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Once Upon a Chapter

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Say Yes to the Marquess: Castles Ever After
Tessa Dare
Tomb with a View - Casey Daniels

“Cemetery tour guide and reluctant medium Pepper Martin is always up for some fun that doesn’t involve seeing and talking to dead people. So a gig commemorating a dead president can only mean good times are not ahead…”

How do I start to describe Pepper Martin? She’s spunky, fun, confident, smart and always fashionably up to date. Just ask her, she’ll tell you. Not only is Pepper all of these things, but she is also a private investigator for the dead. Pepper can see those who have not passed over to the Other Side. On most occasions these ghosts have unfinished business here on Earth and they cannot depart until it is taken care of. This is where Pepper steps in.

 

Pepper works at the Garden View Cemetery. A few years ago, Pepper hit her head on the mausoleum of a gangster named Gus Scarpetti. On that fateful day, Pepper gained her Gift to see the dead. Pepper has helped several spirits pass over since that day. Usually this ends up getting her in some sticky situations and some near misses. Although Pepper is reluctant at first to help, she usually ends up becoming attached to the ghost she is trying to help.

 

This time around Pepper finds herself working on the commemoration of President James A. Garfield. President Garfield is buried in his memorial at Garden View Cemetery. Not only does Pepper not want to be working on the commemoration but she definitely does not want to be doing so with Garden View’s most annoying volunteer, Marjorie Klinker.

 

Marjorie claims that she is the descendant of President Garfield. She alleges that President Garfield had an affair and that she is the descendant of the son that came of that affair. These claims have been rejected by the President’s family, Marjorie’s family and those who know her. There was never any proof of an affair. Marjorie has spent her entire life collecting all things President Garfield in hopes of proving her connection to the family. Marjorie and Pepper have to go through the archives at the cemetery and Marjorie’s personal collection to decide what should be on display for the commemoration. It is during one of these sessions that Marjorie reveals to Pepper that she will have some new and especially wonderful information regarding the President. Pepper doesn’t take the bait and that’s really too bad. The next day Pepper finds Marjorie Klinker dead in the Garfield memorial.

 

What information did Marjorie have that was worth committing murder? There are a lot of questions and it seems few answers. Pepper finds herself in a world of deceit, fraud, murder and scams. She also can’t figure out how she’s supposed to help President Garfield cross over when it is abundantly clear that he is enjoying himself here in his memorial.

 

Once again Casey Daniels has taken us on a crazy adventure-filled ride. Pepper is funny, clever and loyal to those she helps. She also demands that same kind of loyalty. Tomb with a View had me laughing out loud and tension filled. I couldn’t wait to figure out who-dun-it and per usual, I didn’t figure it out until it was revealed to me. Casey Daniels is a mystery mastermind. There was also a secondary mystery that related to the primary mystery so there were several possibilities going through my mind. Never mind that not one of them was right.

 

Tomb With a View is a great addition to this series. The mysteries are great and Pepper is a refreshing and funny heroine. If you haven’t read any other book in the series, I honestly don’t think that you would have to before you read Tomb With a View. I like having the entire back story so I’ve read them all and have added each one to my keeper shelf.

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/05/tomb-with-a-view-by-casey-daniels.html
Straight from the Hip - Susan Mallery

“Sometimes the greatest risks bring the greatest rewards…”

Izzy Titan is headstrong and an adrenaline junkie. The kicker is she didn’t even do anything that caused the accident that took 70% of her vision. She wasn’t swimming with sharks, climbing rock walls or deep sea cave diving. No, the explosion happened one day when she was at work. Now all Izzy can see is blurry shapes and vague images.   Instead of getting on with her life, Izzy is more comfortable sitting in her room and pouting, watching the world through her hazy eyes. That is until her sisters hire a man to come and kidnap her….

Nick Hollister has a past. One that has left him scarred in more ways than one. He made a mistake several years ago and now he hopes that he can atone for his past sins through the work he does on his ranch. Nick owns a ranch where he holds corporate retreats to bring in the money and brings broken children who have suffered tremendously on weekends for free. He works with the kids in hopes that one day it might be enough to pay for what he has done.

Izzy spends a lot of time angry at the world in general and Nick doesn’t usually work with adults. He has taken Izzy on as a personal favor to his good friend and the man who has been like family for the past 15 years, Garth Duncan. If you have been following the series, you know this is a serious problem. For those of you who haven’t here’s a quick recap: Garth has been trying to take down the Titan daughters since book 1 with a crazy serious vengeance. It’s not good stuff. Nick doesn’t want to tell Izzy until she decides whether or not she wants to do the surgery that could correct her vision. But will keeping who brought her to his ranch a secret ruin any chances he may have with Izzy?

This was a nice addition to the series. You don’t have to read the series from the beginning but it will give you a fuller idea of what has truly been going on. Nick bothered me a little bit towards the end of the book simply because I was getting sick of the “I’m a bad, bad person and I must atone” mantra he had going through the book. It wasn’t overdone, I just don’t have patience when it comes to that. Izzy also spent a lot of time in the self pity camp in the beginning of the book. With all that being said, it was a really good book and a wonderful addition to the series. The work done with some of the kids will squeeze your heartstrings and Aaron is one of the BEST secondary characters that I have seen in awhile. He was such a sweetie! I cannot wait to see how Dana’s story is going to turn out!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/04/straight-from-the-hip-by-susan-mallery.html
Pieces of Sky - Kaki Warner

“The rules of attraction are about to be broken in the first book of the Blood Rose Trilogy. This winning new novel depicts the unpredictable West, and the men and women who brought it to life – against all odds…”

 

Jessica Thornton has been through hell and back. She has crossed an ocean and put up with intolerable circumstances to escape the past that haunts her even all the way from England. Even after enduring the most degrading act any woman can ever go through, she remains strong and refuses to give in to the one man she fears most. All her life men have failed Jessica; her father, her brother, and now her sister’s husband. She is traveling through New Mexico Territory on her way to find her brother in the hopes that he can help her with her unfortunate circumstances. What she didn’t bargain for was a man who would change absolutely every facet of her life.

Brady Wilkins has depended on himself for all of his life. While his father was in the war, Brady was the man of the house and RosaRoja, the family ranch. RosaRoja brings with it plenty of beauty but also demands much in return. A blood feud has taken several members of Brady’s family. Sometimes Brady wonders if the price is too high. Brady takes on a lot of responsibilities and a lot of guilt that he feels is his to bear. When he encounters Jessica for the first time, he takes quite a nasty hit. From first impressions, he doesn’t expect he has found a woman who will stick with him through thick and thin. Not that it matters much anyway because Brady tries not to let too many people past his barricades.

 

Jessica and Brady’s relationship is awkward in the beginning. After all, they both have personal issues that they have to work past. Brady wants to protect Jessica and Jessica wants to be his. Time together changes things and they both learn to trust each other but can their love last in the harsh West?

 

Wow. Really, that was all I could think for a good 20 minutes after I had finished this book. From page 1, Kaki Warner grabs your attention and she doesn’t let up. I found myself laughing out loud with her characters and crying for their hurts. I held my breath through several of the intense parts wondering what was going to happen. This book was “unputdownable” from start to finish. Jessica and Brady and the RosaRoja are so real to me, I feel like I can go and stay for a visit. I cannot recommend this book enough and as my copy is a library copy, I’m going to have to go out and buy a copy so I can specifically have it on my keeper shelf and of course to lend to my mother! I am eagerly anticipating Hank’s story which comes out in June!

Source: http://onceuponachapter.com/2010/04/pieces-of-sky-by-kaki-warner.html