Book Review: Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford

Eclairs and Present Danger is the first book in a new series by Laura Bradford, she is also the author of An Amish Mystery Series and the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. While I’m not familiar with her Tobi Tobias books, I am familiar with her work from the Amish Mystery ones. I’ve thoroughly her Amish mysteries and had held high expectations to this new series, as the synopsis was by far deliciously intriguing.

We follow Winnie, the main protagonist as she tries to make her new Emergency Dessert Squad a hit in the town after her bakery was forced to close down. In the first chapters we see the murder transpire, and you are led to believe that we will watch this MC start amateur sleuthing her way to solving the death of her beloved friend. Alas, this whodunit was not meant to be, as there happened to be no mystery whatsoever in the pages until the very end.

Instead, we have her and her best friend, Renee, fighting over men and objectifying them to a point of absurdity. We also lose the mystery and the point of even trying to solve the murder for a very long time because of said above statement. The whole novel is composed of Winnie’s lack of being a grown adult when faced against a sixteen-year-old with jealousy issues. What’s even more irritating is Winnie is in her thirties and allowed the teenager to scold her over something extremely stupid.

The story mostly focuses on Winnie’s love life turmoil and how she fails at being an adult until the last two or three chapters of the novel, where we finally start to solve the murder. Overall, this was a disappointing story, and should not be marked as a cozy mystery. Instead, it should have been marketed as a chick-lit book with mild mystery elements. Sadly, this book gets 1.5 stars, the 1.5 being for the cat, Lovey, because Lovey was the only sane and honest character out of the whole tale.

Book Review: And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder

I’m quite frankly new to Eve Calder’s work, but I was not disappointed, as the world of Coral Cay came to life very easily along–with the colorful array of personalities that we get introduced to along the way. The cover is absolutely cute, and not only that, but we also have Oliver the poodle mix sitting in front of the store. Probably the second book with a dog named Oliver that I adore, ha-ha! Our MC has just left the big apple in hopes of starting her a new life and trying to forget the old.

With absolutely a lot of things seeming like they were falling apart; a stroke of luck lands her at The Cookie House–which is a place the doesn’t sell cookies… However, not even more than 24hours into her new job position does a murder occur, and the shop owner of The Cookie House is the one being accused. Kate and her new friends, along with the poodle-mix, Oliver all work together to solve the mystery of the murder and clear the name of the stubborn, but kind Cookie House owner.

Overall, the detailing for Coral Cay was well written, it wasn’t hard to find myself walking along the storefronts and seeing the beautiful ocean area that it’s housed upon. The characters were well rounded, especially the heroine, and her super ability to figure out your favorite cookie is quite a talent TBH. I enjoyed listening to this tale so much, and the mystery was actually one I couldn’t have solved without a couple of hints. It was an astonishing twist!

Eve Calder has a new fan! For the mystery, the storytelling, and the amazing cast that was written. I give this book five stars, especially because solving the mystery was definitely a big twist, and if you don’t read the passages carefully you will miss the culprit!

Audiobook Review: Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase

(LINK TO CHIRPBOOKS)

“Cat Got Your Secrets” is the third book in the Kitty Couture Mystery series by Julie Chase, it was highly recommended on my cozy mystery lists, and it had very good reviews from other bookstagrammers I follow on IG. I had gone in with high expectations, as cozy mysteries are my steak and butter in the bookish world. Sadly, this novel was served with a cold dish of disappointment, as the mystery was rotted thoroughly to the core, due to the main character.

I went into this series blind, without having read the first two novels. This comes with the expectation that when a story is written well that the characters and the story itself, are easy to devour for anyone who is new to the series. Which has been proven time and again (for me at least) with other cozy mysteries, or fictional novels I’ve jumped into, without realizing that there were several books before the one I was reading.

However, the main character of this series repulsed me in a way that I couldn’t even see how she managed to keep her friends, family, or love interests in her life. The reasoning behind my disgust, is she is playing two men, when it’s obvious that they hold feelings for her, but she chooses to mess around on both. She also has a penchant to antagonize people, and personally do things that are obviously dangerous to her well-being. In several chapters she purposely ran after suspicious/dangerous characters, and knowingly provoked them with open arms and even almost got her family member killed in the process.

The way the MC also speaks and holds herself throughout the story was painstakingly difficult to get munch on, as she held herself more akin to a toddler who has uncontrollable fits versus being a thirty-some year-old woman with sound judgment. I found myself in utter confusion with how unstable she was with her emotions and actions; it wasn’t until the end of the novel that I felt some relief from her overall presence.

I feel awful for all her friends, love interests, and her mother in general. As this heroine is beyond selfish, emotionally unstable, and likes messing with people’s feelings, because she can’t figure how to stop acting like a child. I hate saying this, but this novel was so disappointing, the only great upside was that the narrator (Brittany Pressley), is an amazing narrator with such fluidity in her voice that I absolutely adored. She was worth listening to versus the story itself.

5 STARS FOR THE NARRATOR!!!

ARC: The Bride of Blackfriar’s Lane by Michelle Griep

LINK TO AMAZON

Thank you to Net Galley and the author for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Where to begin, as I never read the first book of the series, I was fairly impressed with how easy it was to understand the characters and their relationship to one another. I had actually thought this was a standalone novel, and it actually can be read that way, which brings me to the purely well written prose the author displayed in her novel. I am fairly new to Ms. Griep’s work, and this did not disappoint as a well written narrative with engaging characters that must work together to plan for a wedding whilst handling side missions.

It’s absolutely stunning to read a book with characters that balance one another so well and bring out the best in one another. With a perfect balance of mystery, romance, and twists–it makes the reader wonder if these two will make it to the altar at all.

I believe this has been the best romance novel I’ve read so far this year and I gladly and happily bestow it with a 4.5 out 5 stars. Magnificent storytelling Ms. Griep, I hope to be able to read more of our works!

ARC: Scotland’s Melody by: Katie Stewart Stone

Thank you, Net Galley and the author, for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Where to start, I had seen this lovely novel presented on Instagram a few days ago and I had been elated to see it in Net Galley for an early ARC. I was over the moon about it, as the characters seemed to be strong, witty, and held well-written. I do not have a degree in how history is or was back in the era that this book is set in, so for a novice like me–I look for characters that will garner my attention and make me want to get to know them.

Katie Stone did an excellent job at writing the characters and their backgrounds, to fully fleshing them out by mid-way of the book. However, as I continued to love the flirtations between Melody and Cam, Melody pulled a doozy out of the left field, leaving me floored. The fact that she would make an accusation of such a nature and then further berate Cam into nothing, was repulsive, and the fact that he was willing to forgive her and be guilt-tripped by her own insecurities? That is not love, that’s manipulation and narcissistic behavior at its finest.

Melody continued to be manipulative, disguising it as being cute and flirty when I saw a weak and deranged young woman who used her wiles to manipulate a man she already knew had feelings for her. I couldn’t continue with the novel because this book just encourages narcissistic behavior in relationships, and I am not for that. With all that Melody hurled at Cam, he should have left her and never looked back–I honestly couldn’t even stomach how he easily forgave her for the despicable behavior after just dancing with her at a ball? Then Melody had the audacity to make ground rules while purposely flirting with him, and Cam accepted her terms after she legit accused him of something that shouldn’t be taken lightly while guilt-tripping him for days?

No, just no. That’s not romance, that’s not how it should ever work. I just–no. This book is not for me, and just a fair warning to others who do read the novel, we may have differing opinions, and you have the right to it–as I do to mine. I felt this novel could have been a major hit until that vapid and unnecessary scene. There was just no turning back or fixing a relationship with how she kept acting afterward, it just, you cannot treat people that way and tell them you love them. With the utmost respect to the author, this novel is given 2 stars, and the only reason for the two stars is for Elsie.

Rating:

☆☆