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In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James


About the Book

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves in Dorothy St. James’s third rich installment of the Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries, In Cold Chocolate.

Review – 

In an Oyster Shell –  It was mostly good as always, I was getting a little impatient at the overbearing underlying subplot that has been running through the series.

The Pearls – A sleepy beachside town with a cozy chocolate shop. What is not to love? I love Penn and all of her townsfolk that is coming to surround her. There is an interesting plot that keeps me coming back again and again. This series is a must read drop everything when the newest book comes out.

I loved that romance is not prominent in the series but it has a nice accent to it. It is partially what makes a cozy a cozy. I like that this part of the series has taken its time forming. There is a nice surprise in this particular book.

The conflict was tantalizing. I was on the edge of my seat while I was turning through the last quarter of the book. St James threw down and didn’t hold back and I loved every second of it.

The Sand –  I have to admit I really love this series but I was getting quite frustrated with some of the twists and turns. Sometimes some things can get twisted too much and I felt like that happen with Penn’s legitimacy to the Chocolate shop. Unfortunately for me it was quite overdone. It worked out to a satisfying end but it really could have been tamed down quite a bit.

3.5 Pearls


About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Purchase Links

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Blog Tour with Review – Dickensen Academy by  Christine GrabowskiDickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?


In an Oyster Shell – It would be a good middle school book but it lacked depth and enough action to propel it forward enough to capture my interest completely.

The Pearls – The concept of a mysterious academy is always a winner in my book. It’s a common story that can have so many outcomes so it never gets old for me. I liked the dream conveyance they talked about. It’s an interesting subject manner all itself.

There was a little bit of YA romance hinted at that was sweet.

The camaraderie among the classmates was adorable. I liked the interaction between the main character and her roommate along with some of her classmates. I adored the den mother. She was so sweet I wanted to go have tea with her as well.

The Sand –  The story often lagged there was nothing to tie me to the main character. I had high hopes for this book and it just did not pan out for me.

3 Pearls!



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About Christine Grabowski

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

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Blog Tour with Review – Love and Other Secrets by Christina ManddelskiLove and Other Secrets (The First Kiss Hypothesis #2) by Christina Mandelski
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Crush) on September 3, 2018
Pages: 150

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect...until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.

Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.

When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.

For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!

Review – 

In an Oyster Shell –  It was a great read with a sassy heroine and a guy who’s head over in hells with her. This book will leave you swoony.

The Pearls –  I loved Bailey’s tenacity. I liked her naiveness too despite all her sassiness. She was a doe-eyed heroine that always had a smart comeback. I absolutely fell in love with her.

I love a friend to something more romance. It’s truly the best kind. It’s always complicated and satisfying when they finally figure things out. I love the push and pull and reading through as the characters make there way.

I love that this is a series. I am tempted to go back and read the first book though it reads fine as a stand alone. It is not often I am tempted to go back and read through the series. This was a wholesome romance that was never short on the sparks.

The Sand –  It was a good book.

4.5 Pearls!

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About Christina Mandelski

Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing.


Hot Pursuit
Kay Marie
(To Catch a Thief #1)
Publication date: August 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

**Only $0.99 for a limited time! Save $3!**

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days meets White Collar in this sassy and sweet romantic comedy, new from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie.

All Jolene Carter has ever wanted is a bakery of her own. There’s only one problem. Her father, Robert Carter, is a world-renowned art thief and she’s, well, sort of his protégé. But he’s promised her this next job in New York will be their last, and she won’t let anyone get in the way of her dreams…especially not the distractingly delicious FBI agent hot on her tail.

Agent Nate Parker has been on the Robert Carter case for years, and if rumors of the aging criminal’s retirement are true, this might be his last chance to nail him. With the legacy of his late father in the back of his mind, the stakes are more personal than anyone realizes. He won’t let anything stand in the way of justice…especially not the red-headed vixen who keeps giving him the slip.

He’s a cop who’d never bend. She’s a con who’ll never break. But all’s fair in love and larceny…

Goodreads / Amazon

Review – 


In an Oyster Shell –  It is a satisfying read with enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat all while swooning over the relationship between Jo and Nate.

Review – I’m pretty sure this series is going to be on my go-to list for when the next one comes out. I found this book extremely refreshing with a cut and dry plot and distinctive characters. It was an easy read but very robust with intricate details and little accents of humor. I was very impressed and can’t wait for the next book!

I liked all the characters. Jo was sassy and smart giving Nate a run for his money. Nate was masculine but a softy when it came to Jo. My favorite part about Nate was that he gave Jo a chance to do what is right but made room for when she didn’t. The story flowed so well but it was masterfully constructed and I am so excited to tell you guys about this book!

The romance was captivating. There was a tantalizing push and pull with a satisfying ending. I liked how this story concluded and loved the lead in for the story to come. The world needs more books like this.

The Sand – It was a good book

4.5 Pearls!



Author Bio:

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: [email protected]

Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases, to receive exclusive subscriber bonus content, and more! bit.ly/KaitlynDavisNewsletter

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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When a single independent woman falls for a single dad, she has to decide if she’s willing to accept the whole package.

Jennifer Palmer is not especially excited about attending the charity event, but because it helps homeless animals and because her best friend and roommate asked her to, she agrees to attend. Besides, it might be sort of fun bidding on an eligible billionaire and just what Jenny needs to move forward after the break up with her loser boyfriend, Brad.

Single dad, Chase Marlow is well-known in the community for his work with disadvantaged women and children. He also loves animals, so when he’s asked to be one of the auctioned billionaires, he steps up to the challenge.

Jenny isn’t planning on bidding, but when Chase enters the stage, all bets are off. After all, it’s just one date.

Can Jenny and Chase get that one date off the ground, or will there be too many obstacles in their way?

Review – 

In an Oyster Shell – This book had all the logistical things going for it but in the end, I wasn’t a fan of the main character that made her own drama instead of the conflict being a little more natural.

The Pearls – The premise is what drew me in. I liked the beginning that starts with a reluctant heroine. A humble wealthy bachelor made things even more interesting.

I loved Chase’s daughter. She was a sweety. I think children characters can be hard to capture and this one was captured well.

I liked some of the twists some I really didn’t see coming.

The Sand – The book overall lacked depth. The main character seriously caused more problems making the conflict stinted and me slightly irritated with her. There were some plot threads that were not resolved.

3 Pearls

Available to buy from…… 

“A wonderful family love story that was very well written with enough creative descriptions to make the reader feel as though they were actually in the setting. Debbie White’s books are very well written, family friendly, and always an easy read.” 

Read an excerpt

About the author

Debbie is a USA Today bestselling author.  She currently lives in northern California where the beautiful landscapes are often the settings in her books. The jagged coastline, the rolling hills with vineyards and the redwood forest make wonderful backdrops for her romance novels.When Debbie isn’t writing or traveling to a book signing, she’s visiting her family on the east coast, traveling to other places on her bucket list, enjoying her backyard, hiking with her husband and riding on the back of their motorcycle.

Debbie’s books range from sweet to a little spicy. Inspired by true events, Ties That Bind holds a special place in her heart.

As an avid animal lover and parent to two rescue dogs, Debbie donates a portion of her proceeds to animal rescue organizations. When you purchase one of her books, you’re also helping a furry pet with shelter, food and ultimately a new home!

Find the author on the following sites….
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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.




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How to Breathe Underwater
Vicky Skinner
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.

Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.

As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

In an Oyster Shell – This book was super refreshing it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time. It was bittersweet, slightly raw and had me engaged the whole way through.

The Pearls – 

I really like the rawness of this book. It had a slight melancholy edge to it with an ending that just blew me away. I’ve never read anything from this author and I am going to have to check her out. Writing a believable thread of reality where not all loose ends are tied neatly together.

I loved the setting though it has me wondering if the author has ever been to Portland. It didn’t really draw me in with the knowledge of the city but it did make me appreciate it. I live here in the area so I was curious as to why the author chose that setting.

I like the romance but it really had a slight edge to it. Don’t worry you’ll get an HEA with a side of conflict and audacity. I seriously applaud this author.

4.5 Pearls

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.

Goodreads / Twitter


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Author: Traci McDonald

Narrator: Amanda Stribling

Length: 9 hours and 49 minutes

Publisher: TraciMcdonaldAuthor.com

Series: Ice and Stone, Book 1

Released: June 20, 2018

Genre: Romance

Danielle Lyndon, owner of a 200-year-old bookstore in Greenville, Alabama, has built a fortress of suspicion around her heart. A tragic fire has taken the lives of her beloved Grandmother and mother, leaving her with nothing but an ancient collection of magical books.

Facing what seems like an eternity of loneliness and abandonment, her life is inexorably altered late one night when a runaway teenage girl breaks into her store and Danielle receives a mysterious text message…from her dead mother.

The only person who can help her is Aaron Donnell, a reckless, tormented drifter with haunting silver-blue eyes who is searching for the burglar, his younger sister. Aaron somehow holds the answers to the mysterious texts, but he’s arrogant, dangerous, and is clearly no good for her. The problem is . . . . she’s falling in love with him.

Consumed with Aaron’s mysterious darkness and the prospect of locating the source of the texts, Danielle allows him to unwittingly drag her into an insane, mystical world where human trafficking is the usual, black magic reigns supreme, and inhuman power lasts forever.

Are the dark chasms of magic and eternity too wide and deep for love to cross? Is the collateral damage in their battle too high of a price to pay if it leaves someone with their soul encased in stone?

The Review – 

 –  It was a super long audiobook with vivid descriptions that made the length worth it.

The Pearls – I was hesitant to get into the audiobook club but I am in a place where I am spending a lot of time crafting so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s the only time I’m still enough to try an audio book. This one was a great one to start with.

I was instantly swept away by the vivid imagery and witty metaphors. I was drawn into the story. My favorite parts of the book were the coziness of the bookstore and the warmth between Arron and Danielle.

I really liked Danielle, she was pleasantly flawed and a fiery southern belle. The tension between Arron and Danielle was palpable. I loved the tension.

The Sand –  The book was too long. The last few chapters dragged and could have been more condensed.

3.5 Pearls!

Traci McDonald is a blind author of clean romance novels, including Burning Bridger (Muse It Up, 2015), Killing Casanova (Crimson Romance, 2012) and the forthcoming Soul of Stone. She believes that falling in-love is the greatest risk of all, and her non-explicit romances are about hurting, healing and finding true love. Traci has been blind for 20 years. When she isn’t writing she is an editor for Ink and Quill Press and the co-host for a blogtalk radio show on The World of Ink Network. Traci is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind, on the board of her local writer’s guild, and a speaker for various writing conferences and book fairs. She is a full time wife and mother of three boys, an avid reader, and loves living in a small town on the fringes of Nevada’s Mojave Desert.



I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Traci McDonald. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


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Giveaway – Lazy Days of Summer

Thanks to Mary over at Bookhounds who hosted this. Mary is really great these giveaways have really helped my blog and I can’t thank her enough.

I don’t know about you guys but I am ready for summer to be over and honestly I haven’t been too lazy because there is something big happening in the fall… My first novel is coming out!

I want to celebrate with you so I’ve made the entries easy peasy. Two entries and you’ll be able to follow me as embark on the adventure of being an author!

Here’s a Sneak Peak at the Cover!

He was ready to leave and never look back until she walked in. 

Coming September 2018!

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Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod. Bayside Summers is a series of standalone romance novels featuring fiercely loyal heroes and sassy, empowered women. They’re fun, flirty, flawed, and easy to relate to.

In Sweet Heat at Bayside…
Drake Savage has always done the right thing, especially where beautiful and fiercely determined Serena Mallery is concerned—even when it means keeping his feelings for her to himself. Serena has always wanted more than what their small town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts has to offer, and Drake’s roots are so deeply entrenched in the Cape, it’s all he can do to watch her pack up her life and move away.Serena has always had big dreams. As a teenager she dreamed of becoming an interior designer and marrying smart, musically inclined, sexy-as-sin Drake Savage. Now she’s finally landed a killer job with a top interior design firm, but though she has spent the last four years working side by side with Drake, he’s never made a move. Four years is long enough for her to accept reality, and her new job in Boston is the perfect way to move on.

A weak moment leads to sizzling, sensual kisses, opening a door through which they’ve both been aching to walk. But Serena’s determined not to give up her shot at the career she’s always dreamed of, and Drake has loved her for too many years to stand in her way. With true love at their fingertips and a world of unstoppable passion igniting between them, can the two star-crossed lovers find their way to their happily ever after?

About SWEET WITH HEAT novels… 
Sweet with Heat books are the sweet editions of the Love in Bloom steamy romance novels by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Sweet with Heat books convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Review – 
In an Oyster shell –  I’ve been waiting for a while for Serena’s story… I am so excited that I finally got to read it.
The Pearls – I wasn’t sure if I was going to be as excited for these bayside books as I was for the Seaside books. I can tell you I enjoy them very much. We don’t get to see too many characters from the other series but they are around. These books have a great premise of Cape summers and they transport me to a beachside summer no matter what time of year it is.
I was ever so curious about who Serena would end up with. I don’t feel like there were very many hints in the previous books. I was surprised when it was Drake… I definitely did not see that coming. They made a great couple. In that Serena actually moves away makes their story different from all the others.
I like the diversity in this particular book because we get to see the characters in a different setting other then bayside. I like the adaptability and flexibility of this author that she can create so many diverse characters and put them anywhere and make them shine.
The Sand – I must confess that I was ever so slightly disappointed that Serena turned out to be a little more docile then I had perceived her in other books. The firey wit that she showed in other books did not come out as well as I would have liked in this book.
4 Pearls –

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Also available in the Sweet with Heat: Bayside Summers Series 
More from Addison Cole!
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Series
About the author
SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/NewsletterDOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison is proud to be part of the Main Street Romance family, a partnership with bestselling authors Nancy Naigle, RaeAnne Thayne, and Chris Keniston, bringing sweet happy-ever-after love stories to the Main Street Romance community. Join them at www.MainStreetRomance.com ~ open 24/7 just for you.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Find Addison on the following sites….



I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.



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The Former Assassin

by Nikki Stern

on Tour August 1-31, 2018


The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern

Susan Foster wants to retire. Her boss wants her dead.

After decades as Victor Kemp’s off-the books killer, Suzanne finally quits. Not until five years later does Kemp discover how thoroughly she’s deceived him. Determined to punish her, he tracks her to Wales to watch her die. Instead, he walks into a trap.

Believing themselves safe at last, Suzanne and her family relocate to London, where she hopes to find the peace that has eluded her for so long. Her son is engaged to a nobleman’s daughter; her husband has a good job with British Intelligence. Yet she still struggles with restless dreams and the premonition that her nemesis has survived.

He has: Kemp, though severely injured, is rebuilding his empire and plotting revenge. He’s prepared to risk everything to end the former assassin. He may not be the only one.

Suzanne has no choice: to protect those she loves, she will be forced to kill again. Assassins, it seems, can never retire.

“An explosive page-turner which owes its momentum to it two well-drawn opponents and a conflict that goes beyond good-vs.-evil.” ~IndieReader, Four Star review

“Later turns in the smashing final act come at a searing pace.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Keeps readers guessing the outcome right up to its conclusion.” ~D. Donovan Midwest Book Review

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Ruthenia Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780999548721
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Goodreads


Read an excerpt:

Today is not a good day to die.

No day is, not really. We humans are hard-wired to survive. By most standards, though, this morning is exceptional. The weather is balmy, even for May. The fierce winds that often pound the Welsh coastline have remained offshore. Purple heather blankets the emerald cliffs that encircle Bristol Bay. Small breakers gently lap the shoreline and wash the sand clean of debris. The water sparkles in the sunlight. Shades of azure and aquamarine yield to cyan and lapis further out. In the distance, the sea meets a cerulean sky just where the earth curves. No slate clouds gather at the horizon. All is calm.

Nothing suggested that today I would find myself on a bench in one of the most breathtaking spots in the world with a gun to my head, held by a predator who speaks just two words: “Don’t move.”


Excerpt from The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern. Copyright © 2018 by Nikki Stern. Reproduced with permission from Nikki Stern. All rights reserved.


Review –

In an Oyster Shell – I really liked this book that was full of intruige and featured an MC that was middle age but was still kick butt.

The Pearls –  There is a lot of talk about diverse characters. I know that it usually comes down to one aspect of diversity. (which in my opinion is not true diversity) It is not as common to have a middle age character especially one that is a former assassin. I found myself really enjoying Suzanne which I would consider a diverse character. She was unique and I liked her a lot. In some ways she was pretty straightforward in others she was quite complicated.

There was a good push and pull between the good characters and the bad. The antagonist of this book was ever so despicable. I enjoyed the layer of the story that was woven in with this character. In the end, he really was a bad guy but there were subtle nuances that still made him human. I was super impressed that I was just as engrossed in his side of the story as I was Suzanne.

I liked the MC motivation. She was fighting her family but it was really a fight for the equilibrium of normalcy. It was a cause the reader could get behind and cheer Suzanne on as she figured her way to accomplish that.

The Sand –  The POV switches from 1st to 3rd limited. I’ve never seen this done and am under the understanding that you should stay with one POV. Of course, rules are made to be broken but in the end, I don’t feel like that worked in this book and should stay in one POV.

3.5 Pearls!

Author Bio:

Nikki Stern

Nikki is the author of two works of non-fiction: HOPE IN SMALL DOSES, a 2015 Eric Hoffer finalist for books that provoke, inspire and redirect thought, and BECAUSE I SAY SO: MORAL AUTHORITY’S DANGEROUS APPEAL, as well as dozens of short stories. She is co-author on the Cafe Noir interactive murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Nikki’s suspense novel, THE FORMER ASSASSIN has garnered strong reviews, including a four-star rating from Indie Reader. She’s working on a mystery/sci-fi series starring an unorthodox crime fighter named Samantha Tate. When she’s not writing about strong complex women, Nikki is working with several non-profits, taking Pilates classes, and attending to the needs of her dog, Molly.

Catch Up With Nikki Stern On:
Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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