Jun 26, 2018

Book Review: A Steep Price

Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.
Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.
Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.
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I really look forward to the next installment of the Tracy Crosswhite not only because of Mr. Dugoni's excellent storytelling but because it is set locally in Seattle.  And you can really tell that the author has spent a lot of time in the area because he not only was on point with the points of interest but he is spot on about the atmosphere and the attitudes of the general areas.
This time around, Tracy's team are dealing with two different crimes.  Tracy stumbles into the world of arranged marriages and the expectations placed on daughters in Indian households.   Fez and Del are busy with trying to track down the murderer of a young mother.  Oh and everyone is dealing with a new member of the team, Andrea Gonzalez, who keeps putting her nose where it shouldn't be.
I really think that Mr. Dugoni has another winner in this book.  The plot is interesting with some twists and turns that are rather unexpected.  All of the characters are well developed and keep growing with every book.  I really think that any of my readers who enjoy reading police procedurals will really enjoy this book and this series.
***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Jun 20, 2018

Book Review: Eight Simple Rules For Dating A Dragon

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

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It's been a while since I read a book that was pure fun.  One with hunky men that just happen to turn into dragons, beautiful elves and trolls who are more than they appear to be.  One that takes you away to another world that demands that you suspend disbelief and enjoy the tale.  This book is the definition of brain candy.

I very much enjoyed this world and getting to know the characters.  While the book did center around Gwenmore, Silas and Puff, Ms. Sparks didn't stint when it came to the secondary characters (and I am hoping that they all get their own books).  The pacing was smooth, the dialogue flowing and it was well editing.  Once I entered Gwenmore's world, there was nothing to jar me back to reality except the ending of the book.

I do recommend this book to my readers who enjoy paranormal romance.  This is actually the third book in the series and can be read as a stand alone book though I am going to have to go pick up the other two because I want to know the story behind some happenings that are mentioned in passing.  

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 
Jun 18, 2018

Book Review: Murder Notes

As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a serial killer. But when the case takes her back to her hometown in the Hamptons and a mysterious but unmistakable connection to her own life, all her assumptions are shaken to the core.

Thrust into a troubled past she’s tried to shut the door on, Lilah’s back in the town where her father is mayor, her brother is police chief, and she has an intimate history with the local crime lord’s son, Kane Mendez. The two share a devastating secret, and only Kane understands Lilah’s own darkest impulses. As more corpses surface, so does a series of anonymous notes to Lilah, threatening to expose her. Is the killer someone in her own circle? And is she the next target?

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I found the character of Lilah to be interesting though she is so shut down emotionally that I can't say that I was able to emphasize with her.  What really kept me reading this book was the fact that I found some of the secondary characters intriguing enough that I wanted to get to know them better.  Alas that didn't really happen but now the mystery has me hooked.  I really want to know the story behind the story so I am being held hostage.  

Why hostage you might ask.  Well I don't feel that this first book answered any questions, it just brought up more.  There were no conclusions reached at the end, just a cliffhanger.  So I feel that if I don't read the second book than I have wasted my time reading the first.  And I don't care for that feeling.  I want to look forward to the next book in a series and in this case, it feels like an obligation.  I guess that is one way to sell books but not one that has ever impressed me.

As you can probably tell, I don't recommend this book to my readers unless you are a fan of cliffhanger endings.  If so, you would probably really enjoy this book as it is well written and has a mystery that will hook you in.  

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Jun 11, 2018

Book Review: The Extraordinary Life Of Sam Hell

Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called “Devil Boy” by his classmates; “God’s will” is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam persevered, buoyed by his mother’s devout faith, his father’s practical wisdom, and his two other misfit friends.

Sam believed it was God who sent Ernie Cantwell, the only African American kid in his class, to be the friend he so desperately needed. And that it was God’s idea for Mickie Kennedy to storm into Our Lady of Mercy like a tornado, uprooting every rule Sam had been taught about boys and girls.

Forty years later, Sam, a small-town eye doctor, is no longer certain anything was by design—especially not the tragedy that caused him to turn his back on his friends, his hometown, and the life he’d always known. Running from the pain, eyes closed, served little purpose. Now, as he looks back on his life, Sam embarks on a journey that will take him halfway around the world. This time, his eyes are wide open—bringing into clear view what changed him, defined him, and made him so afraid, until he can finally see what truly matters.

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Let me start of by say that I absolutely loved this book which was rather surprising since faith and the Catholic Church beliefs and traditions pop up frequently.   I actually had trouble reading the last few pages because of the tears in my eyes.  I didn't want to say good by to Sam and his friends.

I picked up this book because of the author.  Robert Dugoni is the author of one of my favorite police procedural series so I knew that I enjoy his writing style.  I really think that he outdid himself with THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL.  

Sam, his thoughts and his life were so beautifully portrayed that I felt that I was there.  That I knew him as well as I know myself.  That I was with him from the time that he was a child until the time he truly became an adult.  Through him, I got to experience going to a Catholic school, I was able to experience being bullied because he was different, growing up with two parents who loved him and each other, of losing and regaining my faith in a higher power.  

As you can probably tell, I do recommend this book to any of my readers.  I am still puzzling over what genre to slip this book into but it's tough.  The close as I can come is a coming of age story even though follows him from birth until his late thirties.  There is some violence and there is some sex but doesn't everyone have a bit of both in their lives?

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Jun 3, 2018

Book Review: School For Psychics

An entrancing new series starring a funny, impulsive, and sometimes self-congratulatory young woman who discovers she has psychic abilities—and then must decide whether she will use her skills for good or…not.

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

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I have to admit being conflicted about this book.  I really enjoyed the book itself but I have the question the maturity level of the characters themselves.  They are supposed to be in their 20s but they all remind me of teenagers.  If Teddy was 15 or 16 then I would rave about this book.  Heck I will even still rave about this book with that one caveat.

SCHOOL FOR PSYCHICS is a fun read.  Teddy is a character that you love half the time, the other half the time she will totally exasperate you.  She does grow up quite a bit during the book so by the end, her maturity starts to catch up to her age.  I actually found all of the characters interesting and I am looking forward to the next book so that I can check back in to see how they are doing.

I think that my readers would enjoy this book as long as you ignore the stated ages of the characters and instead picture it as a young adult story.  It's fast paced with some interesting twists.  It has a bit of danger, a bit of romance and a whole lot of character growth.

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author.