Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book Review: No Comment by Graham Smith

No Comment

The Major Crimes Team - A DI Harry Evans novella

by Graham Smith

When a single mother, Julie Simon, is found in her kitchen with a stab wound to her stomach, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the case. Under the supervision of DI Campbell and with advice from his former DI, Harry Evans, DC Amir Bhaki fights to discover who assaulted an innocent woman and left her with life-threatening injuries.

Nothing is as it first appears and when the team looks into Julie’s life they uncover a hidden sex-life that may just hold the key to the identity of her attacker.

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My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

He knew better than to assume that a good family meant he was a good citizen. Some of the most evil people he’d encountered were from decent families. They would present one face to the world and another to their victims. Their status in life a shield they would hide behind until it was time to swing a sword in private.

That one sentence about female cops explained to Campbell just why such an outwardly attractive man needed to use Tinder to get laid.

The public couldn’t, and probably shouldn’t, know how much investigating certain crimes took from coppers.  How there were sleepless nights and nightmares when sleep did come. How relationships failed and how solace was sought at the bottom of a bottle. Sometimes coppers chose drink, and sometimes drink chose them.

My Review:

This was my first experience with Mr. Graham Smith and his unusual yet compelling assortment of coppers who were working under new leadership.  The premise was unique and relevant and the storylines were active and cunningly crafted while giving the reader a chance to learn the quirks and personalities of the squad while they were tasked with a puzzling crime.  Each member was required to employ their unique skills and personal hidden talents that maybe shouldn’t be looked at too closely, but all their tricks were needed to dig deep and unearth a more devastating and disturbing problem than they had initially anticipated.   And I proudly add a new word to my Brit vocabulary list with woodentops – an informal and not so polite term for a British uniformed officer.  

Empress DJ

About Graham Smith

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been the manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and three novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at




Book Review: Nailed Down by Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler

Nailed Down 
by Chelle Bliss & Eden Butler

Release Date: 20th March
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

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Kit Carlyle isn’t just some woman. Beautiful? Yep. Seductive? Damn straight. She’s also my best friend and my co-worker. But, hell, I’m a guy with a pulse. Every once in a while, I take a look and think filthy things about her that maybe I shouldn’t.
But when her cousin dies and leaves her with a long as hell and sexy bucket list, Kit turns to me for a helping hand. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a woman in need. Besides, I’m damn sure not about to let another man steal away my girl, occupy her bed, or fill my shoes.
But as the stakes get higher and the items become hotter, I’ll have to face the toughest challenge of all: admitting I want more than Kit’s friendship.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Kiel was slick, always had some woman on the side because he was a good-looking dude and he could talk a preacher into a porno subscription.

I winked at her, and I decided just then to wink at her as much as I could. The effect made my gut flutter like a virgin groom getting a lap dance at his bachelor party.

My Review:

Sizzle and snap!  Nailed Down was an amusing and cleverly written slow burn adult romance that was a fun and sexy read while also managing to have little actual sex in it, but once they finally hit the sheets - wowza… the linens were scorched beyond repair!  I adored this original and entertaining story as much as it enjoyed the quirky cast of characters.  I smirked, snorted, and sighed my way through this sweet and steamy tale.  

Empress DJ

Meet the Authors
Chelle Bliss
USA Today bestselling author Chelle Bliss currently lives in a small town near the Gulf of Mexico. She's a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She's written over ten books and has two series available. She loves spending her free time with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and her hamster.
Before becoming a writer, Chelle taught high school history for over ten years. She holds a master's degree in Instructional Technology and a bachelor's in History. Although history is her first love, writing has become her dream job and she can't imagine doing anything else.

Eden Butler

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of Fantasy, Mystery and Contemporary Romance novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who, and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.    Please send help.

Subscribe to Eden’s newsletter for giveaways, sneak peeks and various goodies that might just give you a chuckle.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Book Review: Showing Up (THE GEG SERIES #4) by Jacquelyn Ayres

Book: Showing Up
Author: Jacquelyn Ayres
Genre: Contemporary Romance  #ShowingUpTour


Julie McEvoy has been mourning the loss of her mother most of her life. Only . . . her mother isn’t dead. She’s not missing. She’s not even far away. She’s just not there the way a mother should be.
Having enough of the passive-aggressive loop their relationship has been on, Julie cuts ties completely with Cynthia. It shouldn’t matter; Cynthia’s never really there for her anyhow. She doesn’t need her mother anymore.
Except—she does.
Cynthia McEvoy has been keeping secrets for over thirty years. She’s not proud of it, but it has helped her to become the strong, independent woman she is today. The same strong woman who is now trying to pick up and glue back the pieces of the relationships she’s either destroyed along the way or never allowed any nourishment for. 
Hopefully, it’s not too late.
Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to understand how behaviors start, why they continue for so long, and where to begin the healing process.

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My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Nothing puts your ass in check quicker than realizing you’re turning into your mother.

I’m Australian, yet no one is ever sure if I am or if I’m English, so I’m intriguing. My man-card is platinum, dude.

I know. I’m really proud of you . . . learning English like that. Has it been harder to understand with Dumbass being your native tongue?

Believe me, darling, when I tell you that man needs absolutely no help in that department. I’m half surprised his willy hasn’t fallen off yet.

Everyone has a spirit animal, ours is the sloth...

I’m at an age in my life where I’d rather start off with a promising ‘hello’ kiss than worrying about a ‘goodnight’ kiss for the entire date.

My Review:

I smirked and giggle-snorted my way through this irreverently humorous and cheeky tale that was overflowing with quirky and sassy characters, f-bombs, family drama, and heart-squeezing and swoon-worthy romance.  Sigh.  I adore Jacquelyn Ayres naughty wit and imagine she would be a top shelf friend and good fun to be around, rain or shine.  Deftly written from multiple points of view, the snark was well-honed, the banter was spicy, the nursery rhymes were naughty, the quips were cleverly pitched, and the inner musings were insightfully observant and tugged at the heart.  I was highly impatient and needled with curiosity to uncover the treasure trove of Cynthia’s thirty-year-old secrets the wily author periodically taunted me with… I had a feeling her history was going to be a heart ripper, and the creative and ingenious Ms. Ayres did not disappoint.  Don’t you dare tell me we’ve run out of GEGs, so who is next Ms. Ayres?  Dare I suggest a clever cougar addition to Maddie’s practice who just happens to be named DJ?  Hmm?  

Empress DJ

Meet the Author: 

      I am a domestic engineer (born and raised in New Jersey) whose sole responsibility is guiding three young, impressionable kids into becoming phenomenal adults. This challenging yet rewarding work requires a lot of love (coffee), patience (wine), and determination (periodic exorcisms). And so far—I’m nailing it! I used to work all of this magic from the beautiful state of New Hampshire but am now blessing North Carolina with my brand of harmless crazy. You’re welcome, North Carolina.
      Before becoming a domestic goddess (not really), I spent over a decade working in the medical field, where I wore more hats than the queen.
      I have loved the written word and the great escape it provides since I was a little girl. When I wasn't reading about people and the places they lived, I created my own characters and adventures. Finally, I started putting a pen to paper and allowing my characters to come to life.

When I don't have a pen in hand, you can often find me laughing at the conversations my characters are having in my head.

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Under Contract - 99c

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In The Mix - 99c

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Crossing The Line - 1.99
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Book Review: No Ordinary Love (Sweetbriar Cove #6) by Melody Grace

Title: No Ordinary Love
Series: Sweetbriar Cove #6
Author: Melody Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 12, 2018


For journalist Eliza Bennett, summers in Sweetbriar Cove were her happiest childhood memories. Now that she’s been unceremoniously fired, she hopes the small town will work its magic again and help get her life back on track. She definitely isn’t looking for a distraction like the handsome stranger she meets on her way into town… especially when she discovers he might be the man behind her recent misfortunes.

Cal Prescott is in Sweetbriar Cove adjusting to (or escaping from) his new role as head of the family company. He’s always prided himself on his cool logic, but reckoning with the outspoken spitfire, Eliza, is making him forget his responsibilities - and why falling in love would be such a bad idea.

The sparks between them are red-hot, and soon, their passion is heating up the summer nights. But can Eliza and Cal find a way through their differences - or will this opposites-attract romance burn out before it even begins?

Find out in the latest swoon-worthy Sweetbriar Cove romance from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!

The Sweetbriar Cove Series of standalone romances:

#1 Meant to Be
#2 All for You
#3 The Only One
#4 I'm Yours
#5 Holiday Kisses
#6 No Ordinary Love
#7 Wildest Dreams (July 2018)

Purchase Links


Available at other retailers soon

My Rating:

Favorite Quote:

“Maybe he’s been hit by a bus,” she said, still watching her silent phone. “Maybe he ran out of the gala after me, got hit by a bus, and has been in traction all week, unable to call?” She exhaled with a rueful smile. “Wow, you know things are really bad when the best-case scenario involves a gruesome accident.”

My Review:

Cal and Eliza started off with bad blood between them, as in her mind; he was the cause of her recent unemployment.  Yet they seemed to have a spark, although it was often one of annoyance, but a spark nonetheless.  They had one of the most awkward first dates imaginable, which was only improved by hours of vomiting due to a mutual bout of food poisoning that occurred during the date.  I always enjoy returning to this series and becoming reacquainted with the previously featured couples and new friends.  I enjoy Ms. Grace’s humor, quirky yet endearingly flawed characters, and engaging storylines.  This entertaining series has been easy to follow with each installment being an interconnected yet stand-alone volume.  

Empress DJ

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Author Bio

NYT bestselling author, a SoCal transplant, and sexy romance junkie ;) I never say no to ice-cream...

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