Ripped From the Pages – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars

Ripped from the Pages book cover - Winery tasting room with wine bottle cubbies along the sides, bottles of wine on a countertop along with a cheese platter, books, and a small orange & white kitten

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Synopsis

Excited to explore the secrets of wine country, Brooklyn attends an excavation of the caves hidden deep under her parents’ commune—and the findings are explosive. A room is unearthed, and it contains a treasure trove of artwork, rare books, a chest of jewelry…and a perfectly mummified body.

A closer examination of the murdered man’s possessions reveals a valuable first edition of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Hidden in the book is a secret map that unveils an even greater hoard of treasures brought to California by French winemakers fleeing the Nazi invasion with the commune leader’s grandfather, Anton, among them.

As reporters and art appraisers flock to Sonoma to see the precious bounty, questions begin to rise—did Anton hide these items to protect them, or did he steal them for himself? Who is the mysterious man left for dead inside the cave? But not all crime is buried in the past. When a new presence threatens the town’s peace, Brooklyn decides to do a little excavating of her own and solve the mystery of the treasure before anyone else is written off.… (Source: Goodreads)

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Review

Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle is the ninth book in the Bibliophile Mystery series and I absolutely loved it. Now, I love this series in general, but I particularly enjoyed this installment in the series. This installment brought us more back story than we’ve had before as well as new chapters in relationships.

This story brought us a lot of great information about Robson and his family, as well as about the land that the Dharma vineyards/commune/town is on. I enjoyed that this book is set more in Dharma than it is in San Francisco. I enjoyed seeing more interactions between Brooklyn & Derek and the other members of the commune/residents of Dharma. In previous books, we’ve seen Brooklyn and Derek’s relationship with Brooklyn’s family and with their friends in San Francisco, but this branched out into working with other members of commune and it was a nice change of pace.

The mystery was entertaining and kept you guessing until the end. I had an inkling about who it was but I really wasn’t sure and in fact, I was wrong. The secondary characters are great. In fact, I hope a few of them stick around and join us again here and there. Finally, I can’t wait to see Brooklyn’s answer to Derek’s question at the end of the book in the next installment!

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A First Date with Death – REVIEW

3.5 out of 5 stars

Book cover with ivy covered house & the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

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Synopsis

When brokenhearted Georgia Thornton goes looking for romance on reality TV, she has nothing to lose—apart from a good man, a cash prize, and maybe her life…

What was Georgia thinking? Sure, some cad ditched her at the altar, but can she really find love on TV? Her best friend—and producer of the reality show Love or Money—thinks so. Ten men. Ten adventure-filled dates. What can go wrong? For starters, a faulty bungee cord that hurls Georgia’s first date into a tragic spiral off the Golden Gate Bridge.

He’s replaced by Paul Sanders, Georgia’s former fiancé. But the cop isn’t looking for a TV gig. Suspecting that the lover’s leap was no accident, Paul’s going undercover. When another bachelor gets a fatal kiss-off, the reality is that someone has killer new plans for the show—and for Georgia herself. Now, under the threat of permanent cancellation, Georgia fears that the only man on the set she can trust is the one man she just can’t count on…

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Review

A First Date with Death by Diana Orgain is the beginning of the Love or Money series. It was good, but I didn’t think it was great by any stretch.

The main character was a bit whiny at first, though she did grow on me and by the end I even sort of liked her. The plot was somewhat original (in that I’ve seen reality show plots before but not a *dating* reality show). While it wasn’t a page-turner for me, it did keep me entertained and I didn’t feel like I was “forcing” myself to finish it. All in all, it was an enjoyable read and I’ll try at least one more in the series before I really make up my mind on whether or not I want to read the whole series.

(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not affected by this. All opinions and conclusions are my own.)

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