Road to the Breaking Book Review

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Nothing survived “The Breaking” unchanged; lives and fortunes, love and hate, freedom and slavery.

About Road to the Breaking

It’s early 1860, and war hero Captain Nathaniel Chambers, commander U.S. Army Fort Davis in the west Texas wilderness, has received shocking news – his father is dead.  He must return home to Virginia and claim his inheritance before a maniacal neighbor can murder his widowed mother and seize the family plantation.

But he’s torn by a terrible dilemma – to stay in the army and turn his back on his fortune, his mother and his beloved childhood home, or become the thing he despises; a slave master!  Is there no other choice? 

An epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster; the American Civil War.  Nathan Chambers has left the violent army life behind in Texas, never imaging he’s on the very Road to The Breaking.

My Thoughts

In Road to the Breaking, we are introduced to Captain Nathaniel Chambers – a stubborn man with quite the past who also struggles with his own demons and keeping them at bay.

Nathaniel struggled with an anger inside of him most of his life – when he allowed his anger to get the best of him, he could not hold it back. But he wasn’t a mean person – this was always in retaliating to others bullying or hurting him or others around him. He never appeared to get along with his Father or have much of a relationship with him (keeping in mind that this was during a time period when those relationships were not strong, instead children were taught more to fear a parent). His Mother sensed this and sent him away to boarding school and from here he never returned home to a place that he felt he does not belong. His Father had a successful family farm but this success came on the backs of slaves, something Nathaniel despises.

Near the beginning of the story, Nathaniel receives a telegram from his Mother notifying him of the death of his Father. It is followed up by two more telegrams requesting him to return home with what appears to be secret messages contained within that something is not quite right at home. Is his Mother being taken advantage of being a widow on a farm all on her own? As Nathaniel sets on his journey to return home after choosing his family over the army, we are introduced to a bit of his history through a series of flashbacks to various stages.

This is a well written story following the story of a young man during a very troubling time. The story jumps through several time periods but it did not make it hard to follow as the story flowed well. It covers a time period in American history that was marked with slavery, plantations, war and the fight for freedom and what is right. A great read from start to finish.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N and Bookshop.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Chris A. Bennett grew up on the shores of Klamath Lake in southeastern Oregon. For a young boy it was a dream world of water, hills, forests, and abundant wildlife. His love for action and adventure morphed into a lifelong love for books when his Mom read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to the family on a long road trip.

Chris’s thirst for adventure never faded and he began to live out his love of history onto the pages of his first book, Road to the Breaking. Once he started writing he just couldn’t stop and the result is The Road to the Breaking series; an epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster: the American Civil War.

Chris currently lives near Seattle with his wife Patricia. His three adult children Nick, Rachel, and Josh also live in the Puget Sound area.​

You can connect with him on his website.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Darkness Hides

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Someone she knows is watching.
Someone she knows is stalking.
And something hides in the darkness.

About Darkness Hides

Someone she knows is watching.
Someone she knows is stalking.
And something hides in the darkness.

With a Category 4 hurricane about to make landfall, boat safety instructor Kate Parks is running out of time. Bodies are piling up–and they’re not from the raging storm. An injury may have ended her career as a Fish and Wildlife officer, but nothing can keep her away from the investigation.

And it doesn’t take long for her to see that the clues have one thing in common: a connection to the recent death of her five-year-old nephew.

In a brewing storm of rage, guilt, and family secrets, Kate fights to protect her grieving sister just as the hurricane threatens everything she knows and loves. But before her world is completely ravaged, she must uncover one final truth:

Run from the water.
Hide from the wind.
Flee from the shadows where a weeper seeks revenge.

My Thoughts

Darkness Hides is an intense novel from start to finish, that leaves you on the edge of your seat and never knowing quite what to expect next.

At the center of our story is Kate’s family and the death of her nephew. Her nephew was killed in a car collision due to a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road. This has split the family apart but as you read the novel, you don’t realize exactly how far and how many people his death has touched. Slowly, individuals involved in the legal team that defended the man who killed her nephew, start to turn up dead and an item is left at each crime scene, one that Kate is not quite sure how to interpret but is pointing to her own family.

Who is the killer? With so many possibilities, you are left on the edge of your seat. Kate wants to protect her family but can she mentally handle the outcome when the evidence points at the possibility of one of her own family members taking revenge into their own hands?

Who is trying to protect her family? In all of this madness, death and even an incoming hurricane, there appears to be someone trying to protect Kate and her sister. But who loves them enough to do so? Who knows enough about their past to want to protect them?

I loved how our characters and plot developed throughout the story. I did not want to put the novel down as the story evolved so quickly. You learn a little bit more about each person’s past and the connection they have to Kate and her nephew. You are guessing who you think could be the murdered but you realize that you don’t ever truly know what is going to come next (which to me is the best part!). It is an intense story of guilt, forgiveness and even mental illness. The ending blew me away but it was a perfect ending for this story. This is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Sun Bury Press.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes mystery novels that include sunny Florida locales and quirky locals as characters. His last novel, H_NGM_N: Murder is the Word, won the coveted Florida Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Mystery in 2019. He is active in the Florida Writer’s Association and is a board member on the Florida Writer’s Foundation, a charity organization that fights illiteracy.

You can connect with him on his website and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Duke in Time Book Review

A Duke in Time will have you rooting for leading heroines, searching for lost dowries, and falling for swoon-worthy heroes.

About A Duke in Time

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.

My Thoughts

A Duke in Time is an excellent read from start to finish with a plot unlike any other.

Katherine, the wife of a younger brother to the Duke of Randford, was too busy running a successful business to worry about her husband that took off on her wedding night. So when she finds out about his accidental death, she is upset but not heart broken. What comes as the real surprise? He had two other wives! But who is the first wife? And who has any rights in this very tricky situation? And to top it all off, enter Christian, the Duke of Randford, who has spent his life cleaning up after his half brother and even in his passing, he is still doing the same.

I fell in love with our two main characters both who have risen from difficult pasts to try to carve a new future. Christian refuses to be like his Father and step brother, and is hesitant to love and marry. He had also just returned from war and these experiences have taught him a lot about life, the value of human life and inequalities that exist in society. He is determined to help all those who fought for their country but when they returned, they are forgotten because of their social status in society. These soldiers are offered no work, no compensation and are left to suffer with the after affects of war. Katherine had a difficult past, most of which she has spent a lifetime lying about so that she can maintain her successful business and continue to grow (also while helping women in similar situations!). You can feel the attraction between these two characters and they are so perfect for each other, the only problem? Christian’s step brother. Would it even be appropriate for Christian to fall in love with Katherine? Does this make him any better?

A Duke in Time is well written, romantic novel full of mystery and suspense. You can’t help but fall in love with the two main characters, while also hoping to learn more about our other two mysterious wives. A definite must read novel that does not disappoint!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which begins with The Bad Luck Bride.

Janna credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Taking Notes on Murder Book Review

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Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder! 

About Taking Notes on Murder

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!

Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder! 

My Thoughts

Taking Notes on Murder is a whirlwind murder mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Fiona is back at it again in this novel, this time the case is an old cold case that was deemed a suicide but had the makings of murder written all over it. Fiona is receiving mysterious notes in her kindergarten classroom eluding to the possibility that James Arnold did not commit suicide but was murdered instead. At first, the notes are not enough to open the case but when someone physically threatens Fiona, Nate quickly steps in to ensure the case is opened and investigated fully. The only problem? James Arnold was quite the hated man – with so many potential murder suspects, how will they solve the case in time?

I enjoyed every moment of this novel – it keep me constantly guessing who the murder suspect could possibly be and I loved how each story was connected. James’ life crossed many pathways with others in this novel in very different ways (and so many times in a negative manner). He was very much a hated man at the time of his death (to the point his wife was celebrating his death instead of mourning him!). So many of those people are still around when the case reopens and the bigger question is who disliked him the most and who could have murdered him. And why were they going to Fiona for help?

This is a well written novel, whose characters I have grown to love (Fiona is just the kindest, funniest and clever young woman that you can’t help but love). The plot, while serious, has flares of humour that make the story a bit lighter. This was a great read, I kept reading right through the night as I had to know who was the murderer and why they committed the crime (I have to admit, I was a bit shocked at the end and I did not see that coming and the reason why he committed the crime). This is a definite must read novel!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Audible.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has nine books.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Cindy resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Bon Voyage to Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8

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It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

About Bon Voyage to Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #8

Hooray! Fiona has finally convinced her boyfriend detective Nathan Landry to go on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, their fun on the high seas is interrupted by murder. It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

My Thoughts

This was a fun and adventurous novel with a twist of murder and years of grudges and hate.

Fiona is a kind, loving school teacher who has a flare for uncovering secrets. Her boyfriend is a detective and the two of them together are quite the pair at solving mysteries. She convinces him to go on a cruise even though he is terribly sea sick and not a fan of cruises. What should be a relaxing vacation for them, full of laughter and drinks, quickly turns in to a case. Especially when you throw in two previous country superstars who both hold grudges against each other. First it looks just like mischief is at hand but this quickly changes to murder. The problem? The victim has quite a few enemies, and they are also on the cruise! The two are working against time, lost murder weapons and a plot to silence possible witnesses.

I loved this fun novel and while it contained some serious topics (murder and dementia), I found the read was light and humourous. It made for a great summer time read – it had twists and I loved learning about the characters history, but it never left you feeling lost or having to re-read chapters to better understand the history between the characters.

If you are looking to add to your summer time reading list, this is the book that you want to keep on your radar.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Audible.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has nine books.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Cindy resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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