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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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 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.

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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.