WITHOUT A DOUBT

WITHOUT A DOUBT

by Nancy Cole Silverman

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Overview

"An irresistible page-turner. Murders pile up along with bombs, car chases, and betrayal, but not without the droll humor that only a writer like Silverman knows how to blend into a story cozy readers won't soon forget." - Jill Amadio, Author of Digging Too Deep

"Crackles with memorable characters, Hollywood legends, and as much action behind the mic as investigative reporter Carol Childs finds in the field. A fast-paced story of international jewel thieves and the politics that play out in the newsroom." - Mar Preston, Author of A Very Private High School

"A rockin' thrill ride through the streets of LA and Bev Hills in search of stolen jewels and murderous thieves." - Paul D. Marks, Shamus Award-Winning Author of White Heat

"Carol is a smart, savvy heroine that will appeal to readers. This is a cozy with a bite." - Rosemary Smith, Books for Avid Readers (on Shadow of Doubt)

"Fast paced and cleverly plotted, an edgy cozy with undertones of noir." - Sue McGinty, Author of the Bella Kowalski Central Coast Mysteries (on Beyond a Doubt)

"Silverman's books are un-put-downable and very well-written. Another stellar outing!" - Goodreads

As radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape. The situation intensifies when the suspect calls the radio station during a live broadcast, baiting Carol deeper into the investigation.

In order for her to uncover the truth, Carol must choose between her job and her personal relationships. What started out as coincidence between Carol and Eric becomes a race for the facts-pitting them against one another-before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

Related subjects include: women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, suspense, noir.

Books in the Carol Childs Mystery Series:

• SHADOW OF DOUBT (#1)
• BEYOND A DOUBT (#2)
• WITHOUT A DOUBT (#3)

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...

Author Bio:

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in news and talk radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. But it wasn't until after she retired that she was able to write fiction full-time. Much of what Silverman writes about is pulled from events that were reported on from inside some of Los Angeles' busiest newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce, and two standard poodles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635110258
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 03/02/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 845,691
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.54(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"Don't rush me. I need to savor this moment."

Sheri stood outside the Beverly Hills chocolatier and let the small square chocolate truffle liqueur melt in her mouth. Head turned up to the midmorning sun, she closed her eyes and, with a look of ecstasy on her face, sighed, almost orgasmically.

I grabbed her hand. I couldn't leave my best friend standing on the sidewalk with her eyes closed, looking flushed, like she'd just died and gone to heaven.

KCHC's new Chocolate Christmas Charity Campaign was dependent upon my roving report of the Beverly Hills chocolatiers. And no matter how tantalizing Sheri's descriptions for the competing makers of the sinfully sweet delicacies had been, we needed to move on.

"Carol? Are we ready?" Kari Rhodes's saccharine sweet voice boomed in my ear and out over the airwaves. "Or has our taster succumbed?"

"OD'ed might be a better description, Kari."

I explained that after visiting five different confectioners, Sheri was understandably lightheaded. We had begun the morning broadcast at Teuscher Chocolates on Brighton Way, sampling champagne truffles with buttery-sweet chocolate-filled liqueurs, and moved on to Vosges Haut-Chocolat on Beverly Drive. There we tasted their caramel marshmallows and later compared them to Madonna's favorite dark chocolate mallows from the Edelweiss on Canon. While Sheri sampled, I filled listeners in on the fact that Edelweiss was the scene of the once-famous chocolate factory where Lucille Ball had gone to learn to wrap chocolates with Ethel.

Off mic, I nudged Sheri and whispered, "One more, girlfriend. Hang in there."

Turning my attention back to Kari, I announced our next stop: Bouchon Bakery, famous for their French pastries, chocolate croissants, and small, intimate dining tables.

"Like an escape to Paris," I said.

"Oh, you must bring back samples, Carol. Some croissants and maybe the French press coffee? I can almost smell it."

I planned to get plenty of the coffee into Sheri, and quickly.

I described the bakery's best, ooh là là-ing over their tarts and cakes, their macarons, and their twice-baked chocolate croissants, then signed off. "This is Carol Childs with KCHC Talk Radio, hoping all our listeners will take our Chocolate Charity Challenge. Visit Beverly Hills and vote for your favorite chocolatier to help support St. Mark's."

A portion of all sales from participating merchants during the month of December would be donated to St. Mark's Children's Hospital and the chocolatier with the most donations would win a year's worth of free advertising. Tyler Hunt, KCHC's boy wonder, and my now-is-never-soon-enough boss, said it was a win-win for everyone. Especially since he demanded I return to the station with enough chocolate to replenish the candy stash hidden in the top drawer of his desk.

Finishing my coffee, I threw my mic in my purse and turned around to find Sheri outside the café. She was leaning up against one of the city's holiday garland-trimmed lampposts licking her fingers. In her hand were three more of the chocolate liqueurs she had been given as samples from Teuschers. I whisked them from her, pocketed two, and threw the third into my mouth. If it's possible to get drunk on chocolate liqueurs, Sheri was close to plastered.

Sheri looked down at her empty hand, furrowed her brow, then back at me. "So that's it? We're done?"

"For now." I glanced at my watch. I reminded her I needed to drive her home and that I had less than an hour to get back to the station for my afternoon shift. I turned and headed in the direction of the parking garage with Sheri close behind.

"I want my chocolates. I've been dieting all week for this, and I want them. I want them now." Sheri stopped behind me. I turned around to see her with her hands on her hips like a defiant child about to throw a tantrum. She was refusing to take another step. "They're mine."

"I know. Which is why I've put them away." I was about to remind Sheri she had made me promise I'd not let her overindulge when she grabbed my arm, the look in her eyes going from disappointment to shock.

"Oh my God, Carol. Don't look."

"What?" I couldn't imagine what it was Sheri didn't want me to see. Had we missed a new candy store she couldn't resist? I turned around, expecting to see some giant chocolate Santa, and froze in my tracks.

Less than a block up the street coming out of Henry Westin's, one of Beverly Hills' most exclusive jewelry stores, was Eric. My Eric. And tucked neatly under his arm was Carmen Montague, the soulless socialite. A dark, sultry, raven-haired beauty known for absolutely nothing, famous for being famous. That happens in Hollywood. With the right connections, showmanship trumps talent. In Carmen's case, she'd made that connection numerous times. She was famously divorced, filthy rich, and had been linked to a number of dubiously well-heeled international businessmen, actors, playboys, and the like. And now she was very definitely with the man I had rolled over next to in bed this morning.

I stood unable to move. My heart, like a rock in my chest, refused to beat.

Sheri leaned next to me. I could feel her breath on my shoulder. Eric, with his arm still about Carmen, dressed in a cashmere Burberry jacket and wearing glasses I didn't recognize, looked straight in our direction. Without so much as a nod, he ducked into a black stretch limo double parked in front of Henry Westin's and sped off.

"Was that ...?" My mouth went dry. I couldn't finish the thought.

"No." Sheri looked at me, the dark curls against her head shaking as though she were trying to erase the picture. "Couldn't be."

Before I could make sense of what I'd just seen, an explosion far worse than what was going on inside my head rocked the ground beneath my feet.

From inside Henry Westin's, a thunder blast shook the street like an earthquake. The big gold double doors on the front of the building blew open. Alarms everywhere, up and down the street, began blaring. People screamed, panicked, and started running. It was chaos. From within the building, a white cloud of dust, like smoke, began to billow out the doors and settle in the now nearly empty street littered with shopping bags and orphaned shoes.

CHAPTER 2

It was a bomb.

Funny how instinct kicks in, even when there is no precedent to draw from. My chocolate high turned stone-cold sober. Ear-piercing white noise — surreal in its emptiness — caused a shrill ringing in my ears. Around me, things started to move in slow motion. Papers fluttered weightlessly in the air and people running by appeared to almost float in their haste to escape the scene. Time took on a wacky sense of proportion. Seconds stalled, stretching into minutes.

I yelled at Sheri, my ears still ringing, "Are you okay to get home?" Tipsy from the liqueurs, I worried she wasn't herself. But there was nothing I could do. I needed to stay. "Something's happened."

"What is it?" Sheri gripped my wrist, her brown eyes wide, riveted on mine.

"I don't know. I need to call the station and you need to get out of here. I'll call later."

I told Sheri to grab a cab and pointed toward Wilshire Boulevard where traffic was already starting to back up. In the distance, I could hear the warble of sirens echoing between buildings, coming in my direction. I reached into my bag for my phone and called the station.

Tyler answered on the first ring. "Carol, you still there?"

"There's been an explosion —"

"I know. I'm getting a report on the police scanner now."

"What's happening?" I felt vulnerable standing in the street as I waited for Tyler to answer. In the background, I could hear the squawking of the newsroom's small black police receiver and the clicking of computer keys. Tyler's fingers were already flying across the keyboard. I knew he'd be alerting Kari to the emergency. He yelled at me as he typed. "An employee inside Henry Westin's says there's been a robbery."

"Anyone hurt?" I looked down the street where minutes ago I'd seen Eric getting into a limousine in front of the jewelry store. Now all I could see were swarms of police cars. LAPD, Beverly Hills police, and emergency vehicles were parked outside the building. The gold double doors were still flung open. But no one was coming out.

"You tell me! You're the only one who's there. Go. Get the story, Carol. We need something. Now!"

Tyler slammed the phone down, the silence in my ear almost as deafening as the explosion.

I reached back into my bag for my mic and, finding it, began to run. Skirting abandoned shopping bags and businessmen in Armani suits, I dodged leggy supermodels in six-inch heels as moms pushing baby strollers rushed past me, away from the explosion. In the back of my mind, the memory of the Boston Marathon and the fear of another explosion pushed me forward. I had a story to cover. I needed to focus.

Ahead of me, more emergency vehicles had arrived, jamming the street in front of Henry Westin's. Their lights flashing and their doors flung open blocked my view of the entrance. Parked lopsided on the sidewalk was an LAPD black and white and double-parked on the street were an ambulance and a large black Bomb Squad truck.

Half a dozen uniformed cops had already begun to secure the scene with yellow crime scene tape. I stood behind it, my heart pounding. I had run only a hundred yards but with the bomb and the jolt of seeing Eric with Carmen, I felt as though I had run a marathon.

I leaned over the tape and yelled as an LAPD uniformed officer and a plainclothes detective came out of the building. A glint of light reflected off the detective's badge revealing his Sam Browne and shoulder holster. "Detective, can you talk? What happened? Was anyone hurt?"

"Stay behind the tape, ma'am." The detective, his face flushed with excitement, yelled back at me, pointing to the yellow tape between us.

"I'm with the press." I held my mic up in the air, hoping he'd see it and come closer. "Can you tell us what happened?"

He stopped momentarily. I noticed small beads of sweat had started to run down the side of his face. "Someone planted a bomb," he said tersely.

"Was it —"

"Terrorists? No." He shook his head. "This was a robbery. Third jewelry store this month." He started to move on.

Third? Robberies may have flown under my radar, particularly in a city the size of Los Angeles, but a bomb? I wouldn't have missed that. It may have the third robbery, but it had to be the first with a bomb.

"Anyone inside hurt?" I hollered back, my voice strained.

He stopped and came back to me. "What station you with, Miss?"

"KCHC."

He looked at the bright yellow station ID flag on my mic and smiled. "Chick Radio, huh? What are you doing here?"

I wasn't surprised by the question. KCHC wasn't exactly known for its news reporting. Robberies, homicides, and bombings weren't our thing. Instead of hard news, KCHC was entertainment-focused, light news and lots of talk. I introduced myself and I explained I'd been doing a holiday report in Beverly Hills when I heard the explosion and asked if I could get his name.

"Detective Lewis," he said. "My wife listens to KCHC. Calls it the good news station. She's a big fan." He shook his head again. "But I don't think your listeners are going to like this one."

"So someone was hurt?" I couldn't imagine being inside when the blast went off. Bells were still going off inside my head like a pinball machine and I'd been halfway down the block.

"Unfortunately, yes. Looks like an older woman, an assistant maybe, got hit with a piece of shredded glass from one of the display cases. Took a piece in the neck and bled out before paramedics could get to her."

"Anyone else?"

"Nope. Manager's okay. Little shook up. His name's Churchill. Stick around, you can ask him yourself. He'll be coming out in a minute."

"And the bomb, anything you can tell me about it?"

"Bomb Squad boys say it was a flash bomb, type of thing designed to create more of a diversion than do physical damage. Big sound, lots of smoke. Wasn't supposed to kill anybody."

I took notes quickly, my hands shaking as I scribbled onto my notepad. In the background, through my headset, I could hear Tyler talking to Kari, setting up my report. "Carol. Tell us what you know."

"I'm here on Rodeo Drive in front of Henry Westin's, where just moments ago a blast shook the street of this quiet shopping area, sending shoppers scrambling for cover. Police have confirmed one fatality."

"Do we have an ID?" Kari asked.

"Not yet. But police are telling me a woman inside the store appears to have been hit by a piece of flying glass. It's believed she bled out before the paramedics could arrive on the scene."

I watched as two EMTs emerged from within the building with an older gray-haired gentleman. This had to be the manager, Mr. Churchill. He looked to be somewhere in his seventies, his hair and clothes rumpled, a bit unsteady on his feet.

"Excuse me," I hollered across the yellow tape. "Mr. Churchill, can you talk to us?"

The old man stopped maybe twenty feet from me, and, noting the mic in my hand, patted the arm of one of the EMTs assisting him and walked towards me. From the dull expression on his pale creased face, it was evident he was still in shock.

"Sir, can you tell us what happened?"

Churchill reached for the mic, his thin hands trembling. I put my hand on top of his to steady them and nodded for him to go on. I detected a slight English accent as he spoke.

"All I can tell you, miss, is we'd just opened. Carmen Montague had come in early. She had a necklace she wanted to drop for repair and had just left when — Boom! There was an explosion. The building rocked. Everything went white, the store filled with smoke, and I was knocked off my feet."

"Was anyone else in the building with you? Any customers?"

"No." Churchill shook his head. He looked muddled, disoriented. "Only my assistant ... I ... I believe she's been badly hurt." He put his hand on his head and looked back over his shoulder as the EMTs rolled an empty stretcher from inside the building back toward the ambulance. I knew this wasn't a good sign. The body wouldn't be released until the crime scene had been completely investigated. He looked back at me, apparently confused. Why was the stretcher empty? I could see it hadn't hit him yet. His assistant was dead. "I'm sorry. Did you ask if anyone else was in the store?

"I don't believe so. Perhaps there was someone waiting. I'm not sure. You'd have to ask our security guard, Mr. Paley. He's speaking with the officers now." He pointed with a crooked index finger, his hand still shaking, in the direction of the patrol cars. An older beefy-looking guard was talking with two Beverly Hills cops.

I was about to ask Churchill if he had any idea what might have been stolen when he clutched his chest. He looked as though he were about to faint, his face even whiter than his collared shirt. I reached for his shoulder to steady him and told Kari to hold.

"Mr. Churchill, are you all right?"

"I ... I don't think so." He looked as though he were about to collapse. "I need to sit down."

I shielded my mic to my shoulder and yelled to the EMTs, "I need help here."

The two EMTs who looked as though they were about to leave came running. I heard one say, as Churchill collapsed back into their arms, that he had refused to go to the hospital to be checked out, insisting he was okay. He wanted to stay to supervise the cleanup.

Within seconds, despite his objections, Churchill, looking deathly white, was put on a stretcher. An oxygen mask was placed on his face and he was hurriedly rushed back towards the ambulance.

With one hand to my ear to shield out the sound of the helicopters hovering overhead and the warbling sound of the ambulance sirens in the background, I pressed the earphone to my head and continued my report.

"Kari, as you can hear from the sounds of the sirens and helicopter above, this is still a very fluid situation. Earlier this morning this could have been a scene from a Hallmark card, the streets decorated for the holiday and bustling with shoppers. But right now it looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie. Westin's manager, Mr. Churchill, has just collapsed and been rushed to an ambulance, and there is no word yet on the cause of the explosion. However, if there is any good news concerning this attack, it's that the police do not believe this disturbance is terrorist-related. Instead, what I'm learning from police is that this was a flash bomb. A device designed to create a diversion for what investigators believe may have been an attempted robbery, possibly related to a recent rash of jewelry store robberies in the area. This is Carol Childs reporting for KCHC, live from Beverly Hills."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Without A Doubt"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Nancy Cole Silverman.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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WITHOUT A DOUBT 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Reporter Carol Childs is in the right place at the wrong time when she witnesses a jewelry store robbery. Since it is the start of awards season in Los Angeles, the store had plenty of jewels on hand. With Eric, her FBI agent boyfriend, working the case, it creates issues in their relationship. Carol is certain that socialite Carmen Montague is involved in some fashion. Is she correct? The book starts off quickly, and the pace never lags as the story continues. I was turning pages as quickly as I could to keep up with the twists and turns of the plot. The characters are strong, which includes the new characters. I would have liked to see a bit more of the series regulars, but that’s a minor complaint overall. There were a few minor editing issues in the book, but again they are minor and didn’t impact the story at all.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Carol Childs in on assignment when she sees Eric, her FBI boyfriend, leave a jewelry store with another woman on his arm. Seconds later there is an explosion. Carol rushes to the scene to report on the situation for her radio station, KCHC Talk Radio. Her reports draws even more interest as a suspect calls the station during a live broadcast. The type of news has been frowned on my the station’s owners but Carol can’t let the story drop, especially when she learns Eric is working on the case. Their relationship takes a hit as they both dry to catch the criminals. In this installment we meet the owner’s wife, Bunny, the one that only wants happy news on the station. She even takes over one of the programs. The manager tells Carol to stick right by Bunny’s side but Bunny informs Carol her help is not needed. But Bunny may have bitten off more that she can chew. Again the author has introduced some interesting characters into Carol’s world. With each story we get to know Carol a little better and I find myself liking her more and more. She is a strong character driven by her job or the job she is striving to get but still takes time when her son needs her. She is smart and savvy and just reckless enough to get herself into trouble. Her relationship with Eric is a little rocky because well the other woman and she wants to know things about the investigation he just can’t reveal. This was an amazing fast read due the pacing of the plot. Driven by jewel thefts and dead bodies the pages were just flying. The behind the scenes look at the radio station and virtual tours around Beverly Hills added nicely to the story. I read it all in one sitting, I wanted to figure things out almost as much as Carol. A very entertaining book! I will be reviewing the next book Room For Doubt soon.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Without A Doubt - Carol Childs Mystery Book 3 Author: Nancy Cole Silverman Publisher: Henery Press Published: 4-24-2016 Pages: 258 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Police Procedurals; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781635110258 ASIN: B01C4LEFTE Reviewed For NetGalley and Henery Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars Carol Childs is tasting chocolates with her best friend and looks up to see her boyfriend Eric exiting the Jewelry store with Carmen on his arm. Funny Eric never said anything to Carol when he left their bed that morning. Shortly thereafter the store explodes. On the following day her radio cohost falls ill and must decide which is of more importance solving the mystery of what Eric is up to, her job and keeping her relationship together. Filled with suspense and intrigue. Action packed and fast paced . Cast of well developed characters. All come together to form a story that draws readers in with the first lines and keeps them enthralled until the final paragraph. Pick it up and dive into Without A Doubt today. My rating of "Without A Doubt - Carol Childs Mystery Book 3" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
artybill More than 1 year ago
Nancy Cole Silverman's latest - WITHOUT A DOUBT is a peek behind the curtain of the Beverly Hills elite. Curious news reporter Carol Childs whirls the reader through chocolate, polo ponies, bling-bling, celebs, fancy cars, humongous mansions... and for the ladies - ripped fellas. What could possibly go wrong? Nancy's writing is crisp and here wit is sharp - A must read.
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
As a reporter for a local radio station, Carol tends to fall over more bodies than anyone in recent memory. And, because she’s so much better at solving the crime than the local cops, what’s not to love about this series? Silverman just keeps getting better with a very comprehensive plot line and well0developed characters. It was sad to read about the split with Rick, but a gal’s career must take priority – right? I do hope our author is planning another book in this series, because Carol is addictive. Great read that I will be recommending to all my book worm friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. 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] “Accidentally? Carol, how does one accidentally escort a thief from the scene of a crime?... You can’t be both a reporter and a material witness for the FBI. You’re one side or the other, not both." Carol Childs, radio news reporter for KCHC Talk Radio, is busy trying to balance her work with being a single mom and her relationship with FBI agent Eric Langdon, whose job often "spills over" into their personal lives. And having seen Eric undercover makes her realize that the bomb that just exploded may have been a cover for the theft of rather expensive jewelry from Henry Westin on Rodeo Drive, fallout of which affects Carol and the people she reports on when the radio station allows it to interfer with the "chick-lite" format recently institued by the new owner's wife. How is supposed to do her job when the news doesn't "fit" Bunny Morganstern's ideas which,by the way, are making the station the laughing stock of LA? Carol just keeps doing her job, tries to keep away from exposing the FBI and when the well- known well-heeled Carmen Montague dies, exposing the theives are the least of her worries. Told in typical Nancy Cole Silverman style, we get to see the backstory of the 90210 crowd as well as the daily grind of radio news. Silverman's books are un-put-downable and very well written. Another stellar outing!
TessT More than 1 year ago
What do you get when you cross journalism and Hollywood? Probably a whole lot of gossip. Or you could throw in some diamonds and you might be close to someone's dream. Nancy Cole Silverman has written that mystery. It's fast paced. with just the right amount of mystery and intrigue. FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the third book in the A Carol Childs Mystery series by Nancy Cole Silverman. Carol Childs is a radio reporter; she is investigating a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists. She soon realizes that her FBI boyfriend is also working the same case. She is determined to find the truth even if it becomes a race for the facts, pitting them against one another. This book has a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Within all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, someone is stealing expensive jewels and getting away with it. So far. This was a really great cozy which I found very entertaining and which I could not put down. The sneakiness of the jewelry heists had so many steps involved that I was totally mesmerized by the complexity. I really like the main character, Carol, as well. She seems to have her head on straight and thinks before she acts. This is a great series and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys cozies. While there is a boyfriend in the picture, her every thought isn't about him. Bunny reminded me of the neighbor in Two Broke Girls, Jennifer Coolidge, not really all there, but looks good. Ha!! Thanks to Henery Press for approving me for another great title and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.