Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody

Yep, posting Saturday instead of Tuesday. Couldn’t help it, it is in the title.

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Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody (Page Turners Novel #1) by Jennie Marts

Sunny is a second grade teacher and is involved in a book club full of her eclectic friends. There is Maggie, a lawyer, recently divorced, and mother of two teenage boys; Cassie, mom of two, married since college, PTA perfection; Edna, a elderly, loud talking, in search of a good time, and crime show addict; and Paige, teenage niece of Cassie who is dealing with the rejection of her mother and hides her feelings under a goth appearance.

They meet every Wednesday for good food, gabbing, movies, and a bit of discussion on whatever book they read.

Lately the book club has two missions they have thrown themselves into:

One, Sunny and Edna’s neighbor hasn’t been seen in quite some time but a young man has come and set up in the homestead. Edna is convinced he has a gun, is a criminal, and murdered Walter. Sunny thinks he is to die for handsome and wants to spend more time with him. However, as much as Sunny likes him, there is something that rings false about him; and the crew start looking into where Walter is and what Jake is up to.

Second, the Page Turners have decided that it is time Sunny got involved with someone. It has been two years since her last relationship so they decide to set her up for six Saturdays, in the hopes that she finds Mr. Right.

This summer Sunny dates a rich but boring stockbroker; a single dad who can’t take no for an answer; a friendly video gamer; a laid back cowboy; a health foodie fisherman; and a mysterious yet friendly FBI Agent.

While all this is going on, Sunny receives hang up phone calls and has a stalker who wants to take their relationship to the next level.

Will Sunny discover who Jake really is? Will she find the perfect date? Or will none of that matter as she becomes victim to an insane stalker.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I received this book free in return of an honest review.

I thought this mystery was only okay. It had an interesting premise, but the development of the characters were extremely shallow and it felt as if the author was going in different directions. Instead of a concise story it was more of a slapdash of different elements.

We have the possibility of the neighbor being a killer which doesn’t really go anywhere, and his character having no real substance.

The dates set up by the book club friends were just too extreme and overdone in an attempt to get you to laugh (which you don’t). I mean really, what women wearing Jimmy Choos would walk in the grass on her lawn instead of the pathway and accidentally step on dog poo without realizing it?

What WOW date would ever risk bringing someone along on a raid without finding out if she even knew what she was doing? They were just dumb.

That’s it?

How could she fall in horse poop and not tell?

The stalker of Sunny was interesting, but again the reveal wasn’t done well as it felt the author didn’t take time to fully craft it but chose a character to wrap it up. The ending was cheap, boring, and cliché.

They call this “page turners” but the women hardly even read, mostly gossip, eat, and watch movies. Maybe they should have gone with a film name instead of literary as they don’t seem to really enjoy it.

It had some fun parts, but those weren’t enough to rescue this book. Another one I’d pass on by.

For more blind date-themed mysteries, go to Dying for a Date

For more stalking mysteries, go to Candy from a Stranger

For more reviews, go to The Cold Dish

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Dying for a Date

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Dying for a Date (Laurel McKay Mysteries #1)

Laurel McKay is a divorced mom of two. Laurel had been with her husband since high school and after his betrayal of leaving her for another woman, Laurel has found it difficult to trust or date again.

However, her best friend Liz convinced her try her hand at a matchmaking site, The Love Club, and get out there again.

Tonight is her first date. She heads out to the restaurant and meets up with Garrett, an accountant. He seems nice, although a little boring. Afterwards, Garrett walks Laurel to her car only for her to discover she left the keys and cell phone in the car.

She asks Garrett to borrow his phone, heading to his car. After she makes her call, Garrett attacks her, and Laurel grabs the first thing she can-his cell phone-and pops him in the nose.

Laurel leaves and heads back into the restaurant to await AAA, all the while bemoaning her date and feeling as if she never wants to date again.

She stops at a McDonalds for a coffee and heads home for the night. The next day she heads to the headquarters of The Love Club to let them know about Garrett. When she talks to the secretary she discovers that Garrett was murdered the night before, from being hit in the head.

Seriously?

Laurel is positive that her wap in the nose could not have killed him, but that doesn’t stop her from becoming a suspect.

Because she was his last date, and last planned meeting, Laurel has to come down for questioning. There she meets Detective Hunter; a very attractive, single dad, who’s daughter happened to have a scuffle with her son at their last soccer game. A very embarrassing moment as Laurel fought with him during that game, and now she has to hope he believes in her innocence.

Detective Hunter has an open mind and warns Laurel that she could have been killed and might still be on the hit list. Detective Bradford, Hunter’s partner, on the other hand, thinks Laurel is a stone cold killer and is set to prove it.

Laurel never wants to date again through The Love Club, but she has paid for the service and had already requested a few more dates. She decides to have a lunch date with a doctor named Jeremy. Jeremy is sweet, a tad bland, but Laurel decides to agree to another date to give him a chance.

Barbara Bingham, Laurel’s mother, is constantly trying to set her up with different guys. This time is no different as she has an agent from her company, Peter, is who she thinks is perfect for her daughter. When Laurel goes to pick her son up from his time with grandma, she meets Peter and sees that he is kind and sweetly entertaining her son.

Hmm…

Laurel’s ex comes back into the picture unexpectedly, and upsets everything. He tries to hint that they should get back together (as if) and tells her she needs to stop dating. Weird.

Laurel goes shopping for her upcoming date and prepares for it. Jeremy takes her to one of the fanciest restaurants and orders Dom Perignon champagne. They begin talking, when Jeremy gets a call. He leaves to answer it.

Laurel sits waiting, drinking, to pass the time. Every time she takes a drink, the waiter refills.  Soon Laurel is starting to feel a little sick and heads to the restrooms, stopping outside and spotting two gentlemen, one who looks like Jeremy. She then heads to the bathroom, pulling herself together and nodding off.

When she wakes she returns to her table only to see that the room is pretty deserted and everyone is occupied by the windows overlooking the river. When she questions what has happened it appears that someone drowned in the river. Laurel tries to find Jeremy, thinking that he might be down trying to help out. As she tries to find out more information she runs into Detective Hunter.

He questions what she is doing there and she tells him about her date and how he disappeared. She tells him that she won’t be seeing his rude self anymore in the future. Detective Hunter agrees, as Jeremy is dead.

Yes Laurel has had not one date die, but two. This puts her high on the suspect list, even though there is no clear motive. With Detective Bradford set on pinning the murders on her and Detective Hunter having no other options but to look at her as number one suspect.

Laurel decides to take matters into her own hands. She recruits her mother, best friend Liz, and coworker Stan to follow, research, and track down the killer before she finds herself wearing prison stripes.

So who could the killer be? Is it someone who doesn’t want Laurel to date? Such as her husband who was heard saying that he would kill anyone who was with her? Plus he as a contractor, so he has access to the weapons that killed the men.

Could it be her boss Earl? He is interested in her as more than just an employee and hates the fact that she is dating. To add to his creepy interest, he also has a file on Jeremy.

Hmm…

Could it be Jeremy’s partner in the practice? He is harsh, rude, and has a gambling addiction; embezzling funds from the company. Did he kill Jeremy to keep him from finding out?

Then Peter asks Laurel out. Is it safe for them? Or will there be a third dead body?

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***Spoiler Alert***

Thoughts After Reading;

I thought it was it was cute and a good mystery. I had narrowed it down to two suspects, and while I guessed correctly who the real killer was there were several twists and turns which delighted me.

The only thing I didn’t like was that the author described every article of clothing that her main character wore, which I thought drew one out of the story.

I also didn’t like how the detectives focused solely on her as it seemed she had a good alibi. I mean with Garrett, there is the restaurant workers, AAA, McDonalds, etc; and with Jeremy the waiter and the women who came into the bathroom.

I really liked the conclusion. I thought the way they wrote Laurel’s mom saving the day was fun and just a great ending to the story.

For more mysteries with Serial Killers, go to Miss Polly Had a Dolly

For more mysteries with blind dates, go to Sunset Reads: William & Cristina

For more mystery reviews, go to The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower

Sunset Reads: William & Cristina

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Sunset Reads: William & Cristina (Sunset Reads #1) by D.C. Triana

Since the death of her mentor and surrogate mother and having been publicly dumped by her boyfriend; romance novelist Cristina Cruz has had a hard time writing a new book.

Romance is hard to imagine when your life feels bleaker than bleak.

To add to her pain and frustration, the new owner of Sunset Reads, her publishing company, and son of her mentor, William Jameson, is back in New York City and trying to completely make over the company from top to bottom. This includes demanding a new novel from Cristina, and insulting the few pages she has written. Cristina cannot believe that his mother ever thought these two were meant to be and plotted to put them together. With all this drama and pain it appears the only thing she has to look forward to is an attractive blind date, set up by one of her best friends.

William Jameson has not had the easiest life. It started with watching his mother throw her life into turmoil when she married an abusive man, Christopher. After spending years of him also being emotionally and physically abused by the man, he left home. He at first joined the military, later achieving his business degree in England, and even having a short stint as a novelist under a pseudonym. Now he is back in New York for good and eager to take over his mother’s company, revolutionize it, and carry on her legacy. He clashes with many of the employees and writers; none as bad as with Cristina Cruz; as he prepares to march the company into the modern world. He hasn’t really been in a relationship since the death of his fiancé, but is interested in this blind date his neighbor is setting him up with.

Both are shocked to find themselves paired with each other; Cristina deciding that she will do all she can to avoid the man as much as possible; while William is just as determined to pursue her. But whatever each other’s feelings are, they soon find out that they are going to be tied in ways they never would have expected. William’s mother set up a very tricky will in order to cut out her abusive ex-husband Christopher, who provided the original start up capitol and owns a percentage of the company. With her death her shares are divided between William and Cristina, making them both major owners in the company; and forcing the two to spend a lot of time together in reinventing Sunset Reads.

But the most interesting clause of the will, is that if William was to have a child all of the stock that William’s ex-stepfather was given would revert to that child.

Christopher is enraged when he discovers all the particulars and sets out to destroy William, the company, and whoever stands in his way for power. William finds himself making some hard choices. Should he peruse Cristina, the love of his life, subsequently endangering her? And if he does pursue her will Cristina only think it is because he wants to have a child and cut out his ex-stepfather? Or should he give up in his pursuit and allow the woman he loves to live a safe life with another man?

I wonder…

Thoughts After Reading:

I have to admit this book really surprised me. At first I thought it was just going to be another clichéd romance novel that would be dull in it’s predictability. Instead I found myself enjoying the way the author D.C. Triana wrote these characters; their traits coming off as more as comfortable rather than feeling overdone.

I also really enjoyed reading about the publishing world and the other side of writing. As one who knows very little about the path a novel travels from written idea to being out in stores; I thought it was fascinating the information presented in this novel, taking it in a completely different direction then most.

I also enjoyed the suspenseful aspects of this novel. From reading the description I never thought that it would take such a mysterious and thrilling turn as William and Cristina find themselves threatened and having to outwit a cunning adversary. It made it rather hard to stop reading as the reader becomes entangled in trying to find out if they will overcome such a ruthless person and his plots.

I’d have to give this book a four out of five stars to reward its interesting characters, different perspectives, and the ability to surprise the reader.

For more mysteries revolving around romance novelists, go to Murder at Oklahoma

For more mystery reviews, go to Miss Polly Had a Dolly

Spring Breakdown

So first of all, Happy First Day of Spring!

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Now on to the review:

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Spring Breakdown (Carter House Girls #7) by Melody Carlson

Thoughts Before Reading:

So this is a part of the series The Carter House Girls. Part Gossip Girl, part America’s Next Top Model, and all blended together with Christianity.

Each book is written like television episodes as every one gives more events of the group along with ending on just the right amount of cliffhanger so that you have a desire to read more and find out what happens next.

After D.J.’s mom died, she was sent to live with her grandmother, a famous ’60s fashion model Katherine Carter. Miss Carter decided to take this further and open her house up to five other girls and teach them about fashion, modeling, and more.

There is Taylor, daughter of singer Eva, beautiful, troubled, and very catty; Eliza, southern gal from Kentucky who wants to be the queen bee; Kriti, Indian, petite, and from New York; Cassie, D.J.’s old best friend from California who has been through a lot of changes and trouble; and Rhiannon, the only local, a nice girl, who’s mother is in rehab and the only Christian.

These girls have to work together, survive high school, model training, car accidents, disappearances, high school politics, boyfriend stealing, car accidents, parties, Las Vegas, New York City, an internet smear campaign, and more! Will the girls grow closer together? Or farther apart? Will they come to understand God’s love? Will they make good decisions?

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Plot Synopsis:

In this book the Carter House Girls have been in for some power plays between the now Christian Taylor and the ever in need of the limelight, Eliza. On Taylor’s side she has D.J.  and Rhiannon; Eliza on the other hand has Cassie while Kriti has returned to New York.

The trip started out as a nice fun time in Palm Beach, but became a fashion shoot, and even escalates when Harry (Eliza’s ex-boyfriend who is now interested in Taylor) decides to rent a condo nearby with his best guy friends.

Eliza keeps trying to win a competition only she sees, from pitting herself and Cassie against the others, trying to out glam them with tans that go horribly awry and more.

But things get really crazy when Eliza takes off on a date. When she doesn’t come back, they begin to grow worried.

They question Casey but she doesn’t know anything about this guy. That begins to worry the girls even more.

The talk to security, but they aren’t much help. They then call the FBI. All the girls can do is pray in the hopes that they find Eliza before it is too late.

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As the girls talk about who could have done this, they remember a lothario on the plane who seemed very interested in them and their plans.

But before they can tell the FBI about the mystery man, they get a ransom demand. Give him the money or the heiress dies.

Will their prayers be answered or will Eliza be lost forever?

Thoughts After Reading:

So this is the second to last book in the series and it takes a drastic turn from being about these girls to be a mystery and kidnapping, full of drama.

I thought that it was pretty good. One has to read the rest of the series to understand what is happening with the characters, but otherwise this was a fun story that had a twist I wasn’t originally expecting.

For more Young Adult novels, go to Fangs But No Fangs

For more Christian books, go to Paper Roses

For more book reviews, go to Death Threads