Monday, November 15, 2021

Review - Beating the Wrap

Julie Anne Lindsey's latest release in her Bonnie & Clyde series is officially out today! 

Beating the Wrap takes us back to Bliss, Georgia to Bonnie Balfour's second chance dress shop, Bless Your Heart. This time around, the problems start with her troublemaking feline, Clyde. 

(Full disclosure, my cat thinks Clyde gets a bad rap this time around. Read on for her thoughts.)

From the cover: 
Bonnie Balfour adores the changing seasons, fabulous fall activities and holiday hoopla, but will a corpse on the porch squash her holiday plans?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner in historic Bliss, Georgia, and Bonnie is trimming display tables at Bless Her Heart, especially for the occasion. A Gift of Gratitude display, beside the front door of her second chance dress shop, encourages shoppers to leave messages of good tidings for neighbors and friends. Unfortunately, someone has left a cornucopia of complaints instead.

And they’re all about Bonnie!

When the scrooge turns out to be a neighbor, fed up with Clyde’s habitual petty theft and trespassing, Bonnie’s claws come out in defense of her kitty. The heated exchange leaves a bad taste in Bonnie’s mouth, but the man turns up dead before she can dish out a proper apology.

Determined to see justice served, Bonnie and Clyde dig into the case with gusto, only to land in hot water with the handsome Sheriff Wright. A series of anonymous attacks soon have the town wondering if Bonnie can find the killer before it’s time to cut the turkey. Or if she’ll be the next one on his carving board.

From my Goodreads review

I SOOOOO enjoyed this book! These keep getting better and better! Bonnie has a suggestion box that keeps yielding negative messages - presumably by someone who is not at all happy with Clyde, her adorable cat. A little deductive reasoning leads her to the man who owns another shops whose pieces keep disappearing thanks to a certain feline. After a public argument, Bonnie decides to apologize. 

When the man is found dead… Bonnie’s busy defending herself and delving into another mystery. 

I like this story because we learn a little more about Detective Wright’s backstory. Plus, his friend from Cleveland makes more appearances thanks to falling for one of Bonnie’s friends and moving down to Georgia. All our favorite characters make appearances including Bonnie’s parents and the ever-awesome, Gigi, who you can’t help but love as she starts up her new bakery business. Plus some fun, new characters, namely Thelma and Louisa!

Detective Wright solves the mystery (with Bonnie’s help, of course) and then, at the end of the book … Oh man - I can’t tell you, but you’ll love it. (FINALLY!) it’s awesome. I’m so happy with the ending of this book and cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out. 

Beating the Wrap is book 3 in the Bonnie & Clyde series. Book 4, Eyelet Witness, will be available next month!

Find all of Julie Anne Lindsey's books on her official website - Goodreads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon

If you're looking for a great writer of cozy mysteries that are slightly more intense than your average cozy, Julie Anne Lindsey is the writer you want to follow. Her official website has all her different series linked, but the Seaside Cafe mysteries were the books that got me hooked. Then, I moved on to the Christmas Tree Farm series. Then, the Cider Shop mysteries started. (Colton. Swoon!). Then...I got hooked on and have now read all of her Harlequin Intrigue romance novels (Not mysteries, but definitely action-packed and clean romances) and then... I've just traveled down to New Orleans and am listening to her Kitty Couture mysteries with Lacey and Jack. And (stops to fan myself) if you thought Colton was swoon worthy, wait 'til you meet Jack!

Now, she's tempting us even further with these terrific Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries. Yes. I'm hooked. And you should be, too. Heck - even Michonne agrees with me! 

Happy Reading! 

        - Heather

P.S. My cat, Michonne, gives it two paws up. That is, if she decided to actually compliment something. She's pretty judgy. This is her happy look. I think. Ok, fine. She's definitely on #TEAMCLYDE.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Review - The Fastest Way to Fall

I miss running and need to get my butt in gear to get back into it. I also love a good book with a happy ending. In a search for something that combines the two, I recently listened to a new romance novel called The Fastest Way to Fall. It's the sophomore novel by romance author Denise Williams. I absolutely loved her first novel, How to Fail at Flirting, and just had to check this one out. 

This is a wonderful book about a writer's journey through getting to better know herself as she writes for a healthy living magazine. It's 100% body positive but it travels through all the insecurities women, like Britta and also like myself, carry with us as we question so much in our lives. It was beautifully written and I definitely saw a lot of myself in this book as I read it.

From the book blurb: 

Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.

As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

From my Goodreads review:

This was an incredible story, but Britta - oh man. Things she said in this book hit so close to home. It was tough for me to listen to at times, but I couldn't stop. I could honestly relate to so much of the journey her character went through.

The evolution of their friendship and romance was fantastic and you can't help rooting for her and Wes throughout the entire book.

Read or listen to this book, it's a great read. And maybe at the end, you'll be inspired to run a 10K as well. Who's with me? 

And if you haven't already, pick up How to Fail at Flirting as well. Hits on some tough subjects, but is well worth your time to read.
Learn more about Denise Williams and all her books at these locations: Denise Williams - Official Website - Goodreads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon

Happy Reading, everyone! 

        - Heather

Twitter - @GrantsCrossing 

Instagram - @GrantsCrossing 

Goodreads - H.M.S. Brown - for this and all my book reviews

Harold Addison Scribner - Radioman, Third Class, US Naval Reserve

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