Current read November 16, 2022

I’ve found the much needed book to brighten my day! (the antidote to my last post)

Davis Bunn is a long time favorite author and this new book is a recent download. It is book 6 in the Miramar Bay series and I’ve read and enjoyed them all.

I have never read a book like this one which is both exciting and refreshing. There have been several in a similar vein over the years but they were by different authors with their own special flair.

I’m loving this read and chapter nine has put in an appearance.

A breathtaking new novel about letting go, taking chances, and embracing the healing power of love—from the international bestselling author of Tranquility Falls.

Just when he thought he’d buried his past and was moving on . . .

Four years after his wife’s death, art history teacher Derek Gaines.has finally made a kind of peace with himself. He tries his best to stave off memories. His days are ones of familiar routine. Guarded against further pain, he keeps relationships at a safe distance. It’s all part of his necessary transition to surviving alone. If anything is truly responsible for Derek making it back from the brink it’s his edifying work as a consultant for auction houses—and indulging a consuming sideline job: tracking stolen art. But Derek’s latest hunt will lead him toward challenges both professional and personal—that he’s not prepared to
face . .
.
 
He discovered the art of falling in love again . . .

Joining Derek on his quest is Kelly Reid, the new junior vice president of gallery operations at Christies Los Angeles. She is driven, ambitious, fiercely passionate about her work—and a fellow wounded kindred spirit. Bitterly immune to men’s promises, she’s never letting herself be vulnerable again. Yet even as trust and affection remain frightening territory, a tenuous start to her partnership with Derek slowly builds toward something more. And soon, both will be tested beyond anything they could have imagined–in the deepening mystery of a lost painting, and in matters of the heart, which can be the greatest mystery of all.

With love comes risk in The Emerald Tide, a powerful and emotional novel about daring to take a second chance.

*********************

Happy Reading

Bargain books November 16, 2022

Distressed. That’s what I’m feeling at the moment. It was unexpected and disappointing. Disappointing because I was hoping for new sites to follow, replacing the old, slowly disappearing sites. What I found this time, and have before too, reading tastes among a number of book bloggers tend to fall on the dark side. I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about. Given that bent, today’s browsing experience was triggering for me.

Often I can handle honesty about the murderous things we do to one another. Maybe it’s point of view that makes the difference. Usually the stories I read are from law enforcement’s side of things. The titles in a reading list this morning were from the perpetrator’s perspective and that’s a whole new ballgame. It felt like pure evil and I couldn’t handle it. I’m guessing triggers from early childhood trauma are behind the issue.

I’m sad. I had high hopes for a new blogger friend or three to follow.

My luck hasn’t been all that great finding new friends, probably because I spend more time looking for books than I do looking for friends. A fatal flaw. Not. I love my books and the few friends I do still have.

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So, back to the book search. . .

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us. It’s Book 2 in a series. We read Book 1 a year ago and I see it is still Free.

Dead Broke: A Cozy Mystery

Why would someone kill Nathan King?

The peace of a perfect November afternoon is shattered when Agatha hears the frantic bleating of goats across the river from her B&B. Agatha kayaks over with retired detective Tony and two guests–Bishop Henry and his wife Emma. They find the goats huddled together in a terrified group and Nathan lying face up beneath the Live Oak trees, lifeless eyes staring at the Texas sky.

Then one of Agatha’s guests goes missing. She delves into Joey’s past and learns he was Dead Broke, so what was he doing vacationing at her B&B? And why was he pretending to be Amish when in fact his permanent address was Dallas, Texas? Most importantly, did Joey have anything to do with Nathan’s death? Agatha and Tony are at a dead end before the investigation has properly begun, but this time they receive help from unexpected places.

Bishop Henry has a gift, and he’s no longer afraid to use it, even if doing so may put them all in danger as they work together to catch a killer.

Dead Broke is a story about family secrets, rare gifts, and the joy of unexpected friendships.

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Another bargain book from 1531 Entertainment looks like it could be interesting.

All I Want for Christmas by Rebekah Pace

LOSING EVERYTHING MAY JUST BE THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL.

James sells toys. He’s a workaholic and he’s made a very good living, even if his wife and four children don’t appreciate it. Truth is, his marriage is falling apart and he barely recognizes his kids.

So when James’s youngest daughter, 7-year-old Reba, asks God for a Christmas miracle to “fix” her family, something most unexpected happens—unexpected and horrible. The Christmas tree catches fire and the house burns down, taking with it all of their possessions.

One bad thing leads to another as rock bottom gives way to new lows and the family is sent spiraling down a dark and unfamiliar path. Reba wonders if God decided to give her the very opposite of what she prayed for.

Finally, separated and destitute, James and the family are left with absolutely nothing—nothing but a brand-new understanding of what’s actually important in life.

Now James must rekindle his faith, learn what’s truly important to him, and find a way to win his family back. If he can pull it off, there may just be that Christmas miracle waiting for him.


“Likable, charismatic characters…compelling and emotionally impactful…modern-day Job’s tale.” – Screencraft

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I’ve been digging myself into a deep hole just thinking about this post. For sure I won’t be reading the last book on this list.

I’m off to look through my TBR list for something light-hearted and funny.

Happy Reading y’all.

Free and bargain books November 15, 2022

We have books today. One so far anyway, and it’s free. BookRunes brought this one to our attention. I see we’ve read and enjoyed quite a few books from this author in the last two years.

Sealed with Courage: A Christian K9 Romantic Suspense (Called To Protect Book 1) 

Risking their hearts and their lives while protecting the innocent…

Will they find the kidnapped boy in time?

Sign language teacher Aubrey Clark feels responsible when ten-year-old Lucas goes missing. She’s determined to find her deaf student and knows more than she should from reading the lips of the man involved in the boy’s disappearance. Now she’s in the killer’s crosshairs too. Aubrey has little choice but to accept Navy SEAL Mason Gray’s protection, grateful for his help in searching for Lucas.

Mason’s last op as a Navy SEAL had gone sideways, leaving him deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. But he’s not going to let his handicap prevent him and his K9 scent tracker, Bravo, from rescuing a deaf child. Mason has never balked at putting his life on the line for his country or to ensure the safety of women and children. But risking his heart? That wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan . . .

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LPC Free Books has a FREE suggestion for us too that looks interesting. I have one book in my collection from this author and now I’m looking forward to reading this one.

After the Rain

Debra Hart is moving on. Maybe. Hopefully. One day.

As a radio show host, Debra spends her mornings as Miss Lonely Heart on air, empathizing with all the broken hearts in the Denver metro area. She spends her evenings watching old musicals and trying not to think about the guy who broke up with her and subsequently fell in love with one of her best friends. Alone in a new city, Debra questions where she belongs and who she is now.

When she stumbles into the indie music scene, Debra meets singer Ben Price. Rock star appeal, with a day job as a worship pastor, Ben is everything Debra wants to avoid. But he’s determined to be her friend, and it so happens she could really use one. Because try as she might, nothing seems to erase the anger and betrayal she feels.

It’s time for a new dream. But how does she start over when the pieces of her broken past remain lodged in her heart?

“Brandy Bruce has weaved together a bittersweet tale that had me laughing and crying within a mere three words. Filled with loss, love, and beautiful life, After the Rain will forever be in my heart, sitting on my shelf of favorites.” ~V. Joy Palmer, Author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations

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1531 Entertainment also has a bargain suggestion for us. One I’m not planning to download but will still recommend, especially if you like classic mystery. I’ve read and enjoyed many Agatha Christie novels through the years and my appetite for her books has been more than satisfied but I can still enthusiastically declare that she is worth reading.

At Bertram’s Hotel: A Miss Marple Mystery (Miss Marple Mysteries Book 10) 

At Bertram’s Hotel the intrepid Miss Marple, on holiday in London, must solve a deadly mystery at the end of a chain of very violent events.

An old-fashioned London hotel is not quite as reputable as it makes out to be.…

When Miss Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she’s looking for at Bertram’s Hotel: traditional decor, impeccable service, and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly-polished veneer.

Yet, not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day.…

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Just for kicks, I went back to examine my Amazon book collection (it’s up to 4169 already) and sorted by the oldest to see when I started. (Spring of 2012.)

I was checking out the books from back then and noticed one by Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest. I’m not seeing the same cover, and there are lots of them, but this one sums it up well if I remember rightly.

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy 

This blurb comes with a different cover but it still fits.

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James’s Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play’s major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Some contemporary reviews praised the play’s humour and the culmination of Wilde’s artistic career, while others were cautious about its lack of social messages. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde’s most enduringly popular play.

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I did enjoy the humor in reading this play and I still remember the fun experience.

The title makes me smile and immediately reminds me of another favorite old line. Not sure where it originated from but it’s probably old enough to be public domain.

“You be Frank and I’ll be Ernest”

On that lighthearted note . . .

Happy Reading y’all

Checking in November 14, 2022

This is a no-book day. Not sure where the normal suggestion emails went to on this Monday.

I needed something to do so I spent some time browsing through Amazon. There were a few that looked interesting, at first anyway, but the interest didn’t last long enough to choose any of them.

On the bright side I did finish both books in the current series we talked about yesterday. I wasn’t sure about the second book but it did turn out well. Now I wish I had Book 3.

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The other day I mentioned an experimental idea I had for maintaining interest in collections. Reading the 4 or 5 books of a collection all in a row can become boring. I was thinking if I read one book out of each (I have 5 on the go currently) and kept doing that until all five were done, maybe the experience would be more positive. So far it seems to be working. Sort of like taking a bit of salad in between bites of steak or potatoes helps keep the flavors from becoming boring.

Here are three I have been working on at the moment. Well the first two I have been, the third has been sadly neglected for months on end and needs to be moved on one way or the other.

I’ve moved up to Book 2 in the Prairie Brides collection and it’s good.

I may even just stay with these three, that may be enough of a change to get it done. Besides, I’m dragging my feet on two of them. I may decide to skip them altogether.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

That’s it for tonight.

Happy Reading.

A little of this, a little of that November 13, 2022

This is one of those days when I have nothing.

Although, it’s not strictly true in that while there is nothing structured, and filled with good content, there are still a few things on my mind.

Like how insanely frustrated I am with the recent changes to the stats page. I am sure someone loves the new feature but it’s not me. There are three little pieces of information that could fit in 1/2 inch horizontal space but no, it has to take up 3 inches, at least, meaning I have to scroll back and forth to see the information pertinent to me.

The irony in all of this is my recent decision to share only positive rather than negative thoughts and opinions. It didn’t take long for that good intention to fly out the window.

The whole negative-thoughts decision was related to my less than glowing assessment on several recently read books. My insecure mindset viewed the weak response to the post as a good indicator that I should stick to compliments. The old adage, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

The thing is – not all books are created equal. In truth, there are probably fewer well written books than there are not-so-well written. Like anything else in life some of us find certain tasks easier than others do. There is nothing wrong with that. In the end though, talent is one thing but willingness to do the hard work is the magic key. So, while not all books are great, I don’t need to comment on them. I’ll just keep quietly removing them before sharing a recently read and enjoyed post. Besides it not like I have a large audience and my opinion matters to the masses.

I am envious of one blogger I follow, she can, and often does, declare loudly about hating a book. She says it and we smile. I don’t have that gift, wish I did (big smile.)

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So, on to read and enjoyed.

Last night I finished Book 1 in a series and loved it. Kindle has a new feature that groups series together. It turns out, using this feature, I have Book 2 as well. I do remember starting it but having trouble making a solid connection. Now that I’ve read book one the beginning of book two is making more sense to me. Hopefully it will turn out to be as good as book one.

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Final thoughts on the rant we started out with.

Years ago we lived near a talented friend with an amazing voice. He loved to participate in community events singing solos of all kinds. We all thought he could have made it in the music industry if he wanted. He could have but he didn’t have the want to or the drive and dedication needed to make it happen. We’ve seen others with less talent who did make something special out of their gift.

We’ve seen it happen in other areas of life too, where the most talented weren’t the most successful.

It’s amazing how much of our success depends on the way we think and the way we act. A revolutionary thought.

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Tomorrow is Monday. Up and at’em

In the meantime. . .

Happy Reading

A bargain book November 12, 2022

BookBub has a suggestion I would like to explore. I don’t think I have read this author.

Courting Misfortune (The Joplin Chronicles Book #1)

Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she’s assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she’s sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered?

When Matthew Cook decided to be a missionary, he never expected to be sent only a short train ride away. While fighting against corruption of all sorts, Matthew hears of a baby raffle being held to raise funds for a children’s home. He’ll do what he can to stop it, but he also wants to stop the reckless Miss York, whose bad judgment consistently seems to be putting her in harm’s way.

Calista doesn’t need the handsome pastor interfering with her investigation, and she can’t let her disguise slip. Her job and the life of a young lady depend on keeping Matthew in the dark.  

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Nothing else has presented itself today, I did spend time exploring too but it wasn’t helpful.

On another subject, I’ve come up with a possible solution

Recently, we’ve downloaded a number of collections. There is a problem arising out of consumption of that many similar books in a short space of time. Even with different authors there often is a sameness destroying the positive reading experience. I’ve decided to try something new to see if it helps. The new plan involves reading one book from each collection with a stand-alone book in there somewhere, then cycling through the group of collections until they are all complete. Lately I’ve been giving up half way through and I’m hoping this will keep me from doing that.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Currently I’m reading a mystery/thriller after one cycle through 4 collections. A welcome change of pace.

One Little Lie (The Pelican Harbor Series Book 1) 

Bodies are showing up everywhere, mostly in strange but telling ways. The killer seems to be handing out retribution. Some of it is meant as distraction.

The killer is dropping hints. He (assuming it’s a he) has plans to keep the authorities insanely busy until the real target is revealed. It’s hard to say at this point what the end game is but it seems to be aimed at the newly appointed chief of police. Maybe.

This story will keep me going for a while, it has the page count of nearly three books in some collections. I’m not complaining. I’m not skipping through any pages either.

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I’m happy reading. I hope you are too.

Bargain books November 11, 2022

Exploring. That’s what it took to find treasures today. They are all historical fiction but other than that they are all different and interesting. At least the first few pages have me hooked and I’m expecting good things from there to the end. I’ve read one of these authors, the rest will be a new experience.

First up we have…

Carved in Stone (The Blackstone Legacy Book #1) 

Her gilded world holds a deeply hidden secret. 

After years of tragedy, Gwen Kellerman now lives a quiet life as a botanist at an idyllic New York college. She largely ignores her status as heiress to the infamous Blackstone dynasty and hopes to keep her family’s heartbreak and scandal behind her.

Patrick O’Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He’s proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case that is sure to emphasize the Blackstones’ legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.

Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger, Patrick and Gwen will be forced to decide if the risk to the life they’ve always held dear is worth the reward.

***********************

Next . . .

The Inheritance Tamara Alexander

Determined to tame her fourteen-year-old younger brother’s rebellious streak, twenty-three-year-old McKenna Ashford accepts her cousin’s invitation to move west and start over. McKenna arrives only to find that her cousin and her cousin’s husband have died, leaving their five-year-old daughter an orphan—and that life in Copper Creek, Colorado, is far from what she expected.

McKenna struggles with her sudden new role as the guardian of two children. Shouldering burdens beyond her years, McKenna tries to be the parent Robert needs instead of the older sister he resents. But her “untimely inheritance” challenges her resolve at every turn, while also offering a second chance to restore her sense of trust—and perhaps even her heart.

U.S. Marshal Wyatt Caradon is dedicated to bringing fugitives to justice, yet years of living on the trail have taken their toll, and he finds himself at a crossroads. He’s brought countless men to justice, but he questions what lasting good he has accomplished. When his path intersects that of young Robert Ashford, Wyatt glimpses himself, years ago, in the boy’s pride and arrogance. He also sees a boy without a firm hand in his life. His well-meant attempt to help Robert brings him face-to-face with the one situation he never wanted to encounter—and the one woman who holds the key to helping him find his future.

As McKenna struggles to let go of her independence and Wyatt considers opening his heart again, they discover an inheritance beyond imagination—but it will come at a price.

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Last but not least . . .

The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers On The Moors Book 2)

In Regency England, the same time period as Bridgerton and Poldark, Patience Creighton has devoted her life to running her father’s boarding school. But when the enigmatic master of the estate appears at her door, battered and unconscious, the young headmistress suddenly finds her livelihood—and her heart—in the hands of one dangerously handsome gentleman.

At twenty-five, Patience Creighton is already a spinster. The busy headmistress of Rosemere always expected a dashing man to sweep her off her feet and take her away . . . but that man never came. And since her father’s death, keeping the school running and her mother happy has been plenty to keep her occupied.

William Sterling dallied his way into financial trouble and mortal danger. When he is assaulted by his creditors’ henchmen on the road home from a tavern, he guides his horse to the doorstep of his tenant, the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. After being tended to by Patience, the wounded William rides off into the dawn—but makes a point to learn more about the lovely headmistress.

As he spends more time at Rosemere, something delicate begins to develop between William and Patience. But that will not deter William’s creditors. With little money to repay his debts, and less for the upkeep of his estate, it becomes clear that sacrificing Rosemere may be the only way to preserve his legacy. But it may also cost him his happiness.

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We have good reading options for the weekend.

This and that November 10, 2022

A major snow storm rolled in this afternoon and we went from zero to lots in short order. It is beautiful enough to keep the blinds open and the porch light on. We have had snow already this season but this right here is the real start of winter.

The window has freckles.

I was watching the snow and reading a good book. A perfect night.

Happy reading on this cold winter night.

No books day November 09, 2022

There weren’t any in sight to even turn down. Most days we have 3-4 suggestion emails but today there was one. Strange for the middle of the week.

Maybe the book suggestors had a late night last night, listening to the US election results, and couldn’t get motivated today.

Things are bizarre in the US when it comes to election results. In Canada we may have to stay up pretty late but generally we know who won the majority of the races before the night is over. Unless it is tight and needs greater scrutiny to know for sure. It just seems weird that they haven’t figured out a good system for ballot counting by now. It’s not like elections are something new. I’m thinking most of us would be fired from our jobs if we moved that slowly at work. Truly mystifying. Frustrating too. Who has the patience or the interest to pay attention that long? Maybe if we lived there and cared. But maybe not.

All that to say I’ve moved on. Not that anyone cares haha

So I’ve been reading off and on through the day and I can’t say this book has been holding my attention any better than the US election coverage. In the end I skimmed, jumped chapters, and found the end as quickly as possible. It’s a collection and the second book was no better. I’ve moved on. Way too much thinking time.

Here are the books I’ve left behind. Maybe not forever, but for now anyway.

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This is the replacement current read. So far so good. Hopefully it will be good right to the end.

Keatyn’s mother died in a house fire and she blames her dad for not rescuing her. In her mind he let her mother die and she will never forgive him.

Years have gone by, she’s worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and she is good at her job. The trouble is she has become a bitter woman. People who were her friends accuse her of being mean and selfish.

Now her dad is dying and she’s home for the first time since the fire. She would leave before even saying hello but her brother lifted her car keys and she has no way to run, except on foot. It’s not working out all that well for her, Marching away in three inch heels.

I’m assuming there will be eventually be a happy ending to this story but I suspect it may be rather painful getting there.

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Can’t believe how quickly time is rushing by. It will be Christmas in a couple of days. Seriously!

At least the snow has not come to stay yet.

Happy Reading y’all

Bargain Book November 08, 2022

Davis Bunn is a heavy hitter in the favorite author category.

He has a new co-author and book one in a new series coming out today according to this morning’s email. I wanted to see what it was about (the cover and sample) but sadly it is not on Amazon.ca yet. I haven’t checked any other countries, like the USA, to see if it’s is there.

There is a full description in the email but it’s too much to share here. There is an endorsement though that sheds a little light on what the book is about, it’s not very long. Here it is…

Charles Salzberg, well-known writing teacher and award winning crime author, had this to say: “Set in the rarified, dazzling circle of the super-rich, Guptara and Locke’s intricate, fast-paced international thriller consistently delivers the thrills and chills inherent in the high stakes, cut-throat world of high-finance in which murder is simply another business option.”

The name of the book is Fortune’s Favor and I’m looking forward to a glimpse of it. It appears to be taking off in a whole new direction, Mr. Bunn is known for doing that. Check out his book list and you will see for yourself.

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 Searching through his books, just because, I found one I don’t have yet and it is offered at a bargain price (my kind of book.)

The Emerald Tide (Miramar Bay Book 6) 

A breathtaking new novel about letting go, taking chances, and embracing the healing power of love—from the international bestselling author of Tranquility Falls.

Just when he thought he’d buried his past and was moving on . . .

Four years after his wife’s death, art history teacher Derek Gaines.has finally made a kind of peace with himself. He tries his best to stave off memories. His days are ones of familiar routine. Guarded against further pain, he keeps relationships at a safe distance. It’s all part of his necessary transition to surviving alone. If anything is truly responsible for Derek making it back from the brink it’s his edifying work as a consultant for auction houses—and indulging a consuming sideline job: tracking stolen art. But Derek’s latest hunt will lead him toward challenges both professional and personal—that he’s not prepared to
face . . .

 
He discovered the art of falling in love again . . .

Joining Derek on his quest is Kelly Reid, the new junior vice president of gallery operations at Christies Los Angeles. She is driven, ambitious, fiercely passionate about her work—and a fellow wounded kindred spirit. Bitterly immune to men’s promises, she’s never letting herself be vulnerable again. Yet even as trust and affection remain frightening territory, a tenuous start to her partnership with Derek slowly builds toward something more. And soon, both will be tested beyond anything they could have imagined–in the deepening mystery of a lost painting, and in matters of the heart, which can be the greatest mystery of all.
 
With love comes risk in The Emerald Tide, a powerful and emotional novel about daring to take a second chance.

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See what I mean about genres and Davis Bunn? This series is nothing at all like the new one mentioned above.

Here is the link if you are interested in following them.

Davis Bunn & Jyoti Guptara authors@storyworlds.ink

Happy Reading.