Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Should’ve Said No by Tracy March

November 23rd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Should've Said No by Tracy March

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: November 24, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book:

Welcome to Thistle Bend! Perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, this charming series debut introduces a small town where old secrets are revealed—and wounded hearts are opened to new love.

A year after being laid off from the Smithsonian, Lindsey Simms says yes to a job offer as curator of a heritage museum in Thistle Bend, Colorado (population 1,519). It could be worse—and it is. Because the new museum has escalated a dispute between the Karlssons, Lindsey’s relatives, and the Crenshaws, a blood feud which goes way back to a land deal that changed the fortunes of both families. Trying to stay objective, Lindsey can’t tell anyone about her conflict of interest—especially not the ruggedly handsome handyman fixing up her cabin, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.

Although he’s the executive director of the family trust and one of Colorado’s most eligible bachelors, Carden Crenshaw prefers getting his hands dirty in town and on his sprawling ranch. Staying busy has given him an excuse not to risk heartbreak, but getting to know the beautiful “museum lady” makes him reconsider. Little does he know, the heat between them will only add fuel to the fire—unless this unlikely couple can prove they’re lovers, not fighters.


I found it’s really hard to go wrong with Tracy March. I love her Bliss books so when I saw she had a new series coming up I jumped at the chance to read it. Thistle Bend is the ideal small town that everyone will love to visit and never want to leave.

This was totally cute read and I fell in love with both Carden and Lindsey. Both characters are so likeable and the chemistry between the two was sizzling from the moment they meet. I loved watching their interactions and boy does Carden know how to plan a first date. Can I have a guy like him? I also loved the cast of supporting characters. I am dying to learn more about Holly and strange as it sounds the mentions about her outfits and sense of fashions makes me want to see some outfits she puts together and she sounds like the perfect girlfriend to go shopping with. I also adored the sisters Milly and Merri and would love to get a taste of their goodies and visit their home that sounds like a dream home.

The main reason I couldn’t give this a full 5 stars was the ending seemed both drawn out and rushed. We find out the truth behind the land dispute between the Karlsson’s and Crenshaws and I would expect the resolution to the romance to follow but it actually gets drawn out with nothing really happening and then bam! the story is wrapping up.

Despite that ending I still really enjoyed this read and can’t wait to return to Thistle Bend in the next book.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: From the Moment We Met by Marina Adair

November 13th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

From the Moment We Met by Marina Adair

Source: Purchased myself

Publication date: June 1, 2014

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Series: St.  Helena Vineyard #5

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book:


After years of designing her family’s grand wineries (and a few not-so-grand closets on the side), Abby DeLuca knows she has what it takes to be an award-winning interior designer. Newly single, Abby lands the career opportunity of a lifetime and refuses to let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. And that includes St. Helena’s most irresistible contractor, the man who makes her melt every time she sees him—even though he shattered her heart years ago.

A former NFL star, Jack “Hard Hammer” Tanner now spends his days doing contract work for the beautiful women of St. Helena—and his nights doing off-the-books projects in their bedrooms. Yet the more time the sexy tool-belt-for-hire spends with Abby, the more he longs to fix her broken heart. Soon, rekindled sparks fly. But when Jack’s dream job comes calling, he faces a tough choice: building in the big leagues, or building forever with his first love.

My review:

I love Marina Adair and she is one of those authors that I automatically pick up any new books from her. I will admit I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t a huge Abby fan. I loved Regan in Kissing Under the Mistletoe and though I felt bad for Abby I didn’t want her giving Regan a hard time. I didn’t need to worry instead of being a witch she was almost the exact opposite. She was almost helpless to the point of being irritating. I never truly connected with her and her behavior especially at the end of the book grated on my nerves. Jack was also a little difficult to like. He had so many male duh moments and he doesn’t even realize it that I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for the predicaments he got himself into.

What I did love was the cameos of Abby’s brothers. I adore them and it was hilarious to see them want to step in but be held hostage by the contract their wives created with Abby. Sadly they did not appear enough to raise this above a ho hum read for me.

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Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Need by Joelle Charobonneau

November 2nd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Source: Received for review

Publication date: November 3, 2015

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book:

“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”

Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

My Review:

If you haven’t read Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing series you have to! i absolutely loved it so I squealed when I had the chance to read Need. I will say it was addictive and I didn’t want to put it down but there was just something about it that kept me from adoring it like I did The Testing. I think that it was so unbelievable and yet takes place in the present which makes it hard to accept some of what happens.

The story line was fascinating and it always comes to mind when my kids tell me they NEED something and I always have to ask do you really need it? Or do you just want it? Need builds off that question about how far people are willing to go for something they feel they “need”. I think many people might find reading it jarring because there must have been maybe 7 or 8 different points of view. At first it was hard to keep track of what was what but it all comes together and you start to get why it jumps around so much.

The main character was an interesting blend of emotions and at times I really disliked her for being so dumb but then at times I just shook my head because I could totally see myself having done something like that at her age. So while she and a few other characters aren’t the most endearing because of their behavior that makes them seem more real because in real life people don’t always make the “right” choice.

All in all, an addictive story but little things like the many POVs, less than likeable characters and some story line pieces that were hard to believe made this a good but not amazing read for me.

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Books, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

November 1st, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

Source: Purchased myself

Publication date: June 24, 2014

Publisher: HQN

Series: Fool’s Gold #15

About the book:

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm’s length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool’s Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack’s her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa’s big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa’s feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he’s not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

My Review:

I was browsing my bookshelves and when I came across this one I honestly couldn’t remember what happened in Jack and Larissa’s book. Turns out even though I bought this one I had somehow skipped right over it. I love the whole Score family so I immediately sat down to find out how Jack and Larissa were going to get together.

I was surprised to find myself not liking Larissa as much as I did in the other books. At first she’s endearing with the way she takes care of everyone and is always rescuing people and animals but then it just gets ridiculous. She basically needs Jack to rescue her every time because she ends up getting in over her head. It irked me especially when she realizes she has no money saved up because she spent all of it on her rescue plans, she never got her masseuse certification and in the end she gets rescued by all of her friends. So again she doesn’t really have to do much to get herself back on her feet because everyone else rushed int to take care of every little detail. So on one hand while I love the small town coming together to help each other but on the other just once I would have liked to see Larissa have done something on her own. I’m all about helping others but I also think you need to help yourself and as an adult be prepared to take care of yourself. I also didn’t like the easy resolution at the end. Again I felt like while Larissa was showing Jack empathy, she was also letting it be known he could be a total A-hole and it’s ok because he had a rough life.

That said yet again it’s the supporting characters in Fool’s Gold who truly make the book. I loved Percy, Taryn, Sam and Kenny. Their parts really made me laugh and reminded me how much I love the town of Fool’s Gold.

Find it online:

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Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Need You For Always by Marina Adair

October 12th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Need You For Always by Marina Adair

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: 10/13/15

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Series: Heroes of St. Helena #2

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book:

Emerson “Emi” Blake dropped out of culinary school to care for her ailing mother, but she has bigger dreams than running St. Helena’s most popular pita cart. First on the menu: upgrade to a gourmet food truck. A new part-time job as a personal chef will definitely provide the funds, but it also forces her into close contact with her one and only one-night stand, Dax Baudouin, who’s daring her to try a second taste.

Former army Ranger Dax has a clear mission: come home, get healed, and get gone. Yet Emi’s tough-girl exterior and hidden soft side are even harder to resist than her mouthwatering baklava. After years of battles, he knows better than to try and rescue anyone—not that she’ll let him get close enough to try. Truth is, Dax is starting to think that Emi’s the one person who can save him…if he can just persuade her to give him another shot.

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Marina Adair’s books so I was looking forward to this read. Unlike her other books I have to admit this one started off a little slow and I initially didn’t care for Dax. He was too cocky for my tastes and seemed kind like a jerk for pursuing Emerson when he knew he didn’t want to stay and she was the type of woman who needed more than a one night stand. Once the story started picking up though he did start to worm his way into my heart. He really was a sweet guy and I loved seeing him working with Emerson and her sister’s Lovely Ladybug troop.

I loved Emerson’s character from the beginning and felt sorry for the burden she had to carry. I can only imagine how I would want to strangle my father if he did the things he did. Then to add the aggravation of him encouraging Emerson’s sister to behave ridiculously. You can help but admire how calmly Emerson handles all this while running her own little business and working towards expanding her food cart into a full blown food truck.

The story itself was cute and fun to read once things picked up. I would have liked an epilogue or a little more at the end to tie things up but overall another great read. Readers really can’t go wrong with the St. Helena books. They are all filled with quirky characters and great romance!

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

October 1st, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Source: Received for review

Publication date: August 11, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About the book:

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.


This book caught my eye because of the Egyptian mythology but I was a little leery since it can so easily be messed with. I passed on it but when a friend raved about it I had to pick it up. Sadly I was underwhelmed and found myself irritated throughout most of the book.

Amon got on my nerves for probably 3/4 of the book. Even allowing for the fact that he is a prince used to getting his way the manner in which he commands Lily around against her will grated on me. Then what was even more irritating was how little protest Lily puts up against it. Yes, she’s irritated but that turns amazingly quickly to “I’m undeniably attracted to this man who literally makes me do things again my will” AND she gets all possessive over him when other women flock around him. Then when he shoots her down when she wants to make out with him she falls into a self-pity party thinking something is wrong with her. Uhhh, could it be he’s a mummy brought to life to save the world and then going back to being dead for another 1000 years?

The ending seemed way too easy as well and was kind of a let down. Overall this was just a frustrating read.


Posted in 2 Star Books, Books, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

September 28th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: September 29, 2015

Series: Fool’s Gold #19

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book:

Wish upon a Christmas star with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery’s sparkling Fool’s Gold romance!

To bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug, organizing a Christmas wedding sounds like a joy—until she finds out she’ll be working closely with the gorgeous brother of the bride, movie star Jonny Blaze. How will a small-town girl like her keep from falling for the world’s sexiest guy? Especially with mistletoe lurking around every corner!

Jonny came to Fool’s Gold looking for normal, not for love. Happily-ever-after only happens in the movies. Still, nothing about this quirky town is quite what he expected, and “ordinary” Madeline is the most extraordinary woman he’s ever met. Refreshingly honest, disarmingly sweet. Achingly beautiful.

Planning the perfect wedding leads to candlelit dinners and strolls through snow-covered streets. And Madeline finds Jonny in real life even more captivating than her celebrity crush. But will the action star be brave enough to risk his heart and step into the role of a lifetime?

My Review

I love the Fool’s Gold Christmas stories. They are always so sweet and are perfect to put you the holiday spirit. This one was a sweet, steady read with no real highs or lows but is an overall pleasant read. I liked both Jonny and Madeline’s characters and it was fun watching the two work together on Jonny’s sister’s wedding. I will say the one thing that did bother me and took away from some of the enjoyment was being beaten over the head with how much Jonny was treated like any other person in Fool’s Gold. At times it felt like every 10 pages there was a scene of Jonny thinking “Oh gee, they’re treating me like an ordinary guy and not a movie star.” It got to the point where I felt like shaking him and saying we get it! You’re a famous movie star used to always being the center of attention. The other minor thing was that the issue keeping Jonny and Madeline apart was so minor it didn’t seem like they had to do much to overcome it. While that was nice it didn’t have the same high when you see a couple overcoming some huge obstacle and realize how perfect they are for each other.

Still this is a quick, sweet read that fans of Fool’s Gold should be sure to pick up.

Find it online:

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Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Bits & Pieces by Jonathan Maberry

September 21st, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Bits & Pieces by Jonathan Maberry

Source: Edelweiss

Publication date: September 22, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rating: ★★★★½

About the book:

Return to the zombie apocalypse wasteland that is the Rot & Ruin in this short story collection from Jonathan Maberry.

Benny Imura’s zombie-infested adventures are well-chronicled in the gripping novels Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, Flesh & Bone, and Fire & Ash. But what else was happening while he was on his quest? Who were the others navigating the ravaged landscape full of zombies?

Bits & Pieces fills in the gaps about what we know about First Night, surviving the plague, and traveling the land of Rot & Ruin. Eleven all-new short stories from Nix’s journal and eleven previously published stories, including “Dead & Gone” and “Tooth & Nail,” are now together and in print for the first time, along with the first-ever script for the Rot & Ruin comic books.

My Review:

I have to make a guilty admission that I haven’t read Fire & Ash or any of the short stories yet because I’ve fallen behind on the series but I really need to go do so now. Jonathan Maberry has yet to disappoint me and still holds true. I meant to just start this book but next thing I knew it was 1:30am when I finished reading it.

I loved it and I loved reading about where a lot of the “famous” zombies came from as well as more of the heroes of the Rot & Ruin. At first it was a little confusing as the book jumps from the first night events, to events before Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, etc. But once you get into the rhythm I loved it. It was kind of funny to go back to the “early days” before Benny grew up and stopped being a PITA and remembering me how much he ticked me off.

The other part I loved is the tying in of two of my favorite Maberry series, the Benny Imura books and the Joe Ledger books. I love Joe and it was great seeing him throughout the book as well. If you choose only one zombie series to read it would have to be one by Jonathan Maberry. His writing is absolutely amazing.

Find it online:

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Posted in 4 Star Books, 5 Star Books, Books, Thriller/Suspense, Young Adult | No Comments »

Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin Blog Tour

September 14th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books


Bad Romance
Stepbrother Series #1

By: Jen McLaughlin

Releasing September 15, 2015


About the book:

In this explosive novel from bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

Find it online:

GoodreadsAmazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

About Jen:

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin and Random House. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is also an USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


a Rafflecopter giveaway


“Walter, you know he ran as soon as he found out I was pregnant. I had to raise Jackson by myself, and you know how hard that was on me,” Mother said, her voice low. She shouldn’t have bothered. I heard her, anyway. “But if you would consider letting him . . .”

I walked away, knowing how this conversation would end. Walt refused to accept that I had all but joined the army—all it needed was a few signatures, and it would be done. I passed all the tests, filled out the papers. It was a done deal, and I would be leaving soon. But once I was gone? Yeah, he’d get the picture pretty damn fast.

“Psst,” Lilly called out, holding two bottles of Coke. I would rather have a beer, but she wasn’t into rebelling. Not that badly, anyway. “Come here.”

I walked over, my heart thumping against my chest the closer I got to her. I might be three years older than her, but we connected on a level that couldn’t be ignored or explained. She just got me. And I got her. “What’s up, little girl?”

She flushed. “I hate it when you call me that.”

“I know.” I tapped her on her nose. “It’s why I do it.”

She stole another quick glance at me from under her ridiculously long eyelashes and bit down on her lower lip. My heart rate increased in response, but I ignored it. It was no secret that she had a huge crush on me. I liked her from day one, and I’d tried to keep that concealed as it wasn’t so much a sexual thing for me. Well, okay, she was a babe, so obviously I appreciated that like men did . . . but my feelings toward her were really more of a protective “I’ll take care of you” thing, if that made any sense at all.

At least we weren’t blood.

And thank God for that. I’d kill myself if I were a Hastings like that asshole in the other room. We were a family unit by marriage and legality only. And Lilly was pretty much my only friend, which made her my best friend, and a guy didn’t mess around with his best friend.

She was too young. Too pretty. Too clean.

Too good for a guy like me.

I graduated high school a month ago, five months after our parents married, and she was about to enter eleventh grade. I might only be eighteen, but I’d seen and done shit she had no clue about. And I intended to keep it that way.

“Don’t listen to him,” Lilly whispered. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He never does.”

I smiled, because she was trying to make me feel better, and I wanted her to think it was working. She always tried to cheer me up after Walt went on one of his asshole binges with me. “I know. What’s up?”

“Come here. I want to show you something.” She held her hand out to mine, watching me with those bright green eyes of hers. “Alone.”

Just the way I liked it.

Walt laughed from the dining room, and his deep voice boomed as he said to his wife, “The boy is doomed to fail.”

I knew he talked about me. Just like I knew he hated me. Just like I knew the one way that I would be guaranteed freedom from his overbearing grasp. And it was through his Lilly. . . . Ah. He loved his sweet, innocent Lilly. Everyone did. If I took her, and dirtied her by making her mine, he would flip his shit. Never forgive me. And I would finally be free of his annoying interference in my life.

Too bad I couldn’t do that to her.

She meant too much to me.

It wasn’t as if she didn’t want it, or me. She did. If I kissed her, she’d probably have an orgasm right there. But I refused to hurt her. To use her. And that was that.

“All right. Let’s go,” I said.

“Hurry, before they see us.” She grabbed my hand and dragged me along behind her, her tiny hand feeling dainty and frail in mine. For some reason, her touch felt different tonight. Like she wasn’t my stepsister, or even my best friend. I didn’t know where these feelings were coming from, but they needed to quit. “Look. They opened the pool. No one’s been in yet, so they won’t think to look for us here.”

I scanned the area. We were indeed alone. My heart thumped so loudly I couldn’t even hear my thoughts, but that was a good thing. They were confusing the hell out of me. “It looks great,” I said, my voice strained. “I’ve never been in here before.”

“It’s my favorite part of the house.” She kicked her pink flip-flops off and sank her toes into the clear, blue water. “Come on. Sit next to me and enjoy it.”

Sighing, I removed my black Chucks and sat directly beside her. She smiled over at me, and I shook my head because she looked so utterly beautiful, staring up at me with adoration in her eyes. Guys like me? Yeah, we didn’t usually get looked at like that.

Especially not by pretty girls like Lilly.

Posted in Books, Contemporary, Giveaways, New Adult, Romance | 1 Comment »

The Eight by Katherine Neville Now Available in eBook!

September 9th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

I was so excited when I heard that one of my favorite books, The Eight by Katherine Neville, is now available in an ebook version!  I first read this book for a school assignment back in 1993 and it immediately become one of my favorite books.  I’ve re-read it so much over the years my original copy actually fell apart and I bought a new one.  It’s at the top of my list of recommended readings whenever I talk to someone about books.  And now you can get the ebook version for just $2.99!  Be sure to pick up your copy.

The Eight by Katherine Neville

About the book:

Empire building was not Charlemagne’s only legacy. Within his chess set is a terrible power, a devastating power, a power no one should have. To protect the world, nuns assigned to keep the set hidden away dig up Charlemagne’s bejeweled, mystical chess set and hide its pieces across the globe so that no one could ever use its powers for ill.

Now, someone is trying to unleash the terrible power held within that ancient chess set—and only three women, from two different eras, can stop them. In the 20th century, a young computer expert named Catherine Velis has been pulled into this power struggle that spans more than two centuries, leading her on a quest that will risk her life against diabolical forces more powerful than she could have ever imagined.

Find it online:


Also don’t miss Katherine Neville’s two other books that are also now available

The Magic Circle by Katherine NevilleA Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville

The Magic Circle

A Calculated Risk

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction | No Comments »

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