Can Felicity find out what happened to Mateo, unmask a killer, and throw an engagement party all at the same time? — 70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries) by @amber_royerTweet
I’m Logan. I used to be a bodyguard, but I gave that life up when I moved to Galveston. Yes, I came out of retirement to help out Felicity Koerber, the woman who runs the local craft chocolate factory, but that was a one time thing. She was in trouble, and I never have been able to resist a sincere call for help.
I’ve really liked living in Galveston, getting my puddle jump flight service up and running over these past couple of years. It’s given me a sense of purpose, after I’ve failed at so many other things. But I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. I love flying. I have a lot of great memories in the air. The first time I went up in a plane was with my mom, when I was a teenager. It was 1999, and my dad had gotten promoted to detective on the police force where we lived. Mom decided she needed a hobby. She didn’t want to go back to work with two kids at home, so she bought a kit plane and put me to work helping her out with the heavy lifting parts of it. Her friends thought it was insane – even today, there aren’t a ton of female pilots, and kit planes can be some of the most dangerous aircraft to fly – but she got her pilot’s license and flew us all the way to Minneapolis. We watched a Twins game, even though she hates baseball. I was hooked.
But it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a cop. So flying was a hobby for me too. I never even considered flying for an airline, though if I had done it, it would have saved me a lot of heartache. It’s been an uneven path for me, where I’ve made a couple of huge mistakes and bad judgement calls that led to me washing up like a piece of driftwood on Galveston’s shore. Finally willing to put everyone else’s expectations aside to do something I love. Sure, taking on charters isn’t all daisies and lollipops. Sometimes clients can be jerks. And more than one of them has thrown up in one of my planes. But I still have the freedom of being my own boss, and the freedom of spending much of my time in the sky.
When I come back down to Earth, that’s the problem. I like Felicity, but I’ve never done well with love. I mean, I’ve had some truly awful experiences. And Felicity has made it clear that she isn’t ready to love again after losing her late husband. So I really need to get over myself and just be the friend she needs right now. The guy who shows up when she needs it to keep her safe. If she ever needs that again. But she’s a chocolate maker, so how likely is that?
Nah. It’s best to just back off. I’ve seen the way she looks at Arlo, the cop who took lead in solving the investigation we all wound up a part of. He and Felicity have a history. And if he didn’t have a girlfriend, I think there’d be something there. I’m better off waiting for a girl that looks at me the way she looks at him. She is still cute, though. And I can’t get her out of my mind.
But there are other things to occupy me right now. Since my move here, I’ve been getting to know the island. I do a lot of diving. One of the most interesting dive options here in the Galveston area is oil rig diving. The underwater portion of the rigs form artificial reefs, which can be fun to explore.
I also joined the turtle patrol, which has allowed me the opportunity to see these amazing endangered animals up close – and to do just a little bit to protect them from the dangers of cars, scavengers – even ants that might attack the eggs. Right now, it’s the end of turtle nesting season, and I’m out on one of my last few shifts of patrol. And my heart has gone cold, because I just got news that there has been another murder near Felicity’s shop – right outside her front door. I relax a bit when I find out it wasn’t her – or anyone I know – who is the victim. But surely Felicity is going to need my assistance getting to the bottom of this. So you’ll have to excuse me. I still have some contacts that can get me information on the case. I need to find out what I can before I talk to her. I can handle helping her with another investigation. Because it will give us a chance to hang out. Even if it is just as friends.
Chocolatier Felicity Koerber’s shop in Galveston is finally beginning to recover from the notoriety of the murder of her shop assistant when she finds another body on her doorstep. Worse still is the fact that her new shop assistant has gone missing and is the prime suspect in the crime.
An Amber Royer book is always a great read, this is no exception. She has written Felicity with just the right amount of personal drama and real world angst. Against the backdrop of the mystery in which she feels the need to prove her employee’s innocence, Felicity just feels like one of us as she attempts to process the unfairness of her husband’s death, when everything she does reminds her of him and the dreams they shared. Meanwhile she is navigating relationships with old friends and lovers and trying to maybe find something new to look forward to. The play of emotion colors the character, making her more than just a storybook sleuth. She has a great inner circle of friends that make the personal part of the story the real draw.
I love how books play such an important role in solving the mysteries in this series. That is not a unique thing in cozies since after all the love of books is the one thing cozy authors and readers all have in common. However, the way the book clues are written into stories is refreshing and fun.
Food is also not uncommon in great cozy mysteries, but learning the lore and craftsmanship behind artisan chocolate like what Felicity takes makes this series to a whole new level. I will never be able to take my 70% chocolate for granted again.
Like great chocolate the way all of the story elements are blended together is done masterfully.
I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is bringing in plenty of customers – in part due to the notoriety of the recent murder of one of her assistants, which she managed to solve. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Her new assistant, Mateo, even gets along with Carmen, the shop’s barista turned pastry chef. Felicity thinks she’s learning to cope with change – right up until one of her friends gets engaged. Everyone’s expecting her to ask Logan, her former bodyguard, to be her plus one. But even the thought of asking out someone else still makes her feel disloyal to her late husband’s memory — so maybe she hasn’t moved on from her husband’s death as much as she thought.
Felicity isn’t planning to contact Logan any time soon. Only, Felicity finds ANOTHER body right outside her shop – making it two murders at Greetings and Felicitations in as many months. That night, Mateo disappears, leaving Felicity to take care of his pet octopus. The police believe that Mateo committed the murder, but Felicity is convinced that, despite the mounting evidence, something more is going on, and Mateo may actually be in trouble.
When Logan assumes that he’s going to help Felicity investigate, she realizes she’s going to have to spend time with him – whether she’s ready to really talk to him or not. Can Felicity find out what happened to Mateo, unmask a killer, and throw an engagement party all at the same time?
Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.com. She also teaches creative writing for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.
- Website: http://www.amberroyer.com
- Blog: http://amberroyer.com/blog/
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- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoA_29HV2nPmRnox9LPVanw
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/amber_royer
- Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Royer/e/B00PFV4CGM
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144619.Amber_Royer
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