Jane in St. Pete (Jane in St. Pete Mystery, #1) by Cynthia Harrison #BookReview #RBRT @cynthiaharriso1

Cover: Jane in St. Pete
(Jane in St. Pete, #1)
by Cynthia Harrison

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Widowed art lecturer Jane Chasen is not an impulsive woman. Why, then, does the formerly methodical workaholic quit her job, sell her house, and move from Detroit to Florida? Instead of pondering her atypical behavior, she takes a closer look at a neighbor’s intriguing outdoor art installation. Days later, Detective Jesse Singer discovers the murdered artist in his studio. With Jane’s help, Singer finds the victim’s bloody shirt, inexplicably located within Jane’s gated community. Singer knows nothing about art, and as he closely questions Jane, she offers to help with the art angle of the case. Singer soon takes Jane up on her offer. Then, Jane begins to receive anonymous threats. Singer, determined to protect Jane, keeps her closer to his side than ever—she’s not complaining.

Genre(s): > Mystery Romance
> Women Sleuths (Kindle Store)
> Amateur Sleuths
Series: A Jane in St. Pete Mystery Book, #1
Length: 153 pages
Release date: 2020-11-02

Teaser


Jane didn’t press him, further. At one time in her life, she might have done so. Not now. Not here. The Florida air changed a person. It had changed Jane. There were days she didn’t recognize herself. Today was one of them.

“I thought we’d start with the house; just walk with me and see what you notice. I’ll record your observations for the record.” He handed Jane gloves and shoe covers.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Jane Chasen, art lecturer, recently widowed. Still trying to get her social footing in the Winding Bayou community, Jane and her friend Kim stop by an artist’s house; an artist who later turns up dead. Jane teams up with police detective Jesse Singer who needs her expertise.

With “Jane in St. Pete”, Cynthia Harrison has created an entertaining mystery with a hint of romance. Jane Chasen is complex; it took me a while to warm up to her as her life choices differed vastly from what I would have done. As I learned more about her, I understood and started to like her. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions until the last page. After warming up to Jane, I had a great time reading “Jane in St. Pete” – it is an intriguing and enjoyable read. I was soon drawn into the story, eager to solve the case. For me, it is more mystery than romance which is good for me; the romantic part enhances the story nicely, though. A story to read again.

This is for you if you like mysteries with well-elaborated twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of romance, and if you think something like “I would not mind reading more of this”.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough; some mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

About the author

Reader, writer, and former professional book critic for RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. This is why I only give 3, 4 or 5 star reviews. I do not finish reading books that fall below that level. Life is too short to read bad books!

 

Connect with the Author:


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading. Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about “Jane in St. Pete”? Or – if you did not yet read “Jane in St. Pete” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Lily White in Detroit by Cynthia Harrison #BookReview #RBRT @cynthiaharriso1

Cover: Lily White in Detroit
by Cynthia Harrison

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Private investigator Lily White has a client with a faulty moral compass. When the client is arrested for murdering his wife and her alleged lover, Lily follows her intuition and her own leads. If she’s wrong, she’ll at least know she did her job.

Detroit police detective Derrick Paxton remembers Lily from another case. He understands she suffers from PTSD and thinks her judgment is impaired. He goes after her client and the evidence he needs to close the case. When Lily is kidnapped, the case takes an unexpected turn.

In a sometimes racially divided city, a black cop and a white PI work together to peel back every layer to find the truth. What they find leads them to each other, but do they have enough to bring the true criminals to justice?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Romance > Multicultural & Interracial
> Romance > Mystery & Suspense > Suspense
Books
> Romance > Multicultural
Series: n.a.
Length: 179 pages
Release date: 2018-08-15

Teaser


“He remembered you.”

“And I remembered him. He’s very kind. He makes me feel safe. When I saw him, I snapped right out of the fugue.” I felt guilty all over again for not going right home when Paxton told me to. I had inserted myself into his investigation. I hadn’t thought of it that way at the time. Still, he’d been cool about it.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Lily White, PI. A rather simple case of observation is ended by a murder. Lily teams up with police detective Derrick Paxton, little do they know what is to come.

With “Lily White in Detroit”, Cynthia Harrison has created an entertaining mystery with more than just a hint of romance. Lily White and Derrick Paxton are very likeable characters, complex; even if they are not always on the same page during the case, they stay focussed. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with depth and interesting interactions until the last page. I had a great time reading “Lily White in Detroit” – it is an intriguing and enjoyable read. I was drawn into the story right away, eager to solve the case. For me, it is more mystery than romance which is good for me; the romantic part enhances the story nicely, though. A story to read again.

This is for you if you like mysteries with well-elaborated twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of romance, and if you think something like “I would not mind reading more of this”.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV First person – past tense (Lily)
Third person – past tense (Derrick)
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough; some medium swearwords)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

Reader, writer, and former professional book critic for RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. This is why I only give 3, 4 or 5 star reviews. I do not finish reading books that fall below that level. Life is too short to read bad books!

 

Connect with the Author:


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading. Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about “Lily White in Detroit”? Or – if you did not yet read “Lily White in Detroit” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell #BookReview @HowellWave

Cover: Circumstances of Childhood
by John W. Howell

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Biographical
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Legal
Books
> Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Financial
Series: n.a.
Length: 299 pages
Release date: 2017-10-01

Teaser


“Yes, it will be a big adjustment for all of us. We don’t have a quarterback. I’m afraid I put all my eggs into the Keith basket.”

Right then, I thought hard about having Greg take over as quarterback. He knew the plays better than anyone. Hell, he was the brains behind many of them. I said out loud, “Why doesn’t Greg do the quarterbacking?”

The coach looked over to where I stood as if he heard me, although impossible. “Greg, would you consider taking over as quarterback?”


My Opinion

This book provides you with a first look at Greg, whereas Keith introduces you to the story.

With Circumstances of Childhood, John W. Howell has created a unique story of friendship, loss, and much more. Greg and Keith are very likeable characters; as the story proceeded, I became their invisible friend. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with depth and interesting interactions until the last page. I had a great time reading Circumstances of Childhood – it is a very intriguing and intense read; it turned me into an invisible ally and/or friend of the believable protagonists. I was drawn into the story right away, eager to learn more. Some of the events may start a new train of thoughts, maybe even shine a new light on something familiar.

This is for you if you like thrillers with excellent twists, interesting and complex characters, a touch of the paranormal, and – food for thought.

A compelling and remarkable read by a master of story-telling.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV best fit for every scenario
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough; some medium swearwords)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent)

 

About the author

John W, Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October 1st 2017. The latest, The Contract, was launched the week of June 4th, 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

 

Connect with the Author:


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading. Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about Circumstances of Childhood? Or – if you did not yet read Circumstances of Childhood – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Book review:  My GRL  (John J. Cannon Series, #1)

Book review:  His Revenge  (John J. Cannon Series, #2)

Book review:  Our Justice  (John J. Cannon Series, #3)

10 Statements – John W. Howell

 

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The Labyrinthine Journey (Servant of the Gods, #2) by Luciana Cavallaro #BookReview @ClucianaLuciana

Cover: The Labyrinthine Journey
(Servant of the Gods, #2)
by Luciana Cavallaro

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Follow Evan as he continues his odyssey as Servant of the Gods in The Labyrinthine Journey. The quest to locate the sacred object adds pressure to the uneasy alliance between Evan and the Atlanteans. His inability to accept the world he’s in, and his constant battle with Zeus, both threaten to derail the expedition and his life.

Traversing the mountainous terrain of the Peloponnese and Corinthian Gulf to the centre of the spiritual world, Evan meets with Pythia, Oracle of Delphi. Her cryptic prophecy reveals much more than he expected; something that changes his concept of the ancient world and his former way of life.

Will Evan and his friends succeed in their quest to find the relics and stop the advent of Christianity?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
> Fantasy > Historical
> Fantasy > Fairy Tales
Books > Literature & Fiction
> Genre Fiction > Historical > Fantasy
> Action & Adventure > Fantasy
> Mythology & Folk Tales
Series: Servant of the Gods, #2
Length: 310 pages
Release date: Mythos Publications:  2017-10-01
Luccav Enterprises:  2018-01-12

 

Teaser


‘The Oracle of Delphi is the most powerful of all prophets,’ said Dexion. ‘My father told me people voyaged from faraway places to hear her predictions. My homeland was settled by Greeks who sought Pythia’s advice. She described the location, how far it was, how to get there and what they would find once they arrived.’

‘Is your ability the same as hers?’ Leander asked.

‘No.’ Dexion shook his head. ‘My ability only allows me to see a person’s future, whereas the Oracle’s gift sees all.’


My Opinion

This book continues the journey of Evan/Evandros Chronis and his fellow travellers. While Evan still dreams of returning to the 21st century, their search for the relics is disrupted by a certain someone who has different plans for the future.

With The Labyrinthine Journey, Luciana Cavallaro has created another well-crafted historical suspense that continues a modern architect’s journey into the past and/or mythology – against his will. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Evan and his quest. Luciana Cavallaro introduces the characters with care, integrating them in the plot, you want to find a possibility to help Evan reach his goal. Evan is believable, determined, and has a strong sense of justice. As the journey continues, the story keeps its steady yet fast-paced flow, skilfully combining the already known characters with new encounters and mythology. Be prepared for some complex characters, surprising events and revelations, and for an adventurous journey into Greek mythology. The author’s passion for history and writing shows – I had a great time reading. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

This is a book for you if you like mythology, fantasy stories with believable characters, and if you appreciate excellent story-telling.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scenes of violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

About the author

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, likes to meander between contemporary life to the realms of mythology and history. Luciana has always been interested in Mythology and Ancient History but her passion wasn’t realised until seeing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. From then on, she was inspired to write Historical Fantasy.

She has spent many lessons promoting literature and the merits of ancient history. Today, you will still find Luciana in the classroom, teaching ancient history and promoting literature. To keep up-to-date with her ramblings, ahem, that is meaningful discourse, subscribe to her mailing list at http://www.luccav.com.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading. Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about The Labyrinthine Journey? Or – if you did not yet read The Labyrinthine Journey – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Luciana Cavallaro

Review: Search for the Golden Serpent

 

Search for the Golden Serpent (Servant of the Gods, #1) by Luciana Cavallaro #BookReview @ClucianaLuciana

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

It’s not where he appears, it’s when.

What if you’re born during another time grew up in the 21st century and thrust back into the past? Confused? So is architect, Evan Chronis.

Evan drawn by screams ventures out to his backyard and sees blood trickling down the limestone steps. He steps off the veranda and finds himself in the days of great and marvellous power, a time when the gods ruled the universe.

To return to the 21st century life he longs for, he must risk his life in search of powerful, treasured relics older than the Holy Grail. But what he finds might be more than he expected.

Will Evan find the relics and return home or will he remain forever stuck in a world so different from his own?

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Greek & Roman
> Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Mythology
Books
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Greek & Roman
Series: Servant of the Gods, #1
Length: 426 pages
Release date: 2015-03-27

 

Teaser


… As he reached the rear, he glanced back at the well-lit patio. Blood drained from his face. A chill seeped into his bones.

‘When I came out that was not there.’

The vision became clearer the longer he stared. Hesitant, he took a step, wanting to go but at the same time not. Before he could take another, he rocketed backwards. His arms and legs flung out, swept into a maelstrom, engulfed in white light.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Evan Chronis, architect. He has strange and suffocating dreams – way too realistic for comfort. And how does he get his life back?

With Search for the Golden Serpent, Luciana Cavallaro has created a well-crafted suspense story that takes a modern architect into the past and/or mythology – against his will. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Evan and his quest. Luciana Cavallaro introduces the characters with care, integrating them in the plot, you want to find a possibility to help Evan reach his goal. Evan is believable, determined, and has a strong sense of justice. As the journey begins, the story reaches a steady yet fast-paced flow. Be prepared for some complex characters, surprising events and revelations, and for an adventurous journey into Greek mythology. The author’s passion for history and writing shows – I had a great time reading. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

This is a book for you if you like mythology, fantasy stories with believable characters, and if you appreciate excellent story-telling.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳

 

About the author

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, likes to meander between contemporary life to the realms of mythology and history. Luciana has always been interested in Mythology and Ancient History but her passion wasn’t realised until seeing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. From then on, she was inspired to write Historical Fantasy.

She has spent many lessons promoting literature and the merits of ancient history. Today, you will still find Luciana in the classroom, teaching ancient history and promoting literature. To keep up-to-date with her ramblings, ahem, that is meaningful discourse, subscribe to her mailing list at http://www.luccav.com.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Search for the Golden Serpent?  Or – if you did not yet read Search for the Golden Serpent – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Luciana Cavallaro