Category Archives: Book reviews

The Wicked Earls Club by Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen – book review

I have read and enjoyed quite a lot of books by Tammy Andresen, so when I spotted that this one was free on Amazon, I downloaded myself a copy.

The Wicked Earls Club by Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen

Here is the book blurb.

Meet twelve of the most wickedly sinful earls in all of Regency England. Together they make up the Wicked Earls’ Club. A secret group, marked with a single golden W; it is a place where these deliciously devious earls can indulge in their darkest desires. Though fate may have something else planned for them entirely.
Read twelve standalone novellas as each wicked earl finds love and redemption.
This is the prologue only. Each title will be on sale on all major retailers.
The Earl of Sussex by Tammy Andresen
Earl of Westcliff by Meara Platt
Earl of Wainthrope by Collette Cameron
Earl of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne
Earl of Basingstoke by Aileen Fish
Earl of Weston by Anna St. Claire
Earl of Davenport by Maggie Dallen
Earl of Grayson by Amanda Mariel
Earl of Benton by Madeline Martin
Earl of Pembroke by Lauren Smith
Earl of St. Seville by Christina McKnight
Earl of Harrington by Dawn Brower

The Wicked Earls Club series is different to most, in that the titles are written by different authors. The common theme is that each is about a Wicked Regency Earl. Initially it was going to be one book per author, but I have previously read two titles by Tammy The Earl of Sussex and The Earl of Dryden. I hadn’t read any from the other authors though.

So this short 34 page book is a prologue to the other titles and we see how the married Earl of Coventry who runs the Wicked Earls Club is actually planning to match-make for the other earls under his wing. All the wicked earls would be horrified if they realised. Only a few of them get a mention in this prologue, but with a particular emphasis on The Earl of Sussex and The Earl of Davenport and the Earl of Harrington.

Having already read The Earl of Sussex, it was nice to go back and read this prologue but certainly not necessary, as each Wicked earl title is a stand-alone read.

The Wicked Earls Club is available on Amazon, currently free in Kindle format. A short light romantic read from Tammy Andresen and Maggie Dallen.


About Tammy Andresen

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Website – http://www.tammyandresen.com

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Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

The Thomas family’s lives will never be the same again when seven-year-old Daniel Thomas is abducted from the family farm in New Zealand’s Far North by Maoris opposed to the presence of white settlers. Daniel’s father devotes his remaining years to searching for his missing blue-eyed, blond-haired son. Until his death a decade later, he’s assisted in his search by Daniel’s identical twin brother Benjamin. Like his late father, Benjamin believes Daniel is still alive. Twenty years later and now a family man himself with children of his own, Benjamin receives a tip-off that could confirm one way or another whether his brother is alive or dead.

This is a short story of just 60 pages, so ideal during lockdown whilst I’m struggling to concentrate on full-length novels.

This story is set in New Zealand, and starts in 1880. Nathaniel and Ingrid Thomas and their 8 year old identical twin sons Daniel and Benjamin live in the Far North of New Zealand. Whilst the twins are playing in the woods near the cottage, Maoris abduct Daniel, but Benjamin evades them and raises the alarm. Nathaniel rushes to search but although he finds tracks, he fails to find his missing son. He visits the Maori chief of one tribe to try to enlist help and also ropes in other settlers. But they search in vain, and as months pass, help dwindles and Nathaniel’s health deteriorates.

In part 2, the story fast forwards to 1910. What will ensue?

Once Were Brothers is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format. An enjoyable short story, although I did feel the ending was rather abrupt. Also I can’t decide whether I like the cover or not.

Lance is a very versatile author as this is quite a different genre to the brilliant Silent Fear full-length novel that I absolutely loved, which he wrote with his son James, plus they write non-fiction and novellas too.

5 Short Story Gems by Lance Morcan

This is the third of Lance’s short stories that I have reviewed and last time, I mentioned how I thought they would be better in an anthology. Well guess what, that is exactly what has happened. Lance has re-released five of his short stories in a compendium.

5 Short Story Gems: Once Were Brothers / Mr. 100% / A Gladiator’s Love / The Last Tasmanian Tiger / Brooklyn Bankster

I’ll certainly be reading the other two titles. And I’d love to hear about your favourite books.

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Marquess of Malice by Tammy Andresen – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Marquess of Malice by Tammy Andresen to review.

Marquess of Malice by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s known as the Marquess of Malice…can one little lady warm his dark heart?

Malice, as his friends and fellow gaming hell owners call him, doesn’t have room in his life for love. He’ll take a quiet bride, make an heir, and ship her off to the country. He’s picked the perfect little mouse for the job. The problem? When Malice asks her to marry him, Lady Cordelia refuses. Has she no sense? Any debutante would be happy to catch a marquess. But then again, he’s broken inside. Perhaps Cordelia is the most sensible woman of them all…

Lady Cordelia Chase has no intention of marrying the oafish, overbearing marquess. Lord Malicorn is rude, surly, and entirely unsuitable. Never mind that he’s the only man to ask. Quiet and shy, she’s been overlooked most of her life. When she marries, it will be for love and not just as a breeding cow. The only problem is that when Lord Malicorn isn’t talking, well, he’s rather strong and terribly handsome. And when he holds her in his arms, she could almost swear her heart skips a beat. If this isn’t love…what the devil is it?

This is book 2 in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read. However to fill you in, the ladies have discovered the lords secret gaming den, so each lord will watch a lady to ensure she is trustworthy.

Malice, the Marquess of Malicorn has been keeping an eye on Lady Cordelia Chase. And since he needs an heir, he has decided that quiet Cordelia would make an excellent suitable wife. But Cordelia turns down his unromantic proposal. She doesn’t want to be considered suitable, she wants to marry someone for love.

Of course Malice is still committed to the agreement with his fellows to continue watching Cordelia. Can he come up with another plan? Has Cordelia made a mistake?

Marquess of Malice is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.10 in Kindle format. Another nice light romantic story from Tammy once again. And you may see my review of book 1 here.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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The summer we turned thirteen by Kayla Maria – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The summer we turned thirteen by Kayla Maria to review.

The summer we turned thirteen by Kayla Maria

Here is the book blurb.

Harlee Ramirez and James Whitmire have been best friends since they were nine years old. Harlee is bold and brazen, while James is shy and reserved. In some cases, such opposite personalities may repel, but not in theirs. Their differences make the dynamic of their friendship special. So special, Harlee always believed they were untouchable, unbreakable, and that no one and nothing could come between them. But the month before Harlee and James’ thirteenth birthdays, James proves otherwise. He ends their friendship, without even giving Harlee so much as an explanation as to why. Harlee is hurt, confused, and angry, that James could just throw their friendship away like that. Regardless, Harlee is relentless and not willing to take this lying down. She will do anything it takes to win back her best friend. But as she tries to, she begins to wonder if their friendship is even worth saving or if growing up really does mean growing apart.

This book is aimed at young adults, but the story can be enjoyed by both older and younger readers too.

The story begins at summer camp when Harlee and James are aged nine. The chapters alternate between being narrated by Harlee or James.

James is very shy, doesn’t want to be at summer camp and is being bullied. Harlee stands up to those bullies and they become best friends. The story fast forwards almost three years to a month before both Harlee and James will become thirteen. James has texted Harlee to end their friendship? Why? And can Harlee win her best friend back?

This is a delightful story conveying both the important message against bullying and how things can change as children grow up. It also weaves in other themes such as fear, relationships, poverty and peer pressure.

The summer we turned thirteen is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.29 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. A great story and I am very pleased to see that the author has hinted that there will be a follow-up book, featuring Harlee, James and their circle of friends.


About the author

Kayla Maria is a twenty-one-year-old author that loves creating inspiring and relatable content for the youth. The Summer We Turned Thirteen is her first published project, first published on Wattpad where it has amassed over 20k reads. She aspires not only to entertain with her writing but also to uplift, encourage, and inspire readers to discover themselves and make the world a better place.

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To Win a Wicked Lord by Sofie Darling – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book To Win a Wicked Lord by Sofie Darling to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

To Win a Wicked Lord by Sofie Darling

Here is the book blurb.

Lord Percival Bretagne is used to playing games. He survived being a spy for a decade using his wits alone. But that was just life and death, now he’s playing for the most important prize of all—love.

He’ll Stop at Nothing . . .

Ten years after his family gave him up for dead, British spy Lord Percival Bretagne is back home, but his mission is far from over. Playing the aristocrat in London gambling dens and at country house parties is just a cover for Percy’s real quest. He’s hunting the man who stole everything from him—his family, his marriage, even his identity. And this time nothing, and no one, will stand in his way.

She’ll Risk it All . . .

But one night with Isabel Galante changes everything. She’s willing to gamble a woman’s most intimate prize in order to save her imprisoned father, but she didn’t expect a devilishly handsome opponent with a dangerously attractive wicked streak. Isabel would do anything for her family, including betraying Percy, but she has no idea that she’s stumbled into the middle of a decade-long quest for revenge.

Who Will Win in the Game Called Love?

Percy has been betrayed before, and now the man who destroyed his life is using Isabel to strike again. With the fate of the government and his new life in the balance, he’ll have to keep Isabel seductively, scandalously close. They begin a passionate game of truth and lies, deception and dalliance, uncovering the heart of who they really are and realizing that winning might mean losing what matters the most—each other.

This is book 4 in the Shadows and Silk series. However this is the first book I have read by Sofie Darling and can assure you that it works fine as stand-alone read. In fact looking at the blurbs of Sofie’s earlier titles, they all feature different characters. The common link seemed to just be their Regency romance theme, but I eventually came across mention of characters who featured in earlier stories.

I did find the first couple of chapters rather slow, but it was definitely worth persevering, as it then turned into an excellent read.

The story set in 1826 begins in a gaming hell in London. Lord Percival Bretagne is hoping to play well enough to bankrupt the owner Lord Bertrand Montfort, his arch enemy. Meanwhile Isabel Galante will do anything for Montfort in order to free her father who is imprisoned in Spain, even gamble her virginity. But it is a case of mistaken identity. She was supposed to seduce and gain information from the Earl of Pembroke.

Percy tries to salvage the mess by taking Isabel, along with her sister and baby nephew to Gardencourt, his family’s country estate expecting it to be empty. But no, there is a country house party, so on the spur of the moment , he passes Isabel off as his new bride. But even worse, Lord Montfort is in attendance and of course he recognises Isabel.

What will happen next? Can either Percy or Isabel achieve their goals? So many more twists and turns to come in this great page-turner.

To Win a Wicked Lord is newly published today and available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format. A captivating historical romantic story, with some steamy scenes.


About the author

Sofie Darling is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category in 2016.

She spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized she simply had to write the books she loved, she finished her English degree and embarked on her writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

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Duke of Daring by Tammy Andresen – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Duke of Daring by Tammy Andresen to review.

Duke of Daring by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s known as the Duke of Daring…but is he brave enough to take on one feisty spinster?

The Duke of Darlington is on a mission. He needs to protect his secret gaming hell from a group of debutantes who’ve stumbled upon his covert business. The problem… Miss Minerva Chase is not the average lady. From the moment his compatriots assign Daring to keep watch over the fiery redhead, she begins stirring trouble. Not only is her tongue sharper than any sword he’s faced but her lips are achingly soft while she tosses barb after barb in his direction. He’d like to throttle her, or kiss her, or perhaps protect the very spirit that drives him mad.

Minnie knows a pompous, arrogant, infuriating man when she meets one and she will not be intimidated. So what if he’s a duke with a secret? She won’t bend, not even when she realizes that he pushes her away because he’s been hurt before; a hurt she’s experienced herself. And she will not give in to his will, even when his kiss lights her body to flame. But when he needs her help… well, that’s a little more difficult for a girl to refuse.

The problem is that once she’s seen his softer side, she’s in jeopardy of succumbing to the Duke of Daring. When it comes to love, is she brave enough to give away her heart?

This is book 1 in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but there is a prequel available  free on Tammy’s website which is definitely worth a read to set the scene first. There the girls had discovered the men were making their fortunes by running a secret gaming Den of Sins. But can the men ensure the ladies keep their secret and the ladies also avoid ruin themselves. Each lord will watch a lady to ensure she is trustworthy.

So Tag, the Duke of Darlington, also known as the Duke of Daring is going to seek out chances to watch Minnie. He arranges to accompany Jack to a family dinner at the Chase household. Minnie is displeased to discover the rogue in Jack’s carriage and speaks her mind. But when they arrive, Tag escorts Minnie in, where her mother gets match-making ideas. Minnie is horrified but Tag plays along for more invitation opportunities.

At the next gathering, Minnie tries to hide behind her cousins, but Tag spots her. As they walk around the garden, she tries to make a deal with him that she won’t mention his club, if he will leave her be, so she can find a suitable husband, sealing the bargain with a chaste kiss.

Was that a mistake? Almost immediately afterwards there is a family emergency as two of the party have disappeared. Tag sets to searching, but when he returns with news, he slips on the steps, dislocating his shoulder. Whatever next? The answer is plenty, including throwing more characters into the mix and a few twists.

Duke of Daring is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.25 in Kindle format. As usual, another nice light romantic story from Tammy.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Camp Lake by John A Heldt

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Regular followers of my blog may have caught some of my reviews of book titles from The Carson Chronicles series by John Heldt. This is probably my all-time favourite book series and this is a bittersweet moment, as it is now time for me to share my review with you of the final title in the series, Camp Lake.

But firstly, if you wish to catch up on my reviews of the earlier titles, you may see those here.
River Rising
The Memory Tree
Indian Paintbrush
Caitlin’s Song

And to find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Camp Lake by John A Heldt

Here is the book blurb.

Phoenix, Spring 1983. For the Carsons, five siblings from the present day, it has come down to this. Find the parents they have chased through time for more than two years or go home and resume their lives without them.

While Adam and Greg remain in Arizona and Natalie searches the country for leads, Cody and Caitlin travel to a summer camp in Maine, where their mother and father met as counselors. The twins, now 19, hope to intercept the older versions of their parents even as they work beside the younger ones.

All of the Carsons prepare for a reunion that seems inevitable. Then tragedy strikes one family member and seductive strangers pull two others in unhelpful directions as a summer of promise turns into one of uncertainty and sacrifice.

Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, CAMP LAKE, the poignant conclusion of the Carson Chronicles series, follows the lives of several spirited adults as they confront choices and change the era of big hair, space shuttles, and video arcades.

In earlier books, the modern day time-travelling Carson family had been unsuccessfully trying to reunite with their parents Tim and Caroline in 1889, 1918, 1943 and 1962. And they also gained a few significant others en-route from different eras, who have coped remarkably well.

In this story they now reach 1983, the year their parents originally met at summer camp. They are now getting rather strapped for cash which could impede the search, until Nick discovers his multi million inheritance from his aunt. Wise investments had been made following tips from the Carson clan.

The twins Caitlin and Cody secure posts at summer camp, not only working alongside the “younger” versions of their parents, but sharing cabins with them too. Is the timeline safe, as younger Caroline seems more interested in Aussie Tom Sullivan than in Tim Carson? What will happen if Tim and Caroline don’t fall in love? And Cody falls for Karen, but she has a major secret of her own.

Meanwhile Tim and Caroline are looking up relatives whilst trying to avoid difficult encounters with their younger selves. On visiting Tim’s grandmother Elsie, they discover that she actually attended Natalie’s wedding back in 1962. But a few weeks later when Natalie tries to visit Elsie, she sadly finds her great grandmother has died a week ago. It is a timeline wobble, as history foretells that Elsie originally did not die until September. How are the Carsons causing these the distortions? Will they still manage to reunite and return to the present day together?

Another brilliant story in this fantastic series, which I just couldn’t put down. There are so many twists and turns. I have great respect for this author who puts so much research into his stories and really brings the characters alive.

However there was one bit of the book I didn’t like and unfortunately it was chapter 1. So for anyone reading this as a stand-alone, keep reading past the first chapter and the rest is great.

Camp Lake is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.28 in Kindle format is also available in paperback. I highly recommend this book and am rather sad that the series has now drawn to a conclusion.

And you may be interested to see my reviews of some of John Heldt’s other titles.
The Mine
Indiana Belle
Hannah’s Moon

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To Want A Rogue by Tammy Andresen – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book To Want A Rogue by Tammy Andresen to review.

To Want A Rogue by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Dahlia had never been more frightened in her life. Sprinting through the rain, she comes upon the only oasis in the storm, a dark castle with stone wolves at that gate. She doesn’t want to enter but she doesn’t have much choice. With her brother trapped in their carriage, she needs help. But the man she finds inside the castle… it’s not clear if he’s her angel or a devil.

Lord Gavin deWolfe knows his old castle is off-putting, in fact, he prefers it that way. After the loss of his wife, he wishes to shut out the world. That is until a wet and pathetic girl lands in a puddle on his floor. He’ll help her and then send her on her way. The problem, her brother’s too injured to travel and she is no girl after all.

The story starts with Miss Dahlia Smith running through the thunder-storm to find help. A tree has fallen on their carriage, her brother Sam is trapped and the driver is unconscious. As lighting flashes, she sees a large imposing house up a hill ahead. She reaches the gates, where two huge stone wolves tower above her. Thinking of Sam, she tries to feel more confident, as she races up the steep drive and knocks on the unwelcoming door to ask for help.

Lord Gavin deWolfe leaves Dahlia by the fire whilst he and his men take the wagon to rescue Sam, bad memories swirling about a similar carriage accident two years ago, when his wife Amelia seemed okay but died two days later. They get Sam back to the castle but his leg is badly injured. Will he avoid infection and survive? The doctor is summoned.

Dahlia is anxious about her brother. With their parents dead, they only have each other and had been on their way to Sam’s new job.

Meanwhile Gavin is not convinced about having Dahlia in the house unchaperoned and tries to send her on her way alone. And how does Dahlia react to this?

I was surprised however when I got to the end of the story and discovered that it was the final instalment in the Chronicles of a Bluestocking series. I have previously read all of those and had thought the series to be complete. It did have one tenuous link, in that Gavin is the cousin of Lord Wesley Preston, hero of Too Wicked To Woo.

To Want A Rogue is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.28 in Kindle format. This is another nice light short romantic story from Tammy.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Dear Future Self by Lisa Becker – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have previously enjoyed several books by Lisa Becker, so I was looking forward to reading her latest book Dear Future Self. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Dear Future Self by Lisa Becker

Here is the book blurb.

People think they know Jase Connors. Former front man for Kings Quarters. Successful solo artist. Consummate playboy. What they don’t know is he’s tired from road life. Tired of road life. Just plain tired.

When a beloved high school teacher passes away, Jase returns to his Midwestern childhood home to honor the teacher’s final wishes. Sparks fly when he’s reunited with his childhood best friend, Cami, and is forced to confront choices that made him the man he is today.

Dear Future Self is a 23,000-word novella spin-off of award-winning Starfish: A Rock Star Romance. It can be read as a stand-alone and guarantees a happily ever after.

This short novella is a spin-off from Lisa’s previous book Starfish, which I loved. It works fine as a stand-alone read and although much shorter, is still a great read.

Jase, formerly with rock band Kings Quarters, is now a solo singer, currently on tour. The story starts with Jase’s mom calling him with the sad news that Mr Hancock, his high school English teacher has died, but has left him something in his will. Jase, or Jason as he was known back home, really respected Mr Hancock and gets his assistant Delilah to cancel the rest of the tour, so he can return to his childhood home town Clancy. His manager Damon is not pleased.

At the attorney’s, he bumps into Cami, his best friend from childhood, whom has hasn’t spoken to in more than a decade. They used to sing together in the church choir and Cami is now music teacher at the school. The attorney advises that Mr Hancock has left $650k for the school music department, contingent upon Jason and Cami working together to personally arrange his memorial service and a tribute school assembly, plus mailing all the student “Dear Future Self” letters. These were letters that they all wrote in 10th grade about their future dreams, which Mr Hancock mailed to them 20 years later.

So will Jason and Cami fulfil Mr Hancock’s request? If not, the will states that the money will be a prize at a video game tournament, something that Mr Hancock hated. How will things progress? And what about all those hundreds of letters?

Dear Future Self is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. A warm fuzzy feeling romantic comedy.

And you may like to see my reviews of other titles by Lisa that I also loved.
Links
Clutch
Starfish


About the author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.


And you can find Lisa Becker on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have previously loved reading the Madam Tulip mysteries, so I was very pleased to receive a free e-copy of the fourth book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and The Serpent's Tree by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

Actress Derry O’Donnell, moonlighting as fortune-teller Madam Tulip, finds herself in a famous pop singer’s entourage. But at the star’s glittering birthday party in the Dublin mountains, Derry finds a band riven by rivalries and feuds. Behind the trouble is a mysterious Russian guru, a shaman hated by everyone but the singer whose life she dominates.

When the shaman mysteriously disappears, suspicion threatens to tear the band apart. Was she victim or poisoner? Guilty or innocent? Dead or alive?

Two brilliant and beautiful musicians; an ambitious band manager with a shady past; a sax player entranced by Vikings–each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is fourth in the Madam Tulip mystery series, in which Derry O’Donnell, her sidekick Bruce and best friend Bella, play the most exciting and perilous roles of their acting lives.

The story begins with Derry, an actress trying to scrape a living in Dublin, accompanying her best friend Bella to meet Pat Kelly, bar and club owner and manager of famous pop band Maramar. Bella sells them to Kelly as a theatre company who could perform at his venue. So they along with friend Bruce start to plan their first production, when Bella lets on that Kelly also wants Derry as Madam Tulip, her fortune-telling persona at a birthday party for Aileen, Maramar’s lead singer. Derry doesn’t want to do it, but Bella says that without Madam Tulip, the theatre deal is off, so Derry reluctantly agrees.

They head to an estate in the Dublin mountains for the party, where Derry as Madam Tulip begins her evening’s work by telling fortune for band member Mia who is taken ill during the reading. Has Mia been poisoned?

Readings follow for Nils, the saxophone player who particularly criticises Kira, Aileen’s shaman. Then for Aileen who is worried because Kira has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Derry’s artist dad, Jacko is writing a biography. Her mother Vanessa says it will ruin Jacko’s career and begs Derry to stop him.

The main mystery appears to be regarding Kira. Why has she disappeared? Is there something sinister? And as Derry starts to unravel it, is she in danger herself?

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is newly published on Amazon, currently priced at £3.10 in kindle format. Another great mystery which I thoroughly recommend. And I love how humour is wound into the story too. I certainly hope there will be a book 5.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous Madam Tulip titles.
Madam Tulip
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts
Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland. He become a research psychologist in Scotland and the Netherlands, before inevitably his genes kicked in and he absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

After stints playing in great bands, all doomed to obscurity, and writing equally obscure plays, he took to novel-writing. He now creates the Madam Tulip mysteries, in part as a tribute to the way actors never give up dreaming, but mostly to make himself laugh and scratch his head. David Ahern loves pretending this is actual work.

David lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, a cat, a tame pheasant, a clan of badgers and a vegetable garden.

You can learn more about David Ahern and the Madam Tulip mysteries from his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter
and Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/davidahern

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