Posts in category Suspense

Review: Nora Roberts Land (Dare Valley #1) by Ava Miles


Dare Valley, Book 1
by Ava Miles
Narrated by Em Eldridge
11 Hours & 22 Minutes
Audible Audiobook
April 31, 2015 | Book published June 24, 2013


Journalist Meredith Hale’s ex-husband claimed her Nora Roberts addiction gave her unrealistic expectations about marriage, and she believed him. All dreams of happily ever after—or Nora Roberts Land as her mother calls it—went up in smoke. But when her family asks her to temporarily help their Dare Valley, Colorado newspaper, she decides it’s time to change her life and prove her ex wrong. She’s determined to find her own small-town Nora Roberts hero, prove that true love exists, and publish a story about her quest.

War correspondent Tanner McBride has just returned stateside to work for a major newspaper, and the last thing he expects is blackmail. Yet, before he can even unpack, he’s headed to Colorado. His assignment? Make his boss’s ex-wife fall for him and then break her heart. Her article about discovering love à la Nora might air dirty laundry about her marriage to the media mogul, threatening his senate run. The mogul wants Meredith stopped, and he makes sure Tanner has no choice in the matter.

When the two meet, the sparks between them are undeniable. Meredith, who vowed never to date another journalist, begins to succumb. Could Tanner be her Nora Roberts hero? As they work together to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death, the depth of their feelings unfolds and both realize they’ve kept their secrets for far too long. But before the truth can be revealed, their investigation takes a deadly turn, one that might make Meredith’s personal Nora Roberts Land go up in flames.

**Nora Roberts gave her blessing for the use of her name in both the title and the premise in this suspenseful and emotional contemporary romance.**




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nora roberts land rating

I have had ‘Nora Roberts Land’ by Ava Miles on my TBR pile for a while now, and finally got the chance to read it.  I also downloaded the audible audiobook to alternate between listening and reading.  I mostly listened.  

I liked the story, the town, the characters, and the plot.Meredith Hale is a recently divorced woman set on empowering herself, and NEVER letting another man get too close to her.  So she invented an alter ego for herself, Divorcee Woman, and went out and bought herself a slew of La Perla under garments.  Armed with silk and lace, Wonder Woman has nothing on her.

Meredith is an investigative journalist, and goes back to her home town, Dare Valley, to watch over her grandfather, and help with the family paper.  She also plans on proving her ex-husband wrong by finding her own, Nora Roberts, hero.  Rick blames Nora Roberts for their divorce.  Claiming Nora’s books give women unrealistic expectations about love and marriages.  Ha, right!

Tanner McBride is a War Correspondent, and his new boss (Rick) has given him a new assignment, seduce his ex-wife.  He is supposed to make Meredith fall in love with him, and keep her from writing a story, and airing all his dirty laundry to the world. He didn’t plan on falling in love with her.

I liked Meredith, and she said some really funny things throughout the book that made me laugh out loud.  I liked the fact that she was moving on after her divorce, and not crying in a corner somewhere.   She was a funny, smart, and strong heroine.  I also liked the fact that this story was full of more than just romance.  There is suspense, and crime solving in this book too.  The first half of the book moved a little slow, but after that the plot moved along nicely.  The action in the book is not ‘edge of your set, biting your nails’ kind, but it did the job nicely.

I liked Tanner as the hero.  Meredith compares Tanner to ‘Roarke’ (the hero in J.D. Robb’s novels) throughout the book, and he measures up nicely.  Jill, Meredith’s sister was likeable, and I can’t wait to see what happens with her in the next book.  I enjoy stories that are set in small towns, and Dare Valley fit that bill.

The author did a good job of showing what was going on throughout the story, and not just telling.  There are a few hot sexual encounters in this book between the H & H, but they are not vulgar or nasty in any way.

There were a few things that did drive me a little crazy about this book.  Meredith and Jill kept referring to her ex-husband as ‘Rick the D*ck’.  He was a d*ck, but it was said many, many times in the first half of the book.  Too many times in fact.  In the first half of the book there was also quite a bit of breast tightening when Meredith looked at Tanner.  It was just said way too many times.   With those things aside I enjoyed Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles, and will be giving book 2 in the ‘Dare Valley’ series a try.

The narrator of the Audible audibook did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could tell the differences between each character .  She gave them each their own voice.  She narrated with expression in her voice, and not a flat, monotone.  I would definitely listen to other books she narrates in the future if the occasion should arise.

Cursing:  Yes, but it is mild.
Sex:  Yes, and it is on the steamy side.
Happy Reading!
pnk sig trans backgnd*I was given a free eCopy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.




USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Miles joined the ranks of beloved storytellers after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, the #1 National Bestseller NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off her contemporary family series, Dare Valley. A mere six months after her debut in 2013, she’d hit the USA Today Bestseller list.

Ava’s stories have been likened to those of Nicholas Sparks–a fellow University of Notre Dame graduate–with powerful messages of healing, mystery, and magic. While fiction is her primary love, she’s also released a companion cookbook (she’s a former chef), a children’s book, and a nonfiction memoir about happiness, something she writes about on The Happiness Corner blog on her website. Ava has also released a connected series called Dare River about the power of love and family. THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN, one of the books in the series, topped the USA Today Bestseller list and has been widely acclaimed.

Connect with Ava Miles

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Release Day & Giveaway of That’s Not My Suitcase by Laina Turner


Sterling Towne decided to take a last minute vacation to a sunny paradise to cheer herself up after a divorce. When the airline misplaces her luggage, she thinks it’s just a typical airline snafu until she gets her luggage back only to find out it’s not hers. Rather the suitcase belongs to someone who thought it a good idea to transport a gold Buddha statue via commercial airlines.

Sterling turns the statue into hotel security for safe keeping but then her room is ransacked, and she’s sure there was someone following her in town. Does the owner of the statue think she still has it? But if so, why not just ask? She’s getting nervous, and even her new friend Steve thinks she might be in danger.

Is she? Or is her imagination just working over time?
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About Laina Turner
As a child Laina thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child). As she grew older she realized her talents lay in academics and business and for the last several years has been a business consultant and college professor where she uses the analytical side of her brain and not the side that makes up stories.
Through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing. This stemmed from childhood whereas an only child she developed a vivid imagination spending most of her time making things up and thinking the Incredible Hulk lived in her closet.
Proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing to being on the dance team for a semi pro basketball team to being a mom of 2 amazing kids, she tells her family and friends that no one is safe from their escapades slipping in to her books.
Taking the plunge to write books that she actually lets people read in 2010, she has worked her way up to having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). Her blog, The Art Of Living Fabulously, was launched to share the daily fun in the life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest along with the musing of other fabulous ladies.
To find our more information about Laina and her books, check out her website at
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Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall

Title:  Secrets of the Red BoxAuthor:  Vickie HallPublisher & Date:  September 15th 2012 by Vickie Hall
NoFormat:  Kindle Edition

Bonnie has secrets to keep – secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense – sure to keep you guessing to the very end!


Bonnie lay on her side staring across the small bedroom. A faint light from the street filtered through the curtains, touching hard lines with pale illumination. Beside her, Glen breathed deeply as he slept, his body spooned against hers, his arm draped over her torso. She held on to his arm, feeling his warmth and sureness. She clung to him as if he were an anchor, as though if she were to let go, she’d drift away from him forever.

They’d been married only three short weeks, and still she could scarcely comprehend how she came to be in this bed with a husband who loved her. It had all seemed an impossible dream not so long ago. Her only aspiration then had been to survive, to find work, and become invisible. She never expected to fall in love, had never even hoped to. And now that she was, Bonnie felt certain she didn’t deserve it.

The thought of losing her new found happiness terrified her. She never wanted to go back to the dark days she’d lived before, the empty days of lies and secrets. She never wanted to live even one day without Glen. There were no guarantees, she knew, but Bonnie vowed to make Glen happy, to do everything in her power to keep his love for her alive. But most of all, she wanted to prove herself worthy of his love.

My Review

I enjoyed reading ‘Secrets of the Red Box’.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it reading the description, but I did. The book is set in the 1940’s, during World War II, when Roosevelt was president.  I think all women are fascinated by the 1940’s.  Most movies you see of that time period romanticize the 1940’s.  The women’s hairstyles were lovely and what was not to love about their clothes.

Bonnie is a young woman that was physically abused by her father growing up, as was her mother.  She was made to work in the fields at a very young age picking strawberry’s.  She never felt love from her father, and all she ever wanted was to feel loved and that she mattered to someone.  As a little girl Bonnie promised herself that she would have money and would never have to work again. She was a runaway at the age of 16, and was very determined to make a better life for herself.

I didn’t like Bonnie much in the first part of the book.  She was selfish, manipulative and a liar.  Lies rolled off of her tongue very, very easily.  She didn’t let anyone get close to her, for the fear of being hurt and she didn’t want anyone to know her past.  As in the title of the book, …Red Box, Bonnie carried the red box with her every where she moved to.  You don’t really know what is in the box, until the end of the book.  She does hint to the contents of the box though.  You learn that it has something from her past, something that she doesn’t want anyone to know about, something that she is ashamed of, but doesn’t really admit that do herself.

Throughout the book you see that Bonnie carries no real affection for any of the men she meets.  She uses them for what they can give her.  She picks military men, men that are lonely and that crave love and attention.  When she met Glen all of that changed.  Then we see a different side of Bonnie, one that is softer, caring and giving.   I started to care about Bonnie in the second half of the book.  She genuinely loves Glen, and they are happy together.  Then something happens to change that.

Throughout the book I thought the Red Box held evidence of Bonnie killing someone, or a horrible family secret she didn’t want revealed.  You don’t find out the contents of the Red Box til almost the very end.  I was actually surprised of it’s contents.  I would have never guessed what was in there.

If you have never read one of Ms Hall’s books you should pick up Secrets of the Red box.  It has a little of everything, history, romance, mystery and a little drama.  The first few chapters were a little slow, but keep reading and you want be disappointed.  Secrets of the Red Box was very well written,  and I will be reading more of Ms Hall’s books.

Happy Reading! 


*I received a copy of this book to review, and I received no other compensation.  I was not obliged to review or give a good review.  This review contains my own thoughts about the book and were in not way influence by the author. 

Ripped Apart by Miriam Minger

Title:  Ripped Apart
Author:  Miriam Minger
Publisher & Date:  June 21st 2011 by Walker Publishing
Series:  No
Format:  Kindle Edition

Unspeakable tragedy and cold-blooded murder conspire against Clare Carson when her six-year-old son is kidnapped after a heart transplant and his abductors want her dead. A dying cop’s last words lead her to former Special Ops Jake Wyatt, who helps her discover the horrific truth behind her son’s abduction and offers to help her get Tyler back. With nowhere else to turn, Clare entrusts her life to Jake not knowing he has a deadly agenda of his own that could destroy them.


First let me say that this type of book is not my usual read, but I decided to give it a try.  I am not at all disappointed with this book. It is well written, action packed and pulls at the heart strings. The story is about a mother who has a son with a bad heart and without a transplant, he will die. There is a tragic accident involving students on a bus, and 2 little boys lose their lives. Of course the family of one little boy that dies donates his heart and the little boy (Tyler) that needs the heart gets it. This is when the action and more tragedy starts.

One of the little boys killed in the accident is accidentally mistaken for the other, and the wrong child’s heart is taken in the confusion. The parents of the boy that heart that was donated by accident are heart broken and furious that their son was cut open and his heart given to another. The father of the little boy happens to be a drug lord in Mexico, and the mother demands her husband get her son back, even though he is dead.

Tyler is kidnapped by the drug lord father of the little boy who’s heart he now has. He is taken to Mexico and this sets off a chain of events that carry on through the rest of the book. Tyler’s mother desperately wants her son back, so she goes to Mexico to search for her him, and she is NOT going to leave without him.

I am going to stop there because I don’t want to give away anymore of the story. This was a GREAT read and I am glad that I did not pass it up. I will be looking at more books from this author.

Happy Reading!


*I received this book free in exchange for my honest review of the book, and I was not compensated in any way.

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