First Line Friday: Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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When Heather Day Gilbert announced her new cozy Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery series, I jumped at the chance to read an early e-galley through NetGalley.  Though I don’t read many cozy mysteries, I already enjoy her writing (a re-read of her Viking historical fiction is past due, I think), how could I resist with a title like Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass?!

Here is the description:

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .  
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

And here is the first line:

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Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert (review)

belindablake1_gilbert_kensington copyBelinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass is the first in author Heather Day Gilbert’s new Exotic Pet-Sitter cozy mystery series. When I first heard of the series, I was drawn in by the description, warmed up to it a bit more by the fantastically fun cover, but hooked because of the author.  Having thoroughly enjoyed her Viking historical novels, I was definitely up for giving her new cozy contemporary mystery a try.  And what fun I had “trying” it, right up to the very end. Continue reading

A Modest Independence by Mimi Matthews (review)

A-Modest-Independence-Web-Medium-1-e1554874896863Skipping the book description and just plunging into a book isn’t something I usually do, so the storyline was a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that.  Picking up not long after the first Parish Orphans of Devon novel, A Modest Independence centers on two characters who were important secondary characters in The Matrimonial Advertisement, lady’s companion Jenny Holloway and solicitor Tom Finchley.

Having been gifted with a settlement substantial enough to give her the modest independence of the title, Jenny finds herself able to travel and determines to locate her distant cousin who was reportedly killed in a conflict in India.  She is looking for freedom and adventure, but Continue reading

First Line Friday: Through the Autumn Air

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

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I’m on a semi-break from Amish fiction and there are certain authors and series that keep that ‘semi’ qualifier in place.  The Every Amish Season series by Kelly Irvin is one of them.

Here is the description for book 3, Through the Autumn Air:

The past filled her mind even as her heart yearned for stories yet to be told . . .

The mother of ten and a widow of seven years, Mary Katherine is a bundle of energy, always willing to step in and help her friends around her Amish community. Now that her last child is married, she pours her abundant creative spirit into writing stories, even as she speaks aloud to her late husband every day. Her dream is to open a bookstore with an English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned store instead. When her old school friend, Ezekiel, offers her a position as a cook in the restaurant he opened after his wife died, she knows she should accept. But does she really want to spend her time working over a hot stove?

When a mysterious English stranger breaks into her house to make himself a sandwich one autumn night, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to Ezekiel. They both see that Burke is need of more than a meal, and Ezekiel offers him the job at the restaurant.

As they set out to care for their new friend, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find themselves often working together. Mary Katherine is drawn to Ezekiel, but she remembers the terrible risk of giving her heart to someone. Can two people in the autumns of their lives and so well-vers

And here is the first line:

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First Line Friday: A Modest Independence

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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One of my current reads, because I generally have a few on the go, is the second book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series by Mimi MatthewsA Modest Independence.  Here is the description:

He Needed Peace…

Solicitor Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

And here are the first lines:

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Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid (review)

LordofHerHeart_ketchersid.jpgHow did one master the affairs of the heart?

Fans of Medieval Historical Romance have a new author to watch in Sherrinda Ketchersid.  Her debut novel, Lord of Her Heart, is an absolute treat.

As Lady Jocelyn escapes the convent disguised as a boy, she soon finding herself taken on as squire to an imposing, impressive, and chivalrous knight, Malcolm Castillon.  More than luck is at play, as they are both bound for her home of Ramslea.  He to win a title and land, and she to avoid an unwanted marriage and discover why her father has not written to her for a year. Continue reading

First Line Friday: The Cowboy Meets His Match

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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Though I’ve put a temporary moratorium on NetGalley requests, I couldn’t help requesting the second Haywire Brides novel, The Cowboy Meets His Match by Margaret Brownley.  It will be out from Sourcebooks Casablanca later this month and is currently available for pre-order.  Here is the description:

His first mistake was marrying her.
His second was falling in love.

Chase McKnight will do anything to secure his family’s ranch—but marriage to a complete stranger? That’s a hard pill to swallow. Yet the will is clear: Chase needs a wife by his side if he wants to keep his home, so he meets his veiled lady at the courthouse steps and reluctantly says “I do”.

Too bad he married the wrong bride.

When Boston runaway Emily Fields agreed to marry a Texas stranger to escape her family’s scandal, she wasn’t prepared to get hitched to the wrong cowboy! Stuck in a secret compromise, she has one year to learn the ways of the ranch and convince Chase’s family they’re happily married. But when the lie becomes true, the past catches up to them and they must save the love they never expected…

And here is the first line:

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