5 stars for “Do Not Assume” by Kasey Riley. Another great book by this talented author!

I have read all of Kasey Riley’s books, and she has become one of my favorite authors. August Fire was a change of pace from her first two books, and Do Not Assume was even more intriguing to me.

I absolutely loved this book—in fact I read into the wee hours of the morning twice in a row! This only happens when I am truly hooked, because I always know that I feel much better the next day if I keep to my routine.

Nicoleta Sofia Parcells—(such a romantic name)-was orphaned at birth and after having suffered through many foster homes, I’m certain she would have been a handful by the time she was eleven when her parents adopted her. Only special people could have guided her to become the outstanding person that she grew up to be. I appreciated her unique parents—how they cherished her, but encouraged her to grow personally and reach her highest potential. I loved that as a child they hadn’t taken any guff from her—I also loved that they appreciated her “gift” and wisely advised her that she should accept it and guard it from others. I thought it was really special that they gave her a DNA kit and the police reports from her mother’s murder, because they understood that she needed to know more about her back ground.

I loved Nicoleta’s independent spirit and her determination to survive when she was faced with the unthinkable.

James Woodruff tugged at my heart from the beginning, and it was clear early on that Nicola had captured his, even though he tried not to let it show. Nicola didn’t give him much encouragement, because she was set on succeeding.

Do Not Assume is an exciting thriller that takes Nicoleta from the USA to Romania—where she does not know the language, or the country and its customs. She falls into the hands of people who have sinister intent, and she is forced to rely on her “gift” and her sharp mind to protect herself.

If you enjoy a page turning thriller filled with mystery and a bit of romance, along with a plot that is unique and exciting, I highly recommend “Do Not Assume.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here

5 stars for “Hominine” by Lewis Evans. It is a stunning tale of intrigue and espionage, coupled with political greed and a global power grab, that will make you think about where technology can take mankind!

I am always delighted to discover a great new author—especially when that author lives in Canada!

The cover of this book caught my attention. The Eagle is the symbol of the United States of America: the blood-stained head made me think this would be a typical thriller based on military might. Never assume anything! Political intrigue?—yes!! Typical American military might?—definitely not typical! A danger to humanity?—frighteningly so!

Hominine took me by surprise in many ways. The premise is unique. The plot was masterful, the writing crisp, descriptive and attention grabbing! It is a stunning tale of intrigue and espionage, coupled with political greed and a global power grab, that will make you think about where technology can take mankind!  It takes you from the White House to the Somali desert, from Bali to Afghanistan.  The characters are realistically human- at times naive, dysfunctional, blundering, and exceptionally sane. I was captured by some of the philosophy that came through. It really resonated with me.

I realize that everyone who reads a book, draws their own impression of it, but I think few could be disappointed. I read many books—some wonderful, some are very flawed. To me, Hominine, is outstanding!

This is Lewis Evans’ debut novel. OMG—this man has an outstanding future as an author. I can hardly wait for the next one.

To learn more about Hominine, as well as purchase the book directly from the author in all formats, check out his website at https://lewisevans.net/author/

You can also order if at Amazon.com by clicking here 

5 stars for “MAKE IT HAPPEN” by Canadian Author, Claude Bouchard

Claude Bouchard, has done it again!  “Make It Happen” is book 13 in the Vigilante series and it met all the criteria I have come to expect from this Canadian author.  I have enjoyed all the adventures of Chris Barry (who was the original lone “Vigilante”) and those who have become partners in the Discreet Activities team as the series has progressed.

This novel is centered around Pakistani led terrorist activity spawned in Canada and spreading out, across the border to New York. When the Canadian attack happened at the Quite Air Show, it caught everyone by surprise. Who could have done such a thing in CANADA? Of course this is fiction, but as I read, it reminded me that people we think we know—people we would least expect, can be seduced by evil. There was no huge terrorist cell—just a few who were willing to participate and beyond the central figures, none of them knew the identities of those involved.

The central players were willing to take the lives of others, but they wanted to protect their own. Who could they trust among the people that knew enough to betray them? A pre-emptive act of black mail sets the stage for distrust between them. Enter the Discreet Activities team and watch how they set up the players who never expect to be exposed. Then, they Make It Happen!

In real life, I am an abject pacifist—a person who could never bring myself to act in the role of a vigilante. But I do confess, as I see some of the despicable things that happen in this world, there are times that I secretly wish, that somewhere, there was a Discreet Activities team to covertly dispose of the trash that preys on innocents.

This stunning cover would have caught my even if I wasn’t familiar with the author. Good Job Claude Bouchard!!  I am waiting for the next book.

Make It Happen can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here

5 stars for “A Just and Upright Man” by R.J. Lynch

A Just and Upright Man is a murder/mystery/ historical fiction novel set in Northern England during the 18th century. It gives an interesting glimpse into the different classes of people and their daily lives at that time. It also is rife with the language and idioms of that era which gives it a colorful flavor.

The first chapter introduces the reader to the rape of a commoner by the son of Lord Ravenshead. The young girl begs him not to do so, but he forces himself on her at the edge of the woods, in the cold of winter, then tosses her a coin, as if that made every alright. Lizzie Greener is devastated and very bitter. Lizzie’s circumstances play a major role in the plot of this book. Her desolation changes the lives of herself and her family.

The second chapter opens with the fire that destroys the home of Rueben Cooper and causes his death.

These two events set the stage for much of what happened in the book.

Cooper was despised by the people in the community, and although it was suspected that his death was foul play, most felt he got what he deserved and would have ignored the flames in the middle of the night. However, James Blakiston had other ideas. He ran from door to door, rousting people out to pour water on the flames.  Blakiston was the new overseer for Lord Ravenshead’s estate, and as such he was seen to have a lot of power in the town. Those who might have wanted to defy him, knew better than to do so, because he could have destroyed them if he chose.

Blakiston was new in town. Before anyone knew he had arrived, he had dressed like poor commoner, and walked into town to get an impression of what it was really like. He had met Cooper, who showed him kindness and gave him food. When he realised that Cooper was the man who had died in the fire, he vowed to find out if he had been murdered. If there was foul play, Blakiston vowed to bring the culprit to justice.

As overseer for Lord Ravenshead, he interacted with the farmers, cottagers and all the small holders on the nobleman’s estate. As he took care of Lord Ravenshead’s business, he took every opportunity to ask probing questions about Rueben Cooper and who may have wanted to see him dead.

Ugly secrets came to light, but the amateur detective struggled to find proof of what had happened. Blakiston had his own baggage from the past. He also struggled with his attraction to Kate Greener. As a man born of stature, he knew that a relationship with a commoner like her would never be accepted.

Blakiston proved himself to be a “just and upright man” as he dealt with the issues he was faced with.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a twist of mystery and murder.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here

5 stars for August Fire by Kasey Riley


August Fire is a departure from the first two books that I have read by Kasey Riley. “Desperate Endurance” and “Skeleton Trail” both centered around endurance riding, mystery, and bad dudes. The blurb for this book seemed quite different, I was curious to see how she handled it. I was not disappointed!

The book starts off like many traditional romances—Doyle is a hunky man, Stephanie, a beautiful woman—both are running away from former love gone wrong; neither seeks the attraction they feel for the other, neither are able to trust. There is conflict, but they find themselves thrown together in inevitable situations, and gradually the tension and magnetism grows.

Fires start springing up in the area, and one night the two of them find themselves driving back roads together, intent on rescuing livestock from the latest inferno. Unwittingly they come upon the arsonist, but they assume he is just a firefighter lighting a backfire. After they pass him, Stephanie looks back, and realises that the man has deliberately set fire on both side of the trail, cutting off any chance of them driving back out. They are trapped.

From there on, the story line takes a deadly turn. The arsonist knows they could recognise him and he is determined to make sure that never happens. They find themselves in a fight for their lives, and it doesn’t end when they escape certain death, by the using ingenuity and Stephanie’s knowledge of the area to save themselves from the fire.

The book gives you a look into the mind of the arsonist—why he lit his very first fire as a child, why he continued to do so until he became addicted to the thrill of the burn. What starts out as resolve not to be caught, becomes a determination to destroy the two people who have foiled his efforts to eliminate them. He is devious, and willing to take anyone out as he targets Doyle and Stephanie.

Ironically, I read this book while the area where I live has been experiencing an explosion of wildfires cause by nature. Before we retired, I was a rancher’s wife, and I well understand the devastation that fires wreak on livestock and range. I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to be caught in a wildfire with no way out. Riley did a wonderful job of portraying the situation, making me feel like I was caught up in it.

But she also put other realist elements into the story. I had to cringe at the honesty she wrote into the bout of food poisoning that Stephanie experienced. And I loved Doyle’s matter of fact reaction and consideration as he dealt with it all.

Kasey Riley has proven to me that she is a talented, multi-faceted author. I will be looking for her next book when it comes out.

August Fire is a great, quick read. I suggest you do not miss it!!

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com by clicking here.