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

Safe Harbour: The Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series Book 10 by Mike Martin – #BookReview – International Mystery & Crime

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Safe Harbour by Mike MartinWelcome back to Sgt. Windflower Mysteries, where there’s always something good cooking and another seat at the table. Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city.

Safe Harbour is a twirling, swirling mystery in the foggy streets of one of the oldest cities in North America. There are outlaw biker gangs and overwhelmed local police officers, who need the sharp eye and keen mind of Sgt. Windflower to help them cut through the haze and find the answers to the riddle of the missing teenagers hiding in plain sight of the authorities. A story of a man and his family growing up together with plenty of good food, old and new friends. Share the joy and heartbreak of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean.

His Review:

An inspiring story of family love and tragedy in the port city of St. Johns. Windflower is a native descendent who practices the old ways and customs of his indigenous ancestors. He is also a vaunted inspector for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This author has developed a nurturing and loving family man. He is also one of the finest detectives in the crown’s investigative division.

Safe Harbour by Mike MartinHe cooks, cleans, walks the family dog and is very supportive of his wife and two rambunctious daughters. Meanwhile there are missing girls from St. Johns and the suspicion is that they have been abducted into the sex trade circuit. Once involved, the girls are controlled by a branch of the Hells’ Angels. When the number of girls missing exceeds five, Windflower is tasked with finding them.

Apparently, the Hell’s Angels control the prostitution and drug trafficking in a large part of Canada. The missing young girls are the catalyst that sets Windflower on the case to find and eliminate this scourge on Canada’s young women. The case is full of false leads, wrong turns and frustration. Windflower is perfect for the job because of his belief that his ancestors will help him in the endeavor.

I particularly appreciated the spirituality of Windflowers’ character and his belief in the spirit world to help him solve the case. Other law enforcement divisions have learned to appreciate and rely upon his enlightened approach to solving cases. This case is particularly evil and destroys many lives.

This author heightened my awareness of both the problem of youth enslavement in the prostitution and drug trade business. The culprit can be a leading citizen of your town rather than some motorcycle gangbanger taking advantage of naïve youth.

CE WilliamsThe solution to the problem and steps Windflower took to solve the case were somewhat surprising and very satisfying. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to understand teen prostitution and drug use and the reason they exist. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Cozy Mysteries
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
ASIN: B095VX6DQS
Print Length: 264 pages
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Safe Harbour [Amazon]
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Mike Martin - authorThe Author: Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

©CE Williams – V Williams

Bad Moon Rising: A Bad Axe County Novel Book 3 by John Galligan – #BookReview – #policeprocedural

Book Blurb:

A record heat wave suffocates remote rural Wisconsin as the local sheriff tracks down a killer hidden in the depths of the community in this atmospheric, race-to-the-finish mystery by the acclaimed author of the Bad Axe County series.

Bad Moon Rising by John GalliganSheriff Heidi Kick has a dead body on her hands, a homeless young man last seen alive miles from the Bad Axe. Chillingly, the medical examiner confirms what Sheriff Kick has been experiencing in her own reoccurring nightmares of late: the victim was buried alive. As the relentless summer heat bears down and more bodies are discovered, Sheriff Kick also finds herself embroiled in a nasty reelection campaign. These days her detractors call her “Sheriff Mommy”—KICK HER OUT holler the opposition’s campaign signs—and as her family troubles become public, vicious rumors threaten to sway the electorate and derail her investigation.

Enter Vietnam veteran Leroy Fanta, editor-in-chief of the local paper who believes Heidi’s strange case might be tied to a reclusive man writing deranged letters to the opinions section for years. With his heart and liver on their last legs, Fanta drums up his old journalistic instincts in one last effort to help Heidi find a lead in her case, or at least a good story…

With simmering tension that sweats off the page, Bad Moon Rising infuses newsworthy relevance with a page-turning story of crime in America’s heartland, capturing global issues with startling immediacy while entertaining from start to finish.

His Review:

Sheriff Heidi Kick is up for re-election. She has been sheriff of Bad Axe County for over three years and some of the towns’ scoundrels want her out of office. An alarming number of murders and missing persons keep her from hitting the campaign trail. When her deputies wind up missing, she begins full 18-hour days to solve the mysteries. Her four kids are being raised by their grandmother.

Bad Moon Rising by John GalliganSome areas of her beat are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles through deer trails and hidden canyons. Living within these hidden areas is a family of miscreants. Because they are so remote, they do not cause a lot of problems with other people. However, a ten-year old giving birth or miscarrying is not unheard of. Some of the young are never sent to school and speak pidgin German mixed with a modicum of English.

The Goodgolly farm is owned by two brothers with very sketchy backgrounds. There is almost a schizophrenic relationship between the two. They live on their land and do not interact with others in Bad Axe County. Young people wind up disappearing and cannot be found or identified. The suspicion is that there may be a cannibalistic group within the area.  A car in a ditch hides a body which has not been identified. Sheriff Kick goes into the backcountry to solve the problem.

Trying to be Amish does not work for this family. The Amish has refused to allow them to join the church because of their interbreeding and young girl pregnancies. There are many still births.

The picture painted by John Galligan of remote Wisconsin backwoods life is both informative and disturbing. Stir-crazy brothers create a living hell on earth for their offspring. Multiple births by the age of twelve are typical.

CE WilliamsThe book reveals a very different lifestyle. Inbreeding and rape are the norm for the Goodgolly brothers and their offspring. I would never want to spend time in this kind of environment. The reading experience was graphic and many times aggravating. Currently on pre-order. 3.5 stars – C.E. Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedurals, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN: ‎1982166533
ASIN: B08LDW65L4
Print Length: 334 pages
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Bad Moon Rising [Amazon]
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John Galligan - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] John Galligan, in addition to being a novelist and teacher, John has worked as a newspaper journalist, feature-film screenwriter, house painter, au pair, ESL teacher, cab driver, and freezer boy in a salmon cannery. He currently teaches writing at Madison Area Technical College, where his experience is enriched by students from every corner of the local and world community.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

Destroyer Angel: An Anna Pigeon Novel (Anna Pigeon Mysteries Book 18) by Nevada Barr – #Audiobook Review – #TBT

Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

Book Blurb:

Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation – an autumn canoe trip into the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s 15-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is 13. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting-edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen. On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River.

When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country, in Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr.

My Review:

No, wait!

Did I get a different Anna Pigeon?

I started reading this series because I really enjoyed the protagonist, a US Park Services ranger, a woman, and the different parks where the particular novel was sited. A different park every entry to the series and so much to learn—that and the narrator, Barbara Rosenblat who adds her slightly gravelly voice with such marvelous inflection in both the situation and the reflection of the situation. Well, anyway, I’ve listened to four, and particularly enjoyed Deep South and Hunting Season. They heavily featured Anna Pigeon.

Destroyer Angel by Nevada BarrThis one…well, this one features friends, acquaintances, who on a vacation trip into the Minnesota wilderness to enjoy nature, test equipment, and try out a handicap prototype are taken hostage when Anna is away from camp on a quick and quiet little canoe outing of her own. In the camp when the ladies are overtaken by four nasty gangsters is also their older dog, Wiley, who is left for dead when the men move the women out.

We’re talking two women (one of whom is a paraplegic) and two teenagers. Of course they are out of cell phone range. They are headed out to rendezvous with the baddy who hired these guys. So, much of the focus is on the ladies, their struggles, and the men. Meanwhile, Anna discovers Wiley is not dead and manages to stabilize him, stalks the hostages and their captures and without weapons takes on the task of disabling the men while rescuing the women. Wow…different.

Or not. The characters are pretty much stereotypes—wealthy Leah and her estranged and sullen daughter Katie, the paraplegic and her daughter Elizabeth. The bad guys, dangerously bad—and stupid, btw.

Anna takes on the dog, having hearts to heart with Wiley while he’s recuperating enough to provide a sounding board for Anna’s whispered thoughts, although he doesn’t provide many thoughts in return.

While there is essentially no mystery, there is tension and the tension ramps up with each chapter. The toll on Anna is serious, but she manages to power through, the ladies manage heroically, the bad guys are just seriously raunchy.

The reason for the whole kidnap seemed a bit weak to me, not wholly believable, but the little zinger at the end was delicious. So, yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed. As the series has nineteen books, I am now counting back down. Oh yeah, I’m hooked.

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedural Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
ASIN: B00IIUW9EE
Listening Length: 11 hrs 37 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: April 1, 2014Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Destroyer Angel [Amazon]

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

Nevada Barr - authorThe Author: Nevada was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.
Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers — Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.
Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bittersweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada’s experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.
The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada’s books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List — and more — will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

 

Barbara Rosenblat - narratorThe Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat has been narrating for more than 20 years, and even had the honor of performing the first book ever recorded at Audible in 1999.

She has also appeared on screen such as in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Miss Rosa. Rosenblat was born in London, England and raised in New York City. Upon returning to the US, she read books to the blind for four years at the Library of Congress.[2] On Broadway she appeared in The Secret Garden and Talk Radio. Barbara Rosenblat has narrated more than 400 audiobooks.

©2021 V Williams

Wolfe Trap (A Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Mystery by Matt Cost – #BookReview – #privateinvestigator #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Wolfe Trap by Matt CostWhat evil lurks in Port Essex, Maine?
Clay Wolfe is a former Boston homicide detective who has left the police department to return home to Maine to care for his elderly grandfather and open a private detective agency. Haunted by being orphaned at an early age, and jaded by the corruption of the big city, Clay is happy to hit pause and investigate minor crimes.

“I want you to find the person who sold the drugs that killed my grandbaby.” 
When he is hired to find out who sold the drugs that killed a six-month-old baby girl, he has no idea of the evil that he is going to uncover in the underbelly of his hometown.

Wolfe Trap is a thrilling ride set in a small Maine town with rich characters and shocking plot twists that will keep the reader rapt until the final pages.

His Review:

Could a quiet New England port be a conduit for drugs into the Eastern United States? Clay Wolfe, a former Boston detective, has formed his own company as a private detective in his home town of Port Essex, Maine. The main industry in the quiet fishing village is a large fleet of lobster boats.

Wolfe Trap by Matt CostMatt Cost has developed a very believable and vulnerable character in Clay Wolfe. Like most heroes in detective novels, he is neither diminutive nor timid. His office manager is also a very interesting character. Each of them is coming out of bad or abusive relationships and are a bit tentative about making long term commitments. Clay has a well-deserved tom cat reputation. His office manager, Bailee Baker had to resort to violence to escape a brutal marriage.

Attempting to get to the bottom of the source of drugs coming into New England, Clay is interviewing a local lobsterman. Suddenly three bullets end the life of the man who was not able to answer Clays’ questions quick enough. A very well-trained assassin had a tight grouping of projectiles in the man’s chest. Thus begins a quest for the killer.

CE WilliamsThe atmospheric descriptions of the story along with the well-developed characters kept me turning pages to get to the climax. It is a fast paced read; enjoy this page-turner. 5 stars – CE Williams

[Note: Not our first experience with this author, having read three in the Mainely Mystery series, including Mainely PowerMainely Fear, and Mainely Money. This begins a new, very promising series. Currently on pre-order.]

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Private Investigator Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Encircle Publications LLC

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1645991695
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1645991694

ASIN: B08WRZ8RRV
Print Length: 263 pages
Publication Date: June 23, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Wolfe Trap [Amazon]
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Matt Cost - authorThe Author: Matt Cost was a history major at Trinity College. He owned a mystery bookstore, a video store, and a gym, before serving a ten-year sentence as a junior high school teacher. In 2014 he was released and began writing. And that’s what he does. He writes histories and mysteries.

“Love in a Time of Hate” is the third historical by Cost. “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War; At Every Hazard”, was published in 2015, in which Emmett Collins grows into manhood during the Civil War. “I am Cuba; Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution” was published in 2020. It was recently awarded the silver award for historical fiction from Kops-Fetherling.

Cost has also published the Mainely Mystery series including “Mainely Power” (the MHC Read ME fiction book of the year), “Mainely Fear”, and “Mainely Money”. The fourth book in the series, “Mainely Angst”, will be published in January of 2022.

He has begun the Clay Wolfe/Port Essex Trap series with “Wolfe Trap”. “Mind Trap” will be published in October of 2021 and “Mouse Trap” in the spring of 2022.

Cost now lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Harper. There are four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. He now spends his days at the computer, writing.

©2021 CE Williams – 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

The Memory Stones: Forgiveness is a Journey in Time by Lewis Pennington – #BookReview – #timetravelfiction

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonWhen Mase Winslow, the heir to a Civil War-era plantation is forced to almost kill his best friend, a slave named Spoon, he unconsciously brings about the demise of his beloved home. As guilt and remorse overtake him, he seeks atonement through death on the battlefield. With the help of an ordinary-looking stone given to him by Spoon’s mother, he is transported through time. When he realizes he can redeem himself by altering his actions, he suddenly has hope. The reality-bending journey that ensues takes him to present-day New York City and then back to Civil War-era South Carolina, requiring him to navigate a myriad of desperate challenges. With more than a century of guilt weighing him down, he battles himself, Yankee troops, nature’s elements, and a nemesis that follows him through time. Set against an ominous ticking clock counting toward a deadly showdown that could cost him the love of his life, all odds are stacked against him.

His Review:

The U.S. Civil War was the most brutal event in U.S. history. Sometimes brother fought brother on either side of the conflict. Lewis Pennington has taken this conflict into a dramatic story of love and survival. The Winslow plantation, better known as Willow Creek Plantation, is unique in the treatment of its’ slaves where they are treated more as family and friends.

The Memory Stones by Lewis PenningtonMase Winslow’s father, Braxton Winslow, is struck with a debilitating degenerative paralysis that leaves him unable to carry on management of the plantation. This occurs at the time the civil war is beginning. Mase has joined but does not want to leave because of his fathers’ failing health. His best friend is nicknamed Spoon. Often times, Spoon is heard entertaining groups with his ability to play tunes with two silver spoons. He is beloved by all who know him.

Mase’s sister Annabelle was raped just prior to his reporting for duty with the Confederate army and the prime suspect is Spoon. The penalty was to be death, but Mase does not have the heart to kill his best friend and whips Spoon to within an inch of his life. But he can’t handle the guilt.

Trauma amnesia is the result and Paul cannot recall the incident.

Paul Talbert has a passion for writing and works for a large New York newspaper. However, the editor of the newspaper relentlessly pushes him on deadlines. His co-worker, Zoey Antonelli, struggles to keep him on task and away from the bottle that helps to allay his lack of memory of his childhood. His early life is a ghostly memory and he does not understand why, so he goes back to Beaufort County, South Carolina to try and recover some of his memories. The memory of a beautiful old antebellum colonial mansion is actually a broken-down shopping mall. Could his recollection be so far from accurate?

Memory stones are a portal to different dimensions and times. The user need only squeeze the stone and is transported to another place and time. Memories and identities are not taken intact from one time to the other though.

CE WilliamsThis tale is wonderful adventure into the musings we all have; “if we could turn back time?” The characters are engaging, endearing, and feel real. I suggest anyone who has daydreamed about going into the past or future enjoy this ride authored by Lewis Pennington. 5 stars – CE Williams

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Time Travel Fiction, Time Travel Science Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Silver Lining Publishing
ASIN: B08W3Q2M87
Print Length: 391 pages
Publication Date: February 22, 2021
Source: Author request
Title Link: The Memory Stones [Amazon] 
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Lewis Pennington - authorThe Author: Lewis Pennington graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina with a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he began his career with the now-defunct Science Fiction Magazine Omni Magazine. After decades of navigating through the corporate marketing maze, he is now focusing on his next chapter in life–providing readers with inspirational fiction. Lewis and his family live in Asheville, North Carolina.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams