The Lost: A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery by Jeffrey B Burton – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton

Book Blurb:

The Lost is the next mystery from author Jeffrey B. Burton starring an extraordinary cadaver dog and her handler.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonGlencoe, Illinois: A home invasion turned kidnapping at the mansion of billionaire financier Kenneth J. Druckman brings Mason “Mace” Reid and his cadaver dog, Vira, to this wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. Druckman was assaulted, left behind while his wife and young daughter were taken for ransom.

Brought to the scene by the FBI, Reid specializes in human remains detection, and Vira is the star of his pack of cadaver dogs he’s dubbed The Finders. After Vira finds the dead body of the mother, former supermodel Calley Kurtz, everyone is on high alert to find Druckman’s missing daughter before the five-year-old disappears forever. But the trail Vira finds on the property’s dense woodlands leads right back to Druckman himself.

With the help of Detective Kippy Gimm, Reid and Vira must race against the clock. Nothing is as it appears to be . . . and the red herrings could be lethal.

My Review:

I passed the Lassie level dog books as I got older and these days I look for working dog books. This series does the trick for HRD (human remains detection) dogs. The various abilities of dogs and their bonded relationships with their handlers hold an endless fascination for me. And Vira, the cadaver dog in this series is almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid.

The Lost by Jeffrey B BurtonIn this series entry, a financier’s wife and daughter go missing and Mace is called in by the FBI. Vira finds the body of the mother, alright, but when everyone else is supplying theories about the little girl or who killed the mother, Vira disappears back to the mansion.

Mace lives outside of Chicago and has worked with the Chicago Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies before. His budding romantic interest is Detective Kippy Gimm. I gotta say, theirs is a unique relationship, but…whatever.

Anyway, Mace gets to work on this one, keeping most of the other dogs in his pack at bay, the GSD and Maggie May both now on permanent disability (all in the line of duty).

There are lots of twists and turns, Vira (Elvira) not getting the accolade she deserves. If only she could speak. Well, she does, but it’s still in Canine-ese and Mace isn’t quite the brainiac Vira is, although he does have his moments.

There are some well-developed personalities here, human as well as canine, each with their own signature and I enjoy the humorous aspect of Mace’s persona. The well-plotted narrative gets complex—nothing is ever simple—and the surprise in the conclusion caught me off-guard. I enjoy getting some down-low on each of the dogs, their specific roles. The race to find the little girl is truly a matter of beating the clock with themes that go beyond abduction.

It’s a fast-paced mystery, filled with the flawed Mace growing a bit with each episode. I was fortunate to begin with Book 1-The Finders and Book 2-The Keepers and have enjoyed each, although with background and flashbacks this might well be read as a standalone.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review; no bias, just my honest thoughts. This one currently on pre-order and I’m looking for Book 4.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B09CNFDZ9P
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Jeffrey B Burton - authorThe Author: Jeffrey B. Burton was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received his BA in Journalism at the University of Minnesota. THE FINDERS, the first in Burton’s K-9 mystery series, came out in June of 2020 (St. Martin’s Press). THE KEEPERS, the second in his K-9 series, came out in June of 2021. And THE LOST comes out in June of 2022.

Novels in Burton’s Agent Drew Cady mystery series include: THE CHESSMAN (MacAdam/Cage, 2012; paperback Harlequin Suspense, 2015), THE LYNCHPIN (MP Publishing, 2015), and THE EULOGIST (The Permanent Press, 2017). His short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines.

Jeff is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Horror Writers Association. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, daughter, an irate Pomeranian named Lucy, and a goofball/sweetheart of a Beagle named Milo.

Visit http://www.jeffreybburton.com to see more about Jeff’s novels and short stories.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Citizen K-9: A K Team Novel by David Rosenfelt – #Audiobook Review – #AnimalFiction

Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt

Citizen K-9 - banner 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Paterson Police Department has created a cold case division, and they want to hire the private investigators known as the K Team to look into the crimes. After all, Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, German shepherd Simon Garfunkel, recently retired from the force. Plus, another K Team member, Laurie Collins, used to be a cop as well.

Their first cold case hits home for the K Team. A decade ago, at Laurie’s 10th high school reunion, two of their friends simply…vanished. At the time Laurie had just left the force, and Corey was in a different department, so they had no choice but to watch from the sidelines. With no leads, the case went cold.

As the team starts to delve deeper into the events leading up to that night – reopening old wounds along the way – the pieces start to come together. But someone wants to stop them from uncovering the truth behind the disappearance, by any means necessary. 

In Citizen K-9, best-selling author David Rosenfelt masterfully blends mystery with dogs and humor to create an investigative team that listeners will be rooting for book after book. 

My Review:

Yes, this is a spin-off of one of my favorite series, Andy Carpenter, so I was a bit wary of anything that didn’t include the wise-ass attorney. However, I tried the K-Team because a number of the characters that are included in the Andy Carpenter series are featured in this one except Andy Carpenter is exchanged for retired cop Corey Douglas and Carpenter’s dogs for Simon Garfunkel, also a retired (canine) cop. (With me so far?)

But it is not Andy Carpenter by any other name.

Citizen K-9 by David RosenfeltCorey works with Laurie, also a retired cop (seriously, is there anyone left on the Paterson NJ police force?), and Laurie also happens to be Andy’s wife. AH HA, you say! Yes, a little nepotism, but this series gets a whole lot more serious.

The K Team works with the Paterson NJ police using their consultant funds to work on cold cases. Perfect. And this cold case involves two former classmates of Laurie’s, both disappearing after a high school reunion almost ten years ago.

As you can see, I haven’t lost a mystery with several dogs, as now there is one very serious German Shepherd and a favorite of the precinct. I have though lost the snarky, sarcastic wise-cracking Andy Carpenter, but I must say, Corey is growing on me despite his quirky personality. And, he may have a steady girl now—enter a budding romance.

This is not the Andy Carpenter series with one new character (minus the courtroom scenes), although you may wish to go back to Book 1 just to get the intro to Corey. I really enjoy Fred Berman’s voice as Corey, he does a great job, and Rosenfelt manages to work Carpenter in for free (cameo) legal appearances. These are complex mysteries with easy, fast, and engaging plots.

I read Book 2 February 2021, Animal Instinct, and thoroughly enjoyed it, found that it built well on the foundation set in this new series. While the concept borrows from the author’s successful characters of the Andy Carpenter series, these first three K-9s are engaging and entertaining and can be read as standalones. This one is just released and I urge you to check it out.

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from the publisher and NetGalley. Thank you, thank you! These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B094DWV1FH
Listening Length: 5 hrs 53 mins
Narrator: Fred Berman
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Citizen K-9 [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

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David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

[Goodreads] I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By comparison, “Ozzie and Harriet’s” clan seemed bizarre.

I graduated NYU, then decided to go into the movie business. I was stunningly brilliant at a job interview with my uncle, who was President of United Artists, and was immediately hired. It set me off on a climb up the executive ladder, culminating in my becoming President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures. The movie landscape is filled with the movies I buried; for every “Rambo”, “The Natural” and “Rocky”, there are countless disasters.

I did manage to find the time to marry and have two children, both of whom are doing very well, and fortunately neither have inherited my eccentricities.

A number of years ago, I left the movie marketing business, to the sustained applause of hundreds of disgruntled producers and directors. I decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote and sold a bunch of feature films, none of which ever came close to being actually filmed, and then a bunch of TV movies, some of which actually made it to the small screen. It’s safe to say that their impact on the American cultural scene has been minimal.

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It’s total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/davidr…
http://www.davidrosenfelt.com

Fred Berman - narratorThe Narrator: Fred Berman Hundreds of commercials, promos, and video games; over 200 audiobooks and counting; 4 time winner of the Audie Award; 11 time winner of the Audiofile Earphone Award.

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V WilliamsTis a lucky day! four leaf clover

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz and Kirsten Kairos (Narrator) – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Book Blurb:

With each of his number-one New York Times best-sellers, Dean Koontz has displayed an unparalleled ability to entertain and enlighten listeners with novels that capture the essence of our times, even as they bring us to the edge of our seats. Now he delivers a heart-gripping tour de force he’s been waiting years to write – at once a love story, a thrilling adventure, and a masterwork of suspense that redefines the boundaries of primal fear and of enduring devotion.

Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the Southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she’s a legend for the risks she’ll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy’s heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can’t allow herself to return, Amy’s behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.

No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents: An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion. And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy’s every move, and that, whoever it is, he’s not alone.

Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she’s always been there to save. But now there’s no one to save Amy and those she loves.

From its breathtaking opening scene to its shocking climax, The Darkest Evening of the Year is Dean Koontz at his finest. 

My Review:

When I first told my son I was reading a book by Dean Koontz, he said, “but Koontz is a horror writer, mom.” I explained to him that I was reading his new Jane Hawk series (including The Night Window, the fifth and final in the series) and that it was more action thriller, techno thriller. Indeed, I read the whole series, and another suspense standalone, The Good Guy. To be honest, I hadn’t read a horror book by him as I don’t read horror books.

The Darkest Evening of the YearThe one filament common to most of his books is that little edge of the supernatural and this one is no exception. That said, this one is a surprise for me but of course I was drawn to the dog on the cover with promise that it might include a canine in the storyline. It does.

Amy is apparently wealthy. She spends her time in the rescue of golden retrievers and she’s developed quite the rep—and certainly the mastery in rescue of the animals in some of the most dire situations. This time Amy rescues Nickie. Her boyfriend is horrified by the circumstances, but she successfully manages the retrieval of the dog. She has no idea she is part of a dark plan, but she does share some of her feelings regarding Nickie to her boyfriend, Brian. (Is it possible Nickie has been here before?)

What starts as eerie incidents escalate into a darker and darker chain of events that introduces Hope. POV’s switch to the head of Hope as she coyly manages her mother, something the ten year old Down’s syndrome daughter has learned to deal with. 

The antagonist charges head long into some of the cruelest, most despicable scenes of a mother imagined. The worst kind of depraved person a human can be posed against the most innocent, decent. Good versus evil personified.

While Amy separately deals with demons, they plan their perverse scheme, and it’s revealed there is more to Hope than conceived of. Indeed, if at first your heart broke for her, it just as quickly rose in pride for her astute management of the situation.

Nickie, the golden, did indeed prove herself a stout-hearted canine, more than just a beautiful companion.

Scratching my head. This is one devil of a narrative. Stomach-churning scenes at odds with triumph. My problem is the conclusion. Both the main characters as well as support barrel into the climax in one swooping, crashing plot crunch. And then it ends just as quickly. You can turn another page if you want, but the story ended. Just like that.

I’m a Koontz fan. Not a horror story fan. Most of my positive experience with this writer is the subtle, descriptive way he delivers the prose, so beautiful you can almost (almost!) forget the horrific circumstances. It’s hypnotic. And I’m compelled to look for the next Dean Koontz book.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Suspense Thrillers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B0010BA81O
Listening Length: 9 hrs 9 mins
Narrator: Kirsten Kairos
Publication Date: November 27, 2007
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Darkest Evening of the Year [Amazon]

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Dean Koontz - authorThe Author: Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

The Narrator: Kristen Kairos is a New York/LA-based voice-over technician, singer, songwriter, and percussionist who has toured worldwide and recorded with a variety of artists including Julio Iglesias, INXS, and David Lee Roth. While her speaking voice can be heard on numerous radio and television commercials, as well as character voices for animation and narration for audio books, she is currently singing, writing, arranging, and playing percussion with individual musicians and bands in the New York area.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Dog Eat Dog: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (Andy Carpenter Novel Book 23) by David Rosenfelt – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltLawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, work to free a man who risked it all to help a dog in need

Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, enjoy walking their dogs, Tara and Sebastian. By this point in their marriage, it’s routine. When out for one of their strolls, their simple ritual isn’t so simple anymore. Across the street, a man is mistreating his dog. Three things happen at once: Andy yells, Laurie runs to stop the abuse, and so does a closer passerby, who so thoroughly beats the owner that both are arrested when the cops arrive.

Andy scoops up the dog and takes him to the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that’s always been his true passion. Meanwhile, at the police station, the passerby is identified as Matthew Jantzen, and he’s wanted for murder. Andy and Laurie are struck by the fact that Jantzen, a man on the run, would nevertheless intervene to help a dog, and decide to find out more.

Dog Eat Dog, the twenty-second installment in the Andy Carpenter series, features the charming cast of characters – old and new – that David Rosenfelt is known for and the dogs that accompany them.

My Review:

Yes! I was overdue for my Andy Carpenter fix and this is just the book to do it! Although most any in the 23 of the series would do it. Usually I go the audiobook route as the narrator, Grover Cleveland, IS Andy Carpenter—sells it completely. This time I was able to get an ARC from the publisher. And you know—it’s just as good. Must be the writing style.

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltFor those of you who haven’t seen any of my previous reviews, Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue he and a partner call the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) But these cases just keep popping up. This one in defense of a man who came to the rescue of a man who was saving a dog from being beaten. Having been arrested, it was discovered he was wanted in Maine for a double homicide. He didn’t do it.

No, really. He didn’t do it. No clue who the victims were and two years ago? Can’t remember that specific night.

These books are just plain fun. Fast, witty, often sarcastic humor coupled with deeply layered well-plotted novels. These are never simple, open and shut cases. And yet—in this case, his DNA was found on the victim. How do you fight that?

Extradited to Maine, Andy will leave his safe haven in New Jersey where he is constantly mistaken as a New Yorker amid the happy discovery of lobster rolls. GEES! Just talking about them got me thinking—lobster rolls—YUM!

Of course he is going his get his team involved, his wife (ex-cop and private investigator) and her partners (part of the Carpenter K-Team spin-off) that includes Marcus who keeps his dialogue minimal (silent and deadly). She brings the (three) dogs, including the one newly rescued and they tie up some suites at the local hotel. He also has a computer guru genius (shhh, don’t tell me how you got this information).

Andy’s self-deprecating sense bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance and in the meantime uses his wit to keep him safely investigating. Failing that—there’s always Marcus who has his back, not to mention his wife—she legally packs.

I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

I started reading (or listening to) this series back in 2016 and got thoroughly hooked. My last three were Silent Bite, Muzzled, and Dachshund Through the Snow. You can’t go wrong with either the print or audiobook. Thank you Minotaur Books and NetGalley for my ARC review copy. These are (always) my own opinions. Currently on pre-order.

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Traditional Detective Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8RV1W

Print Length: 304 pages
Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

©2021 V Williams

Keeping Guard (Operation K-9 Brothers Book 2) by Sandra Owens – #BookReview – #Animal Fiction

Book Blurb:

Finding the future they deserve will mean leaving the past behind…

Navy SEAL Noah Alba is on extended leave after a terrible mistake resulted in the loss of his K-9 partner. He arrives in Asheville, North Carolina, hoping to get his head on straight before he returns overseas. When an old friend recruits him to train service dogs for veterans, he doesn’t feel ready. Still, rambunctious rescue dog Lucky is awfully hard to resist—as is the drop-dead stunning bride Noah encounters while hiking.

When she finds out her fiancé is only marrying her to gain control of her family’s brewery, Peyton Sutton’s I do turns into a hard pass real quick. But Peyton’s father and now-jilted ex are determined to force the match at any cost. Running away can only get her so far, until Noah—and his adorably fierce canine companion—step in as an unlikely protector.

Guarding a runaway bride in the close quarters of her downtown loft is no way to avoid a simmering attraction. But Peyton can’t outrun her ex, and Noah can’t outrun his past; they’ll have to find a way to move forward together, or risk making another terrible mistake.

My Review:

Ask anyone who has been following the blog for some time my favorite and they’d probably say, animal stories. The same readers would know the least favorite is romance. So, yes, the cover got me (the old bait and switch) and here I was, stuck in a romance labeled animal fiction.

Rich girl is controlled by an old-fashioned father (the business should go to a son) and, according to an overheard conversation, a fiancé promised the business if he’d marry Peyton. Not like she’s a dog. Actually, very pretty and smart besides being rich. Also, Peyton managed to become a Master Brewer—she’s no slouch when it comes to the business.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensPeyton escaped the wedding, grabbed a couple bottles of champagne, and found a lovely spot to sit, contemplate, and toast to having escaped a man with motives other than love. It is there that Noah happens on her. He’s suffering from PTSD and the guilt associated with the loss of a Seal buddy and military service dog—his fault. And actually, I enjoyed the first few chapters. It is cute.

Then the storyline begins to take shape. Actually, Noah is in horrible shape–mentally. Peyton has escaped her ex-fiancé, but Dalton isn’t that easy to shake. Noah, however, really has nothing to lose and Peyton quickly realizes that Noah gives her tingles. Her first experience with tingles and she’s not going to relinquish that real soon. Yeah, tingles.

I am not overly thrilled with either main character. Noah’s belaboring of his experience overwhelms. Peyton’s tingles get tiresome.

Perhaps the plot would have worked better for me if there had been more service dogs, less romance. The dog that is paired with Noah eventually wins him over—sweet boy. But the pacing slowed in the tingle portions and I would have liked more interest, more atmosphere, more tension. Just… more. Less tingle.

There are few surprises, the conclusion as predicted. I am, however, impressed with the author’s experiences, particularly that she’s also a motorcycle rider–a Harley—but I won’t hold that against her. Just that this is not my genre although I’m sure a romance fan would appreciate it. 3 stars

His Review:

Navy Seals are a close brotherhood. Being involved in close combat and losing fellow combatants can isolate and debilitate even the strongest of men. Noah Alba is a Seal who is home after losing some of his men in an operation. He is on medical leave assigned to a K-9 training operation to help him overcome battle fatigue.

Keeping Guard by Sandra OwensJack Daniels is a disabled veteran who heads up the operation. He knows that having the men help train the dogs also helps to reduce their battle trauma. A good service dog can help de-escalate the tension affecting the warrior. Hopefully it will work on Noah.

Payton Sutton is dressed in a very expensive wedding gown. She overhears the groom telling a friend; “the only reason I am marrying her is to get her father’s micro-brewery.” She grabs two bottles of champagne and escapes before the ceremony. The groom, Dalton, is a real piece of work whose first wife died after their wedding leaving him a small fortune.

Fate has Payton meeting Noah down near a river where she is enjoying the champagne and being thankful for realizing the situation in time. Dalton is not so easily put off and intends to complete the marriage no matter what! He will have the brewery and the owner’s daughter. Elk Antler Brewing will be his or else. He doesn’t care that Payton has become a Master Brewer.

Recognizing the bullying tactics of Dalton and Payton’s father, Noah steps in to help her. She is enamored with his physical prowess and like any white knight, he is not about to allow the situation to proceed. Sandra Owens keeps a very energetic dialogue going between herself and this seasoned veteran.  Noah is not looking for a relationship but circumstances dictate otherwise.

I found this read very entertaining; the storyline didn’t lag. I suggest it to any one who wants an easy, enjoyable read. 5 stars – CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are our honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: 4 stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Military Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
ASIN: B08L82T3YM
Print Length: 277 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Sandra Owens - authorThe Author: A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: http://www.sandra-owens.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I

Dog Days by Ericka Waller – A #BookReview – Friendship Fiction

Book Blurb:

Dog Days by Ericka WallerGeorge is a grumpy, belligerent old man who has just lost his wife. She has left him notes around the home and a miniature dachshund puppy called Poppy. But George doesn’t want a dog, he wants to fight everyone who is trying to help him.

Dan has OCD but has channeled his energy into his career as a therapist. Afraid to acknowledge his true feelings, his most meaningful relationship so far is with his dog Fitz. That is, until Atticus walks into his life.

Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from the world. She distrusts dogs, but when she starts having to walk the refuge’s dog, Maud, things begin to change.

As three strangers’ lives unravel and intersect, they ultimately must accept what fate has in store for them with their dogs by their sides. Set against the backdrop of Brighton, Dog Days is an inspiring, unflinching, and deeply moving novel about life, and the way dogs can help us understand it, and each other, a little better.

His Review:

Three very different lives in a book of fragility and loss. George has lost his dear wife Ellen and has great difficulty extracting himself from his living room chair. Despair takes many faces and lonely despair is but one. George has never been a people person and his departed wife is the antithesis of his life.

Dog Days by Ericka WallerLizzie has escaped a brutal marriage. Running off with her son and living in a shelter for battered women is her refuge. She has a brilliant mind hiding behind secrets that she holds close to her chest. Her husband, Greg, has been abusive and she wants to hide that fact from herself and the world.

Dan is a practicing psychologist trying to help those who have lost their way. Atticus comes into his office and begins treatment. Dan remains professional although he is attracted to the handsome Atticus. His problem with Atticus is that he cannot get him to open up. Without a patient disclosing problems to be sorted, the psychologist is failing in his endeavor.

Three very different scenarios in one book. The lives of the characters do not intersect although they live in the same area. Lizzie is sympathetic, George is despicable, and Dan is pathetic. This author has taken these people and made a case for the trials and difficulties we all face in life. Her writing is entertaining and engaging.

How can anyone put up with a cantankerous old fuddy-duddy, George. Particularly, since he is a man who is only interested in himself and what life can give him. Betty, at the request of his first wife, tries to engage and help him. He is abusive and why she would put up with him makes for a very interesting narrative. She cleaned and cooked and fed him while being continually mentally abused.

CE WilliamsThe overall impression this book leaves is that opposites attract and sometimes we will put up with anything to be with the ones who attract us. Life has a way of equalizing our desires. Pain at times seems to be a cure for boredom. Ericka puts this into the each of the characters as well as the dogs in each characters care. Her endings are definitely worth reading and I felt the book made some pointed observations about how each individual handles the life and love they are given and the losses they incur. I highly recommend it. Currently on pre-order. 4 stars – CE Williams

Thank you to Alexis Neuville at St. Martin’s Press for my review copy. These are my honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars 4 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: Family Fiction, Animal Fiction
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

  • ASIN : B08FZ7FZYD

Print Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: To be released May 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Dog Days [Amazon]
Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Ericka Waller - authorThe Author: Ericka Waller is 39 and lives in Brighton with three daughters, too many pets and a husband.

She is an award winning blogger and columnist.

When not writing she can be found walking her dogs, reading in the bath or buying stuff off eBay.
©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Audiobook Reviews by Bestselling Authors #jdrobb #davidrosenfelt

Audiobooks by bestselling authors

Gotta temper the heavy with the light audiobooks and last week I enjoyed both. Here is a quick summary of Outfoxed released in 2016 by David Rosenfelt and Golden in Death released last February (2020) by JD Robb.

Book Blurb: Golden in Death An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death, Book 50) by JD Robb – In the latest thriller in the number-one New York Times best-selling series, homicide detective Eve Dallas investigates a murder with a mysterious motive – and a terrifying weapon.

Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body – and killed him.

After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team – and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn’t been exposed – it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close – though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless.

While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with either a madman – or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.

My Review:

My first experience with this series and it was an eye-opener. I was astounded to realize this is Book 50. ACK! Fifty of these? Starting in 1995? And this is supposed to take place in 2061? Really! Somehow, I totally missed that.

Golden in Death by JD RobbI love getting into a unique premise and, for me, it was unique and well-plotted and I kept either my earbud or the wifi speaker handy. I can’t speak, obviously, to Eve’s evolving dynamics—her relationship with slobber-worthy Roarke.

You may remember I read Hideaway by Nora Roberts (I’m not sure which is the alter-ego) and found it a little syrupy. This series (and J.D.) alternates between offering slightly lighter scenes of banter or situation to downright serious and deadly scenes punctuated with profanity. While the other, of course, is a romance novel, this one would be classified as a near future police procedural. (Damn—I really never got that they’d progressed much further than they are today.)

The body count begins to escalate while the interviews become more intensive lending a stark tension to the narrative. Eve and her partner Detective Delia Peabody pursue leads, hit a brick wall, go around it, and find another lead. There are twists. It’s complex, compelling, and entertaining. Narration kept interest. The conclusion satisfying.

Recording Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Police Procedural
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B07QQZW5JL
Listening Length: 13 hrs 50 mins
Narrator: Susan Ericksen
Publication Date: Feb 4, 2020
Source: Local Library
Title Link: Golden in Death [Amazon]
 

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J D Robb - authorThe Author: J.D. ROBB is the pseudonym for #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. She is the author of over 200 novels, including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

♥ ♥♥♥♥

 

Book Blurb: Outfoxed by David RosenfeltDefense lawyer Andy Carpenter spends as much time as he can working on his true passion – the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs. Lately Andy has been especially involved in a county prison program where inmates help train dogs the Tara Foundation has rescued to make them more adoptable, benefiting both the dogs and the prisoners.

One of the prisoners Andy has been working with is Brian Atkins, who has 18 months left on a five-year term for fraud. Brian has been helping to train Boomer, an adorable fox terrier the Tara Foundation rescued from a neglectful owner. Brian and Boomer are clearly a terrific match. In fact Andy hopes that Brian will adopt Boomer himself, once his sentence is up.

But one day Andy arrives at the prison to discover that Brian has used Boomer to make an ingenious escape, and man and dog are both in the wind. The next day the man on whose testimony Brian was convicted is found murdered. Brian is caught and arrested for the crime, though he forcefully asserts his innocence.

Suddenly Andy finds himself with a new client in Brian and a new dog in Boomer. And as he starts to dig deeper into the murder and the events leading up to it, Andy realizes he might be putting them all in far more danger than anyone had realized.

My Review:

Outfoxed by David RosenfeltNo, I don’t wish to hammer you over the head with books by David Rosenfelt. Really, my major go-to by him is the Andy Carpenter book series.

I have read a number of his other books, but for fun, fast, and fascinating legal two-step courtroom drama, I return to the Andy Carpenter series. They are clean and comfortable with a cast of support characters that seldom vary with the exception of the reason for the current mystery.

Andy is a well to do attorney (not all of it money from his cases), his wife Laurie, son Ricky, Willie, Marcus, and Hike. Each a force of their own. It’s a familiar and winning formula. Andy doesn’t want the case but feels the guy (or gal) is innocent.

Proceed with investigation,

Enter chuckle-producing snarky dialogue,

Continue with investigation,

Get dangerously close to be taken out (enter bad guys),

Continue with LOL moments, snarky dialogue, tongue-in-cheek observations,

Continue to courtroom drama, wring hands over witnesses, documents,

Add sarcastic quips,

Win case, go celebrate. Andy pays.

Did I leave something out? Yes, usually the beginning sets the stage for the plot which always sets a hook, grabs your interest and promises to be highly entertaining. And, of yes, he begins with those same self-deprecating remarks and cheerful scenes to the setting, players, and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. It’s not a K-9 series per se—it’s a legal thriller mystery series with a snarky attorney who loves dogs enough to set up a rescue with Willie (see above). The narrator, Grover Gardner, btw, is absolutely perfect. Nails it!

And I never fail to enjoy each and every one, a few of which are listed here: Silent Bite, Muzzled, The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, Rescued.

Recording Details:

Genre: Animal Fiction, Traditional Detective Mysteries
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B01H5U6F5Q
Listening Length: 7 hrs 18 mins
Narrator:  Grover Gardner
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Source: Local Library
Title Link: Outfoxed [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

 

David Rosenfelt - authorThe Author: David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

Are you a JD Robb fan? Rosenfelt fan? (I prefer the JD Robb books to the Nora Roberts books—not a romance fan.)

©2021 V Williams

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