A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lagniappe (Iron Lace #2) by Mercy Celeste


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

lagniappe-by-mercy-celesteThis story is an exemplary sequel to what was a wonderful story, Behind Iron Lace. In this one, Caleb and Darcy are now in Oregon, building the restaurant Caleb dreamed of. The taste of New Orleans meets Oregon here, and the bad boy is settling down.

One of the little glitches that turns out to be a major issue is that the chef is Caleb’s cousin, Bubba, imported from Louisana, and he still has the hots for Caleb as he did when they were eighteen year olds caught in the act. It doesn’t matter that he has a wife—he’s out to get Caleb away from Darcy. And in the meantime, Darcy has his own problem—his former best friend and life partner, Bailey, has come for a visit, and Darcy doesn’t want to see her. She cheated on him and then ran his magazine into the ground when he left it to her as he escaped to Oregon. Plus she’s eight months pregnant with the cheater’s child. What’s to like?

Jealousy, anger, and surprises abound when all of this comes to a crisis just before Christmas, and the surprise Darcy receives is nothing he could ever have expected and neither could the readers! I loved it. If you like Mercy Celeste, by all means read Behind Iron Lace and then read this one. It’s terrific! BIL should be read first though, as this one isn’t really a standalone.

Cover art by Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art features a stunning, apparently nude male torso in a black-and-white photo.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 83 pages
Published December 6th 2016
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesIron Lace #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Pre-release Review: Tongue & Groove by Shae Connor


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tongue & GrooveSometimes home is what two hearts make of it.

After fifteen years on the road, rock singer Saul Wilder doesn’t know if he remembers how to stay in one place. While healing from a vocal cord injury, he decides to restore the cozy but neglected Atlanta home his grandmother left him. When home renovation specialist Perry Abrams arrives to assess the job, Saul’s on board with mixing business with a little pleasure. The sex is scorching hot, but the more they learn about each other, the deeper they fall emotionally as well. Trouble is, Saul’s a traveling man and Perry’s a homebody, so finding common ground to share could put the brakes on their relationship before it has a chance to get started.

I enjoyed this story quite a lot. The author created memorable characters—nice guys who have totally different world experiences and outlooks and yet gel well together. 

There’s no insta-sex between them, and Saul is far from being a typical rock star. He seems quite a humble, ordinary man who happens to be extremely talented and a gifted musician on the rise. But he’s sidelined with a vocal cord injury and while recovering at the home where he spent his teen years with his grandmother, he falls in love with the home, the area, and with the designer who is helping him to remodel it.

I loved the addition of the androgynous look on Perry with his silk stockings and garter belt—almost as good as manties!  He was a total sweetheart though a bit mysterious at the beginning. I thought he might be harboring a big secret, but that wasn’t the case as the story unfolded.

The primary issue that kept this from being higher than 4 stars for me was the vocal cord injury. The description was vague and the symptoms were more like those of a sore throat than a vocal cord injury, even though Saul needed heavy-duty drugs and vocal therapy over the course of a three-month treatment. There are a number of disorders the author could have chosen to describe, such as VCD—Vocal Cord Dysfunction—where the symptoms would have been more believable. In addition, I know firsthand that a doctor would be using more than a tongue depressor to check the healing progress. That is definitely a time where a doc would use a scope, and having had to have the procedure for a much less debilitating vocal cord issue, seeing the tongue depressor used threw me too far off base.

I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that there weren’t any major upsets or traumas in the story—sometimes a little turmoil or angst makes for a nice reunion. But this one was pretty smooth and sweet overall, and I found it quite a nice “stay at home and read all day” story—something to relax me and to keep me mellow and in a good mood, so if you’re looking for something like that, look no further. 

The cover by AngstyG has a light green-toned background and features a male singer sitting on a stool and holding the microphone stand across his lap with the mike covered by his fist. Symbolizing Saul’s inability to sing due to a voice problem, it very much suits the story.

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Coming August 29
And add it to your shelf at Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook, 70 pages
Expected publication: August 29th 2016 by Shae Connor
Edition LanguageEnglish