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#Review Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry #2) by Tonya Kappes

Published September 24, 2017 by Ashley Montgomery

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Southern Fried (Kenni Lowry #2) by Tonya Kappes
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Review Copy from: Amazon
Edition: B01N212SJ8
My Rating: ★★★★★

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In the South, it’s better when the food is fried and the secrets kept buried…

After the dead body of a beloved Cottonwood resident is found tangled up in an electric fence, Sheriff Kenni Lowry has a hunch that somethin’ ain’t right. Her investigation heats up with a fierce cook-off competition, a euchre game where the intel is sweeter than the brownies, and a decades old family recipe that may just be the proof in the pudding.

The icing on the cake: Kenni is fighting an attraction to her recently sworn-in deputy sheriff, and election season is hot on her tail. When the killer comes after who she holds most dear, even her poppa’s ghostly guidance might not be enough to keep her and her own out of the frying pan.

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For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

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My second visit to Cottonwood, Kentucky proved that although this town might be small, the characters are not. I last left Sheriff Kenni Lowry tying up loose ends to a connected murder and robbery, while things were heating up between her and a certain handsome city boy. Just when everyone thinks things are back to normal, one of the citizens is found dead in the greenhouse of another. Although the evidence is all laid out for her, Kenni feels it’s too big of a coincidence to be that cut and dry. As the investigation heats up, so do the citizens as they start to blame Kenni for the spike in crime.

Can I just say how much I love these characters? Poppa is such fun character and I love how he helps Kenni on the cases, just like she did as a little girl when he was Sheriff. Poppa has a different approach to things than Kenni and it proves to be very helpful during the investigation. And did I mention he’s a ghost? I still feel like Kenni has some growing to do, especially when it comes to her own personal life. I’m hoping this big time city boy is just what this small town girl needs. The romance seems to be heating up between Deputy Finn and Kenni and I can’t wait to read the next book to see if they finally get some alone time.

Tonya Kappes sure does know how to keep you on your toes. With one mystery intertwined into another, she keeps you guessing while twisting and turning until you’re dizzy. She also knows how to create a colorful cast that will have your sides hurting from laughter. These southern characters are sure to keep you in stitches.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries. I’d also recommend it to anyone who loves southern humor and likes a little paranormal in their books.

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#Review #Excerpt #Giveaway Truly, Madly Whiskey by Melissa Foster

Published April 21, 2017 by Ashley Montgomery

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Truly, Madly Whiskey by Melissa Foster
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC
My Rating: ★★★★

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A new sexy standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster.
Eight months is a long damn time to have the hots for a woman who keeps a guy at arm’s length. But Crystal Moon is no ordinary woman. She’s a sinfully sexy, sass-mouthed badass, and the subject of Bear Whiskey’s midnight fantasies. She’s also one of his closest friends.
Just when Crystal thinks she has her life under control, scorching-hot, possessive, aggressive, and fiercely loyal Bear pushes all her sexual buttons, relentless in his pursuit to make her his.
The more Bear pushes, the hotter their passion burns, unearthing memories for Crystal that are best kept buried. But there’s no stopping the collision of her past and present, catapulting the two lovers down an emotional and sexually charged road that has them questioning all they thought they knew about themselves.

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“Really, Bear. I can drop you at your place before I go to the fabric shop.” Crystal started the car, feeling more in control than she had inside the shop. She hated the way she’d frozen up when things had gotten hot between them. She wanted him. After putting herself through three years of therapy, dealing with not only the trauma of the attack, but the bullshit with her mother and the loss of her father, she was sure she could handle anything. She’d dated other guys since she’d left college without issue. Why did it have to be different with the only guy she wanted to be close to? It pissed her off that her past still owned a piece of her, and she needed to get over it before Bear got fed up and walked away for good.
“I have to go to the store anyway.” He flashed one of his smiles. “We might as well go together.”
“You need to go to the fabric store?” she said flatly, knowing he was bullshitting her. She realized her car smelled different, cleaner. The seats were shiny, the dashboard dust free. “Did you clean my car?”
“Detailed it,” he said casually, as if he did this type of thing every day. For all she knew, he did. “Changed your oil, topped off your fluids. You really need to do those things every three thousand miles.” He touched the doll hanging from her rear view mirror. “I dusted off this, too, even though I’m a little worried that it’s a voodoo doll.”
She wasn’t about to tell him it was a worry doll that she loved more than life itself.
“Bear.” She couldn’t suppress her smile about the voodoo doll as she drove toward the store. “You really need to stop acting like you have to take care of me. I appreciate you handling the inspection, which I’m paying you for, by the way. But you don’t have to do all these things for me. I already like who you are.” Even if I have a hard time showing it.
“I know you do,” he said, as cocky as ever.
Why is that such a turn-on?
“I didn’t do it to get your attention. Shit, six three, two thirty.” He flexed his biceps and winked. “You’re sitting next to Peaceful Harbor gold, baby. I’ve got your attention.”
She couldn’t suppress a laugh. “That you do, and probably half the women in this town.”
“Only half?”
He kept her laughing the whole way to the fabric store, and it was just what she needed. It really had been a long day. They’d hosted three parties, and one of the mothers was just about the most obnoxious woman on earth. She’d pushed her daughter toward pink frilly outfits for the first half hour, when all the little cutie had wanted was to dress up as a skateboard princess. Gemma realized Crystal was going to strangle the wench, and she’d calmly suggested the woman head down to Jazzy Joe’s for coffee. The rest of her day hadn’t been much better. Plus, she’d spent the morning overthinking everything about her relationship with Bear, which was probably why she’d freaked out when she’d really been dying to kiss him.
She parked in front of the fabric store. There were some things that just didn’t fit in the world as Crystal knew it, and Bear Whiskey clad in a tight black T-shirt that said Whiskey Bro’s across his massive chest, a pair of snug, low-slung black jeans, and leather boots strutting into Jennilyn’s Fabric was on the top of the list.
She pulled her list from her bag as his eyes coasted over the store. What was he thinking, coming with her? That was dedication she could not ignore. The epitome of commitment.
That is Bear.
My Bear?
She toyed with that as he draped his arm over her shoulder. She wondered what had taken him so long. She’d expected him to do it the second she’d stepped from the car, but he was probably in shock that they were actually going to a fabric store. She smiled to herself as he leaned closer and rubbed his nose along her cheek.
“Can I help you?” she asked with a laugh.
“You smell like jelly beans, and I happen to have a thing for sugary goodness.”
“You can’t seriously have that good a sense of smell.”
He pressed an unexpected, and deliciously warm, kiss to her cheek and reached into her purse, withdrawing a bag of jelly beans. “Hoarding? Or were we going to hide these later in your body and let me find them?” He moved his mouth beside her ear and whispered, “Blindfolded. With my hands tied behind my back.”
He nudged her deeper into the store. Holy crap. She’d stopped walking. Was she breathing? And was that a thing? Blindfolded? Hands tied behind his back? Oh, the control that would give her. She’d be at no risk of being overpowered. But would she want that much control? She imagined herself lying naked on her bed, watching as his greedy mouth moved over her breasts, down her belly, and she felt herself go damp.
No, no, no.
Ice cream. Ice baths. Cow poop!
Her body continued vibrating from the inside out. This was bad. Really, really bad. Like a virus she couldn’t shake. She needed an anti-Bear pill. Stat!

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Oh, Melissa Foster, you’ve done it again!! You’ve sucked me in and sent me on a roller coaster of emotions.

If you’ve read Foster’s other work, you’ll notice right away that this book is darker in style. The characters are rougher around the edges and the story is more somber.

Bear and Crystal are first introduced in Tru Blue. (Note: You don’t have to read Tru Blue first unless you want Tru and Gemma’s backstory.) Bear is instantly attracted to Crystal, but Crystal wants nothing to do with Bear…or does she?

Crystal is one of those characters that you like one minute and who can irritate you the next. She’s had a rough life and she doesn’t like getting close to people as she feels they only leave her or let her down in the end. This caused me to feel like she was playing with Bear’s emotions, wanting him one minute and pushing him away the next.

Bear, who has his fair share of pain in his life, must have the patience of Job. He wants Crystal the moment he first sets eyes on her, and is preparing to wait and do whatever it takes to have her. Although he’s known as a badass biker, he shows his softer side with Crystal. While I liked the more sensitive side of him, there are places in the story where I wish he’d shown more of his alpha side.

All in all this was an overall great read. While I had a few issues with the characters, the story line was awesome and the romance was HOT! I’m looking forward to read the next one to find out more about the rest of the Whiskey family.

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.

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#Review Engaged in Death (Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Stephanie Blackmoore

Published July 11, 2016 by Ashley Montgomery

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Engaged in Death (Wedding Planner Mystery #1) by Stephanie Blackmoore
Publication date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Review Copy from: Netgalley
Edition: ISBN13: 9781496704788
My Rating: ★★★

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All appears peaceful in sleepy Port Quincy, Pennsylvania–but in this small town, old grudges die hard. . .

After dumping her cheating fiancé and cancelling the wedding, Mallory Shepard can’t bear another disaster. So when the former bride-to-be unexpectedly inherits Thistle Park, a ramshackle mansion in her ex’s hometown of Port Quincy, it’s a problem she can’t afford–literally. Abound with stray cats, peeling wallpaper, and nosy neighbors, Mallory is dying to sell it off–once she finally fixes up both the place and her messy life. . .

Turns out, Thistle Park has its charms. But the honeymoon phase is abruptly cut short when an unwanted visitor is found dead on the front lawn. Enlisting the help of her sister Rachel, Mallory vows to unveil the killer before she herself becomes married to the suspect list. . .

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A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie now lives in Missouri with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney and a librarian before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of snow, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and the color yellow. She is hard at work on her next novel.

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I’ve been on a cozy kick lately and this one sounded too good to turn down.

Mallory’s life is right on track. She’s set to make partner at her law firm and she’s planning her dream wedding. Well, her monster…er…mother-in-law’s dream wedding I should say. That is until she receives a mysterious package in the mail that shows proof of her fiance’s infidelity. As if her life wasn’t in enough turmoil, she inherits a rundown mansion belonging to her ex’s grandmother, where an undesired visitor turns up dead in the front yard. Volunteering Rachel, her sister, to help her, Mallory must expose the killer before she becomes a suspect, or worse yet, a victim.

I wasn’t drawn in by any of the characters until Rachel entered the scene. I actually think Rachel was my favorite because she showed the most depth and growth. There’s a lot more to her than the rebellious brat Mallory thinks she is. Mallory was just a bit too uptight for me. She did loosen up more as the story progressed though. What to say about Keith, Mallory’s ex, other than he’s a cheating douchebag. Although his mother is a overbearing, conniving devil herself so I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. The one character that I wish we’d gotten to know more was Keith’s grandmother, Sylvia. I think she would’ve added a lot of zest to the story. We’re introduced to the other great characters and I look forward to getting to know more about them as the series goes on. Especially a handsome lawyer who seems just the person to take Mallory’s mind off everything that has took place.

The story was a bit slow going for me at first but when it did take off, it ran. I was so sure of who the killer was and was very surprised to be wrong. The author did a good job of adding lots of twists and other little mysteries in there throwing you off track. It actually didn’t click with me until the killer was revealed. It did make sense though after I went back and thought about everything. I also liked how the romance between Mallory and Garrett(remember that handsome lawyer I mentioned) is downplayed and I look forward to it (hopefully) developing over the rest of the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of cozy mysteries.

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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.