Sep 22, 2017

Book Review: Claiming Grace

For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.

Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.

Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

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I have to admit that I wasn't too sure that I would like this book because of Grace.  She had been emotionally abused by her parents all of her life and I just didn't see how she would be able to go from a victim to a strong woman all in one book.  Boy was I surprised at her strength once she was out of their control.

Logan also come from a background of abuse from his mother.  And I want to give huge kudos to Ms. Stoker for bringing up the fact that women can also be the abusers. This issue is mainly not talked about because most men will not report that they are the ones being abused. 

I ended up really enjoying CLAIMING GRACE and am ready to dive into the next book in this series.  The characters are all wonderfully developed and I loved watching Grace grow throughout the book.  The dialogue is on point and the pacing is tight.  I am sure that any of my readers who enjoy romantic suspense will enjoy this book.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Book Review: Mask of Shadows

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

* * * * *

MASK OF SHADOWS is a well written fantasy. Ms Miller does an excellent job of world building to the extent that I could almost smell the stench of the cities that Sal does jobs within.  The characters themselves are also very well done.  I swear that I would recognize some of them if I met them on the street.  

What really sets this book apart from other fantasies is the fact that Sal is gender fluid.  I just love how Sal describes it.  Sal is a he is he is wear male clothing, a she if wearing a dress and they if the clothing can't be ascribed to either gender.  MASK OF SHADOWS  is the first fantasy that I have read that addresses this issue and it's an important one as I feel that everyone should be able to be the gender that fits them best.

I do feel that readers who enjoy fantasy will enjoy this book.  There is violence within the story but no graphic sex beyond kissing.  This is the first book in this series and I can't wait to be able to follow more of Sal's story.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Sep 19, 2017

Book Review: The Last Move

Catching monsters helps FBI agent Kate Hayden keep her nightmares at bay. Now an urgent call brings her back to San Antonio, the scene of her violent past. A brutal new murder shows hallmarks of a serial killer nicknamed the Samaritan. Tricky part is, Kate already caught him.

Either Kate made a deadly error, or she’s got a copycat on her hands. Paired with homicide detective Theo Mazur, she quickly realizes this murder is more twisted than it first appeared. Then a second body is found, the mode of death identical to a different case that Kate thought she’d put behind her.

Now Kate and Detective Mazur aren’t just working a homicide; the investigative pair is facing a formidable enemy who knows Kate intimately. While Mazur is personally trying to protect Kate, the closer they are drawn to the killer, the clearer it becomes that in this terrifying game, there is only one rule: don’t believe everything you see…

* * * * *

THE LAST MOVE is a particularly delicious crime drama with so many twists and turns that a seat belt is required.   Kate Hayden is so accustomed to putting everything into her work that she comes across as being emotionless which is far from the truth.  Theo Mazur wasn't too sure about calling in the FBI until he meets Kate.  They have really good chemistry right from the start though it is subdued.  

I don't want to give anything away about the story but I do have to say that I was glued to the page right from the very beginning.  And the ending was as satisfying as the beginning with a conclusion that I didn't see coming at all.  This book was written as a stand alone but I am crossing my fingers for more as I would love to be able to keep up with Kate and Theo.

I think that any of my readers who enjoy suspense or crime dramas will love this book.  It has it all; great characters, witty dialogue, well paced plot and a stunning conclusion.   Be sure check out THE LAST MOVE.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.