A Beautiful Ending To A Wonderful Romantic Series

Back in August 2016, I introduced you to a new series, Wild Aces, by Chanel Cleeton.   on-broken-wingsYou can read about it here.  Available now is the third and final book in the series, On Broken Wings.   Here’s the official summary:

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

I can’t remember when I have ever been so moved by a fictional book.  When I finished reading it, I just sat in my chair stunned, only able to think “wow”.  The three books in the series can stand on their own, but On Broken Wings ties all the books together with a genuinely authentic military love story full of emotion, humor, love, passion, heartache and triumph.

What a way to end a series.  This book was completely captivating and everything a romance should be.

Hot New Contemporary Romance Series

heart-2I’ve been reading contemporary romance books for a very long time.  It’s getting harder to find a book that grabs my attention and captures it until the end of the book. After awhile, the plots seem to be so similar and the endings predictable.  After starting three books and returning them to the library after just two chapters, I was thrilled to find a book that held my interest all the way to the end!  Author Tessa Bailey has come up with a fresh new series, Romancing the Clarksons, about four siblings coming to terms with the death of their mother.

tooThe first book in the series is Too Hot to Handle.
The road trip was definitely a bad idea. Having already flambéed her culinary career beyond recognition, Rita Clarkson is now stranded in God-Knows-Where, New Mexico, with a busted car and her three temperamental siblings, who she hasn’t seen in years. When rescue shows up—six-feet-plus of hot, charming sex on a motorcycle—Rita’s pretty certain she’s gone from the frying pan right into the fire . . .

Jasper Ellis has a bad boy reputation in town, and he loathes it. The moment he sees Rita, though, Jasper knows he’s about to be sorely tempted. There’s something real between them. Something raw. And Jasper has only a few days to show Rita that he isn’t just for tonight—he’s forever.

The author managed to surprise me with intricate story telling and dramatic turns of events – a complex story hidden beneath excellent writing, with an intriguing cast of characters.  This dysfunctional cast of four siblings literally leads you on a journey of anguish, vulnerability, sorrow, humor and passion.  This is a book full of life and passion!

I will admit that parts of Too Hot to Handle were, well, too hot for me!  There are several explicit sex scenes throughout the book, but not enough for me to stop reading it.  Whatever your comfort level is, the book is worth reading to the end.  Just skip what is uncomfortable for you!

too-wildBook two in the series is Too Wild to Tame – due out January 31, 2017.  Hired to work for the country’s most powerful senator, Aaron Clarkson, known for his prowess in the bedroom, finds it hard to not mix business with pleasure when he meets the senator’s daughter, the black sheep of her conservative family who is wild, gorgeous and 100 percent trouble.

too-hardBook three in the series is Too Hard to Forget – due out April 25, 2017.  Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

highres-MJB_5140.jpgAuthor Tessa Bailey – Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

 She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of nine years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

What’s Trending at Cheshire Public Library – Magazines

whats      magazine

The Cheshire Library offers approximately 350 magazines on a wide variety of topics.  There’s something here for everyone!  Below is a list of the top 20 magazines that circulated during 2016.

1.    People – An American weekly magazine of celebrity and human-interest stories, published by Time Inc. With a readership of 46.6 million adults, People has the largest audience of any American magazine.

2.   The New Yorker Magazine – An American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. It is published by Condé Nast.

3.   Rolling StoneAn American biweekly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine’s publisher.

4.   Martha Stewart Living An American monthly magazine featuring entertaining and home decorating.  It is published by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

5.    National Geographic – An American monthly magazine focusing on geography, history, and world culture.  It is published by National Geographic Partners.

6.    RedbookAn American women’s magazine published monthly by the Hearst Corporation.  It is one of the “Seven Sisters”, a group of women’s service magazines.

7.    Cooking Light – Cooking Light is an American monthly food and lifestyle magazine.  Each month, the magazine includes approximately 100 original recipes as well as editorial content covering food trends, fitness tips, and other culinary and health-related news.

8.    Family Handyman – An American monthly home-improvement magazine, owned by the Reader’s Digest Association.

9.    New York Times Magazine – A Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors. The magazine is also noted for its photography, especially relating to fashion and style.

10. Architectural Digest – An  American monthly magazine featuring interior design, not architecture more generally, as the name of the magazine suggests. The magazine is published by Condé Nast.

11. MoneyAn American monthly magazine that covers the gamut of personal finance topics.  Published by Time, Inc.

12. TimeAn American weekly magazine published in New York City.  It covers news in a very broad sense.

13. PreventionAn American monthly lifestyle magazine published by Rodale Press.

14. Cook’s Illustrated – An American cooking magazine published by America’s Test Kitchen in Brookline, Massachusetts, every two months.

15. O: The Oprah Magazine An American monthly magazine founded by Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Corporation, primarily marketed at women.

16. Good HousekeepingAn American monthly women’s magazine owned by the Hearst Corporation, featuring articles about women’s interests, product testing by The Good Housekeeping Institute, recipes, diet, health as well as literary articles.

17. Country Living – An American monthly magazine focusing on cooking, decorating, gardening and antiques.  It is published by Hearst Corporation.

18. Cosmopolitan – An American monthly magazine featuring articles on women’s issues.  It is published by Hearst Corporation.

19. Traditional HomeAn American magazine published 8 times a year.  It features design and decorating for the affluent reader.  It is published by Meredith Corporation.

20. Real Simple – An American monthly women’s interest magazine.  It is published by Time, Inc.

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Cozying Up With New Cozy Mysteries

reading

It seems that in November and December, our feet don’t stay planted in one spot for too long.  Be sure you take some time to put your feet up and take a step away from all the hustle and bustle by picking up a new cozy mystery to read!

twice-told-tailTwice Told Tail (A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery) – Ali Brandon – While being suspicious of an anonymous online bidder who is offering a lot of money for one of her antique books, Darla Pettistone is roped into helping bridezilla Connie Capello get ready for her big day until their shopping excursion ends in murder.

deck-the-hallwaysDeck The Hallways (A Fixer-Upper Mystery) – Kate Carlisle – While trying to transform a Victorian mansion into apartments for homeless families in time for the holidays, contractor Shannon Hammer must pull-off a Christmas miracle to save her father from prison and find the real killer of a miserly bank president.

hooking-for-troubleHooking For Trouble (A Crochet Mystery) – Betty Hechtman – When she believes she has witnessed a murder, Molly Pink, the founder of the Tarzana Hookers Yarn University, calls in her ex, homicide detective Barry Greenberg, who reports that nothing is amiss, forcing her to unravel the clues herself to find the truth. Includes recipes and crochet patterns.

we-wish-you-a-murdWe Wish You A Murderous Christmas (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery) – VIcki Delany – When the son of Jack Olsen, who owns the Yuletide Inn, decides to no longer celebrate Christmas at the Inn, sending the local shopkeepers into a tizzy, Merry Wilkinson is faced with a holiday homicide when he is found stabbed to death.

the-goodThe Good, The Bad, And The Guacamole (A Taste of Texas Mystery) – Rebecca Adler – When her best friend, Patti Lopez, is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend, smooth-talking country crooner Jeff Clark, Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan must put her sleuthing skills to good use to serve up the real killer.

shadesShades of Wrath (A Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery) – Karen Rose Smith – Hired to decorate a run-down mansion, which will now house Kismet, Pennsylvania’s women’s shelter, home stager and stray animal rescuer Caprice De Luca must instead design an investigation that will expose a crafty killer after the shelter’s director is murdered.

firstFirst Degree Mudder (A Pacific Northwest Mystery) – Kate Dyer-Seeley – An outdoor writer, Meg Reed, deciding to take her job to the next level, trains hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, only to find herself getting down and dirty in a murder investigation when her coach, Billy the Tank, is found dead.

crime-and-catnipCrime and Catnip (Nick & Nora Mystery) – T. C. LoTempio – Agreeing to look into the disappearance of a museum director’s niece, caterer Nora Charles and her faithful feline, Nick, are plunged into a world of coded messages, false identities and murder where they must solve this mystery in order to survive. Includes sandwich recipes.

prose-and-consPros and Cons (A Magical Bookshop Mystery) – Amanda Flower – When she finds one of the members of the local writing group dead right before the annual Food and Wine Festival, Violet, after the shop magically tells her she will need to rely on the works of Edgar Allan Poe to solve the murder, must act fast before someone else’s heart beats nevermore.

better-off-threadBetter Off Thread (An Embroidery Mystery) – Amanda Lee – While playing elf to Captain Moe’s Santa for sick children at a local hospital, embroidery shop owner Marcy stumbles upon the dead body of the hospital’s administrator and must, with the help of her police officer boyfriend and her Irish Wolfhound, find out who is trying to pin this murder on Moe.

frosty-the-deadFrosty The Dead Man (A Snow Globe Shop Mystery) – Christine Husom – When she finds Mayor Lewis Frost, Frosty to his friends, dead, apparently struck by the snow globe she sold him earlier that day, curio shop owner Camryn Brooks must shake things up to find a killer who is cold as ice.

ghostsThe Ghosts of Misty Hollow (Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery) – Sue Ann Jaffarian – While visiting a best-selling crime writer who needs her input as a medium, Emma Whitecastle is immediately contacted by a family of ghosts who originally owned the historic Massachusetts farmhouse and need her help in locating the spirits of their two children who disappeared, which results in the appearance of a dead body.

spouseSpouse on Haunted Hill (Haunted Guesthouse Mystery) – E.J. Copperman – When the cops show up at her doorstep, searching for her ex-husband who, owing some scary people a lot of money, has disappeared and left a body in his wake, Alison Kerby, with the help of ghosts Maxie and Paul, sets out to find her ex and clear him of the murder before the bad guys get to him first

Enjoyable Reads

Life has a way of getting in the way, and I’ve had to cut back on my reading.  I used to finish a book even if I didn’t like it.  But now, if it doesn’t draw me in after the first two chapters, it goes back to the library.  It’s been awhile since I’ve finished a book.  But, finally, I actually finished two in a row!  Not only finished, but I actually finished each one in a day!  On two beautiful Sunday afternoons, I sat and read, and read, and read.  It was wonderful!

robbThe first one was J.D. Robb’s Apprentice in DeathIf you’ve been a fan of Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, you probably noticed that her last several books were, well……different.  Some say she has a ghost writer (which she vehemently denies), others say writer’s block, and others say she’s just spreading her wings and trying something new.  Apprentice in Death is more in line with her earlier writings and I was hooked in the first chapter.  There is a subtle difference.  In the earlier In Death books, Ms. Robb spent a lot of time writing about the actual killings in very graphic detail.  In Apprentice, she spends her time inside the characters’ heads and their lives.   I love how Roarke and Eve have ‘grown up’.  There is a quiet maturity about them, but they still sizzle and crackle.  All the supporting characters are back and a few new ones have been introduced, giving hope that future books will be as entertaining as this.  This is my favorite book of the In Death series.

Summary

“The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer. Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources–and genius–at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two–one older,one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil.”

 

alwaysThe second book I finished was Always A Cowboy (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) by Linda Lael Miller.  This is book two of a trilogy.  Ms. Miller has been writing about cowboys for a very long time.  You think she couldn’t possibly write something new and different, but she proves over and over that she can!  Again, I was hooked in the first chapter.  This is a gentle romance with just the right amount of spice and it gives us a good look into modern life in the American West.  Ms. Miller has a way of making her characters come to life and the settings are rich with details.  The story moves along quickly and there is an eclectic assortment of secondary characters that adds a richness to the story.

This book has an added bonus.  At the end of the book, Ms. Miller wrote a very personal essay giving us a glimpse into her life.  Ms. Miller is one of those authors who shares a lot about herself.  She has a wonderful website with news, a blog, and contests.  Check it out here.

Summary

Drake Carson is the quintessential cowboy. In charge of the family ranch, he knows the realities of this life, its pleasures and heartbreaks. Lately, managing the wild stallions on his property is wearing him down. When an interfering so-called expert arrives and starts offering her opinion, Drake is wary, but he can’t deny the longing—and the challenge—she stirs in him.

Luce Hale is researching how wild horses interact with ranch animals—and with ranchers. The Carson matriarch invites her to stay with the family, which guarantees frequent encounters with Drake, her ruggedly handsome and decidedly unwelcoming son. Luce and Drake are at odds from the very beginning, especially when it comes to the rogue stallion who’s stealing the ranch mares. But when Drake believes Luce is in danger, that changes everything—for both of them.

rancherBook one in this trilogy is Once A Rancher.  It too, was an outstanding read.  “ Offering a troubled boy a job on the ranch he shares with his younger siblings, Wyoming businessman Slater Carson falls for the youth’s beautiful guardian, Grace, a resort manager whose busy life is threatened by dangers from her past.”