Counter Attack (Pearl River #1) by Patricia Bradley | Romantic Suspense Review

Counter Attack (Pearl River #1) by Patricia Bradley

Counter Attack
Pearl River #1
Romantic Suspense

Her next move just might be her last

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim chief deputy for Russell County, Tennessee, than a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again--this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex's real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.

Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promise he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it's too late?

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

I am not a chess player but I was intrigued by this new series from Patricia Bradley. I was left guessing the next move up until the very end. If this first installment is any indication, this is going to be a riveting series.

The main character is Alexis Stone. She grew up Pearl Springs where her beloved grandfather is the chief deputy of the Sheriff's department. Alexis' aspirations center on climbing the ladder at the Chattanooga police department. But through a series of events she finds herself temporarily taking her grandfather's place in Pearl Springs.

Pearl Springs is supposed to be a sleepy little community but a serial killer that has been dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer has begun to prey upon the town. This puts Alexis and Nathan Landry, Pearl Springs Chief of Police, on high alert. Do they have what it takes to match wits with this serial killer?

I enjoyed all the maneuvering and plot twists that this story had. Patricia Bradley is on top of her game with this one. I had suspicions about several of the characters but truthfully I was stumped as to who the serial killer was until right before it was revealed. It is very well written and if you enjoy romantic suspense I think you'll be pleased with this book. 

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Patricia Bradley


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.

The Cairo Curse (Freddie and Grace Mysteries #2) by Pepper Basham | Historical Fiction Review

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

The Cairo Curse
Freddie and Grace Mystery #2
Historical Fiction

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?

The Cairo’s Curse is a delightful sequel to The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham in the Freddie and Grace Mystery series.

My Thoughts

Isn't it such a thrill when book two is every bit as good as book one? I read The Mistletoe Countess last year and fell in love with the delightful characters. I couldn't wait to dig into the second episode of this couple's saga. 

The story picks up a bit after book one leaves off. The couple has had a delayed honeymoon and to make up for that Freddie has a surprise trip to Egypt planned for Grace. Of course Grace is delighted, I mean who wouldn't be . . . camels and pyramids! 

What unfolds is anything but a typical honeymoon. Adventure, mystery, and mayhem ensues because of course Grace is involved. While the storyline is mainly about Grace and Freddie, we also get a new look at Elliott, Freddie's valet and Grace's often unwitting accomplice. He's such an interesting character.

Speaking of characters, we get to meet a whole new batch. Wait until you experience Zahra, Amelia, and a whole host of others. Some are upstanding. Some appear to be upstanding, but they're not. And some are outright scoundrels. It was such a fun read and I look forward to their next adventure. These are characters that I hope have a long series of adventures.

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Pepper Basham


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


This Is Where It Ends by Cindy K Sproles | Historical Fiction Review

This Is Where It Ends by Cindy K Sproles

This Is Where It Ends
Historical Fiction

How long is a body expected to keep a secret?

When Minerva Jane Jenkins was just fourteen years old, she married a man who moved her to the mountains. He carried with him a small box, which he told her held gold. And when he died fifty years later, he made her promise to tell no one about the box or the treasure it contained.

Now at ninety-four, Minerva is nearing the end of what has sometimes been a lonely life. But she's kept her promise. Even so, rumors of hidden gold have a way of spreading, and Minerva is visited by a reporter, Del Rankin, who wants to know more of her story.

As an unlikely friendship develops, Minerva is tempted to reveal her secret to Del. But the truth of what's really buried in the box may be hidden even from her.

Read an excerpt.
My Thoughts

I was a bit hesitant to start this book. I was in the midst of some overwhelming things and I didn't think that I wanted a book that appeared to be a bit on the somber side. Thankfully I was completely wrong about the tone of the book.

Minerva Jane Jenkins is a 94 year old woman with one foot in the grave. But that other foot of hers is still walking down life's path. A bit slower than earlier years, but she's still movin'. I completely fell in love with Minerva. In my head she has my grandma's voice which made the story even better.

Minerva is feisty and puts up with very little. She's spent the last 30 plus years as a widow and has done a pretty good job of keeping the farm going. When Del Rankin shows up asking questions about the past, Minerva's isolated world is upended.

The story is about a woman at the end of her life so death is a topic. But it is definitely in context to a life well lived. We are privy to her regrets and long lost dreams. There's also the mystery of the box of gold that has been the source of so much loss. All of these things put together made for a deeply moving story. 

I would classify this as one of my top ten reads of the year. Cindy Sproles is a new author to me but you can bet that I will be on the lookout for more from her.

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Cindy K Sproles


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


In the Shadow of the River by Ann H. Gabhart | Historical Romance Review

In the Shadow of the River by Ann H Gabhart

In the Shadow of the River
Historical Romance

If all the world's a stage, Jacci will play her part.

She only hopes her story does not turn out to be a tragedy.

In 1881, Jacci Reed is only five years old when a man attempts to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, works on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, a showboat tied up beside them. There, Jacci's actor grandfather tends to her mother, and Jacci gets a first taste of the life she will come to lead.

Fifteen years later, Jacci is an actress aboard that same showboat and largely contented with her adopted family of actors, singers, and dancers. Especially Gabe, who has always supported her, and the gruff grandfather she has come to know and love. Jacci's mother has been gone for years, but the memory of the altercation that ultimately took her life--and the cryptic things Jacci has overheard about her past--is always there, lurking in the back of her mind.

When someone on the showboat tries to kill Jacci, it's clear her questions demand answers. But secrets have a way of staying in the shadows . . . and the answers she craves will not come easily.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Ann Gabhart has such a knack for telling stories about tenacious women. This time around we actually get the story of two such women. Jacci Reed and her mother Irena are the epitome of tenacious. We meet them when Jacci is just five and follow them until Jacci is well into adulthood.

The story is at times gut-wrentching yet it is also intriguing. They both live their lives on a river boat. Irena is a maid but Jacci is a performer on the Kingston Floating Palace. I found it very interesting to peek behind the curtain and see how life is behind the stage. 

Along with the interesting aspects of stage life there is also a dark side to this story. Evil is lurking in the shadows and Jacci seems to be the intended target. She finds herself in some narrow escapes that lead to more questions than answers. 

I enjoyed this story immensely. Strong characters. Interesting plot line. And an ending that was unexpected but satisfying. 

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Ann H Gabhart
Photo Credit: © Memories by Chris


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


Broker of Lies (Travis Brock Thriller #1) by Steven James | Political Suspense Review

Broker of Lies by Steven James

Broker of Lies
Travis Brock Thriller #1
Political Suspense

The man who knows all our secrets has a secret of his own.

When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth—and chances losing himself in the process.

With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.

From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.

My Thoughts

I love a good political thriller and this was definitely a good one. If you've read much of Steven James' work you know that there will be plenty of plot twists and turns. Broker of Lies has taken that format and turned it up a notch.

There are surprises along the way but I felt like I was getting the idea of what was going on even in the background. I couldn't have been more wrong. In fact when I was 96% finished there was a twist that I didn't see coming. And then there was the ending. BAM! Let's just say that book two is going to be highly anticipated at my house. 

The plot deals with our nuclear energy and could seriously be taken straight from today's headlines. Scary but it makes for a very compelling story. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a complex tale that has a ring of true life to it.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.

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