Monday 25 February 2019

Book Musings - The Playing Card Killer by Russell James

The Playing Card Killer by Russell James 

Paperback: 288 pages 
Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition (14 Feb. 2019) 


Brian Sheridan may be losing his mind.

Asleep, he’s plagued by dreams of murder, women strangled with a red velvet rope then left with a playing card tucked in the corpse. While awake, he’s hallucinating that he’s being stalked by a man painted like a skeleton. It’s getting hard to know what’s real. He hopes all this is driven by his cold turkey withdrawal from a lifetime of anti-anxiety medications.

But when one of his nightmare’s victims shows up on the news, dead, Brian fears he himself may be the unwitting killer...

My Musings :

Source : Reviewing copy through Netgalley
Date read : February 21,2019
Rating : 5/5
My reread factor : 4/5

A serial killer thriller? I need to get my hands on it. That was my thought as soon as I saw this one. Oh boy! I am really happy that I was selected. I really enjoyed the read. It's another of my top reads for this year.

The characters are complex with real difficulties. Brian with his personal problems and Detective with his professional problems are a couple of the characters I really liked. I loved to read all about them in addition to the mystery involving the murders. It was a rather convoluted tale. At times I felt as if I was reading a horror book rather than a thriller. The dark vibe was pretty creepy. But it was a read that I relished in spite of my fear.

The author has applied the rather common theme and elements of a serial killer trope and made it his own with twists and turns from his very imaginative mind. The book kept me on tenterhooks till the end. The book does deal with real life problems so it has that side theme going for it too.

All in all, it was a dark twisty page turner of a mystery and thriller. And I look forward more of the same variety!

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't have any impact on my review.

My one line review : A twisty page turner of a mystery and thriller.

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching late night horror on TV, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, he became a technical writer by day and spins twisted tales by night.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at read some free short stories.

Twitter @RRJames14

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Book Musings - Inborn by Thomas Enger

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of Inborn by Thomas Enger. I am quite excited to present my musings to you.

Blurb :

 When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community. As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has his relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust. But can we trust him?

A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?.

My Musings :

Source : ARC from Random Things Tours - this doesn't impact my review
Date read : February 18,2019
Rating : 5/5
Reread factor : 3.5/5

This was unlike any other book I had read so far. Because it was written in such a way that it kept me tied to the story till the end. One thing I found interesting was the new locale and the culture and the names. Almost all of them were exotic to me. This really underscored the fact that I don't usually read international books. I really need to expand my horizon.

That aside, the other thing was the narrative style. It was a combination of a courtroom drama in the present with flashbacks to the mysterious crime of the death of two students in a small town. It was captivating and intriguing. It was alternating in the way that it kept me updated on the past and the present and wondering about the future. The prose was tightly written with no place for errors or space for boredom. It was as if the author had decided to keep me guessing till the end.

The way the book started had me sure about the identity of the culprit.  Oh my! I was so wrong. The author sure does know how to spin a tale of twisty turns and murky minds. I really need to acknowledge the fact that the story was one of the best ones I have read so far this year. The characters are no less intriguing with each of them having separate agendas. I liked Even from the beginning and at one point I was sad about this future. But I didn't realise the path the author was taking me on and that was one of the best surprises in the book. The ending with the aftermath twist is another one I didn't see coming, at all. All my guessing throughout the book had nothing on the plotting genius of the author.

Intriguing crime, twisted plot, murky reasons all come together to give a  brilliantly captivating read. I have no more words other than to say that I am looking forward to reading the author's other books ASAP.

My one line review : Intriguing crime, twisted plot, murky reasons = brilliantly captivating read.

About the Author :

Thomas Enger is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication, and marked the first in the bestselling Henning Juul series. Rights to the series have been sold to 28 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Killer Instinct, upon which Inborn is based, and another Young Adult suspense novel, was published in Norway in 2017 and won the same prestigious prize. Most recently, Thomas has cowritten a thriller with Jørn Lier Horst. Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Book Musings - The Earl's Inconvenient Wife by Julia Justiss

Click the cover to go to the Goodreads page

Source : ARC from the author
Date read : February 17, 2019
Rating : 4.5/5
Reread factor : 4/5

Blurb :

The obvious solution:
A marriage of convenience!

Part of Sisters of Scandal: Temperance Lattimar is too scandalous for a Season, until finally she’s sponsored by Lady Sayleford. The whole charade feels wrong when she doesn’t want a husband, but Temper feels awful when MP and aristocrat Gifford Newell is appointed to “protect” her at society events. With her past, she knows she’s not an ideal wife…but then a marriage of convenience to Giff becomes the only option!

Sisters of Scandal miniseries

Book 1 — A Most Unsuitable Match

Book 2 — The Earl’s Inconvenient Bride

“A Most Unsuitable Match is a marvellous read” —All About Romance on A Most Unsuitable Match

“Julia Justiss writes another winner!” —Goodreads on A Most Unsuitable Match

My Musings :

When I got a chance to get my hands on it, I literally jumped. A new regency romance with a friends-to-lovers theme and I don't want to read it? No way! Regency is one of my favourite time periods. I love the elegance and the high society of those times though there are parts which make me sad and mad.

The author has done justice to the setting and period aspects of the story. I really enjoyed reading about the fun parts - the parties and the rumour mill and the set downs etc., as much as the serious parts - women being treated as objects and not having power in their own lives. Yes, it was a tough time and the glitz kept me entertained to breeze through the pages.

And add to that the story is easy to read with good language and easy to imagine scenes, it's a no-brainer wonderful read. The theme of love blossoming between long time friends is always close to my heart and this one is no exception. I literally felt the sparks between Temper and Gifford. I don't really know how her family missed it. That's the reason I loved Lady Sayleford. What an astute lady! That's how I imagine a regency heroine to be! The romance was fast and I really felt like smacking those two to getting to the resolution part so late! They kept me on tenterhooks with their love realisation. 

But, the anticipation is what kept me going till the end. And what an end! A very nicely packed finale with a very happy couple. This doesn't mean that there weren't any wicked plotting involved by the so called ladies. There is and it was what brought about the protagonists' happy life! Oh yes, a clear case of All's well that ends well! 

Only thing which wasn't perfect was the plot twister regarding Temper the author had written into the book. It was hinted at so heavily and so many times that it wasn't a surprise at all when it was revealed. That could have been done better. Though this is the second book, I didn't feel that I had to read the first one to enjoy it. It really read well as a standalone and I loved the feel of the cover. It perfectly sums up the story.

All in all, a clearly charming read with good characters and a medium paced plot with enough fun to have made me read it in one go!

Thanks to the author for an ARC which doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A charming friends-to-lovers Regency romance!


Wednesday 13 February 2019

Book Musings - Karma never loses an address by K J McGillick

Blurb :

Betrayal on Every Level

Marley Bennington had brutally murdered her older sister Samantha in a drug fueled rage. Only two people know that fact as true. One of those two people, was sitting in a state prison, serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. Who was that unfortunate person? Alex Clarke, Samantha Bennington’s husband, the man so buried in circumstantial evidence that he confessed to a crime he didn’t commit, rather than face a trial. He was now trapped with no way out.

It all began as sibling rivalry and jealousy, as so many tales of treachery do. Now, that intense jealousy had ended in her sister’s murder. Once Alex was tucked safely away in prison, Marley was set to inherit millions of dollars tainted with her sister’s blood. But suddenly, two obstacles stood in her way preventing her from quickly obtaining the reward for her well executed plan. One obstacle was her brother, and the other a nosy little old lady. But for Marley, this wasn’t a problem. She had killed twice already and cheated the justice system. What were a few more bodies?

Justice delayed is justice denied. Can Marley be trapped by the very people she tried to deceive? Will karma finally visit her door? Another gripping, tangled tale from the author of Facing A Twisted Judgment.

Purchase Links
UK -

US - 

My Musings :

Source : ARC through Rachel's Random Resources
Date read : February 12,2019
Rating : 4.5/5
Reread factor : 3/5

I didn't know when I picked up this book, there was an earlier book. I felt I could have enjoyed it better if I had read it in spite of Karma being a standalone book. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the book. It has all the characteristics of a good read - great characters, exciting plot and breezy easy writing.

I always love a good villain and Marley hits the spot right on. She was such a cruel and fantastically evil person that I instinctively hated her. But as for her role in the story, she was marvellous.  The character I most loved was Mary. She really got my heart. I couldn't get enough of the feisty old woman. Tallulah was interesting and I might be interested in knowing her more in the future books.

The plot was full of turns and twists and had me seated on the edge of the book. I am really happy that I got grabbed the chance to read it. The cover was actually very attention grabby and had me very much interested in reading the book. The author sure knows how to get a reader to continue reading with her entertaining words. I think I better read the prequel of sorts of the book to enjoy the coming books. 

My one line review : Great characters, exciting plot and breezy easy writing.

Author Bio

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that's what New Yorker's do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

Social Media Links –

Kathleen McGillick


Tuesday 12 February 2019

Cover Reveal - Ms Baker by Lea Coll

Today we have the cover reveal for Lea Coll’s MS. BAKER. Check it out and be sure to grab your copy March 26th!


Title: Ms. Baker

Author: Lea Coll

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 26th


About Ms. Baker:

Ever since Jack protected Samantha from a high school bully, the two have been friends. But she wants more from the sexy firefighter. Too bad Jack has always seen her as the shy sweet girl, who can’t stand up for herself.   She can’t resist his boyish smile when he stops by the bakery for coffee. Or stop herself from bringing baked goods to the fire station.   It’s time to prove she’s all grown up and can take care of herself.   And show him, she’s done being friends




Exclusive Excerpt:

My eyes traveled around the room until I saw Jack leaning against the counter by the coffee machine in his department-issued navy blue shirt, blue cargo pants, and boots. I flushed to find his eyes on mine. I couldn’t get the feel of his hands or lips out of my head. He made no move to grab a donut, so I walked over to him. “Not hungry this morning?” I asked. “Oh, I’m always hungry,” he said, his eyes steady on mine as he took a sip of his coffee. After the dream I had, I couldn’t help but take that comment literally. “You should eat an apple cider donut before they’re gone," I said, my heart pounding, I turned to grab a plate to hide my face, but Jack grabbed my hand pulling me back. “Don’t worry about it, I can get it myself,” he said. The movement knocked me off balance and I fell back onto his hard chest. His arm came around my middle to steady me. “Whoa there,” he whispered into my ear, as his body curled around mine. “I said I can get it myself. You’ve been on your feet all morning. Why don’t you sit down and rest?” I heard the guys joking around me, but couldn’t follow their conversation. “Samantha?” Jack’s voice caressed my ear again. “Yeah?” I asked, breathing in the smell of coffee, and leaning my head back a little to look up at him. His eyes crinkled in amusement and his lips tilted up into a smile. “Are you going to sit down?” His chest was warm on my back, and my hands instinctively gripped his bare forearms, which were wrapped around my waist. I wanted to sink back into him even more, but I reluctantly moved out of his hold, feeling the loss of warmth immediately. I shook my head to clear it and pulled a stool from the island to sit down. The guys were still standing around the counter, but the box of donuts was almost empty.  



Catch Up on the Series!

  About the Author:


Lea Coll worked as a trial attorney for over ten years. Now she stays home with her three children, plotting stories while fetching snacks and running them back and forth to activities. She enjoys the freedom of writing romance after years of legal writing. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her family.  

Connect with Lea:

Website | Facebook


Monday 11 February 2019

Book Musings - Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke

Dear Lady Truelove . . .

My twin brother and I need a new mother, though Papa insists he’ll never marry again. Must be nice, brainy, and fond of cats . . .

Lady Truelove may be London’s most famous advice columnist, but James St. Clair, the Earl of Kenyon, knows his wild young sons need a tutor, not a new mother. They need a man tough enough to make his hellions tow the line, and James is determined to find one.

Miss Amanda Leighton, former schoolteacher and governess, knows she has all the qualifications to be a tutor. And while female tutors are unheard of, Amanda isn’t about to lose the chance at her dream job because of pesky details like that. If Lord Kenyon insists on hiring a man, then she has only one option . . .

Jamie isn’t sure what to make of his new employee, until he realizes the shocking truth—beneath the ill-fitting suits, his boys’ tutor is a woman. An unconventional, outspoken, thoroughly intriguing woman. Despite Amanda’s deception, he can’t dismiss her when his boys are learning so much. Yet Jamie, too, is learning surprising lessons—about desire, seduction, and passionate second chances . . .

About the Book

Governess Gone Rogueby Laura Lee Guhrke
SeriesDear Lady Truelove Series (All Novels Are Standalone)
Historical Romance
PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateJanuary 29, 2019
Purchase Your Copy Today!Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

My Musings :

Source : ARC from Pure Textuality PR 
Date read : February 8,2019
My rating : 4/5
My reread factor :3.5/5

I was stoked when I came across this one. In no time I had signed up for an ARC because I had loved the author's books in the past. And this time too she didn't disappoint!

The main attraction of the story was the twins. I loved their antics and their mischievous minds. Followed closely was Amanda's transformation. It had me giggling, the way she tried to act as a man. I didn't know why and how Jamie didn't find out before he did. It was a pretty entertaining read. And I loved the memorable mischief and the serious moments mingled with the romance between Amanda and Jamie.

I was quite surprised when Jamie didn't turn out Amanda from his household. It gave an insight into the kind of person he was,in spite of him being an inattentive father. At the same time, I believe Amanda turned out to be the best out of the protagonists with her lively mind and intellectual demeanour. I found that the pairing wasn't as mismatched as I thought I would find.

But the one thing I didn't understand and couldn't agree with was the ending. It might have been heroic on the guys' side, but it was a tad unbelievable and hurried according to me. Other than that, I really enjoyed the funny tricks, close family ties and the head over heels love story. I look forward to reading more of the same from the author's other books!

My one line review : An entertainer with mischief and love.

About Laura Lee Guhrke

LAURA LEE GUHRKE spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Release Week Blitz - We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

Hello and welcome to the Release Week Blitz for
We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott
presented by Entangled Teen!

Find out more about this new release below,
and be sure to enter the giveaway!


Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone.
But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.
The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.
And that’s yours truly.

We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 2 February 2019

Reading Pile - February 2019

Another month has passed and a new one is here for a fresh start of reading. Hey guys! Welcome to Feb and I have so many books to explore! And sooo many reviews to write! Let's take a look at the present line up.

Click on the book covers to go to the Goodreads page.

I bought this on Amazon and I am looking forward to a good Post Apoc book. Let's see if it is good or bad..

Another book I bought on Amazon. I have been meaning to read Willow Rose's books for such a long time.

I picked this because I had this on my kindle. I don't remember when I bought it. It seems to be too short! 

A blog tour I signed up for. I love Laura Lee books so I am expecting to adore it.

Another blog tour but this time, it's a crime mystery. I am so looking forward to this one.

This seems to be a serial killer thriller. So I am all in. This too is a blog tour.

This was brought to my attention and I wanted to read it. I love women with swords. So I got it on KU this month.

Another blog tour read! Do you see a pattern? I am into mysteries and thrillers. But I don't know how to categorise this one unless I read it.

Another Amazon purchase and a Post Apoc to boot. Woohoo!

A very much anticipated read. Not because it just released but I was slow in picking it up. And a very much recommended read from Gaius, a fellow Litrpg/Gamelit reader. I hope it turns out great!

I received this review copy from the author few months back and I still haven't read it. I really need to get started. 

I was pointed to this book by the author on Goodreads and asked to review. It was free on Amazon so I got it. I think it is still available as a freebie.

This is an ARC I received from Entangled. A different imprint.. So looking forward to it.

A new author to try out this month! I got this freebie on Amazon. It still is free!

When I came across this I promptly signed up for a review copy. Now that I have the ARC, I am apprehensive that it will be too steamy or erotic. Oh well!

Another ARC, this time from the author. I was ticked pink I got a spot on her list! I am looking forward to it.

This seems to be my kinda read. But gotta see! I have requested a review copy from Entangled. Hope I receive it.

I loved the first book,surprisingly. So I am reading the series! I got it on KU.

Now looking back, I think I have bitten off more than I can chew! And I have fewer days than January. I hope I can finish them all. Wish me luck!


Friday 1 February 2019

Excerpt - In the Dog House by Traci Hall

Hi guys! Today I am posting an excerpt for In the Dog House by Traci Hall. Hope you enjoy this tiny peek into the book.

Blurb :

Ten years ago, Jackson Hardy joined the Marines, leaving behind a woman he still dreams about. When he's called home to care for his ten-year-old nephew, no one is more shocked than he to run into Emma again. Or to still have those same feelings. But Jackson isn't looking for love, and neither is Emma, especially not with him. His precocious nephew, though, and a retriever named Bandit, are about to change that.

So what if Emma Mercer is an overachiever? She has plans to get her doctorate in psychology and create a no-kill shelter for the EST dogs she trains. Which leaves absolutely no time for romance. She's fine with a furry family—dogs don't teach you to love and then rip your heart to shreds. But young Matty's situation tugs at her heartstrings and there's no way she can't help him…and Jackson.

She may have hotter-than-ever chemistry with the soldier, but forgetting the past isn't easy.

Excerpt :

She’d said she was proud of him—did she mean it? Her forearm brushed his leg, and her throat turned a deep shade of rose as she held his gaze. Sweet. She wouldn’t say what she didn’t mean.

He tilted to the right, wanting to touch her mouth with his. Sample a quick taste of Emma to add to his memories. Her lips slightly parted, the pulse at the hollow of her throat sped, her eyes dilated. They were so close to a kiss that all he had to do was move his head forward…

She stood abruptly, smoothing the yellow fabric down over her hip with an eye toward Matty, racing around the fountain. “I’ll get dessert.”

Jackson snapped back. Was she inviting him inside?

“I’ll help.”

She held the door open for him, and he followed her. The instant they were out of sight she launched herself at him, wrapping her arms around him to hold him tight—he couldn’t have broken free if he’d wanted to.

And he didn’t.

He buried his hands in her soft, soft hair and cupped her head so that he could study Emma and memorize each new line and freckle. He gently brought the pads of his thumbs to her smooth jaw and plump pink lower lip. Her eyes, swiped with copper, glittered sensually as she absorbed his touch. Auburn lashes at half-mast as she relaxed into him.

He dropped one arm to her hip to balance her, the other still cradling her head as he lowered his mouth. She lifted to him, their lips whispering across each other’s mouths before crashing together like surf against the sand.

She tasted different but the same. It was meeting his other half, something he’d been missing and suddenly needed more than his next breath.


“Jackson.” Her words were hot against his lips and brought the embers of desire flaming bright.

She entwined her fingers behind his neck and pressed in to him.

He clasped her tight, feeling the warmth of her feminine curves, the temptation she offered.

The smack of sneakers up the porch steps made them break away like guilty teenagers.

Jackson’s chest heaved. They weren’t that anymore.

Em’s eyes flashed, the pulse at her neck fast as a hummingbird’s.

“Emma,” Matty asked, innocently entering the kitchen. “Can I have some lemonade?”

“Sure, hon. I was just getting the cannoli out. Are you ready for dessert?” Emma turned her back to him, and Jackson detected a tremor in her voice.

Jackson knew then that he’d never be over Emma Mercer, not if he lived to be a thousand.