Book Review: Skeletons in the Closet (Phantom Rising Book 2) by Davyn DeSye

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars  

Twenty years have passed since events in For Love of the Phantom. Erik and Christine’s son, Petter, has moved to London to seek his future. Suffering from depression centered around her now-empty nest, Christine’s melancholy strains their marital relationship. Erik’s attempts to cheer and distract her were endearing, relatable, and well written. 

As if struggling with this hurdle weren’t enough, shadows from Erik’s past have found him and threaten not only the life he has built, but the health and welfare of the one person he treasures above all others: Christine. When the biggest skeleton from Erik’s closet tries to force Erik’s hand, you just know you’re in for a wild ride. Hints of Erik’s devious past come to light and you are reminded of just why he was so feared within the walls of the opera house. With the help of his son and his old comrade, the Persian Faraz, he must mount a daring rescue attempt in a land where a price still hangs upon his head. 

For me, this was the best part of the book. Getting to see and learn so much more about Erik’s past in Mazenderan was such a treat. The pure evil of the Sultana and the lengths she will go to force Erik to do her bidding were quite telling. Erik’s cunning and determination were near palpable. Peter’s character was well portrayed too; a beautiful balance of his father’s courage & intellect balanced by his mother’s calm and grace. And speaking of Christine: while still very much a woman of the era, she’s no helpless female. I really loved Ms. DeSye’s portrayal of such a difficult time for our heroine. In a dark and desperate situation Christine really shines. 

Fans of the Opera Ghost and his beloved Christine will rejoice at this new chapter in their tale. 

Pick up your copy HERE (it’s a free read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers).


Book Review: Penny White and the Marriage of Gryphons (Penny White Book 3) by Chrys Cymri

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars  

Have I told you yet how much I LOVE this series? If your answer is no, then you clearly haven’t read my reviews of books 1 & 2! And if you have read those reviews but haven’t yet ventured into Penny White’s world – why in the name of heaven not?

This installment finds Penny tackling quite a few hurdles while simultaneously having one of her greatest wishes granted. 

Ever since learning about Lloegyr Penny has wanted nothing more than a full time post as Vicar General of Incursions and to spend more time with the amazing creatures who reside there. When she gets a chance to serve as interim priest for a small village in Lloegyr she jumps at it eagerly. But in no time, Penny realizes the grass isn’t always greener… Things aren’t all wine & roses in Lloegyr; it’s more like barbed wire and gasoline. 

Meanwhile Morey’s family has set a series of trials which he and his closest friends (Penny, James, Peter & Clyde) must complete. But these aren’t just simple tasks; they’re epic and thrilling and dangerous. Each of them will be tested and if they fail, Morey’s future is at stake. 

Things get dark this time around. Themes of prejudice and intolerance abound. People (and I use the term loosely) grow and mature and change in significant ways. Particularly touching were several brother/sister moments between Penny & James. And, as usual, Clyde is amazing and sweet and endearing and… need I go on?

As with all of Penny’s adventures, humor and love abound. Despite the heavier themes this is such an enjoyable read! You’ll be laughing aloud, reading non-stop, and raising a glass to Penny’s exploits. I truly cannot wait to see what Chrys Cymri has in store for us in book four. 

All three books in the Penny White series are currently available via Kindle Unlimited, so start reading today!

**I recieved an electronic ARC of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Book Review: Hart of Hers (Cale & Mickey Book 3) by Annie Arcane

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

This is yet another un-put-downable installment of the Cale & Mickey series.

I cannot get enough of these two! Their banter & ripostes are so fast as to leave you breathless, their love & passion undeniable. If you’re looking for a fast paced read with witty dialogue this series is certainly it! If you’re looking for me, I’ll just be in the corner sulking until the final installment is released. 

If you haven’t read Hart Broken or Hart of His, by all means do so! Then grab Hart of Hers HERE. All three can be read free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. 

Book Review: Written in Blood by Alex R. Carver

⭐⭐⭐⭐💫4.5 out of 5 stars  

I really enjoyed this read! Alex Carver has fashioned a breakneck-paced murder mystery full of false leads and red herrings that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from the very first page.

This is my fourth Alex Carver read, and it is by far and away my favorite. Characters were well developed, with fully fleshed personalities. I could relate to each character, but I particularly loved Constable Melissa Turner. She’s a young (read greenhorn) constable in a teensy tiny English village, so when her community is rocked by the murders of multiple teenaged girls, she is forced to learn a lot about ‘big-town’ police work in record time. Her heart and moxie almost jumps off the page, even as she’s being thwarted by her superiors. 

The village itself plays a vital character role too, one that shouldn’t be overlooked. The author created a very realistic small-town vibe, replete with the requisite nosy neighbor, town gossips, and suspicion of the new man in town… because Lord knows the killer couldn’t be a trusted local resident! 

The early scenes in which our nameless / faceless killer attacks his victims were downright terrifying. The panic. The desperation. It was all so vivid! Bravo.

Currently, this title is available in paperback on Amazon HERE but if you check back ebooks will be available soon. 🤓

Book Review: Step Right Up (Sirkus av Magi Book 1) by Lichelle Slater

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 out of 5 stars  

Step Right Up is a very interesting read. Part sci-if space saga, part magical fantasy, with a murder mystery to solve, and a healthy dose of coming-of-age thrown in there’s a little bit to love for everyone. I felt I could identify with the MC Crystal right from the get go. She’s young, with something to prove and a father she idolizes. So when Crystal finds her father’s dead body and tracks his killer to the spaceship of a traveling circus…what’s a girl to do? Sneak her way on board and find the murderer of course!

Along the way, she makes many friends and allies, each as likable as the last. Far and away the crowd fave though, I’m sure, will be Ite: a grammatically-challenged size-changing furball with a heart of gold. To say I want an Ite in my life is no joke. He’s adorable!

The storyline and writing bridges that young adult / adult gap nicely. It’s a book I can see my 9 year old daughter loving, same as I’m sure her brother (13) will. If you’re looking for a book to read aloud as a family I highly recommend this one!

Crystal travels to some amazing places and meets a ton of folks, not all of them human. Each was described well by the author, in such a way as to give the reader a lovely sketch upon which to let our imagination color. Brilliantly done. 

Be forewarned though: major cliffhanger ending! If that’s a big deal to you, consider yourself warned. Otherwise, this is a highly enjoyable book your whole family will love. 

Unlike most books I’ve reviewed here as of late, this one is not enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. But it’s currently available to download for only 99¢ HERE. Worth every penny!

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