Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hilltop Sunset Review & $50 Amazon/PayPal Giveaway

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A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.

Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.


This is the second book by Joyce T. Strand that I've been able to read and review.  I am hooked.  I love a good mystery especially one with a little bit of romance.  I loved Hilltop Sunset.  I wish I would've read the first books in the series to understand a little more of what happened in the beginning.  Don't get me wrong these books can be read as stand alone books but it is always nice to have a little more of the back story.  You will just have a better understanding of what is going on or why something happened.

Ms. Strand does a great job of grabbing your attention right from the beginning.  You will be pulled into the middle of the action.  At points, you will be screaming at the characters to watch out (even if it is only yelling at them in your mind).  If you are like me, you will have a hard time putting the book down once you have started.  I kept telling myself that I would just read one more page or that I would just finish the chapter and then I would say just one more.  The only problem with books like this one is that I don't seem to get much work done when I'm reading them.

I did find one part of the book a little unrealistic or really kind of happened too fast.  There is a point in the book when Brynn takes on some of the responsibilities of her troubled boyfriend.  I don't really want to say too much about it because I don't want to give away part of the book.  I just don't see where most people would take care of this responsibility so shortly after meeting someone.  I know kind of vague but you will understand when you read the book.

I give this one 4 1/2 stars.  It is a fast paced book full of intrigue.  This book is for mature audiences due to some adult situations.

Book available from....
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble

About Brynn Bancroft
Brynn Bancroft evolved from the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries where she served as Jillian’s manager while Chief Financial Officer of Harmonia Therapeutics in Silicon Valley. A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, she had an affair with the CEO of the company. Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do. In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif. Much like Jillian--who does appear in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries--Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

Other Books Available

About the Author
Joyce Strand, much like her fictional character Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing articles and press releases and delivering presentations to publicize her companies.

Joyce has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teen-ager. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve a mystery before it is revealed. Therefore Joyce relished the transition from writing press releases to writing fiction.

Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.   She lives with her two cats in Southern California near San Diego.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


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  1. My hubbie has read this one too, he loved the authors writing style as well.

  2. I want to personally thank you for taking the time to read and review Hilltop Sunset. I can't say it enough - you help to bridge author with reader. You guide the reader and give insight to the author. Keep it up!!! Thank you, thank you.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to spend it on books.