Oct 17, 2017

Book Review: The Chase




Will she risk it all for a priceless desire?

A rising star in one of London's top art investigation firms, Zara Leighton's talent for seeing deep into paintings is in her blood. She's chosen to help track down Icon, an enigmatic international art thief whose heists are methodical, daring, baffling. To Zara the case is maddening—bordering on an obsession.

She finds distraction in the chiseled form of top-shelf client Tobias Wilder, a magnetic American billionaire who demands her expertise, her discretion—and her secrecy. Wilder doesn't ask questions. He gives orders. His gaze alone ignites her deepest fantasies. And his touch…

The sudden whirl of exclusive exhibitions and decadent parties that Wilder introduces her to is a potent aphrodisiac. But surrender soon becomes tinged with suspicion. Is Zara's tryst with Wilder the real thing…or just a convincing forgery?


* * * * *

I was really looking forward to this book as I love mysteries and romantic suspense.  I did find a bit of both in this book however the pace was rather slow.  After all, you have to time for all the sex scenes that this book introduces the reader too.  In my opinion, this book could do with more plot and less sex.  I also found errors in the book that should have been caught by the editor even though spell check would let them by.

I do suggest that my readers pass this book by if they are looking for a romantic suspense.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a book that really turns up the heat then THE CHASE is perfect.

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

 
Oct 13, 2017

Book Review: Dirty Deeds




No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever is quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.


* * * * *

I really enjoyed DIRTY DEEDS.  It is filled with hot men, intrigue, government agencies with letters in their name and lots of hot sex.   The pacing is tight even around all the twists and turns.  There is also a lot of character growth especially in Alec.

Readers are also given the chance to check back on characters that have appeared in earlier books by Ms. Dimon.  It was great to see Seth and to know that his relationship is still working out.  The Drummond brothers also appeared in earlier books and I was so glad to see that Alec was given his own book.

That being said, I did find some content errors that might very well have been corrected in the final version.  That I can't say as I was given a review arc to read.  These errors did pull me out of the story as I tried to puzzle them out.  I doubt if they were bother a lot of people but they tend to drive me nuts.  

I do think that my readers would enjoy DIRTY DEEDS but I do want to give a gentle warning that there is a lot explicit sex between men so if you have any objections to that, avoid this book.  On the same vein if your son or daughter wants to read it, be sure that you check it out first.

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



 
Oct 11, 2017

Book Review: When I Wake Up





'Why won't Mummy wake up?'
 
When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife's secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she's lying silent in a hospital bed...

* * * * *

I found WHEN I WAKE UP to be a delightful read.  It is filled with so many twists and turns that the reader will need to buckle up to enjoy the ride.  Set in Sweden, I loved seeing how their police worked and also enjoyed learning about their different traditions.  

Another thing that set this book apart was watching Anna, who is the mother of twins, discover her sexuality when she falls in love with a woman.  She tries to weigh whether this is just a fling or is her happiness worth breaking up her marriage and changing the twins' lives.

There were a lot of suspects that all could have easily attacked her for various reasons ranging from jealousy, obsession to love.  All of the characters are very well drawn out with all of their strengths and weaknesses.

I do feel that any of my readers who enjoy a good mystery will enjoy WHEN I WAKE UP.  Having it set in Sweden definitely adds that little bit of extra to this book.  There is both violence and sex so not appropriate for younger readers.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 4, 2017

Book Review: Nyxia




With millions of dollars at stake, walking away isn’t an option.

Emmett Atwater agrees to leave Earth behind when Babel Communications offers him a fortune. The catch? He has to launch into deep space to get it. One of ten selected recruits, Emmett boards the company’s spaceship and sets course for a planet that Babel has kept hidden from the rest of the world.

Before long, Emmett discovers that all of Babel’s recruits have at least one thing in common: they’re broken. Broken enough that Babel can remold them however it pleases.

Every training session is a ruthless competition where friendships are tested and enemies are made. Each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—where they will mine nyxia, a substance that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. Secrets about the volatile substance they’re hoping to mine, about the reclusive humanoids already living on Eden, and about the true intentions for the recruits.

Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


* * * * *

Incredible!  I have to say that  NYXIA is the best book that I have had the pleasure of enjoying in 2017.  It is a coming of age story about one teenager, Emmerr Atwater, who has agreed to leave Earth behind so that his mother can get the medical treatment to survive liver cancer.  

When he undertakes this journey, he is a street smart punk from Detroit who is pretty sure that he will be one of top contenders that will be sent down to Nyxia.  He sees all the others as competition and enemies. He will discover some are enemies but others are friends that will help save his sanity and his life.  

This book swept me away!  I enjoy character driven sci-fi and this book is top rate.  If anything, it reminded me of some of Heinlein's books.  It is all about growing up and learning about one's self while competing with both friends and enemies.  I really feel that any of my readers who enjoy books focused on the character and how they grow and change will love this book.  There is violence but there is also friendship and love so I would recommend this book to readers of all ages. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 2, 2017

Book Review: Emma In The Night




From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back...

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime.


* * * * * 

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book is Wow!.  This has to be one of the surprising thrillers that I have ever read.  There are so many twists and turns that take to a conclusion that I didn't and wouldn't have expected.   

I found both Cass and Abby to be extremely interesting characters and the pressures that they grew up with make them even more surprising.  Not only are there great, well fleshed out characters but the way that their story unfolds will keep you glued to the screen.  

I highly recommend EMMA IN THE NIGHT to any of my readers who enjoy a well written thriller with a surprising conclusion.  There is some violence and sex but nothing over the top so no need to worry about teenager enjoying 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.
Sep 25, 2017

Book Review: Claiming Alexis




Nothing is more important to Blake Anderson than the work he does with his brothers at Ace Security. At least that’s what he thinks until he meets the fiercely independent Alexis Grant. The security firm’s new intern pushes all his buttons—and makes his temperature rise. But giving in to temptation might be risky business.

Alexis can tell that Blake has his doubts about her ability to commit. But while most people look at her and see only a flighty rich girl, she knows he sees much more. Determined to prove herself to Blake, Alexis jumps at the chance to work undercover. And when her case takes a dangerous turn, she puts her trust—and her heart—in his hands.

Now, as Alexis digs into the deadly secrets of a local gang, Blake will lay everything on the line to protect the woman he’s come to love.


* * * * *

This series just keeps getting better.  Alexis is a very strong woman who will do what is right even though it might put her in danger.  And she is so tired to being thought as the stupid little right girl.

Blake is the middle son of the triplets and he really prefers to fade into the background.  He's not looking for a relationship but there is just something about Alexis especially when he wasn't able to run her off.

I really enjoyed this book.  There was a lot of character interaction including with Grace who pops into the story.  The tension and danger is delicious,  More then once, I was yelling at Alexis to get her butt out of there.  

I think that any of my readers who enjoy romantic suspense with a lot of heat between the main characters will enjoy reading CLAIMING ALEXIS.

*** 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 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.

                                                                        * * * * *

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. 
Sep 18, 2017

Book Review: The Hunting Grounds




Maggie Gaines used to be an FBI agent—top of her class and one of the bright, up-and-coming stars—until she spectacularly fell apart during her first high-profile case. That was eight years ago. Now she’s a ranger at Glacier National Park, and she’s found some measure of peace. But when the body of a murdered woman is discovered, she must finally put the past behind her and work with the one man she thought she’d never see again.

For months, Vic Sutherland has been hunting a killer who’s been targeting unsuspecting hikers in national parks—and now the predator has come to Glacier. Vic knows the case will bring him face-to-face with his former partner, yet nothing can prepare him for seeing Maggie again after all these years, or for the memories of passion it stirs in both of them.

As the investigation brings them closer together—and closer to the killer—Maggie and Vic fear they have only each other to trust. But even that might not be enough to make it out of Glacier alive.


* * * * *

Now I am an indoor person.  Never seen any reason to subject myself to all the bugs that call the outdoors home.  However after reading all the gorgeous descriptions that Ms. Roberts has put into her book has me rethinking my stance on the great outdoors.

Maggie has been carrying baggage since her time in the BAU including how her and Vic parted.  She has found peace working in the Park Service but when dead bodies start showing up, she is going to have to rethink her peace especially when Vic shows up to work the case.  There is a definite tension between Maggie and Vic which could effect them working together unless they manage to get all under control.

Along with the drama between the main characters, there is also an unsub who is extremely comfortable out in the wilderness.  An unsub who seems to stay one step ahead of everyone hunting him.  This fact kept me on the edge of my seat and glued to the pages.

I recommend THE HUNTING GROUNDS to any of my readers who enjoy a well written romantic suspense with taut pacing, good dialogue, great characters and a surprising conclusion.  I somehow missed the first book in this series and I plan on going back to catch up.

*** 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 16, 2017

Book Review: Close To Home





While investigating the hit-and-run death of a young boy, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite makes a startling discovery: the suspect is an active-duty serviceman at a local naval base. After a key piece of case evidence goes missing, he is cleared of charges in a military court. But Tracy knows she can’t turn her back on this kind of injustice.

When she uncovers the driver’s ties to a rash of recent heroin overdoses in the city, she realizes that this isn’t just a case of the military protecting its own. It runs much deeper than that, and the accused wasn’t acting alone. For Tracy, it’s all hitting very close to home.

As Tracy moves closer to uncovering the truth behind this insidious conspiracy, she’s putting herself in harm’s way. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.

* * * * * 
 

There is no way around it. I love this series!  It is set locally to myself in Seattle so I recognize the places that Tracy is investigating. I also really enjoy the camaraderie and caring of the team she works with. Kins, Del, Tracy and Faz are all wonderfully developed characters. They have all grown so much. 

In CLOSE TO HOME, there are actually two different cases that end up merging into one. Cases that involve the military and span from Kitsap county up to Seattle.   This book also brings in to focus a crisis that is occurring across the US. The tension is high with little breaks to catch your breath, the dialogue is on point and the conclusion surprising. 

As I am sure you can guess, I highly recommend this book. Heck, I highly recommend this series. I think that any of my readers who enjoy crime drama or police procedurals. I can hardly wait for the next 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.
Sep 14, 2017

Book Review: The Strawberry Hearts Diner




Being broke, unemployed, and stranded back in the tiny town of Pick, Texas, was not part of Jancy Wilson’s plan. Yet here she is, watching her car literally go up in smoke—along with her last-ditch hope of staying with her cousin in Louisiana. When Jancy spies a Help Wanted sign hanging in the window of the quaint Strawberry Hearts Diner, the memories of the two years she spent there as a teenager—and the lure of the diner’s beloved strawberry tarts—are enough to draw her in and plant her feet…but only temporarily.

Raised by parents who refused to settle anywhere for long, Jancy has never known what it is to have roots. Now that Jancy’s swept up by the warmth and character of this quirky little community—and by the pull of an old crush—it’s beginning to feel like home. She’s making friends and even discovering the sweetness of falling in love. But when the town is threatened, Jancy knows it will take more than its legendary tarts to save it. Can she fight for this little Texas town—knowing she might not stay forever?

* * * * *

This is book that just warmed my heart as it shows how our past shapes us but doesn’t need to define us. And it features four strong women of three different generations. I really liked Jancy, Emily, Vicky and Nettie.  They are willing to stand up for themselves and their town. I also liked the town of Pick and the chance to meet the townspeople.  Pick has a strong identity for such a small burg because of those folks and their traditions. 

Now as you can tell, I very much enjoyed my time in Pick and Ms. Brown has done a wonderful job with the pacing, the descriptions and the dialogue.  It was wonderful to watch the characters change and grow.  My only issue at all is the fact that there is a lot of head hopping. And often with no warning leaving the reader floundering for a few seconds try to decipher just which of the women is thinking or talking. 

I do think that my readers would very much enjoy THE STRAWBERRY HEARTS DINER if they enjoy contemporary romance set in a small town.  I am really hoping that this was just the first book in a series. 

** 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 12, 2017

Book Review: Too Scot to Handle




A MAN WITH MANY TALENTS

As a captain in the army, Colin MacHugh led men, fixed what was broken, and fought hard. Now that he's a titled gentleman, he's still fighting-this time to keep his bachelorhood safe from all the marriage-minded debutantes. Then he meets the intriguing Miss Anwen Windham, whose demure nature masks a bonfire waiting to roar to life. When she asks for his help to raise money for the local orphanage, he's happy to oblige.

Anwen is amazed at how quickly Lord Colin takes in hand a pack of rambunctious orphan boys. Amazed at how he actually listens to her ideas. Amazed at the thrill she gets from the rumble of his Scottish burr and the heat of his touch. But not everyone enjoys the success of an upstart. And Colin has enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin him and anybody he holds dear.


* * * * *

TOO SCOT TO HANDLE has everything that I look for in a historical romance.  There is a very intelligent and feisty heroine,  a hero that prizes her for her individuality and a villain that is determined to get his way.  This book has the added benefits of some interesting orphans and Anwen's family who have appeared before.

I really enjoyed this book and was more then willing to get up some sleep to race to the satisfying conclusion.  Ms Burrowes has done her usual superb job with both the characters and taking her reader back to an earlier time in England's history.  I really feel that my readers who enjoy a historical romance with a bit of heat and heartwarming characters will love 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.

Sep 11, 2017

Book Review: Penhale Wood




If it's the last thing she ever does, Iris will find Sophie's Killer and make her pay.

On a cold December night in Cornwall, nanny Karen Peterson disappeared with three-year-old Sophie Flynn. The next day, the child's body was found on a riverbank in Penhale Wood.

A year later, Sophie's mother, Iris Flynn, appears on the doorstep of investigating officer Rob McIntyre, determined to make him reopen her daughter's case. McIntyre has his own personal demons, but Iris hijacks his life in order to find the woman she thinks is responsible for Sophie's death. Following the slimmest of leads, they are soon confronting ghosts from the past and a chameleon-like killer who will do anything to stay hidden.


* * * * *

I really wasn't too sure about this book in the beginning.  It was rather slow and I found the main character Rob McIntyre rather whiny.  That changed however somewhere around the middle of the book.  McIntyre started to grow on me probably because he decided to focus on someone other than himself.  I think that what really kept me going was Iris.  She is an interesting character who when she sets her mind to something, she is incredibly strong.  She practically had to drag McIntyre kicking and screaming into re-investigating the murder of her daughter.  

Ms. Thomas is a good writer and every word is perfect.  I just found the pacing a bit slow which means that if I hadn't been reading this book for a review, it would have gone in that dreaded 'couldn't finish' pile.  However this book would be perfect for anyone that enjoys a slower pace especially as it has such a wonderful conclusion.  It is a great look at being a policeman in a smaller town in Britain and I am sure that some of my readers would really enjoy PENHALE WOOD.

*** 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 5, 2017

Book Review: The Downside





In an age of cybercrime, Finn is the last hardhat. He's a professional thief with a unique specialty: He only steals big things--autoracks, factory lines, machinery. You might call what he does "heavy lifting." And he's no stranger to the downside of his chosen profession; he's done seven years' hard time to prove it.

Fresh out of prison and flat broke, Finn has a line on his biggest job ever. A beautiful woman with her own agenda has put him back in touch with a shady Wall Street billionaire. The job? Breaking into a private commodities vault and hauling out fifty million dollars worth of the precious metal rhodium. It's big, it's heavy, and it'll pull a lot of exposure. In other words, it's right up Finn's alley.

The vault is located underground in a high-security rail yard in New Jersey. The plan? Tunnel in. But there's only one group that can get it done, and Finn will have to call in the crackerjack team that landed him in prison in the first place: Asher, a cranky oilfield driller; Corman, a bearlike railway man; and Jake, a charismatic machinery expert--joined by Nicola, a female hacker who alternates between white and black hats.

Cracking the most heavily guarded private vault in North America? No problem. Hauling fifty million dollars in precious metal out past guards, dozens of policemen, and an armored SWAT battalion? Even easier. But navigating the betrayals of double-crossing partners, the machinations of a hedge-fund billionaire gone bad, and the ambiguous proposals of a woman with her own agenda? That's when things get twisty. This is the heist that will truly test Finn's mettle, and he'll need nerves of steel just to get out alive. But he's sure of one thing: This time, there's got to be an upside.


* * * * *

Wow!  I just finished THE DOWNSIDE and fell in love with Finn who is definitely an old school criminal.  No computers for him.  In fact, he reminds me of guys that you will meet in your local neighborhood bar after their shift except for the fact that he tends to get paid a lot more when things go right.  And it's his turn for things to go right.

I do have to say that Mr. Cooper does a brilliant job with his characters.  Some of them you will click with, others not so much.  Just like the folks that you meet in real life.  Along with Finn, I really liked the characters of the hacker Nicola and Corman who is a jack of a lot of trades.   

The reader is given the inside view to a caper that definitely involves some heavy lifting.  We get to see as all the details fall into place as the big night comes closer and closer.  We even get to join the gang as the heist takes place.  A lot of twists and turns as the tension ratchets up.

I would recommend THE DOWNSIDE to any of my readers who enjoy a good thriller or crime drama.  Personally I am hoping to see some more books with Finn and his crew.

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

Aug 29, 2017

Book Review: The Innkeeper's Sister




Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations

Grayson Blake always has a purpose and never a moment to lose. He's come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.

Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can't erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she's lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth, and hope.


* * * * *

When you live in a place where you have plantations that survived the Civil War and families stretch back even farther, it's almost impossible to pay homage to the present without considering the past.  I tend to avoid books that jump back and forth between times but I do have to say that Ms. Goodnight did an excellent job of interviewing the stories.  

What I really enjoyed however were the characters themselves.  Valery is broken and punishing herself.  Because of that, she isn't able to see herself as the strong and beautiful woman who just needs a bit of help which is how Grayson sees her.   Now Grayson is the total opposite of Valerie with his cell phone, spreadsheets and alarms but he can't help be be attracted to her.  Heck that attraction started when he was just a teenager and even though he hasn't seen her in years, it appears to have just grown stronger.  

Now I do recommend that my readers sit down with a glass of peach tea and help to unravel the mysteries from the past as well as discover what Valerie is hiding.  This was a very enjoyable contemporary romance with well developed characters, witty dialogue and questions.

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

 
Aug 27, 2017

Book Review: The Coldest Fear





A killer with nothing left to lose...

Afraid or not, Detective Bobbie Gentry has a monster to confront. The pain of losing her family and nearly her life to a criminal's vile hunger is still fresh, but now the landscape is different. Now she's not alone. Now she has Nick Shade to trust. Nick treats the terror of his past with vengeance. He's dedicated his life to hunting serial killers, and he'd give up his last breath to save Bobbie. When a string of killings bloodies Savannah's elite society and causes cold cases to resurface, Bobbie is captured in a city more haunted than Nick's inescapable nightmares. And as the murderer strikes close, Nick and Bobbie will need to become even closer if they're going to survive.


* * * * *

 This time around Bobbie is drawn off of her home turf and finds herself investigating a cold case where five children suddenly disappeared.  This was a case where nothing turned up in the initial investigation yet all of a sudden four of the children's bodies were found and the fathers of the children are turned up dead.  

Nick has decided that he is going to be too much like his father because he enjoyed killing to save Bobbie's life.  Now he doesn't want her around and is on the hunt for his father.  Bobbie however is not accepting this verdict.

Talk about a stunning conclusion to a great trilogy!  While I do hope that Ms. Webb write more about Bobbie and Nick, I don't see how she can top this book.   I highly recommend that my readers who enjoy romantic suspense pick up this series.  You can't go wrong.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 21, 2017

Book Review: The Rising





In Crimson Hollow, darkness rules, and those who seek the light are eliminated.

Twenty-one-year-old fae, Isabel, is kidnapped and tortured by a half-vampire, half-fae hybrid who is part of an army raised with one goal: the enslavement and killing of all good fae and humans. During her captivity, she vows not only to escape but also to lead a rebellion against the dark army.

But when her rebellion is ambushed, she is recaptured and imprisoned until she can be brought to the treacherous Hollow Council for trial and punishment.

Isabel is sure she is going to die, until Adriel, the hybrid soldier assigned to her charge, helps her escape. Now, on the run with Adriel at her side, Isabel must stay alive long enough to reach a secret camp of hybrids who wish to stay hidden and somehow convince them to join her rebellion.

To restore peace and light to Crimson Hollow, Isabel will risk everything...including her life.

Order your copy of The Rising today and immerse yourself in a world filled with magic, suspense and romance.

The Rising is a standalone contribution to the Charmed Legacy Dark Fae Hollows collection. Stories can be read in any order.


* * * * *

There is a lot of action in this book that will keep the reader entertained.  Where I really felt that it was lacking was in character development.  For a stand alone book, I shouldn't have to read the others to get a feel about Isabel but after reading the book I don't feel as though I have more than a passing acquaintance with her.   

Ms, Coleman does a good job on world development however and I can easily see how this would be a series that readers would follow.  The dialogue is also snappy and at times amusing.

So while this was an enjoyable read, I really feel that a bit more work on the characters would make this an excellent book and would encourage me to read the rest of the books. 

***"I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review.


Aug 20, 2017

Ramblings



Yay!  I am starting to get back on track again.  Managed to do a weekly post two weeks in a row.

  • Recently ran across a neat little podcast called Anytime, USA.  It's a great podcast where the hosts will randomly select a small town and then tell us the history of that town along with what makes it unique.  There's not a lot of episodes yet so now is a great time to subscribe.  
  • I really hate passive aggressive people.  Seriously folks if you have an issue just get it out so perhaps it can be resolved.  Dealing with one of those in the RHS chapter that I belong too and it really gives me insight on why she has been asked to leave three chapters already.
  • Now I know that we have some strange laws here in the US but we don't try to regulate who you are in your next life. Apparently in China, you have to have government permission to reincarnate.  I know that China is known for it's bureaucracy but that is insane.
  • There is a lot of talk about Charlottesville this week.  Now I am far from an expert but my feelings is that we need to crush out any Nazi leanings.  I have had personal experience with Neo Nazis in that when I was younger, one tried to strangle me because I didn't then or now have any issue with a person's sexuality.  I had let a guy crash on my couch for a few days and apparently he had a lot of issues with my outlook.  Since that day, I have been very against anyone that tries to force anyone into a mold and Nazis do just that.
Aug 19, 2017

Book Review: The Goddesses




The Descendants meets Single White Female in this captivating novel about a woman who moves her family to Hawaii, only to find herself wrapped up in a dangerous friendship, from the celebrated author of We Could Be Beautiful.

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy's husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana's hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she's ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her.

* * * * *

I had high hopes for this book as I do really enjoy psychological thrillers however this book never managed to catch and hold my interest.  It was well written but I found that the characters themselves lacked the depth needed for me to invest in.  

Like I said, this book is well written with no grammar or editing mistakes so others might really enjoy it.  It just wasn't for me because I have found that I really need to care what happens to a character for there to be any build up of tension.  If any of my readers pick up THE GODDESSES and feel different about the book, drop me a line.  I would love to discuss it. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 18, 2017

Book Review: A Merciful Truth




Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?


/* * * * *

I have said it before and I will save it again, I love Mercy!  She is such a unique character with her prepper background and her current profession of working for the FBI.  She is guarded in her emotions due to issues with her family when she was much younger.  For more information about her background, I highly recommend reading the first book in this series, A Merciful Death

In A MERCIFUL TRUTH, both Mercy and Truman have to face some demons from their past to solve this case.  We also get the opportunity to watch their relationship develop further.  I also really enjoyed getting to know Mercy's niece Kaylie who she is raising since her brother was killed.  

Along with the great characters, Ms. Elliot does a wonderful job of racheting up the tension to where you will be sitting on the edge of your seat.  The dialogue is witty and sometimes rather amusing for that much needed breather.  There is no explicit sex but there is violence so be forewarned if that is one of your triggers.

This series just keeps getting better and I do recommend it to any of my readers who enjoy thrillers or crime dramas.  Heck I recommend this author as I have enjoyed all of her books that I have had the chance to read.  To keep up with her books, here is a listing broken down by series.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 10, 2017

Ramblings






Yes, believe it or not, I am still alive. I have been horrible keeping up with this blog with the exception of my book reviews. I actually feel as though I have lost a couple months. And I haven't even been droning. 




Let me share some of the highlights. I actually have a lot of pics but I don't want to overload anyone so I will catch up a bit at a time. 




I have been designing at least one piece jewelry a week though I am soooo far behind on uploading pics to Year of Jewelry Project. I have been horrible about the ABS Challenges. 




After we lost Boo, we got a new puppy. I was thinking that she would keep me from missing her quite as much but she is definitely Saje's girl. Keyla is a handful especially since she doesn't get along with Pooka. 




She is growing up and will be starting puppy classes soon as she is almost five months old. She is going to be a really good dog. 




Starting to get in better shape because she needs to we walked every evening. I am having issues with tendinitis in my left elbow and shoulder. Just went through a series of steroids and it appears to help somewhat. 




I also went to see the Terracotta Warriors exhibit up in Seattle. I got some good pics of that but I will share those in a different post. And I promise that I won't disappear for another couple months. 

Book Review: The Drowned Girls




He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared ...

But Detective Angie Pallorino never forgot the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victim’s foreheads.

When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?

Then the body of a drowned young woman floats up in the Gorge, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.

Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake lose some unsettling secrets about her own past . . .

How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?


* * * * *

Wow!   Detective Angie Pallorino has to be one of the most broken people that I have ever heard or read about without being one the wrong side of the law.  Instead Angie works with sex crimes and she is looking to get justice for women that have been raped, mutilated and murdered.

Detective James Maddocks has taken a step down the ladder to be able to get a job near his daughter.  His first case is a doozie and his partner is Angie.  Sparks flew between them both personally and professionally as they work to solve this crime and perhaps start putting Angie back together.

If I keep running across books this good, I will never catch up on my sleep.  Angie is a character that I found really easy to emphasize with and Maddocks is dark, dreamy and caring.  Their partnership is one that we all dream about finding.  I highly recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy reading thrillers, romantic suspense or police procedurals.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Aug 7, 2017

Book Review: King of Clubs




Covert FBI agent Court Gentry loves his brothers, his job, and his Harley-Davidson. Once he loved a girl, too, but when she broke his heart, he put his emotions on lockdown…until she crosses his path again.

On vacation six years ago, free-spirited Lauren Montgomery fell hard for Court Gentry. She returned home happier than ever, only to descend into a spiral of abuse by her ex-husband, Stephan. When Stephan threatened to kill any man who touched her, Lauren cut Court from her life—but not from her heart.

When Lauren and Court reunite after her friend marries his brother, Court guards himself against the person who made him feel such intense passion and pain. Except the undeniable spark between them is impossible to contain and heating up fast. Six years ago, it was love. Now, it’s just lust. Keeping it merely physical is a foolproof plan…right?

When Stephan is released from prison, Lauren can’t outrun her past anymore, and Court vows to protect her. But with Lauren in imminent danger, Court must question his heart and risk his life to save the woman he never stopped loving.


* * * * *

I first fell in love with the Gentry brothers when I had the opportunity to read Alex Gentry's story Jack of Hearts. Little did I know that better was to come.  This story is about Court, the middle brother, and we finally get a chance to really get to know him and how his past intersects with his hoped for future.

This book is hot but it is more the sexual tension between Court and Lauren.  Yes there is some sex but nothing to graphic.  It is also filled with danger, love, family loyalty and witty dialogue.  All the needed ingredients for a book that will keep me up past my bedtime.

I do recommend KING OF CLUBS to any of my readers who enjoy a good romantic suspense as this one will keep you on your toes. I can hardly wait for Nate's story to come out.

 *** 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: Arrowood




London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.

The Afghan War is over and a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain's position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895.

The police don't have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help: Sherlock Holmes. But in densely populated south London, where the crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.


* * * * *

I have enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories in the past so when I saw that the title character was another private investigator set in London during the same time frame I couldn't resist picking up this book.  And I have to admit that I am glad that I did but not so much because of Arrowood.

His assistant Barnett is an interesting character that does a lot of the actual investigating because of Arrowood's physical issues.  He also tends to be much more diplomatic then his boss so it's because of him that they are able to work with the police in London.  Arrowood's sister Ettie is also a spitfire who is a very intelligent and strong woman.  If she had been born today, Ettie might have taken over the world.

Their case was also very interesting with all of its twists and turns.  They were hired to investigate one thing but when something goes wrong, it becomes personal and everything becomes much more involved.

I do think that fans of Sherlock Holmes and other period mysteries will really enjoy ARROWOOD.  I know that I am looking forward to the opportunity to read the next book in the series.   In fact, I have requested this series to be added to FictFact which is a wonderful free site that notifies you when the next book is coming out in a series that you follow.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own. 
Aug 2, 2017

Sad Carpet Saga



I own my home and when we moved in, we had an aging dog that had dementia.  Kharma would forget at times that he was supposed to go outside to do his business so we had plans on replacing the carpet once he was gone.  Kharma left us last year so I made plans to get some new carpet.

When I was searching out carpets, I found once that was guaranteed to repel pet stains which would be perfect for our home as we still have other dogs.  And it happened to be sold at Lowes which is where I tend to do my home improvement purchases.  I waited until they had a sale and thought that I had scored when I found one with a free deluxe install.  This deluxe install was to include moving the furniture, pulling up the old carpet and disposing of it, and install the new carpet.  Off to Lowes I went with money in hand.

I made my purchase back in May and requested that the install be done on July 3rd since I was off on vacation at this time.  Along comes July 3rd and for some reason, the installers only sent out one guy to move heavy furniture.  Not too sure how they thought that out especially since I had paid extra because I have some large pieces of furniture.  Well I soon found out.

The installer really didn't want to work.  Once he found out what needed to be moved, he immediately said that he couldn't do the work because my house is flea infested.  Like what?  My dogs are always flea treated and I have a flea allergy to I would be the first to know if it was infested.  I did my due diligence however and flea bombed my house. And waited for an install and waited...

Now the installer wanted me to hire someone to pull the carpet.  Excuse me?!?  That was part of the deluxe install.  So I refused and demanded that they have someone come out to do the install on a weekend since I have used my vacation time for the year.  And they still haven't done so.

Moral of the story is to avoid Lowes and Emerald Installation.  I have talked and talked to Lowes management as I thought that they would make it right. Boy was I wrong. 

Book Review: All The Lies We Tell




Everyone knew Alicia Harrison’s marriage to Ilya Stern wouldn’t last. They’d grown up on a remote stretch of Quarry Street, where there were two houses, two sets of siblings, and eventually, a tangled mess of betrayal, longing, and loss. Tragedy catapulted Allie and Ilya together, but divorce—even as neighbors—has been relatively uncomplicated.

Then Ilya’s brother, Nikolai, comes home for their grandmother’s last days. He’s the guy who teased and fought with Allie, infuriated her, then fled town without a good-bye. Now Niko makes her feel something else entirely—a rush of connection and pure desire that she’s been trying to quench since one secret kiss years ago. Niko’s not sticking around. She’s not going to leave. And after all that’s happened between their families, this can’t be anything more than brief pleasure and a bad idea.

But the lies we tell ourselves can’t compete with the truths our hearts refuse to let go…


* * * * *

 Not the normal genre of books that I read but I do have to admit that I found ALL THE LIES WE TELL entrancing.  Jumping between the past and present, we are able to see just what caused Alicia, Ilya and Nikolai to become the people that they are.  

It always should have been Alicia and Niko but after he left without a word, she ended up married and divorced from Ilya.  Now Niko is back and they both have to discover whether their attraction is due to their past or does the past just deepen their current connection.

I enjoyed this book and it caused me to rethink some things that I have done in the past and how they are effecting my current life.  I do feel that any of my readers that enjoy contemporary romance will enjoy this book though it is a bit deeper then a lot of what you find in that genre.

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

Jul 29, 2017

Book Review: Say You're Sorry




After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she’s finally found peace and a promising career opportunity—until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder.

Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him. She asks her friend Lance Kruger, an ex-cop turned private eye, for help. Taking on the town, the police, and a zealous DA, Morgan and Lance plunge into the investigation, determined to find the real killer. But as they uncover secrets that rock the community, they become targets for the madman hiding in plain sight.


* * * * *


Morgan Dane is an interesting blend of femininity and  ruthlessness.  You just don't expect a woman in heels and pearls to come up with some of her defensive moves.  Talk about a total kick ass heroine!
And when you pair her with Lance, who had originally planned on working as a PI until his leg fully healed from a gunshot wound, and you have a dynamic duo.  And they are determined to find out just how killed Tessa as Morgan refuses to believe that Nick is the culprit.  

Ms. Leigh is one of my favorite authors in the thriller/romantic suspense genre and I do have to say that she has come out with another winner.  SAY YOU'RE SORRY is a fast paced, tightly written suspense that kept me glued to the screen until the satisfying conclusion. Filled with great characters, witty dialogue and interesting puzzles, this is a must read for fans of romantic suspense.   

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



Jul 27, 2017

Book Review: The Spring Cleaning Murders




Ellie Haskell swaps scrubbing for sleuthing when yet another member of the Chitterton Fells Charwomen's Association bites the dust. Someone has more than dust bunnies and dirty dishes to hide. Ellie is helped by handsome husband Bentley, feckless cousin Freddy, and caustic home helper Mrs Malloy.

* * * * *

I am not sure quite how I stumbled upon the seventh book in this series but I do want to give Ms. Cannell kudos due to the fact that I didn't even realize that it was part of a series until I went to write up this review.  THE SPRING CLEANING MURDERS does a wonderful job of standing on its own.

This book is set in England so once I got used to everyone enjoying tea rather then a coffee I really enjoyed the story.  Ellie has a bunch of interesting friends and family members that keep the story moving along at a nice clip as they attempt to figure out just who is killing charwomen. I was surprised to discover the actual villain at the end.

I think that any of my readers who are looking for a whodunit without a lot of graphic violence and no sex will quite enjoy this tale. Now I just need to find the rest of this series as I hate leaving Ellie behind.

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