December 16th, 2017
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December brings fabulous reads!

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Ex-NFL star + snarky single mom = a touchdown of a holiday romance

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The vampires are coming... and this time, the lights won't stop them.

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The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery...

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This holiday season, love is on the menu.

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A Spartan heart can conquer anything, even myths, magic, and monsters.

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There’s nothing like a firefighting cowboy to keep you toasty warm this Christmas...


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Stay Calm And Collie On
by Lane Stone
"Lady Amanda visits Lewes but the dog care business has never been so dangerous"
Posted December 16, 2017

I found another instance of trying to catch markets in UK and USA by mixing characters from each in a story. I prefer to find a genuine reason to blend the characters, contrast their life experiences and build a plot accordingly. STAY CALM AND COLLIE ON is a dog-lovers Read more...

A Deadly Betrothal
by Fiona Buckley
"Serve the Crown or enjoy family life? Mistress Blanchard has no options."
Posted December 16, 2017

We start the adventure in July, 1579, as our heroine the widowed Ursula Blanchard searches a fir wood in Surrey for a missing lad - or his body. I've read several books in the series named for this redoubtable lady Read more...

Surfer Dud
by Lois Szymanski
"Hero of the island of Assateague for young readers"
Posted December 15, 2017

This book for young readers is wonderfully illustrated on every page. SURFER DUDE: THE LEGENDARY STALLION OF CHINCOTEAGUE seems to have been a horse well worth celebrating. We see his early life on Assateague Island and how he was marked out as being a good foal to keep to improve Read more...

Death Around The Bend
by T.E. Kinsey
"No shortage of suspects in a murder at a motor racing weekend"
Posted December 15, 2017

A revisit to the lively Lady Hardcastle and her resourceful maid Florence from IN THE MARKET FOR MURDER brings us to a country estate where a week of motor racing Read more...

The Shadow District
by Arnaldur Indridason
"Iceland during WW2 was no stranger to crime"
Posted December 15, 2017

I've read a few Scandinavian crime books by an author who has won the Nordic Crime Novel Prize two years running as well as the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the top crime novel of the year. Arnaldur Indridason depicts a bleak life in modern Iceland, full of cold Read more...

Natural Wonders Of Assateague Island
by Mark Hendricks
"A stunning look at the natural beauty of the coastal island"
Posted December 15, 2017

Count me lucky to have a book like this to show me a place I've never visited. NATURAL WONDERS OF ASSATEAGUE ISLAND is enough to make anyone pack and head off to the coastal barrier island. The ponies on the cover are famous from Marguerite Henry's books about Read more...

The Living Forest
by Joan Maloof, Robert Llewellyn
"If you go down to the woods today, you never know what you'll see"
Posted December 15, 2017

A work of stunning photography and fascinating information can be found in THE LIVING FOREST. In keeping with the subtitle, An Eye-Opening Journey From the Canopy to the Woodland Floor, we are invited to view the North American landscape from leaf litter to treetops, and the large or small Read more...

The Bull Rider's Cowgirl
by April Arrington
"Get ready for the ride of your life in this rodeo-themed romance"
Posted December 15, 2017

Jen Taylor is a top-class competitive barrel-rider on her grey quarter horse Diamond. Colt Mead is one handsome bull- rider and they compete at the same rodeo events. Jen steers clear of the guys in most cases, working hard. She has succeeded in finding a great sport for Read more...

by Elly Blake
"A dark fantasy about the antipathy between fire and frost"
Posted December 15, 2017

This story starts with someone sticking her hand in the fire. Needless to say, don't do this! In FROSTBLOOD, Ruby Otrera is magically gifted and her type of person, known as Firebloods, can't burn. But trouble follows any accusation of witchcraft in her medieval world of the 'Frostblood Read more...

Where The Waters Turn Black
by Benedict Patrick
"The god of war meets a musician with her own personal monster"
Posted December 15, 2017

I have just been marvellously entertained over the space of a few evenings, by an unusual fantasy about the concepts of friendship and loyalty. WHERE THE WATERS TURN BLACK takes us to a South Sea Island setting in the fictional Read more...

by Beverly Jenkins
"A Tucson hotel in the 1880s is the setting for a lively romance"
Posted December 15, 2017

I previously enjoyed a Beverly Jenkins historical romance, DESTINY'S SURRENDER, so I was delighted to get another one in her Old West series. These are very lively Read more...

A Reference to Murder
by Kym Roberts
"A rodeo in town means a rough ride for the bookstore owner"
Posted December 15, 2017

The annual Cowboy Ranch Auction in Hazel Rock, Texas is approaching and Charli Rae Warren, who owns a Book Barn shop, encourages friends to make old damaged books into items like clocks, called repurposing. All the items will be up for auction to assist cowboys injured at rodeo riding. However Read more...

Grace to the Finish
by Julie Hyzy
"The curator of a historic home solves mysteries - in her family and further afield"
Posted December 15, 2017

The hugely popular author of mysteries set in the White House and other locations, has turned her skills to a series called Manor House Mysteries centering on Grace Wheaton. At the time of GRACE TO THE FINISH we Read more...

Wagging through the Snow
by Laurien Berenson
"A Christmas tree farm is the location for crime - and poodles!"
Posted December 15, 2017

I've enjoyed the Melanie Travis series of dog-related crime stories for years, and now it's a pleasure to read what must be at least the third Christmas instalment. Melanie has two growing sons, a few Read more...

Desert Secrets
by Lisa Harris
"Ransom demands in the Sahara and a romance you won't forget"
Posted December 15, 2017

As if being taken hostage by greedy terrorists in Mali's desert isn't bad enough, aid worker Lexi Shannon finds herself amid gunfire, in a crashing light plane and treating a scorpion sting, all in the first couple of chapters. DESERT SECRETS certainly packs a punch. Lexi had been Read more...

Her Outback Cowboy
by Annie Seaton
"The outback is as bad as she remembered - but something looks good"
Posted December 15, 2017

Four young energetic business people, from London to Sydney, receive phone calls from their grandmother in the Pilliga Scrub of Australia's outback. Lucy and Seb readily agree to go back to the station because their grandfather is having a knee replacement, and harvest time help would be appreciated. As Read more...

Chasing Down a Dream
by Beverly Jenkins
"What happens when you buy a town on eBay?"
Posted December 15, 2017

The town of Henry Adams, Kansas, has not much in it and not much to do, bar farming and dodging tornadoes. But these seem like good people. Let's meet some. Gemma Dahl, for a start, driving along when she meets a pair of young kids screaming for help. A Read more...

The Evacuee Christmas
by Katie King
"Keep calm and carry on - it's only a war!"
Posted December 15, 2017

Connie Ross and her twin brother Jessie are just ten when their little house in Bermondsey, south-east London, is shaken. As their father Ted is a docker, moving goods around warehouses, he has seen the government stockpiling for war. 1939 means that life will never be the same again Read more...

The Forgotten Beasts Of Eld
by Patricia A. McKillip, Gail Carriger
"A young sorceress on a mountain with magical beasts has to face the world"
Posted December 15, 2017

I first read this book some years ago and was delighted to see its reissue in e-book format. A new generation of readers can be entranced, as I was all over again, by the tale of Sybel and THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD, which was first released in 1974 Read more...

by G.M. Malliet
"Come to live in Agatha Christie country"
Posted December 15, 2017

American Jillian White thought pretty village WEYCOMBE was peaceful, especially living in a gated enclave with her wealthy -- and titled -- husband. But a local estate agent is found dead and storm clouds gather over the sleeping countryside setting. G.M. Malliet's first mystery won the 2008 Agatha Award for Read more...

Clare O'Beara

I am a tree surgeon and author, living in Ireland. I write science fiction, crime, romantic suspense and Young Adult books. I have qualified in ecology and journalism.

Formerly I have showjumped my own horses at national level. I have been a member of the Royal Dublin Society's Forestry And The Environment Committee.


Reviews Published Challenge Participant Frequently Auto-Approved 80% Professional Reader 2016 NetGalley Challenge500 Book Reviews


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