it might help when it comes to knowing the full stories of each of the characters.  With such a fun writing style and a story line that sweeps you away, why wouldn't you want to?

Bottom Line:  A new must read author for me in the historical romance genre!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley as part of a TLC book tour.