This Heart of Mine (by Brenda Novak)

Contemporary Romance

After serving 17 years in prison for murder, all Phoenix wants is to have a relationship with the son she hasn’t seen since he was born. With that hope she returns to Whiskey Creek, the scene of the crime where the parents of the victim and her ex-boyfriend and father of her child still live. She knows there is no happy ending for someone like her –– all she wants is to be left alone, to get her life together and maybe spend a little time with her son.

When Phoenix was tried for murder, Riley was a witness for the prosecution. While she sat in the dock he hammered the nails in that left nobody in any doubt of her guilt. Now she is out and what he has been avoiding can’t be avoided any more. But it’s not long before he starts to wonder if she is the vicious murderer the whole town thinks she is.

This Heart of Mine is great contemporary romance. The Whiskey Creek series has been a little up and down for me –– some that have been mind blowingly good, others not so much. This is definitely one of the shining lights and I think it can take the title of my favorite in the series. I’d actually walked away from the series (very few series’ hold my attention for more than three or four books) but a good friend who doesn’t really like contemporary romance rated this one high and on her recommendation I picked it up.  It was worth it.

It will also work as a stand alone so no need to read the other seven just to read this.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.44.24 pmOrange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide

The Final Reveille (by Amanda Flower)

Cozy Mystery

Kelsey is the director of Barton Farm, a Living History Museum with a focus on life in the 19th century and the civil war.

When the arrogant nephew of the museum’s main benefactor is murdered on the grounds there is no shortage of suspects and considering Kelsey was seen arguing with him just hours earlier she is right at the top of the list.

With the help of a reluctant civil war re-enactor she sets about finding the killer and saving the farm.

There is a fair bit to like about this book. As far as cozy mysteries go it was unique enough to hold my interest. It didn’t redefine the genre but it’s the first book I’ve read with this particular setting. That said, it feels a little like a draft copy of a great book. I have a fairly high tolerance for spelling and grammatical errors (people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones), but it really got to the point where I was thinking the book needs a good editor. And the ending could have been much better.

So it’s a promising start to a new series but there were a few shaky moments. Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.51.33 pm

Orange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide