A Matchmaker's ChristmasTitle:  A Matchmaker’s Christmas
Series:
Author:  Donna Lea Simpson
Genre:  Historical Romance, Christmas
Published:  December 17, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Twenty years ago, Beatrice Copland committed a reckless and foolish act of deceit that she’s certain ruined the life of a man she’d fallen in love with and led to his wife’s death. Now serving as companion to the stern Lady Bournaud, she leads a quiet life and attends to her duties as a kind of penance. But Lady Bournaud, trying to make amends for her own selfish ways, is opening her country estate to a few select guests for the holidays—including the man Beatrice wronged so many years ago.

Sir David Chappell spent nearly two decades coming to terms with the haunting memory of his wife’s death. When he receives an invitation to Lady Bournaud’s for the Christmas season, he’s reluctant to go at first, but he’s sure the time away in Yorkshire will be a welcome change from London. Once there, he’s immediately captivated by the youthful beauty and genuine compassion of the lady’s companion, Beatrice Copland—all the while sensing that he’s met her before.

Even as David pursues her and Beatrice realizes she’s still powerfully attracted to the man, she must gently rebuff his advances for fear that her damning secret will come to light and reopen his old wounds. And while Lady Bournaud watches, happily scheming to make matches for all her guests, it may take more than a Christmas miracle for David to free Beatrice’s conscience, and her heart, at last.

Read on for my thoughts on A Matchmaker’s Christmas.  No true spoilers, promise.

The ConfessionalTitle:  The Confessional
Series:
Author:  Reiny Pierson
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Published:  January 6, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Sarah Tazewell, a cerebral, highly intuitive woman, knew from an early age that she was psychic. When she and her husband David buy a confessional booth from The Governor’s Antiques in Mechanicsville, VA and convert it into a phone booth for their Queen Anne Victorian, Sarah senses a presence in the confessional. Later, the voices become only one voice: that of a murderer that rapes and strangles his victims. Though consumed with fear and anxiety, Sarah refuses to be a victim and sets out on a journey to learn more about the confessional. Sarah’s antagonist is a brilliant, charismatic sexual psychopath who conforms to a ritual of murder and confession. The confessional in the 100-year-old church where he confessed was an integral part of the ritual. When he comes to confess after another murder, he finds “his” confessional gone and begins a frantic search to find it.

Read on for my thoughts on The Confessional.  No true spoilers, promise.

Waiting on Wednesday“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I’m waiting for the next installment of an unusual mystery series.  The Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series follows the life, times and animals in need of a particular human’s intervention.  Think of The Ghostwhisper tv series – now consider that you are able to “talk” to animals, interact on an intelligent, conversational level … then you have an idea of what the Pru Marlowe murder mysteries novels are about.  Murder is never a snap to solve but when you have the purr-fect eye witness playing beside the dead body why not use what you’ve got?  If you can psychically talk to the animals – why not ask what they know?

Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon is due out on March 3, 2015.

I have admitted before that I’m a sucker for covers – and that cover looks exactly like my Leia (see her picture below) when she was an itty-bitty kitten.  Now she’s a 30 pound huge ball of fluff, but the blue eyes – yeah, a cover to touch my heart.  🙂

 

 

Kittens Can KillThe dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind –with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will.

Pru’s special sensory talents and sensitivity to animals that caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires add further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed with money running out. There’s that needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels? But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl” animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?

 

This is one of my cats – a Ragdoll called Leia.  We often call her a “puppy-cat” because she loves to roll over and get her belly scratched.  Now Leia and I have conversations – she meows and I answer.  I have No Clue what she is saying but she is enthusiastic about whatever her point is.  I certainly wish I could talk to the animals too.   Or maybe I don’t really want to know….  *snicker*

Leia 03

Leia 01

teaser tuesdayOne of the fun parts of taking part in blog hops (aside from getting to visit new to me blogs) is finding great ways to interact with other book lovers.  This is one:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Get over yourself.  And get out of those clothes.”

Ian winced.  Since she put it that way.

“And concentrate.  Picture a wolf in your head,” Sara repeated.

~Of Shadow & Stone by Michelle Muto

Want to read more about this Tease?  Click “Read More” for the cover blurb & the link to my review of it.  🙂

What A Lady RequiresTitle:  What A Lady Requires
Series:  The Eton Boys Trilogy (book 3)
Author:  Ashlyn Macnamara
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.

Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.

Read on for my thoughts on What A Lady Requires.  No true spoilers, promise.

What A Devilish Duke DesiresTitle:  What A Devilish Duke Desires
Series:  The Sinful Scoundrels (book 3)
Author:  Vicky Dreiling
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

WILL A FEW FLIRTATIOUS STEPS

Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle’s title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it’s all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.

LEAD TO A SCANDALOUS SEDUCTION?

Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome—not to mention wealthy—duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man’s trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry’s scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn’t change it first.

Read on for my thoughts on What A Devilish Duke Desires.  No true spoilers, promise.

Of Shadow & StoneTitle:  Of Shadow & Stone
Series:
Author:  Michelle Muto
Genre:  Paranormal
Published:  February 24, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Gargoyles were created centuries ago to protect mankind, but something went horribly wrong. Now only the sentinel—a mortal chosen to control the stone beasts—stands between them and their human prey.

When the latest sentinel is killed, Kate Mercer is destined to take his place. But Kate has enough going on in her life—like a skyrocketing film career, a delusional ex-boyfriend, and a crazed stalker who will stop at nothing to get to her. But the powers that be have decided, and Kate is transported to Shadow Wood, a mysterious castle that serves as a sanctuary for the supernatural. Although beautiful, Shadow Wood is no safe place for a mere mortal. Yet Kate is drawn not only to the gargoyles but also to Ian McGuire, a charming novelist who might be in the greatest danger of all.

As Kate decides whether to accept the most perilous role of her life, she discovers there are more secrets than answers within the castle’s walls. Her survival and Ian’s depend on her ability to master the gargoyles before time runs out. Is fate really cast in stone?

Read on for my thoughts on Of Shadow & Stone.

blue eyesDo you?

I’ve decided to start a weekly Discussion post here on Keeper Bookshelf.  Welcome to the first.  🙂

I’ve been blogging for about five years now on various subjects.  In the past this particular blog was simply for fun, with little origination – yes, I’m admitting that.  At the start of 2015 I decided to take this blog seriously.  I love reading, I enjoy interacting with other people who love to read as well.  So I’ve started putting myself out in the book blogging community.  I have no higher hopes than to be a better book blogger, meet some really great people, read some interesting books that stretch my boundaries and create a place where other book lovers wouldn’t mind stopping by.

I have questions.

A ton of questions.  And I figure the best place to go for the answers is directly to the book blogging community.  I know that there are other new book blogging folks who probably have questions too.  So I’m going to be brave and stick my neck out and ask.  I figure the better the newer community members understand the basics – the better we all will be blogging in the long run.

Do You Ever Write A Truly Negative Book Review?

So far I have not .. really.  I wrote two – one that I trashed and one that I published with trepidation.

I understand that those that can write a novel put their heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears and time into them.  I hate to tear that apart.  (I cannot do what they do)

But my word there are some truly awful novels “out there”!  I don’t think we have to be hateful about it – but there has to be some way to let our readers know that this book really isn’t worth the time without tearing apart the author.  So far I’ve usually said something like “This one just wasn’t for me, but you may think it’s fantastic and that’s okay – we all love different types of stories.”  Or simply not published a review on a truly “it sucks” book.

What is your usual decision?   Please join in the conversation.

New-Release-Challenge-450x450 LexxieOh Lexxie, Lexxie – I swore no more Challenges.

Okay, one more but that’s it.  (roll eyes) Yeah.  Right.

So, there is this New Release Challenge going on that Lexxie from (un)Conventional Bookviews and Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! are co-hosting.  Pretty simple Challenge.  Read certain levels of new novels released in 2015 – and what got me to join in was the mention of the NetGalley Challenge… what the heck, I might as well combine them, I’m going to be reading them anyway.  🙂

Here are the basic rules (from Lexxie’s page):

The rules for the 2015 New Release Challenge are simple:

  • Books has to be read and reviewed in 2015, and the book has to be released in 2015
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2015 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the first rule.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 130 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Book Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2015, and sign-ups are open until March 15th.

There are four levels  in the New Release Challenge:

  1. 1-15 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 16-30 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 31-45 books per year – New Release Veteran
  4. +45 books per year – New Release Enthusiast

I’m heading for New Release Veteran – I “think” I could do more, but not 100% sure so I’m hedging my bet here.  If I do more great if not… next year. Muhahahaha.

So, what are you waiting for go here now:

2015 New Release Challenge Sign-up Page

 

What A Wallflower WantsTitle:  What a Wallflower Wants
Series:  Wallflower (book 3)
Author:  Maya Rodale
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  September 30, 2014
Source: own, given to me by a friend

Story Blurb:

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.

Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody’s hero.

He’s a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn’t start falling in love with her.

When Prudence’s dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.

**I feel I must be very clear right now.  This novel, and therefore, this review deals with the aftermath of rape.  In the novel, the despicable action is presented in a brief way (as in non-graphic) – but Pru’s life since and her recovery from the rape during this novel must be addressed now.  This may be a trigger for some readers – I apologize and ask that you read no further.  Just as I feel it was a gutsy move for the author to write about this subject – I also feel the need to give my thoughts on this novel.**

Read on for my thoughts on What a Wallflower Wants.

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