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.
Jul 25, 2017

Book Review: Age of Swords




In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.


* * * * *

First of all, I must disclose that Mr. Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors and I will forever be in love with Royce.  I was a bit concerned about reading another series set in the same world with no Royce but I shouldn't have worried.  

My new heroes are instead the strong women who see what need to be done and go do it while all the men are beating their chests about just who is going to be in charge during this war.  Persephone, Roan, Brin and Suri head off to the land of Dherg to see if they can find something that will at least give the Rhunes a fighting chance in the upcoming war.

Incredible writing with characters that are memorable and a plot that flows like silk, what more could you ask for?  I highly recommend this book (and this series) to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy.

*** 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 21, 2017

Book Review: Aaru





Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.

She is sixteen years old.

Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.

Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale. 


What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed. 



* * * * *

 I found the premise of AARU fascinating.  What if we could make a copy of a person's personality and when they die upload it into a virtual reality?  Especially a reality such as Aaru where the avatar continues to grow and change.  Would this provide comfort to the ones left behind as they would still be able to have conversations with their 'deceased' loved ones?

Mr. Meredith has done a great job of answering some of those questions and more.  He also faces some of the areas of controversy creating Aaru would bring up such as whether the people in Aaru will ever make it into Heaven.  And what happens when some hacker decides to make some changes to the system.

I was also impressed by the characters themselves.  Mr. Meredith has done a wonderful job of portraying a fourteen year old girl who suddenly gets thrust into the limelight after her sister dies.  We also get a chance to really get to know Rose and her life on the 'other' side.  And the descriptions of Aaru make me want to go visit for a vacation.

I did however find that the story dragged in places and at times, I found myself wondering just how a scene furthered the story along. Also there was way too much emphasis placed on the Christian mythos for my tastes.  Not something that I was expecting in a science fiction story.

Even so, I found myself intrigued enough that I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in this series. I would recommend AARU to my readers who are looking for a Christian based science fiction with great characters.  

*** I received this book at no charge from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Jul 17, 2017

Book Review: Spectacle



When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.


* * * * *

Ms. Vincent's SPECTACLE asks and answers the question of just what makes us human.  Is it our bloodline?  Is it the special abilities that come from that bloodline?  Or is it what is in our hearts?

 I didn't get a chance to read the first book in this series, Menagerie, which I do regret simply because I would like to spend more time with Delilah, Gallagher and the rest of the cryptids.  SPECTACLE does stand on it's own beautifully and is one of those books that I regret finishing simply because I would be saying goodbye to these wonderful characters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, urban fantasy or who simply questions the humanity of those around us.  There is some graphic violence and sex is mentioned though not shown in 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.
Jun 30, 2017

BookReview: Dark Alpha's Lover




There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I am coming for you…

I answer to no one but Death. I am impenetrable, impervious, immortal. I exist to do Death’s bidding and no one–not Reaper nor human nor Fae–can stand in my way. Except for the bewitching half-Fae, Catriona. She swears the magic in her family passed her by, but I know better. This woman is strong. This woman is powerful. And when her abilities surge forth, no one will be able to stop the Dark Fae from coming for her. Except for me. I want to keep her close. I want to keep her safe. I want lose myself to her, again and again…


* * * * *

I keep dipping my toes into this world as the books come up for review and have been very pleased.  This is the first one that I have read in the Reaper series and I loved the fact that while it stands on its own very nicely, I also got a chance to check in on the Dragon Kings.

DARK ALPHA'S LOVER focuses on Fintan and Cat while advancing the overall story arc.  I was introduced to the other Reapers also and now I need to pick up the books that came before as I was entranced by Ms. Grant's world and her characters.

I do recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances with hot men and strong women.  There are some sex scenes as well as violence but nothing too graphic.

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

 
Jun 29, 2017

Book Review: Not A Sound




When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters--her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?


* * * * *

I enjoy the romantic suspense genre and I do have to admit that Ms. Gudenkauf quickly became a must read author.  It's well worth checking out her lineup for books.   She always adds that little extra touch that makes her books special.
 
 I have imagined losing various senses before but I never realized just how much the loss of one's hearing would really effect a person.  Thanks to WITHOUT A SOUND, I now have a glimmer of the sense of isolation and helplessness that it can cause on a good day.  Amelia being deaf really adds a sense of terror and that little extra to the story.

I really enjoyed WITHOUT A SOUND.  It started out with a bang and the tension never ebbed from there.  The characters were well drawn out, the dialogue flowed even when there was a language barrier and the villain was truly immoral.  And of course, there was Stitch who was a major part of the story and I can't resist a dog.  

I do think that my readers who enjoy romantic suspense will really enjoy this book.  There is some violence which might bother some readers but no graphic sex scenes.  

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


Jun 26, 2017

Book Review: Girl Last Seen





Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.
Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.


* * * * *

There are times when you want to escape reality where all the rough edges are smoothed and there are other times when you want those edges.  GIRL LAST SEEN is a mystery where all the rough edges were left in place.  

Set in Seattle where gray skies and drizzle are the norm, this gritty mystery will keep you entranced.  The main character is an addict who had been kidnapped and held by a pedophile when she was just a child.  Lainey managed to escape but now she feels responsible for Olivia who had just been kidnapped.  

I really enjoyed this book.  It's gritty and does a wonderful job of showing the life of an addict without the rose colored glasses that we so often reach for.   While I have never been an addict, I have had friends and family members who have struggled with that disease and I appreciated being able to see through their eyes for a bit.

I really think that my readers who enjoy gritty mysteries will enjoy GIRL LAST SEEN.  I probably wouldn't recommend it for younger readers because there are scenes of drug use, violence as well as using sex to pay for drugs.

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

Jun 21, 2017

Book Review: Playing with Trouble







Recently divorced, Laura Baughman is taking her life back. After a decade away, she’s returning to Yachats, Oregon—the small town she couldn’t wait to leave after graduation—to take over her late mother’s beloved flower shop. Yet once she arrives, Laura discovers the store has been neglected and her father has partnered in construction with Jake Lock. The once-scrawny high school band geek is now successful—and irresistibly sexy—and set to inherit her family’s business. That is, unless Laura can prove in the next thirty days that she has what it takes to run the company.

Despite the heat between Jake and Laura, romance is out of the question. After her last disastrous relationship, Laura has sworn off men—especially one bent on crushing her dreams. That’s just fine with Jake, who thinks the gorgeous blonde is a pain in the neck…though admittedly one he’d like to put his lips all over.

Jake has a proposal to mix business with pleasure. But when a deal goes south, Laura is ready to pack up and skip town all over again. Does he have what it takes to convince her to stay?


* * * * *

I do have a tendency to avoid books with a lot of explicit sex because all too often I have found that as more sex that is added plot is removed.  I am so happy to say that this wasn't the case with PLAYING WITH TROUBLE.  It has a solid story line that will keep the reader interested along with some sex scenes which really heat up the pages.

I really enjoyed the characters especially some of the secondary ones such as Roberta, Laura's father's girlfriend.  She's a down to earth, big hearted woman with good advice who just happens to run a lingerie shop and a dirty book club.  I would also like to see a book about Hannah who is Laura's best friend.

All in all, I would give this book a thumbs up because it has a solid plot line, good pacing, great characters and witty dialogue.  I think that any of my readers who enjoy contemporary romance with some heat would enjoy this book.  There are some graphic scenes though so perhaps not appropriate for the younger generation.

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

Jun 20, 2017

Book Review: Take Me Back




Hallie Cavanaugh’s late father just left her millions of reasons to stay away from Jim Lawson, deputy sheriff of Paradise, Idaho, and the man who broke her heart fourteen years ago. Hallie has worked hard for independence, but she can’t dismiss a massive inheritance, even if she has to follow her father’s manipulative terms to get it. How hard can it be to spend six months back in Paradise—and not sleep with her old flame?

Former Army Ranger Jim just wants to do his job, raise his daughter…and resist the gorgeous, redheaded reminder of his bad-boy past. Their one unforgettably hot night together had major consequences, and now there’s a fortune and a family legacy at stake. But when Hallie is threatened amid a storm of uncovered secrets and conflicted loyalties, protecting her becomes more than a duty: it’s a deeply personal fight Jim’s heart won’t let him lose.


* * * * *

I really liked the characters in this book.  They are all so realistic with their faults and strengths that they almost jump right off the pages.  Hallie is a really good person which is a testament to her strength of will since her mother was absent even when she was right there and her father was a real piece of work.  Jim has grown into a wonderful man who is open to learn from his experiences.

The unfortunate part is that someone is determined to see that Hallie doesn't meet the requirements of her father's will and won't stop at anything to ensure her failure.  It made for a great story to see how Hallie, Jim and their friends work together to ensure her safety and to ensure that she is able to inherit the money her father left to her.

I really enjoyed this book.  The villain in this story really worked behind the scenes up until the very end which made for a surprising finish.  I think that my readers who enjoy a contemporary romance with a bit of danger tossed in would really like 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.

Jun 13, 2017

Book Review: The Fallen Kingdom




The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series. Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her. Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, and publishing simultaneously in the UK, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion.

* * * * * 

While I really enjoyed the first two books, THE FALLEN KINGDOM swept me away.  I became so invested in the world and in the characters that when a death occurred, I was in tears.  Now I don't know about you but very few books cause me to cry.  

This entire book was very emotional.  You have fantastic characters that are all too easy to relate too in a great setting.  There is the love between Aileana (Kam) and Kiaran, the friendships between Kam, Derrick, Charlotte and Aithinne,  Sorcha's hatred and jealousy.  Oh and let's not forget the dialogue.  It will have you laughing at times and ready to sniffle at others.

This is seriously a wonderful book and I recommend that anyone who enjoys fantasy rush out and get this series!  It goes among the top three or four that I have ever read.

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

 
Jun 9, 2017

Book Review: A Deeper Grave





When the hunter becomes the hunted…

Serial-killer hunter Nick Shade built his legendary career chasing monsters—sadistic criminals with a gruesome thirst for death. When he rescued Montgomery detective Bobbie Gentry from horrific captivity and helped her reclaim her life, he didn't intend to be a hero. Or a target. But now a copycat murderer haunts him, and reuniting with Bobbie is his best chance at neutralizing the threat.

Bobbie can't forget the nightmares of her trauma—or the man who saved her. Working with Nick to outmaneuver the person behind a deadly vendetta feeds her hope that there's more to her world than ghosts and destruction. Maybe joining Nick's search for a killer is about gratitude. Maybe it's nothing more than cold revenge. But the only way they can protect themselves is to trust each other.


* * * * *

I do have to say that I have found a new favorite author.  Ms. Webb does an excellent job of drawing the reader right into the story to the point that you can almost smell the blood.  

This story is gritty with a kick ass heroine, Bobby Gentry, who doesn't know how to quit once she is on the trail.  She is assisted by the mysterious Nick Shade who goal in life was to hunt serial killers.  That was until he meet Bobby who has managed to work her way under his skin so now he has another goal which is to try to keep her safe.

A DEEPER GRAVE is the second book in this series and I do have to say that they just keep getting better and better.  I would recommend this book and this series to any of my readers who enjoy gritty thrillers with a touch of romance.  I do want to give my readers a heads up that this book does portray graphic violence  so be forewarned.

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

 
Jun 7, 2017

Book Review: Restrained Under His Duty




An uninhibited politician’s daughter falls for her loyal bodyguard behind closed doors in this scandalous novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Bound Beneath His Pain and Tied to His Betrayal.

As the chief of security for a prominent senator, Ryder Blackwood is stunned when an anonymous source sends him a compromising photo of his boss’s twenty-five-year-old daughter getting down and dirty in an underground sex club. If it gets out, the media firestorm could ruin her father. More troubling for Ryder is how arousing he finds the whole situation. He’s known Hadley Winters since she was a kid. And now she’s the woman in all his most private fantasies.

Wild behavior helps Hadley get through those painful, lonely nights, but she’s been waiting a long time for a man like Ryder to protect her from herself. Ryder is raw. He’s real. And he makes her feel safe. Now that they’ve both become pawns in a blackmailer’s dangerous game, there’s more at stake than her father’s political career. As the intimate threats tear apart a tender new love, Hadley is forced to trust Ryder with her life—and her heart.


* * * * *

RESTRAINED UNDER HIS DUTY is actually the third book in this series but you won't feel lost if you haven't had the chance to read the first two.  Now if you have been following the series however you are in for a treat as you will get the opportunity to check in with the rest of the Dominant Council.

I very enjoyed reading this book as the plot flowed nicely and I have already really like Ryder.  There are also some really hot sex scenes involving bondage.  I didn't really care for Hadley though.  I found that a lot of the issues could be laid directly in her lap for not thinking things through.  Even so, this was a fun book to read.

I think that my readers that enjoy really steamy books with a good plot will enjoy this book.  I do want to put out a gentle warning however that this book does have very explicit sex scenes.

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


Jun 5, 2017

Ramblings and Updates




I really haven't forgotten everyone that reads my blog.  I just been horrible about keeping people up to date about the happenings in my world.  So this might be a longer post.

  • As everyone knows, my beloved Boo was having liver issues.  We thought that we had won that battle as she was back up to weight and had gotten her snarkiness back.  I should have knocked on wood because Boo refused her meds on Friday May 26th and she died laying by side on Saturday May 27th.  She will be forever missed and I plan on having some of her ashes made into a bead.
  • On the brighter side of things, we are getting new carpet installed on July 3rd. This is long overdue as the existing carpet has grease stains from before we bought the house.  And then it went through issues with Kharma forgetting to go out to do his business. 
  • Conal, my stepson, loves to paint so we are getting the place painted before the new carpet arrives.

  • We have a new puppy!  One of my favorite breeds and one that I have always wanted is an  Akita.  She looks like she is going to be Saje's dog which is good since he is the one spending the most time with her.  

  • She is a moose weighing in at 35 pounds and just over 3 months.  And she is a rather smart puppy which is making her a handful to teach manners too.  She doesn't give me much time to miss Boo.

  • We have our garden started.  This house is situated in such a fashion that I won't ever be able to have a traditional garden because of the fact I don't get enough sun anywhere but on my front porch.
Jun 2, 2017

Book Review: Wildfire





Her power-hungry husband takes pleasure in her pain, but she’s done playing the victim.

Three years ago, ex-operative Sophie Jordan made the mistake of falling in love—and marrying—her target. Now she’s paying for it tenfold. Her husband might be one of the sexiest men alive, but he’s also a psychopath. She’s been a virtual prisoner, and the time has come for retribution—and escape.

Undercover agent Malcolm Gunnison has his orders: get intel from Sophie’s arms-dealer husband, then kill him. He plans to get rid of her, too, if she gets in his way, but he’s unprepared when she gets under his skin instead. Whose side is she on? And what is she hiding behind those mesmerizing eyes?

Sophie vowed to never fall for another man again, but this sexy undercover agent is different. With danger mounting, can Malcolm and Sophie trust each other—and their growing passion—enough to get out of this operation alive?


* * * * *

I really enjoyed checking back in on the folks from the Organization.  I am still in lust with Reme.  Somehow I managed to miss the second book but each book is complete in itself so I wasn't lost or felt like I was missing something vital.  

Sophie is one of the strongest people that I have ever seen.  I know that I would have gone insane dealing with her husband but she just spends her time preparing to escape from him.  Mal is burnt out and not too sure just what he thinks about Sophie.  She could be either a help or a hindrance to his mission.   

I do think that my readers who enjoy romantic suspense will enjoy  WILDFIRE.  The plot is fast paced, the characters are interesting and the tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. You can read this book as a stand alone but I would recommend picking up the entire 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. 
May 31, 2017

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale






At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


* * * * *

Oh my goodness.  This book is incredible!  It's based on a Russian fairytale and Ms. Arden did a wonderful job of bringing it to life.  

It's rare when I run across a book nowadays that totally sweeps me away.  There were even times when I was even shivering from the cold of the winter in Rus and the temps here have been in the 70s.   There were other times when the tale brought me to tears.

Ms. Arden has a deft touch with her characters.  They all were so detailed and three dimensional that they became real to me.  I fell in love with Vasilisa and her strength.  She had a touch of the Sight and refused to be put in the box that women typically resided in.  The only thing that really reined her in was her love for her family and her people.  

I enjoy fairy tales but this is the first time that I have had the chance to read one that absolutely took me away from my every day life.  I highly recommend it to any of my readers who enjoy fantasy or fairy tales.  You won't be disappointed.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
May 24, 2017

Book Review: The Cutaway




When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.

Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital.


* * * * *

Usually when you run across a book about untangling a murder,  it is written from the viewpoint of a private investigator or a police officer.  THE CUTAWAY is rather unusual in that it is written from the perspective of a reporter.  That difference flavors the entire book and make it unique.  

I really loved the character of Virginia Knightly who will do whatever it takes to get her story and to protect her sources even if that means facing her own fears.  She draws strong men to her because of her own strength of will.  I also really enjoyed seeing the wheeling and dealing that goes on behind the scenes of a big story.  

I am actually crossing my fingers that this book was only the start of a series as I don't want to tell Virginia goodby.  I highly recommend THE CUTAWAY to any of my readers who enjoy a good mystery or suspense.  The pacing is spot on, the characters have a lot of depth and the dialogue is witty.

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

May 22, 2017

Book Review: Firestorm





SCORCHED BY DESIRE

Dimitri lives to protect the secret of the Dragon Kings from the human race. Bound by a bond stronger than blood to the Kings, Dimitri uses his strength and prowess to defend a thousand-year-old secret. But when an oh-so-sexy, slightly absent-minded archaeologist wanders into his midst, Dimitri will have to give up his rules, and give in to desire...

When Dr. Faith Reynold stumbles upon an ancient skeleton that appears it comes from a dragon, she’s completely taken aback. A woman of science, there’s no way in her mind that this mythological creature can exist. But when a devilishly handsome man named Dimitri intercepts her path to uncovering the truth, Faith’s curiosity turns into all-consuming passion. She’s never felt this way about any man before. But when Dimitri reveals his biggest secret, can she learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within.


* * * * *

Wow!  It's been a while since I have stumbled across a paranormal romance with a story arc that spans several books.  Especially one that I so enjoyed that I have to go track down the back list for this series.

What really made this series for me is that I really liked the characters.  Even the villain is likeable, he just happens to have a different view on how humans should be treated.  I just loved Faith who was very much a woman of science but is willing to believe her own eyes even if it happens go against what science currently feels to be true.  

I would recommend FIRESTORM to any of my readers who enjoy dragons and paranormal romances.  Actually I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series but FIRESTORM does a wonderful job of standing on its own.  

*** 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: Falling Darkness




At the mercy of a treacherous sea...

Claire Britten's training never prepared her for this--the forensic psychology curriculum didn't cover plane crashes. Or how to help fellow survivors cope, seven frightened people huddled in two small rafts awaiting a rescue that may never come. Especially when three of them are your ex-husband, your young daughter--and the man you love, Nick Markwood, whose pursuit by a criminal mastermind forced you all to run in the first place.

When the bedraggled crew finally reaches dry land, they are still far from safe. Nick tries to secure transport to their witness-protection placement, urging everyone to stick to the identities laid out for them. They don't need any complications. But when danger follows them to their supposed safe haven, Claire and Nick no longer know who is helping or harming them. Racked by doubt and mistrust, still hunted, they must band together--or fall.


* * * * *

FALLING DARKNESS is the third book in the South Shores series but I have to admit that I was rather impressed by how well it stands on its own.   I had the opportunity to read the first book but somehow skipped over the second.  Even so, I didn't feel lost and immediately became engrossed in the book.

Ms. Harper has done a wonderful job with the characters.  They are all ones I found easy to emphasize with enough that I was holding my breath during some of the tense scenes.  I am especially impressed by Claire who is such a strong woman even with all of her rather unique medical issues.  I also feel bad for Jace, Claire's ex-husband, because what could be worse then being stuck with your ex-wife who you are still in love with and her new husband?

The plot also flows at a nice pace and will keep you turning the pages just to find out who did what.  The dialogue is witty and amusing in places. I also found the ending to be rather satisfying.  

I do recommend this book to my readers who enjoy romantic suspense.  I do want to issue a warning though  that there is some violent scenes in this book so perhaps 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.