Rhe’s Bookshelf – February Reads

It’s almost March ya’ll! I can not believe it! Time is continually flying by, and the older my kids get the faster it goes. This is also precisely the exact time that I would prefer it slow down. But until it does I’ll continue to live in my happy book-reading land. Books just make me happy! I packed quite a few in this month, making the most of my brand spanking new Kindle I purchased. Don’t worry, I’m still a card-carrying book nerd, in love with my real-life books. I’m also in love with my free and cheap Kindle books, so there you go. If you’re not following me on my Goodreads account I’d love it if you did! Click the images below to grab your copy of each of the books, or click the Kindle Unlimited image on the side bar if you just can’t get enough of books! Give a try for 30 days and I bet you’ll love it.


When the Heart Calls (Canadian West #1)

5 Stars

Worth the Risk (The McKinney Brothers #2)

4 Stars

A Love Fulfilled

2 Stars

Dangerous Curves Ahead (Perfect Fit #1)

4 Stars

Thrown For a Curve (Perfect Fit #2)

3 stars

Because of You (Coming Home #1)

3 Stars

The Wonder of You

2 Stars


2 Star

You can find my reviews on Goodreads! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you think; and leave your book recommendations in the comments below. I’m ALWAYS looking for a good recommendation!

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Rhe’s Bookshelf – Spotlight on Washington Romance Writers

*This post contains adult themes and affiliate links*

This past weekend I spent some time with some of my favorite people, the authors of the Washington Romance Writers group at their Readers, Bloggers and Librarians Luncheon. This is my favorite thing I do all year. Being your people is amazing and these are my people. We always have fun, laugh, never run out of words and just plain have a great time. Supporting each other as a group is a priority and you feel it. Yes, these authors are here to support their own books, but one of the reasons I was so drawn to this group was their desire to build relationships with their readers and with each other. This group has been helping me support military spouses for several years now by donating gift cards, books and swag to National Guard spouses remotely stationed. So on this edition of Rhe’s Bookshelf I’m going to share a couple of books written by these amazing local authors!!

Geri Krotow

  Geri’s book, Navy Rules was my very first romance book. Most secular fiction these days have sex in it, books that you wouldn’t consider to be ‘romance novels’. But Geri’s book was my first romance novel, in the Harlequin family, that was traditional romance novel. I was going through a deployment and I was wondering the aisle of Walmart. I took my kids to the bathroom, which just happened to be right by the book section. On the cover was a man in a flight suit, with a jet plane and a military service dog. It caught my eye and picked it up. The rest is history. I’ve read almost every single book she’s written so its hard to pick my favorites but these are my some of favorites.

Commander Max Ford was injured in combat and returned to Whidbey Island to recover, the help of a therapy dog. The owner of the dog is Winnie Armstrong, widow of his closest friend. They are thrown together again which forces them to confront the biggest secret between them. 
I’m partial to Navy Rules because it was my first. I’m partial to this book because this woman is my friend now and I am so grateful to know her. But this writing is good guys. I was drawn into the story because this isn’t your mother’s or grandmother’s romance novel. There’s a significant storyline in a lot of these books, and this one is no exception. And because Geri is a Veteran and a military spouse she gets it right. And I never knew how important that would be to me until I started reading these books. You will feel a connection to these characters. If you aren’t connected to the military you will get a very real window into the lives of military families. 
Jamie Farrell

Her Rebel Heart is a sassy book!! You will laugh hysterically when you read this. The kind of laugh that if you have birthed more than one child will probably make you pee your pants!! If you are all about a small town, make you belly laugh, pulls at your heart strings story – with a Southern Twang – The Officer’s Ex-Wives Club books, as well as the rest of Jamie Farrell’s books are exactly for you. 

MK Meredith

This woman is my heart, a fellow military spouse, a Breast Cancer survivor and plain amazing. The kindest heart and the brightest smile. But on top of all of that she’s an amazing writer. She writes saucy stories perfect for a snuggle in front of the fireplace. 
Drago De Luca is an international tycoon in beautiful Italy. His beloved grandmother’s family inn is on the verge of closing its door thanks to a hotel heiress from America. Chase is trying to prove she’s got what it takes beyond her family name. Winning over the people of this beautiful Italian town is priority number one. She meets Drago who claims he will show her around and get the town to fall in love with her. But the truth is he’s out to make sure he fails. Somewhere along the way they fall in love with each other, against their better judgement. 

Seducing the Tycoon is one of my favorite kinds of romance novels because it draws you in to the personal life of the characters. And what I truly think makes it stand out among many others is that it takes the time to connect you to Drago, your male character. You are drawn into his life and are moved by his relationship with his grandmother. I don’t feel like that happens a lot in these types stories. And boy is it a little on the steamy side!! I just got her newest book, Love on the Cape, and I can’t wait to read it and get you guys the review. 

Uma is running away from an abusive and possessive relationship. With no idea of her own self worth she takes a job that will forever change her life. Ivan doesn’t look like the compassionate and gentle man he is. He is determined to heal Uma’s wounds, both physical and mental.
This book was entirely unexpected and surprised me at every turn. This intensely emotional story made me feel so deeply. It touched me right to the core and brought tears to my eyes. This is one of the reasons I was pulled into this incredible community. The intensity with which some of these stories are created is so real. This is not about the romance. These are real humans and could be someone you know. Adriana doesn’t write your typical fairy tale. These are gritty and raw stories that showcase the best of what humans can be, even if they don’t look crisp and pristine. Under Her Skin is an amazing book and I would highly recommend you click on that link and get it right now! I’ve also seen it in the wild on the shelf at Barnes and Noble!
Visit the Washington Romance Writers website to find more local authors! There are so many more amazing ones on the list. You can also find a local chapter of Romance Writers of America by visiting their site. I love supporting local writers and small businesses and you should too!!

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Rhe’s Bookshelf – Writer Spotlight on Harlequin Writer Lisa Dyson

Today I’ve got two book reviews for you from Harlequin author, Lisa Dyson. Today I’m talking about two of her ‘Super Romance’ novels. I actually had the extreme pleasure to attend the Washington Romance Writers Luncheon and sit at the table with Lisa, whom is an absolute gem. She is the sweetest AND she loves gloves….which I also love. When you live on the East Coast in the DC area you gotta love your gloves. I got the opportunity to read two of Lisa’s books, Prince Charming Wears a Badge and A Perfect Homecoming. One of the reasons why I love the Super Romance category of Harlequin is that there is more of a story line and more ability to really investigate the characters for some really deep character development.

{click link to purchase}
 The only reason Dr. Ashleigh Wilson is back in her hometown is to help her pregnant sister—and maybe repair their relationship. She’s certainly not here to see her ex-husband, Dr. Kyle Jennings, or mend any fences with him. Too bad he doesn’t accept that. Worse, the more time they’re together, the more the old attraction flares! 
Even if she still has feelings for him, Ashleigh is not staying. Because that would mean facing the past and all she left behind. Kyle, however, seems convinced they have another shot at happiness. And after a few persuasive kisses, Ashleigh begins to wonder if he’s right….
I gave this book only two and a half stars, and I know that sounds horrible, but I tend to be stingy with my stars. The book in general is written amazingly well. After reading two of her books, Lisa’s writing is lovely. It’s wordy in the best sense of the word and really develops the characters. I, however, just couldn’t get past this Ashleigh character about half-way through the book. The general struggles of the characters ring true, and you can sympathize. But there’s a certain point in time where you’re over it and I found myself struggling to complete the book based solely on her character alone. For me, the “Super Romance” part of the book and the fact that you could spend more time worked against the characters for me.
{click link to purchase}
Callie James never expected a handsome prince or a fairy-tale ending. She already knows that life is full of unhappy-ever-afters–like finding her boyfriend with another woman, and being forced to return to her hometown and deal with her troubled past. Fortunately, she’s pretty much safe from romantic entanglements. That is, until she discovers the chief of police is also her teenage crush, Tyler Garrett. Now she must find a way to face her wicked stepfamily, win over Prince Charming…and save herself in the process.
I am a succor for a theme based off of something beloved, like the Cinderella story. I think that’s exactly the reason why a lot of us read books. We want to be taken to a different time, place, idea….perhaps one with a ring a truth so that it isn’t so unbelievable. I truly like this book, which is why I gave it four stars. There are parts within the book *spoilers* having to do with the Step Mother, and her father, and mostly the step-sister that almost took it too far from my perspective. But having never suffered any abuse like what was portrayed in this book I can’t really say if the reaction was too much or not. Even the basis for her leaving to go back to her home town seen incredibly far-fetched…but like I said, maybe that is something that really could happen, and a way someone really would react. It wasn’t so much that i didn’t like the book. It is a great read and i couldn’t stop!!! That is the marks of great writing and a great book!!

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9 of My Favorite True Crime Books {Genre Lovers Should Read}

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7b19a1ac0f1dc41fa6ae1fbe96f9ce742284a615170155e786 Maybe a couple weeks ago Buzzfeed had an article with eighteen true crime books listed. Of course being a self-appointed “True Crime Buff” I clicked. A lot of the books I agreed with, but there were some that were missing that are SO good!!!! So, if you happen to be a fan of the genre you should definitely check some of these books out.

1. The Bone Garden – This one makes me particularly excited because it took place in my home town. I’ve been to the house, my mom took a tour, and it was a part of my growing up. Dorthea Puente was a female serial killer, one of the rarest of types and completely fascinating to me. She killed people, took their welfare and buried them in their yard. FASCINATING or creepy depending on who you ask.

2. A Sniper in the Tower – This one is both heartbreaking and fascinating. The story of Charles Whitman is almost a curious case. He killed his wife, mother, and decided to go up into the tower at the University of Texas and pick people off. In a very interesting time of police work, where there were no radios like today, they were outgunned, and so much more.

3. Body Parts – Wayne Adam Ford killed four women in Humboldt County, and walked into the Sheriff’s office and confessed it. Caitlin Rother is a fantastic author and has written several other crime books. This may not be the most memorable of crime stories, but I just find it particularly fascinating. Ford was sentenced to death. 
4. Fatal Vision – probably my favorite crime book. So much so that my one of my besties gave me a first edition for my birthday and wrote me a note in it. Is that weird? For two people going to school for Crime related things its not so weird, trust me. This is one of those kind of unsolved, but not really unsolved cases. Jeffery McDonald was in the Army, when his entire family was horribly murdered in base housing. While there was enough evidence to convict, the question has always remained. Joe Guinness is the author of this and he spent a significant amount of time with Jeffery during the trial. Fascinating stuff. There’s also a really good tv movie.

5. Hush Little Babies – Another argued “unsolved” where you so desperately want to believe its untrue, and you are conflicted by reading it. It’s crazy to think about how many of these types of cases are around like this. This one in particular is creepy because it involves a mother killing her children. But the mystery involved, the time it took, the fact that her husband was also in the house. Its a really good book and an intriguing story. There have been several good shows on the story.
6. From Cradle to Grave – This book needs very little introduction other than what is on the book cover. I mean, she was caught almost red-handed smothering her child. Then you realize she had eight other children who died. And THEN you realize she was a nurse with suspicious deaths in her wake. Whoa!

7. The Night Stalker – This particular book is probably one of the most creepy and scary true crime books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot. Whenever I talk about this book I tell the story of my mom who couldn’t even finish it, it was so creepy. Richard Ramirez is one freaky dude. I mean, the way he just looked over at the cameras during his trial, his smile, his almost rock star persona. Totally creepy. Also, as a little aside, the dude totally got married in prison. Someone married this guy! There is no question that he committed these crimes people. Nonetheless, its up there as one of my favorite true crime books.

8. Most Evil – So this is a very interesting book because Steve Hodel believes his father to be the perpetrator of many unsolved, or “uncertain” crimes, including the Zodiac murders and the Black Dahlia. It is extremely fascinating and I finished the book definitely seeing how what he was saying could definitely be true. As a side note, the two Zodiac books are really good to read before this one. 
9. Women Who Kill – Women Who Kill is a complication book, incorporating stories of female serial killers, and one-shot killers as well. In college female serial killers, and just female murderers, were very particular fascinating to me. At the time it wasn’t talked about much; and in fact I had a paper that was going to be submitted to a journal but was turned down because talking about women in such a way was deemed too controversial. You will find a ton of good stories like Lizzie Borden, Aileen Wuornos and even Agrippina. 
Are you a true-crime buff, or a just a fan of non-fiction, and have 
a favorite book in this genre? Tell me about it.

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Southern Fried Blues: The Officer’s Ex-Wives Club Series {Author – Jamie Farrell} #RhesBookshelf

I’m a succor for anything Southern or Military related. It’s true I’m afraid. My mama raised me on sweet tea and slaw dogs, where the four food groups include meat, mash potatoes, green beans and that beautifully sweet brown drink. It’s a sensibility. And whether or not I actually ever spent a day of my life living in the South, or the fact that most would argue against calling West Virginia the “South”. I still view myself as such. So I snatched up a copy of Southern Fried Blues by Jamie Farrell with great excitement!! I wasn’t disappointed. Southern Fried Blues is every bit as Southern as I hoped.

A Yankee Lady Stuck in the South
Divorced wasn’t a label Anna Martin ever wanted. Now she’s a thousand miles from home, underemployed, and lonely, but she’s squeezing this lemon life gave her and turning it into lemon meringue pie. Never again will she let any man—especially another military man—get in the way of her career.

A Southern Gentleman Military Officer
Jackson Davis believes in family, football, and Uncle Sam. He treats ladies right, takes his uniform seriously, and he loves his dog, but he doesn’t reckon he’s built for true love. After all, if a man good as his daddy couldn’t do it right, what chance does Jackson have?

One Undeniable Attraction
These two vulnerable souls are as different as cornbread and ketchup, but they fit together like sweet butter on hot biscuits. Short-term, they’re exactly what the other needs. But when their hearts get involved, they’re both gonna end up with a big ol’ case of Southern Fried Blues.


Truthfully I started reading this book wanting to wring my hands right off my arms. The main character almost made me want to go insane! That may sound like I’m about to tell you to not even bother with reading it, but in fact its quite the opposite. I promise. So, the main character is a little quirky, and I might have spent a good portion of the book wondering why the most handsome man that I’ve never seen {Jackson} would be interested in our heroine. But never fear, it will all become clear. There’s something about the two of them that just works. And the romance loving, book nerd, milspouse in me was pleased, just as much as someone who would love to have a heroine 
who doesn’t need a man and accomplishes things on her own without giving anything up. How its possible that Jamie combined those two things with perfection is amazing. Although my most favorite part about this book {caution, slight spoiler} was the fact that Jackson didn’t get out of the military. I’m pretty sure that this is the first military-connected novel that I have EVER EVER read where the service member didn’t retire, find a way to leave early, or was injured and simply recovering before a medical retirement. Never ever! It’s crazy, but sometimes I feel like that the book world is trying to tell me that somehow I can’t find happiness as a currently serving military spouse. But not this book. I couldn’t tell you how thrilled I was when I figured out that this was going to be the case! This book endeared itself to me simply on this fact alone. And Jackson, oh Jackson…probably one of my favorite military heroes in a novel…probably a close tie with CWO Miles Mikowski from Geri Krotow’s Whidbey Island Series.  I love love love this book so much, and I’m so in love with this series. I really hope to see a few more books in it soon. Southern Fried Blues is a book that I will read over and over again, as long as this world has sweet tea and southern hospitality in it. Go now! You can thank me later.

**this book is a Romance novel, and does contain adult content; however it is done in a very Southern and classy way**

                                                               five out of five stars

Buy the book here!!! And if you are feeling wild you can buy the two in the series together!! 

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