2021 Book 67: THE LAST STRAW by Sharon Sala

The Last Straw, The Jigsaw Files #4, by Sharon Sala
ISBN: 9780778331995 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778331438 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780369705440 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488210594 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781799959335 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B08JH7XP2G (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B08HV2DD2L (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: February 23, 2021

Charlie Dodge may be down, but he’s most definitely not out. He’s still reeling after a series of earth-shattering events, so when a desperate woman hires Dodge Investigations to find her missing sister, the head-scratcher of a case is exactly the distraction Charlie and his steadfast partner, Wyrick, need. Two weeks prior, Rachel Dean disappeared without a trace from her locked-from-the-inside Dallas apartment, and every possible trail has gone cold.

Grappling with the fallout of her efforts to dismantle the shadowy organization Universal Theorem, Wyrick throws herself into her investigative work. Charlie knows his partner can handle herself, but when she uncovers a past connection that paints a target on her back, the threat of losing her hits Charlie hard. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep Wyrick safe, but with the clock ticking on a victim they’ve yet to find, it’s only a matter of time before the cold-blooded killer leads them to a deadly end.

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Read an excerpt here.

 
 Readers were introduced to Charlie Dodge of Dodge Investigations and his rather enigmatic, genius associate/partner Jade Wyrick in The Missing Piece. We learned that Charlie is a retired Army Ranger and has been struggling with his wife Annie’s early-onset Alzheimer’s. Wyrick (don’t call her Jade), is a multi-millionaire (possibly a billionaire), has invented and patented numerous creations, created a number of popular video games, and owns and operates numerous businesses in addition to assisting Charlie with his private investigation business. Wyrick is also an accomplished pilot and a breast cancer survivor. She opted to forego breast reconstruction after her double mastectomies and sports an intriguing dragon tattoo that covers her chest, a portion of her back, and upper hips. (Wyrick is a mixture of Lizbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on steroids with a bit of Wonder Woman and a heaping dose of Einstein!) Readers also learned that Wyrick was genetically modified by Universal Theorem or UT and although she worked for UT, she was “fired” after she developed cancer because she was seen as defective. Since she survived her bout with cancer against all odds (actually she cured herself), UT has been willing to do anything to get her back. In Blind Faith, book three in this series, we saw Wyrick and Charlie do the seemingly impossible when they find a missing boy in a national park, uncovered the truth behind’s the boy’s accident, and, in Wyrick’s spare time, she released to the public and law enforcement documentation about all of the illegal and unethical practices of UT.

Now, in book four – The Last Straw, Charlie Dodge is now dealing with the death of his wife whilst Wyrick is dealing with the death of her landlord and only other friend, Arthur Merlin. Merlin has left Wyrick his mansion and all of his wealth (not that Wyrick really needed more money, but she’ll put it to good use). On the personal front, Charlie moves into Wyrick’s home after an attempt is made on her life and she’s injured. Now, in addition to being business partners, Wyrick and Charlie have become roommates. Although Wyrick has been adept at keeping people at great distance by her unusual makeup stylings, flamboyant clothes, and terse manners, Charlie soon learns that she is much softer than even he realized. Charlie becomes Wyrick’s protector in addition to her boss/partner now that a new enemy has shown up, a radical cult fronting as a church that wants Wyrick dead. On the business front, Charlie and Wyrick are dealing with a unique locked-door mystery involving a missing woman, Rachel Dean, and trying to deal with a number of assaults against Wyrick’s life. Can he protect Wyrick against these new enemies? Will he ever learn that she is in love with him? Will he be able to reciprocate given the depth of affection he felt for his now deceased wife? Can they solve the locked-door mystery and find the missing woman before it’s too late?

The Last Straw is the fourth and final book in “The Jigsaw Files” series by Sharon Sala. To say that there’s a lot going on with this story is somewhat of an understatement. First up is the locked-door mystery when the missing woman, Rachel Dean, seemingly vanishes from her locked apartment without a trace. Next is the religious cult trying to kill Wyrick because their leader has decided she must be evil due to her knowledge, skills, and abilities. If that’s not enough, Wyrick is now capable of harnessing her healing energy to heal others as well as herself. When the news of her healing abilities is released, people come out of the woodwork trying to get her to heal their loved ones not caring how this impacts Wyrick’s health in the least. Oh, I forget to mention the press conference. Yes, Wyrick holds a press conference with hopes that it will get the cult to back off. They don’t, so Wyrick has to teach them a lesson they same way she taught UT a lesson. The Last Straw is filled with plenty of horrors, attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, torture, murders, and more, but it is also filled with hope, second chances, and love. The Last Straw presents a somewhat kinder, gentler Jade Wyrick that is also able to kick-butt, take names, and make people regret they ever heard about her. Although I can’t give you specifics on each and every thing that occurs in this book, I can tell you that there’s a HEA. So for all of you that enjoy romantic-suspense and if you’ve read The Missing Piece, Second Sight, and Blind Faith, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of The Last Straw to read. If you haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, I strongly encourage you to grab them all, read them all, and pre-order your copy of The Last Straw. Seriously, people, this is a #mustreadseries! Although I’m sad to see this series end, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these books and look forward to re-reading them in the near future.

Happy Reading, y’all!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2020 Book 23: SECOND SIGHT by Sharon Sala

Second Sight, The Jigsaw Files #2,  by Sharon Sala 
ISBN: 9780778360933 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778309376 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781488055379 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488208034 (audiobook – digital)
ASIN: B07XLTPMS4  (Audible edition)
ASIN: B07R5Y6SV9  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 28, 2020 
Publisher: MIRA Books



The clock is ticking…

When Charlie Dodge gets a phone call from a frantic woman stating her daughter has been kidnapped by her ex-husband and taken into a cult called Fourth Dimension, he takes the case without hesitation. The cult’s rumored purpose is to gather men with psychic abilities with the goal of breeding a race of people who have supernatural powers. Once accepted into the cult, men are given a young girl to marry in exchange for one of their own daughters.

The FBI has been monitoring the cult’s activities, but Charlie and his assistant, Wyrick, aren’t bound by the same rules as the feds. They head to the mountains of Kentucky to infiltrate the cult’s compound. The lives of children are at stake, and Charlie and Wyrick will risk everything to destroy the cult and its leader—no matter the cost—because this case is personal.





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Charlie Dodge is a private investigator from Dallas, Texas. He’s also former military and dealing with the fact that his wife of twenty years is lost to him due to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Charlie’s business associate/partner is Jade Wyrick, a tall, bald fashionista that has had a double mastectomy and now proudly sports an intriguing tattoo that covers her chest and part of her back. Without makeup, Wyrick (she doesn’t answer to Jade), might resemble a trans-woman and she’s quite used to the prejudice and bigotry associated with her looks. Oops, almost forgot to mention that Wyrick is also Mensa-certified genius, a computer programmer extraordinaire, a multi-millionaire business owner (she writes and sells computer games), a pilot, a psychic (remember that because it’s important), and a good friend to have around. She’s saved Charlie more times than he can count.

Dodge Security and Investigations has become quite well-known after their last case which involved finding and saving the life of a millionaire business owner from Denver. Wyrick has set up their new offices (their last office blew up…if you want to know more, read The Missing Piece), she also prioritizes possible new cases and front-and-center is a case of the missing child of a local attorney. When the woman comes into the office and provides Charlie and Wyrick with some more details and they begin their investigation, they quickly realize this is not an ordinary parental abduction case. Twelve-year-old Jordan Bien was taken by her father, Judson Bien just so he could exchange her and receive his own “bride” in a psychic cult known as the Fourth Dimension. This cult’s goal is to marry psychics with psychic-offspring to breed more psychics. The only problem is that these psychic men are “marrying” children aged 12-14 against their will. The question now is even with this information and Wyrick’s psychic abilities, will they be able to locate Jordan and this cult’s camp and free not just Jordan but all of the kidnapped girls before something horrible happens?

For those of you that have been following me for a while now, you know that I enjoy reading romantic-suspense. I have quite a number of favorite authors and yes, Sharon Sala is one of them. Second Sight is the second book in the Jigsaw Files series and it is just as much about Charlie Dodge as it is about Jade Wyrick and their growing relationship and attraction. (The first book in this series is The Missing Piece and I strongly encourage you to read that one before you grab a copy of Second Sight to read.) Charlie and Wyrick have tracked down the cult and are working with the FBI, but things don’t work out quite as well as hoped with their partnership (read the story to learn more). Jordan is dealing with her kidnappers in a unique way especially considering she’s a young girl and far from home. Both Jordan and Wyrick are intelligent and strong females that don’t take any guff from anyone especially males. Basically, they don’t conform to the notion of the weak female and this causes a lot of problems for both of these ladies in expected and unexpected ways. There’s a lot of action in Second Sight and some of it is by behind-the-scenes players. There are obviously bad guys, the psychics kidnapping and marrying “child brides,” but there are also really bad guys. Jordan, Wyrick, and Charlie are the good guys and they’re all definitely ready to fight. Yes, there’s a lot more going on in this story and no, I’m not going to tell you about everything, read the book! I found Second Sight to be a riveting read and even though I was dealing with a migraine and some vision issues that slowed down my reading, I read this book in one day. I highly recommend this book and series to all readers of romance and romantic-suspense and am looking forward to finding out what’s next for Wyrick and Charlie. (If you can’t tell, I really like and admire Wyrick. She’s part Lizbeth Salander, part Wonder Woman, part Captain Marvel, and part Marie Curie with a lot more facets all rolled into one. Okay, I also like Charlie as well as the dynamic between the two.) Now, go grab a copy of The Missing Piece if you haven’t already read it and add Second Sight to your TBR list.

Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 337: GOING GONE Review

Going Gone by Sharon Sala
ISBN: 9780778316596 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781460340226 (ebook)
ASIN: B00JZFPHQS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: MIRA


The final storm of the season could be her last.

After barely escaping death when her plane crashed deep in the Rocky Mountains during tornado season, Laura Doyle is left with a lingering fear for her life. Her lover, FBI agent Cameron Winger, reassures her that he found her then and always will. But Laura is right to be afraid, because when their engagement is announced it signals to a madman that it’s time for his killing spree to begin again.

Twice thwarted by Cameron and his partners, the Stormchaser pairs random acts of God with deliberate acts of evil. His final act of vengeance will finish his twisted vendetta by taking from Cameron the thing he loves most: Laura.

As law enforcement struggles to connect the gruesome murders he’s committed to mask his return, the Stormchaser draws closer to his true target. But Cameron and Laura don’t realize they’re in the eye of the storm—and this time, being unprepared for the onslaught could spell disaster.



Laura Doyle is normally a sensible, logical, and highly competent and capable person, but that seems to change after she survives a plane crash. She is the sole survivor onboard the plane and must make do with the limited supplies on board while trying to outsmart the wolves attempting to get in. Fortunately, the crash site is found and she is rescued, but she still has the overwhelming sense of fear and impending doom. Her suspicions become reality when her fiancé, Cameron Winger, realizes that the madman he’s been searching for is still alive and may be coming for them.

Going Gone is the third and final book in the Forces of Nature series by Sharon Sala. This book focuses on the last couple, FBI agent Cameron Winger and his fiancée, Laura Doyle, a disaster coordinator with the Red Cross. Once again, the team of agents attempt to track down their wily prey, Herschel Inman, now known as Paul Leibowitz. As more people are murdered in and around their hometowns, will they be able to catch this killer before it’s too late. I found Going Gone to be a fast-paced read. I enjoyed the focus on new primary characters, Laura and Cameron, as well as their interactions with the other couples from this series: Nola and Tate Benton (featured in Going Once) and Jo and Wade Luckett (featured in Going Twice). Although I found this to be an enjoyable read, it had a distinctly been-there read-that feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a poorly written story but the plot just seemed all too familiar. This was a romantic-suspense read that was heavy on the suspense and light on the romance (sex yes, romance not so much). The best part of the story for me was the interaction between Herschel and his dead wife Louise (either evidence of mental illness or extreme guilt). I also enjoyed Ms. Lucy Taft, a minor character, but one feisty, spirited, and highly intelligent older woman. If you’ve read the previous books in this series, then you’ll definitely want to read this final chapter. If you haven’t read the previous books in this series but are looking for a light read for the fall, then you may want to grab a copy of Going Gone.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Book 74: ‘TIL DEATH Review

‘Til Death (Rebel Ridge #3) by Sharon Sala
ISBN: 9780778314271 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781460309704 (ebook)
ASIN: B00ALTVIJW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Mira
Publication date: March 26, 2013


He left in handcuffs. Now it’s time to set himself free. Nearly twenty years after he was wrongly convicted of setting the fire that killed his father, Lincoln Fox returns to Rebel Ridge, Kentucky. There, deep in the Appalachians, the truth of that terrible night lies buried-and he’s sworn to uncover it. 

His plans take an unexpected turn when, in the midst of a blizzard, he rescues Meg Walker from her wrecked car. Suddenly Linc discovers another reason to clear his name. Meg, his high school sweetheart, had always believed in his innocence, and if he wants a future with her, he has to show the world proof that she was right. 

As the community chooses sides, those who once let a teenage boy take the fall for their crime are forced to raise the stakes. They kidnap Meg, leaving her to the mercy of the mountain. And a second rescue may be more than even Linc can manage…


Meg Walker Lewis is a strong and independent woman. The love of her life was torn away from her at the age of seventeen when he was falsely accused, wrongfully convicted and sent away to prison. Later her husband was rightfully convicted of murder; she quickly divorced him. Meg has spent the better part of the past decade building a life. She lives on her family’s farm with a few chickens and a milk cow and earns a living by quilting. All of Meg’s family lives close by: brothers, sisters-in-law, mother, stepfather, and stepbrothers. Meg wishes for more from her life but is content with what she has for the moment. Things quickly change when she realizes someone has broken into her house while she was asleep! Things go downhill from there because her stalker isn’t willing to leave her alone, even when his identity is revealed.

Lincoln Fox’s life was turned upside down when he was a teenager. His father was beaten to death, the family house burned to the ground, and Lincoln was wrongfully convicted of the crime and served four years in prison. He thought he’d never return to Kentucky after he left and he’s made a nice life as a contractor in Texas. After a work-related accident, Lincoln has a dream about his father and returns to Kentucky to clear his name. Upon his arrival in Kentucky, Lincoln quickly becomes involved in local happenings that involve his former love, Meg Walker Lewis. Lincoln is able to identify the stalker and then saves Meg after a car crash. The two quickly find that there’s still a spark between them and decide to see where it takes them. 

‘Til Death is the third book in the Rebel Ridge series featuring the Walker family by Ms. Sala. Meg is an accomplished woman and although she feels her life is missing something (or someone), she’s more than willing to maintain the status quo. Lincoln Fox is an accomplished man and only wants to clear his name and find his father’s murderer. He doesn’t even realize his life is missing something until it states him in the face. The romance between Meg and Lincoln seems to take up where it left off. Their lives quickly become intertwined as they search for new information to clear Lincoln’s name and protect Meg from her stalker. I found ‘Til Death to be a fast romantic mystery-suspense read that featured some twisted bad guys. I know when I start reading a book written by Ms. Sala that the bad guys will get their comeuppance and that good will prevail (a typical HEA [happy ever after]), but I never know how it will be achieved and the journey taken is never disappointing. For those of you that love romantic mystery-suspense and HEAs, you’ll want to read ‘Til Death.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Book 12: NEXT OF KIN Review

Next of Kin (Rebel Ridge #1) by Sharon Sala
ISBN: 9780778313120
Publication date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Mira

Beth Venable has seen too much. Witness to a major mob hit, she’s placed in protective custody until the trial. But after her third safe house is riddled with bullets, she goes off-grid to save herself. What the FBI can’t do, her kinfolk will.

The beautiful but forbidding Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky welcome Beth back, dirt roads and rustic shacks a world apart from L.A. But her homecoming—even her blissful reunion with strong, silent Ryal Walker—is made bittersweet by the fight she’s brought to the clan’s doorstep. Hidden in a remote cabin with the man she’s always wanted, Beth begins to dream of a new life: her old one. But after so long, with such dangers stalking her…impossible.

But love can distill life down to its essence: an elixir of pure hope, nerve—and the will to survive. 



Beth and Ryal were childhood sweethearts (okay they were young adults but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it) ripped apart before they had a chance to build on their young love. Circumstances led them both to believe that the other had turned away and eventually they moved on with their lives. Beth was taken away by her parents to California and Ryal continued to live in Kentucky.

Fast forward a few years and Beth is a witness to a murder…a mob-related murder. Now her life is in danger and she doesn’t know where to turn since it becomes apparent the FBI can’t do the job. Beth does the only thing she can think of and turns to her uncle for assistance and he, in turn, enlists the aid of her family and Ryal is front and center in protecting his lost love.

Next of Kin is a nice romantic suspense read about forgiveness and second chances. Beth and Ryal are forced to address their hurts and fears and gain a chance to rebuild their relationship. Beth is also reunited with her estranged family, especially with her grandmother. Ms. Sala provides a fast-paced read that illustrates the importance of family above all else. Although the end is expected, Next of Kin made for a delightful afternoon read. The characters are realistic and the situations are all-too believable in this digital age. If you enjoy romantic suspense with a hopeful-ever-after ending, then this may be just the book for you.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Book 205: BLOOD TRAILS Review

Three women raised as sisters find out after their father has died that he isn’t their biological father and they aren’t biologically related. These sisters of the heart each begin a quest to reveal their true biological origins in Sharon Sala’s “The Searchers Trilogy.” Blood Trails is Holly’s tale and the third and final story in this series.


Holly’s sisters Maria and Savannah were quick to go off on their searches for their biological parents. Maria’s quest took her to Oklahoma and united her with police detective Bodie Scott. Savannah’s quest took her to Florida where she discovers her father was murdered and that she’s an heiress to millions. Holly stayed on the ranch in Montana and worried about her sisters and their searches. She also realizes that she must go off on her own search even though information points to her biological father being a serial murderer. Holly is reluctant to leave the safety of the ranch and the attention of the ranch foreman, Bud Tate, but sets off on her quest for the truth.

All three sisters are endangered by their quests and lives as it becomes obvious that their mothers had plenty to shield them from, thus the reason they were given to Andrew Slade. Apparently Andrew was a respectable man, known only to the mothers as a traveling preacher and it was this man that they all came to accept as their father. Unlike Maria and Savannah, Holly knows who her biological parents are but she doesn’t know what became of her mother. Regrettably, just like Maria and Savannah, she unwittingly unleashes trouble. Fortunately she has Bud to help her, but can he keep her alive? 

Blood Trails is a fast-paced romantic suspense read. Ms. Sala does an excellent job of overlapping the stories of the three sisters while keeping their individual stories at the forefront. Although there is a sense of mystery and suspense to the story, the action is all too predictable. The characters are likeable enough but aren’t fully developed. However, if you want a quick read with a touch of suspense and a bit of romance then this will not disappoint.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book 146: BLOOD TIES Review

I know I’m repeating myself but I enjoy reading a book that provides suspense, some romance and just a bit of humor and Blood Ties by Sharon Sala provides all three. I’m not talking laugh out loud funny but there are moments that brought a smile to my face as I read about Savannah Slade’s attempts to find out about her birth parents and deal with a motley crew of police officers, attorneys and ex-CIA agents.


Blood Ties is book two in “The Searchers” series by Ms. Sala and the action is concurrent with that of Blood Stains, book one in this series. The premise is that three sisters find out that they are not in fact blood-related upon their father’s death. All three were informally adopted as toddlers when their birth mothers were in dire straits. Savannah’s mother was dying of cancer and her birth father had just died in a car accident when she was taken in by her adoptive father. Now she is searching out the truth of her birth and her birth father’s family is none too pleased with the prospect of sharing their wealth.


Mischief, attempted murder and mayhem ensue. Throughout it all Savannah proves that she is a force to be reckoned with, to the dismay of her birth father’s family. Some of the action may be predictable but this made for a pleasurable read while waiting in doctors’ offices throughout the day (a plus to escorting my elderly parents to physicians’ appointments is I get to catch up on a lot of reading). If you haven’t read Blood Stains, then I suggest you read that before reading Blood Ties just to keep the action in order. I hope that you’ll find them both as enjoyable as I have.