#BookReview The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes

The Extra Cadaver Murder by Roy Innes is honestly one of my new fave mystery books!

Canadian book? Check! Murder mystery? Check! Female lead who is realistic? Check! What more can a Canadian book lover, like myself, ask for?!

Roy Innes has crafted one amazing book that had me hooked to every word. I almost binged this book (you can blame all of my homework for that one) and I could barely put it down! Seriously, it was a real struggle walking away from this book!

James and Coswell work on identifying the murderer of a university professor, all the while dealing with gender biases. Throw in the RCMP, some very complicated relationships and twists and turns you won’t see coming, and you’ve got yourself a real hit!

There were times in this book where the speed slowed down and it dragged on. Despite the small pacing issue, I had no problems with this book. It felt like a standalone, it didn’t have a cliffhanger and it felt really smart. I’d absolutely read another book by Roy Innes any day of the week! I just have to get my hands on one of those suckers…

In general, the book doesn’t stand out or do anything that other mystery novels haven’t already. We have a female lead dealing with gender bias, an aging officer dealing with all the joys of getting old and the obvious “who dunnit?’ storyline that leads you one way then takes you another. You wouldn’t be able to see the ending coming since not all characters are introduced right away, but I still think it’s a fun ride. I absolutely enjoyed this book and want more!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find out more about this book on:
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Amazon.ca
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If you like murder mystery novels, you might enjoy some of these other books:
#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee
#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin
#BookReview Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

 

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#BookReview Christmas in Silver Bells Falls by Samantha Chase

Christmas in Silver Bell Falls is a lovely Christmas love story full of snowy cheer!

This book has:
A female grinch-y writer
An “evil” grandmother leaving her granddaughter a property near Canada
Snow (it’s near Canada, obviously there would be snow)
A Christmas obsessed town
A sexy hunk
A love story
Some conflict
HEA

I love Samantha Chase’s writing ever since I discovered her a few years back. She has a smooth writing style that is easy to read and easy to get lost in. I found myself devouring this book in one sitting (when I finally had time to sit down and read it).

This book follows the typical Hallmark-style romance story that is seen throughout the holiday romance subgenre. A grinch-y person gets forced to a cute town, meets someone who is Christmas-y, falls in love, they have some source of conflict, discover something personal and share bad stories and then everyone has Christmas cheer. If you’re looking for a book that breaks the mold, this book isn’t for you. I didn’t mind it at all since I want to be in a Christmas-y mood (and I’ve been watching way too many romantic Christmas movies).

In this book, Melanie’s Grandmother who didn’t like her at all, left her a cabin up near Canada in Silver Bell Falls. Melanie is a writer and is having major writers block since she has to write about Christmas (and when you hear all about her past, you’ll understand why she’s a bit of a grinch). When she gets there, Josiah is in her house! Turns out he knew her Grandmother and the little incident is brushed off (with some pizza, of course). The two grow close to each other, learn some deep dark secrets and a motive they weren’t aware of, and develop Christmas cheer. Yay!

It’s a cute book and it’s a short read. It clocked in just over 140 pages so it wasn’t all that hard to read. Josiah and Melanie are also a cute couple (even if their romance developed very quickly – it’s definitely not a slow burn book). I’d like to read more in this series whether it’s full of merry holiday cheer or not.

I didn’t relate to the character all that much. Either way, I love happily ever after books like these. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Three out of five stars.

I found this book for free via Bookbub.

 

Check out this book on:
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If you love love stories, grab one of these books:
#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner
#BookReview Return to You by Samantha Chase
#BookReview Love Comes for the Bodyguard by Savannah Adams

 

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#BookReview Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Christmas on Mistletoe Lane was an absolute GEM!

I was craving some Christmas-y goodness during the back to school blues, and this book hit the spot! Annie Rains has written one super cute novel that is a definite must read for romance lovers! Especially if you love those Hallmark Christmas movies like I do!

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is a soft, sweet novel that moves at a fast enough pace to leave the reader breathless. It’s a PG-13 novel (suggestive sex, no sexy scenes) that is packed full of romance, angst and Christmas delights! There’s also some lovely side plots that give it the Christmas magic we all need (ex. Helping out an ill woman so her family can have a Christmas).

The kooky cast of characters were chalked full of hilarity – The Krespos, Paris (a biker Santa), Kaitlyn and Mitch are just some of the wonderful characters I fell in love with. Annie made them all lovable AND realistic. Each character had their own flaws, but they weren’t depressing. The fact that I could easily read this book and see it totally happening in real life was awesome! It felt real enough and left me hooked to every page.

Let’s get down to business here: Kaitlyn used to live in New York and be a fabulous Interior Designer. When a famous man ruins her career and shatters her, she returns to Mistletoe Lane to her Grandmother’s old bed and breakfast. Her Grandmother recently passed away and left the ownership to her and a former marine, Mitch Hargrove. They work together to get the business back up and running, and slowly fall in love… Obviously, her Grandmother had more in mind for her than she realized!

This matchmaker side of the story was actually really cute! Sure, it’s a trope that is used often but Annie used it well! There were so many little hints along the way that pushed these two lovebirds together, and I’m so glad this book ended WITHOUT a cliffhanger. The story felt finished, but I’m sure Annie will be able to continue their story in part in the sequels.

I really enjoyed this book. Mitch was a “broken” man who slowly finds his way back to his home town (and into a new job, post-Marines). On the other hand, Kaitlyn was a strong-willed woman who’s working on getting stronger. Having these two together, bumping heads a bit, was a fun story! I definitely want to read more by Annie Rains in the future, especially this series! She makes a story full of ups and downs, but still utterly positive!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check this book out on:
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Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Looking for some more romance books? Check out some of my other reviews:
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels

 

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#BookReview Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel’s Redemption is the third book in the Gabriel’s Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard.

The first two books in this series were real hits – they were dramatic, full of suspense and tension, and romantic. This book, on the other hand, was mostly full of sex scenes and Gabriel demanding that Julia have a baby.

In all honesty, I really wanted to like this book. I love Sylvain’s writing style and have fallen in love with his words. His stories are smooth as silk and feel like a master class in writing. But, this time around I felt like Gabriel was a giant jerk and Julia was putting up with it. Gabriel wanted a child and Julia didn’t, so they had a child. A woman was hitting on Gabriel and tried to woo him away, and that story line just… ended? I wanted to see more than it just suddenly end. It felt like it could have not been included and the story would have ended the same. Paul pining after Julia was also a story line that didn’t go very far. Rachel wanting a baby also felt like it was cut short. The entire ending felt suddenly rushed too! It felt like there was a lot of wasted potential.

I still loved the writing and I felt connected to this story. I like Gabriel and Julia’s story so I felt like I needed to know how it ended. There’s going to be another book in this series so I’m curious to see how Sylvain will make that story go. This book literally felt like Sylvain was answering some reader’s prayer to continue the story, but didn’t pack the punch that the last two books did. It was just a very long epilogue.

The highlights of this book are as followed: Julia’s Dad’s story arc, Julia’s lecture, the beautiful scenery described and the love story continuing.

That being said, I still liked it. All of the hype built up for this book was probably why it fell so hard for me. My expectations were way too high. This book is the honeymoon for Gabriel and Julia, not the finale. I truly hope the next book finishes off some of the storyline Sylvain opened up. Especially since this book was just one giant cliffhanger.

Three out of five stars.

P.S. The Superman and Lois Lane comments were really funny but felt out of place. I came for the love story and stayed for the comic book references.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other books you might enjoy:
Quick Book Review: Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Quick Book Review: The Shadow (The Florentine #2) by Sylvain Reynard
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels

 

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#BookReview Sex and Death Edited by Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs

Sex and Death is a mixed bag of stories full of, you guessed it, sex and death.

This anthology features a large array of short stories. I say it’s a mixed bag because, like any set of stories, some of them are amazing and some of them don’t hit as well. What I’ve found is that it really depends on what type of reader you are. I really enjoyed some of the stories focusing on the family structure – George and Elizabeth by Ben Marcus, Fixations by Ceridwen Dovey, and Evie by Sarah Hall. The stories had me hooked and interested and somehow left me wanting so much more out of them. I wanted entire books for those stories! They were intriguing, well written and absolutely fantastic!

To highlight my three favourites:

George and Elizabeth follows George after his father died. He’s in the process of seeing a therapist and reaches out to his sister. He meets his Father’s ex-half-wife and participates in some situations that he might actually need therapy for. This slice of life story is crafted so beautifully that I wanted a full length novel of this book. George and “Pattern” (Elizabeth) are unique characters with a unique relationship. I need to find more books by Ben Marcus because he is just phenomenal at writing!

Fixations by Ceridwen Dovey follows Selene after the birth of her child. The difficulties of post-partum life and having medical procedures was really interesting to follow. Hearing Selene’s point of view about how the midwives think she has post-partum depression but really it’s from the physical pain of the childbirth was eye opening. I couldn’t pull myself away from this book! Yet again, Ceridwen Dovey has an addicting writing style!

Evie by Sarah Hall follows a romantic pair who dip into something new. Tragedy strikes during their slice of life, and a relationship will be tested. This story was just too darn short! I wanted to see the fallout of everything that was happening because Sarah managed to get me attached to these characters. It is absolutely amazing what some authors can do with their words!

All of the other stories were well written but just didn’t hit me like those three did. But, that’s the point of an anthology! There are many different types of stories around one topic (this one being sex and death). Honestly, the way these authors dove into mental health, sex, ambition, life, and death was truly incredible. Hats off to these guys! Despite every author having a different writing style, all of these books felt like they fit in and that they should be winning some kind of award!

Some of the stories end in tragedy, some feature happy endings and some are just… there. There are very short stories and there are longer stories. What Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs have done is craft a beautifully arranged anthology that definitely should be in more readers’ hands!

Overall, this was a marvelous read and I’m really happy I got the chance to read it! I’ve been staring at this book for ages while it sat on my shelf. I finally got the nerve to pick it up and devour it!

Four out of five stars! The stories ranged from one to five stars, but it’d be a shame to give it anything less than a four. As a complete set, this book stands out!!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Indigo
Barnes & Nobles

Here’s some other books and reviews you might enjoy:
#BookReview Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon
#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

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#BookReview The Age of the Child by Kristen J. Tsetsi

The Age of the Child by Kristen J. Tsetsi is a dystopian novel where women’s rights are violated.

You could pitch this book as a companion to The Handmaid’s Tale – since this book involves a dystopian world where women are forced to give birth (no birth control and no abortions).

To be blunt, I didn’t enjoy Kristen’s writing tone or style, so the story didn’t connect with me as much as I wanted it to. Stories like this intrigue me, because they can tell you a lot about society and the way certain people see it. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect well. I still read and finished the book, but I don’t think I was the desired reader.

That being said, the book is excellent! It’s a well crafted story that takes the reader over a span of a couple of decades. We follow Katherine and Margaret, as well as their children Lenny and Millie. Over and over there’s article headlines stating that children are everywhere – parents are abandoning their children and trying to adopt them out. I would have liked to see more of the big picture throughout the book since the story mostly focuses on the main characters. How did a world get to this point?

The second half of this story follows Millie and her journalistic journeys. Her investigation of the world pulled me in a lot more than the first half of the story (mostly because I had a good idea of where Katherine and Margaret were going to end up). Eventually, we learn that births are regulated (which was quite the opposite of Millie’s parents time). I would have loved this to be two separate books with more fleshed out dystopian views. There’s just so much good content and some of it wasn’t explored.

Graham drove me crazy. He really wanted his child only to go work and not really want to bother with her. It seems we’re meant to feel that way, but my goodness… I had SO many frustrated feelings over his character. It is a good note on one of the society’s point of view of having children though!

Overall, the book didn’t work for me but it has tons of potential. I know there’s an audience out there that will love it WAY more than did. This dark story is told in such an intriguing way, it’d be a real shame if more readers don’t pick it up!

Three out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Kristen J. Tsetsi, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda is an excellent start to a new series I will surely be addicted to.

King Arthur. Round Tables. Medieval Fantasy.

My gosh, this book is packed TIGHT with everything I love about Ruth Miranda and her writing. Epic fantasy, a potential romance, drama, “echoes from the past”, murder, and an epic tale. Seriously, this series already has me hooked and IT LEFT ON A DARN CLIFFHANGER.

I swear, Ruth Miranda sits away at her computer knowing full well I’m going to be pulling my hair out and screaming while I wait for the next book. It may be a little egotistical, but she’s totally doing it to me, on purpose. And I fall for it every time! I can picture her with evil, maniacal laughter filling the room as she typed the final words in Part 1…

But, that’s not the meat of this review. Avalon Hall centers around King Arthur being from Scotland, where the wonderful Avalon Hall (a present day academy for witches and fey) sit. 30 years before modern day, a young woman named Stephanie Miller was murdered and 30 years later there’s been yet another murder. Fortunately, this time it was just some jerk. That being said, Stephanie’s murder brought lots of attention on this hall that only wanted to be seen as a hippie community that studies tarot cards and astrology. Atticus Downe, the new head master, wants to keep it that way. Oh, and he’s hiding a vampire named Emrys in the attic.

Along comes Yseult, a beautiful witch, to Avalon Hall 30 years after Stephanie’s death. She begins seeing ghosts, these “echoes from the past” and sees some ghosts from her present too (like her abusive ex Gary).

Part one is all about Yseult and Avalon Hall. Seriously, this was the best opening for this story. I was truly hooked in and was totally addicted to the book with this opening. It had a fair bit of drama, with mean girls and crushes, alongside the fantastical elements of the story. Also Emrys and Yseult are totally end game for me. Seriously, I need to know what happens next! I also really liked that Ruth expanded on Nora Bell’s character. I was expecting her to be some mean girl, but she’s not all she seems to be.

Then we move into part 2, which brings us back to King Arthur’s actual birth. There’s a lot of back story on his family in this one. The worst part for me was trying to pronounce any of those names. It brought me out of the book a few times because I couldn’t decide on how I wanted them pronounced and I didn’t like google’s pronunciation either. Confusing names are hard, okay? But, I digress, this part of the book was REALLY good. The lore, the back story, and the fast pace of the story. I loved every second of it.

I really hope this series continues and I can get my hand on the next book. Ruth Miranda’s writing style is marvelous – it’s fast, she has a talent for weaving her words into beautiful sentences and she makes up excellent plots. Plus, she’s really good at horror, romance and action.

Overall, this book is a 100% recommended book from me. If you like myths and lore, action and adventure, and a pinch of romance, then this book is for you! I’m definitely going to be continuing the series so you might as well start it with me!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Ruth Miranda, in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Check out Ruth Miranda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15263413.Ruth_Miranda

 

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